Friday, February 12, 2016

A day on the road

A recurring theme of this blog is that we are very proud of our boys. They are both pretty tremendous kids and its a privilege to be able to watch their progress close-up. I hope my pride in their achievements and abilities doesn't come over as smugness. As Elf can confirm I am liable to burst into tears when anyone's kid is trying their hardest and doing their best in music, sport, chess or whatever.

Yesterday was Marcus's first day at Hobart College where he's doing Grade 11 maths twice a week this year. Every Thursday I'll pick him up there at lunchtime and ferry him 11km to Taroona High, back to his Grade 9 existence, and on Tuesdays I'll do the same in the other direction. He is going to miss some of his other subjects here and there, but his teachers all feel that he'll be able to keep up regardless.

Hobart College is part of Tasmania's unusual senior secondary system; separate state schools that are just Gr 11 and 12. The campus was built in 1972 as a tertiary institute, and I actually knew the architect, Brian Hardcastle - I shared a house in the 80s with his daughter Jan. She told me the whole place was built to make it easy to contain riots! There are over a thousand kids enrolled, mostly aged 15-17 these days.

The college is an island in a sea of bush, and feels like an outpost of Canberra in that regard. Copper must have been cheap when it was built as the amount of copper panelling in the admin area is mind boggling, and straight away brought Pete Smith to mind.

The main thing is Marcus fit in well, his teacher and the head of maths there are lovely, the kids were curious in a pleasant way, and most importantly he found the maths stimulating.

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Yesterday turned into a major road day, as besides the school transfer Marcus has soccer practice over the river, which coincided with the welcome barbecue for Michael's Grade 7s at Taroona.

This will seem boring and feel free to skip it, but as part of the blog's purpose is to provide a personal record, here is the day's car log. I know it pales into comparison with the driving parents do in bigger cities and with more kids involved in more things. It was 115km all up, and included 15 mins stuck in Sandy Bay Rd beside St Davids Park.

8.30 - take Marcus to HC.
12.15 - take Marcus from HC to Taroona.
[boys come home from Taroona by bus]
16.10 - pick up Elf in town.
16.45 - drop Elf and Michael at Taroona for welcome BBQ and take Marcus over the river to Warrane for soccer practice. [The only route is through the CBD]
17.33 - arrive a tad late for soccer practice after detouring to a drive thru for thick shake and nuggets. Turn around and head back to Taroona, get petrol en route.
18:15 - collect Elf and Michael at Taroona, turn around and head back to Warrane.
18:45 - arrive with 15 mins to spare.
19:00 - collect Marcus and teammate Leif and head back to South Hobart.
19:15 - drop Leif off to his mum at the roadside.
19:17 - home after 3 hours in the car.

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