Seatbelts, everyone! There’s nothing more exciting than a date with me. If you catch yourself begging, “Please, let this be a normal date,” you’re on the wrong bus, buddy. With the Friz? No way!
I’ve been known to pack up and suddenly relocate anywhere from Pluto to a haunted house to one of my students’ small intestines. Oh yes, I’m a teacher. An elementary science teacher, to be precise. It’s summer now, so I have some free time, but hopefully I’ll be back to work in the fall if the administration’s complaints about my teaching strategies don’t go anywhere.
I have a collection of wacky dresses and earrings that tend to foreshadow what happens over the course of the next twenty minutes or so. Take a careful look when we first meet up; you may think that the simple coffee-cup print is harmless, but we’ll probably end up doing our own grinding at some point.
Teaching and exploring the sciences is already such an adventure—who needs other hobbies! That said, I do very much enjoy spending time with my pet lizard, creatively named Liz. You’d be shocked at how intelligent lizards can be. She’s saved me and my students many a time in a tricky situation—would you believe she even knows how to drive a bus? Don’t tell my principal! Ahahahahahaha!
My bus is my other best friend. I love driving. It’s so relaxing to lean back in the front seat as the vehicle jerks and spins around, becoming something that should be physically impossible, as eight-year-olds scream from the back and bemoan the fact that they didn’t stay home today or that they (somehow) never did this at their old school. Ugh. We’re not at your old school anymore, Phoebe. Get a clue.
I also like karaoke.
As I said already, I’m a teacher. But really I prefer to think of myself as an investigator. There’s just so much mystery in the world, and the best way to figure it all out is to dive right in! Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy! The school admin have recently become oddly interested in what careers I’d turn to if for some reason I couldn’t teach anymore, but I honestly can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing. Probably I’d work in a garden or a zoo or become an astronaut or surgeon or baker or something. I have a surprisingly wide range of experience. But let’s hope I never have to leave my true passion: educating youngsters through hands-on, seatbelts-on learning.
Insecurity? Me?? You clearly don’t know me very well yet! I’m super confident in everything I do and am essentially perfect in every way. I’ve been in enough tough situations to know that I always come out unscathed. I have my lizard, my bus, my kiddos, my physically impossible adventures in science — life is great.
You’d Never Guess That:
I’ve done things that by all accounts shouldn’t actually be possible, especially considering the limits of my teaching certification and education. I’m just the sort of person who has a knack for things like astrophysics and space flight and changing the physicality of people and creatures and inanimate objects. I’ll have to tell you more about it over a nice cup of coffee that, as I mentioned earlier, we will probably create ourselves by somehow going through every step of the process in only a few minutes.
My students are all the kids I need right now, but I love them so much that it’d be great to have a mini-Friz running around at some point! Can you even imagine? And obviously I’m cool with pets. Liz can get a little possessive—she’s practically my child, after all—but I think she’d be okay with a cat or a dog or a hamster or a pterodactyl or something.
Excuse you—I have an audience for whom I must be on my best behavior! Do I need to show you firsthand what happens to your lungs if you smoke? Do we need to personally investigate the effect that alcohol has on your brain? I’m not afraid to get up close and personal with these issues.
I am my own religion. I founded the Church of the Friz several years ago. Right now it’s just me and Liz and a variety of plants and animals and people we’ve run into over the years and saved from one catastrophe or another. It’s a great community and I’d love for you to attend. I do love being worshipped!
I pick you up in my bus. You overcome your brief confusion and take a seat in one of the seats toward the front. I yell at you to put on your seatbelt, which is confusing because do school buses even have seatbelts? I don’t know. I’m usually in the driver’s seat.
We begin driving down the street as we would in any normal situation, presumably heading to a perfectly decent coffee shop or restaurant or movie theater, when you make an offhand comment about something. Maybe you say, “Did you know that the tree we just passed is the oldest in the state?” or “Personally, I don’t trust the meat at fast-food restaurants,” or “I forgot my anxiety medication at home.”
My earrings flash suspiciously as I pick up on your curiosity and on this mystery or problem that clearly needs to be dealt with. Before you know it, the bus is whirling in a way that can’t possible adhere to traffic regulations. When the dust settles, we are suddenly in a vehicle that is a vastly different size or shape, and we are flying through the air to a destination that is definitely not what we previously agreed upon. Did I kidnap you? I prefer not to think about it that way.
Before you know it, we are investigating the science behind whatever offhand comment you made. Maybe we’re journeying through the roots of that tree that’s so old. Maybe we’re traveling across the nation to see the cow that your most recent McDonald’s burger came from. Maybe we’re delving into the process behind developing your anxiety medication. Whatever the end result, it will be a crazy journey filled with puns and knowledge and maybe even a few cameos by my students, who somehow manage to follow me around everywhere. Don’t worry, it won’t take longer than twenty minutes.
You’ll return and everything will somehow be the same except for your new, deeper understanding of the science behind your casual question. Also, no one will believe you if you say anything, and you’ll be weirded out by lizards for years to come. It’ll be quite the adventure — beep beep!