The traffic had come to a complete stop. There were about 38 students crossing the four lane road at a diagonal about half a block from the intersection. It was not possible to tell when they would step off of the curb. It was obvious that they were more engaged with their phones and each other than they were with the possibly imminent threat that could’ve been; on-coming traffic, if they had not brought it to a halt.
Yes, I confess, I live in a university town. Our population fluctuates by about 25% between August and September and it has a rather huge impact on how things function when all of that estrogen and testosterone converge on our otherwise orderly town.
Most of the permanent families are supported by professional incomes. Not unlike many academic cities, great centres of expertise arise around universities. Government, academia and entrepreneurs all seem to flock to centres of higher learning and our city is no exception. So, it is not just a small inconvenience to have all of these unruly 20 somethings trying to get their bearings, all at the same time, it disrupts an otherwise ordered existence.
I made the mistake of grocery shopping on the first day after Labour Day. Several of the shelves looked like there had been a nuclear scare and people had bought up all of the food that they could store in order to survive. There were no large eggs. The aisles were crammed with numerous people that had stopped to pay attention to their cell phones and seemed oblivious to the traffic jam that they were causing.
This is our true New Year. We will, once again, adjust to the onslaught of new enthusiasm and probably live to talk about it. But, today at least, it seems like a lot to handle.