I came to work on Thursday, and one of the first things I do is check my work E-mail. There was a mass-mailed notice to all of us in the Columbus Reads program saying that there would be no tutoring that day. I was wondering if the boiler wasn’t working (or working too well) at Highland Avenue Elementary, or if Shayla had caused some kind of hostage situation.
I soon found out in an E-mail that Steph sent me. There was no school anywhere in Columbus Public Schools. Why? The entire school bus fleet had been grounded. The initial story was that too many drivers had called in sick, but, as the day moved on, we learned the real reason. For the sake of brevity, here is something that I cut and pasted from the Website of Channel 6, WSYX-TV:
School buses are rolling in Columbus this morning as children go back to the classroom, a day after the district closed schools because of an issue involving bus driver screening.
A contractor responsible for some bus routes discovered it had not done complete criminal background checks on drivers.
First Student decided to ground its Columbus fleet, two days after one of its drivers was arrested by Columbus police on a charge of cocaine possession.
Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann says he wants the Columbus city attorney to pursue criminal charges against First Student. He says failing to do the background checks is a misdemeanor.
Last Updated: Friday, January 26 2007, 07:33 AM
And this is the bus company which provides Susie’s transportation to and from school every day! The driver who was arrested on cocaine possession was arrested while driving the school bus. He had been pulled over for a traffic stop, and the policeman saw a syringe full of cocaine right there for everyone to see! I’m wondering that if the school system was so lax in investigating drivers’ backgrounds, how thorough are they with teachers and aides? I’m thinking that if Michael Jackson came in there and asked for a job, they’d give it to him.
In other news, Susie is grounded from the computer for a month. This is because we had given her explicit, no-way-to-be-misunderstood rules that she was not to log into or use chatrooms or instant messaging. It’s not that we don’t want her communicating with her friends, and we want her to have fun with the computer, but chatrooms are off limits. This is mainly because of how many perverts (both male and female) who troll the Web masquerading as young children, get the kids’ confidence, and then try for in-person meetings to do God knows what. We discovered it more or less by accident. Steph discovered it less than an hour before my Jeopardy! online audition, and Susie was a basket case. I had to close the door of the office so it’d be relatively soundproof before and during the test. We explained to Susie that the no-chatroom restriction wasn’t to be mean or arbitrary, but to keep her from people who like to abuse children. She understood and admitted–somewhat grudgingly–that she needed to be booted off the computer for a month. The only exceptions are the computerized card catalogues at the library, and the computers at school.
Scott G. and I had to skip our Tuesday night walk, between my appointment with Dr. Schneir and the Jeopardy! audition, but we’ll be back on it this Tuesday. One place we can cross off our list is the campus of MR-DD, where we were the last time. We were politely run off from there by the State Police who patrol it, and I doubt that they’ll be that nice a second time. (I’m thinking the only reason they cut us any slack was because when they asked for ID, I showed them my State of Ohio employee’s ID.)
I am now about 36 hours without caffeine. The information that came with the Lithium said that I should be avoiding diuretics while I’m on it, and caffeine is the biggest diuretic of them all. Dr. Schneir didn’t explicitly say I should give it up altogether, but I’ve decided to, at least for now. Maybe Alcoholics Anonymous is right about the “one day at a time” approach, although that is only set in stone when it comes to diaries. A side effect of Lithium, especially when you’re a rookie (as I am) is almost constant thirst, so I kept a water bottle in my hand all day at work yesterday, and refilled it every time it was less than half full. I had a bad headache all day, too.
I did some Internet research on Lithium, and found that it is not exclusively prescribed for bipolar disorder. It is also used for unipolar depression and to enhance the effects of meds that you’re already taking. I think it is one of those drugs that was invented for one thing, and then they discovered an added benefit. (Viagra, for instance, was originally for enlarged prostate, and then accidentally it was discovered that it helped cure impotence. Several anticonvulsants are prescribed as antidepressants as well.)
I borrowed a DVD of Sid and Nancy from the library, and watched it in bed last night. Steph hated it, and went to sleep in 45 minutes “in self-defense.” I watched the whole thing. It’s not a movie I’d like to see over and over again, but I’m glad I saw it once. They were two people who truly deserved each other. I wondered what he saw in her, and vice versa. I guess water does seek its own level.