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      트위터 페이스북 미투데이 네이버 구글 msn  
My First Day
2013년 05월 07일 (화) 10:38:38 GLOBE globe@jbnu.ac.kr

   
Spring always reminds me of my first day at school. I remember it like it was yesterday, (it wasn’t). I remember getting off the bus and heading for the entrance, on my first morning at a new school- my heart was pumping like a well oiled, oil pump. My first encounter was with a boy who was as tall as a 5’2” tree. His face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a thigh master. I was pleased to see in his eyes the same fear that I was harboring inside of mine own, this fear put us both in the same boat, in this tiny way, we were swimming with the sharks together.
I didn’t have my mum with me, so I felt it was time to puff out the chest and brave the onslaught; I was scared, but that’s natural, and I had one resounding thought to comfort me: whatever happens in the next 6 hours, when the bell rings, I will be going home – this was my comfort blanket truism, no-one could take that away from me. I felt slightly secure that with each passing second, every tick was a tock towards home-time.
The whole place smelt like it had been walked all over a thousand times, for a million years, by a zillion sweaty bare feet.
The school corridors were a jungle of swinging bags and boisterous boys; all howling, screeching, whistling, jiving, throwing, missing, hitting, running and doing some sort of mating dance to attract and display (a divergence of character compared to the somber looking characters at 3pm alongside mother).

I had never met the head teacher before. We were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
I walked into his office and was immediately struck by how many dictionaries he had. “Who in the world needs all these dictionaries? “He must know every word”, were my first thoughts. My first words came out a little slower; I stumbled into the chair leg of pleasantries and came out of there thinking ‘I hope I never have to go in there again’. The headmaster’s room will always symbolize being in trouble, eternally. The headmaster was a man who had a considerably nicer demeanor than I expected. He spoke softly and cordially to me, more of a fallen angel than a risen ape. He gave me some advice, and sent me on my way with a reassuring look in his eyes that said “everything will be alright; this is just like any other normal school”.

“I will be alright,” I said to myself. I had my lunch, my books and my pencil case in my bag: what could go wrong? What could be the worst that could happen? As soon as I asked myself that infallible question; great waves of torment, anguish, abuse and battery flashed across my eyes and into my stomach. Nerves started jackknifing around my gut; I could be lynched in there.

Walking into a new school is never easy for anyone. The dread of your hidden fears and insecurities being unearthed by someone more confident and bigger than you are the stuff nightmares are made of. I tried to think of calming memories to try and euthanize my anxiety. It didn’t work; each time I put my mental self on a deserted beach, a big metaphysical bully came up and threw sand in my face and kicked over my castle.

What would a psychiatrist say to calm me down? Or a spiritual guru, or my mother, or Michael Jordan! How would Michael Jordan advise a person on keeping their cool? He would probably say some nonsensical Disney movie cliché about everything and nothing, that would only increase my feelings of inadequacy, and leave me feeling like a God made of gold had just stood in the muddy puddle that was me.

As soon as I walked in the class room I went as lame as a duck. Not a metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine.
I just had to brave the first class, everything would settle down to a steady equilibrium, humming along at room temperature if I could only get through the first class.

I opened the door and stepped bravely into the class room; this was it, my coming of age, I shall enter a boy and return a man.
“Ok,” I thought, “which seat do I take” – the front one seems ok, nearest the board, nearest the exit, safe in the knowledge that everyone is behind me. I sat down and took out the contents of my bag, opened the text book and looked around to survey my domain. Most people were sat there like inanimate objects, akin to lamps, and to my surprise everyone was looking directly at me. It came as a huge shock, like a surcharge at a previously surcharge free ATM. I didn’t know where to look….
Just then a small girl about 20 years my junior tugged at my trousers and asked: “Teacher, what’s your name”.

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