I am Chike, NYSC member and currently serving my country in a secondary school in Lagos. It is generally fun but most times the students derive pleasure in making fun of me instead of listening to what I have to teach them. I try to console myself most times with the fact that I am finally earning a living for myself. It is attaining a certain level of freedom.
One of the most mortifying experiences I think I will ever have with them occurred this morning. It took just a second for the wall of pride and respect I was trying to build between us to come crumbling down. Just a second.
I normally drink bottled water. I won’t deny that one of the reasons is because I am trying to keep as far away from typhoid as I can (I have been opportuned to see their sachet water factory and it is not encouraging, I tell you). But I also want to seem sophisticated before my condescending students, so I not only drink bottled water, I also bring it to class.
I was in the staff room alone this morning when I decided to pour in the sachet water I bought into my bottle. It’s the first time I was doing it and I did it because I was trying to be prudent in my spending. Allowee has been late in coming. Just then three of my students passed the staff room and they saw me doing the transferring. They did not try to hide their giggles. I knew, I just knew, that they would tell their fellow classmates and anyone that would care to listen.
I wished I could call them back to tell them, “I swear, this is the very first time I am doing this.”