Mackenzie woke up on Tuesday morning and started her morning prep before class at Pioneer High School. Since she was up fairly late the previous night talking with her boyfriend, Tyler, and her best friend, Steph, thereafter, her sleep was limited and she was running late. Sometimes Mackenzie walks to school, which is 3/4 of a mile away, but more often her mom (who is a stay-at-home mom) drives her the short distance. This morning was not out of the norm. Since she knew she would have a ride, she procrastinated for a while, watching TV, reading her email, and taking a lot of time at breakfast.
As she was emailing her friend Kat about going to the high school football game on Friday at Pioneer's arch-rival Huron, a pop-up appeared in her web browser. She was about to close it when she noticed her mom's name (Allison) in the top of the window. Below that she noticed a small map and two points on the map: her home address and Huron High School's address. Mackenzie thought to herself "What is this? Are these driving directions? Was Mom on the computer again sifting through my emails???" After a little more inspection Mackenzie saw that these weren't necessarily driving directions, but they were different ways she could get to Huron (i.e. by bike, by carpool, by bus, or by driving herself). She paid close attention to one small icon labeled "Carbon Emissions" as her chemistry class had just been discussing the ozone layer and the effects of carbon emissions from cars and factories. She noted the differences of carbon emissions in each travel option but didn't quite know what they meant. Mackenzie realized the time and quickly signed off her email to get ready for school.
After several mild snipes from her father, and constant nudging from her mother, Mackenzie begrudgingly made it out the door just 5 minutes after school had started. While at school, anticipating lunch, she began to day dream about the possibility of getting a new car for her upcoming 16th birthday. With a car, she dreamt, she would be able to go off-campus for lunch and take all of her friends. Having a car is a definite status symbol and she did not want to lose any social status with her classmates by not having a car. The car meant freedom - from teachers, from parents, from responsibilities (so she thought). Once Mackenzie hit 5th period chemistry class she remembered the "carbon emissions thing" from the computer that morning. She asked the teacher to remind her of the measures of carbon emissions. After school Mackenzie went to cheerleading practice. Before practice started she asked one of the older cheerleaders, Emily, if she could get a ride home. Mackenzie knew that her dad would be picking her up, but she really looked up to Emily and wanted to be a part of her circle. She also knew better than to rely on her dad for punctuality. After practice Mackenzie hopped into Emily's car with a couple other squad members. The drive home was fairly uneventful. Lots of boy-talk, lots of giggling, and a few moments of unbearable screaming. When she finally made it home she found her mom waiting to talk with her about her day.