Okay, I know I just posted a few days ago, so please do not neglect that post, if you are only choosing to read one- however, today held quite the adventure for me, and I feel compelled to share....
I actually get out of bed on time. # 1 accomplishment. :) As I'm heading to the Jesuit Residence (Jes Rez) to pick up bus #14 keys, I see the sign which states another bus will be headed to Rapid (taking the seniors to a college fair).... AND no bus #14 keys, so I call for confirmation.... no Jenna (the transportation director). Awesome, okay- so I head out to the busses and meet a driver coming in from a morning run w/ bus #14 keys...saying he spoke w/ Linn (bus maintenance guru) who mentioned that bus #14 was IN FACT the bus we were to take (but needed to be re-fueled in order to make it to Rapid and back. Okay, so one more time to check w/ Jenna....still no Jenna. I decide to head to the HS, and mention to Lenny (who is a part of the senior trip) the bus situation. He confirms #14 and agrees to go get a gas card from Jenna (who is here by this time). Great! Problem solved, so after dropping off a few announcements, I pick up bus #14 and head over to the field house, back to my office to pick up some beloved fruit, and am ready and prepared when they ask me to take attendance for the senior class (not only bus driver, but chaperone also, evidently!)
We have (most) everyone and decide to head off to rapid...the ride seems to be going fairly well, and even as we enter Rapid, no big surprises- except OH CRAP. Railroads. They DO exist! :) Ha, a few screams later, I successfully stopped and opened the door, while some seniors say to me, "It doesn't matter- you passed by the ones before this!" Oh, right. Yeah, about that. OKAY. On to the Civic Center where the college fair is being held. I find a reasonable place to park, put the bus into neutral (wait- this is an important point to the story- I THOUGHT I put the bus into neutral)....and headed off to the fair...
The first booth I see is none other than.....you guessed it.... NORTHWESTERN COLLEGE. YES! I think to myself, "Hmm, perhaps I shall lure some students to check out the booth." so I begin perusing our brochures, and sure enough! one booklet has a big picture of ME on the Religion/Christian Ed. page....so I nonchalantly show a few students, who get really excited- but don't sign up. :( A few minutes later, I see some Red Cloud guys just standing around, so I come up to them and say, "Check out this page." They do, and say, "What? That's you? Wow, you're a celebrity! I need one of these.".... and after retrieving one, they both asked me to sign them....ha, wow, who knew college fairs were THAT great for posterity! :) I did actually show a few students to the booth w/out revealing my secret celebrity identity, and they were genuinely interested and signed up for more information, and later- while flipping through the booklet- came upon my picture and jokingly said, "Hey, that's you!" And I responded with, "Yep!" They look again and w/ disbelief in their eyes, Bailey say, "REALLY?" Chante says, "Yes, really, white people don't lie." HA, I enjoyed this comment, regardless of validity.
So, flying high on this celebrity status, I decide to go get the bus and pull it up, really smooth like, you know? It turns out the bus won't start. Great! I'm thinking to myself, what in the heck? When I tried to turn it over, a light flashed on saying, "water in fuel." My initial reaction was, "WHO put water in our fuel?" Ha, my second reaction was... CALL JENNA! And I did, although the call was lost somewhere in transfer....anyway- it ended up to be not necessary, because miraculously, I looked at my gears, and....hahaha....ummmm, yeah- I DO think I remember hearing something about the bus having to be in neutral to start....you know, minor details, really....
Luckily I had figured this out JUST in time, as the students all pile on, still probably marveling at the fact that I am a pretty BIG deal! :):) So, that secret's safe with you, right? You know, the whole, not-so-great-with-bus-common-sense secret? :)
As we head off to the Mall to eat, I might have- perhaps- clipped a curb on the way, no big deal, minus the ear-shattering screams from the back. Evidently it feels more uncomfortable to passengers in the back than to me in the front- who knew, huh? So we are at the mall, eating, nothing out of the ordinary- and we finally head back to Red Cloud- but I'm thinking- gosh, we're getting a little low on fuel here, perhaps I'll stop at the Water Hole, a convenience/gas station outside of Hermosa (great little town with- you guessed it- railroad tracks!) So I ask inside if my Shell card would work for fuel- and they assured me it would NOT. Great! I think to myself, perhaps there really is more fuel in there than I think! :) I can make it, surely.
About this time, a large man comes walking up angrily to my window and asks for the bus supervisor- um, I guess that's me? He says "We just got Clipped!" At first I think, "what is this guy talking about?" and I then seem to have a vague sense that perhaps he means "stolen from." yep, that's what he meant! :) So he demanded I come supervise my students (in addition to their just-implimented 3-at-a-time policy)...hmmm, which I learned from the girls who were strangely waiting outside the convenience store, even when I told them to hurry. The manager (who happened to be the large man) asked me to wait while he rewinds his security camera tapes- to prove that a guy stole a piece of candy. Okay, so I wait, and wait, and eventually he ushers me upstairs to their security center- yes, in a gas station- where I wait for him to flip through screen after screen, all having nothing to do w/ my students. Eventually he says, "Well, this camera is old, sorry I cannot find it for you, but I'm NOT making it up." I sorta stand there thinking- um, is he going to prosecute or something, b/c I'd really like to get going.
Of course I was generous w/ my apologies- and asked if there was anything I could do- so he says to me, "Well, just tell - whoever took something- you KNOW who you are- and your bus is NOT welcome here anymore." WONDERFUL NEWS. Okay, so I briefly relay the message to the students, emphasizing how unsure I am about this whole thing.... and then we're off, as the students yell out the windows of the bus, "RACISTS!!!!!!"
Ah, so, the fuel is slowing declining- and my attention to the gauge is slowing increasing- but apart from a few up-hill chugging battles (where the needle reaches an all-time-low for me at 'E') we were, cough, just fine! :) We arrived safely, only a few students commented on my curb check and railroad mishaps, and I returned the bus to come prepare for the after-school program (which, thank goodness, went really smoothly!)
Okay, that's a short story made long for you, thanks for listening. Trust me, many more days are filled with this type of extremely exciting adventure-ish-ness.... and today you have been a witness to one ordinary, eventful, humorous, and stressful day on the Rez. Yep, that's all she wrote!
6 months ago