Teachers’ Commute: On a long morning drive, Blaschke surrounds himself with sports

Melissa Chen

School mornings can be difficult. Turning off the alarm without pressing snooze.  Summoning the willpower to crawl out of the cozy, warm bed. For some, like AP Statistics and Algebra 2 Trig teacher Bob Blaschke, the commute to school can be the toughest part of the morning. 

This year, Blaschke has seen some days where his morning commute to Lynbrook takes more than two hours due to the volume of traffic on the freeway. 

“It can be frustrating,” Blaschke said. “I don’t like missing class. I don’t like being late.”

Most days, Blaschke’s morning drive from Santa Cruz takes about 40 minutes. He usually aims to hit the road around 5:30 to 5:45. When he gets in the car, Blaschke tunes into the KNBR radio station for updates on local sports teams like the Giants, the 49-ers and the Warriors. 

Blaschke is a Warriors fan and he coaches football at San Jose City College, and Pony League baseball for 13 and 14-year-olds. He’s been coaching for nearly 30 years, since he stopped playing sports himself.

“I enjoy being with the kids,” Blaschke said. “Love them. Always have. It’s fantastic. It’s what I’ve always done.”

Blaschke has two sons of his own, who also play sports, and he regularly attends their games. His passion for sports extends into his morning commute, and prefers to listen to the sports station for the duration of the ride. Occasionally, though, Blaschke will switch to KGO to briefly check out traffic updates.

Blaschke commutes alone because his older son can to drive and the younger walks to his school near their home in Santa Cruz. Blaschke has lived in Santa Cruz since 1989, and commuted to Lynbrook for nearly 20 years. 

“I like living far away from work, and separating my work life and home life,” Blaschke said. “And I like living in Santa Cruz. I enjoy the small town, the weather, the beach. It’s less crowded than San Jose.”

Over the years, he’s noticed traffic growing worse, and his commute times stretching longer, but that hasn’t changed his opinion on moving closer to the school. For him, the long commute is worth it, if not for the ride itself for the work-life balance it allows him to have.