2.24.2011

High School Kids and Cars

High School Kids and Cars

boys will be boys
this is not so much about the over privileged children with their over inflated sense of entitlement
this is not an effort to say that schools like Landon and Gonzaga are creating the assholes of tomorrow... although it seems that they are

no... this is something more general
boys will be boys
boys like toys
cars are not toys
driving is not a game

in short...
a few weeks back I was hustling across town on my bike
I had spend the mid part of the day at my friend Adam's house on Capital Hill building my cargo bike
after some progress and some clean up I had to get across town to get my car so I could get my kids from school

there I was crossing town doing what cyclists do to be fast and efficient
which really is not all that different than what cars do to be fast and efficient
I was putting me and my bike in the space large enough for me to travel through
riding to the right where the right was clear
then splitting lanes or riding to the left of the double yellow line if that were the most safe place to be

at a light I moved up the right side of traffic and moved to the front of the queue
moving ahead of the cars who had moved ahead of me

when the light was about to turn green I moved forward
like a baseball player leading for the next base before the ball leaves the pitcher's hand
moving forward going about my way I could feel the presence of a car close behind me
real close... uncomfortably close... in my space close
then I heard and felt the high RPM rev of the engine

the driver was F_CKING with me
they must have put it in neutral and hit the gas

disconcerting to say the least
my heart raised with the measure of the RPMs of that engine

the car that was tailgating behind me faded left while I followed the road as it split right
feeling safe I glanced back at the car as they pulled away
then the driver of the car honked
the driver honked while driver and the passenger visibly laughed and each gave me "the bird"

feeling as if I had been invited into a conversation I turned around and approached the car
like a tourist who realized that they may have come too close to a bear at Yellowstone National Park the driver
stuck in traffic... red light in front of them... cars on each side
frozen in place with the window up and more than likely... with the doors locked
I tried to invite the conversation... there was no discussion
I assumed he could read my lips I said a few words and then snapped a few photos and went on my way

I did not approach them aggressively
there was no anger in my approach
I just wanted to talk
I viewed them as children... not as a threat

after getting my kids from school and getting back home I decided to make a call I called Gonzaga High School to try to talk with the Dean of students

the car had a GONZAGA bumper sticker...
the kids were in uniform with the GONZAGA emblem on their chest
and we were two blocks from GONZAGA High School
deductive reasoning made me think that these kids were Gonzaga students

I made the call
the woman who answered the phone forwarded my call to the Dean's office
there was no answer
I got the machine and left a message requesting a call back

I never got a call back
sure... I had the plate
but I was not trying to isolate these boys
no... I wanted to the Dean of students to talk with all of their boys
as these are not the only obnoxious GONZAGA students driving to and from school in a dangerous fashion
I often find myself in a situation as a pedestrian, car driver, or cyclist where I feel as if the teen driver is out of control
not understanding their contribution to what could be a "worst case scenario"

but no I did not get a call assuring me that there would be an announcement, an assembly, or a message sent home to the parents
in fact I do not even know if the Dean did any more than hit delete when my message was played

the most rational resolve could be to raise the driving age... but I do not see that happening
16 may be too young for kids to drive
but
I guess if they could be driving a tank at 18
they may need some practice

so... if we are going to allow kids to drive... we should instruct them on appropriate behavior
then if they step out of line
maybe they should be drawn back in

there should be an additional driving certification for kids who are going drive to and from school
it would be best for the kids driving and those around them

each school needs to take a certain amount of responsibility for their students and their behavior

2 comments:

David said...

That is where Pat Buchanan when to high school.

gwadzilla said...

http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/List_of_Gonzaga_College_High_School_alumni