Over a week ago, some students left campus after school by scaling a wall behind the soccer pitch. Their destination was the McDonald’s across the street–across an intersection of heavy traffic in both directions. What am I saying? Every intersection in Indonesia fits this description.
The boys were caught by the security guards. Parents were contacted. Apology letters with the subject line, “Escape!” were written to homeroom teachers. Appropriate exits were pointed out. Phrases like, “squashed liked a bug” were used as warnings. A few individuals involved may have turned on each other and lies were called out.
In any case, the teachers’ hopes were that lessons were learned. Care was taken. Messages received.
Today after school, I walked many of those former escapees across the same intersection, after school–magical Indonesian hand gesture of palm out that stops traffic in an inexplicable frogger-like way. We were headed up the street to purchase some items for a fundraiser. Only, this time the students had their parents’ permission. They were walking with a teacher. They were going to a grocery store.
They loved it! They relished this opportunity because, for many of them, this was their first time walking to Giant (the name of our grocery store) as they need only to contact their driver by iPhone or Blackberry otherwise.
Some girls involved with the fundraiser went along. As we set out, glances were exchanged when someone stated, “No McDonald’s. So bad!”
I replied, “It wasn’t the McDonald’s but the escaping, guys.”
“Miss, eating McDonald’s too much is also bad, ya.”
Down. Up. This is a slice of life in a middle school teacher’s day.