Wednesday, August 22, 2007

seasonal thoughts

it appears that for most communities in the united states, this week and next mark the start of school. I'd like to know what happened to waiting until after labor day to start school? I don't want to sound like an old geezer, but back when I was I kid, school started the day after labor day and went until the middle or end of june. in the cleveland public schools kids start school tomorrow; however the cleveland area is a crazy quilt of start dates -one town starts classes on one day another town on another day.

although it's been a while since I've had to deal with all the 'back to school' stuff, my psyche is ingrained with a seasonal calendar. in anticipation of september I revert back to my childhood mindset and start getting excited and psyched up for new things. I begin to make resolutions about improving my community involvements; getting new projects off the ground; improving my health habits (e.g., eat better, exercise more, and try to get more sleep) -- basically, I think "time to get serious and stop playing around so much."

speaking of getting serious, I suggest that its time (actually well past time) our country gets serious and starts getting down to business to fix the problems plaguing our country's infrastructure. here on the mouse I have a 'clicker' that shows how much the war in iraq costs. imagine if the money being spent on warfare and the occupation of iraq was redirected toward fixing some of the problems here within the united states!

two years ago the consequences of hurricane katrina were more dire than they should have been had the levees and other infrastructures been maintained. the recent tragic bridge collapse in minneapolis might be another tragedy perhaps what might be a series of catastrophic failures within the country if we don't start getting serious. the american society of civil engineers (asce) routinely monitor the country's infrastructure. what the asce has found is beyond depressing; it's not just the report on bridges that looks bad - in fact bridges seem to be the least of our problems considering their overall grade is a "C" - in the latest report there are ten categories of resources that receive grades of "D" - including: aviation, dams, energy, roads, schools, and transit. I heartily recommend checking it out.


picture: lorain avenue bridge as seen from the rocky river reservation. cleveland, august 2007

6 comments:

Ms. Mamma said...

I totally agree. If we're so advanced why do we do this to ourselves. And that photo, I love it. The bridge base reminds me of a tree trunk.

Len said...

First, my son went back to school on August 13th, just in time for the worst heat wave to hit the area in almost 30 years.Daily highs hovering around 100. It's idiotic. I wish every school system would go back to starting school on the day after Labor Day, but I doubt they will.

Second, I remember seeing Mario Cuomo on The Tomorrow Show a small lifetime ago talking about the infrastructure going to hell. It's too bad his mob connections kept him from running for the White House. He would have been a great one.

msb said...

this is so important. I just can't figure out why there are so many heads in the sand.

L.M.Noonan said...

We used to have a lot of car ferries/ barges before these bridges. You had to have a lot of patience crossing a river then, something I suppose we don't have anymore. I'm reading "The Pesthouse" by Jim Crace at the moment, amongst other things, it describes an America without bridges.
Interesting photo

Michielle said...

unfortunately, the powers that be really don't give a darn about what goes on here, they want to make a name for themselves as "saving the world" and let us all go to hell in the proverbial handbasket. All they truly care about is keeping the status quo of remaining in the elite: power, money, and prestige.

We homeschool so yes, we started on the 13th but we end in mid may because by then we are tired of doing school. We have hit saturation point and that is never good. Starting after a break is always refreshing.

Gary said...

Schools in NYC start the day after Labor Day and continue until the end of June. So, in some places the schedule has remained the same. Great post.