Friday, March 29, 2013

Confused Children and a Cup of Tea

Children have the most amazing, innocent, humorous insight into life.  I recently listened to some elementary school children chat about music. It seems they had recently had the opportunity to choose what instruments they were going to learn to play.

I am a music afficionado. In fact, one of my very first blog posts was about my prowess as a musical expert. Check it out!

 One of the boys, in this group of students, said, “I am playing the drums.” Every word was punctuated by a slap of the seat in front of him.

A girl slid in with. “I am going to play the trombone,” she said, as she mimicked the motions of the trombone.

Another girl said she was going to play the violin. This caught my attention. Of all the instruments, the violin is one of my favorites, and I played violin through college. I listened closer as the girl explained, quite carefully, that she was going to play the music of “all those old dead guys. You know, like Mozart, Beethoven, and Washington.”

In addition to being the first president of the United States, a commanding General during the revolutionary war, and a member of the ‘old dead guy society’, he also, according to these young scholars, was a composer of violin music.

Not only can young people confuse classical composers with Presidents, they can confuse left and right. This is a very bad thing, especially when a young person is trying to give you directions.

As a substitute bus driver, I had just dropped half a bus-load of elementary schoolers off at their school when I looked at the mirror over my head, I noticed the bus was still half full.

“Don’t you people want to go to school?”

“Yes! But you have to take us there. This isn’t our school!”

When I asked where they went to school, they told me.

“I have never heard of that one,” I replied, in an outright, dead-panned lie.

They all groaned and fretted over how we were going to get to their school. I told them it wasn’t a problem, I would just keep driving around in bigger and bigger circles and eventually we would find their school, hopefully before the weekend.

After much worried hand wringing, one bright young lad announced, “Hey Mr. Rob, why don’t you just follow the bus in front of us; it is going to our school!”  Such great advice is not to be taken lightly, so I followed the bus in front of us.

That is until it turned left at the signal light, which turned red. As we came to a stop I moaned, “Oh no! We are never going to find your school!”

These brilliant young people consoled me with gentleness. “It is ok Mr. Rob, we will give you directions. When the light turned green, I went down the road in the same direction as the bus that had gone before me. As we approached the intersection where I needed to turn, I looked up into the mirror. “Hey folks, do I keep going straight?”

“No! You have to turn left up here.”

“Left? You want me to turn left into one of those driveways?”

It was at this moment my neophyte navigator realized his error and corrected his directions to have me turn right.

As we rounded the corner, I expressed my relief at not turning left, “since I would have driven up the driveway and crashed into the garage of that house and the man would have been angry with me and sad that he had a school bus parked in his garage.”

The young student consoled me. “Oh it would have been all right; he probably would have given you a cup of tea.”

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