I am not going to school.


(Adapted from a kid’s thought-diary, after her first day at school)

My sister is responsible. She, who lured me into the idea of going to school, seemed to enjoy a lot of privileges: a special dress called uniform, a large bag full of books, pencils and even coloured pencils, the freedom to use them anywhere according to her whims… School must be a wonderful place – that was the impression I was drawn into seeing her deeds and expressions. Oh, my God what a trap it was!

I had been eagerly waiting for the day on which I too would go to the magical place called school, like my sister.

The initial stages went on well. A new bag, a few colourful books and other stationery, lunch box – the day papa bought them just for me, I strutted around for my sister to see. (Pride goes before a fall!)

I had made two conditions to my parents about going to school. 1) I wanted to go to school in a bus. 2) My sister should be teaching me. In reality: I was made to walk to the school in the neighbourhood. And my sister was nowhere around!

Rest of my dreams got shattered, one after the other, the minute I stepped into the premises of the dull building. It didn’t take me much time to surmise that ‘school is an eccentric place not at all suitable for people like me!’ You too would agree if you consider the following facts about the place:

  • There are so many rooms but I am always asked to go to the same room. Wonder why I am denied the freedom to explore the other spaces! The rooms are all arranged in rows – looks really childish.
  • Throughout the day I have to be glued on to the same chair. You might know, at home I have never remained in the same spot continuously for more than two minutes.
  • The most awful part is the character called ‘teacher’. Her words are all Greek to me. Surely she can speak like my mother, but for  reasons unknown she abstains from that. If I stare into her eyes bewildered, she will repeat the same sounds, more loudly the second time. Stupid lady. Does she think I am deaf? The whole day she indulges in similar meaningless deeds.
  • I should write on the pages, and on the lines, and the way she prefers! At home I could even write on the walls (though my mother makes faces about it).
  • A lot of other children in the class scream their head off in the midst of their struggle to escape from that dreadful place. I don’t understand why they need to make so much fuss about it. Silly people! I have better plans. ;)
  • We usually eat when we feel hungry, right? However school has indigestible rules about that too. I should eat when I am not hungry, and when I really yearn for some food I have to remain hungry.
  • To ‘shooshoo’ I should make some funny signal to the teacher. (Don’t know why at school I felt the urge often. Yeah, honestly.) The teacher would then send me to a horrible aunty who does not seem happy to take the children to the toilet.

More such oddities are there.

Anyway, I have had enough. After a day at school I have picked up my first lessons in life:

  • Life, Reality - both are bitter!
  • There is no place like home!

So, I AM NOT GOING TO SCHOOL, come what may!

(Hope school won’t blow out the enthusiasm of our little ones.)

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35 responses to “I am not going to school.

  1. This is lovely, Bindu! :) Oh those beautiful memories of going to school for the first time! You captured it so well! This reminds of my hunger to go to school, and like the little girl in the story, my older sister was already in school and I used to envy her so much while she studied, and walked to and from school. :) This brought so many memories back! :) Excellent writing Bindu! I love your style!! :D

  2. And the pictures are lovely! :) Indeed she looks defiant! :D

  3. Such wisdom, from the young. You read that little thought diary well! I’ve always wondered at the patience of the little ones to be able to SIT in one place for such a time! Poor dears. School is traumatic, if not introduced in a gentle way, in a friendly manner, and very few schools actually do that :)
    She did not hear / see any crying? :D! That is a standout feature isn’t it, with the first day for a wee little one? ?
    Loved this read :)

    • Thank you, Usha, for that wonderful comment. Yes, she did see the crying kids, and it is mentioned too (in the features list). Schools are not yet child-friendly, esp the KGs. They can’t see things from the point of view of the tiny ones.

      • Ah yes! My bad, of course it is there, the screaming :) I wanted to read it again, this morning before I went off to school… and realized my reading was careless :P!
        Schools are certainly not child friendly, yet. However, here n Kerala, during the first week of June, when schools open, they have an “ulsavam”, a festival, of the re-opening, where there are balloons, games, and parents and teachers and management make a big thing out of it. (Government schools ie) I thought it was a good initiative. Though of course, there is still screaming and anxiety writ on all those little faces! :)

      • Yeah, the Pravesanothsavam – great way to welcome tiny tots to world of knowledge. Thank you, Usha! :))

  4. Hahaha..the last point is really funny..:))…You are right..it will be very difficult for tiny ones to adjust with school and its atmosphere.Before starting their school life, they will be very curious to know about school ..I had seen many children screaming, running behind their parents etc. on their first few days in school.And the conditions that your daughter had put in front of you are nice..:).. And the photos are so cute..:)..Hope you are fine and happy..:)

    • Thank you, Ishanath. Hope life is great there.
      We all might have felt the same on the first day at school, away from the comforts of home. But soon we all get adjusted to the new conditions. That’s life. :)

  5. This completely took me back to the time when I wanted to sit in a carton all day and avoid school at all costs! :) Keep writing!

  6. what an insight into a child’s mind :)
    the little darling is lucky to have a mom like you.
    I hope she falls in love with her school soon :)

    I remember my little one dragging his feet going to his new school.
    Some children a bit shy and reluctant to face new faces.
    but soon they adjust. He definitely did :)
    The “soon” did extend a bit for him. but it did happen :D

    • I hope she will fall in love with her school, like your son. She is over-enthusiastic about something she hasn’t yet experienced.
      Thanks a lot, Amira, for your sincere words. :)

  7. Hi Bindu,

    What a cute story. We should all pause from our busy lives and take time to see things from a child’s perspective.

    Nancy

    • Thank you, Nancy. We never think even children have their own difficulties and opinions. When we have grown up we think childhood was carefree, as we soon forget the unhappy incidents.

  8. :D I wish someone would read it to their kids and then we would know how much is right on the mark.. Brilliant write Bindu.. Always fun to be here.. Oh , my first comment here. The rest will come in no time.

  9. Great article Bindu. I remembered my first day of school…all i wanted to do was to go back home :)) but after that everything was fine. Now I kinda miss those school days :) Good luck with your little girl!

    • We all got over it after the initial difficulties. But for the kids it is the first greatest test in their life. Thank you Niki, for the wishes! :D

  10. What a riot and it brings back memories of one of my schools. I hated going there. :-)

    • Those first days in the strange place were scary for most of us. Sad that the memories this brought back for you are not happy ones. :( Thanks Elizabeth for reading and commenting. :)

  11. What a sweet story Bindu! School is all those thing to little ones. I taught Kindergarten for nearly 3 decades and I’ve seen many different reactions.
    I’ve had crying, sniffling, and even a few screamers, but mostly quiet ones on the first day. But that doesn’t mean the quiet ones weren’t scared!

    I gather them in a circle.
    I always asked my children, in a soft voice….”were any of you scared or nervous about coming? Because you don’t know if I’m going to be a monster or a witch!” Most of them laugh and some raise their hands. I then tell them that the first day can be scary for the teachers, too. Because we don’t know who is coming in our class, AND I don’t know what to wear! So we are the same, I say.

    I tell them I have two jobs. One is to teach them and the other is to make them feel safe and loved.
    I tell them I like hugs…and I will be giving hugs to them because our room will be like a family or a community. We will treat everyone the way we want to be treated.
    A kindergartner (or even a 4th grader) should never be kept in their chair all day. Activities should change about every 10-15 minutes, because that is where the 5-6yr old is developmentally.
    I wanted my kids to go home asking their families…”When can I go back?!!!” Good post, Bindu. It’s a very important one!

    • My daughter would be lucky if she could get a kind and affectionate teacher like you. You know the needs and feelings of these little ones well.

      Three decades! Great! So happy that YOU read this. And I consider this comment from you more valuable than any award!

      “make them feel safe and loved”…. “I will be giving hugs to them”….”When can I go back?!!!” “Activities should change..”
      Judt, if you happen to visit this part of the world, do get in touch with me – I shall be inviting you to say all these to our teachers too!
      Have no words to express my gratitude for that wonderful comment!

  12. Bindu….. your daughter is adorable. I have a feeling she will just love school! Love her little face in the second photo! ;)

  13. Great Writing i love it :)

  14. cute pics! your daughter is cute!!! great post Bindu!

  15. Pingback: Awesome!!! Really? Thanks :) « MindBlur

  16. You tell the story of the anticipation and the first school day so spot on. How is that the school experience for so many kids turns from excitement to disgust? Is it the school system – or is it just the kids who are not able to real anticipate what it’s really going to be like?

    • Point to ponder. Thank you for the thought-provoking comment.
      It’s true that the kids are not able to anticipate the reality, but schools must try to be less shocking to the kids. The little ones should be given enough time to adjust to the new place instead of expecting them follow the system right from day one.

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