Friday, September 7, 2012

How was your first day of school?

Today was the day; the day that children have been dreading, and parents have been yearning for all summer. It was the first day of school. I celebrated by going to work, driving a school bus. When I got to the garage, other drivers were gearing up for a busy morning. Soon, they had all left and I was hanging out waiting to see if my boss needed me. Sure enough, after a few moments of quiet, my boss looked out the window and barked, “Distaffen! There is a bus out there; go fire her up and pick up some kids and get ‘em to school.”

I asked which kids I should take to which school. There are a lot of children and a lot of schools in the district I work for.

“I don’t care!” He snarled, “Just get ‘em to school. Let the teachers and administrators figure it out, and smartify them. That is what they got all those college degrees for.”

I dutifully went out and started picking up students and dropping them off at school. Lots of different students, in different neighborhoods, and when I passed a school, I would drop some of them off. Although, once I mistook a lumberyard for a school, and the students pointed out my mistake.

When I got back from picking up dozens of students and dropping them off at a myriad of schools, my boss asked me how it went. “Just fine,” I replied. He grunted, “Fine? Then come back this afternoon.”

That afternoon I returned and looked around for my boss. He was chewing out a mechanic for using an amber light bulb instead of a yellow one. The mechanic looked plaintively at me. All I could do was spread my hands and shrug, because I couldn’t tell the difference either.

Finally, the tirade relented and my boss spotted me. “Distaffen! What are you doing back here?”

“You told me to come back this afternoon.”

“Well, yeah, whatever. Remember those kids your dropped off at school this morning?”


“Go put them back.”

My children’s first day wasn’t much better. Except I think they had a good bus driver. Littlest and Middlest had large packets of surveys to complete. Beloved and I had stacks of papers to sign, assuring that our daughters would be respectful, involved, and interested members of the learning community. I always have nightmares that one of them will yawn in class and the school police will hunt me down with a copy of my signature on one of those forms, and when they find me, they make me go to detention.

Eldest, who is finishing up her secon week of her freshman year lamented over a paper she had to write for some guy named Phil. I asked her who Phil was and why she was writing his paper. She groaned, “Daddy, Phil isn’t a person, it is a class in Philosophical Ethics”

I couldn’t help her, so off we went to see grandpa, who has a bunch of college degrees and he smartified her.


  1. Hahaha, Phil. I've heard nursing majors talking about their "farm" class- turns out they meant pharmacy.

    Also, does the school's code of conduct still have the rules against "violent behavior" such as eye-rolling? My family laughed about that one for a long time.

  2. I checked and couldn't find anything about eye rolling. Although I can see where it could be dangerous.

    I did notice that my daughters Spanish teacher forbids engaging in personal hygiene. At least in class. Which makes me wonder, does she give makeup tests?