Kenya has been a bunch of nerves these past couple of days…but then again Kenya is always dramatic. Like that child who is never satiated…we are always seeking for more. For those who don’t know (and I’m saying this lightly because the only way you don’t know is if you live under a rock…in the 18th century) our country is going through a strike mania…AGAIN. It is so funny how it only happens at certain milestones in my life…when I am finishing school steps. Bummer…I wish I enjoyed a strike albeit just one. For those who went to schools where the teachers don’t strike(Halla private school people) you get where the melancholy is coming from. Anyway… one thing we all have in common whether you went to public school, private school, igcse, ivy league, home schooling…whatever it be…you all had TEACHERS.
I was sipping some hot cocoa watching the teachers of Kenya strike yet again and I daresay they are the most amusing bunch of people you will ever be fortunate to meet. I bet at this point you are trying to remember…”what was the name of that teacher who used to beat the shit out of us” among others. We have laughed with them, at them, for them…we have shed tears and waged wars with them that would make the the world wars green with envy. They have taught us and I’m sure they would say…in secret…that we taught them too.
If you are the kind of kids that were shipped off to boarding school you have a ton of comical stories to last your great grand children. Those teachers that beat you with rulers and whips and sticks dipped in pilipili before corporal punishment was abolished(kids nowadays don’t know Jack about punishments!) Beating that seemed as though they were exercising demons from your already frail malnourished self. The mischief that never ended and the teachers who would have better served as spy agents and C.I.A because they always always caught you.
The teachers you had crushes on during your adolescent years where every word they spoke tasted like honey and sweet essence in your mouth. You struggled to impress them with your short skirts that exposed your nubile young flesh and others with wit that surpassed theirs to leave them in awe. The sports coaches that pushed you to the max till you felt you would die or kill them…whichever came first.
The funny ones who always had jokes. Who came with an extra funny bone and insulted you while teaching you a lesson and making you laugh (that should be a superpower). They also shrubbed according to their mother tongues(no fault of theirs) and you could not stop bawling in laughter until they gave you the evil look. Their stories…heart breaking, funny and just a little sassy helped carry you through the days that seemed to drag on forEVER.
Then there are the university teachers. Those who believed you have to struggle to get those master’s and degrees because…heck because they had it rough too. Those who came to teach you about life instead of books…Those were the best because they knew its no good if you are book smart if you can’t be street smart. The taught you life is beyond those four walls and those familiar faces and you had to get with the program called life.
Yes they had their own lives. But for short periods they stuck in your life as you tried to understand it through their eyes and yours. I have too many teachers but not as many as others and I salute them all. I owe my love for English, writing and books to them. I owe learning innovative ways to pass exams and cats from them. I owe being a little smarter to outsmart them from them. I owe the punishments that taught me right from wrong. Most of all I owe strength and putting your game face on even when their personal shit had hit the fan from them. Hate them or love them, your teachers have been the anchor that has showed you the best and worst of crazy life.
I see more and more stories of teachers in remote parts of the country….of their devotion and sacrifices (forget the ones who dint show up to class. Though they did teach you something from that also!)
I hope you get paid…because we appreciate you more than your salaries will ever show.