Easy, Peasy, Lemon Squeezy

“How was your day, today, Mrs. Mileti?”  Asked Cody.

“My day was fantastic, Cody.” I replied

“Really?  What do you do after you drop us off at school?”  He asked.

“Well,  I train new drivers how to drive a school bus, when I’m not transporting groups of children to and from school, and today, I had a new student driver start his training.”  I said.

“That’s a really easy job.  All you have to do is learn how to drive a car, then, you learn how to drive a bus, and that, is easy.”

“Well, Cody, there is a little more to it than that. Maybe when you turn 18, I can teach you how to drive a school bus.”  I replied.

“Oh, no, that’s too easy,  I’m going to be a teacher.”  He said.

“Oh, how wonderful, Cody!  What would you like to teach?”  I asked.

“I’m going to teach animals.” Was his response.

“What are you going to teach the animals?”  I questioned.

“I’m going to teach animals how to have emotions.”  Was his reply.

I continued asking questions as to how one might go about teaching animals how to have emotions. I’m not quite sure I was following how all of that was going to come together.  Good thing I have such an easy job.

Thankfully, the topic of conversation changed when Cody asked me to guess what he would be doing this evening.  I told Cody I had no idea and to please share with me what he had planned.

“I’m starting wrestling tonight.” He said.

“You are?  How exciting!  How many years have you been wrestling?”  I asked him.

“This is my third year.”  He replied.

“What do you like about wrestling.  Do you like the, throws, take downs, or pins, best?”  I asked him

“I like it all, that’s why it’s called wrestling.  Sometimes you rest and the other times, you ling.”  He said.

“Really?  What is linging?” I asked.

“It’s when you do all the moving, that’s the linging part.”


So, now I know the true meaning of the word, wrestling.  Who knew! I’m so glad I have such an easy job!  Easy Peasy, lemon squeezy!  Have a great night Y’all! 🙂














Oh, Happy Day!

What a gorgeous fall day! A crisp, clear, bright sunny day, with a spectacular display of fall colors, enhancing its beauty! It was evident that this day had a positive effect on the kids as well. Their positive energy was palpable and contagious.
There was singing and seat dancing and hands and arms up and moving to the beat. At one point, during a, Bruno Mars song, I looked into my student mirror as we were stopped at a red light, and two of my second grade students, were alternately bopping up and down to the rhythm of music, pure joy lighting up their little faces. The energy, the vibe, the day, everything about this day, was overflowing with goodness. I loved it!

When the children board the bus in the afternoon, it is customary for me to inquire about their day.  My second grade children usually board the bus first.  I generally receive an auto reply, like…it was good.  This type of reply only prompts me delve further into process of discovering how their day really was or to find out what made their day, good.  The second question I ask, requires more than a one or two word reply and, usually more consideration is put into their reply.  My second question is, what was the best part of your day? I get a variety of responses from this question, which I like.  I enjoy  getting to know what the children’s interests are.  I received a few of the typical responses that I’ve come to expect like, gym, recess, and lunch, but today’s response, from one of my second grade boys, made my heart soar.  When I asked what his favorite part of the day was, he replied…The bus.  No, there was no bribery involved…as far as you know…kidding 🙂

As if they day could not get any better, when I asked one of my sixth graders the same question, he said the same thing!    I swear, no bribery or reward was given for answers causing the bus drivers heart to melt.  I have the best job ever.

So…What was the best part of your day?

Houston, We Have A Problem

That moment, when you walk out to your school bus in preparation to leave for  debate tournament, you turn the key, and…nothing…crickets…😳 Oh, and did I happen to mention that I’m,  300 miles away from our bus lot?

So, what’s the first thing you do when you enter panic mode?  You text both of your bosses…at six a.m. on Saturday morning😳  What on earth could either of them do, when they’re 300 miles away?  The answer to that is…they get to enter the panic zone, with me!  Lucky, lucky them!  Aside from commiserating with me there’s really nothing they could do to assist my efforts.  I wasn’t going to give up.

What to do, what to do?  I’ll tell you what you do, I went back and retried everything thing I could  think of to move the process along. You know, like, make  sure the gearshift is in neutral. Yes, that was the first thing I checked…Been there, done that. For anyone out there, who may not know, if a school bus is in any other gear, aside from neutral,  it will not start.  The first time, is usually the only time, you make that mistake.  It’s the first question you are asked by the mechanics when you call in about your bus not starting…”Do you have the bus in neutral?”  Talk about embarrassing.   So, I knew that was not the problem.  I even checked the back  door latch, to make sure I had the latch unlatched. That too, will have the same effect as the gearshift not being in neutral. I double and triple checked both.
Now I had to tell the debate coach that the bus wouldn’t start. Yikes…I was not looking forward to that! We were miles from the event and no other way to get the group to their tournament. So close and yet so far.  Walking, was not an option.

I made one final trip back to the rear door, just to make sure I hadn’t missed something…anything!

It was dark out, so I took my phone flashlight and checked to make certain the latch was completely unlatched.  It was, but noticed a little metal clip and decided to move it around just in case.  Who am I kidding, it was desperation setting in.

Success! I did it…I did it… insert happy dance here! Who’d a thunk it.  That teenie tiny metal clip and its precise position was the key to success.  I’d like to say it was my skillful problem solving skills in action, but it was probably more like, dumb luck.  That’s ok, I’ll take it!  After all, dumb luck is better than no luck and infinitely  better than paying to find out that a stupid metal clip needed to be in, position a, not position b.  That scenario played out in our home when the disposal stopped working. We called a plumber to have it fixed only to pay him 85.00 dollars to plug the darn thing in.  Yep, I just admitted that.

Always an adventure!  Enjoy your weekend, y’all!  😁





Some days, you hear some of the funniest exchanges between students.  Today, was one of those days.

Today’s kidisms: A fourth grade girl, to two second grade boys.

“If you’re going to sing, you need to sing smoothly, not scratchy. I KNOW how to sing smootly…YOU do not!”

Hmm…I think the term she had in mind, may have been, screeching…they definitely had the screeching part, down pat.

And this tidbit, from an 8th grade boy.

“Ain’t nobody gonna mess with Jasmine. She’s like a 12 year old diva, and she’ll hurt you.”

Due to a behavioral issue while I was away, I had to move one of my eighth grade boys to the front, which, didn’t sit well with both the, sixth grade boys currently occupying the seats, nor the eighth grade boy being made to sit there. Here was their exchange…

“Oh man…I’ve got to sit up here all week? I think I’m going to start walking to school and walking home after school, too.” Said Hal.

“Everyone would benefit from that.” Replied Alvin.

Is it wrong that I busted out laughing from Alvin’s reply? Thankfully, Hal did not hear the, masterful dig, and I quickly regained my composure…well sort of.

The Luckiest Kid On The Planet



“Mrs Mileti, guess who the luckiest boy on the planet is.” Asked Calvin as we neared his stop.

” I have no idea, Calvin. Why don’t you tell me who the luckiest boy on the planet is.” I responded.

“This boy, that’s who.” Stated Calvin, indicating himself, with his thumbs aimed toward himself, and a wide toothy grin adorning his face.

“And what is it that makes you the luckiest boy on the planet, Calvin? I asked.

“I don’t have any homework this weekend” Replied Calvin, enthusiastically.

There were three additional students on board, when Calvin made his jubilant proclamation, after which, each child in succession, claimed they also had no homework.

I inwardly cringed as each child touted the same claim, but was relieved when this did not alter Calvin’s disposition or excitement.

Sometimes it’s the little things in life, that mean so much!

I hope you had a, no homework, kind of weekend too. 🙂

Hot Wheels

It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure.  At one time, that was a slogan for the US Navy.  Well, since they are no longer using that slogan, I would like to adopt the slogan and apply it to school bus driving.  It most certainly is an adventure.  I can always count on the children to provide me with a daily dose of adventures.  Sometimes, however, the adventures stem from unexpected sources and make that days adventure even more memorable.  Yesterday, was one of those days.

I received my very first ,brand new school bus, in the beginning of this 2017-2018 school year.  Oh, that new bus smell, it’s like new car smell…only bigger! Ooh, what a thrill! I took no time in making my 40 foot long traveling office mine! Up went the magnetic personal photos, dry erase magnetic name plates for the kids, my very own magnetic name plate, oh you name it, I added it.  Pimp My Ride’s, got nothing, on my school bus. There she was, all bright, and shiny, and new, and all mine…and then…a light, an unexpected, unwanted engine warning light went off, or rather,turned on.

The engine light on my bus had been  intermittently  flashing on the dashboard for a couple of days.  It came on first thing in the morning, then would go out shortly after and  repeated that sequence periodically throughout the entire day.  Yesterday, however, the light came on shortly after I left the bus lot, and remained on for the duration of my morning route, with the temperature registering  consistently at  around 220.    The normal range for most busses, will rest at around 190.  If the bus engine temp reaches 230, a warning light and buzzer will typically come on.

I wrote the problem up and turned it into the garage, after which, I left and went about my merry way.  As I was enjoying my lunch, I noticed that I had a voicemail from work.  The message I received, was  from my boss.  I looked at the written message, a transcript, and was unable to decipher what I was reading.  All these technological advances meant to enhance and simplify our lives.  Simplify and enhance, hmm…not today.  I don’t know about you, but auto correct, voice dictation, and Siri, are not my friends!  Siri does not understand me, and I’m pretty sure, auto correct and voice dictation, have a personal vendetta against me…Anyway, I finished my lunch and decided to head into work a little early so I could find out what was going on.

I walked into my bosses office and George informed me that my, brand new bus, had been sent to West Chester….GASP!  That’s like being told that your bus just entered a black hole.  A great big giant abyss with no way of telling when, or if, it will ever return.  Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating, just a tad.  I only know that in the past, when other new busses have gone in for warranty work or problematic issues that cannot be handled at our local garage, they disappear…and are never heard from again…ok, ok…they’re gone, for long periods of time.  It just feels like an eternity.  I could feel a temper tantrum  about to burst forth, without warning…There is no crying in school bus driving…Pushing that urge aside, I plunged forward with what I hoped was a calm, unfazed,  professional response, asking  which bus would be my replacement bus.

“You’ll be on bus 94.  Now, 94 isn’t exactly the, star bus, in this fleet.  I might be able to get you bus 19 tomorrow, but as of now, 94 is the only option.”   Said George, while struggling to find the right words for how to describe bus 94.

“Well,(gulp)that’s ok, George.  I’ve been on 19, and I can’t move the seat up far enough to reach properly, so 94 it is.”  I replied, now wondering just how bad 94 could be.  There it was again…That damn temper tantrum was itching to work its way out.  I battled through that urge and went to see my new, old set of wheels.

As I approached bus 94 it was obvious that bus 94, was most definitely, one of the oldest busses on the lot.  Shoot, even someone with failing eyesight  could  easily see that it was one of the oldest busses on the lot.  I’m not sure if it was the faded paint job or the cracked and peeling numbers on the side.  Perhaps, it was the scratches, dings and dents, those remnants of battle scars acquired over the years and the many miles of road traveled that made its age so obvious.  Though, even if I had missed all of the outside clues as to the type of a gem I was about to venture out on, all doubt was removed when I stepped foot on the bus.

The first and most noticeable change was the smell.  Gone was that, crisp new bus smell I loved so much and was replaced  with dirty, musty, heated cracked vinyl with a hint of dirty gym socks, and a dash of sweaty kid…there is no crying in school bus driving…there is NO CRYING in school bus driving…

I turned the key dangling from the ignition, only partially hoping that the darn thing would not start, or better yet, that I would wake up from the daymare I seemed to be trapped in.  I stepped off the bus to do a general check of the outside of the bus before leaving the lot, only to realize a moment too late ,that the air valve release on the bus had not been engaged.  Meaning, that as soon as the air pressure had built to a certain level, the doors of the bus closed, tight,  with me on the outside, looking in.  Now I was forced to go to the rear of the bus and enter through the emergency exit. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, it has likely been a very long time, if ever, that any of you have hoisted yourself into the back of a school bus.  Well, lemme tell ya, it’s not a pretty sight…at least, not for this girl anyway.

The vision playing through, in my mind, was that of a youthful olympic swimmer  launching themselves out of the pool onto a pool deck with strength, grace, and ease.  The reality, however, was anything but.  What took place instead was something that resembled more of  squatty old circus clown, clamoring their way up an elevated platform with all the grace of a bull in a  china shop, the strength of a new born fawn, and the ease of seal on land…there is no crying in school bus driving.  But…I made it!  It may not have been pretty, but this old girl still managed to pull herself up, dusted herself off, and got that beast of a bus moving…if you could call it that.

Aside from the smell, there were some other noticeable differences.  Hmm…where do I begin…My digital displays were replaced with analog displays.  I didn’t know that the numbers on an odometer reading could go that high.  I think the bus went from 0 to 25 in about 25 seconds.  Though, that would be difficult to determine, since the speedometer would often get stuck on 25m.p.h. That is, until you  purposely hit a manhole cover or pot hole, hoping to unstick the gauge, only to find out that you were speeding…well, kind of.  When I was able to really open her up and let her fly, we managed to make it all the way up to our top cruising speed of 45 m.p.h. Of course, that also meant that once I approached that ultimate cruising speed, I also got the  steering wheel shimmy.  But wait, there’s more.  Every time I made a left hand turn, the steering wheel would audibly groan, like turning an old rusty valve that hadn’t been moved in ages.

My elementary students were the first group of students to file onto bus 94.  I was greeted to a host of questions and comments from the children. There are always a myriad of comments coming from my younger students.  They are never shy on sharing their thoughts…This bus smells.  This bus is old.  The seats are squishy.  I must be getting tall, I can touch the ceiling.  Is there a radio?  On and on it went.  I remember one year, a few years back, when I was driving a spare bus, I received similar comments but after the comments were stated, a conclusion was made by one of my second grade boys, that based on his observations of the bus being old, and the seats being a different color, and the smell being…smelly, he decided that it must be because, that bus, was a high school bus. That still makes me smile.  No such deduction was made this time around.

My high school kids, in typical high school fashion, hardly noticed that there was a change.  High school students have one interest when it comes to riding a school bus…  How to get out of riding the school bus in the first place. The change that had taken place had not phased them in the least.  There were no comments, nor, were there any complaints.

Alas, it was time to pick up my middle school students.  Not only did they noticed the dinosaur I was driving, they also had plenty to say.  Their comments about the bus change left no guess work as how they felt about the bus change.  I received many of the same comments the elementary school students shared, but one comment, or rather question, stood out above all others that were aired that day.   Hank, one of my eighth grade boys, asked this question.

“Is this the prison bus?”

Just one day later, and now, I have my whole middle school group referring to bus 94 as, the prison bus.

As for me, I wonder if my new bus is in early menopause, with its hot flashes and all… I know its driver certainly can relate.


Oh…and there’s still, no crying in school bus driving 😉