Janet is a recently retired school teacher who has lived and worked in several Asian countries as well as in New Zealand schools and institutions. She is now experimenting with writing memoir.
I was inconsolable. They tried everything to stop my crying, offering toys, speaking kind words, trying to make me smile.
It was my first day at school and I had been summoned to the headmaster’s office by a big kid. He’d entered the classroom and announced ‘Janet Bovett has to go to the headmaster’s office.’ Nobody thought to tell me that the school centenary was about to be celebrated and that I, as the youngest pupil, had been selected for a photo in the Taranaki Daily News.
I thought I’d done something wrong and was petrified. I’d heard previously that there were guillotines at school, and I reasoned that a headmaster must have something to do with heads being cut off.
I, as a five year old, had made the wrong connection.
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