Thursday, August 21, 2008
That time of year
Teachers (and former teachers) notice that a calendar year has a certain rhythm to it. Spring break week is invariably cold and wet and still feels like winter. The Thanksgiving break goes hand-in-hand with the last leaves of the season hanging on the trees. And August heat lets you know that your longest break of the year is about to be terminated.
Tomorrow, I do a dry run on my bus in preparation for Monday's school beginning. BTW, my ever-considerate employers went back on their word and gave the new bus to someone else, but I guess that's okay. Even though I've been retired from teaching two years, a couple of times this week I've caught myself feeling a twinge of dread, thinking I was returning to another year of teaching...only to catch myself and realize I don't have to stand in front of students anymore.
But my job is so easy that there's no real sorrow that summer's over. I really do enjoy what I'm doing and that is quite a blessing. But I pray a lot in August for one thing: a safe year of driving. In 25 years, I've only had one incident. About six years ago on a September 25th, someone drove through my bus' alternating red flashers at about 40 mph and hit one of my kids as he was crossing the street. The impact knocked him out of his shoes and through the air for about 50 feet. I thought I had just witnessed someone die instantly. Miraculously, he suffered "only" a broken femur and some internal injuries. I can still recall every second of that horrible accident. I didn't sleep the next couple of nights.
So as we get back into the rhythm of school, please resolve to be aware of school buses and school kids. If a bus ahead of you has flashing amber lights, slow down considerably and be prepared to stop instantly. The flashing red lights will coming on very soon. (BTW, a number of our buses will have cameras rigged up on the swing-out stop signs to get an image of vehicles who run through the red lights.) Don't be so caught up in other things that you mindlessly drive through the lights. May all of us have a safe school year.
Posted by Tim Perkins at 8/21/2008 04:22:00 PM