Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Wheels On The Bus

Where to begin to describe the adventure that is the bus ride to camp. How about with a question..."Why?" Why does every class insist on torturing the teacher with "The Wheels on the Bus"? Have the eighth graders been passing that down every year? "Oh, Miss McMillan just loves this song!" Or is it just the fact that they're on a school bus and they just can't help themselves? In any case, I'm happy to report that this year's rendition didn't last very long thanks, in part, to our driver Richard.

The singing began before we even got out of the parking lot! As the bus was passing the office, it erupted with the sounds of "The Wheels on the Bus", much to Mrs. Wilson's amusement, I'm sure. But Richard had not yet given the kids the bus rules, so he stopped the bus before we even reached the street. He waited until everyone was quiet before beginning.

Well played, Richard. Well played!

As usual, I sat at the front of the bus, making sure to have a seat all to myself. Hey, there has to be some benefit to being the only teacher on the bus! Because it certainly isn't peace and quiet (even though Mrs. Wolf was kind enough to provide me with ear plugs before we left!)

In the seats near me were several boys who spent a great deal of time talking about football...when they weren't singing showtunes. Remember The Lion King? And would you like to take a guess which of our boys started singing "Oh, I just can't wait to be king!"

It was shortly after that brief musical interlude that these same boys started grilling me about all the movies I've seen lately (or, more to the point, haven't seen). "Hey, Miss McMillan, have you seen We Bought a Zoo?"


"Seriously?! What about Big Daddy?"

Is that the one with Adam Sandler?



"What?!! Well, how about Toy Story 3? You must have seen Toy Story 3!"


"What?!! How could you have not seen Toy Story 3?! I cried buckets watching that one!!"

Sorry, Charlie. I haven't seen it yet.

"Well, write yourself a note right now...'I must watch Toy Story 3!' "

I should point out that I sat with a notebook during the entire bus ride, taking notes on everything I heard to make it easier to share it with everyone.

I wrote myself a note to watch Toy Story 3.

While this conversation was going on:

  • Jesse noticed that his mom was driving by us on the freeway and yelled out, "Hey, it's my mom! I see my mom!!"
  • Kelly recited the entire opening to the show Ghost Adventures.
  • Sarah and Maggie were playing some game called Mash right behind me.
  • A card game was being played two rows back.
  • A conversation about some weird teen singing group was making the rounds.

It was about this time that we passed Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and the kids got very excited. I even heard one of the girls say, "Instead of Caritas, let's go to Six Flags!"

Ok, by me! Shorter bus ride!!

For some reason, just driving by Six Flags led to the singing of a series of commercial jingles, starting with Six Flags and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and then moving straight into reciting favorite commercials like Taco Bell.

It wasn't all fun and games and fast food jingles, of course. We had a grammar lesson on the bus! You can thank (or blame, depending on your perspective) Kayla for teaching her classmates the Helping Verbs song, which they started singing even before we left school and then again about an hour into our drive.

The quiz will be held on the return ride home.

Confession time. I'm not very proud of this, but the kids weren't the only ones singing this year. This was definitely a first for me...I try not to encourage this behavior. But when Charlie started singing the theme from the television show Friends, one of my all-time favorites, I just couldn't help myself. And then he moved right into the song "Soft Kitty" which is often sung on the show Big Bang Theory. And while we were singing "Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur..."


"Moo! Moo!!!"

And then the best question all morning came from Maggie directly behind me: "How do you put up with this every year?!"

I'm still figuring that out, Maggie.

It was about that time that the bus stopped at some railroad tracks which led Sarah to ask me, "Did you put your feet up?"

No, why?

"You're supposed to put your feet up when you cross railroad tracks or you'll have bad luck!"

That's a new one on me.

"Miss McMillan!!! How much longer?!" (This, of course, is just another version of "Are we there yet?")

Catie, it's only 10:30.

"That doesn't answer my question!"


At one point during the ride, I actually wrote in my notes, "there hasn't been as much singing as I had been threatened with." Big mistake, BIG mistake! I had barely dotted the "i" in "with" when the singing began. And it didn't stop until we arrived at Camp Caritas. I'm sure I didn't help matters when I got my Flip camera out and started taking video of all of them. Oh well, at least the musical selection was quite varied. Songs included:

  • Call Me, Maybe (of course)
  • Raindrops Are Fallin' On My Head (oh, that Charlie!)
  • Camptown Races
  • She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain
  • Silent Night (hey, don't ask me! Although it was nice of Lauren to add an "Amen!" at the end)
  • The Cats in the Cradle
  • I Want You Back 
And then there was a brief Beatles interlude:
  • Hey Jude (Na, na, na, na-na-na-na!)
  • Yellow Submarine (I used to like that song)
  • I Am the Walrus (seriously?! Ku-ku-ka-chu!)
And then it was the dreaded (or is that "dreadful"?!) "It's A Small World!!"

I get hazard pay, don't I?!

To finish out the musical portion of our adventure, we heard:
  • One More Night by Maroon 5
  • We Are Never Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift
  • Baby, Baby by Justin Bieber (seriously...hazard pay!)
  • Boyfriend - also by Justin Bieber
  • What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction
I think I'm understanding why I woke up with a headache this morning. 

Well, the kids are beginning to return to camp after their first major hike of the week. I need to get myself ready to get back out there and take more pictures...it's time for gaga ball!! 

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