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
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.***