The 401 came to a lethargic halt.
Its doors appeared to gape open almost welcomingly, assuring me it was ok to pass through. The amiability of the doors, however, was of a cheap and insincere variety. Kind of like saying "good morning" to an asshole boss or customer. To maintain relations with the door, one has to produce $2.50. These same doors would gladly slam shut with a vice-like resentment if you couldn’t pay up.
Good morning sir, said the driver.
I dropped the coins into the slot of the moneybox at the front of the bus. 5 quarters, 3 dimes, 9 nickels and 2 washers.
Off we drove.
I looked for a place to sit down. The bus was completely empty. Talk about “freedom of choice”. I sat down, stretched my legs and opened my book. Page 1- “ The main purpose of assessment …”
The bus began to slow down. I looked up.
The bus came to a complete stop.
A girl got on, paid and sat behind me.
I resumed my reading, starting at the beginning of the opening sentence. “The main purpose of assessment is…"
A shrill little voice rose up over the seat.
What are you reading?
I turned around.
A book on constructing achievement assessments.
Oh, sounds exciting.
I began to read again “The main purpose of assessment is to…”
The sound of her voice pierced the air like reveille.
I almost missed the bus just now. I had to run to get to the stop on time.
I turned around.
Good thing you made it.
I began reading again “The main purpose of assessment is to enhance…”
Oh, great now my...
I looked down at my book lustfully, wanting to pounce upon that first sentence. To capture its full meaning. “The main purpose of assessment is to enhance student…"
The voice arose again.
Damn it! This is just awful. Can you believe it?
I pulled the yellow cord, which hung loosely along the top of the windows of the bus like powerlines in summer. It made a short, sharp buzzing noise. I looked out the window. Oak Street.
The bus stopped and I got off stepping onto the sidewalk.
Opening the book, I smiled reading the first sentence “The main purpose of assessment is to enhance student learning”.