I rode a bus to school until my my last year at the University. In high school Dad dropped us off at the collection point on his way to work where we waited for forty minutes until the bus arrived. We dressed for the weather and put our coats in lockers at school.
Today, if you drive to town on a school day, one will see legions of minivans idling at the end of driveways. The minivans are filled with kids waiting for the bus. The van is idling to keep them warm.
If you are behind a bus, you see the kids hop out of the minivan wearing indoor clothing. It is not unusual to see a kid hop out of the vehicle wearing shorts, tee-shirt and Crocs, even in January.
After disgorging the kids, "mama" backs the van back up the drive to the garage or she then leaves for work.
This is what the majority of "country kids" in this zip-code are like.
The chances of most of those kids being able to walk three miles or be able to function outside for hours (cold in the winter, sun-mosquitoes-heat in the summer) is vanishingly close to zero.
Around here, in South Texas, farmers and ranchers used to build shelters by the road of varying quality for their children to wait for the bus in. Not as much country as there was, so I haven't seen any of those shelters for a while.ReplyDelete
That's what I did for my kids at our Vermont farm. Something to cut the wind in the winter. Used it until we got disgusted with the local public school and put the kids into Catholic elementary school, which meant a drive into town.Delete
ABout 1 in 10 here actually wait by themselves for the bus, the others are as you describe.ReplyDelete
Having said that, those 10% get a shelter, much like Les described (I had one too, a couple of sheets of plywood at 90 degrees to each other to break the wind.
I am told that these mothers who do this for their kids are afraid that the lids will be abducted. (It does happen, but rarely)...most of this is a hollow a fear and urban legend (as unsubstantiated as the stories of pins and razor blades in haloween candy). Just urban legend, but women seem to thriveofn fears that are not real. But that is the supposed reason they keep the kids in the cars for pickup.
When I tell people here that our school bus ran with snow chains during the winter they don't believe it. Waited in the rain as well unless someone's parents had the time to wait for the bus. Then 15 kids would be jammed in a station wagon until the bus came.ReplyDelete
I think it's similar to what Steve Renilla says about hunting, it got you comfortable with being uncomfortable.
When I was a kid it was wait outside for the bus. If we missed it we walked. If the weather was bad we'd get a ride but mom and dad weren't happy about it. And sometimes missing the bus led to skipping school to work on the farm or woodlot... That was a tough choice for me back then. Waste my day or make some money.ReplyDelete
Here in rural Un-Named Flyover State (not so very far from you, ERJ!) bus shelters at the end of the driveway is a common sight. Our grand kids would walk to our house, there to await Mom or Dad after work. (well, to be honest, the littles got rides from the bus stop in foul weather, walked with Grandma otherwise)ReplyDelete
I keep trying to deduce what state is the Un-Named Flyover State. I am +90 sure it starts with a vowel and about 40% confident it is hi in the middle.Delete
O! Must not name.Delete
Dear Mr. ERJ: Does the phrase "Wretched Hitler" ring any bells?Delete
When I was young, walking to school was my preferred method.It was a couple miles, but because bus routes were not linear, but meandered around, it was faster.ReplyDelete
As I got older and entered junior high, the book load increased, and I started riding the bus more. The public school bus was almost gladiator school. The older experienced bus drivers were retiring, and the new ones couldn't control the rougher kids. There was a time that when a fight broke out, the driver would stop, let the two combatants out to work it out, and when they were exhausted, let them back on and go on his way. Those days ended, and school buses became chaotic "Lord of the Flies" style transportation. The bullies ran the back third of the buses. I went back to walking.
Good grief, I used to walk a half-mile to the bus stop, there to stand in any and every weather for 30 minutes, because the drivers could not keep a schedule.ReplyDelete
And these kids are going to run the world. We are doomed, doomed I tell you!
When I was a kid, my sister and I got a ride to school if the temperature was below zero.Twelve blocks, Northern Minnesota. We were not spoiled.ReplyDelete