Monday morning's general assembly at the school was the most dreaded event. On that particular day the head teacher of the local Methodist Primary School at Bodum, Mr. Rufus Obiri, put in an appearance himself. He would, in a stern mood, read out the names of students who were to be subject to corporal punishment. The penalty was normally six strokes of the cane, expertly administered by the feared assistant head teacher, Mr. Lionel Menach, who was notorious for his lack of sympathy. The student victim would be stretched up face down horizontally some three feet above the ground held hands and feet by four stout boys. When the back of the target had felt the smack of the last stroke, he or she would have screamed the umpteenth time to be penitent. But Monday after Monday the same process was repeated again and again. School children learnt little from their own or each other's experience.
The first category of Monday assembly victims was those whose parents had reported them to the head teacher for one infraction or the other committed over the weekend. The commonest breach was refusal to go to the farm on Saturday with the parents and/or siblings. I hated going to the farm on Saturdays, but I did not need to. By some good fortune my parents were religiously Saturday Sabbath keepers and the day was observed by the household as a rest day.
[...] I felt too much compassion for him to cause him further embarrassment by revealing myself as his victim of years gone by now re-emerging as a benefactor. That twist of fate could be too much for him to bear. For me it signified the quirks of life! [...]
[...] Write an essay or a story to illustrate how as a victim you came out as a victor at the end Monday morning's general assembly at the school was the most dreaded event. On that particular day the head teacher of the local Methodist Primary School at Bodum, Mr. Rufus Obiri, put in an appearance himself. He would, in a stern mood, read out the names of students who were to be subject to corporal punishment. The penalty was normally six strokes of the cane, expertly administered by the feared assistant head teacher, Mr. [...]
[...] When I got alongside him I came to a stop. I leaned over and opened the right front door and beckoned him to enter. He hesitated, considered his dirty and wet clothing and looked at the clean seat on which I had asked him to sit. I pulled out a duster and spread it over the seat. He then sat down and balanced the pot on his laps. The smell of ‘moonshine' wafted through the air. The wine, an intoxicant obtained from the sap of the felled palm tree, served as the favorite beverage of the drunkards of the village. [...]
[...] Lionel Menach had been one of them who, after years of service, had attained the rank of assistant head teacher. The former pupil teachers had taken to various professions to survive. But I could not have known that the then feared assistant head teacher had become a palm wine tapper, of all things! Those “pupil teachers” had really been good as far as imparting knowledge was concerned, and many people felt that they had not been treated fairly by the Education Service. [...]
[...] The teacher would stand in front of the students, facing the chalkboard. He or she held in the hands a book or paper with the questions for the day. A question would be called, and the first student in the line was expected to give the answer in a second. If the answer was correct, a new question is asked of the student next in line. If the answer was wrong the question passed on to the next in the line until the question is correctly answered. [...]
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