Friday, February 17, 2012

Bicycle Safety class

Yesterday I had to go to a city elementary school to help conduct a Bicycle Safety class with 6th graders. I helped last week at the local school (where I'm crosswalk guard) with no problems. The paper I received in the mail told me to be at the school 30 minutes ahead of time to help set up props.

Bicycle class time... 2:05. Okay. Get to the school by 1:30.

I didn't know where the school was but cleverly checked Google Maps. I arrived at the school on schedule and drove up to the main gate where someone waved me in.

"I'm here today for Traffic Safety."

"Yes, you're at the right place. Please park your car."

As I parked the person cell phoned someone, somewhere...

"The Traffic Safety person has arrived."

(Hmm. I'm not late... It's not like I need to be announced.)

Someone met me at the stairway and directed me upstairs to the principal's office.

"The others are already there and waiting."

Wow, everyone is sure punctual...

When I went into the office I recognized one lady but the head officer of the Traffic Safety Division (who scares me...) wasn't there.

"Oh... You're here for the Bicycle Class... Before that there is a ceremony. You won't mind waiting will you? Now where are the other two crosswalk guards that are supposed to be here."

Someone finally cell phoned them and discovered that they were out on the playground... with the head of the Traffic Safety Division.

"Well, we're ready to begin. Watanabe-san, (me) you stay here and someone will come for you when the ceremony is finished."

(Please no, I don't think that's a good idea. I already have no idea what I'm doing here.)

The lady I recognized took pity on me and suggested that I stay with the group and stand around in the background. (Thank you!) Off we went and were directed through a door. WHERE THE WHOLE STUDENT BODY WAS STANDING AND APPLAUDING AS WE ENTERED!!! This was an appreciation ceremony for the school's crosswalk guards! NOT ME!!!

I quickly made a left turn and veered off to the back of the gymnasium where I watched the ceremony (the other two crosswalk guards had come in the back door) and wondered where my bicycle class group was... And they were probably wondering where I was too!!!

There was no way I could get out of the gymnasium without going past the whole student body so I edged over to the window. There was my group of Traffic Safety people outside on the playground tapping their feet and looking at their watches! I could practically see the head officer frown and say

"Where is that Watanabe-san? Crosswalk guards must be punctual. She is more trouble than she is worth!"

I discreetly tried to catch the eye of someone in my group and felt much like I was in a comedy movie... Finally someone looked up at the window and I waved wildly and mouthed,

"I'm here! I'm in here! I'm trapped!"

The ceremony finished on time and the bicycle class proceeded smoothly. A couple tense seconds when someone handed me a microphone and asked me to say a few words about bicycle safety.

"Um... Use your bicycle bells wisely...."

What a dumb thing to say.

I don't think my elementary school has Crosswalk Guard Appreciation Day. I am SO glad.

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