There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you haven't time to respond to a tug at your pants leg, your schedule is too crowded. Robert Brault

Whats driving a bus like? Seventy of your kids in the back seat going to town. Mr. Brandon

Thursday, October 30, 2014

"Hope Springs Eternal"

There was just enough chill in the air that when you stepped outside and took your first breath it caused a slight tingle on its way down.  But with it came that feeling that made you want to throw your shoulders back and greet the morning with a smile.  The sun was just begining to paint the leaves on the maples with red and gold.  Yesterday was past and whatever struggles had been a part of it, were now behind.  A new day was now on the horizon and the possibilities were boundless.  He stepped from the porch and walked to the bus in a way that said, "Look out world I'm in charge and nothing can stop me."  He came on the bus and gave me a sly little smile of confidence and set his short, round, self down in the seat like a king on his throne.  Sliding to the window he surveyed his realm.  He dared the world to try and bring him down.  A few stops later another young man, of the same stature and size, boarded the bus and set down next to him.  The King's countenance fell and in a voice that sounded of bitter despair he said, "Man, I wanted a cute girl to set by me!"  His visage was of one bitterly wounded.  The air of triumph now held the odor of despair.  The leaves lost their luster.  The air was now just cold.  Fall had changed into winter in an instant.  Oh, how quickly life can fiind the strongest man's Achilles' heel and bring him to his knees in defeat.  Well, maybe tomorrow.

Friday, October 24, 2014

"Tools of the Trade"

Bus driver preparedness:

These are phrases all new bus drivers need to familiarize themselves with before starting their new bus job.

1.  Please be seated.  Thank you.

2.  Stop licking the windows.  They've already been cleaned today.

3.  Stop licking the seat.  It will cause a blister on your tongue.

4.  Stop licking the person next to you.  People don't taste that good.

5.  No, you cannot get off at the gas station and get a coke.  Unless you're buying for everyone.

6.  Put the handcuffs up.  No I'm not sure why your parents would have them.

7.  Leave the cactus up here by me.  It might get damaged from the other kids.

8.  No, I cannot close my eyes for you to do a magic trick.  Can you make yourself disappear?

9.  Stop swinging your underwear over your head and put them up.  Yes, I'm glad they're clean.

10. Yes, I know his grandfather is only wearing boxer shorts with sugar baby written on them.  

       But wasn't it nice for him to walk his grandchild to the bus?

11. Those dogs are only wrestling.  They must be good friends.

12. Yes, I know the bus is hot darling.  But you need to put your shirt back on.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Watch for Flying Bananas"

Have you ever wondered with all the action movies filled with ever so skillful ninjas why you have never meet many in everday life or any at all?  Yes, I know they are ever so stealthy and are the masters of concealment but surely you would run into one ever once in a while.  The mystery was solved for me by a third grader.  I quote, "To be a ninja you have to train for fifty years.  To be an expert ninja you have to train for one hundred years."  So to improve my chances of meeting a ninja I'm going to visit several retirement homes in the area and throw fruit at some of the oldest people and see if they pull out a samurai sword and cut the fruit in half in midair. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Elective Surgery"

The conversation ended with a sad little voice saying, "But, I want my brain back."  Seems one imaginative little rider thought it would be neat if you could change brains with someone or something else.  The only problem was he didn't know how to do brain surgery.  Lucky for him the little boy in the seat with him said he did know how to do brain surgery.  Then plans were made for who would be swapping with whom.  The young man across the aisle wanted to be a part of the great experiment but it did not turn out as he had hoped.  They spotted an old horse, on the side of the road, that was far from a show animal and told him they were going to trade his brain for the horse's brain.  He was not at all happy with the prospect.  Taking into account all the advantages and disadvantages, I'm not sure the horse would have been crazy about it either.

Friday, October 3, 2014

"Honing Our Senses"

Not all students learn in the same way.  The more a person works with a number of senses the more likely they are to have a deeper understanding of their surroundings. On the bus we seem to be falling short in the area of sense perception.  First we tested the visual senses by identifying road kill.  We passed the first victim, test subject, it was identified as a raccoon.  The way the body was laying and legs protruding it seemed to be a dead give away.  Yet on closer examination, on the next time by, it proved to be a ground hog.  We talked about the important clues.  Sharp front teeth and no rings on the tail.  Test question one, wrong.  The next test subject they should have been able to do with eyes closed.  The possum, America's number one road kill, was incorrectly identified as a skunk. Pointed out the obvious, no smell and no hair on tail.  Question two, wrong.  To improve our odds we changed over to a live subject.  That did the trick, they were able to properly identify the subject as, large black dog doing his morning buisness in the neighbor's yard.  Having not fared well on the visual part of the test we moved to the auditory portion.  A young man started blowing into his hand.  Immediately it was identified by all involved as a duck.  They received only partial credit because it was a duck, but he said it was a duck letting a fart.  That in turn brought up the olfactory portion of the test when three young men pulled up their shirts over their noses and said, "Man what did you eat last night? Tacos or chilie dogs?" My burning eyes felt they were on the right track. He threw everyone a curve ball when he replied, "Fish".  The tactile or touch portion of the test we skipped.  We highly discourage the sense of touch on the bus.  There were no taste questions on the test but you would be surprised how many of the little ones could tell you what a window or seat taste like.  A disappointing score of 1.5.  I refuse to take all the blame, parents just aren't as involved with their kids as they used to be.  Your bus driver can not do it all. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"School Bus Challenge"

It has been one year since I posted the twirl story.  We have decided to make it an annual event so we have declared October "Put a little twirl in your life" month. Please post your twirling story, pictures or video if you can. Let us know where you're at (place, town, state or if you're out of the country let us know.  Pass it on to your friends. Have a twirl it can't hurt. I'll start with some pictures of the little girl who got the story started.

"Don't Forget To Twirl"

Oct 30, 2013, 7:30 AMbyTom Brandon

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.