Tuesday, December 20, 2005

UGH this transit strike really bites. B had to stay home today because it seemed that everyone had the same idea we had - to take the LIRR to Penn Station. The line for the railroad was SIX BLOCKS LONG. I drove him over there this morning, he got out, asked what the line was for (one woman was standing on line for an hour-and-a-half!), and he looked at me and said, "Uh-kayyy, I'm going home". He can work from home but didn't think of bringing any work home with him yesterday. Personally, I think the transit workers have some nerve. Oh, boo hoo, we have no dignity driving our choo choo trains, waaah. They don't think of all the millions of people in this city (and suburbs) who rely on the trains and buses to get to work and back home again. The policemen and firemen didn't have a contract when they ran into the burning World Trade Center. Teachers have been working without a contract. That's what happens sometimes when you work for the city. People's lives are at stake since emergency vehicles get delayed in all the traffic. The 4-person-per-car rule means that cab drivers got stuck in the city because they have to have 4 people in every car now - they drop them off in Manhattan, don't have 4 people anymore, and aren't allowed to drive back out of Manhattan until they get another 3 passengers. People's jobs were at stake. We have families to support too! Work it out amongst yourselves and LEAVE THE INNOCENT PEOPLE OUT OF IT. Ok, I'm off the soapbox.

W had hip-hop class this evening and J came with us. She brought a backpack full of what I thought was just Sunday school homework. At the studio, I saw she did a bunch of puzzles in a Christmas puzzle book - mazes, crosswords, and unscrambling long words. Then she said, "I'm going to read my book". And she read about a page of Lilliput, The Adventures of a Parakeet. It's out of print and we have an original 1960 edition (where did we get that?- oh right, the public school). Then she took out a huge science workbook, and did a page on the food chain. She opened her notebook, wrote her name on top, and answered questions in complete sentences. The studio owner said "Doin' homework? Good job!". Another dance teacher (26ish recently married, no kids, happens to be a public school teacher) said to me, "Don't you homeschool her?". I flashed a huge smile and said, "Yes we do!". She asked a few questions - how do you do that, does the government give you books, how much time do you spend each day teaching her. I answered each briefly and spent more time telling her how awesome it is. I asked her if they taught a lot of "classroom management" in her education college classes. She admitted they do and I told her that kids really don't need "management" unless they're among 30 others at a time nor do they need someone to dictate their learning. They are learning sponges and all school did for J was squash all the enjoyment out of learning. (I did say it very tactfully, lol). She then said she plans on homeschooling when she has kids. She was just so in awe of the fact that J voluntarily packed a bag full of books to do. I guess teachers don't normally witness such things, lol.


Jo in NZ said...

I was astounded to hear about the strike. It was reported over here that 7 million people would be affected!! We don't even have 7 million people in our country, let alone in one city. Man, I can't even fathom being in a place with that many people.

Patrice said...

I knew it would happen. I told my sister all the things I thought would happen while we were there, waited until we left, strike, blackout, etc. My crazy mother went to work today--60 bus to LIRR. Took her 2 1/2 hours to get to work and I told her she was crazy--she's a city worker. My sister stayed home. LOL!

I don't get this transit thing. I come from a family of transit workers: paternal grandfather was a bus driver, maternal grandfather was a conducter then a motorman, Dad was a conductor, motorman and then he worked in the booth like Pelham 123--dispatch, and my ex stepdad was a porter then a motorman. My dad retired at 50! They made good money and the benfits are good, everyone wanted in transit. I don't get it.

How cool about the teacher at dance class. :) Though I still wish NY had less paperwork. I haven't had to hand anything in yet--not til the end of the school year.

NYCitymomx3 said...

Jo - Yeah, there are about 8 million people in this city. It sounds worse than it really is, though! I've lived here all my life and would feel weird somewhere else. It's interesting to know that New Zealand is hearing about our transit strike!

Patrice - I drove B to the LIRR at 7am this morning (Wednesday) and there was no line. So, hopefully he'll get to work fairly early. He's worried about coming home, though. It was crazy Penn Station yesterday evening - there were tens of thousands of people trying to get on the LIRR and then the railroad shut down for a while.

NY Homeschool paperwork is not bad at all. I send a short letter every few months. They don't even look at it.

Patrice said...

Really, they don't look at it? That's nuts. Well, it would drive me crazy, but I am a Leo. hahaha