Mondays weren’t really school days for me, I’m lucky right? Not so much. My friend Jacques and I go anyway to do revision and preparing for our upcoming Biology and Chemistry exams in Oct/Nov. We were in the middle of biological molecules when our principal stuck her head in our deserted classroom and asked if we could help supervise the first year kindergarten students because they were a teacher short. Even if I didn’t look I would still have known Jacques’ reaction to this. He froze and then turned to me and I saw the apprehension in his eyes, his mouth was moving but nothing came out. Mrs.Morison was still waiting a red smile plastered on her plump cheeks. Still waiting.
“Uh… yes ma’am, we’ll go,” I say as I kept my eyes on J, a little smile curling my lips.
“Great, guys, that would help out Ms. Travis a lot!” she beamed and hightailed out.
“Dev, no … you go on then,” he said as he suddenly became very interested in the title page of the text book.
Why is he acting so weird, you wonder? Is he shy? He’s come out of his shell recently but he’s still a little reserved. But that’s not the real thing bothering him, you see, my friend Jacques is paedophobic. What’s that you say … ? No, he is not a pedophile! What it means is that he’s, well, half scared scared of childern, doesn’t like them much. J claims that they, children in general, dislike him.
“No way am I going in there alone, Jack and they can’t be that bad.”
“But she asked you and they’re evil!” he insisted.
“She said ‘guys’ meaning the two of us so come on. You need to get over this, you’ll thank me later,” I grabbed hold of his sleeve and dragged him all the way to the little white building just outside of ours, with the ABC’s and Dora the explorer and others painted in colourful shades on the outside. Boy, was I glad I had brought my camera along, our other friends, Annie and Rina, would love to have seen this!
In a moment we were in front of about twenty something little face staring at us, looking very bored. We didn’t have to do much just watch them colour out if the lines, share the crayons and stop them from eating them. The kids seemed normal enough, but J was standing in the corner behind me, I shot him a get-your-behind-over-here look. Fortunately he got the message and reluctantly began to socialize, that was when I brought out the camera and began clicking away. I was lucky that I brought it because time we got him to play ring-a-ring-a-posy with the kids, I didn’t have it on hand.
I have to admit though, it was somewhat awkward standing there like a giant in between the little people, who were staring at me like I’ve just landed from Mars, so to break the ice I squeezed into this tiny chair and made a big show of getting up, wriggling and walking around with the chair on my behind. It paid off they began to laugh and loosen up. But I’ll tell you the chair cuts of circulation in the rear end, so think twice before you ever try it. There was this little girl who followed me everywhere I went, it was cute until she got a little on my nerves.
The lunch bell rang and we were free but not before making sure they washed their hands before digging in. They were supposed to line up but this one kid came running up to me and told us that another kid hit him. The culprit face was twisted into this grimace and his eyes were glaring at us as we walked over.
“Tell him sorry,” I said to him. He stared. “Well?”
He glared. “Boy, you better tell him sorry right now,” was I being to harsh? I don’t think so because he didn’t go run crying to Ms.Travis but instead he finally apologized. His look was what had scared me. J saw my face and gave me a knowing I-told-you so look.What did these children do behind teachers’ back? Did everyone who was bullied report to their teacher? I hope so, on our way to the cafeteria we met Mrs.Morrison and told her how it went, including that incident, she said that she’ll have a talk with her teachers.
I think Jacques a bit more okay with kids today, which was surprising given how my day had gone. We resumed studies with a Chemistry test he’d set for me. We spent the rest of the afternoon taking turns reading in different accents and I was taken aback with J’s Jamaican one and I laughed out loud when he added the French twang! I read my parts with a Hindi and a British accent, which needs more work. We giggled through it all till the bell rang for dismissal.
It was an okay day over all but I do hope I don’t get stuck with pre-schoolers ever again, I was probably feeling a bit what J felt but I don’t want to think of the kids as evil and tyrannical, they’re not all that bad, right? Okay, the little ones can be creepy, but fifth grader are a better bunch to teach compared to the ones today.
Til next time,