This Driver’s No Dinosaur

, , , , , , , | Learning | October 15, 2020

I’m a substitute school bus driver. While most students behave well on the bus, there are a few who have some trouble.

One day, I have a thirteen-year-old student yelling and being disruptive. After a few warnings to keep conversations quieter, I pull the bus over onto the shoulder and walk back to him.

Me: “It’s getting awfully loud back here; I need you to come and sit closer to me. You can make sure I’m following the route correctly.”

Usually, giving disruptive students a “job” helps them behave better.

Student: “Okay, fine.”

He follows me to a seat near the front, but instead of having fun telling a grown-up what to do like most other students, he continues to annoy the other students around him. I decide to try distracting him.

Me: “[Student], do you know what the loudest animal in the world is?”

Student: “No, I give up.”

Me: “Blue whale. Do you know how long it takes light to travel from the sun to Earth?”

Student: “No, but do you know what a Deinonychus is?”

Me: “That’s my favorite dinosaur — a dromaeosaur discovered in the 1960s by John Ostrom that revolutionized the way we view dinosaurs as active, warm-blooded animals. I know what it is, yes. And it takes almost eight and a half minutes for sunlight to reach Earth.”

Student: “Um… What about Stygimoloch?”

Me: “A Cretaceous ornithopod that’s recently been thought to be a juvenile form of Pachycephalosaurus rather than a distinct species.”

[Student] is no longer disruptive, just curious.

Student: “How did you know that?”

Me: *Friendly tone* “I’m wearing Triceratops earrings and a Tyrannosaurus necklace. I like dinosaurs. You can’t out-dinosaur me, but you’re welcome to try.”

He was indeed unable to stump me on dinosaur facts, but trying kept him distracted until we got to his bus stop!


This story is part of our Best Of October 2020 roundup!

Read the next story in the Best Of October 2020 roundup!

Read the Best Of October 2020 roundup!

1 Thumbs
587

The Golden Rule

, , , , | Friendly | March 14, 2019

(I have had platinum blonde hair for all of my childhood and right into my mid-late 20s. In this story, I am sixteen and my friend is fourteen. We are travelling to school on the bus one morning.)

Friend: *randomly* “You know, your hair isn’t blonde. It’s too pale.”

Me: “Okay, if you say so. What colour is it, then?”

Friend: “I don’t know, but it isn’t blonde.”

Me: “Well, if it isn’t blonde, what is it? Is it black?”

Friend: “No.”

Me: “Is it red?

Friend: “No.”

Me: “Is it brunette?”

Friend: “No.”

Me: “Are you saying you think my hair is white?”

Friend: “No, it’s not that pale.”

Me: “So, it must be blonde.”

Friend: “No! I told you! It’s too pale!”

Me: “Soooo, what colour is it, then?”

Friend: “I. Don’t. Know. It’s just too pale to be blonde.”

Me: *smirking* “Okay, whatever.”

(I didn’t bother arguing with her anymore since I was familiar with her intransigent nature. However, being only a mere teenager, I did have a giggle with mutual friends about her claim later on.)

1 Thumbs
236

It’s Obviously The Girls’ Fault For Having Legs

, , , | Romantic | February 6, 2019

There was a boy on my school bus who was at least four years older than me. He always gave me the creeps and I hated seeing him in the bus window every day. Whenever any girl boarded the bus, he would scoot to the edge of the seat and put his hand out. The aisles weren’t wide so more often than not, he would brush their legs as they passed. Of course, the bus driver never saw it because of the girls’ legs blocking her view, so there was nothing she could do but to tell the boy to keep his hands to himself again and again.

My younger sister was in first grade when she started riding the bus with me; I was about ten years old at the time. She never wanted to board first because she didn’t want the boy to touch her. I always walked through first, putting my backpack between my legs and his arm. She scurried behind me, trying to stay out of his reach.

One day, we didn’t see him in the window so we thought he wasn’t riding that day. My sister went first, only to see the boy crouched between the seats, hand at the ready. She backed up, refusing to go forward. The bus driver told her to keep moving, despite her protests and asking the driver to tell the boy to go back to the window. I warned the driver that if he touched either of us, I would hit him. The bus driver told us to go, the boy grinning.

My sister tried to run by the boy. I watched him stick his hand out just as she passed, grabbing her upper inner thigh (and possibly touching other parts, but she never said) and squeezing. She screamed and ran to her seat.

I don’t really remember the next part, but the bus driver and the boy both said I basically went feral. I swung my backpack at the boy, screaming “PERVERT!” and screeching at the top of my lungs. The bag hit the boy on top of the head, then upward to catch him under the chin. I pulled back for another blow when the driver grabbed me and shoved me back down the aisle.

When we got to school, the boy’s parents, my parents, the guidance counselor, and the police were all there. His parents were threatening to press charges against everyone on the bus and the school. Several other girls who rode the same bus barged in the office and told their stories. His parents stopped threatening to sue and instead argued he shouldn’t be punished because he had an undiagnosed learning disability and didn’t know what he was doing.

I was suspended from school for a whole week and told to write an apology to the boy and his family. My parents enlisted extended family and changed their schedules to drive us to school until I got my license at 16.

The boy was punished by being moved to an assigned seat directly behind the bus driver. I never got my apology, but I wasn’t forced to write one either.

About fifteen years after all this happened, I came back to my hometown and decided to attend a carnival. When we got to the gate, my sister shrunk behind me. I looked up and locked eyes with the same boy, taking money and stamping hands at the entrance. He turned dead white and excused himself before darting in the bathroom. He didn’t come out until after we left. I saw him walking the grounds while we were there, but he never approached us.

1 Thumbs
564

Knowledge Starved

, , | Learning | March 8, 2018

Child #1: “Ugh. I am so hungry, I’m Hank Marvin.”

Child #2: “Who’s Hank Marvin?”

Child #1: “I dunno, some scientist who discovered foods.”

1 Thumbs
159

I Will Catch Them All, And Mexico Will Pay For It

, , , , | Learning | September 15, 2017

(Two third-graders are trading Pokémon cards on the bus and are just getting off when I hear this gem:)

Student: “Donald Trump is like ‘Mr. Mime’ because he makes walls.”

1 Thumbs
239