Saturday, September 19, 2015

Walks to School

Almost everyday of the year, I drive to and back from school. It takes two minutes to get from Point A to Point B, assuming there is no traffic. Fast and reliable, this way of transportation never does me wrong, nor does it fail any of my other friends who mostly all also drive. Yet, each day as I take the repetitive drive, I always get a feeling inside me that just doesn't sit right.

Right before I hop in my car each day, I get dressed in my room. As I put my clothes on and slide into my shoes, I can't help but look outside my window and notice the group of younger students who assemble at my street corner every school day at 7:00 AM. Regularly there are many, sometimes few; occasionally on bikes, other times riding their scooters. Yet, no matter the means of transportation, or the quantity of the group, each day they go to and back from school together. Just a group of friends who, even if they only get to talk with each other for ten minutes before their first class begins, take the time to get up early and make something of their morning. Despite the less amount of sleep and actually having use energy to transport themselves to school, I have no doubt in my mind that these kids will be glad they decided to meet at that corner each day.

Before school sports, the driver's license, and those valued extra minutes of lying in bed, I walked to and from school everyday with at least one of my friends. In kindergarten, it was my mother. We’d walk up to the old Eisenhower Elementary School holding hands as she asked me questions about various things in life only for me to respond ever-so-purely and innocently with an answer. Next came the short, one-block walk to Schaeffer.  I’d go with my next-door neighbor down the block, sometimes in a sprint, to see if we could make it to our class line before the bell. Hoover came two years after... sometimes walking with one good friend, other times on scooters with a group. Alongside my classmate, I remember being the first known kid in the fourth grade to walk from the North Side of Camp Hill to Hoover Elementary without using a single crossing guard to get to school; simply unheard of at the time. In fifth grade, we’d start our trip to school by jumping off of the local Cheese Mountain and across to the other side of the creek. We’d then proceed to race on our Razor scooters to school, zooming past any pedestrian that stood in our way.
Then came the climax of the walks to school: the sixth grade. Always surrounded by a group of at least three, these mid-range walks to and from the Middle school provided me with some of my most distinct childhood memories. Whether it was failed creek jumps, walnut/pinecone wars, playing in the rain, snowball fights, throwing water balloons at cars, getting into fights with older students, or concussing a girl with a stray hose-nozzle; these times will always be deeply cherished in my heart. 

         As the age of cars and the inability to wake up early set in, these events slowly came to an end. Yet, as nice as cars and maximized time at home are, I always regret not being in a similar type of group each morning gathering outside on a street corner somewhere, waiting to create even more one-of-a-kind memories than passing them by in a mere two minute drive each day.

2 comments:

  1. Adam, this is a very well-written piece of work. Your word choice easily allows me to conjure up vivid images of the scenes that you describe. I remember the days of walking home with the north-side crew. Despite being a south-sider myself, I would often go out of my way just to experience some crazy plan you guys generated while walking home. The hose nozzle incident seems like it was just yesterday. It’s amazing how something can seem so simple on the surface, yet hold so much meaning. You portrayed that contrast exquisitely. After reading this blog, I may actually walk to school for a couple days. Well done.

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  2. Hey, Adam, I really liked your post and I'd like to share my opinion on the topic. Back in Lithuania from 1-8 grade I used to walk to school, because it was fairly close to my house, but the walks there, man they're nostalgic. During the last days in Lithuania, I decided to take a walk around my neighborhood, and for some reason found myself walking the same route I was walking to school 4 years ago. I can't even express how it felt, I had shivers all over my body, the thing is, I never used this route to walk anything, I basically always needed to go the other way or I was picked up by friends with a car (or my Mom) so I kinda lost the memory of it. Most of the times I went to school alone during my middle school years, because not much of my friends lived around where I lived, but yeah, I can totally relate to you though, the walks to school bring back lots of memories which will forever stick with me. I can only imagine the feels when I'll come back there in a couple of years, makes me shiver just when I think about it.

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