School Days Imagery

School Days Imagery

School Days Routine

The days in school were one like another: children came, gradually grew accustomed to the inkwells, the pens and the exercise books which were handed out every morning and handed in every afternoon: “They became familiar to us and with each passing day we would have a trace of ourselves behind in them”. Also each object had special metaphorical meaning for the little boy which he will remember for the whole life: “the inkwell will always cherish the opaque memory of time; the pen will never forget the first downstrokes; and the notebook of squared paper will become the bible of our failures, fears and costly victories”. They listened to the teacher telling them different stories and more of them they didn’t understand but they were afraid to ask him to make something clear, so they just tried to be attentive and then answered his questions with murmuring, being afraid to say something wrong.

The Enjoyable Period of Milk Time

There were two things of school life children loved mostly: the first is after-school games and the second is the milk time. Once a week students were given a glass of warm milk and it was the delightful moment for them: “We watched as a large metal tanks were unloaded and the caretaker set up tables to serve as a counter.” This image helps the reader to understand the joy and satisfaction the little boy felt at these magical moments. There was a specific ritual: each class was sent outside one after another to get the drink. Children had to go a straight line one after another and receive a mug of desirable drink. After that they went to the courtyard and drunk up every last drop in the closely-monitored little sips. The milk days were like holidays for students and milk was a remedy for them. Even Teachers on those days usually abandoned their regular class routines.

The Medical Exam

The medical exam was one of the worst things at school. Children were afraid of it. They found themselves on the courtyard where the bored doctor checked them for scoliosis, myopia, caries, appendicitis, but the worst thing was that boys had to pull their pants down so the doctor could examine every part of their body. Of course, they felt embarrassed to expose themselves in front of some unfamiliar doctor. The medical exam also caused teasing – somebody might be wearing humiliating baby panties beneath his trousers or just look unlike other children, so getting dressed again made them just happy. But even the chance of being humiliating wasn’t as hard as the shot. Children cried while waiting in line, they felt like there were going to die: “You are already dead, so dead you wish you could die”. And in compared to this, being in class was not so bad, even good. This image gives an impression of children fears and we can see what they are thinking about and how they experience situations that are absolutely normal for adults.

The Rite to Kill the Teacher

Children didn’t like their teacher and when they found out that he felt ill and he will be absent for a while they decided to kill him. Big Bellybutton, who was regarded as the master of Creole magic, suggested to do a special ritual, which will tie up his vital energy. To tie up the Teacher they had to do the next things: to cross fingers and hold them like that in their pockets; stand on your left foot in front of the school; murmur over and over again until he appeared such words “Three dogs, three cats tie up the Teacher”. But, unfortunately for children, it had no effect; the Teacher was in good shape and there was nothing wrong with him. Big Bellybutton knew the reason – the Teacher must have been born with a caul and that is why their magic is useless. This image transfers us to the Creole school, its magic atmosphere where all children believe in upper powers that can help them to get what they want. And this faith unites students, they become more supportive and friendly because they have a common aim and it doesn’t matter whether this rite worked or not – they did something together and it means that all they are the parts of a great whole – the Creole culture.

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