Those big yellow buses that have lain dormant in the summer months have come out of their hibernation and can be observed in their feeding cycles in the early mornings and late afternoons ingesting multitudes of children only to regurgitate them at various prescribed destinations. Perhaps you have found yourself recently in the vicinity of the natural habitat of one of these anachronistic creatures. You may have observed that, like the shark, their evolution remains relatively unchanged since the pre-historic days… of my childhood.
In my trip down memory lane about going back to school, I would be remiss if I did not give a shout out to the bus-asaurus drivers….bless their ever lovin hearts! Those members of the academic brigade deserve a star in Heaven. I mean….a really BIG star! I can’t imagine doing their job. Not. Even. For. A. Minute. !!
All those kids in their care, with only an eye in a rear view mirror. No safety belts to keep them contained. The seats are high enough to block even the most nefarious activities from view. The back of the bus is like a mile away, and goodness knows what goes on back there. I cant even…
Okay, just pause for a moment and think about what it takes to drive a regular vehicle. We tout multitasking, but it has been discovered to be a myth in brain study. Brains can’t handle two tasks at the same time. They switch from one task to another. They can juggle rapidly, but it is still a switching maneuver. The brain has to perform rapid fire synaptic acrobatics to even operate. It has to integrate incoming stimuli from all senses simultaneously, categorize objects, access memory of habits, muscles, and body movement, coordinate muscle control, maintain balance, maintain alertness, anticipate danger, determine an organized response, and then act. How do any of us even drive a car…let alone a bus-asaurus. Add to that 25-30 screaming banshees and you have a recipe for disaster…or a cognitive collapse. And they do this twice a day for an entire school year!!!!
I will confess and ask forgiveness for a bus-asaurus memory. When I was in seventh grade, we had to cross a river to get to the junior high school. It involved a tall bridge that was probably a mile or so long and quite high in the center. The bus driver would instruct us to stay quiet on the bridge, in addition to the standing rule of no gum. Okay so add to the above mentioned brain activities of just plain driving, the possibility of plunging over the rail to certain death or drowning in the river below. So as the bus would begin its upward trajectory….the foot stomping of the natives (a.k.a. students) would begin that would rival the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, knowing that the poor sad bus-asaurus driver would be unable to stop on the bridge. We obviously had no fear of him…. or death at that age. Ahhh …youth! In addition, the air was filled with the confetti of gum wrappers….hundreds of them slowly fluttering their way down to litter ankle deep on the floor. He would stop the bus on the other side and give us a lecture about why that better never happen again. It didn’t….until the next day. WHY….were we so cruel to that dear man who was probably just trying to supplement his retirement income. I feel his pain and ache in remorse. I hope God will tell him that I am truly repentant now.
Just as the bus-asaurus hasn’t evolved over time, I have a feeling that students who ride them haven’t either. I salute these dedicated workers and pray for their souls. May their lives be overflowing with blessings for each and every hour of service. If you see one, you may want to give them a hug!
Being a school bus driver is not just a job…it’s an adventure! ~ Anonymous