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June 27, 2022

That Day's General Knowledge Lesson

By Ndaba Sibanda

It was early morning, but already her ship was shaky, awry, and unnerving. If anything the first two lessons were a complete mess and a dizzying nightmare for the science teacher who had just got married to another teacher in another nearby school.

The man kept coming for her in spite of her humblest and loudest pleas and protestations. He had his way of clawing and sneaking into her classroom almost daily for no other reason than to echo: I love you.

She prayed and hoped the third lesson of the day would be better, less chaotic and frustrating -- being a General Knowledge one. However, the tricky thing about it was that she was covering for someone else who was on maternity leave, and was least prepared to follow her lesson objectives and steps. She thought about an ideal warmer for an engaging start. Her lesson plan had a short mental discussion about the importance of TV.


Teacher: "Who can tell me why he or she takes time to view and listen to the main evening news on TV? What can we learn from the evening bulletins?"

Thulani: "I hardly take a conscious move to listen to the news on TV. Every day you are likely going to watch and listen to one big bore in the shameless name of our president, harping on this and that. What we can learn from the main evening news on a daily basis is that someone has so outstayed his welcome and gone past his sell-by date that he cannot even see that he is a narcissistic nuisance."

Sipho: "Yes, Bob is a big bore. I'm not surprised that he was a teacher before he clawed his way into the upper echelons of politics. What a disaster!"

Students: "Yeah ... boring Bob was a teacher!!!" (All of them yelling in unison).

Teacher: "Ok, ok. Calm down! What's his real name?"

Thulani: "I don't care what his real name is because the bottom line is that he was a teacher and is a big, big bore. We all know that. Don't we?"

Sipho: "Yes, Bob's a big, big bore. A yelling yawn. I'm not surprised that there's a lot of chaos here. My mom says we are suffering because of his follies and failures."


The teacher was a bit frustrated and restless, but she tried to steady herself. Let me give it another go. Let me breathe life and direction into this lesson.


Teacher: "How do we do our homework assignments in a way that makes us get good scores or comments?"

Sethu: "By waiting for the teacher to give us answers."

Thulani: "No, we let our parents do the stuff for us. They know better."

Sipho: "No, our elder brothers and sisters are more knowledgeable. Just hand over the work to them. They will do wonders!"

Teacher: "Our topic today is TV and its advantages for the learner. What is an advantage, anyone?"

Sethu: "It's a part of our topic."

Teacher: "How can we keep order in class, Thulani?"

Thulani: "By keeping away from class. By simply staying at home. That's it!"

Teacher: "What do you call cockroaches in SiNdebele or in any other language?"

Sipho: "It's not a good idea to call upon cockroaches, to call them by phone. They just march, invade your kitchen, home without necessarily receiving a friendly phone call in any language under the sun. Damn cockroaches, I'd never call them in any language."

Teacher: "Name one nation you don't particularly like on any continent."

Students: "Exami - Nation! PLEASE don't start us on that one!"

Teacher: "One day learners will thank teachers for a job well done. What tense is that?"

Thulani: "I'm tense. I'm anxious to see that day. Unfortunately I won't be among those learners. Tough luck!"

Sethu: "I think it's called the future impossible!"

Teacher: "Thulani is coming over to pick up Sethu. Begin the sentence with Sethu."

Sipho: "Sethu, Thulani is coming over to pick you up. By the way teacher, your husband has just come over to say he loves you! Honestly."


The teacher looked out through a window, and there was her sneaking and tiptoeing man. She could not wait to hear those three little words again.






Article © Ndaba Sibanda. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-03-21
Image(s) are public domain.
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