I DIDN’T Hear it On the Bus

Okay, I admit it,  I stole from another blogger. The title is a take of the fabulous series over at Young American Wisdom called “I Heard it on the Bus” .

I braved the bus today, chaperoning four third grade classes on a field trip to the Pequot Museum about 1 1/2 hours away. The museum was fascinating, including a village set with figures to learn all about Native American life. I was only allowed to take pictures in the Gathering Place, but here are a few:

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I did hear a few interesting tidbits, like the boy who told me that his great-great-great-great grandfather is still alive and kicking at something like 16o + years old, or the girl who told me that her great-great grandfather was on the Mayflower. (I think they need to review the concept of “great ancestors”).

But, I couldn’t help reflecting on what I didn’t hear. Now, I’m not claiming all the bus rides of my youth were pleasure experiences, but I remember one thing I loved. Whenever we were on the bus for any length of time we sang. The whole bus. We sang childish songs. We sang favorite songs. We sang “Three cheers for the bus driver” (especially on field trips).

This bus had no music.

Well, there was the girl sitting behind me who hummed Christmas Carols through vibrating lips.  And there was one brief chorus of Adele’s “Someone Like You” toward the end of the trip when the bus driver turned on the radio. (So appropriate for third graders who face heartbreak on a daily basis). No songs with silly and sometimes naughty lyrics. Nobody leading a chorus of some call and response ditty.

The other thing I didn’t hear was a group thank you for the bus driver. One of the teachers reminded the students to thank him on the way out, but there was no mass calling out. For that matter, I didn’t hear any teacher try to encourage the bus to be a community and represent the school with pride.

Maybe my memories of bus rides past are merely figments of my imagination, but I really miss hearing the music of young voices enjoying life together on the bus.

Does anyone else have good memories of bus rides past?

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn McCullough
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 18:10:45

    It’s hard to believe there was no singing. I thought that’s what kids did. Were they wired with iPods? I think singing on the bus was the most fun part of any school trip. And not thanking the driver–just plain rude.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Nov 18, 2011 @ 06:42:02

      Perhaps you are right, Kathy. What was even more disturbing was the teacher reminded them to say thank you only while handing out a gift of baseball cards

        from the bus driver

      So it wasn’t really thank you for driving us someplace safely, but more a thank for this unnecessary gift. The bus driver had left the bus by the time Sarah got off so I forced her to walk over and thank him.


  2. Taochild
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 18:18:17

    That definitely was not just a phantom memory. We did indeed do things like that. I think it was more ingrained in our skulls when we were younger. Partly because we did not actually have all these other methods of keeping entertained as Kathy pointed out. We had to actually entertain ourselves. I think with someone to motivate them this bus ride could have ultimately been filled with same kind of energy. Next time maybe you can initiate it 🙂

    One of my fonder memories was actually my introduction to college. All the new students were having an orientation picnic at a beach preserve affiliated to the school, which involved a bit of a bus ride. I started one of those things where we use whatever is hand as a musical instrument. We had quite the rhythmic piece going by the time the bus arrived. I think the whole bus participated.


  3. jfb57
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 03:54:44

    I remember the singing! My more recent memories though are of buses going too fast down roads too marrow by drivers too angry! As a teacher it was great to go on trip with the children once the journey was on it’s way. The first ten minutes were full of getting them sat down!!


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Nov 18, 2011 @ 06:38:10

      Yesterday was similar in that at first there were three buses when they only needed two. Once that was organized though, the kids were basically good as far as sitting. But still no singing.


  4. LittleMissVix
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 05:39:46

    London buses are not fun, I usually fall over!


  5. thepetalpusher
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 07:05:41

    The children normally do sing, but then it breaks up into smaller groups of endless pratter and laughter. On field trips, this part of the bus ride is fun–the kids are behaving and I’m tired by then and sit back to listen.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Nov 18, 2011 @ 07:08:03

      I don’t mind the breaking up into smaller groups part but this trip bypassed the singing connection entirely. I bet your kids sing because they have you as their teacher.


  6. Tori Nelson
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 10:07:41

    No singing? That’s the biggest thing I remember from childhood. That, and my brother would always start paper fights. I always lost. He always put rocks or erasers in his paper wads 🙂


  7. youngamericanwisdom.com
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 10:55:40

    Hey! I’m glad I Heard It On The Bus was inspiration for this post. A collective “thank you” is always a must for the bus driver. The poor guy has one of the toughst jobs out there.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Nov 18, 2011 @ 11:52:40

      I have to say yesterday was relatively easy for him, but I still think he should have been thanked and the teachers should have made them do it.


  8. Trackback: Mozart on the Morning School Bus? (an original post) « My Shepherdstown
  9. Rose
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 17:56:42

    I definitely had awesome singing bus trips, but they were few and far between. When they did happen, I think it was due to a serendipitous (sp?) combination of kids, a really cool teacher or an unusually jaunty mood. But maybe us Canadians are more reserved, even in child bus singing.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Nov 18, 2011 @ 17:59:10

      Oh you Canadians, so proper all the time. 😉 (I pretended to be Canadian whenever I traveled while living in Japan)


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