This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Understanding laws in order to save money at ASU

As a "starving student" at Arizona State University, I had barely enough money to buy books, feed myself, and pay my rent. The thought of something as expensive as a traffic violation, or a parking ticket, was out of the question. And luckily, I was of a studious nature, and this information was, and is, readily available.

Don't get me wrong. I was as rebellious as any teenager. But I could read a sign that said, "No left turn" or "No Parking". And not only did I have a horror of the expense, I drove a nice little sports car that I really, really, didn't want to ever be dragged around by a tow truck! And I was able to avoid those wickedly expensive things called "tickets".

To me, following these types of rules was as easy as following the rules of baseball. I wasn't much of an athlete in high school, but I understood that if you hit the ball and immediately ran to the wrong base, you were "out". And so this way of thinking allowed me to do things later in life like avoiding going the wrong way down a one-way street, or parking my car in front of a sign that said "no parking". I used to listen to my friends who cursed "the man" who was "out to get them" and who were paying a lot of money in traffic violations and parking tickets. I sympathized, and shuddered a bit, because I just couldn't afford it.

As an alumnus of ASU, it saddens me a bit to think that a fairly substantial chunk of money is handed over to the city of Tempe by young people who can't seem to "wrap their heads around" a no parking sign. And the fact is that Tempe has come to rely on that money as regular income. If all of the people at ASU woke up this morning and simply didn't park where it said "No Parking", Tempe would lose a lot of money.

I'm not a big sports fan, but I know that understanding things like "offsides" and "out of bounds" are things that young people learn early. For me, it stuck, and I never lost it. Saved me a lot of money.
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