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LJ Idol week 2: three (or more) little words
I used to ride the short bus.  Really.  In the fall I was registered for morning kindergarten, so I took the regular bus to school, and a rotating carpool of moms brought me home.  Part way through the year a special class was recommended to me, which was only offered in the afternoons.  So I started going to afternoon kindergarten a few days a week.  Not many kids go to school at noon, so they send the mini-bus.
My special class was for remedial reading.  Well, it was a remedial class for the 2nd and 3rd graders who were there.  For me it was an attempt to even out skills.  I had tested as reading at both a third grade level and below average. See, I was really good at my letters and at sounding out longer words.  It was the little words, the words you know on sight that tripped me up.  They’re the connective tissue of language but there’s not enough there to sound out, or to make sense of in context.  You just have to know what they mean.  Look at just this paragraph: for, it, a, the, and, an, to, as, at, so, by, on, but, of.  I was stuck.
I took the remedial reading class.  I was excited to be in a special class; especially one all about my favorite subject.  I also liked the mini-bus, it was less overwhelming than the regular one with so many kids.  The midday bus was all kindergarteners or special needs kids who couldn’t spend a whole day at school and none of us were trying to be cool, or be noticed.
After a few weeks of my dual schedule someone on the morning bus asked me why I wasn’t there everyday.  I proudly told them I was in a special class and got to take the mini-bus.  That was a mistake.  The particular meanness of grade school kids immediately marked me as weak and an easy target.  I quickly learned that the short bus was bad and was teased for about a week before they gave up.  I wasn’t really upset, just bewildered.  The short bus and my class were awesome, why didn’t the other kids think so too?
By the end of the school year I was back in morning kindergarten full time, having passed the tests for my special class.  Reading was easier and more fun now that I could read all of the words.  I hadn’t even realized I was frustrated at it until I wasn’t anymore.  I went to a different school for first grade and had learned my lesson; I never told the kids there about riding the short bus.
Even if I still think it was super cool.

***This is my entry for week 2 of therealljidol, the topic is "three little words".  There's a lot of us starting this thing off, you should go and read some people.  No, really.***

It's the little words that make all the difference sometimes.

It really is, before the class I could really only read stuff that had been read to me. After the class, everything.

I hadn’t even realized I was frustrated at it until I wasn’t anymore.

oh so true! great story :-)

Yup I just thought that was how reading worked. Thanks!

I never rode the short bus, but I DID used to think it was pretty cool. And then when I said I wanted to ride on it just one time, people laughed. I don't get it. It's so cute. Why would anyone pass that up? heh.

Good job on showing that you have a different perspective than everyone else. That'll get you far in life! And also in this contest :)

Exactly, and especially for the younger kids it's a much better size.

Thanks so much!

you were much more right than they could know. :)

Heh - any differences we manage to hold onto throughout schooling are ones to treasure.

A sweet little story. I am glad you caught on quickly and got back to regular school but you will always have the story about riding the short bus!

I thought the whole thing was an adventure. Fun to have done and completed. Thanks for commenting.

Often we don't realize our frustration until it's gone.

Because we don't know what it we're supposed to be frustrated at - so very true.

Well written and very unique - one of the most original entries I've read so far.

Well, my boyfriend vetoed writing a mushy entry about him (heh) but as we were talking about other ideas I remembered this story. I'm glad you liked it.

Awww. I sure can relate to getting picked on. Glad it all worked out. The short bus isn't so bad! haha. I now have to ride paratransit to work due to my injury and not being able to take the regular bus to work. So it's back to the short bus for me! ha!

I still think the short bus is way cooler, so you're lucky to get to ride it again!

You're awesome. I loved this entry.

This is such a cute little story. I can totally picture 2nd grade you :)

Any grade school me is very into school, but slowly figuring out that I'm not supposed to be and trying to hide it - heh.


Bah, kids are so mean! I loved this, I love learning about people's different school stories :D

I just couldn't figure out why the short bus would be bad - but they sure told me. I'm going to try to lean a bit more to non-fiction this year, we'll see how long that lasts.

There's hardly anything meaner than children to each other especially when they don't understand something or someone. I'm glad you escaped almost unscathed.

Nicely done,

Luckily I wasn't much fun to pick on, and being too into school wasn't as horrible as other 'sins' I could have committed.


Liked this entry, it's interesting how people with stereotypes and pre-concieved notions can attack something they know nothing about.

It was interesting that kids automatically thought riding the short bus made you dumb, they certainly had no direct experience to base it on. Apparently idiot kid-judgements get passed down socially.

Thanks for the comment.

This is a really different and awesome take on the prompt. Loved your entry.

Thanks so much. I was bouncing ideas off my boyfriend and this was his favorite, though I was a bit worried it was coming at the prompt too sideways.