Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bussed to Boredom

For years now my son, the 5.70 year old Prince, had pined to ride a school bus.

And why not? It looks fun with all the kids on it. There are songs about buses. It is a widely glorified vehicle - even by parents!

I can't tell you how many times I flat-out ignored the wail, "Dad, I really want to go on a school bus." - after all, we have long since decided to *homeschool* him all the way.

But help for me arrived in the form of summer camp. After weeding through almost the limitless options of for his summer recreation we decided upon the cheapest AND most convenient. We enrolled him in the local government school's summer camp. It's four hours - 9am to 12pm, costs only $525 for the month (thanks to unwitting taxpayers!), AND here's the clincher....included in that was free bus service to and from. He gets picked up right in front and dropped off right at the end of our driveway!

How are you going to beat that? Even if he skipped half of camp we'd be getting our money's worth.

Anyways, it turns out we were the first bus stop on the way in and the last on on the way home.

So I send him off at 8:15am and he doesn't get back until 12:45pm. That's a solid 1.5 hours of time on the bus (and 1.5 hours of extra parental relief!). Recall how much he wanted to ride on a school bus.

Before the first week he was just drowning in anticipation...

We asked him how much fun the bus was when he got home that first day. "Kinda long," was his chilly response.

Hah! My wife and I were delighted, thinking, "Well, that takes care of the bus fetish!"

But how brutal is that though - two daily 45 minute bus rides to a school that's only 7 minutes away?! Welcome to the human time-wasting tragedy that is the *school system*...

After a couple days of giggling, my wife and I decided to medicate the situation.

We started packing a book each day with him for the ride(s). So instead of coming home bored out of his mind....he comes home on about page 80 or so of one of his books!


Taylor Conant said...

The picture you used to illustrate is classic: a bunch of drones-in-the-making, learning to stand in line, waiting, shouldering their obnoxious life-baggage-as-life's-burden, their quality of life quickly zooming down the toilet.

The bus service within the 7min distance zone is also classic. Waste of time, waste of energy. Provides pointless, overpaid summer jobs for unionized schoolbus drivers. And kids don't get any exercise, learn how to navigate their neighborhoods or take in the sites on a walk to school-- again, preparing them for a life where someone else is responsible for getting them to point A, their birth, and point B, their death.

And why can't/don't children walk to school anymore? Because the neighborhood is too "dangerous"... rapists and kidnappers in every bush and around every corner. Does this not bother anybody? Why do people put up with this and accept this?

My mom used to make my dad go drive the car alongside my sister riding her bike the .5 miles home from a nearby gated community because she was so deathly afraid of her being kidnapped. I said, "Mom, why do you live in a neighborhood where you fear such things could happen in the first place?" she just mumbled something about better safe than sorry and it happens everywhere or something. Makes me wonder what all the property taxes that feed the local rapid-response pig trough unit and their whizbang flying ghetto bird that is in the sky 24/7, really do-- apparently they don't buy safety and security for the local residents.

Meanwhile, my cousins live in the same small town my mom and her family grew up in. Now, sure, kids are getting kidnapped and raped there, too, but my aunt and uncle let my cousins walk to school from the time they're about 6 or 7, and they ride their bike or walk to friend's houses miles away. So, apparently some relative safety still exists in some communities in America.

CaptiousNut said...

Yeah the kidnapper fear is overblown.

My thing with walking to school is the traffic.

Unlike when I was a kid, cars are silent and can accelerate easily.

We live on a side street and literally it's not safe for my kids to stand at the end of the driveway (never mind walk anywhere unattended) because people drive by so selfishly fast. Wage slaves rushing to the train and/or their assigned posts.

ONLY if there are sidewalks, should kids walk to the prison, IMO.

CaptiousNut said...

Nice line:

a life where someone else is responsible for getting them to point A, their birth, and point B, their death.

I may steal it as I have no respect for *intellectual property rights*!

Taylor Conant said...


I typed hastily, of course I meant:

"responsible for getting them FROM point A, their birth, TO point B, their death."

But yeah, steal away, I have no respect for IP, either.