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I’ll wish I was there

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My earliest memory of the activity that has occupied the most generous portion of my life thus far – going to school – is being told the following sentence by a teacher

"The school is your second home and teachers are your second parents."

Over a span of twelve years, I’ve attended three schools. Though there are both pleasant and not-so-pleasant memories, one thing has struck me now, almost four months after I’ve finished with school permanently. Students are like lumps of clay, right from the time they come in to the time they leave. No matter how much resistance they put up to the events at school, one cannot deny that school has had some effect on you, be it big or small.

I have never "hated" school, so to speak. On the contrary, once I was old enough to realize that I had only a few years left at this institution, I began to love it. Almost ironical that when I was a kid, I waited with so much longing to grow older. It was my sole focus to be big, to be done with school and free to perhaps go to college or get a job. All I could think of was growing up and being able to say proudly, "I’m done with school".

Somewhere around the ninth grade, it struck me that I would have only four more years left. That once those four years were up, I wouldn’t be with my classmates anymore. We’d all be "grown up" and in different parts of the world, pursuing different career paths. It was then that I began to fully love being at school. It was then that I wished it were not four years, but perhaps eight, so that I could have more time to enjoy before being thrust head-first into a world with responsibility and difficult choices, into an adult domain.

Those four years passed by faster than I could imagine. Sure, I grumbled and groaned my way through them, with special reference to the CBSE syllabus and how much workload the students had. And there were a few times when I hoped college would be a piece of cake, unlike school. Only in my last year of school did I realize that there were so many things I wouldn’t be doing again with my classmates – no more PT periods, no more jokes and no more getting into trouble together, no more making fun of the teachers (and, oddly, admitting how much we missed them when they were gone), no more outings, no more grumbles about how abominable the hours were, or how complicated the syllabus was. Most importantly, no more exams.

And here I am today, in between school and college. This break of five months has made me realize how much I miss school. An odd form of nostalgia, which, I am told, will disappear once college begins. Yet, there is much which about school which I will look back on with a fond smile, and I’ll wish I was there.

I’ll wish I was in that carefree cocoon where the only thing to worry about was getting my homework done on time. I’ll wish I could sit through one more class taught by a favorite teacher – mind you, the same teacher I railed and ranted against on several occasions, especially when my weekends were occupied by the homework given. I’ll wish I could be a student and say that I belonged, that I was part of the extended school family.

True, you never realize the value of what you’ve got until you lose it.

I’ve read quite a few wisecracks about school and education, such as

I was born intelligent, education ruined me.
I didn’t want to go to school; I feared I’d lose my originality.
I’ve never let my school interfere with my education.

There’s more to school, we’d all agree, than just education. We build lasting friendships and are taught many a valuable lesson on diversity. Somewhere along the line, in the midst of all those classes, extra classes, sports, activities, bunking, taunting, outings, and everything else that we do in school, our character is shaped too.

School is indeed the mouse race that prepares you for the rat race.

About the author:

Of an almost insane obsession with fiction, and the power of the printed word
Of strong vibes of precocious-ness and contradicting easy tears
Of various harebrained plans and sketchy schemes to change the world
Of a desire to see true equality, and to make it happen
Of natural highs from the color pink, and stuffed animals
Of not being able to have too much chocolate
Of silly decisions made on impulse
Of being undeniably, unnecessarily confused at small things
Of a heart that pushes back logic and a mind that favors emotion
Of unexplained silences and sudden outbursts of conversation
Of the quintessential desire for good conversation abiding above all else
Lies the essence of my being

Author: Kimberly Fernandes- Qatar

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