Wednesday, May 11, 2011

School Days-- Off To School On A Rainy Morning

Itterashaa---i! (Go and come back!)

We haven't had much rain so far this year, but we're getting it now.  I'm sitting here listening to it pour outside, which it's been doing since about this time last night and looks to continue doing 'til about this time tomorrow night.  The kids walked to school this morning in rain boots, carrying umbrellas.
They walk to school like that every day--in a line, keep it straight, don't let the first graders straggle (actually, the first graders are usually put in the middle, so that older children behind them can keep an eye out). 

Koshi is Han-Cho-san this year (line leader) since he's in fifth grade, which means he always walks in front, has to watch out for traffic (though there isn't really any on their route to school), and shout "Narande!" (line up!) at 7:55.  I remember being surprised to discover that there are no school buses past kindergarten here.   That's because all public schools are neighborhood schools--close enough to walk to.  Germany, as I recall, was the same.  If it was a little too far to walk to school, you just used public transportation (train or bus) to get there.  It used to be that way in the US for the most part, too--until school consolidations and mandated busing for desegregation, and the growth of suburbs effectively put an end to the neighborhood school.  That's not to imply that the Civil Rights movement was a bad thing, just that something important got lost in all the fuss.  I'm pretty sure that most kids in the US could do with the exercise that's part and parcel of walking to and from school.

I get carsick myself, so I know I'd have preferred walking to school over riding the school bus.  Although, as those who know my walking style will attest, it's unlikely I'd ever have made it on time...

p.s.-- the rain we're getting will surely do the plums a world of good...


  1. More fabulous nature posts! The butterfly, the swallow, the irises, the bat!

  2. Hi Dom! Glad you enjoy those--I like writing them:-)) I could hardly believe my luck, finding a bat in broad daylight like that!

  3. It's got (IMO) even worse in this country. Back when I were a lad, the kids from further away (it's a semi-rural district) would get bussed in (Hmm, spellcheck likes neither 'bused' nor 'bussed'), and the more local kids would nearly all walk or cycle. You'd see a bare handful parent waiting in cars at the end of the day.

    These days, the road past the school is chock-a-block with hundreds of cars, hardly a bicycle in sight.

    Double whammy on the 'it made me think of a song.' Madness – Grey Day and CCR – Have You Ever Seen Rain, but I got sidetracked to the more cheerful Lookin' Out My Backdoor. :-)

  4. It does sound lovely, I wish I had the two hours to waste (there and back twice) to walk Sage to school. Unfortunately, there aren't enough hours in the day already.

    She's the only kid in our neighborhood so walking alone isn't an option. Plus she would have to cross a highway that I'm not even comfortable crossing. (Those people are maniacs!)