Tomorrow is the big day – the school bus driving final test. I’ve done all the training, reading and practising – in fact, I’ve done more than required. That reminds me…in university, I actually used Studying Week to study. All my friends would head south to shop but I stayed on campus for the entire week. During the day, I worked out in the gym, preparing for the National Championships in Gymnastics and during the evening, I planted myself in the library and read the supplementary articles for all my courses. It paid off. I did well in university but for four years, my friends mocked me for my work ethic. But that’s another story.
Noon tomorrow, I will be starting the infamous circle check inside and outside the bus, followed by an hour of driving to demonstrate all my recently acquired knowledge about numerous procedures and my ability to drive this monster vehicle around the streets of Sunderland. Hopefully, my drop-offs and pick-ups will be exemplary, I will cross the railroad tracks smoothly and remember to secure the bus while doing so. I will make proper turns with a particular focus on “tail swing and inside tire”, I will back up the bus without landing on the sidewalk or hitting a Stop sign and I will return to the bus yard in one piece. I have had a wonderful trainer and he has prepared me well. Now it’s up to me to perform.
I have to be honest, I failed the pre-test miserably. I was so nervous and made some big boo-boos, so I tacked on two extra days of training and I am feeling more confident now. There is so much to remember and I hope that my mind won’t betray me. I can tell you one thing for sure, this course has improved my car driving 100%. I never thought I would see the day that I would be checking my tail swing in a Honda but I am so much more aware of what I’m doing now. I can see all the little compromises and bad habits that have developed over the years and I’ve really cleaned up my act on the road. For this, I am very thankful. I have become a much stronger defensive driver as a result of learning to drive a school bus.
Now, I just have to pass this test.