Wednesday, May 06, 2009

5.6 Things that make me go hmmm...

Twice a week I take K & S to school. S has jazz lab, he needs to be there at the same time (pretty much) as K has to be there, the schools are right next to each other, and I take them both. S hates this as he thinks K should take the bus since she doesn't have to go then, and if she goes we have to leave five minutes earlier than he absolutely has to in order to be on time. He spent a bit of time earlier this year in a passive-aggressive attempt to always make us five minutes late leaving the house, but that didn't go over well and he gave it up (partly because I expressed my disapproval somewhat vehemently, and partly because making us late didn't make K late, but did make himself late. Not a win-win.)

The schools each have a one-way loop across the front and at that hour of the morning, there are always many cars dropping students off at each of them. I've noticed an interesting phenomenon that I just don't really understand. The stopping-zones are laid out such that at the shortest walking distance from car to school door, just about three cars is the right number to pull forward, deposit their students, and then pull away in the minimum amount of necessary time. The student in the fourth car back would reach the first-car dropping off point at the same time whether they walked or waited, so generally people in the fourth-car-back wait until the car pulls forward to first-car status. (This ignores complications such as students who stop to gab with the driver after getting out of the car, and those who wait to gather up their multitudinous belongings until after getting out of the car.)

As a rule, this social endeavor works fairly well, with a reasonably steady stream of cars flowing through the loop well enough that the line doesn't back up beyond the entry of the loop leaving cars standing in the two lane road, blocking traffic in both directions to the annoyance of the non-school-going morning commuters.

There is one set of people I just don't understand, however. In about one car in five or six, the driver does not move on when their student heads for the school, but sits there watching them until they actually vanish from sight. Why?

We're talking about students aged 14 and up. The only reasons I can think of are:
1. The driver is worried someone will attack them before they enter the building. Huh?
2. The driver is worried they won't enter the building at all, but will go somewhere else instead. Again, huh?
3. I dunno. I lack further imagination.

In the case of 1, at the high school, there are many students visible at all times from car to door. It's highly unlikely anything could happen, and if it did, there would be many people to intervene or to send for help. At that hour, there isn't a supervisor inside the door, so inside or outside, what difference does it make? At the middle school, there are fewer students around, but the front door isn't actually visible from the drive. If someone were going to interfere with a student's entry into the building, that would be the place to do it, out of sight from the drive. But the drivers don't actually escort the students to the door, just wait until they are out of sight and potentially being ambushed. Right.

In the case of 2, at either school, waiting to watch the student enter the building doesn't preclude the student from walking straight through and out another door. What does watching them enter buy one?

I don't get it.

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