B-BAM would like to welcome everyone back from summer vacation and wish all the students and teachers a happy school year! In honor of this, I would like to share a story of my first day of 3rd grade.
When I was eight, my mom and I moved to York, Maine. Because she anticipated moving again very soon (we were renting) she put me in a private school. An academy, actually. No joke- there was actually a proposal by the PTA that would require all the elementary students be required to wear blazers. 8 year-olds. In blazers.
I had to take an hour-long bus ride to this school, and my first day was horrifying. As I saw the bus crest the hill, I noticed it didn’t have a front hood like every other school bus. It had a flat front, which made it look a bit like a prison vehicle. I thought about this for about two seconds before thinking my next paralyzing thought: I didn’t have any friends (except my diverse group of Beanie Babies), and I was about to embark on an hour-long bus ride. To make matters worse, I would have to sit three to a seat with devastatingly popular middle school girls. They were all, obviously, best friends. And I had a bowl cut.
I spent the entire bus ride with my backpack on my lap trying to make myself as small as possible to avoid, oh the horror, accidentally touching my neighbor’s leg. When we got to school I’m about 80% sure I had pulled the emergency lever in an attempt to get out as soon as goddamn possible.
The day was blur. The only thing that sticks out was meeting our third-grade homeroom teacher. Her name was Mrs. Quinthibidou, which was quite a name for people who haven’t quite nailed down the pronunciation of “animal.” We knew her as Mrs. Q-T.
So the bell rang at the end of the day and we all went outside to the armada of school buses waiting. I spotted the one with the flat front, climbed in, and immediately glued myself to the wall.
Twenty minutes later, the bus was starting to empty out. Students were getting off, one by one, and I didn’t recognize any of the streets we were on. (Does anyone see where this is going?)
Eventually, it was just a handful of kids on the bus. The last one got off, and the bus driver changed the radio station to some classic rock and was loudly singing along. I realized that I made an egregious error.
After spending probably ten minutes thinking of all the ways I could get out of the situation without talking to the bus driver (and not coming up with a single one), I walked up to him and say, “Excuse me, sir.”
He jumped in his seat and says, “Wha- did you miss your stop?”
I shook my head and said, “I don’t know.”
He sighed as if this happened every day (which it probably did) and took out his cell phone. “What’s your phone number?”
Now, I had moved into my new house literally one week ago. I probably wasn’t even 100% certain we HAD a phone much less that there was a number attached to it.
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean, ‘you don’t know’?”
He eventually drove me back to school (another hour alone with the bus driver) and someone called my mom, who picked me up after another hour.
And that was my first day of school in 3rd grade. I didn’t make many friends, but I did get to spend a lot of quality time with my Bean Babies. And isn’t that really what it’s all about?
And here is a wacky product that I found this week while looking for backpacks.
I don’t really know what this is. The description literally just says, “School bus bag made of 600 denier polyester with six clear windows on the side, one big clear window on the front, carrying handle, two zipper closure on top.” So…I think it’s like a suitcase? I’m not even 100% sure how big it is. It could be two feet tall or five inches tall; I’m really just not certain.