Student, Teacher. And me in Between

 

Game-changer

This is something I witnessed, and it surprised me how easily some kids take advice. I was travelling home, along with a friend.

There was an eight year old next to us. He was reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. From what I heard, it was his school library book. And so, as library books go, it was in a pretty bad shape.

But I was more surprised at his involvement to worry about the book’s state. Just looking at him read, brought back old memories of myself. I’ve read that particular book no less than 12 times, before I laid my hands on the others.

I was smiling to myself, thinking about my younger self, when I noticed that boy bookmarking the page he was reading. He made a big fold on the top right corner of the page. It was a bit painful. (I am touchy about cruelty to printed books.) But I held my silence. I didn’t think it was right to correct that boy. Afterall, his mother was a little grumpy. No saying how she’d react.

But my friend stopped him.

She told him to take a piece of paper, when he got home, and make a bookmark. She told him, that folding the page will damage the book. I’ve seen her advise her sisters loads of times and observed, “you should stop being a teacher all the time.”

She smiled, as always. And for the next couple of minutes, we forgot about it. Then, suddenly my friend tapped me on the shoulder and said, “He listened to me.”

I gave her a what-the-hell-are-you-saying look.

The boy had left the book lying between her and me. She mutely opened the book and gestured me to look. I did.

There was a piece of old newspaper in the page the boy was reading earlier. And the folded page was back straight.

Well, well well.

That child taught me, that if you say it right, kids will listen.

Some people are game changers. And sometimes, they’re called teachers.


This post is for the Weekly Writing Challenge: Student, teacher

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