500 Words Per Day: Bus Duty

It probably sounds somehow wrong, but I am one of those sort of teachers who actually enjoys bus duty at school. I love it so much that I do it twice per day: once in the morning when all the little children are arriving at school full of joy and happiness and songs (0nly to later have it all sucked away by the Schoolmaster and Ohio Academic Assessments) and again in the afternoon when all the tired children are being hoarded into giant yellow super-marines–gone are the smiles, gone are the songs, and the skipping-hand-holding energetic future ballerinas.

The contrast is remarkable from morning to afternoon. It is amazing what 7 hours in school will do to a child's personality. And, interestingly enough, it could not be more different for teachers who arrive in the morning hunched over from all the bags of stuff being carried in, slurping coffee, and walking about as slow as a human can without actually falling over from lack of motion and are all smiles and joyful and full of energy come 3 o'clock.

Bus duty today was fantastic. In the morning, I saw no little commotion on one of the last arriving buses. Then I saw children begin to file out of the bus, mouths covered, noses pinched, and groaning of a rank smell on the bus. I assumed it was a bus, what could be wrong? Then I discovered that a small child had hurled, puked, vomited or maybe all three in the aisle. "It smells like rotten eggs," reported one little boy. "Oh, that is gross," observed an astute little girl to her friend. A few minutes later I was in the office when a small boy walked in literally, yes, literally, covered in puke, calm as the day is long. I was impressed.

Later on in the afternoon, I was back on duty standing at my designated spot where me and my masters degree, hand in hand, direct 15 buses onto the highway every afternoon. After the buses are safely on their way to the left and right and center, I hang around to usher out the three rivers of cars that arrive at a small confluence in the school parking lot that smashes perpendicular into the highway in front of the building where passing traffic carefully avoids reading the sign emblazoned with the words 'School Zone Speed Limit: 20 MPH'.

Good times.

Today, as I lifted lever on the last remaining foodgate and the pent up power of the last river of traffic began pouring into the confluence, I heard a parent shout out the window of his truck in my direction, "Screw you!" I guess he had to wait too long in the line to pick up his child and that the best way for him to express his angst at having to wait his turn.

In the morning, a kid vomits on the bus; in the afternoon an adult pukes on me.

Such is the life of a teacher on bus duty.

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