Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love. ~Author Unknown

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Apparently it's hard to get across Denton.

For those of you who don't know, there are two primary things I do in Denton, TX. I don't live here, and I don't hang out here, but the majority of my time is definitely spent here. The first thing is that I work full-time at TWU in Lifelong Learning. I create, plan, and manage non-credit programs with a great group of colleagues.

Old Main at TWU (I work in a taller building that isn't as old)

The second is that I'm a graduate student at UNT. I am in the first semester of the MPA program (Masters of Public Administration). After all my waffling and uncertainty about my path after undergrad, I think I landed in the perfect place and program for me.

Idk what this picture is of at UNT, but oooh, a fountain!

I'm taking nine hours this semester, and yesterday, I had my first session of my third class. It is my only class that isn't at night. Because of the parking at UNT at 3:00 in the afternoon, and because I come from TWU to get there, I decided that I would explore taking the Commuter Express bus that picks up here and drops off there. I learned, after poring over DCTA maps and questioning a TWU Commuter Services student assistant's ear off, that my route would look like this:

2:38- Catch the Route 4 bus at TWU
2:48- Arrive at DCTA Central
2:52- Switch to the Route 8 bus
2:58- Get dropped off at UNT (right on the corner of my building's lot!)

Sure, this schedule would only leave me a measly two minutes to actually get into my building and up to my third floor classroom. And maybe I'd have to dodge cars and pedestrians and lost freshmen Frogger-style.

Look out, froggie. I rock at this game.

BUT I wanted to see if it was manageable, so I called my teacher and let her know that if I was a few minutes late, that would be why, and she understood, having had issues with parking her own car at 3:00 (even though it seems when I'm looking for a spot that every lot is faculty/staff- something that would help me at TWU but not so much at UNT).

At 2:30, I excitedly folded up my route map, grabbed my school stuff and my staff ID so I could ride for free, and headed toward the bus stop (about a 3 minute walk from my office). It was windy and much cooler than normal, and the clouds had rolled in, ominously but beautifully dark blue, ready to burst with rain. No umbrella, no matter- I was too ready for my first leap into the world of public transit. How clever am I to take the BUS to class!

Hello, new best friend.

I rounded the corner, 5 minutes early, prepared to wait under the bridge for the bus, only to learn that 1) the bus stop is actually about 30 yards further down the street than I thought. AND, 2) shockingly, the big green bus was already there! A line of impatient cars sat, nowhere to go, blocked like the clogged arteries I will have if I eat that Denny's grilled cheese that has fried cheesesticks in the middle (if you haven't seen that heavenly looking mess, google it). The door to the bus was already open, but no one was in the vicinity. No one but ME. I picked up my pace, clicking away down the sidewalk in my Liz Claiborne Flex heels (so sue me that I wasn't wearing my Madden's).

I don't wear these to work, because I don't work for Kelly Cutrone.

Here is a sample of my thoughts, "I think I can... I can make it... oh for SURE... it's gonna keep sitting there... isn't it? cool because all these cars are looking at you... isn't there like a rule against the bus being early?...nope, the door is shutting, and I'm not close enough..."

So I had a choice... do I abandon my fear of looking uncontrolled and uncool and run for it? Waving my arms, dragging my oversized school bag, hair flying in my self-created wind? Or do I just keep clacking down the sidewalk and turn back across campus to the parking lot? In which case, my mindframe becomes, "A bus? I never saw a bus. I don't ride the bus. Why would I notice? I drive my car to school. Why else would I have a car if not to drive it to the places I go? You so CRAZY, fool."

What do YOU think I did? To be continued...