Friday, August 13, 2010

Negatives, Positives and Moon Cycles

I’d like to be able to say that all my moments driving The Peacebus were enjoyable, but I can’t. Although, all my moments with my elementary school students were enjoyable, I found that at times I would have difficulty dealing with my high school students. For the most part, most of the high school students were pleasant, but there always seemed to be a handful of about 8-10 students who acted with little or no respect while on my bus.

I learned a lot during each situation… mostly what not to do again!!!! I had some success, but (and I’m not ashamed to admit it) most of my failures stemmed from the mistakes that I made while I was trying to gain their cooperation. Like I said, I learned a lot.

For many months, the same situations arose again and again, and for the most part this continuous negative behaviour baffled me. The bus ride was only twenty minutes long and I couldn’t understand why some of these students couldn’t act respectful for such a short period of time.

I had polite chats with these students, asking them not make a mess of the bus, as I had other people who rode the bus, as well. “Believe it or not, my elementary students don’t really like getting on this bus to find ham sandwiches opened and smeared across the back of the seats, or great wads of spit on the floor, or seats littered with wrappers and melted chocolate chips. You know you’re not supposed to be eating anything on the bus anyway!”

There was a small handful of students who just didn’t care what I had to say, or how I said it. The messes continued continuously!

After a few months of this, I really started to wonder about the minds in these young adults. What kinds of decisions would they be making in a few more years, as the future leaders of the world? I shook my head with a bit of sadness.

Then, one week, there was a tremendous uproar on my bus… both negative and positive. I’ve often thought about writing a book about this experience entitled, “The Lollipop Wars!”

It was time that I clamped down on this negative, disrespectful nature to restore a sense of values. The high school students didn’t like this one bit. The tension that began to arise became great!

On the total flip-side of this coin, my elementary students became monsters of a totally different nature… they were becoming peaceful art monsters! This was a truly interesting and fabulous experience for me to live through.

The students are always handing in their peace art to me. I usually receive one or two artworks in a three day period. The Monday of this week, I arrived at the school with a small stack of twelve artworks!!! My mind was blown – this was a Peacebus record!!!

The next day I received a total of eighteen peace artworks.

The next day… even more!

By the end of the week I had collected close to seventy original artworks from almost every student on my bus! I’m showcasing my favourite ones throughout this blog story. I hope that you are enjoying them!

I felt like I was living in a total yin-yang world – twenty minutes of torture balanced with forty minutes of heavenly delights!

The attitudes of the small handful of high school troublemakers really frightened me. They believed that they had the right to make a mess and disrespect the safety rules of the bus and that I had no right to do anything about this.

This became totally clear when I reassigned a few of their seats.

One of these students actually said to me, “You have no right to make me sit at the front of the bus cuz you’re just a stupid bus driver!” I had to impress on him, the hard way, that I did indeed have that right, and a few others.

I used all of this negativity in positive ways. That afternoon, after I had picked up my art angels I told them all, “that you don’t have to listen to anything that I say anymore cuz I’m just a stupid bus driver.”

The students started an uproar, “You’re not stupid, Mr. Jim.” “You’re the greatest bus driver in the whole world!” “We love you, Mr. Jim!” They were all very upset that I had been treated this way by another student.

Our conversation continued on this thread of thought, as we discussed how it is not right to think that you are better than someone else because of the job that someone may have. The students did most of the talking.

“We have to treat each person that we meet with respect, because it’s the only right thing to do.” “It’s not right to think little of other people.”

“Think about all the poor people in the world. They are not poor because they are stupid or lazy, they’re poor because maybe they didn’t get a chance to be better.” “Everyone should work together to make this world a happy place for everybody.”

These are very smart children.

I discussed this situation with some other drivers and I was given some thoughtful advice. One driver told me that she had had a similar situation, once before, and later she had noticed that her week of ‘terror’ had begun at the height of one the moon cycles. When I got home I looked at a calendar and indeed, my week had started with a full moon!

Although most people believe that humans are not animals and that we are supreme rulers of our Earth, living as separate entities as compared to trees and plants and even other animals, many others are becoming aware that this is a false belief. Not only are humans intricately entwined with all life forces that ebb and flow through our world, I believe that we are also entwined with the life forces and gravitational pulls of moons, planets and even the stars!


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