The teacher struts into class. She is wearing silver plastic high-heels, old tatty orange pajamas stained with felt-tip pens and paints, and a pink t-shirt with a funny girly picture. She is at least twenty-eight years younger than most of her students, and three years older than the youngest one, who is lying on his back on the floor and reciting rude words at her. The older students are sprawled on the sofa, sipping tea and counting minutes till bedtime.
None of this dents her supreme self-confidence. She opens the book she is holding and shows the first page to her class.
-“Now class, today I am going to read you a book called Emma’s Magic Mountain. Quiet everybody, you can only speak if you raise your hand first…”
I had the same passion for playing teacher when I was a child, only I was content with imaginary pupils. I had an easel blackboard, just like the princess, and I would spend hours in front of it, writing lessons for my invisible class. One of them was called Hormat Asai. I had filled in a whole notebook with her badly-written dictation, all corrected precisely witha red pen by myself, together with little helpful notes to her mother. Her father was at the front, fighting the Iraqis.
However the new generation, represented by my princess, is more demanding and vocal. She isn’t content with invisible students. She wants real flesh and blood interaction. She often yells at us, and in fact, is only prepared to do her homework reading as part of the Teacher game, reading out aloud to us, the pupils. The fact that the pupils often have to raise their hand to help her through the difficult words doesn’t faze her a bit.
I spoil them. I cannot imagine my parents accomodating me like this, playing teacher games to help me with reading (whenever my father attempted to help me in my maths homework, the result would be floods of tears and hysterics), and so on. But I think, there are much worse ways of spending the evening than being read to by your daughter. And I know, that some day I shall look back and see these evenings as the best times I have ever spent with her.