It’s winter and this is what state?

tracks.jpgFirst of all, what the heck are those tracks there? Three-legged rabbit? Did Henry lose a leg? (No, I am not that good at identifying tracks.)

Now can I rant? Just a little? The Planet Ann Arbor Public Schools are back in session today after two days of “extreme” weather. On Monday morning, it was ten below zero or thereabouts when I headed out to take my walk. Yes, I did look like a purple Pillsbury Doughboy, but I was definitely not cold. My vee-hickle started up just fine. The roads were not slippery. The schools were closed. Tuesday morning, the temperature had risen all the way to zero. My vee-hickle started up just fine. The schools were closed again.

Apparently one of the big reasons for closing the schools for two days in a row had to do with buses that wouldn’t start in the cold. Hmmm. You have got to be kidding me. We’ve lived through plenty of winters here on the planet that had longer, colder, cold snaps than this one. I can only remember one other time that school was canceled because of extreme cold and that time, it was a lot more extreme than ten below zero. We didn’t get mail that day either and, the next day, I told the postman that it was okay! But what is the deal that a school administration of infinite wisdom cannot manage to ensure that it can start enough buses to run the schools at what are quite typical winter temperatures in, uh, what state is this again? Who are we hiring for these jobs again? What are their skills? Pencil sharpening? Paper shredding?

This is the age of homeland security. The district can put signs at every entrance to every schoolyard that order everyone who enters the grounds to check in at the office (and clean up their dog poop too, but that’s a whole ‘nother subject). But it can’t manage to keep its transportation system running. What if we get a hurricane here? Or a tsunami? Or terrorists who crash airplanes into Burton Tower? What is the plan for evacuating all of the schoolchildren? Does it involve buses? I certainly hope not!

Listen up. Parents, make sure your elementary school kids are dressed warmly enough to wait at the bus stop. Dress yourselves up too. Nobody cares what the heck you look like. Middle and high school kids, dress however you want. You will learn. Parents of middle and high school students, stop acting like helicopters and let ’em learn. Oh, and don’t email the school district to complain because *you* didn’t help your student cope with a difficult situation. Administrators, get those blasted buses in shape and get ’em going. Sell Sky High to Google if you need the money. At least there’s plenty of free parking at Sky High.

To end on an upbeat note: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LIZ, MY SISTER-IN-LAW! Next baby after The Twinz of Terror. And a GIRL! Just to make her big sis happy!

2 Responses to “It’s winter and this is what state?”

  1. Webmomster Says:

    *Channelling the Engineer moment*: Diesel fuel, which those buses run on, tends to “gel” when it gets cold enough. If it’s gelled, it won’t flow. If it won’t flow, it won’t reach the glow plug. If it won’t reach the glow plug, the engine won’t run. */Channelling Engineer* There is a product that reduces the likelihood that diesel fuel will gel in the tank, but it’s probably not a feasible solution for the size of each bus’s fuel tank…it’s really designed for pick-em-up trucks…

    The other part of it is that the Adminstrators have finally wised up to the concept of “frostbite” and “hypothermia”, among other issues. And with more-and-more kids having to get themselves to the school or bus stop ‘cuz Mom & Dad (or just one, if they are short one) have to be at work at some gawdawful hour before school commences, the Administration is officially responsible for the safety of these kids from the time they arrive at the bus stop/school yard until they are back home. Parents are not necessarily abdicating THAT part of their responsibility – especially as we’ve heard other former teens admit to removing certain items of winter-wear that were mandated by a stay-at-home parent as soon as out-of-sight!! Just that the Latchkey Kid can just never have to put on what would otherwise get ditched a couple feet out the door… 😉

  2. kayak woman Says:

    I guess a point that I didn’t make very well is that perhaps we are too dependent upon buses. And I still can’t figure out why they seemed to be such a problem this week when other years we’ve had worse weather and school wasn’t canceled.

    I would buy the idea that parents leave earlier than their kids. I’m sure some of them do. But it doesn’t explain the long line of Lincoln Navigators that dispense kids at Forsythe Middle School faithfully every morning at 8 and pick them up again at 2:50 or whatever it is. 🙂