On the school bus that I drive, there is a camera mounted at the front that records everything that happens. The purpose of this camera is for drivers to find out what happens on the bus when he or she is looking at the road, and to protect the driver and students in case there is a disagreement about what happens on the bus. I’ve used it several times, mostly to find out who left food garbage lying under the seats or to find out who was at fault in a disagreement between students.
It’s a strange thing to know that everything on the bus is being recorded, even when students aren’t on. I was thinking about this the other day when “The Final Countdown” was on the radio and I was singing along as I was driving to the elementary school. I thought it would be pretty embarrassing if there were ever a reason for someone to watch that tape.
Usually, I try to come up with some sort of lesson that I can learn from these sorts of ruminations. I can’t think of one at the moment, other than to acknowledge that we live in an age of surveillance, where we are all watched more than ever before. I’m just glad, in this instance, that generally I am the only person who ever wants to watch these tapes, and even then I fast-forward them to focus on a particular event. It would be creepy if someone watched them every day.