Wednesday, October 30, 2013
As we near the end of the workday or school day, we think of the things that we're going to do when we get home. Sometimes, much to our dismay, things happen to deter our plans. On one particular afternoon, on the way home, there was a choir of moans coming from the riders for it had started to rain. Afternoon plans were a bust and the dreariness set in. I pulled up to the next drive ready to open the door to a gray afternoon for another child. The kindergarten girl looked at me and said with a smile, "I love the rain". She hopped off the bus took a few steps and then twirled herself around a couple of times, then hurried on her way. It made my day so much better; I smile every time I think about it. Suggestion, give yourself a twirl today, even if you have to wait till no one is looking. Personally I think if you twirl while their looking, it will give you and them something to smile about.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Bus driver "B" drives a standard school bus rated at seventy two passengers with twenty four seats. Keep in mind the seats were designed for occupancy of three elves not the average Oreo eating, chocolate cake loving, normal kid. Driver "B" transports sixty five students consisting of; thirteen groups of siblings that cannot set next to each other because of hitting and fussing, two groups of neighborhood children that cannot set next to each other because they can't get along in the neighborhood, one group of neighborhood children that cannot set next to each other because their parents can't get along in the neighborhood, two kindergartners that can't set by the windows because they lick the glass, twelve 4 and 5 year olds that believe the bus is a wonderland to be explore because it's the first vehicle they have ever ridden in that they are not strapped down in some way and eight mothers who all want their child to set in the front seat so you can keep an eye on them. Question: Where should each child set and more importantly how long will it be before a school holiday or a day where driver "B" can find a sub driver and take a day for mental reasons?
Monday, October 28, 2013
We have all had those conversations where one topic or thought lead to another and then another and before you know it you are talking about something that is far removed from where the conversation started. The conversation of the boys behind me started with, "Mr. Brandon, do you know when we get out of school for Christmas?" Before I could really give an answer the conversation continued on without me. Each sentence leading to another thought down a chain that ended with, "If you play Sweet Home Alabama too loud it will vibrate you off of the elephant". Somewhere in the middle of this chain was a link about a cheetah in a suitcase.
Friday, October 25, 2013
For those who need to be reminded because you've got those nice fabric seats and some of you even have heated seats in your car, there is nothing colder on a frosty morn then sliding across a vinyl seat to take your breath away. Most every student slides across with an OHHH..... then informs me that they think their hinny is frozen. The Twins who are not twins, suggested a remedy to this situation, "Mr. Brandon, why don't you tell Mrs. Brandon to get up put on her house coat go out and get the bus warm in the morning while you're getting ready for school?"I've never been accused of being an intellectual giant but I see problems with this on many levels.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Most schools usually have a week during the year that they celebrate an event by letting the students do something each day that they would not normally do. The students all wear their favorite hat one day. The students wear camouflage one day, which in a small rural farming and hunting community means, everyday attire or what your parents were wearing on their first date. On this particular day students were informed to wear tie dye clothing. The second grader hopped up the steps of the bus smiling from ear to ear, paused and showed me what he was wearing, one of his father's ties was tied around his neck. "Mr. Brandon," he said,"its tie dye day" and he held out the tie for my examination. Not to rain on his parade I told him it looked great and he went on his way happy as could be. A much wiser fourth grader looked at me and said, "But its tie dye day, but its tie DYE day". I looked at him and slowly shook my head no and was able to mentally communicate with him. He looked at the second grader who was now proudly showing the tie to others students. "Just leave it alone?" he said. I replied with an affirmative nod.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
The kindergartners struggled toward the bus in a single file line bent over and staggering under a load like the children of Israel in Egypt. Their backpacks seemed to be bulging to the point of exploding. It could only mean one thing, a thud and a large orange sphere comes rolling down the aisle, confirmation, the annual kindergarten trip to the pumpkin patch. Each backpack now contains a pumpkin that could easily out do the owner in size and weight. There have been studies on how much weight an insect can carry compared to body size. I believe an ant cannot compete with the field trip adrenaline rush of an excited five year old when he is selecting a pumpkin to carry home.
Friday, October 18, 2013
With all the crazy conversations that go on, it is very refreshing to have a true scientific conversation with a student. A fourth grader was in the mood to talk and wanted to discuss space. We talked of stars, planets, galaxies, the speed of light and the possibility of space exploration and colonization. We talked of the unfathomable wonders of the universe. Also mentioned was since the morning was so foggy it reminded him of the zombie apocalypse and he needed to practice patting his head and rubbing his belly. Apparently this will protect you from a zombie attack, just one of the interesting facts of the universe.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
During the winter months, the sun has a difficult time slipping up over the horizon so those first few pick-ups are often quite dark. Yet, who would come to our rescue, that ever faithful, always vigilant Mr. Mucus. As he boarded the bus he announced to everyone, "Don't worry I'm a scout, I'm always prepared" whereupon he started digging in his book bag. "Look what I've got Mr. Brandon", he said. I looked at the same time as he clicked on a flash light who's original packaging must have said, "Own a piece of the sun". As the flash burns to my retinas were healing, he pointed out the great help he could be, "I can help you see the road" as he pointed it out the front window. "I can look for lost things under the seats" and all I could see was his bottom sticking up in the air as he took a dive. "And" he continued, "we can keep an eye on them" as he pointed the light at two little girls who have been known to be up to no good. Like most bright ideas, it's time came and went so quickly. Within a few minutes, the sun had eased up over the hills making all things clear and, except for those few students who are now recovering from a bout of temporary blindness, it wasn't that bad of an idea.
Friday, October 11, 2013
As the sun was coming up over the hills, I made a comment to Mr. Mucus about what a beautiful sunrise that God had given us but his mind seemed elsewhere. Then he announced loudly, "The squirrels are bothering my nuts". Well this drew a snicker from the older crowd and thank goodness they and I kept our first thoughts to ourselves. He continued, "The squirrels keep taking the walnuts from my tree and I want them to stop". "Well" I said, " do you eat the walnuts?" "No," he replied, "but I would like to try some". Trying the logical and less violent approach, because the older kids had now chimed in with how to trap or shoot them, I said, "Well, God made the squirrels and God made the walnut trees so they could have something to eat". "I know" he said, "but they always take the big nuts and leave the little nuts behind". "Ok," I continued, "put a sign in the tree that says, only take the little nuts and leave the big nuts alone." He seemed quite happy with this solution but it was negated by an older student who informed him that squirrels can't read. Before we could discuss how to deal with illiterate squirrels the conversation was interrupted by on of the Three Stooges who yelled out that his brother was pointing his booty towards him and he was afraid it would go off. I believe the nuts are safe from the squirrels, because most of them are on the bus.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
By going through the remnants of past civilizations acheologist are able to piece together the stories of those who once occupied the area. As I do the archeology walk to see what's left behind from those who have now departed I contemplate the items. Let's see assorted pens, pencils, markers, crayons, a collection of papers with low scores that someone was hoping would never see the light of day, candy wrappers, cookie crumbs, a Bass Pro Shop hat, a jacket, battery powered hamster and a set of handcuffs. Yes, I know what you're thinking who in their right mind would leave behind a Bass Pro Shop hat? Oh, well typical day.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
I believe if most successful bus drivers were to trace their ancestry, they would find they are descendants of trackers. You know the ones you see in the old westerns that look at the ground and can tell how many horses came this way and one was carrying a one legged man with a patch over his left eye or put their hand in the coals of an old campfire tell you how long they've been gone and what they ate for supper. These are a few of the signs and their meaning on the old bus trail.
- Student pauses looks at you with extra-large smile: You are to notice missing teeth.
- Little girl swishes hair crossing the road: You are to comment on new haircut.
- Student pauses and looks down at feet: Compliment new shoes.
- Student looks at you with eyes wider than normal: New glasses.
- Student looks down at feet one foot forward: Needs help tying shoe.
- Boy that usually runs to the bus walks extremely slow to bus: Sister not ready Mom has told him to stall for time.
- Young student is always the last one off the bus at school each morning and always stops, looks at you and grins: They need a hug before they go to class and they didn't want anyone else to know. Little boys often need for you to also pretend to punch them in the stomach or act like you're putting knots on their head.