Dear Margo, Rita & Curtis,
My parents said I am going to have to take the charter bus back home for spring break. Is it as bad as everyone says?
Seeing as I am a veteran charter bus rider, you’ve come to the right place. The charter buses and I aren’t on very good terms right now, largely because they are the sole reason I came back to school the day I was supposed to after Long Winter Weekend, while everyone else enjoyed the snow day at home.
Forty minutes into the three-hour ride back to school, we found out we didn’t have classes the next day. I had a momentary urge to scream, “Turn around!!!!,” but I suppressed it—and here I am sitting in my room on my empty hall.
This story tells you two things: one, that the charter buses are annoyingly dependable and almost never get canceled; and two, that my parents put me on a bus without seatbelts in a snowstorm and therefore don’t love me. But to answer your question, the charter buses are fine as long as you know how to handle them. Here are some of the things I have learned over the years. . .
There are three types of kids at Deerfield:
1. The first type is the kids whose parents drive them back and forth to Deerfield always. They have never seen a charter bus, never entered a charter bus and never will. You can identify these kids because they are also the ones whose parents send them care packages every week “just because,” and you’d better believe they’ll get roses from their father on Valentine’s Day. This is the gold standard, and this is what you should strive for.
2. Not everyone can be a gold-standard child. In all honesty, gold standard is really for the only children of the world- which I am not—and if your parents are putting you on a charter bus, neither are you. The second type of Deerfield kid, however, is perfectly acceptable as well. This is the child whose parents put them on a charter bus only occasionally. Get a seat to yourself, put on your Beats by Dre, and you’ll be fine.
3. The third type of Deerfield student- a category into which I unfortunately fall- is the category I fondly refer to as “the orphans.” The orphans are the kids who always take the charter bus. . . always. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, driving children to school seems laughable to the orphans’ parents. DO NOT allow yourself to fall into this category. Charter buses are great (I’m required to say this, but really they are[n’t]!), but you don’t want to find yourself taking them every time.
You are in danger of becoming an orphan if your parents have ever said one of the following things:
“When I was your age, I had to hike up a hill in the freezing rain to get to school after my 10-mile paper route, which was also uphill; don’t complain!”
“I tried to sign you up for steerage but coach was the lowest class they had available.”
If your parents are big proponents of trains—the adult world’s version of charter buses—you are also in peril.
You’ve been warned.
Margo, Rita & Curtis