crowded on the concourse

There’s always a story to tell when riding the subways; I’ll tell one such story tonight.

I returned from a long day of tutoring everyone’s favorite course (read: statistics), and took the E to 7th Ave – 53 St for the D as I usually do. The train was very packed, as is usually the case for the last few PM Concourse Express trains. I squeeze myself in, finding space as others (reluctantly) move to the center of the car to avoid a tighter squeeze. (This is what they should do anyway; a lil’ courtesy goes a long way!)

Notwithstanding, the extra space allowed a woman to enter; turns out she got off a B train one stop too early and nearly had to fight her way on! The atmosphere lightened as her, a few other pax, and myself take it in and stir up conversations; I began talking to the woman about the impending service cuts and how MTA is making the wrong cuts with respect to buses.

This stirred up a conversation about greed and mismanagement involving large organizations, politicians, and even some celebrities, and eventually drifted to education and the farcical “standards” set by politicians to make themselves look good at our kids’ expense!

(Did that mouthful sink in yet?)

I’m glad I’m not the only one damn sick and tired of education being reduced to a rudimentary farce, among other issues; we discussed the state of the media and its biases, the lack of resources in many neighborhoods, and the need for parents to exercise responsibility in making sure their children are well-educated – and care about such education and where it leads!

It was this conversation with someone nearly “squeezed out” of a train that renewed my passion for education, tutoring, and seeing others make it! We CANNOT afford to become lackadaisical in our education, our work, and the way we set the standards for such education and work. For the record, I don’t care who complains – “oh, it’s too hard” or “this is too much work!” It takes MUCH work to begin to realize a dream, let alone see it come to fruition! It takes a LOT of sacrifice to make something positive happen; it’s very easy to destroy but it’s very hard to create and be creative.

Motivation is key – and fostering diverse learning methods with higher standards and better resources for our children, our brothers, our sisters, our friends, and even those who we don’t know will pave the way to great improvements and achievements! Even if such a movement is “grassroots” or local in nature, it begins with us – and we must lead by example, not just with elegant speech.

In doing this we (yes, we) must remember not to despise small beginnings. Even a humble start can lead to something great!

This is the reason I love tutoring so much; it allows me to make a positive impact – no matter how small it may seem – on those I tutor (and they also teach me a thing or two!)

Getting back to the subway – this type of crowding ought to send a message to MTA – we need more subway service, NOT less! Cut the waste – specifically the little-used, highly subsidized express buses and funnel the savings to the local buses and subways, to mitigate the cuts and their adverse impacts on the city’s residents!

It’s getting very crowded on the Concourse Line – and I’m sure the same is true for many other lines (including those lines already at or exceeding available capacity); needless to say, MTA needs to trim the fat, not the muscle.

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