Tuesday 4 March 2014

Why Weren't You in School?

     To avoid confusion right from the start, let me begin by saying that the photo shows the icicles on my uncle's birdhouse, after the freezing rain a couple of days ago.  It has nothing to do with the blog.

     Lately I have been doing some writing, with the goal of creating a memoir.  In an attempt to reboot some of my brain cells, I have been reading through the diaries that I wrote back in 1974-76, when I was teaching in a one-room school which was located in an isolated and remote part of British Columbia.  Here is an incident that brought a smile to my face.
     Darwin was one of my first graders.  He was of mixed blood, his father being a white mill worker and his mother, Hazel, the camp gossip and trouble maker, a Native American (Canadian).  Darwin was a dozy kid, a little slow off the mark, but he was a cute little guy that I liked, with big brown sleepy eyes and dark brown straight hair.
     On one particular day, Darwin attended school in the morning, but then didn't show up after lunch, for the afternoon classes.  When I shut down school for the day, and was walking back to the trailer where we lived, I saw Darwin outside playing.
      I walked up to him and asked, "Darwin, why weren't you in school this afternoon?"
     As I looked down into his big eyes, I could see the gears in the back of his head turning away, in an attempt to come up with an answer.  
     "I....," pause, "I...I had a headache."  
     This sounded like something he had heard his mother say, so with a firm voice, I countered, "You didn't have a headache, Darwin."
     Once again the gears in his head began to grind.   When his brain had generated a response, he replied,  "No, I had a stomach ache."
     I didn't want to tax Darwin's brain any further, so I just walked away shaking my head.

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