Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Break

Yesterday was the last day of school.  I was highly rewarded by my little ones for my effort.  Candy, homemade cookies, gift cards, cards with the whole family smiling in front of their Christmas tree.  It was so cool.

AND the bus driver didn't even have to yell...the grade schoolers were suffering from their post party sugar let down so the trip home was quiet, except one kid that I always have trouble with.  And I'll deal with him when we come back ;)

I am now settling in for a much needed break. I did not bid on any extra trips, it's off from work until January 3rd see you then!


Monday, December 19, 2005

1 more day!

On Friday my grade school kids got in a ton of trouble the day before at school, so they were lectured by the principal before they put them on my bus.  Didn't do any good they were still bouncing off the walls.  I had a new driver riding along and he decided to have a "talk" with them before we took off.  BIG DEAL!  Is this goof going to ride with me the rest of the year???  And play bouncer???

I'll ride out the next two days and then during break I'll assign seats.  Just a few have ruined it for the group.  I will not punish the good for the bad.

But I must be safe.


I am off and running!  this afternoon and then tomorrow and I am off until January 3rd!


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Santa's watching you!

It's that time a year again!!  "bus driver, so and so won't quit looking at me!", "bus driver I wanna sit in front!", "bus DRRIIIIIIIIVVVVVVVVVVVVER!!!"

Don't these kids know Santa Claus is watching them!!?????


Wednesday, December 7, 2005

whoa it's -9

WOW!  It's -9 this morning.  With the Wind Chill it's -20.  Thankfully the mechanics turn all our buses on.  AND my next door neighbor bus 29 alias Mr. Jim turns all my heaters on so my bus is running and as warm as the old girl can be at 6:00 am.


It's a snowpants and long johns morning for this girl.  Let's just see how many coatless, frozen hair junior high kids I see this morning!???!!


Tomorrow it's 1-3 inches of snow...whooo hooo at least it will warm up enough to snow!  I HATE COLD!!

Thursday, December 1, 2005

LIttle snow


It snowed this morning and you would have thought it was a blizzard!  Traffic was horrible!  People were sliding into the ditches, into poles, into curbs, into each other, but THANKFULLY not into me! 

But this is the norm for this area.  It is very pretty out and I can't wait to see the Christmas lights tonight with the snowy background.



Tuesday, November 29, 2005

almost had an accident

I almost had an accident today.  Luckily I was alone and I have good no great brakes on this old bus.  I was heading to my pm grade school pickup, going over some tracks, which we are required to use our four ways, which were on.  I immediately have to turn left at the second corner which has a stop light.  I had made my lane change, with my turn signal on, flashers now off, and as I was crossing the first intersection, **it is known to have accidents so there is a no left turn there** BUT a person in a red sunfire decided to not only disobey the no turn sign BUT turn right in front of me!!  I slammed on my brakes, thanking GOD that the person behind me stopped also.  Now my life did not pass before my eyes but the jerk's life did.  If I would have hit the person they would have been smashed.  It took me a good 5 minutes to calm down afterward, but my elementary kids saw to it that I was back to doing my job, as always, safely and as skillfully as I know how.  Had to they needed me.


My angels were working overtime today.  Thank God!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It's true! It's true! I am free I am free for 5 whole days!!!


Whooppppeee!  I am free for 5 whole days! 

Have an awesome Thanksgiving all!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

better week

This week was much better.  The kids must of ran out of Halloween candy because I found a lot less wrappers and they were way less rowdy.  I haven't been signing up for any extra work.  It's time to enjoy the holidays. 

It's been very cold and windy here lately.  Wind gusts of 40 mph, and temps in the 20's.   Makes for a very cold trip in old bus #30.  She's a slow start, but I've learned to wear long johns and bundle up.  Too bad the kids don't get that.  They are still hanging out at the bus stop in hoodies (which I call hooded sweatshirts) worn backward covering their arms only, and not much else.  Although those furry scarves are still in style so a few of the girls have those.  But they are for decorative purposes only.  They love to whine about how cold the bus is.  You just can't teach a junior high kid anything!

My early childhood kids are all getting the sniffles, so Friday I sprayed down my sense in leaving the evidence at the scene of the crime, especially since one little guy likes to pick his nose and whip it on my seats...luckily my monitor usually catches him in the act.  JOY!


Have a great weekend...I only have Monday and Tuesday to work next week, and they are both 5 hour school days!  YiPPPEEE!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A long week, again!

It was another long week.  What we really need is a nice hard freeze so all the germy germs that are being passed around can freeze and die.  I woke up AGAIN stuffed up, but I feel fine so that's good, especially for a Saturday day off.  My week started out fine,  the kids were pretty well behaved, BUT they decided to end it with a bang.

This week was the week the all the new routes started.  These are early childhood and alternative school routes which are all door to door pick ups.  Mostly new drivers picked these routes.  I did not bid on them because frankly I am getting somewhere with my groups and I like my work hours.  There were a bunch of new route mess ups but the week seemed to be fine.

I had a few of my early childhood moms that I have on my Midday not understanding what was happening, but my monitor and I are able to communicate (wow what a concept) daily to them so they were reassured.  It's so cute one of the moms was asking us about her son's rash on his face, we were trying to give her some suggestions.  These moms trust us with their little ones so I try hard to do the best I can with their children.

Yesterday afternoon, my grade school kids were really super loud.  Seems the 5th graders had their SEX talk at school and they were discussing it, it wasn't inappropriate just LOUD!  I told them once again, that assigned seats were on the horizon, that they needed to be responsible and keep each other in check.  The thing is 4 of them have safety patrol jobs (remember those little belts in school?) and they are the worst ones on my bus!  One 5th grade boy talked back to me on his way off the bus, we WILL be having a discussion on Monday, I do not tolerate disrespect, ever.  It'll be ok though kids will be kids.  I feel I am part of the teaching process and if I can get this group to be responsible by choice not force I will feel like a success.

Oh yeah, I broke my poor bus again!  My emergency brake is a long handle that I pull down at my stops and when I park.  There is no such thing as PARK on a bus like a car so we have to use this brake every time.  Mine snapped last year and again yesterday.  :::sigh::: poor old 30!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, November 7, 2005

my poor old bus

Poor old bus 30 is really starting to feel her years.  My bus is a 1995 International.  At our district usually buses last 10 years and they are traded in.  Mine has 142,000 miles on it.  It burps, it belches, it hesitates, but it still goes.  Today the emergency brake light stayed on after I released the brake.  Hmmm....hopefully the old girl will make it through the winter.  We have great mechanics so I am sure it will!

My two naughty girls come back from vacation.  It's been a relatively peaceful week, so hopefully the break gave them a new attitude.  One can hope right?

Our district has enough buses now to take the Early childhood routes back.  My parents during my midday were all confused.  They didn't understand that I will still have them during the midday they will just have a different driver taking them to school or if they go in the PM bringing them home.  Just wait and see how confused they will be in 2 weeks when we have two 5 hour days...they will really have a time then!  I don't blame them, these are young mothers trusting us with their preschool kids in a huge yellow bus.  But my monitor and I do all we can to reassure them.  We have teenagers, we know real fear, these mothers have so much to look forward to! ;)

Oh yeah this morning when I was stopped with my stop arm out all my lights flashing, while picking up my junior high kids a car actually went around my bus to pass me!  This is both illegal and very dangerous!  I didn't get the tag number but I saw it was from California.  That person better hope I never see that car again, because I am watching for it!  AND reporting them! 

I am off to go back to work!


Friday, November 4, 2005

a day off

Today is a no school day!  So cool that it's on a Friday too.  A long weekend!

This week I made it through the Halloween too much candy haze.  On Halloween when I picked up the Elementary kids after school they were all sugared out and in a daze.  So the trip was not so bad.

There are some new routes being posted, all special service, but I  finally got my 2 pm groups settled in.  So I am going to keep my routes, and not bid on the new ones.  They start early in the morning and I wouldn't be able to take Liz to school.  Besides my kids are used to me and I actually am getting attached to them also.

I feel like I have accomplished something with these kids, they are rough group and most days they act pretty well.  I am quite proud of them and myself.

Have a great weekend!  I am going to!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

work, work and more work

I didn't bid on any extra trips this week and got 3 anyway.  Today is my day off from my midday.  They are early childhood children, 3 to 5 year olds who are just so adorable.  In a couple of weeks we will be getting the morning and the afternoon early childhood and early bird programs back from the contract company that has been doing them.  We had some temporary routes in the beginning of the year and they stop in a week.  I may bid on these routes depending on how early they start.  I am pretty spoiled in the morning, only actually working an hour and a half.  Plus I take Liz to school and we have time to do some mother/daughter bonding.  It will all depend on my mood on that day.  My afternoon junior high route is still rowdy, loud, and I have to constantly tell them to sit down.  The girl who got suspended from my bus  last week road yesterday and she was as naughty as ever.  Although some of the other kids called her on it, and she told me she wants to sit in front to stay out of trouble.  Hmmm we shall see.  I've found with Junior high kids they live in some alternate reality...their own little world...not a bad world, just their own world that we as adults have left behind and can't remember.  We think we were never that age, but we were and I try to be understand, but keep them safe.

My work hired 8 new people this week, I think it is a good sign, a sort of job security.  And that means I am moving up in seniority, as a few are leaving on sick leave or just going elsewhere.  I look at my job as a forever thing, driving until they take the keys away from me, and force me to monitor.

I am doing bus evac this afternoon so I will not have my 5 hour break, but I will get paid for 3 extra hours.  I also got a trip from one high school to the other for the girls volleyball team for this evening.  And then again Friday morning I am doing evacs again. 

And with the holidays coming up extra $$ is always welcome.


Well, have a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Very long week!

This has been a very long week.  I had a situation on my Junior high route, but it's all fine now.  Luckily for me my supervisor knows and trusts me and my judgement.  This group is a very, loud, rowdy crowd that tries my patience the whole 15 minute ride to their homes.  But is under control now. 

Junior high students are known to be a challenge because of their age and I think their battle to figure out who they are. Throw in some hormones and you've got quite a bunch.  My feeling is to respect them and they will respect me. 

I have no trips this weekend which I am glad because I have a lot to do around my messy house. 

So I am off to it...have a great weekend!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

i am working can you tell?

I am working right now.  I got lucky and took a late trip (posted late) that no one wanted.  I picked up the 7th grade volleyball girls team from one junior high and took them to the other one, about 1 mile away.  The are having a tournament.  I went out back in the lot, parked my bus, locked and and walked the 3 blocks to my house where I am right now.  The coach has my cell number and I know when to be back.  How great is that???

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

1/2 day whoo hooo

Half a day -- AND it's already Wednesday.  I am still feeling sorta funky, really chapped lips and actually I am in need of a break...I did the whole Field trip thing Monday and it was beautiful.  I bit early for fall colors, but it was serene and being outdoors was great.  Plus my headache from whatever bug I have wasn't too bad.  The only thing to break up the beauty of some of the sites such as the Japanese Gardens was the screaming of little kids...ah gotta love such places on School holidays, everybody thinks that their 3 year old will enjoy culture at such a wee young time how bout the zoo??  Otherwise chatted with some old ladies, and people watched besides enjoying the Rose garden, the sensory garden plus others. 

The only bad part was the 2 hour ride up there...the tollway was under it's usual construction, and I am big so I can't zip around like the small cars....but it was a great day.

My supervisor also signed me up for 2 days (so far this week) of bus evacs.  They are fun too, except when the kids try to dive out the back door...


Again, I will have a very nice check...Mark's been working full weeks too, my goal is to be caught up bill-wise by Christmas, in time for his layoff...looks like it should happen.

I am off to catch up on journals and then a walk, my neighborhood is finally coloring up!

Saturday, October 8, 2005


I took the football team from the new high school to Morris last night.  Morris is known for being very tough and our kids are a new school with only Sophmores & Juniors on their Varsity team.  So let it be said that it was very one sided game


A couple of the boys were pretty beat up, one kid had a headache and a couple of of them were limping.  But they are a brand new team they'll get better.  They all were very well behaved on the bus too.  They actually said, "wow we have a cool bus driver"

I didn't have time to get a new bus to drive the 30 miles down there so I took my old girl, 30.  It was a little tough at stops getting her to get going because of the 40 very big boys onboard, but we were fine. 

I actually enjoyed the trip.  My first football trip and I'd do it again. 

The other 3 buses were the onces the school district contracts out.  I made friends with them and played cards to pass the time, as it was really really cold, and the game was pitiful so I hung out on their warm bus.

I have a field trip on Monday to the Botanical Gardens in Chicago...which I will really really LOVE!

Have a safe one!

Thursday, October 6, 2005

rose ----> bus 30~

Yesterday, my niece took this lovely photo of moi, it was hot and windy, at least my underarms weren't blowing in the wind! :)  Dig the Chuck Taylors...I have 3 pair.

Today was a rough one, it is truly the last day of last chances...the big guns come out tomorrow, the dreaded assigned seats.  As for the pack of 6 grade girls, three of them get to join me up's funny this afternoon I kept calling this one girl by the wrong name and she actually answered me!  Goofy kids!  But the parties over.

Tomorrow night I am taking the new high school's Varsity football team to their football game.  There are no seniors yet at this school, so they are already handicapped.  It's about an hour ride all out in the country.  Gotta watch for deer and other creatures.  This team is tough, when my kids played them one player actually broke my all state, all area, tough guy stepson's helmet, he was hit that hard!

Should be a creamfeast....

The temps are to be in the 40's ... at least I have a nice new bus to drive, with nice new heat and plenty of blowers.  Sorry 30, you are only a fair weather friend!

Have a safe one!



Tuesday, October 4, 2005

my coworks-my family

Ah the joy of riding a hot, sticky sometimes stinky school bus.  All week the temperatures have been in the 80's.  My door got fixed on good old 30, it's great looking, but hard to close because of the new seal.  Not a problem, I'll be thanking that seal in a few short weeks when winter makes it's appearance.

We have been hiring like mad at my district.  Drivers, monitors, everyday somebody new appears.  We are becoming like a family though.  One girl ask another why she suddenly lost a bunch of weight and began wearing make up, I was like " oh you got a new boyfriend!" I was kidding ( she's married), nope she flashes her naked left ring finger at me.  I felt like a heel, but she did open up about her situation and another girl who is going through a similiar problem gave her some advice...just like family.

I know for me I'd have to be in therapy if I didn't have this wacky group of misfits to see and talk to everyday.  They come in all ages, sizes, color, and backgrounds, but they're MY group of misfits and I've become very attached to them.  Just like family.

Today, I did a "a-oh".  The village is putting in storm sewers and curbing on the streets surrounding both my Junior high and grade school.  One road has been basically clear for about 2 weeks so I 've been using it.  Well, today I head down the road and it's blocked by a big piece of equipment (luckily it was manned) and a big pile of dirt.  So I jump on my radio and let everybody else know about it so they don't make the same boo boo, especially since by now 3 other buses are following my down the path of blocked roadway.  The guys were cool and let us through, but when I went back to base a couple of guys go " hey I knew about that after my junior high route,"  EEEEEEEEK!  thanks for sharing the info with us...seems some folks only use the two for idle evil chatter rather than for helpful good.  Oh well, I made it ... so that's what counts.

Have a safe one!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

i broke my bus...

Yesterday my poor service door fell apart.  The bottom had rusted out from the weather and age.  The weather striping fell off first then the whole bottom fell off.  So bus 30 was out of service yesterday and part of today.  It poured rain here yestereday afternoon and I was assigned a rear engine bus as a replacement.  I hadn't driven one in a long time.  I had monitor too, because my new junior high pm route is a bit rowdy plus my grade schoolers seem to think that screaming is ok.  I did fine. 

I ended up putting one of my problem children up front with me, she tends to get the junior high kids wound up and bouncing off the walls of the bus.  She just talked and I listened.  Seems she has some problems at home.  Explains a lot.  I am going to continue to give her the option to sit up front and talk to me. 

Some kids have it tough...I really feel like I should listen, and not judge.


Bless the children...

gotta go bus 30 is fixed and I need to move my stuff back into it from the other bus.

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Well, today is Sunday and I am resting up for next week.  I've been working Saturdays lately so my week sure does seem longer.  BUT I will be doing the happy dance on payday. 

I was asked/told to switch P.M. junior high routes last week.  The girl that had the route wasn't able to get to her grade school in a timely manner so we traded.  My grade school is just as far, but I guess there was a bunch of problems on her route.  Some girls zapped another girl with a zapping cell phone her.  And she had some other problems with them.  She took my 'great' group, but I did notice Friday that the kids were standing up in the back of the bus...I was behind her.  Wow, I guess she needs to take some of the blame for the bad behavior, because those kids never stood upon the bus for me.

I drove it Thursday and Friday.  Thursday the kids had their fundraiser candy bars, so I said go ahead eat the candy but I don't want any wrappers on the floor, ok cool no wrappers.  Friday was bad in that right before dismissal there was an accident on my route to their stops.  So I had to re-route which was way out of my way.  Plus another driver parked in my spot so instead of being 3rd in line I was about 15th.  I was already aggrevated when we got going.  But I played it cool and friendly, acting like I didn't already know they kids had a reputation of being bad.

I got to see my new group in action.  There is a set of tattle taling twin girls, a brother and sister team who love to stand up.  A older girl who gives everybody orders, and another girl who hops up and down in her seat.  All in the way back of the bus. So tomorrow, we will be having the stay in you seat talk.  I know they will say that their old driver let them walk around and stand up...but he's not there I am.  If I have to stop the bus until they do sit, I'll do that.  Kids hate that-they want to go home.

 Besides my first year of driving I subbed for a month on the bus that had the worst group ever.  These kids walked on top of the seats, threw porno out the windows, had a snow ball fight in the bus, sniffed hairspray (one girl fainted), when I wrote them up they threw the detention at me.  So I am already quite experienced in dealing with rowdy junior high darlings. 


THEY don't know what they are in for.  I always kill 'em with kindness, works everytime!  Besides we have all year...



Monday, September 12, 2005

ugh mondays...

Today was a true to form Monday...1st thing I come in and our bus supervisor asks me, "what happened Saturday?"  I am like, "hmmmmm I dunno what happened?"  Seems another driver clipped the bus I drove on the sports trip, while parking her bus.  And while they were out there looking at the damage they saw that the bumper was pushed in on the bus also.  I never saw it...or I overlooked it when I was checking out the bus during the pretrip.  I did not make the dent!  That bus was drove by 2 other drivers last week.  They say they didn't do it either nor saw the bumper pushed in. 

I was bummed by this, but I also heard throughout the day that it was like that for a long time...oh well, it'll work out....I just need to be more careful when pretripping different buses other than my own. 

My grade school kids are shaping up very nicely...I've been praising them for good my trusty whistle, gets 'em every time.

Time to rest!

Saturday, September 10, 2005


It's amazing what a whistle will do to bring order to a bus load of rowdy grade schoolers.  We are beginning to have an understanding.  I drove a sports trip today for the JV soccer team.  I got home before it got too hot.

Now I am going to get carryout Chinese food...ah gotta love the weekend!

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

It's gonna be a long year


This is going to be one long year.  I spoke too soon in that although I don't work a lot of hours I work my tail off while I am there.

The second day of school the grade school put two of my kids on the wrong buses.  One kid knew where he lived so the driver took him home.  My other kid wasn't so lucky.  The 2-way at work was jammed as we now contract out some of our schools, so these drivers along with ours, adds up to 11 grade schools, plus special ed, plus DLL (dual language kids) were either calling dispatch via phone or you figure if even each school puts just one wrong kid on a bus all hell breaks loose.

I had a freaking out mother on my hands...and the driver that had my kid...she just called her bus number to base over and over, and of course base is swamped.  All she had to do is say that she had my kid.  I said the kid's name over the radio at least 3 times.  Anyway that little guy now smiles at me and says "i am here rose!!"

So on Thursday I feel like I got the crap beat out of me.

Friday was of early childhood mom's even made sure she changed her kid's stinky pants BEFORE he got on my bus...much nicer ride that way.

BUT today, again, parents who don't want to follow the rules.  One of mine thinks I should go in her court because her daughter naps and she doesn't want to walk out to meet the bus with her 4 year old (this is my early childhood midday).  She tells me that some one at base said it was ok for me to go in there.  I check ... NAH!  she's just telling me what she wishes.  My midday is pretty ok, though I have a great monitor, and great little kids...all boys!  7 take home then I go back and take in 8.

Plus I get Wednesdays I am off from 9:00 am until 2:30!

Today, I get to my last stop and I have an extra kid...ISH!!  This kid has speech problems, plus he's ready to start bawling.  I look in his backpack for his full name.  NOPE just his speech homework with his first name.  This kid is only in 1st gradeand NOTHING is labeled!  He also doesn't know where he lives.

So I learn from last time trying to get a call into base I say, after 3 tries "I HAVE AN EXTRA KID!"  They tell me where he goes and I pull to his house and ask who's watching him...his sister.  Sis comes out and didn't even know the kid was late!  WOW!

Parents PLEASE label your kids, if they can't speak clearly or God forbid they get scared and can't tell an adult!

But on the lighter note my grade school kids really like praise so I am doing that and they are really behaving for me, except for a couple who think they can change seats while I am driving...which is a Bus driver Rose's no -- no.

I am going to least tomorrow is Wednesday....

I'll get used to the madness...

I WILL get used to the madness...

I will!  I will!

Sunday, September 4, 2005

labor day

I am off, the first two days of school where truly, truly, and I mean truly a big mess.

I am really going to earn my pay this year with the grade school group that I have!  But with all kids, I know how to whip them into line!

Gonna enjoy the rest of the weekend! 

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

tomorrow is the first day

Tomorrow is the first day of school and it is a FULL day.  We did our Mock School day on Monday.  All went well, I only made one wrong turn..and stayed pretty much on schedule.  But it will be very different with human children on the bus!

I have a early childhood midday.  Meaning I have children that are 3 and 4 years old and a monitor.  Yesterday I called all my parents to let them know the drop off times and pickup times.  The other 1/2 of their day will be filled in by a contracted service.  This service DID NOT call the parents yet.  I already had a screaming parent call the co-op.  I talked to the father and he's still mad but not a me.  I can see this will only be the beginning of the problems.  Because our school district has grown so fast we had to contract out some schools and some routes...which means we have little control over the situation.  I am hoping things get ironed out quickly.

At least I have a three day weekend to recover!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

still bus #30

Hey all I am still bus number 30.  Yesterday was bidding day.  The bidding of routes was supposed to start at 9:30, but because of some late postings of routes which is against our contract we had to wait for our Union rep to come in.  Actually I was at work until about 2:30 in the afternoon.  I stayed with my neice who got a job as a monitor...moral support.   I got a very nice route package though.  Our district has changed all the start times of the schools.  And it worked out that I got two of my favorite schools again, a junior high, and a grade school, BUT NO HIGH SCHOOL!!  Don't get me wrong I love the high school kids, but the way this route works out I don't have to be at work until 7:00 so on the way to work I can drop Liz off at school and still make in time to pretrip my bus.  In the warm weather I don't mind my kid walking the mile or so to school, but Northern Illinois winters can be long and cold.  I will be done in the am at about 8:45 with no break in between routes which to me is awesome, because I won't have to waste time sitting around at Base.  Then I go back in the afternoon at 2:45 instead of 1:45 like last year.  I'll be done at 4:00, all this no matter how much the actually hours are adds up to 6 hours because we are guarenteed 6 hours.  I will be doing a midday kindergarten route though, which I will bid on tomorrow.  I am hoping to get another really close school to my house so I can go home during the lapse in time.  I am sure it will work out that way, because we have all 11 grade schools to bus.  That adds up to A LOT of routes.

Our district got so big so quickly that we had to sub contract out 4 schools, but we get to keep the kindergarten I'll still get 8 hours a day pay.

Gotta love that!

Good old 30 has some new seats and is all waxed and shiny inside.  I drove my routes today and they seem to be ok, with the exception of one of the stops there are no sidewalks, which the computer did not know this when the route was set up.  This poses a danger to the kids while they are waiting to get picked up.

Those darn computers, can't think for themselves!!

More on the midway tomorrow.


Monday, August 15, 2005


Today is the first day of my week off.  And I looked at next weeks schedule and if I play it right with my bidding/dry running my  new route and all I should have the Tuesday and Friday and most of Wednesday off.  HEE HAW!   

I did get up with my hubby at 5:00, and had a head full of 'too much fan blowing in my face' so I took a cold pill and laid down on the couch and slept until 8:00 that was even after drinking a cup of coffee.  So far today I've been to the store, and it's 11:00am. 

So my plans are to clean this house.  Too much dust, dirt and the usually stuff that gathers in the house in the summer when the windows are open all the time. Oh yeah of course the cat hair...never a day without cat hair.

But since I have so much time I am going to pace myself, why be in a hurry when I have such an awesomely quiet and peaceful week all to myself!


Friday, August 12, 2005


I AM DONE!!  I am now off for 1 whole wonderful week.  I cleaned out my bus, fueled it, turned in all my paperwork, including time card and now I am free.

Last night I had my refresher lasted nearly 2 hours.  Every required state run class that I have had to go to beginning with the 8 hour one has has some sort of problem with it.  We are never to be late or we get locked my 8 hour class the instructor shows up 45 minutes late wearing no shoes, last years refresher same teacher didn't show up at all!  This year, they called this guy in at the last minute and he starts the class 10 minutes least I was early!!

Ok gang, next week they will have routes posted so I will let you know how it goes.



Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Oswego sees need for 37 new schools • Report: Nearly 13,000 new pupils could enroll in the next 15 to 20 years

Justina Wang Staff Writer

OSWEGO — The Oswego School District may need to build 37 schools to accommodate nearly 13,000 new students in the next 15 to 20 years, according to a new report presented to the school board.

The report, based on residential development plans in the area, shows no relief in the next two decades for the booming district. Only about a quarter of the 68.6 square mile district has been developed, but up to 70 new single- and multi-family housing developments — bringing more than 16,000 homes — may be built in the area.

"Who's going to be able to afford to live in this School District?" said Board member Andrew Wood after hearing the numbers.  "How many tax increases are we talking about?"

Most of the growth in the district, which is fed by five cities and unincorporated areas of two counties, will take place within Oswego, although less than half of the student population currently lives in town.

In Oswego, 48 housing developments are planned, most concentrated around Wolf's Crossing and near the intersection of Grove and Plainfield roads.

These developments could bring as many as 6,834 school-age children and require 12 new elementary schools, four junior highs and two high school.

This is part of an article in the area's daily newspaper.  WOW is all I can say!  In 1997 I helped do a special census in our Village and we came up with 9000 people at that time.  But as the article states most of the growth isn't even in our little town.

I guess that's the nature of progress.... by the time this comes to pass I will be a senior citizen being taxed out of my own home, probably living with one of my kids or eating cat food....

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

summer's route winding down

I am doing some premature planning for next week.  Meaning I plan on kicking back with a big glass of iced tea and just rest.   My summer route ends this Friday and for a girl who is used to having summers off I am ready for some time to myself...well it won't be all rest, but I can at least putter around the house.

Last week at the school I was sitting in line with my student.  All the different schools, bus services and varies mode of transporting special needs kids are all waiting in line to drop the children off in the morning.  Some like to cut in line, or park across the street from the school in the business parking lot and walk their kids across.  Which is no problem for me...I am all about minding my own business.  My little guy likes to sit in back and sometimes because the wait is long he messes with the door handle.  It's a long red thin bar and when it's lifted it buzzes for the emergency door.  I tell him to stop and he does.  WELL, the driver behind me saw this and decided that since I was reading a magazine I must not be tending to my student properly.  So she walks to my bus and says, "that little boy in the back is messing with the door", I saw her coming in my mirror, knew what she was going to say and said, "oooooooooh ok thank you".  So this busy body decides to tell the administrator at the school.  UGH!  Which in turn he calls my supervisor.  My supervisor talks to me and  says "oh ... I figured you had it handled"

One thing that bugs the life out of me is people who can't mind their own business.  The very next day as we were waiting to pick up she gets out of her bus, which was behind me again...and promptly lights up...right in front of the SCHOOL!!!!

 I just ignored the woman, I am a professional bus driver, and if she thinks it's her job to police the other school's bus drivers, she got enough to do because there's a lot to police starting with her own bus.

AH days off....looking foward to the break....3more days, 3 more days....



Friday, July 29, 2005

a rollin' down the highway

The summer is moving along...traffic is awful!  I go during the morning rush hour and then when I go get my child it's lunch time and everybody is out on the road for lunch.  So many cars, trucks, semis, so many many people!  On the way back to base after I drop him off I take the different way home, I take the more scenic route, instead of strip malls and semis, I see large beautiful homes, and gardens, with huge trees.

I love the summer, it's so nice and slow paced, A girl could get so spoiled!

This fall we are having to contract out part of our district.  Which will be 22 buses, 1 high school, 1 junior high, and 3 grade schools.  It will for us to prove how worthy we are of our jobs.  Many school districts in this area are going to contracted companies, which I don't agree with, corporations couldn't possibly have the same attitude as a home town bus driver.  Ah change, I used to resist it with a passion, but I've aged and mellowed, and tend to go with the flow.  Things alwasy work out anyway.  Plus makes for a happier ROSE!

Ok I am off to enjoy the start of my weekend!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

still drivin'

I am still working and have settled into a nice although a bit boring routine...I do have a week between the end of my route and bids for the that will be good.

It's finally cooler so that really helps...although my little guy is starting to be a wee bit naughty. 

Take care!

Friday, July 15, 2005

fried friday

It's still very very hot and not  much rain here.  WE got a whole 1/16th of an inch the other day...Dennis never made it up here!   Got paid today and to tell you the truth driver pay (with extra for special needs) is way better than monitor pay.  Next pay period has my raise too...and I now have 30 sick day...and this is only my third year. Gotta love our Union!

Sjpeaking of Unions.... My 60 mile a day trip was quite a headache this week.  I got back trusty 501, it passed the inspection lanes and I did my daily trek to Ed center.  Along the way I encountered some Walgreens Pharmacists sitting on some chairs doing their strike thing.  The Walgreens store is still under construction, but hey I am in a Union too, so whatever...BUT later on down the road there is one HUGE back up, I mean we are going 10 in a 50 mile an hour speed zone.  Seems the Budwiser guys are on strike too, but they aren't being so nice about their stiking.  They're hanging out in the road with big signs...saying 'honk'.  I am like whatever again, and continue on down the road roasting even more because old 501 throws a ton of engine heat.  The week progresses and the naughty Bud guys now cause an accident because people are gawking at them.  Another day they decide to block the road with one of their trucks.  They really are giving Unions a bad name.  Why can't they all polite like the Pharmacists and hang out and chit chat while they make a point?  Today was the topper they had a huge blow up RAT with strike signs on it.  My opinion of the teamsters union is not very high...we had a very bad experience with that very union when we owned the Peterbilt.  They always wanted their dues, their health and wealth fare ($1500/month) no matter how slow work was. 

BUT .... I chug along the highway and smile, I have a job's Friday...the kid that everybody said would never go to school past 2 weeks has made it 3 and he actually smiles at me now!   Warms my heart!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2005

is it thursday already?

Got on the bus on Tuesday, picked up my student, drove the 30 minutes to the Ed center and low and behold there was us and another bus and NO ONE else in site. Seems they had no school and we were the last to know!  So I drove my student home and had the rest of the day off. 

This particuliar school I go to is an Education Center for very troubled or handicapped children.  Not physically handicapped but mentally or emotionally.  There's alot of kids in harnesses, which are a contraption that hook a kid into the seat on the bus so they don't try and get up or move around the bus.  It's all about safety when it comes to bus riding.  Many of these kids look to be in their teens.  They are children that are unable to go to a regular classroom setting.

 Picture of a girl in a school bus with a safety vest.This is basically what the vest looks like, it's zipped up the back and then there are four hooks to attach the vest to the seat that is secured by a belt around the seat vertically.  I used one on the other route that I monitored for an autitic child.  My child now doesn't use one.  He's pretty good, I listen for him to hook his seat belt, but lately he's been lifting the emergency door handle to listen to the buzzer.  I've been letting him sit in the back which is only about 5 rows back because my bus is small, but he may need to come up front if he keeps goofing around.  He's not being bad just curious, so I'll see how it goes.

Everyday at this center is an adventure.  It has a very small parking lot.  We all line up on the street, wait our turn and proceed to pick up our children.  Then we go to the end of the lot and turn around.  And while we all must wait there are a few who think they can cut in or go around others. Every bus is a small bus, but there are limos, suburbans, and cabs too.  My boss told me there are a lot of accidents that happen in this small parking lot and I can see why.  I am the type who is not in hurry, why should I be, I get paid to wait.  Besides with the state of the world today...what's the hurry???

Say some prayers for the poor folks in London....this world is a scary place...and today I am counting my blessings, doing my part to be a courteous driver, and help out a fellow human being.  It's the least I can do.  Safe driving all...

Saturday, July 2, 2005

3 day weekend!

Mark is also off today which is Saturday and Monday!  Everybody please have a safe and happy 4th of July!

I am on my summer route until mid August. 

So I will have many many cool stories to

share!  Take care!

Monday, June 27, 2005

monday in bus 501

  After hearing all these horror stories about bus 501, the very bus that is assigned to my new route, I was quite pleasantly suprised to find it a fine bus.  It's alttle one, a "short" bus, and the oldest in our fleet, but it drives fine.  It's motor gives off alot of heat but the 2 fans work fine and I wasn't too hot.

My student does not talk only plops himself in the backseat and ignores me, even when I talk to him.  I have a way of getting even the silent types to talk so we shall see.  Otherwise the 1/2 hour trip will be fine if it's quiet, as there is a alot of traffic to the out of district special school he attends.

There are probably 20 buses that line up at this small center and the parking lot is very small.  We have to pull in and then turn around.  Cars, vans and even a limo try to cut in or drive down the center of the road.  No wonder there has been a couple of accidents involving one of our contracted buses.  I am in no hurry and safety is #1 to I just sit, scope out the situtation and then make my move. 

Such excitement for a summer route!

And yes Kathy ( I tried to email you but your screen name wouldn't let me!) I would love to drive a passanger bus someday, makes for interesting people...also the town I live in is 45 miiles southwest of Chicago, which isn't too far from O'Hare...WOW do you drive the interstates???  YOU are brave, I drove to Lombard once last summer and I88 was a mess!.  Enjoy your charter!!! 

Take safe!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I"m driving!

They put up a driving route starting next I bid on it and GOT IT!   I am glad because my monitor duties are ending next Friday...This route goes until mid August same 4 hours but driver pay plus our raise that starts July 1st.  YIPEE!  I take 1 child about 30 minutes away, go home for 2 hours and go back and get awesome is that????????????

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

friday night shuttle

I tried to do this entry Saturday morning, but aol was being goofy so here's an update...

On Friday night I drove the shuttle for the fest.  The bus on the left looks a lot like the one I drove.  It sat 30 people, but not too many folks knew what I was doing driving back and forth from one side of the school to the other, so I didn't gett to many takers..  I mostly had to dodge people walking back to the carnival from the band concert.  I don't think too many foks realized that I was there to serve them!  But I did have about 40 people and I was thanked profusely by an elderly lady who was cold and tired after the band concert. 

Toward the end of the evening my daughter road with me so that passed the time.

All and all it was a good night.  Next year though the need really BIG SIGNS ! on the bus.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

it's going...

Things are going pretty good so's been a week since summer session started and a girl could get used to these hours!  Plus it cooled off to a glorious 70 degrees!  Old bus 30 is in the shop getting the seats fixed.  I am thinking I will pick that bus next year...I mean we do have history!

The only problem I have this summer is parents who do not meet their special needs child at the curb.  Some of these folks aren't there!  We pull up and they are supposed to be waiting for us...but a few make us call base to have them call their house or make me walk to the door....some of these kids have to sit on a hot bus for 45 minutes and that type of delay really effects the whole group. ISH!

That's my grip for the week promise!

We had to move all our buses to the high school because of Prairie fest.  It's a big town fest and they are using our base and parking lot.  Friday night I driving a van to shuttle people to the carnival...I even have a special shirt...aren't I lucky???

take care!

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

summer route

Today is the first day of Summer session.  I am monitoring for another driver.  We have 15 kids from preschool to 6 th grade with a variety of handicaps, including one wheelchair..  I was a special service aide for many years so I am very experienced with these special children. 

I did get a workout though.  Had to have a 3 year old show me how to hook his carseat (kidding~sort-of) but I managed to get every body settled in in a timely manner.  Our route takes over an hour because our district is huge.  I actually like monitoring it's less stressful than rushing around driving and I am all about less stress this summer.  Especially with the temps reaching 90's today with high humidity. I was done this morning by 9:00 am and will be going back at 11:15 until 1:00...not a bad summer schedule!  And I really like hanging out with the kiddo's!

Monday, June 6, 2005

woo hoo last day~

It's really truly here the last day of school!!  Old bus 30 is swept, fueled, repairs written up and parked for a long summers rest.  And bus driver Rose is home resting up for a summer of sun, fun and goofing off.  Oh yeah that is if I don't get a summer driving route.  Seems some new routes are opening up and I will be the dutiful wife and bid on them.  But no matter I'll still be at least riding a bus, number 505 as a monitor...

My darling hubby announced via my 2 way that it was birthday and all my work found out.  One driver wrote my name on the board saying Happy Birthday Rose G.

I am not a big brithday nut...but hey it's my day right?....tomorrow is a day off and starting Wednesday let the summer routes begin....I am off to enjoy!

Saturday, June 4, 2005

almost last day

Yesterday was for all practical purposes the last day of school.  Actually, Monday we have a 2 hour day.  Which will mean we will drop off and turn around and pick up the kiddos.  There will probably be only 4 high school kids out of that have to finish up work at the last possible second.  We will have some Junior high kids, and all the grade schooler's they get their report cards so they all show up for that.  The high school and junior high kids get theirs mailed home.

I just realized that next year I may not have bus 30.  But I could if I wanted because it's such a old wreck that no one else would bid on it!  We bid on our routes and our buses.  The old girl will be there next year - she's not scheduled to be replaced if she was she would be a 2006 model and I'd never get that!  We are losing part of our district to contracted bus company buses.  We are adding 3 new grade schools next year.  Our town is so goofy that we have 2 high schools in the district.  Most districts break off into 2 districts but not us.  Massive growth is our problem.  And a very backward thinking village board.  In the past our 11 grade schools staggered their starting times so we could bus them all, but the parents all threw a fit because their little ones were getting home too late.  So now they will be having the same start and ending times.  We don't have a enough buses to accommodate that, hence the contracting out of the schools.  I know I have a job next school year so I am accepting the change.  Change simply means opportunity...or so my boss is telling us.

I am working this summer.  I did not have enough senority for a driving position so I am monitoring an early childhood route.  Less pay, but it's work.  My schedule is from 6/8 - 7/1.  The hours are 7-9 & 11-1.  Four easy hours in the coolest part of the day.  And after July 1st I am off until mid August.  Joy of joy's!

Makes hubby happy and me happy!  I'll update ....

Have a wonderful weekend...

Saturday, May 28, 2005

made it

I made it!!!!!!!!!!!  The week ended with me dealing with all the lucky people escaping town and heading off to the long weekend.  But it wasn't too awful bad.

The kids were a lot less rowdy today so it was better.  Although they are so clueless.  I have shuttle 5 girls from one high school to the other and they told me one girl wasn't there so I left.  Seems she was there and I had to go back...she was sorry though because she was messing around and missed the bus.

There is a huge soccer meet today so we had to re arrange all our buses and of course a big deal had to be made over that.  Work wanted people to come in on the holiday to move the buses back but I said NO I value my long weekend and if I have to work this summer (hubby's orders), I am taking advantage of my holiday.

Actually I don't mind working this summer the days are only 4 hours long and since my insurance won't be taken out I will be bringing in at least our house payment.  Mark works really hard in the summer usually 60 hour weeks so it's the least I can do right???

And besides it's almost summer and summer is the BEST!!

Have a wonderful holiday all!!

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Let the insanity begin!  With only 7 days left of school the insanity has begun.  Children trying to see who can beat the snot out of each other first, screaming, tattle taling...we got it all on bus 30.  And for dessert seat writing... I <3 J...joey, and who every else they are in love with today.  God help me get through the next 7 days...yesterday I thought it was Friday...luckily we have Monday off.

other bus news...a fight between a girl and a boy, with blood shed, screaming matches, a seizure...police being called, supervisors subbing....7 more days, 7 more days!!


Next week I bid on a summer route...thank God they only last a month and require 4 hours of my day...I love my summer time!!  Time to refresh, regroup and clean my house!  Love you all....rose!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

big bad storm

Well it's been a lonnnng week, we were retrained for the summer session and I had a field trip today that involved a preschool teacher telling me where to park and such.  I parked where I thought I would be safe and she blamed me for 'running' late back to the school.  Oh well it all worked out.

Then on the home trip in the PM< I had 3 alternative kids to take home.  On is very obnoxious but in an innocent way.  He likes my attention so he agreed to get dropped off last.  In the meantime a huge storm blew in about 10 miles west of where we were at.  I mean it was blowing, hailing and raining like mad.  Drivers were calling in saying they were pulling off the road.  They were calm compared to the dopes that kepted calling on the radio with the "spinning cloud" sightings and clouds that had long tips that were reaching the ground.   Ish these freaks weren't even in the storm and they were freaking out and pulling off the road and running for cover and they didn't even have kids on their buses.

My charges and I went to the 2nd kid's house and used the phone to figure out what really was going on.  And after a quick bathroom break we were off to his house. With only a wet mad dash to the bus.

I have learned in my life that freaking out only causes panic...staying wonders. 

And I am safe...and so are the kids...have a great day all...


ONLY 10 more days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2005

14 days

14 days until school is out and I am telling you I am more than ready for this school year to end.  If I don't hear ..." so and so did this and so and so did that" a million times I 'd be suprised.  I had to tell my grade schoolers today that I was tired of repeating the same things over and over every day.  Of course one kid had to say, "it's not everyday".  ISH!!!  and this is the kid that had to write me a note because he was arguing with me!!  He did stop himself again.  I think he realized I meant business. 

Tomorrow all have to get retested for summer routes which is a-ok with me because I went throught this just a few short month ago.  Everybody else is freaking out.  But at my work that is normal.  And I want a route this summer. So you gotta do what you gotta do!

And for all you that say I am special.  I am doing what I love, I hate office work, greedy adults, being indoors all day, being bossed around and with my job I have a nice balance of freedom, and I get paid to stand around.  But mostly I love kids, they are so open, honest and truly loving.  That's why I do what I do!  I am bless that I actually am good at it

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

my sub for the day

Next time I need off I'll use this big fellow for my sub.  Bet the kids won't give him a hard time!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


Have an awesome day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

back to work

Came back to work today.  And I was greeted with an empty DOT book.  Seems 4 different drivers drove my bus in 2 days and each one had to inspect my bus, but the last one neglected to put a new book in my bus.  She was mad anyway because the kids told me she got stuck behind some work trucks and wouldn't go through until they moved. It's a tight fit.  The high schoolers are used to me just going through. And I guess she yelled at my little ones.  Oh well, at least they were glad to see me.  Because as soon as every route saw me they said, "WHERE  WERE YOU!~!"  At least I know I am cared about...or at least I know that these kids like routine.  Only bad thing was one of my high school kids dumped a juice all over the floor.  I will be on the look out tomorrow to see who did it.  because they spilled last week too.  Easy enough they sit right in the middle out in the aisle.  No one ever said high school kids are real are they?

I did get very tired though today.  Tried to take a nap at midday but couldn't.  So I think I'll go to bed early tonight.  That's to be expect after a surgery. 

Only 5 weeks left of school.  I will be working this summer though, hopefully only part time. 

I am off night all..

Thursday, April 28, 2005

busy week

It's been a very busy week.  Bus evacs on Monday.  I got another shuttle at 10:45 so my layover time is now 45 minutes less.  But I do pick up some extra hours.  Yesterday we had a guy speak about railroad crossings.  Pretty interesting.  The rubber band kid won't ride the bus he's walking home, saw him yesterday.  I think I may have put some sense into him either that or he's just embarrassed.   Who knows with Junior high kids...rough age.

Otherwise it's a normal week, the Juniors have tests so they get out early, and the Seniors are off so it's pretty quiet at the High school.

Today is my last day this week because of my biopsy surgery....oh yeah the mechanics bought us all some really cool bus driver t' shirts...great guys!

Friday, April 22, 2005


Rained here with very cold winds...ick I don't like the cold!


Well I made it through this week!  About midweek I started picking up a boy who I can only say is very goofy...and I mean it in the most nice way possible.  He can't handle junior high so they have him at the alternative school.  He leaves at 11:00 so Ibring him home.  He's just plan funny! He kept trying to get me to turn the wrong way.  And he told me that I should get paid 90,000 dollars an hour.  I'll go for that in a heartbeat!

Yesterday I had a 6th grader shoot rubber bands at a girl and hit her in the face.  I finally got to write somebody up on my junior high route and it was him!.  This kid has been looking for me to do it too.  For days he has sat right behind me and laughed his head off on purpose just to annoy me.  He has that girly squeaking trying to mature type voice too.  I finally said move to the back of the bus because I can't listen to you anymore.  So what does he do?  hurts this poor sweet girl.  He made cry too...poor kid's face was all red.  He must be worried because he didn't ride home today.  It takes a couple of days for the school to take care of these things I hope they put the fear of God in this mouths drive me nuts. There's a couple of more that I need to handle too.  They walk home and they keep crossing the busy street between our buses and then try and run across the busy highway against the stoplight...perfect makings for a kid to get hit.  I 'll have a word with them first...that may work. 

My high schooler were rowdy too.  A brand new kid was hopping over the seats already!  We will be having a little discussion about this on Monday.  I am tolerant but I am nobody's easy mark.  One nice thing was that this one girl had a friend ride home with her and she introduced us and said I was cool.  That actually made my day.

My grade school kids were so loud (I only have 30) that I had to blow my whistle to quiet them down.  They hate that!

So........another week down.  Hopefully, we can make it to the end of the school year without too many more write ups.  Kids just lose their minds this time of the year!

It's Friday and I am going to relax!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

It's raining

 It's raining and it's that cold windy raining that just blows right through you!  The nice thing is that the kids are a lot less hyper.  And glad to to see you, beats getting wet standing at the bus stop.

I found out that we are having some bus cuts, but only some schools because there are so many schools now and they want all the grade schools to start at the same time instead of having staggard times like they do now.  We shouldn't have any worrys about our jobs until contract time next year.  Then it will be all about demands which we should be happy with what we have~which is a very good benefit plan.  My big problem with busing in this community is the parents.  My children never had busing here, now the grade school kids have busing because my community won't pay to have a crossing guard at the busy corners.  What this is doing is creating fat lazy kids that now get a ride to school instead of walking.  Makes me very sad.

I guess it's the way of the the world, folks are so worried about somebody kidnapping their kids on the way to school that they over protect them.

Today was cool in that a little girl on the grade school route had a cookie dough fund raiser....yum!  I ordered turtle pie cookie dough YUM!!

So the sun will be out tomorrow and hopefully be warmer, plus it's an early dismissal day so I'll be busy but out

Saturday, April 9, 2005

A good week

I had a good week.  Nothing like the sunshine to brighten up your days.  Yesterday I did bus evacuations.  The other driver didn't show up right away so I had to do both classes which really filled up my bus.  Turns out he went to the wrong school.  His excuse was that he had done too many tirps this week and was tired.  Too tired to read your sheet to tell you where to go???  I had a piece of metal sticking up by my back exit the one we use to practice the drill.  The kids sit down and drop down out of the bus.  If they do it the proper way.  The bigger kids try and hop out.  Anyway this poor little girl ripped her pants on the metal piece, at least she didn't get cut.  So my wayward busdriver pounded the piece down for me.  At least he was good for something.  He said he doesn't like to do the drills and I am like why did you volunteer???

The kids are still really wound up because of the weather.  I got a new high school girl from Arizona.  A couple of the other girls on the bus all gather around her and said, 'oh are you new, well welcome' , which I thought was so sweet, but then they proceeded to say, "Oh we hate it here, we wish we could go back to our old school".  I said "hey stop wrecking things for this poor girl, let her find out for herself, besides, I 've been here for 47 years and it's not that bad!"  Then of course they tried to kiss up by saying "you don't like that old!" 

I have always been told I look younger than my years...I think it's because I act so young.  It's all a state of mind.

And this state of mind is going to enjoy this day off!  It's Saturday!!!


Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Back to work

work is so much easier when the sun it out!  kids are so much easier to deal with when they get some fresh air and exercise.  this month is bus evacuation drills so I will be picking up some extra hours doing those.  a couple of the snowbirds came back to work....i'm glad because those old guys are so funny.  we also hired a couple of new drivers...and a couple quit so i'm moving up the seniority list.  whoo hoo, because I need to work this summer....

well it's that time again...enjoy the sunshine! and the 70's ... rain's coming least here in the midwest!!

Friday, April 1, 2005


Well it DID rain!  I picked the kids up this after I talked my way into driving a conventional bus.  Which made me feel more comfortable if it rained, which it did on the way to the school which was 25 miles away from Oswego East.  When we got there the coach said "game cancelled" so we turned around and went back to their school.  Not a bad day for 2 1/2 hours worth of nothing!  Oh well, at least I got home in time to be with my hubby on our ANNIVERSARY!!  AND the only thing I had to clean up on the bus was one gaterade bottle and a few sunflower seeds...darn those sunflower sides!!!

I am off to enjoy the rest of SPRING BREAK!!

field trip baseball

I am working this afternoon.  It's a 10th grade baseball game and it's supposed to rain.  At least the girl"s bus I got assigned (they only assign reliable buses...mine is really old) likes me so if they get it really muddy, she'll forgive me.  No really I'll have the weekend to go back and clean up the mud when it dries up.  But her bus is a RE <rear engine> which I have not driven that type since last summer.  Oh well the fun begins.

Have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Watch over the kids...

Please angels watch over all the children who are out enjoying this wonderful warm weather this spring break.

I got called in to do 2 routes.  One tomorrow it's a drop and return for the day care program, which is fine because I live so close.  And I did get the trip for Friday night which by the way is my ANNIVERSARY!!  10 years on April fools day!  It's a baseball game in a small town about 1/2 hour away.  I didn't realize what day it was when I sign up...that's ok we have all I won't be gone too long. Ish I am bad wife! 

Thursday, March 24, 2005

All done!

Today was an awesome day!  Last day before break always are!  Everybody was very agreeable including the drivers.  I wasn't going to bid on anything next week, but there was a baseball game for next Friday...I might get it...but I doubt it.  I passed on a trip for Monday.  Too far away and too many kids and too soon.  By Monday I'll be just getting into the "Spring break mode".

I brought candy for the grade schoolers and let them eat it on the bus before we left their school.  We have to wait like 10 minutes before we can leave, because their school is so large.  Kids tend to not remember if they ride the bus or not as opposed to being Parent pickup.  You would have thought I gave them the Key to Candy Heaven AND I am so awesome because I actually let them eat the candy right then and there!  Wow!

So I am free until April 4th, which by the way is Daylight savings time weekend....YIPEE!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

1 more day!

One more day ... that 's tomorrow and we are off for SPRING BREAK!  Whoo hooo!  I am so excited and so are the kids.  It's Wednesday so they have finally calmed down.  They started the weeks so wound up.  At least the grade school kids have been having recess, but the weather is still awful!  Cold and windy with a very slight chance of some snow.  Still haven't put the long johns or the sweatshirts away yet!

We just hired 4 new drivers and a that's good.  Takes the pressure off those of us healthy types that never miss work.  We also elected new Union reps.  The old President had a lot of health issues, but I  got along with him.

Liz wants to go to the Field Museum in Chicago next week, they have an exhibt called Body works, with real human specimens.  I told a girl at work this and she want's to go with us.  Which is very weird for me.  I usually don't hang out with a lot of people.  I know a lot of people, but I usually only hang out with my hubby and my kids.  Mark told me when we got married he'd turn me into morning person and make me more social...I am better about being up...but I'd rather stay up late, and I am trying to be more social...I guess I am a better co-worker because I stopped gripping so much about my life.  Makes me a much better person.  So maybe people want to be around me.  Hmmmmm....I think I got the connection.  Actually I have always had no problem being with people as I am very outgoing and a big time talker to the point of annoying my family.  But who cares that's me!  And they are stuck with me!!

Breaks almost over...gotta go get the kindergarteners!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Tag Lounge

Wow I just figured out how to do graphics with photobucket...I am the MAN.

Anyway this is what I imagine my little bus riders would rather have done today instead of being in school!  It's SPRING FEVER!!!  The temperature hit 50 today.   My kindergarteners were bouncing of the bus walls!  A lot of them have been sick...maybe it was their cold meds, but ish!  My little guy that used to give me and he afternoon guy trouble was wound up but he was easy to settle down.  He had his sister's date book and he wanted to know my name..."Mrs Busdriver, how do you spell your name?"..."what's your phone number?".  Another girl who is from India wants me come to her birthday party this summer.  I feel so special! 

So hopefully the rain will hold off and these kiddos can get outside this weekend for some much overdo fresh warm almost spring air!!


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St Pat's day

One of my 5th graders hopped on the bus this morning and cheerfully sang to me .."Top of the Morning to you ... dear Rose"  so sweet.  She's a very good girl, her and her best friend love to "patrol" my bus.  They check for items left behind and generally keep order on the bus. 

One of my girls that road last year is at the Day Care center this week so the 5 minute ride is filled with her "catching up" with me.  Today's topic was how awful her friends parents were because they only allowed her to eat 'health' foods.  Seems the kid has never had  a french fry.  Wow kids are so much smarter and in touch then we adults give them credit.

My corned beef was a success and although it stunk up my house along with the cabbage I held my nose and cooked it.  Gave the left overs to Rosie....I did put some aside for hubby he loves it.  We had plenty of green food and now I am quite full.  Ahhh


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

I 'm back

I am back and in love with my job again!  Yesterday's planned day off was refreshingly pleasant.  Today was a 1/2 day of school and to tell you the truth I work harder on those days.  But that's ok I was home by 1:00.

Each route brought another child saying to me ... "don't you EVER leave us again!"

I feel so special! 

Spring is in the air and so are the attitudes of my charges!  Whoo hooo it's going to actually be in the 40's all week.

I am off to enjoy the rest of my afternoon.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

it was a day

The sun was shining so it was easier to be at work today.  I've really not felt like working at all ... we all have come to the conclusion it's the COLD!

Anyway, yesterday 2 different drivers called me over to critize my driving .  One said I cut a corner too close, and the other (a trainer) told me she saw me run a stop sign.  Now the corner I can deal with, the stop sign?  NO WAY!  It is a very busy intersection that I know better than to ever run that sign.  I go through there 2 times a day.  Hmmm who knows?

This afternoon a cement truck tore a mirror off a bus, the bus driver had a police officer right behind him so hopefully it wasn't his fault.  This is the time of year when there are a lot of construction vehicles out there.  This all adds to the daily madness.

One of my alternative boys went to jail on Friday, I felt bad for him, and told him good luck and patted him on the back.  Hopefully it will be his last stay, it's for 6 months, but I doubt it.  The kid has a lot of issues.

It always makes me sad to see this.  So many children that are so lost. That's why I do what I do...try to make their day a little brighter and to let them know that at least one human being cares....because I do!

Friday, March 4, 2005


Yesterday, a 2nd grader and I got into an arguement.  This boy is from the group I pick up at the day care center...and every few weeks he has to test me.  He was standing up on the bus and I asked him to sit down.  So he says, "I am" and I said you are it went from there and I said, " please do not argue with me" and he said,"you started it"....wrong thing to say.  So I waited until the drop off run and talked to a girl there who I have known since she was in my son's high school classes.  She winked at me and said, "I'll talk to dad".

Well gang that's all it took, this morning the child hands me a handwritten note telling me how sorry he was and that he would never talk back to me again.  signed by him...WOW!  I was so pleased!  Now we are back to our old selves again, me the adult and he the child....I listen to his stories when we are waiting to go from the school and he sits just like he's told to.  Kids love for you to let them know just were you stand with rules...they crave it! Have a wonderful weekend all!

Thursday, March 3, 2005

very scary stuff

Teen Accused of Killing Tenn. Bus Driver By GARY TANNER, AP

AP The school bus driven by Joyce Gregory is inspected at the Stewart County Highway Department in Dover, Tenn. Wednesday, March 2, 2005. Officials said a 14-year-old male student was taken into custody after Gregory was fatally shot while on her morning route in nearby Cumberland City. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

CUMBERLAND CITY, Tenn. (AP) - Joyce Gregory was about halfway through her morning school bus route when she stopped to pick up 14-year-old Jason Clinard. But police believe that instead of getting on the bus early Wednesday, Clinard fatally shot Gregory with a .45-caliber handgun, an act apparently prompted by an argument over Clinard's use of smokeless tobacco.

None of the 24 students on the bus, ranging in ages from 5 to 17, were hurt.

The shooting happened about 6:15 a.m. just outside Cumberland City, about 50 miles northwest of Nashville. Gregory, a 47-year-old marriedmother of two daughters, was picking up students and taking them to Dover Elementary and Stewart County High School.

Two weeks ago, Gregory told family members she was having trouble with students "dipping snuff" on the bus, according to her cousin, Jacqueline Reed. After several warnings, she reported them to school administrators Tuesday, Reed said. The 14-year-old suspect was among the students.

The boy had not yet boarded the bus when the driver was shot, said Jennifer Johnson, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Police would not say where the boy got the weapon.

Officials gave few details about the shooting and would not comment on a motive for the shooting. They also refused to release the boy's name, but neighbors, schoolmates and Gregory's relatives identified him as Clinard.

District Attorney Dan Alsobrooks said the suspect was charged with first-degree murder in Juvenile Court and was being held without bond. He said the boy could face adult charges as the investigation continues.

Public defender Jack Lockert met with the boy for about 45 minutes.

"I would characterize him as being in shock," Lockert said. "We obviously feel like he has severe mental issues. He's an A and B student and had never been in trouble before."

Clinard was taken to a juvenile detention center in Nashville and will undergo a psychiatric evaluation in the next 30 days.

Gregory was a teacher's assistant for four or five years and had been a bus driver for the past two years, said Phillip Wallace, director of Stewart County Schools.

"I lost a good friend this morning, so I'm hurt," said Bill Austin, a supervisor for Stewart County schools. "We're trying to do our level best to get our kids through this. That's what we've got to do right now."

03/03/05 07:32 EST

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Pink eye, coughing and throwing up

Crazy day of my kindergarteners came on the bus sick.  He coughed so hard that he got sick.  So he road the 1/2 hours route with the garbage can next to him.  The nurse met us at the school and he was sent home.  Cool I still have a NO barfing on the bus clean record.  Pink eye is running the schools, and a driver came to work with her eyeballs still pink, makes my eyes itch just looking at her.  it's hard to tell at work who's sick or just using their sick days....I am feeling ok.  Hopefully the afternoon will be nice and calm.


Tuesday, March 1, 2005


Quiet week so far...the kids have been quite good.  Of course the Junior high kids have their moments.  All those raging hormones!  We have had a lot of illness at work though.  We have close to 100 employees with around 10 absences a day.  Pneumonia, pick eye, stomach flu, random colds, along with your old age stuff...there's a couple guys who are always off because they can never get their meds dialed in properly.  I should shut up though...someday I will be old and falling apart and at least these guys are out there trying to work. 

Glad my beautiful "shining" attitude keeps the bugs and germs away!!!!

Friday, February 25, 2005

No School / see you Monday!!

NO SCHOOL<------------------

No school today so I am going to chill out and appreciate the day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Whooo hooo I still have a job!!!

OSWEGO — Voters approved a property tax increase Tuesday that will keep the Oswego School District from slashing numerous programs and staff.

The referendum request for a 30 cent tax increase was approved by about 54 percent of the more than 8,700 votes cast.

Whoo hoo the referendum passed and I get to keep my job.  So ha ha all you doubters who took off all your sick days thinking you won't have a job!!!  I am just happy that my town is putting th kids first.  Growth means change and change takes money.  So the children of Oswego School District 308 get to keep their programs and I get to keep my JOB!!! 

Monday, February 21, 2005

Presidents day no school


Attended a very well taught CPR training class...

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Long weekend...

The nice thing about working for a school district is you get all their holidays, teacher days, 1/2 days, 5 hour get the picture, off.  Some of the days like 5 hour days are more work for us, but in the end I like it.

Monday is President's day so we are off, but we have a non paid CPR class scheduled and I am going.  You never know when you will need to know CPR.  It will be a good investment of my time.

Yesterday the week ended fine.  You certainly can tell Spring is approaching as my Junior High kids decided to have a bread fight on the way home. One kid had a bag of bread from some sort of school party and he decided to pitch it at a girl.  The fight ensued and bread went everywhere.  I pulled off the road...and said "HEY GUYS!!  I want to be able to go home tonight too, I really don't want to spend the night crawling around under the seats looking for bread.  SO CLEAN IT UP!!"  They did, I only ended up sweeping crumbs and one big peice.  KIDS!!  I rarely write up conduct reports on kids...except for major safety issues like smoking.  I am not a push over, but I understand kids...they are basically all the same.  Just that KIDS!

Otherwise I am going to enjoy my weekend...til then drive safe...

Friday, February 18, 2005

Local news

Local news story...these kids are real heroes!!   Bus driver goes into cardiac arrest

Romeoville High: Students praised for quick action; woman critical

By Catherine Ann Velasco STAFF WRITER

ROMEOVILLE — Romeoville High School student Chris Kowal remembers saying good morning to his bus driver as he climbed on board Wednesday morning. About 15 seconds later, he saw her fall to the floor.

"I was taking out my flash cards for Spanish. She reached over to pull the door open and fell. I ran toward her," he said, dropping his flash cards.

While picking up students about 7:10 a.m. Wednesday, bus driver Phyllis Stoklosa of Romeoville, a longtime Valley View School District employee, went into cardiac arrest while picking up Romeoville High School students at Six Pines Drive and Naperville Road in Romeoville. Seventeen students were on the bus at the time, said Russell Fletcher, community relations specialist for the district.

Students came to her aid — one called 911 on her cell phone, and Kowal reached the transportation center by bus intercom. After treatment at the scene, Stoklosa was transported to Edward Hospital, where she was listed in critical but stable condition Thursday night.

"I'm glad it didn't happen when she was driving," Kowal said. "It was like the movies. My first reaction was that someone is falling off the step. Then I saw her on the floor.

"I looked behind the bus and saw a car. I told (the students waiting outside to get on the bus) to go get an adult quickly," Kowal recalled.

Meanwhile, he reached the school district's dispatch, who talked him through safety steps, making sure the bus had its emergency brakes on, which it did.

The adult in the car behind the bus stayed with the students and helped hold Stoklosa's head until paramedics arrived.

'Quick response' James Mitchem, principal at Romeoville High School, was very proud of the students. "The paramedics said their quick response afforded them enough time for paramedics to save her life," Mitchem said. "If she had been in that state for a long time, she may not have survived. "They didn't panic. They just took action, and that was great," he said.

Mitchem said Stoklosa was at the route's last bus stop when she collapsed. He credits Stoklosa for following procedure and putting the bus in neutral and putting the emergency brake on at the stop.

"The driver should be commended. It would have been easy to step on the brake and open the door," Mitchem said.

Students were later recognized over the school's public-address system. Mitchem said some doctors want to give the students a lunch.

Romeoville Mayor Fred Dewald, who works in the transportation department for Valley View, said during Wednesday night's village board meeting that he plans to honor the students at a future meeting.

"We are very, very proud of the students on the bus. They took exceptional steps," said Derrick Berlin, assistant transportation director for special services.

Berlin said students practice bus evacuation drills twice a year. They are taught how to evacuate a bus when there is a fire or an accident. They are also taught how to use the intercom and how to secure the bus, such as checking to see if the emergency brake is on.

Veteran driver Berlin described Stoklosa as a kind and caring woman who has worked for the district for 25 1/2 years.

She is currently the longest-serving driver in the Valley View transportation department, having started her career in October 1979. She has trained innumerable bus drivers during her service in the department, Fletcher said.

"I've been here about 10 months, and in the first couple of weeks she made window curtains for my office all on her own," Berlin said. "Everybody loves her. She is a very, very pleasant, wonderful lady that everyone gravitates to."

Stunned students Bethany Benigno, 14, a freshman, was the first to reach emergency personnel on her cell phone.

"She was always cheerful," Benigno said about Stoklosa. "She would give us candy canes for Christmas and bookmarks all the time."

After the paramedics came, the school district sent another bus to take the students to school, where they met with counselors in the auditorium.

"Everyone was kind of freaked out about seeing something like that," Benigno said.

Students were given a choice to go home or go to their classes. She decided to stay in school.

"There was no real point of going home," she said.

Kowal is still stunned by what happened.

"That's a life-changing experience. Anything can happen in any moment of life. Fifteen seconds could be the moment of living and dying," Kowal said. "You don't know what can happen."

Cathy Velasco can be reached at (815) 729-6051 or via e-mailat