Tuesday, December 6, 2011

12-6-11 -9°

I'm going to assume the 16° is tonight's low instead of the day's or nothing would make sense here.

I went into the gym this morning very quickly in my heaviest hoodie, which was pulled tight around my face, and gloves. I walked back to the car much more aware of the thin layer of sweat on my body than usual, especially when it started making little ice- crackling sounds in between my elbows and knees. No doubt about it, it is freaking cold here today.

Now, with a temperature reading like that, you would expect to see all the kids who have to walk to school, much farther than my trek from the car to the gym, bundled up in their heaviest coats, gloves, hats, scarves, you name it, right?


They wear hoodies, mostly, without the hoods up, no gloves, slip on shoes. Yes, they are walking through snow covered streets in shoes that allow their socks (if they're wearing them) to get soaked in the bits of slush that haven't hardened. Maybe they're trying to get sick to avoid upcoming finals. That's the best reason I can come up with. 

I get to survey the insanity for quite a long time in the mornings, thanks to the brilliant engineering and planning feat that put two very large schools, middle and high, next door to each other starting within minutes of one another, with one-way requirements at every turn, no protected turn signals for two directions of the single light that backs up for miles, and the ability of exactly two cars to make the turn I need to make every three minutes of the light cycle. I get Sam dropped of and it takes me roughly 15 minutes to get back out of the parking lot, or about 100 yards.

They seem to come up with new ways to compound the problem each year. It's really quite a feat.

First, instead of the hour starting difference between the schools when we first moved here, they changed the times to about 10 minutes apart.

Next, they closed off several of the entrances and drop off points to force everyone into a single entry/exit scheme, ostensibly to avoid cross traffic.

Then, they built a very large bricked-in median on the main road to make certain no one could try to get turned back around in the direction they needed to go, but are instead funneled into the bottleneck with everyone else trying to go the same way.

This morning, we couldn't get out of our neighborhood. The cars were backed up in a long line,  just hoping to make a right turn so that they, too, could sit in the 30 minute line of agony (with middle school drivers attempting to exit into the same turn only lane open to high school drivers needing to enter). These are just right turns. I don't know how the people who live on the other side of the very busy main road with no light to stop the traffic ever get to school on time. 

So, in this insanity, I get plenty of time to examine the clothing habits of our next generation. Maybe they're building up an immunity to the cold in some way I'm not accessible to. But they all looked miserable, hands pulled up inside their thin hoodies, heads lowered, slippered feet shuffling through the crosswalks. At least it makes the 15 minute light-sitting interesting...


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