oz throwback #1


"Kamalia Hasni to the front office please, Kamalia Hasni to the front office", announced the office lady over the school speaker.

I was quite taken aback. Over the past four years that i've schooled at this place, my name has only been called out a handful number of times. You could imagine the look on my shocked face. My eyes were as large as tennis balls while my mind scrolled through every memory of the past week, wondering if i had done something to get myself into trouble with the principal. Year 6 was quite a rebellious year for me, so i wasn't all that innocent.

I looked around at my friends as i stood up from my seat at my desk, suddenly embarrassed to have become the center of attention for the moment. They were probably as curious as I was. I motioned to Miss Meier for permission for me to be excused from class, and she nodded her approval as everyone continued to momentarily stare at me. Not wanting for my classmates to see my flushed face - partly from having just gotten back from playing basketball during lunch - I quickly left the classroom to go to the front office.

Walking along the cemented pathway, I thought about how this was probably one of the last times I would walk to the office before getting "shipped" back to Malaysia. I suddenly remembered the many times I'd had to go there for SRC meetings and that one time I got sent to the medical wing because Afif kicked my shins while we were playing soccer. Or that one time I sprained my ankle trying to dodge Sammy during basketball and spent the next few days on crutches. I smiled remembering how nice it was to feel cared about when people asked if i was okay, and when my friends carried me to the nurse. It was kind of embarrassing because i was damn heavy, and Sammy and Alexander seemed like they were struggling with my weight.

Brushing away the memories, i reached the office and told the lady at the front desk that they called me over to the office.
"Ah Kamalia, i was wondering if you could do me a favour," said Ms C, who had walked up behind me with a confident, friendly smile on her face.
"Um, sure! What can I do?" I tried to hide my surprise behind my enthusiastic tone, because this was not what i was expecting. Not that I was expecting anything at all, since nothing like this has every happened before. Except for that one time i got called to the office because my dad dropped by school to ask me for our house key because he'd lost his. It was a good thing our house was a good walking distance away.

"I was wondering if you could help me decorate this tree?You can use any of the decorations in that box over there," she said casually, as if it was completely ordinary to ask a random student for a simple favour. It was kind of weird really, because Ms C was the head of the SRC and she had summoned me. That wasn't the weird thing, the strange thing was that I wasn't even an SRC for this term anymore! My position had been passed over to Emily, because our school only lets each student become an SRC for half a year so i was only voted for the first half. Why hadn't she just called Emily?

Being the good student that i was and relieved that I was not in trouble for anything after all, i happily obliged and went on to decorate the mini Christmas tree. Since it was already the start of December, it wasn't all surprising to have one around in the office this time of the year. Perhaps Ms C thought I was creative because i'd received the Artist of the Month award before, which got hung up at the office along with the other Artists of the Month. I was quite flattered, so I tried to decorate the tree as creatively as i could. Once i'd finished, Ms C complimented my decoration skills and dismissed me. Still a little confused but wanting to get back to class, i left right away without asking her why i got called.

Everything was pretty normal when i got back to class, except for some of my friends asking why i had been called to the office. "Oh, Ms C just wanted help decorating the office Christmas tree," i told them, trying not to sound embarrassed for not knowing exactly why she had called me. They didn't seem as bothered about the whole thing as I was, so we all resumed our work. Art time!

 This was one of the reasons why I absolutely loved going to school. In Miss Meier's classes, she would always spend the last hour of school for art, letting us go beyond our imagination with our ideas and drawings and colourings. The main theme for this term was "Negotiated Curriculum", which means we all get to choose one topic we are interested in and we would research and do presentations and artworks and portfolios about it within the entire term. Nope, we had no fixed school syllabus, and even if we did, Miss Meier would always make sure we still had fun learning. I definitely would miss her the most out of everyone.

Because our class was a graduating class, we had to stop doing our work during the last 30 minutes before the school bell rings to meet up with the other graduating classes. For the past two weeks, everyone had been meeting up and planning the graduation ceremony and dinner with our teachers. Even though I knew I would not be able to make it to the two events - because I would have left Canberra a week earlier by then - I still joined the meetings, just to fit in. Just to know what it would feel like to finally graduate from a school, even though technically i wouldn't physically be there to be acknowledged for passing primary school. This time, everyone rehearsed the graduating song; Friends Forever by Vitamin C. The song had been making me more and more emotional as the final days of school came, especially realising that I wouldn't get to sing it with these people during Graduation Day.

The bell rang, and we all got ready to go home. As usual, I hung out at the playground for a few minutes while waiting for my siblings. The monkey bars were my thing; I was great at it. I wanted climb on top of the bars to swing down but didn't want to get into trouble - again - for breaking the rules while teachers were still around. My siblings finally came, and we walked across the oval to go home. It was a good day, like most days. I sighed at how fast the days were passing by, and how limited my time left here was. I prayed I would remember every passing moment as i walked away from my Narnia.

To be continued...

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if a house is made from a thousand bricks, then let me be one of those bricks, to help keep the house together, to make a significant difference.

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