The elementary school I attended was near our home. This made me a perpetual late comer. My father; a truck driver, wasn’t pleased with this attitude towards education. He sometimes flogged me with a long cane he kept in his bedroom.
My school was well conducive and beautified with ornamental flowers. On Mondays and Wednesdays, English Language was the first subject and it was taught by Mr. Fakunmi. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays Mathematics was taught as a first subject. It was taught by Miss Kenny, a young lady of 28 years. She was endowed with wisdom. Our Basic Science teacher Mr. Umar, who was created with a big mouth, liked following her though his age was above hers. She had never used a cane on any pupil.
One day, Miss. Kenny taught us a moral lesson which I will never forget. This lesson taught me how to be bold and never try to impress people. That day, she entered our class with a Mathematics textbook located in her right hand.
‘Today’ she faced the pupils and added ‘I’m going to teach you multiplication. Primary two, that was my class, recited multiplication tables every morning immediately we entered the class after morning devotion on the assembly.
Therefore, hearing that wasn’t new to us. She turned to the blackboard and began staining it with chalks. “2×1=2, 2×2=4, 2×3=6, 2×4=8…” she went on and on. When she wrote 2×10, she got 22. The whole class was filled with derisive laughter. Miss. Kenny turned back to the class and asked ‘What is it?’
‘You have made a mistake Ma we chorused.
‘Hmm. I made a mistake, right?’
‘Yes, ma’ our faces were still painted with smiles
‘I wrote it like that intentionally’
‘I want all of you to listen to me attentively’ She arrested our attentions. The whole class was quiet.
‘If you are doing good to people, they will never announce it to the world. But the moment you make a mistake, they will start telling people.’ She counted three steps forward.
‘Listen; never try to impress people but yourself. There’s no amount of the things you’ve done to people, they will forget it the moment you are incapable to help them again.’
”Fashina! Fashina! Fashina!” A voice shouted my name.
I opened my eyes and saw my immediate younger brother, standing beside the mattress.
”It was a dream’ I robbed my face and sat up.
”I saw our daddy in my dream telling me story…” he interrupted
”Which daddy?” He sounded irritably
”Daddy has left for the office”
I yawned. He pulled me upward and nudged me towards the bathroom.
”Go and take a shower. It’s time for school” he commanded
I goggled at the clock hanged against the wall and the time that occurred to me was 6:15am.
About Abdulrasheed Lawal
He is an experienced Educationist, a Poet and an Inspirational Writer who has touched many lives immensely through his creative Poems, Articles and Short Stories. He currently resides in Ibadan, Nigeria.
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