The first time we went sea kayaking in Cape Broyle, our guide told a story about a shipwreck that happened in the Cape Broyle harbour years ago. Apparently the ship was not from Newfoundland, and it hit a rock and ran aground. This rock was not on the navigational charts and the captain asked a local man why the rock wasn’t indicated on the charts. The story goes that the local man replied, “Everyone already knows it is there”.
I’m not sure why I remember this story since there are days I seem to have trouble remembering my children’s names. Yet this story has stuck with me. And since I have been back to St. John’s, I have been reminded of it again.
It came back to mind this past week when I was looking into my son’s school bus stop. We haven’t moved into our new place yet, so I have been driving the kids to school. However, I thought if I could figure out the bus stop, he could be getting used to the bus routine and maybe meeting some new kids. I first checked the school’s website to see what I could find out. The site listed the different routes indicating the streets the bus takes on each route. Excellent. We found the route for my son but we weren’t sure where the bus stops were located or what time to be there. So I called the school and the very pleasant lady answering the phone told me she would print off the bus info and send it home. Perfect. Problem solved. Except, when my son arrived home, I was confused to see the very same info I found on the website – just the streets with no stop details.
The next morning, I went into the school and the principal was out front, efficiently fielding many inquiries from students and parents. When it was my turn at the front of the line, I asked my question; “Where and when do we meet the bus?”. He asked me had I seen the kids on my street waiting for the bus? I told him no, we haven’t moved in yet, I just wanted to know the bus stop location so we could get our son there at the designated time.
The principal wanted to help me, but it turns out he didn’t know either. He told me he would have to find some kids in the neighbourhood to ask where the bus stop was. I wondered was there somewhere to call to find a list of stops and times? “No,” he told me – “The kids just know where the stops are.” I couldn’t help but inquire further, “Well, how do the those kids know where to go?” He replied that they know because they have had older brothers and sisters that had gone to the school for years.
Well – you can understand my reflection on the Cape Broyle shipwreck story.
I was initially confused and a bit surprised that no more details were available. Obviously this system has been working here, so maybe I am overthinking things? Is this just me and my need to know details??? How does this seeming lack of organization & communication work? Surely, they have new students transferring in. How do they figure out where to go?
I guess everyone already knows where the bus stops are.
Either way, we drove to the new house this morning before school to see what we could find out on our own (feeling a little indignant to have to figure this out in such a haphazard way). As we drove up our street we started to laugh. There were several kids lined up on the curb in front of our house. The bus stop is RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR HOUSE. I mean, the kids were waiting in our driveway.
Maybe a lower key approach works after all.