Thursday Thoughts (Right or Left?)

You know, I was just thinking (which is what Thursday is about)…it’s been a while since I’ve shared in “wisdom from the school bus.” Therefore, I will share a story I’ve shared before, but one you’ve probably forgotten. Driving down a previously traveled road can be a good thing; you see things you missed the first time.

“Which Way?”

Every school bus driver is a hero, but substitute bus drivers (“sub drivers”) are in a class by themselves. I should know….I was one.

Sub Drivers Rule!

Unlike a driver that has a regular route, a “sub” is driver that drives different routes every day. Whenever a driver gets sick, lays out, or gets fired for doing something stupid, the substitute driver has to drive that route. Most of the time, the call comes without any warning…or sunlight.

However, one of the problems that a substitute driver faces is figuring out where to go. Imagine being put in a vehicle with 70 children just out of class, wanting to go home. Imagine you are in a part of town you’ve never been in before. Imagine that you have no instructions or directions, but must depend on the kids (Heaven help us) to get you where you need to go. Been there…done that…literally got the t-shirt.

Now, try to imagine that the very ones that are trying to tell you where to turn don’t EVEN know their rights from their lefts! It happened to me…..surely it did!

“I’m NOT Stupid”

I will never forget pulling up to an intersection and being forced to decide which way to go. I asked the kids on the bus, “Which way?

Go right.” a young  boy says. Yet, just when I started to make the turn, the following conversation took place:

Kid 1:  NOOO! Go RIGHT! You’re going the wrong way!

Me:     Wait, you said “Go right,” so that what I was doing.

Kid 1:  No you weren’t…you’re going left…I said “go right.”

Me:     I DID go right!

Kid 1:  No, you went left.

Kid 2:  You did tell the bus driver to go right, man, and that’s what he did.

Kid 1:  No he didn’t! He went left!

Kid 2: Dude, you must not know your right from your left.

Kid 1:  Shut up! Yes I DO!!

Me:     (To Kid 1) Ok, let’s get this straight. Which is right, and which is left? Hold up your right hand.

Kid 1:  (Holds up his left hand)

Me:     Hold up your left hand.

Kid 1:  (Holds up his right) See, I told you. I’m NOT stupid!

Life Lesson

There is a right way, and there is a wrong way. The right way may be the left way; but if the facts are not right, somebody’s gonna get left. I know I’m right on this one (enough with the puns).  As a matter of fact, there is a verse in the Bible that seems to talk about the same thing.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. – Pro 14:12 (NIV)

Whatever road you’re on, make sure of two things:

  1. The direction you are going
  2. That your source of determining right and wrong (or right and left) is reliable.

You don’t want to go the wrong way for an eternity, do you?


Filed under Christian Living, General Observations, places, wisdom

9 responses to “Thursday Thoughts (Right or Left?)

  1. Kavalkade Krew


    You can’t ask dispatch for a route map?

    • Yes, they’re called “lefts and rights,” but many are never filled out correctly in the first place.

      • Kavalkade Krew


        What a way to run a railroad.

      • It can get crazy, that’s for sure, but kids come and go in the first couple of months of the school year. Many regular drivers forget to update their route sheets, so sub drivers tend to rely on the more responsible children to point out the stops. Since I was a sub, now that I have my own route I keep it up-to-date; I don’t want to put them through what I went through. And when it comes to using GPS, that’s illegal on a school bus.

      • Kavalkade Krew

        Eyes on the road.

  2. I can’t believe you had to rely on the children to get them home. What a hideous system!

    • Do they do it differently anywhere else?

      • I don’t know, I just assumed they gave you directions or something useful. Maybe a GPS with the route outlined?

        You should get combat pay.

      • The way it works is like this…

        Just before the beginning of the school yea,r a bus route gets created by the routing department. It consists of a list of all the children and their addresses, including the times they have been scheduled to be picked up. This list is given to the bus driver awarded that route so that he/she can then do a “dry run” (to make sure where all the stops are and to report any safety issues).

        The first few weeks of school are pretty crazy; stops get added and dropped on a daily basis. After a few weeks, once everyone has settled in, the drivers are required to record their “lefts and rights,” which include a turn-by-turn, moment by moment (times), list of directions. This list is then to be copied and kept in the drivers box at the station for use by a sub driver.

        What happens so often, however, is that routes continue to change a little, but never get updated by the driver. On top of that, quite frankly, some drivers didn’t do well in Comp 101 (or spelling 101). So, after a couple of months into the year, the poor sub driver will find himself with and outdated route sheet. If one’s lucky, there will be that one autistic child who freaks if something changes – THAT kid will tell you you’re going the wrong way if no one else does 😉

        I have had my own route, now, for several years. I do my best to keep my route sheets up to date. At least my high school and middle school (combined) route is easy: 4 stops in the morning, 5 in the afternoon.

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