Walking To School
CLS, over at Classically Liberal reminded me of it with his post on walking to school and how so few kids do it anymore. I'd wondered the same thing for some years now, having watched kids being driven to school that was only a few blocks from home.
What's with that? Why... when I was your age I used to walk 20 miles through...! But seriously, I did walk to school and enjoyed it. Maybe not always. I know when we lived in Mexico we took buses. I can't recall how far school was from our house then. I was real young.
Back in California, I walked to school for a number of years. In Tustin, Sycamore Elementary School was less than half a block up the street. No big deal. Once I got to jr. high school, it was further, but I walked and didn't think much of it. In fact, it was usually pretty decent social time as I'd either walk with friends or meet some along the way.
We'd often play games of one kind or another while walking to school. I remember one morning I met up with my neighbor, Mark Sanchez. We started up a little game of "honking loogies" at each other as we walked- We'd get up a big snotty one and spit it at each others leg while still keeping our walking pace. The idea was to come as close as possible without hitting the other guy.
I honestly didn't mean to but I hit Mark- about the biggest pile of yuck you could imagine splattered about 3 inches- across his thigh. We were both grossed out. He was holding his thigh just above the loogie going, "No, no, no". He didn't have the guts to touch it. It was so gross. Then he actually threw up.
We both laughed at that, scraped the snot off his leg with a branch from a nearby tree and went on our way to school. Fun stuff.
I remembered the route to C.E. Utt Jr. High School as being maybe a couple miles. It took about forty minutes one way. I wasn't sure, though. Once I had Google Earth available I actually retraced my route using that "ruler" application that lets you measure distances. Sure enough, it was just about two miles. How many kids walk that far to school nowadays, and how many parents would allow them to?
My mother also made me a lunch to take to school then. How many do that anymore?
Once University High School in Irvine opened, we used to walk there, too. Eventually, I got a driver's license and a car so that came to an end. I was one of the relatively few guys- for the time- that regularly drove to school. Probably more because I could rather than necessity. I don't think the walk was much more than a mile had I chose to continue walking.
Then I weaseled my way into continuation school. Hillview High School was all the way back in Tustin. That was five miles away. Maybe ten. Driving was about the only way I could go, although I might have hitchhiked a few times. Since I managed to get my credits done about 6 months early, no more worry about walking or driving to school.
Over the last ten or 15 years I could probably count the number of high schoolers walking to Eureka High each year on one hand. Kind of hard to understand as I'm sure they don't all have cars. How do they get to school now?