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Funny School Bus Stories
Riding the school bus was a rite of passage that marked the transition from pre-school to kindergarten for me. Back in 1982 I had started attending pre-school because my mom thought this would be a good enrichment opportunity, and during that time I had the chance to ride the bus once on a field trip. We used to sing a song called "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round." which I still feel exuberant singing to this day. However, when it came to riding the actual bus I had mixed feelings about it. Partially I hated riding the bus during certain years of my education because of the way kids treated me on it. During fifth grade the teasing became so intense that during the last couple of months of school I asked my mom to just drive me. Some people in this life are just cruel, but who cares about their stupidity really! If you are a kid being bullied in school just know those jerks are insecure and immature, and you are way too sparkly for that! However 20 years later what I remember about riding the school bus, or about school buses is not just the bad stuff, but the amusing stuff as well.
The Sad Memories of the School Bus
How safe are school buses really? The head of the transportation department used to tell us in elementary school that buses were safer without seat belts, which could trap kids if the vehicle tumbled in an accident. I was never in a school bus accident, but I do remember the time our school bus almost slipped off an icy cliff during a heavy snowstorm, and how the traction of the tires barely kept us on the road above.
My primary concern about safety was having to endure the ridiculous kids who did not know what manners were in those days. It was a hard time putting up with their abrasive comments, but that was basically my only issue with school bus safety. Often school bus rules about harassing other kids on the bus were not enforced, so I would try to sit as close to the front as possible to avoid these altercations.
As an adult I have learned sometimes kids say ridiculous things to get attention, and because no one at home has every taught them how to relate to others in a meaningful and respectful way. In third grade one friend said something offensive to another friend about how his red backpack resembled a woman having her time of the month, which he scream for the whole bus to hear. He got it quite a bit of trouble for that, but that poor kid was always in trouble. He had no real parental supervision growing up, and his parents treated him like a servant that used to have to clean their house from top to bottom. He was even reprimanded because my mom gave him rides to the bus stop in first grade, but a few months later his mom called to inform us he was always supposed to walk. This boy had many issues, but ultimately I always felt sorry for him because his parents asked him to take on way too much responsibility for such a young age.
The Funny Memories of the School Bus
I do remember one time in second grade when our bus driver suspended
several older elementary school students from the bus for the last two
weeks of school because they had been standing up in the back and
socializing. Those kids had been acting out on the bus for over a month, and I loved how our bus driver took charge that day taking names, and letting them know who was boss. As a child that preferred decorum and common sense over ridiculous behavior, I had little tolerance for pranksters on a school bus that could have caused a wreck.
One of the most amusing memories of the school bus was one driver who used to drive through a drive through a burger joint on the way to take us home from school. During my senior year I hated how more kids were now riding our overcrowded bus, and how this driver often made us wait after every other bus had left the parking lot. One day a sub bus driver had to take us home because apparently our bus driver got her bus stuck in the drive through, which is what we were told anyway. I heard her tell some boy on the bus the next day about how her water heater exploded or something along those lines. If only the bus driver knew what the sub had told us the day before.
Another time I recall our bus driver eating a hamburger as we were boarding the bus, and how two students wanted a bite. You have to keep in mind that in 1995 a drive though burger joint was a new commodity in the San Bernardino Mountains, and unlike city kids we did not go through one of these every day. The bus driver licked the burger so the two kids would stop asking for a bite! How hilarious is that!
I also recall how students who got in trouble on the bus would grovel to bus drivers about how they would clean the bus not to get reported to the principal, but they were informed child labor laws would keep them from performing this duty in exchange for getting off the hook. One bus driver told an amusing story about how some girl caught caught on the school bus camera (the device they used to monitor our behavior) digging a hole in in the upholstery of a seat. Honestly I think vandalism is always wrong, but I just chuckle to think that some kids did not get caught on the school bus cameras.
Two Mile Walks Home From The Bus Stop
We walked two miles from the bus stop to our house, but today those walks seem pretty small to me since I walk up to three miles in one stretch, and six miles both ways! Sorry I do not believe in the gym, and as a lifelong pedestrian I have to get my walk on! In the snow those small walks were not fun, and the bus was not exactly convenient. Some days when it was snowing really hard and they did not call a snow day we simply stayed home rather than trek though the snow to school. Who wanted to get all wet just to walk two miles up and down hills home from a school bus. I was happy our mom always gave us a ride to the bus at six in the morning as many of the kids parents made them walk. Today I would probably walk the two miles though as I think it is a really short walk.
After school I used to come home and walk my dogs for miles anyway, so the walk to the bus would not have been a big deal. Sometimes I would get a head start walking Lady dog a mile of the way to the bus stop as my mom and sister were getting ready for school.
As my mom's car approached us we got ready to jump in the back seat, and go the rest of the way to school. Lady loved to ride in the car, and she always anticipated these early morning walks that culminated with a car ride to the school bus.
When I walked Lady dog after school we often used to walk past the bus leaving the junior high, and kids would look at my beautiful dog and smile. Those years were best spent to looking to the part of the day when I got off the bus and rushed home to be with my dog Lady, and to study. My senior year was spent being a total introvert that yearned for the day when I would be out of high school and off to college, which came sooner than I expected.
The College Bus
As a lifelong pedestrian I was perplexed by college students that complained about having to walk what I considered to be very short distances. Many of them preferred to take the college bus, which was which was always overcrowded and lumbered along. Honestly I have only relied on public transportation for longer trips, and I just love walking anywhere, and everywhere. So when I heard people complain about having to walk a block in college and preferring to take the campus shuttle, I just could not relate. I like having lots of space around me and walking expeditiously between locations, so I did not see the point for me. Glad there is a college shuttle bus for those who need it, but I was not enamored with it really.
Walking and My Fear of Driving
I hate to drive, so even as an adult I walk everywhere. I realize all these years later walking is so second nature to me because of all of the walking I did from the bus stop as a child. One of the best parts of the day was walking home with your friends and just talking! Even today I love walking, and write about it extensively on the pedestrian walking life.