Fiction and fact go hand-in-hand. It’s a paradox, but they feed each other. Here’s a little story that may be a little personal, but it’s all in the perspective. Read on:
Mrs Bovran loved the first day of school. It was particularly enriching because she taught Year 1—the first ‘first’ day. She moved around the classroom, flitting from parent to parent, introducing herself, her smile constant, her eye contact strong, a bee with an over-abundance of flowers. She was in her element.
A few of the youngsters were bawling, wails and tears drowning the whole room in noise. It was always tough, the first day. Her first day had been a nightmare—not the kids, the teachers. It had been hard back then, but she had made it work. For her love of the children.
One little boy seemed quite stalwart when faced with retreating parents. They departed quietly, not a murmur or whimper to be heard from the child. Mrs Bovran marvelled, quite fascinated; had she had been blessed with a strong student?
Time moved on, and eventually all the adults left. It was just her and the kids. The tears had stopped (though there were still a few wet cheeks) and Mrs Bovran proceeded to give the students their first task. She always started with a colouring exercise, as this seemed to be the most comforting activity.
Taking her place at the Desk, she waited for the kids to finish and come to show her their work. One by one they came to have their efforts approved, followed by a new mission.
All except the boy who hadn’t cried.
Mrs Bovran noticed that he wasn’t doing his work, just looking around with a worried look on his face. Perhaps this was his nervousness finally coming out, Mrs Bovran thought. Maybe he wasn’t as strong as she had presumed. Fear had different ways of presenting itself, but Mrs Bovran was happy to help the children overcome it.
She invited the boy up to her desk.
“What’s wrong, Wally?” she asked.
No response. The child shifted nervously, meeting her eyes briefly, but not offering an answer. After a few more attempts she let Wally stand at her desk, in the hopes it would make him feel better.
Minutes passed, the students lined up past Wally waiting for Mrs Bovran to approve their work.
And then, a noise.
A very loud noise. Mrs Bovran looked up. It sounded like a burst pipe. But then, screams.
The girls in line were screaming; the boys were laughing.
Little Wally had urinated. In his pants. Right there next to Mrs Bovran’s desk.
The teacher sighed, and went to call the cleaners.