14 October 2005

Making Things Work

My pre-school aged son had a field trip to the local fire house planned for the day. Then, disaster struck. The arrangements fell through. His Denver Public Schools teacher could easily have just given up. But, she didn't. Being in the central city has advantages, as well as drawbacks, even in the school system. A quick call located another fire house a couple of neighborhoods over that would be happy to have a class full of pre-schoolers visit on a Friday morning with short notice. But, how to get there? The original plan had been to walk. The parent chaperons didn't have enough cars, let alone, car seats, to get the children there. If they had wanted to take a school bus, it would have to have been arranged through the school's head office a week or two in advance. But, we live in Denver, and the local school is just a couple of blocks from the nearest bus station. So, a score of four and five year olds, a handful of parents, and the teacher simply went to the bus stop, waited, got on, went a couple of stops, got off, and had their field trip. They probably violated a rule or two at RTD about children with insufficient adult supervision, but everything went well, and no one complained. The field trip was saved by a resourceful teacher and a public transit system that allows you to move large numbers of people, without any advanced notice, anywhere in the metro area you want to go (and with frequent service in the central city). Things work differently in a city like Denver than they do in a small town. But, a resourceful person can make them work just as well.

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