Wednesday, March 3, 2010

3 March 2010 Parking lot blues

3 March 2010 Parking lot blues

More snow this morning. The roads were mostly clear but there was a treacherous feeling to some of the curves, particularly the steeply banked hairpin sequences that abound on TN 67. The drive in was, by far, the easiest part of the morning. Once I got here I joined other cars in the interminable “Danse de asphalt” as we circled, re-circled, craned our necks, and looked for any space that we could slip our vehicles into without incurring a parking ticket, being towed, or both. While I have the option of using disabled parking spots and the “20 minute only” slots that appear near some offices, I found nothing open this morning. After approximately ten circles of the lots where I normally find a slot, I spotted what looked to be a possible disabled slot up the hill toward the student center. When I got there, it was occupied. But around the corner was an empty disabled slot that was not visible until I committed to entering a narrow lot with a single exit. That was all I needed; slipped into it, hung my tag for all to see, and limped off to class with the wind in my face.

Until I began classes at ETSU I measured local parking lots by the Mountain Home VA situation. There are never enough spaces on the VA campus. ETSU has about 13 K students enrolled. Ca. 10,000 live off campus and must join the parking lot dance every time they go to class. Obviously, not all drive to class. Some live near enough to public transportation to use it if they choose. Others may actually walk or bicycle. Some, no doubt, live farther from campus than we do. But the largest part of us drive to class and then waste time and fuel slot hunting. I need to see which remote lots have shuttle access and what time the shuttles run.

Spring break begins next Monday. That brings a chance to sleep in a little later for a week. I never had any desire to spend a week in some over-priced resort; drinking alcohol until passing out was inevitable. Fortunately, I don’t have to. That is probably a sign of aging. I’m not that concerned, though. There are many more signs evident in the mirror.

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