Friday, January 21, 2011

The Wails on the Bus

As I mentioned in my previous post, there were no actual wails on the field trip or even whimpers for that matter.  That is due to the heroic amount of restraint and positive attitudes exhibited by my students.  Here was our day:

-Everyone arrived by 7:30 am.  In fact, several students arrived before I did since I had to stop for another cup of coffee. (I left Evanston at 6:00 am.)
-The bus driver met me before I climbed aboard and reminded me he used to portray Santa.  He had informed me of this on the phone the previous day and it must be a selling point for him as a driver because his ability to drive certainly was not. More about that later.
-Next I hopped on the bus.  My students looked horrified.

Wait -- I have to take a break from describing our day to describe the bus.  On the outside it looked like a normal bus that could fit 28 people.  But the inside was sort of a cross between a stereotypical bad bachelor living room and that van that takes people to prison.  It had a DVD player (we didn't have any DVDs though), radio, a connection for a ipod, and a useful feature which was a button that could close the window between us and Santa.  It also had buttons that could activate the disco lights which were not very appealing at 7:30 in the morning.  We had benches to sit on which caused us to be close together in a way that is only comfortable if you're in a romantic relationship, or if you are a preschooler.

-OK - back to the day.  Santa informed me that the bus was only authorized to hold 20 people but he'd let us all get on the bus.  (I had mentioned that we had 27 people in three separate phone calls to the bus company and again on the phone to Santa the previous day.)
-Despite Santa being willing to break the rules of the bus company 28 adults would never fit on that bus unless they were adult elves and even then it would be a squeeze.
-Two groups of students offered to drive and practically sprinted to their cars in relief.  The students who remained on the bus, who will from this moment forward be referred to as "Team Disco" looked miserable.
-Everybody took off.  Team Disco had decided to keep the shades down on the bus so they could nap and we rode all the way to Chicago in darkness other than the faint glimmer of the disco lights and the glow of 17 students texting "this bus sux" in unison.
-When we arrived at the field trip, many of us were rather carsick from Santa's driving.  One of the students was following in his car and he said something like "Dude, he was totally swerving."
(As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the field trip itself was totally awesome and was a nice distraction from the horrifying reality that eventually we would have to get back on that bus.)
-When it was time to get back on, Team Disco maintained a positive attitude which I think they should totally mention at all future job interviews.
-The Team seemed cheery and even tried their best to educate me on current music even though I thought Justin Bieber sounded like a girl and I was disturbed by the song about having unsafe sex with multiple partners and I helpfully suggested the sequel would be a song about chlamydia.
-I hopped off at a mall in Skokie and felt guilty and held my breath until I got text messages from all three groups of students that they had arrived back to campus safely.

To conclude, three important things:
1.  The bus company cut the price in half when I called to complain so at least we did not pay full price for that nightmare on wheels.
2.  The students all seemed very enthusiastic about the field trip and hopefully the trauma from the bus will eventually diminish.
3. I'm almost positive he isn't really Santa.

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