Saturday, February 4, 2012

On the Bus

My Crazy Chess Team!  I luv em!
Got some Electric Kool-aide Acid Tests?
Ken Kesey once said you are either "On the Bus, or Off the Bus."  I think I am off the bus!  Our annual trek to the West Jordan Scholastic Chess Tournament began on Friday after a whirlwind of school. We had an early out with nearly 6 classes completed before noon!  Needless to say, I was a bit on edge to now endure a 5 1/2 hour ride with a bus of eleven students - I am getting on the bus.  Thankfully, the kids were great, but our trips are always adventures - we are on the bus!

Just past Timmerman Hill I was pulled over by a State Patroller that was concerned that I was transporting more kids than my license would allow (?) - I am definitely off the bus.  I and numerous other coaches have always driven the short bus without any snafus but according to a regulation that he showed me in a code  book, I could only transport eight kids with my type of license.  He took my phone number and allowed me to proceed, however.  About ten minutes later he called me and said to disregard what he said - I am back on the bus.  Some surreal music by Deadmau5 began playing in the background.

Next up was a classic school bus-train incident in Rupert.  I just turned left at a corner that immediately had railroad tracks running at an oblique angle to the road and I slammed on my breaks as the crossing lights began, just as I turned.  Oh sweet mother of god - I am off the bus forever!  The crossing bar was going to come down right on the bus.  There was a car behind me so I gunned it and went screaming across the railroad tracks - I am really off the bus!  The jeering from my students began in earnest. Our fried gizzard stop in Snowville was also a bust because they changed vendors - Can I please get back on the bus?  I hope this isn't a foreshadow of tomorrow's games!

After visiting our hotel to unload and eat, we proceeded to the Clark Planetarium in downtown Salt Lake City to view some 9 pm laser shows - we are all on the bus.  These are always a hit with the kids and it keeps them up late enough so they don't cause any trouble.  I dropped them off in the front of the building and left to park the bus.  I returned too late to go in myself - am I off the bus?  After I began wandering around the museum areas, I noticed one of my players standing in the lobby - he seems to be off the bus, too.  "That was a quick one," I said.  "I lost the group," was the reply - he is definitely off the bus.  How could this happen?  There is only 30 feet between where you buy the tickets and where the bus doors were!  Gradually, another one, then another, and another showed up where I was chastising the first student - we have a whole herd that is off the bus.

Lastly, Max showed up sporting a Rubiks cube.  Then they all purchased one.  I said save your money for the next show.  Three didn't, so I dipped into my wallet to make sure they got to see a laser show - they don't even know what the bus is.  I was excited because Led Zeppelin was the next show.  Very cool!  It turns out that 2 of the kids liked their Rubiks cubes more than the show and one said "Boring."  This is a very entitled generation and appreciation is a premium - they are under the bus.  But that's why teachers are now responsible for character education - we educate characters!

After a trip to show-off the Church of Latter Day Saints Temple, I was happy to get some sleep, albeit, without my pajamas because I left my bag at home!  Tomorrow, I am getting on the bus!  I will post some of the games and describe the tournament in the next post.  Cheers!

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