So let me get this straight…

I'm working essentially two full-time jobs and keeping up with all the normal October things (school-related, etc.) and managing to stay healthy and in a decent humor, and now the Office of Pupil Transportation decides to cut costs by messing with the bus schedules in a way that makes no sense?

Yesterday the bus was 40 minutes late AND had to stop at a completely different school on the way to my son's school for no reason (no kids were picked up or dropped off there). Today it was 50 minutes late, but only 15 minutes later than the bus driver predicted (with such vitriol that I burst out laughing) yesterday.

Seriously, this is not cool. Joel Klein needs to investigate the OPT, because a third-grader could route these buses better that the adults at the OPT are.

I'd like to give a big shout-out to our awesome bus drivers Alex and Carlos who are rolling with the punches in a professional, kind, and humorous way, and to Tommy at the bus company, who is getting a lot of crap from both ends for something he has no control over, yet still picks up the phone when it's ringing.

Tomorrow I'll talk about the mysterious class.

34 thoughts on “So let me get this straight…”

  1. My county school board is proposing to redistrict elementary and middle school assignments, moving anywhere between 20-60% of the kids, and allowing virtually no school choice, and the only stated reason they have put forward is that it will save on gas for the buses. And they haven’t actually presented any analysis that will prove that it will save the estimated amount. Now, there seem to be a fair number of things wrong with the school districting right now, and I could see arguments in favor of redistricting (can you spell socioeconomic segregation? I knew you could!) But for gas money? Move up to 60% of the kids? Let’s have some focus on education here!And my kid doesn’t ride the bus, because it stops outside our house at 6:48 am, and school starts at 7:45, and we live four blocks away from the school. Where does it GO in the interim? Schenectady?

  2. Maybe it will be an interactive learning oportunity for the 3rd graders? I can see it now:Find shortest route to:
    Minimize time on bus
    Maximize time on bus with friends

  3. It’s amazing how much easier it is to stay healthy when you’re happy and enthusiastic about life.When you’re that stressed but unhappy, everything is just so much harder. I’m glad that you’re on the happy and healthy end!
    Good luck with the buses. That must be infuriating.

  4. I laughed when I read “Office of Pupil Transportation”. That just sounds so 1984.When I was in elementary school there was a rule that if the bus didn’t show up with x minutes, kids were free to go home for the day (can’t remember what x was). Does the OPT seriously expect parents or caregivers to stand around and wait 40 minutes for a bus?! That’s crazy. Wouldn’t taking public transportation or walking be faster?

  5. Flea, do you live in Athens, GA? I just heard that exact argument yesterday picking my son up from pre-K, complete with references to “those kids bussed in from the projects.”

  6. Heather, yes. It would be faster for me to walk to the subway, ride the train, switch trains, ride that second train, and walk to school. That’s only part of the crazy-making…

  7. When #2 started Kindergarten this fall, we got a “bus card” for each child in the mail a week before.#1, a third grader, was told he’d be picked up by the same bus he’s always been picked up by – at the end of our driveway, which is on a busy, sidewalk-less county road.
    #2, the Kindergartener, was told that she’d be getting on a different bus. one that picked her up a few minutes after #1, three blocks away and a walk in the morning dark down the shoulder of said busy county road.
    #1 and #2 are going to the same school with the exact same start time. D’Oh!!
    Better yet, the same bus was to bring them home, but it was supposed to leave *her* at her pickup stop 3 blocks away, and then come drop him off practically at our door.
    Does no one read these cards as they’re printed?
    We did get it all worked out to our best advantage (both kids picked up at the same time at our driveway), but man, was I worried that they’d tell me I was stuck with that plan.

  8. Maria, I am, and I think Cobblestone is too (how’s that baby treatin’ you?) Count me in the group that thinks there should be more bussing in of “those kids from the projects,” not less. Because how can a kid who goes to a school that has a 98% (ninety-eight! I was shocked!) rate of qualifying for free/reduced price lunch possibly get an equal education to that offered at the school less than 2 miles away that has a 20% rate?

  9. I live in a major west coast city with decent (but not great) public transportation, and NO school buses. We could walk to elementary school (if my kids went to public school) but after that all bets are off. I didn’t even know NYC did transportation separate from public transit.

  10. J is doing well, thanks for asking. I’ve been back to work about a week now, things are going pretty well with that too.

  11. I’m just going to complain because I can give no advice on transportation. Today is my birthday. Yesterday, the spouse came up with a new argument against vasectomies. Here goes: Our marriage is not good, ever since the new colicky, non-sleeping baby was born. Duh. Husband admits to thinking a lot about an affair because he wants some intimacy. But, if he gets a vasectomy, then he will be more inclined to have an affair. Therefore, he will not get a vasectomy. Now, I am no expert on argumentation theory or enthymemes, but there seems to be something really wrong with that. So, happy birthday to me. I am going to go see a therapist and celebrate.

  12. Oh my goodness, anontoday! I can’t believe he said that to you.I’ll still wish you a happy birthday, though. I’m so sorry you have to go through this today.

  13. I guess he isn’t going to be using a condom either way? Geez.I hope you have a cheerier topic of discussion today and maybe the baby will pick tonight to sleep a little more. 🙂

  14. @anontoday, Happy Birthday! And I’m sorry for what your husband said. That doesn’t make any sense to me. Who the hell tells his post-partum, sleep-deprived wife that he’s contemplating an affair?!

  15. @annontodayI hope your next birthday brings you a happy day, I hope this birthday just gets lost is a sleep deprived haze.
    I don’t like your husband much right now.

  16. @anontoday – I hope your husband is in some sort of sleep deprived haze too. It seems like the only charitable explanation. Hoping you have plenty of happy in your birthday.

  17. Anontoday-You know, compared to most posters here, I am usually pretty pro-husband (thinking it takes two to tango, etc). Normally I’d say you are both exhausted and give your marriage a little time (and some sleep!) and then re-visit the sore topics.
    BUT that is just outrageous what he said. Even when exhausted and miserable, there are lines you don’t cross. Threatening adultery crosses the line. Such things are damaging. Even if he is thinking about having an affair…why would he throw that out there, if not to make you feel bad?
    So, hugs to you. Do what you can to get through this rough early patch with the baby, to fortify yourself, and to keep your self-esteem out of the toilet. You have time to decide what you want to do about your husband.

  18. Adultery was mentioned in the first year of the Bean’s life. Not so much as a threat but more of let me tell you how bad/neglected I’m feeling right now.I’m not sure how people keep marriages/relationships together and healthy after children. My hat’s off to all who do.

  19. anontoday – Just for your birthday, I hate your husband a little. As if the non-sleeping baby was somehow YOUR fault. I’d throw something heavy at his head and then throw the baby at him and tell him I’d be much more inclined to care for his needs once I got some sleep. Then I’d go somewhere and sleep. And when I got back and he wasn’t in the mood (see aforementioned non-sleeping colicky baby in his care), I’d tell him I’ll be right back but I’m going out for an affair. Or at least, I’d be dreaming of doing all that. Or I’d tell him that was my plan so he could see the ridiculousness of it anyway.

  20. @anontoday:I agree that the threat of adultery is ay, way below the belt.
    However, in a “information he might need to know” you might suggest to him that the Pill (if you’re on it) has been showed to cause significant loss of libido in something more than a quarter of women who take it. As I told my husband “Sure, the pill is convenient. But if I never, ever, want to get busy, that’s not so much of a plus, huh?”

  21. Happy Birthday, anontoday! Just wanted to say that my husband and I are in “hunker down and save the marriage” mode. It’s going to work — we’re committed — but we’ve had lots of tears and heartache. I think when there’s heartache, things get said that aren’t meant. When you aren’t so tired, maybe forgiving for those things can be on your priority list! Or maybe not!

  22. @anontoday – UGH! It sounds like your hubby didn’t really know what he was signing up for when you decided to have a baby. Regardless, I can’t believe he said that to you. I hope he has a nice birthday gift planned for you today. And that whatever he does, you manage to have a happy birthday. Don’t read too much into it if you don’t, though. Pumpkin was 6 weeks old on my first birthday post-baby. I ended up in tears, despite a supportive husband and family. This year’s birthday (Pumpkin was almost 14 months old) went much better. The first bit after the baby is born is just HARD. I felt like my entire identity had been pulled apart by this little creature who wanted so much from me. I am only now starting to feel like I really know what my new identity looks like, and Pumpkin is 18 months old.@Mom2Boys- I think Hubby and I are keeping a healthy relationship. At least no one has mentioned adultery yet! I don’t really know what we do to make it happen. We talk a lot. We (ok, I) actively look for ways to make sure we still have time to talk, despite the sleep deprivation and demands of a toddler. I think we both try to see things from the other’s perspective, and try to keep what the other person wants/needs in mind. But I suspect the real reason is none of that. I suspect it is that Hubby didn’t need/want a lot of “mothering” from me before we had the kid, so he doesn’t feel like he’s losing out to Pumpkin. Also, he loves being a dad. I think he adjusted to the new post-baby way of things faster and easier than I did.

  23. Wait, you get a school bus? In a city with great public transportation? We have neither. Not to kvetch, just to offer perspective.

  24. They bus kids who are out of a certain radius of the school. Sending my older on the bus means that we only go 5 blocks to the stop instead of 6 blocks plus two subways each way. I’m not sure we save any time on the way to school, but it’s way easier on my younger son, who’s just along for the ride.anon, there’s no bussing and no public transportation and you can’t walk to school?
    Shannon, I’m sorry the ADs aren’t doing enough for you.
    anonfortoday, I don’t even know what to say to that. Threatening adultery is just not right. I hope everything else about your birthday was good.

  25. Big hugs to Anonfortoday… whether or not he was serious, the emotional damage he’s done is as bad as actually having the affair, and I hope that you are able to find some stable ground in counseling. You and your baby both deserve to be treated better. Sometimes husbands say stoooopid things, but that seems over the line.

  26. This school year the All Knowing School Board switched the times of middle and high school. Now high schoolers dont get home until 430. Hard to have a PT job. And hard to schedule the extra curriculars. And middle schoolers are home alone starting at 2pm. (plenty of time to get in trouble)AKSB said it would save $2 million in gas for the busses. How does it save money to drive the same routes at different times of the day?
    LOTS of protest from ALL the parents. After all the meetings the AKSB just said, “too bad, we’re doing it”
    Can’t wait to see the actual cost savings. HA.

  27. When I was growing up we lived way out in the county and I had many long and roundabout bus rides to three different schools. A sixth grade center, seventh grade center and jr. high which was eight and nineth grades. I don’t remember the weird start times or travel bothering me (other than the usual not wanting to get up for school). There were many mornings in the dark at the bus stop but it was right in front of my house and some of the parents who brought their kids from farther down the road would usually wait with us. It’s like an updated version of up a hill both ways in the snow to school! 🙂

  28. @anontoday – Happy (belated) Birthday. I’m so sorry to hear about what your husband chose to say to you. I confess that I have been thinking about your story ever since you posted it yesterday, and it has taken me a day to figure out what I want to say to support you.Like other women here, I have been to emotional hell & back in my marriage during our child’s first year of life. I don’t know enough about your situation to be able to sit here and say ‘do this’ or ‘don’t do that.’ As in, I don’t know if you have experienced a history of abuse at the hands of this man, or if perhaps his behavior is surfacing now for the very first time in response to the stress in your home. (So I will assume the latter.) But I do know that in a very sad & counterproductive way, your husband has shared his raw emotional needs with you. For whatever reason, he did not choose to communicate those needs to you in a constructive, healthy way. It sounds like you are both hurting, and are probably having trouble asking for what you need. (Whoever said having kids is a good thing for relationships was smoking some serious crack.) I wonder if maybe he said it because he feels he has been unable to reach you, and feels that hurting you is an effective way to communicate – which by the way is no excuse, and should you wish to someday be happily married again, it’s an obstacle you’ll have to deal with head on at some point.
    I believe that many men who cheat never bother to announce their intentions – because they’re trying not to get caught. For some unfortunate people though, cheating with every intention of getting caught is the only way they manage to get out of relationships. But that’s neither here nor there, really. I believe cheating in the context of a monogamous relationship is abuse. My gut reaction is that he’s telling you his truth: he feels his intimacy needs aren’t being met by you, and he has entertained the idea of cheating in order to satisfy those needs – but something is holding him back. You could take that as a good, if depressing, sign. I can’t really know, but somehow I feel the vasectomy discussion is a bizarre red herring. Anyway, I think therapy would be the best birthday present you could give yourself right now. I’ll be thinking of you.
    @Shannon – I haven’t forgotten about your blog post… back soon.

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