Dis 10, 2006

Room of Once Home

Students in my cubicle. Many, so I had to Indian sit on my desk. The more perceptive ones asked Why did you leave the previous school? The more audacious ones asked If you loved teaching so much, why did you even leave? Was it your scratch paper school? Were they guinea pig students? Your colleagues, were they books walking, motherboards talking, Bunsen burners out to blue lunch? Almost a chorus, they asked You wanted them shelved? I could not say no. Although technically, those were not my exact reasons. But before I could say what I felt the most convincing among my motivations, they had already allowed the questions to run rampant. Did you just discard it like that? Your scratch paper school in some university wastebasket? Before I could say my indefinite No or my equally irresolute Yes, they had already asked Did your co-teachers dislike you? Did you dislike them? Would you rather they were in in glass jars of formalin? Your students, did they mutate? Your guinea pig students, did they mutate right out of your computations like numbers exceeding the Excel sheet, leaking out of the plastic monitor frame, invading the room, your guinea pig students? Did they mutate? Did they die? After they said that, there was a hush, and maybe that meant it was my turn to speak No! Surely, they have not died. That was the last thing they'd do. You see, I left the school because of a delinquent classroom. It just would not cooperate, would play with the lights, never allowed the installation of fans. Room blackened its walls at noon and relaxed its ceiling when the rains came. Played with the acoustics so I had to shout sometimes and whisper sometimes. Room changed board from green to white at will. I had to use a knife to get anything written down. Then the classroom disappeared, a no-show at the final exams. Got everyone expelled, me included. Not an honorable exit for any of us. The door left before I could say goodbye. I said, expecting to end the telling. The more perceptive ones were respectful, let me finish, gave the polite smile. Then they looked at the audacious ones who were squirming with their silence. The glance seemed like a cue. They all began wondering out loud Did they multiply with a drop of your water? Did they develop extra elbows, spiral belly buttons? Your guinea pig students, did they shrink or did they evolve out of reach?

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