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, March 19, 2015

"The Lookout"

A cry of warning shattered the usual din of the bus, “Take cover!”  I looked in the mirror and there was the watchman or in this case the watchwomen.  A kindergartner with her hair in long pig tails was standing in the seat.  With a look of urgency she shouted again, “Take cover!”  I and many other riders scanned the horizon expecting the on slot of an aerial bombardment, but all seemed to be clear.  I glanced back at her just in time to see pig tails sail across the aisle in a rather surprising leap.  She popped up from behind the seat.  I’m thinking this can’t be some type of flash back.  She’s a kindergartner she doesn’t have enough years to flash back on.  As she peered over the back of the seat there was one last cry of warning, “Everybody take cover!” Then she disappeared behind the seat.  I’m now thinking it’s trauma due to an overzealous teacher during a tornado drill.

Monday, March 16, 2015

"What Are Your Chances?"

Several days of rain had brought the local river to flood stage.  So it was not surprising when we crossed the bridge that the children commented on the amount of water that was moving with such great force as it made its way down stream.  There were a lot of wows and look at that’s then a young lady who was obviously of a more mathematical mind set spoke up and said, “If you stepped into that you would have a 100% chance of dying.” I thought that very nicely summed it up, but she continued, “You would have a 50% chance of drowning, and a 10% chance of surviving.  May first thought was her math teacher needs to do a little work with percentages.  I looked at her in the mirror and guest what I’ll be working on in math class?  I’m 110% sure some of them won’t get it.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

"Who Are You?"

Because of Mr. Brandon’s faulty memory there are a number of students on the bus that have names neither they nor their parents ever intended for them.  Instead of saying, “Hey you,” when I need a riders attention I often just call out a name loud enough that they look and then I add, “That’s right _________ I mean you.”  Even when I call them by what I believe to be their correct name I’m usually wrong.  After two years of talking to one little girl, believing I was using her real name, not a fictional Mr. Brandon name, she politely said, “You do know that’s not my name don’t you?”  I’ve called one little girl Francine so long that her mother said she now calls her Francine at home.  There is one young lady that has given me a challenge.  I will often call a child by the name of the character that appears on the t-shirt of jacket that they are wearing.  The first time I meet the young lady she was wearing a jacket with an animated character on the front.  I was sure I knew the character so I said, “How you doing Dave?”  She quickly and adamantly said, “His name is Kevin.” She wore the same jacket a number of days and so I referred to her and she answered to, Kevin.  Then she changed to a shirt with a different character and I was informed her name was Lightning.  Then she was Batman. I tried to hold true to the changing name according to attire.  Not sure what she was wearing when one afternoon she stood up in the seat and shouted, “Mr. Brandon, guess what.  I’m King of the World.”  Several of us said, “Don’t you mean Queen of the World?” “NO! King of the World!” was her reply.  By the way she said it we all knew better than to argue with her.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Silver Lining"

Our mothers would say, “If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all.”  We’ve all heard it.  If we all followed it, it would be a much nicer world or a much quieter one.  It is quite the challenge.  We have all faced the question, “What do you think about this?” If you pause, you might as well have said, “I don’t like it.”  If you were to tell the truth you would have to say, “I don’t like it.”  Many a man has been tangled in the trap of, “Do you think she is prettier than me?” There is a young man on the bus that is the king of encouragement and compliments.  He will often sit on the front seat and talk to the other riders as they board the bus.  He especially likes telling the young girls how pretty they look.  One very rainy morning a young lady stepped onto the bus soaked.  He looked at her and said, “You’re all wet, but you still look beautiful.” His skills were put to the test when a young man on the bus, who was at odds with someone else, was receiving ridicule from those around him.  As with many discussions with students the comments were focused on his appearance.  Before I had a chance to step in and put a stop to the bombardment of comments the King of Compliments came to his aid.  He said, “Wait,” and there was a stop in comments from others.  “He is handsome…………………for someone in his family.”  Men maybe we could modify this approach.  “Yes dear, you are more beautiful than any other woman, standing directly in front of me at this moment.”