"You have just completed your 300 page autobiography, please submit page 217"
It is the first day of my elementary school. "School is the place where you can learn things," Mom tells me when she leaves. I sit at my table, alone, in the front of the class.
The classroom is small, dark, obsolete. It's at most five meters wide and seven meters long, and full of tables and chairs which are brought from students' homes. Even though we are all little kids, it's still hard to make any extra room for other students to fit in. All the tables and chairs are different ages and made of different materials, which makes it seem like an old furniture collection. There is only one lamp hanging from the ceiling, which gives very little light. The sunlight doesn't come in the room from anywhere but the door and the breaking holes in the ceiling. With the sunlight, you may see all the spiders moving in their webs at the corners of the room.
The only clean places are the blackboard and teacher's stand. They look older than our parents but they have been protected and cleaned very well so they are still in good shape.
The teacher comes in from the sunlight rather than the door. He is in his mid-fifties because of his white hair, but he looks a lot younger than his age. He's tall, thin, and wearing thick glasses. He looks like the knowledgeable professor the parents usually talk about. We all stand for him.
"Welcome to school, boys and girls. I'm Mr. Lin," the teacher speaks. "I'm here for your math and science. And I'm one of the only two teachers in this school who doesn't usually have enough time to do the housekeeping. This school was built many years ago just for this village. We are supported by our own people because we know it's very important for every child to be in school. School is a place to begin learning about the world, and teachers are the director of the study-boat in the knowledge ocean. I'm a retired professor from college and I'm glad that I can have this chance to continue my teaching life here with you children. Today I'm going to give the first lesson: how to add ..."
That is my first day of school, and I learned a lot. School is a place where the students begin learning
the world and the teachers are the directors of the study boat. On my way home, I tell my mom I'm perhaps going to college in twelve years to become a teacher! -
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.