Thursday, May 27, 2010


How funny life is, today I was prepare to have a wonderfully mindful quiet day following the Mahayana Precepts that I took for 24 hours in honor of Saka Dawa Duchen when the crummiest of morning had to happen and thoroughly test my patience for government schools.  I hate using that term but I picked it up as derogatory term when the public school system fails as it so often does. Unfortunately it accurately describes the bane of my morning's existence today.

I should have seen it coming.  My niece has to attend summer school for a month to work on her reading skills.  The school kindly advised us of this fact, oh, 3 days before school was out.  They sent home a letter and said the bus to take her to summer school, which is at a different school in the county, would leave from her school at 7:20 each morning.  So we were all set to have her at the school for the bus this morning hoping that we might actually get something more about the details such as what did she need to bring or what time would the bus return as the end of the summer school day is 11:30.

My morning started early, too early actually.  I hadn't slept too well and got up at 3:15 AM to be at Drepung Loseling at 4 for the precept ceremony.  The purpose of the ceremony is to focus your mind on living as the Buddha did.  You vow to follow the precepts of moral discipline guided by the motivation of bodhichitta (the wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings).That attitude should run through your entire day generating exceptional amounts of positive energy.

So I get home at 5:30 and rest before getting Raevyn up to get ready.  We get to the school at 7:05.  Thanks goodness Raevyn wasn't a terror to get dressed today or thing would have really unraveled.  So there we sat ... at the school...7:20...7:30...Of course I didn't bring my phone with me since I was only going to be there for 5 minutes. one in the school building.

Raevyn is freaking out about being late.  This is where my patience starts to be tested.  You see Raevyn is obsessive so when things don’t go as planned she gets out of hand.  So I keep telling myself  "It'll be here in a minute..."...7:50 comes along and we head back to the house.  Raevyn is crying because she "wants to go to school" and I keep telling her that I am going to take her myself but she'll have none of that.  I wake up Elisa and get her to call.   She sends Raevyn and I back to the school to wait.  She calls the first number on the sheet and like all good government offices they have the phone set to send everyone to a queue and tell them "We are experiencing large call volume ...".  Whatever your a school bus dispatch, how many calls could you be getting?

Finally when she calls the summer school they tell her "Oh they didn't have enough bus drivers so they were trying to combine routes" If you didn't have a driver couldn't you have called the 10 people waiting to let them know that the bus schedule was going to be messed up or better yet send a supervisor to the
school and tell someone!

So there you go government schools so much beuracracy that the student is completely forgotten. I took Raevyn to the school and watch as they still had several students just getting breakfast and class was supposed to start 15 minutes before and a line of students being told which class to go to and teachers saying they didn't have room for them.  “DIDN'T HAVE ROOM!” maybe planning is just something Dekalb County Schools doesn't do.  Education on the fly is better.

The rest of my day has been great and I am looking forward to a relaxing evening of reading and meditating having learned my lesson of patience for the day.