Bus Politics, or the Hierarchy of Seating Arrangements

So Bug has been riding the bus home from school for the first time ever. When he hopped off that very first day, I was standing faithfully on the street corner waiting for him, and also wrenching Bean away from squirrels, dog poop, and passing cars. (See? We don’t need a dog!)

I think I was making a bigger deal out of riding the bus than he did. I asked him who he sat with, and where he sat. I was surprised when he – a mere third grader – said he sat in the back.

Maybe things have changed since I was a kid, because I distinctly remember the back of the bus being for the bigger, cooler kids. My kid is awfully cool, but his age puts him in the middle of the bus, not the very back. Maybe middle-back TOPS.

Unless there has been a dramatic shift in bus politics.

When I was a kid, the very front two seats were the time-out seats. I was placed there more than once because Ms. Laverne could hear my voice carry from the very back. I was probably flirting and/or pencil-fighting. Make no mistake, I am small but mighty.

We made the babies sit in the front, and it progressed down that sticky aisle chronologically. And even in the very back there was a hierarchy. Only THE coolest kids sat on that one long bench that stretched the width of the bus. You know, the ones who weren’t afraid to flip off passing cars, or hold up sheets of looseleaf with bad words written on them.

I was never a last-seat-in-the-back sitter. I never made it to that far.

I went to a nerd school (the best school in my hometown, but you know how it is) from the time I was in sixth grade, but the problem was, we had to ride the bus with the regular public school kids in our neighborhood. I might have been super cool in nerd school (after all, I was voted Friendliest in the 9th Grade with the yearbook to prove it, so you be the judge) but it didn’t quite transfer over to the regular kids.

Although, it might have had less to do with going to nerd school and more with the fact that I used to sing Disney songs at the top of my lungs. (A Whole New World was a fan favorite.)

Should I also tell you guys that I had befriended my junior high bus driver Mr. Jones to the point of bringing him a Tupperware full of chicken adobo because during one of our many conversations he mentioned how much he liked Filipino food? That would be overkill, wouldn’t it?

So are we all on the same page here? Were the politics of seating the same on your buses? And more importantly, should I be concerned or proud that my third grader is already a back-of-the-busser?

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Bus Politics, or the Hierarchy of Seating Arrangements

  1. I walked to school with my little sister from kindergarten through 8th grade.

    Then, for high school, I was driven by my dad in a brown Las Virgenes (yes – like virgin – yay) Unified School District station wagon that he scored for teaching driver’s ed.

    At my high school.
    He was also my Spanish teacher.

    So yeah.

    I was SUPER cool. And popular.
    As I’m sure you can imagine.

    • I walked for a few years too and didn’t get abducted.

      This one time I had to walk home the day we went to the pumpkin patch and had to carry my pumpkin home.

      A fella pulled up in a car and offered to give the pumpkin a ride home but not me.

  2. I remember working my way through the years to be king of the bus to realize that there no other kids my age because they drove.

  3. Same politics on my bus. I was only ever a middle of the bus girl. Though to be fair, it was back middle.

  4. I walked from K-5.

    And then I morphed into a bad-ass back-seat girl. For real. I had pins in my double pierced ears and everything.

    These days? I don’t know. Tech has walked for the last 2 years. Next year I’ll let you know if he’s in the baby seats.

  5. Ricky Anderson

    I was such a dork I might as well have sat on the hood of the bus.

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