Sitting on the bench near the dining hall, my mind went back to what happened in the past week. I recalled how I went back to my previous school on October 06 Teachers’ Day. My little ones were overjoyed to see me. From the moment I walked in, I was showered with flowers and cards. ‘We’ll be good children. Come back teacher’, ‘I can’t believe that you are in school today’ they wrote on their cards. Those sweet words brought tears to my eyes. How innocent they are!
Unfortunately, the school management decided that I should not interact with the children anymore as I was about to leave. I had no choice but to walk out of the school, with a heavy heart. But the excitement over the next training session kept me away from all those depressing thoughts. I had so many things to do, and a long list of things to pack within a short time. It helped me to forget what happened on that day.
Finally, it was the day to leave for the Peradeniya National College of Education. Ammi was more excited about the training. Coincidently, she had been on training too at that place for two years when I was in my mother’s womb.
Though I have not seen the place before, I am sure I felt and smelled the beauty of the place when I was still a developing baby. How wonderful that was! All throughout the journey to Kandy, I was busy describing the training as I heard from the previous training batch. “All those are exaggerated things, Jana”, dad refused to believe any of those but I never gave up.
When we reached the place, it was almost 4.45 p.m. and the registration committee was about to leave. I was the last one to register on that day, and until the last day, they remembered me as the one who registered last.
From the moment I stepped into the place, I had to battle with time. The first three days was not easy at all. Many times a day, I wished if I could go back home. I seriously thought that if teaching requires this type of training, I would rather not take it. Waking up early in the morning virtually killed me. Going to the dining hall for bed tea was another disaster. On the first day, I had to go up and down the dorm thrice as I forgot the numbered badge and the cup. Just after the morning tea, was the exercise session. God heard my prayers and gave us a little rain so we could skip the exercises.
Yet, luck was only for that day and from that day we had to exercise one hour in the morning and two hours in the evening. Though I hated it at the beginning, later I realised if I had known that all those techniques would have helped me teach my little brats at the previous school, I would have done some wonderful physical exercise periods with them. Pity, I couldn’t go back to them with the new knowledge I gained. “I miss you my children”, I murmured. We had various lecture sessions until evening every day. There were very important lessons we had to know as teachers. However, there were some lessons, which we did not like at all and did not have the faintest idea why we learned them.
From the bench, I could see my friends coming up the road. The road reminded me of the sports meet we had organised. Although our venue was the road, the sports meet was grand. We had almost all the events, which was common for a sports meet. Participants, like me, who had never done sports in their school life, got another opportunity to try out their skills.
Next was the aesthetic sessions that we had. They were the best out of all. Those teachers made us believe that we can actually dance, sing and draw. The cultural show, held on the eighth day, revealed the talents of all the participants. Many of us, including me, danced on a stage for the first time in their life.
All the science graduates showed that they also had an aesthetic side. It was a breathtaking evening. It was followed by an Art exhibition, which included the drawings of all the trainees. All the viewers were astonished to see participants’ hidden abilities.
I have fallen in love with this place. I feel more confident and stronger than the day I came here. I feel as if I was back in school. For those nine days, I was a student again. I participated in activities as I did in school, maybe a little more than that and I am happy for that. As a last note I should mention about the two masters who had to guide us all throughout. They were behind us day and night to see what we were doing. Sometimes we were annoyed for not giving us much freedom, however, if not for them we would not take the best out of this training period.
“Janani, stop dreaming now. Shall we go for the next session?” my friend’s impatient voice brought me back to life. With a little tear, I stood up. How I wished I could stay just one more week with all my friends in this place!