The way I see it, memories don’t leave like people do.
Just this week, I was at a certain function and I went across to shake hands with one of my long time educational heroes-the venerable Franklyn Browne, educator and disciplinarian, par excellence.
As we shook hands warmly, he turned to the person next to him and proudly stated: ‘This is one of my students!’
For a fleeting moment, there was a smile on my flushed face, as I took it as a compliment, that he—the great man, was proud of the product that I had become, knowing that he had a hand in directing me.
Then, you know how the devil works?
The next moment was one of unpleasant memories and I saw myself bending over a chair in Mr. Browne’s office, many moons ago, as he administered that dreaded and hated strap to my behind.
Well I newa!
Of course, it crossed my mind that he had meted out the punishment unfairly.
Now let me state my case:
It was a normal school day. I had done my many chores at home and arrived at school early, after eating a breakfast of whatever my parents were able to afford; with my bare feet and my well-worn clothes.
My older cousin, of blessed memory, Wendell Huggins, was the teacher and I think we were doing a comprehension exercise.
A guy we call PUCK, was seated next to me and I glanced across to see that he was peeping and copying from my exercise book.
Well I proceeded to rectify that, by putting the cover that was closest to him, up in the air, so that he could not see.
He leaned over and I pulled the book further away.
His reaction was as shocking as it was appalling.
The man gave me one slap.
Well I newa!
Now in those days, our parents had taught us well, that we ought not to fight but unfortunately, I was not yet familiar with the scripture which talks about, turning the other cheek and so my reaction was immediate and precise:
I took my pencil and I slammed the point into the hand that he had used to slap me.
I did not even know that I had that in me!
Unfortunately, Cousin Wendell, looked back from the blackboard, at that very moment and he shouted at me: ‘Go to the headmaster!’
I pleaded with him that it was PUCK who had hit me first and all he did was to send PUCK to the headmaster with me. I really thought that my dear cousin would have taken my side, but that was not to be.
As we entered Mr. Browne’s office, my heart skipped a beat because I immediately realized that he was not in a good mood.
‘What did you do?’ He asked grumpily.
I started my explanation and PUCK cut across me and we had a bit of a verbal face off.
Mr. Browne was not in the mood to waste time. He just gave both of us six of his best and ordered us back to the class ‘and learn to behave.’
Well I newa!
So, when we shook hands this week, that incident came back to my mind but guess what? I hold no animosity nor grudges against Mr. Browne. He was one of the finest teachers of all time.
I believe that it need a few more headmasters like him in this current era to make sure that our children walk straight.
May God helps us to find more educators like Mr. Browne.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?