It was a simple enough request we posted Friday afternoon on the Facebook pages for Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles:
Fill in the blank: The worst thing about the kids going back to school in (Batavia/Geneva/St. Charles) is ________.
Within 12 hours, followers of the Facebook pages for Batavia Patch, Geneva Patch and St. Charles Patch had logged in 42 responses. So it was that intrepid St. Charles Patch editor Ted Schnell sat down to sort through and to make sense of it all.
Traffic, the return of school buses and — oh yes, no more sleeping in — were common refrains.
And then, of course, there’s the school zones that most people seem to slow down for, but where four-way stops suddenly become the setting for a game of chicken.
“We have to slow down in school zones......lol lol,” Terry Jean Bradley-Stephano wrote on the Batavia Patch Facebook page.
Ben Ochoa wanted to expound upon that sentiment on theGeneva Patch’s Facebook page: “Nothing! It is the way of things. I can't imagine fall without the buzz of kids returning to school, the sound of high school sports, the rhythm to the day during the school year-while they're in school, home afterwards, etc.-if you've ever been off during weekdays, it's a whole different feel and rhythm to the day in the summer than during the school year. Everything from traffic, business in stores and restaurants, and the weekend rush has an immensely different feel to it. The best thing about them returning thought is the sports. At any level, but mostly the preps, where many towns get their identities. Plus it's also a general feeling of things moving in the right direction. My 2 cents.”
Some were eager for school to start, others not so much.
There also were laments, like that noted by Liz Hardiek Henkelman in Batavia, “realizing that summer will come to a close!”
Of course the start of school means children no longer will be out playing, walking, riding their bikes. “No one will be outside...turn into a ghost town,” noted Kathy Jean in Batavia.
There also are practical things to consider.
“Paying for registration and fees,” was the worst thing about the start of school for Jill Wagner Hall in Batavia.
Up and At ’Em, Early
But some did note there will be challenges rising on the first day.
“Making lunches!,” Heidi Kauss posted in Batavia.
Many complained of traffic. It seems that no matter which of the Tri-Cities you live in, getting your kids to school on congested roadways in the morning, and then home in the afternoon — through congested streets at each school — is a pain:
Colleen Staniszewski posted, “Going down Main or Wilson at 2:35” in Batavia.
Throw in a little (OK, a lot) of road construction on Route 64 (wrapping up this fall) and Route 38 in Geneva (just got started this summer), and that little jog across town gets a little aggravating.
And as if the traffic isn’t heavy enough already, some respondents pointed out that those big yellow school buses will be back eating up their own space on the pavement.
But the list of worst things about the opening of school extended beyond traffic and the early start of the days ahead.
Bonnie Harm Pechous My dog barking as the kids walk by. (Mine are college grads.). BTW, Kirk Rd is incredibly dangerous driving the kids to school. No cops watching. Be safe.
“No more daily house keepers, laundry folders and dinner starters,”Karen Gibbons Heuer posted in St. Charles.