Most days I get up at 5:45 and leave the house by 6:10 or so, in order to catch a city bus that will get me to campus at 6:30. Then I walk from my bus stop at Speedway and Dean Keaton up to my work on Red River, arriving at my desk at about 6:45. For the past week, though, and the next two weeks to come, I’ve been driving to work. I always drive between school sessions when they open up some of the UT lots so that anyone can park there. This always coincides with a reduced and/or nonexistent schedule for the UT shuttles, one of which I generally take home. I could always walk an extra few blocks and time it so that I could take a city bus home as well, but the free parking and the slight inconvenience of taking a different bus home always win out, and I end up driving to work every day.
Driving saves me about fifteen minutes each way, and adds a whopping half an hour of free time to my day! Not that I’ve really been doing anything with it. And, the weird thing is, after a few days, I really start to miss the bus. I like seeing the same people everyday and making up stories about them in my head, even though I never know where they came from or where they are going. I do always know where they are at about 6:15 am on weekdays, and that they came from and are going to somewhere near the #5 bus route. The bus driver on my route right now (they change them around every 6 months or so) is awesome. He doesn’t drive too fast or too slow. He always waits for you to sit down before pulling away from the curb. He always smiles and says good morning when I get on the bus and have a nice day when I get off the bus. Nice and friendly, but not chatty or flirty. I had one driver for awhile that would always offer me candy, like jolly ranchers or gum. Another one would always always always comment on how tall I am. One even flat out asked me out one day, which made subsequent rides really uncomfortable. What I like about the bus is that it this communal activity, but there is also a certain anonymity. I like all being together at the same time every day, but not really having to talk to each other or acknowledge each other in anyway.
I also miss getting in a nice walk every morning – campus is pretty awesome at 6:30 in the am. I’ve seen all kinds of herons and ducks around Waller creek, plus possums and raccoons and tons of cats that live on campus.
So, while I’ll continue to drive while the parking is free, I don’t believe I’ll pay for a parking permit any time soon. Unless we move further away from campus and it becomes a giant pain to take the bus. Because I like the bus, but I have to admit, its pretty damn convenient for me to take it now. At least until I get my rocket jet-pack.