You know, I’m a big fan of how far society and technology have come. If it weren’t for said advances in technology, my Diabetes control would likely be far less than what it is now. But there’s something to be said for the good ol’ days; the days when people actually dealt with the situation in front of them instead of taking the easy way out. And like a fragile house of cards, it can be amazing how removing one card from the pile will usually make the whole, planned thing fall asunder…
Life rarely cares about one’s plan and it can be pretty frustrating when things don’t go according to them. A week ago, I had an appointment to travel to Saskatoon for my eye injections, which take place every eight weeks. After only about six hours’ sleep, my wife and I began receiving multiple text messages followed by phone calls. It seems that due to cold weather, the bus system that would transport my son Nathan to school was being cancelled.
Not classes themselves, mind you… Just the buses. Weird. Must be a Prairie thing. This is one of those times when I become the old man who complains and tells the epic story of how every day was a 4-mile walk to school, uphill, through ten feet of snow while fighting wolves… The problem is, I really DID have an 4-mile walk to school. Not the rest of the stuff, mind you. Living in Northern New Brunswick, I used to leave the house an hour and a half before first bell in order to walk half way around the base of a mountain to reach my school. Y’all can look it up, it was a small town called Dalhousie, New Brunswick. Both French and English high schools are STILL at the top of a mountain. Granted, I had the benefit of walking on a groomed snowmobile trail. But I digress…
In my day, they cancelled schools not the vehicles that transported the students, which meant that cancellations would be announced via radio WHILE I was on foot to reach school. I would only find out that classes had been cancelled once I walked in and some cranky janitor would ask me why I was there and to go home. This would be followed by my inevitable trek back home, regardless of the cold or weather, since classes had been cancelled.
But these text messages and phone calls my wife and I received were to advise us that the bus systems meant to transport my son to school were being cancelled due to the cold weather. Not classes. Classes would still be taking place. Just the buses. Fuck. I won’t get into the specifics as to why it made it unlikely that Nathan would be going to school other than to provide that our schedules as well as the distance and location of the school meant that Nathan couldn’t walk and transporting him there ourselves couldn’t happen, either.
He missed school on Monday and Tuesday because I was absent for my eyes and we don’t have a second vehicle. The school bus system got back into the groove for Wednesday, but that was short-lived as they started cancelling it out on Thursday again. This is where that question of technology from my opening paragraph comes into play. It’s 2021, people! We’ve put people on the moon; surely there’s a way to have school buses running during winter weather. This is Saskatchewan, the cold ain’t going anywhere!
And just like that, the house of cards with which the week was standing on came tumbling down. Now, I’m not a mechanic or an expert. And I can admit that my son’s school bus is likely older than our family vehicle. I use the term “likely,” because they all look the same, regardless of their age. So it can be hard to gauge. But I can guarantee that since block heaters were invented in 1947 and covered transportation hubs are a thing, I find it hard to understand why the transportation option would be unable to run while they would still expect teachers and staff to start their own vehicles and make their way to school.
And it’s a pretty safe guarantee that most parents are not in a position to get their kids to school themselves, present company included. I don’t do the whole “wind chill” thing. If the weather says -35 degrees, then it’s -35 degrees! And I’m sure that Nathan was more than happy to have a couple of snow days, sleep in and relax at home with his baby brother. But it’s pretty weak sauce that they don’t seem able to start industrial transportation vehicles and clear them of snow in order for our children to be transported to school. Kinda makes me reconsider how advanced this whole technology thing really… (end rant). ☯