I Forgot

0228170946.jpg“I forgot to tell you” my mentor says as I’m leaving for the day, “there’s no class tomorrow morning!”

Or the next day

or the next day

or the next.

I forgot to tell you. Not yet. It changed. They tell you to be flexible, but at a certain point I wonder if it isn’t possible that this flexibility will end with me in knots, stuck in some horrible space where all I can do is react.

“I forgot to tell you, you should have worn sports clothes today!” I am wearing full length baju kurung and work shoes. Four rounds of the 800m dash drag on in the 30 degree heat. Most of the runners walk the second half.

“I forgot to tell you, we are the teachers on duty at 0730!” It is 0727, and my hands are full of bags and coffee and an inflatable globe I use to throw at sleeping students. I fall up the stairs as I rush to clock in, only to find that apparently this important job consists of standing near a circle of students for 3 minutes, saying nothing.

I submit lesson plans. “I forgot to tell you, Form 5 has exams next week so you won’t teach them!”

I ask about the schedule for the following week. “I forgot! That week Forms 1-4 have exams, so you won’t teach then either.” The week after that is a week of vacation. I will not have seen some of these students for nearly a month.

I ask a teacher what the plan is for our shared double period. “Oh…I haven’t planned anything yet.” We have class in 20 minutes.

My mentor tucks her arm into the crook of mine, and we set off across the campus together. “Oh, Bailey. I forgot to tell you…”

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