This is a story I couldn’t pass up telling. I was reminded of this incident on Friday night at the football game. I was one of four buses that drove the band kids. Anyhow, before I became a School Bus Driver, I was once upon a time a Substitute Teacher. I still substitute occasionally when I’m needed and it coincides with my schedule for driving a bus.
Substituting was my escape from a jobless existence that was my life in 2005-2006 after the escape from a particularly horrendous job situation. I had gotten to know the high school quite well and was being reserved for several days in advance by that school as well as two others I subbed at regularly. On any given week, I was busy at least 3 out of 5 days subbing. I had been reserved by the high school to sub in the ISS (In School Suspension) class. I had the pleasure of making the acquaintances of Rolly Chair Girl and Cotton Picking Boy.
Both these kids were in ISS for dumb reasons. That was the year most kids got thrown in ISS for not tucking their shirts in or having cell phones on campus or any number of stupid reasons. Very few were in ISS for a fight or something similar, yet ISS was constantly packed and there was a waiting list. Yes, that’s right folks, a WAITING list.
As a part of ISS, the kids had to fill out a survey that intended to help them understand the reason for them being in ISS. It asked questions like “Why were you placed here?” and “How can you prevent coming back?” This useless waste of school resource paper was in addition to the work that their teacher did or did not send. In any case, most kids sat there and stared blankly at the wall the whole day. The highlight was lunch.
I was peeking at some of these kids’ folders and came across Cotton Picking Boy’s survey. I had to suppress laughter as he answered every question as though he were a Cotton Picking worker in the fields when he got home from school. He brought such a highlight to my day; I pulled him aside and told him I thought it was VERY funny. He smiled and went on his way. Later that week, I was subbing in his drama class and he came up to me, hugged me, and then stated, “You don’t think I’ll get in trouble with all that Cotton Picking stuff do you??” I laughed and told him, “Nah!”
RollyChair Girl was a different character. She is known for her bubbly personality and certainly didn’t fit in with the typical ISS child. Somehow, she managed to acquire a chair with wheels. We’re all sitting quietly, I’m reading my book and trying NOT to fall asleep in a class that’s boring as all heck, when I hear a CRASH! I look up and there’s RollyChair Girl on the floor. Of course it didn’t occur to me to TAKE the chair AWAY, and she somehow managed to do it TWO more times! She was on the band trip and she reminded me of her most embarrassing moment in school. Gotta love that positive outlook!!
The Bus Driver