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Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

Humble Independent School District Refuses to Bus Kids Nearly Two Miles From Elementary School.

I’m not even a parent, and I’m outraged at this.

Right now I’m watching a story about it on a different news channel; this one following the families who live in a subdivision 2 miles (a 45-minute walk) from Ridge Creek Elementary. Parents are worried about the dangers of traffic; worried that their young children will get lost on all the twisty turns in the 2-mile distance (we’re talking about kids as young as five, here). One father voiced his concern that once the children make it to school, they will be too tired to pay attention and learn (and learning is supposed to be the entire purpose of school…or so I thought).

Not all parents can drive their children to school, and not all parents can afford to hire a babysitter to take their kids to school. This is creates a dangerous situation for the parents of those kids.

(Tangent rant: Crap like this is another reason why I don’t like public schools: Even if they do manage to give you a decent education, some of them endanger you just trying to get there [this isn’t the first local news story about students having a dangerous or long walk to school]. Maybe if they cut the football coach’s pay they could afford more buses? Tangent over, now back to the main rant.)

And while I’m all about “exercise is important, rah rah rah, kids need exercise;” it’s entirely different when child safety is at risk. Yes, walking miles a day will make the kids fit and strong, but at what cost? Four miles a day is a bit much for a child (especially one as young as five or six). In addition to the safety concerns, there’s also the possibility that the students will be too worn out from the walk to concentrate on their studies.

And if the kids aren’t learning, then that long walk was for nothing.

***

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to do some yoga and calm down.

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Low-Flying Air and Space Craft

Today the retired space shuttle Endeavor is flying over Houston, making a stop at the Johnson Space Center on its way to California. The JSC is abut two miles from our home.

I had just stood up after finishing yoga practice when I saw it! I was kind of far away, but the shape of a shuttle riding on top of a plane was unmistakable (we saw it a few months ago when the Enterprise made the trip to NYC). I shouted for Craig to come out to the porch (“What? I can’t hear you! “Just come out here NOW!”), and people down at the pool were shouting and pointing. Then the plane (and the shuttle, and a smaller plane flying below them) turned west and headed right toward our apartment complex.

Craig told me to hurry and get his camera. My thought was I don’t want to miss seeing this because I was looking for the camera!, but I ran and found it anyway. I got back to the patio in JUST the nick of time…it went right over out patio, and we cheered and waved (I opted to not bother with the camera, wanting to see the shuttle/plane with my own eyes instead of through a camera lens). It was so cool!

We went back inside, and a few minutes later I heard the sound of the plane again (it was flying low, so it sounded like a giant vacuum cleaner), this time so close the windows rattled. I ran back outside just in time to see it shoot overhead, this time from the north. This time I managed to get some photos of it as it flew away.

A few minutes later it doubled back one more time. I was in the bedroom getting ready for a shower, but when I heard the EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIRRRRRRRRRR noise I looked out our window and the Endeavor so close that I could see the words “United States” and the little American flag on it.

Sure, we didn’t get a shuttle of our own for our city. And that’s a bummer. But today I got to see a real shuttle– on the back of a jet– up close, from my porch.

This is an awesome day.

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