I am really dumb. I have never thought that about myself, but after what I have
just done, no other description fits. How could I have messed up my first day at
the school, my first job, so completely ?
Just half an hour ago, the sun was
shining, the birds were singing. I stood by the side of the hall to help keep an
eye on the Year One pupils. How can helping teachers to fetch and carry and
keeping an eye on such cute seven-year-old children be difficult? I could see
quivering lips and some tears rolling down fat cheeks. I would think the
doting parents standing outside the hall,
trying to control their feelings as their beloved children trotted into their
classes, would be the real problem.
The morning passed swiftly. All I had to do was to bring the pupils to the
toilet a couple of times. Then the bell rang for recess for the Year One pupils.
A teacher and I led the little ones to the canteen. After every child had
settled down to their meal, I moved to the back of the canteen. Suddenly, a
half-eaten sandwich went hurtling across a table. It went smack on to a boy.
Face red with anger, he hurled his bun across. It hit another boy. A war was
declared. It was pandemonium.
The food went flying. The boys screamed. The parents shrieked. The teachers
yelled. There was utter chaos. The principal came running. Mr. Tan ducked as a
blob came in his direction. He slipped on the mess and knocked into the two
cleaners who came running to the scene with their brooms, mops and pails. I
could not control myself. I laughed and laughed. Even when Mr. Tan was sitting
on the floor glaring at me, I laughed so hard that tears rolled down my cheeks.
Of course, I was punished. I was told to clean up all the mess. First, I had
to help disperse the children who were
sniveling and bawling. After that, I had to clean up the canteen. The reason
given was the two cleaners were injured in the fall. There was food splattered
on the walls, the ceilings and the floor. I only finished scraping every bit of
mess at 6.00 p.m. Finally, the principal was waiting for me. `I'm afraid you
don't have to come back tomorrow. You did not supervise the children
sufficiently, causing distress to all.' A letter of immediate dismissal was then
given to me.
My back was aching. My hands were stiff with all the detergent I had to use. My
head was spinning. I was traumatized by all the mess, some of which was still
stuck to my hands and legs. My first day at the school was truly unforgettable.