The Magic School Bus

Yeah, that’s right. And I refuse to apologise. This is the ultimate off-road vehicle, and I will not hear an argument against it (actually … I will hear an argument, because free speech, but I will for sure successfully refute it … but saying that is just more long-winded and doesn’t pack the same punch). This bus isn’t just off-road, it’s off … physics. Sure, it can travel on a regular city road when it needs to look like a regular bus, but then the bell for first period rings and bam! It’s a subatomic boat bus, and it’s motoring through your blood stream, teaching you all about your immune system. Or it’s followed a plumbing company to its next job, and you come out of the episode with a working knowledge of the piping underneath you kitchen sink.

I learned so much from this not-so-tradionally-off-road vehicle. I grew up with the Magic School Bus and Ms. Frizzle and the kids. The took me everywhere from Ralphe’s digestive system to the surface of Pluto (poor Arnold …). Of course, Pluto was still a planet then, but whatever, it’s fine. I can still remember so many of the episodes so vividly. One of the ones I remember really well is the one that I found the scariest. You might remember it, it’s the one with the sound waves. They’re in some old, terrifying house in the middle of the night (for who knows what reason, I can’t remember), and Ms. Frizzle starts yodeling and they can all see the sound waves in colour somehow and I just remember it being very unsettling.

I also seem to remember really liking the one about photosynthesis. I think Phoebe turns into a plant, right? And then the bus shrinks down and we learn all about photosynthesis. And I’m pretty sure that’s legitimately where I first learned about that process. Elementary school was great, sure, and I was a pretty awesome student (yeah, that’s a brag), but first point of contact for so many things science was the bus and the Frizz. And also Bill Nye. But this post isn’t about him.

The bus was just so cool For a little kid who thought learning was awesome (and who happened to grow up into a little kid in an adult’s body who still thinks learning is awesome), a magic bus that could take me to cool places to learn about science was the best. I remember watching it at my grandfather’s house on Thursdays, because we didn’t have the channel growing up, so that’s the only place my sister and I could watch it. And watch it we did.

If I could pick any of the vehicles I’ve blogged about so far – okay, not going to lie, I briefly considered the snowspeeder – it would be this bus. Because, frankly, the bus could turn into whatever else I wanted it to be! Want to avoid an awkward situation? Wish you could shrink to the size of a fly and not have to answer the “what are you going to do with that degree” question? Bus has got you covered. It’s fly time. And I’ll bet you’ll learn a whole lot about compound eyes while you’re down there.