For The Love of the Children
Today on Fortunecity4, I’ll be talking about three other people that made friendship a good memory in my Place of Primary Assignment (P.P.A) even while we’re serving at Osun state. They are Benjamin Victoria(itunes), Victoria (Veeka), Oluwatoni (Proof… Famzing a big rapper).
By the way, have you gotten the book, you can do so at http://writertain.com/a-dread-in-the-spine/
Now, being around these guys made teaching fun. The staffroom being overcrowded with old women, who have spent their lives in the school educating the students, whose parent were mostly negligent of their behavior could only be lightened by the presence of these three.
I’m not sure I’ve mentioned the title of the book, ‘A Dread In The Spine’ (Well, if you’ve not gotten your copy, you’re missing).
ITunes, as everyone knows is my best friend there, probably because we sit together or because we did our clearance together or because we were always competing for the first to get to school. While Toni is also a Uite. I met him when he first came to OBS (Orientation broadcasting Service, Osun) for an interview, and when he was asked to freestyle, and he performed as if he was breathing. Then, Veeka, is whom we referred to our slay mama. The children are always awed by her dressing, and she herself was always ready to go in a grand style. I have learnt so much from being around these ones and I think they are worth being referred to as the typical #Fortunecity4
Let me write a story on a typical day around them.
With the women teachers abusing themselves about their villages and towns or telling one horrendous news about the country and its people- by the way, they are very hardworking- I’ll be in the staffroom battling with my lesson note, constantly glancing at the door.
‘Corper… Big man’, Mrs Ishola, one short, dark motherly teacher, would call from her seat, which was placed opposite ours. I’ll turn to her with her eyes staring intently at me.
‘What of Mummy Gold?’ She would ask and point at Itunes’ seat. Normally, she doesn’t wear glasses, but this time you would see one on her face because she was also working, anticipating 8am, first period’s bell.
‘She should be here soon’.
As if she was at the door, waiting for Mrs. Ishola’s question, she would hurry into the staffroom, courteously bending the knees of her small frame fair body, and greeting everyone in the staffroom. They would abandon their discussions, greet her, ask about her welfare and her baby, and return to their works.
She would drop her bag on the seat, and hit my arm. ‘Serious chaid’.
Like a gentleman, I’d take her high five, and continue what I was doing. She too, like the remaining teachers, would soon try to engrossed in the work.
‘Ehen Akin, do you know that my Oga hasn’t returned from that meeting’, she would say, and we would start our discussions that would go like that of gentle people or so. We always like to pretend to be gentle early in the morning.
Suddenly, she would turn to me and tickle me in the ribs. Being sensitive, I would shake, and open my hand. She would laugh and giggle.
‘Oh! God! I didn’t know you were ticklish. God! You’re ticklish. I know Toni is ticklish, but not you’.
Then, we would start arguing, with me telling her how she got that because she caught me by surprise.
At that moment Victoria would enter, probably wearing a very long yellow skirt, and a jean tucked into the skirt. When I say long skirt, it’s not the skirt that would describe a typical person referred to as SU. Her beautiful long skirt is one that has these beautiful pleating at the side that would reveal her gold leg chain, and her white boots. She would greet everyone in English, and they would reply her. Suddenly, most of the women would returned to speaking Yoruba, but instead of abusing one another, they would start talking about Victoria’s golden Gallas hair, and begin to cite examples of things that she had done wrong. One of them would even have the effrontery to come to meet her.
‘You need to set example for this kids?’
Veeka would only laugh and smile at the woman, ‘I’m doing it the best way I can’.
The woman, unrelenting and unsatisfied, would come to her front, gesturing and telling how dressing modestly was the best thing. On a normal sense, the dress was modest. But most of them are not comfortable with the hair. Immediately the woman leaves, the other women would keep talking.
Irritated, Itunes would turn to me, and say without trying to lower her voice,’ but Akin, why do they like doting on her, and why can’t they tell her in English?’
‘That’s one problem language is causing’, I would say.
Within a few minutes, Toni would stroll in just as the bell for the first period would ring. Toni lived at Ogooluwa, which cost him N150 naira per day.
‘Principal’, Toni would hail me as he tries to dust a seat.
‘As in’, Victoria would say, ‘I got to the attendance book, and saw he came to school around 7:10’.
‘Don’t mind Jide, he just like to teach. He is a fish. And tomorrow, I will first him’, Itunes would say.
Then, we would keep working on our lesson notes, sharing jokes from the previous day. Then, we would start laughing at people’s tweet and Savage responses. We have another great person, Eric, but since I’m doing three, I chose the top three.
‘Toni, can you guess what happened today?’ Itunes would say, looking up suddenly.
‘What?’ everyone would say, focused on her.
‘Jide too is ticklish’.
Everyone would laugh, and the topic would change again.
‘Veeka, when is your class?’
‘I don’t have a class today’.
‘And you wasted a hundred naira to this place from estate. You’re trying’.
‘I have to do some works with the children’.
‘What about you, Toni?’
‘No class. I want to do some something with my students’.
I knew Itunes only came around to make notes. She is such a teacher that would spend her time reading the notes through and through, correcting every mistake. She is as good as that.
‘You? Itunes’, Veeka would ask.
‘She doesn’t have a class’, I would say.
‘I want to mark the notes of the students’.
Glancing at the bottom of her desk, I would see notes from two classes under her desk. In each classes, there are more than a 100 people. She would go through each note and ensure their spelling were correct. The permanent teachers, weary from working too long, and the fact they are receiving half salary, would try to work harder. Many of their half salaries were more than the pay of each of these guys. Yet, they spend up to one third of their monthly allowance on teaching when the school is not paying them, and not providing accommodation. Instead, they’ve demanded punctuality and dedication from them. These guys inspired me. They are always after the future, these children.
Most times during tests, we have to water down the level of our tests to meet the standard of what the children in the class of the N-Power and permanent staffs are teaching. I don’t wish to berate these sets, I just want to show how effective these guys are.
These guys are inspiration to me. The thought of them wake me daily, and make me get ready to expend my money on the transportation to school, close to four thousand naira four hundred, spent per month. They come around for the love of the students, while I go there daily because I teach the usage of English Language, and it is a daily class. I go because it is my duty. They come out because they love the children. And that’s why I am writing to you and about you guys, you’re have made me a better teacher, and made me love teaching.
Oh! Veeka and Eric passed out of the scheme and had been replaced by Azeezat, who is a photo freak like Veeka. Interestingly, she is also spending almost the same amount as Veeka. I remember the time Eric and Veeka would leave school, they assumed the students wouldn’t miss them. And it was surprising when the students came with gifts to wish them farewell.
God bless you my #Fortunecity4