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Topic: Elementary School (07/19/04)
TITLE: THE DISCIPLINARIAN
By Phyllis Inniss
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Mr. Blaster (not his real name) was headmaster of Moulton Hall and also choir master of Hanover Methodist. Most of the teachers of the school were also choir/church members, as were some of the parents. We, youngsters..were kept in tight control due to this triangle of relationships of church, school and home. A stern look from a teacher telegraphed a warning.
On arrival, Mr. Blaster would stand by the door, where he could survey the whole school. The teacher or child who saw him first, would place his finger to his lips and sit upright. This would send a silent message to the class, which would become quiet and the silence would reverberate throughout the school without a word being said. I can’t remember ever seeing him smile.
Short and balding, Mr. Blaster would move away from the door and walk with purposeful strides to his throne from where he would cast a quick glance around the school. He would press his bell, which lay squat on the table, twice to summon the school to carry on with its work. One tinkle of the bell would summon the school to silence
The tone of the school was such that, if on moving his papers on the desk, the bell accidentally tinkled, the whole school would become quiet at once and all the students would sit upright. He would have to ring it twice before anyone would dare do anything else.
I had lost my pencil and stopped off at my dad’s work place to get one from him. I was pleased as punch when he gave me, not any ordinary school pencil, but a fancy metallic looking one. I was happy to have something the other ten-year olds didn’t have. I could not wait to get back to school to show my friends my new acquisition. It never even occurred to me that the print of the pencil seemed like writing in indelible ink.
I sat next to my friend, Dearyse, and was eagerly trying to get my pencil out of my bag to show her. It had got lodged between the pages of a book. As I pulled the book out, the pencil fell to the floor. A slight ping! That was all. Gradually the class became quiet, then the classes nearby and then the whole school. Imagine my mortification! I gave myself away by the look on my face, my hand going to my open mouth. Mr. Blaster took one look at me and motioned me with his hand to his desk. Without asking me any question, he made me stand in front of his desk, in front of the entire school to spend the rest of the period in shame.
I never held any feeling of animosity towards Mr. Blaster after that incident. You see, the scripture lesson in Proverbs 22:6 was indelibly drummed into my mind: “Train up a child in the way he should grow, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” I only wish the generations following mine would have seen the importance of disciplining their children, and point them in the direction of Jesus.