Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Maybe "shortcuts" aren't the best idea

One of the guys with whom we live is very particular about the roads we take and the direction we go when we are out in town. He knows we aren't from around here and is constantly taking us on "shortcuts." These shortcuts have been most interesting.

On the way to the movie, we took a back street and then turned into the JCPenney parking lot. Mind you, we could see the theatre, but he really wanted to show us how to avoid all of the traffic signals. I guess he doesn't mind speed bumps, cars going 5 miles per hour, and shoppers crossing (we explained that they truly do have the right of way and we have to stop.) This particular shortcut irritated me greatly, as we were late already and now we were circling the parking lot instead of staying on a main road.

On another occasion, we drove through an apartment complex's parking lot. It was very similar to the JCPenney experience. He tried to get Lowell to drive through an empty dirt lot once, but Joshua put his foot down about that.

But my favorite of these events is when Lowell took him to play basketball at the community building downtown. As they were leaving, Mr. GPS told Lowell the easy way to get out of the area was to pull around back and turn right. Having only lived in Lawrence two weeks, Lowell did it. It only took seconds for him to notice the blue lights come on right behind him. As Lowell pulled over and visited with the officer, he explained that he was new in town and didn't know his way around very well yet, and was very sorry that he was going the wrong way on the One Way street. Luckily, the officer was accommodating, maybe because he had had past personal experience with our version of Mapquest, and he understood the challenges Lowell was up against.

We have learned that pre-teaching is important. Not just about where we are going, but also exactly how we are going to get there. We will drive through an occasional parking lot, but we are pretty adamant about not breaking any laws. We will acknowledge that, generally speaking, there is more that one way to do something, unless you are on a One Way street.

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