31st of Zi’da, 716
Paplo was nervous. It was undeniable that his decision to become a teacher would be a challenge, especially for an illiterate and rather ignorant individual like himself. If anyone was aware of his reality, they would certainly question his decision, or perhaps brand him as a fool or shake their heads in pity. However, Paplo’s decision had not been made lightly, for there was always logic backing every major decision he took in life. Teaching orphans was not only a great professional choice to warm the heart of the community towards him, but it also allowed him an actual opportunity to learn too. Learning was what he did best, for there always a new piece of knowledge that could change the way he perceived the world.
His silent mind-dwelling came to a halt once his students arrived in the improvised classroom, which was one of the Prime Sanitarium’s many hallways, at the side of which somebody had hung a small chalkboard, and placed some rags on the floor to serve as seating. The state of war and the hostilities with Rhakros had a cost on the Etzori, and the children that now gathered atop the aforementioned rags were left alone in the world for one reason and the other. Some of them still had some luck, for some of their parents still lived, yet like every refugee, they lived with nothing. Paplo himself looked like a refugee, for his tattered clothing was even in worse shape than many of his students’.
“Good morning, class,” said Paplo, standing tall and proud.
“Good morning, mister teacher,” Replied the children in unison.
“My name is Paplo Ynush, so you can call me Mister Ynush, children. Since this is my first day here, we’ll introduce ourselves really quickly so I can start remembering your names.” Was he doing this correctly? A teacher was supposed to be a sort of leader for the children, dictating what to do and what to learn… right? He should’ve visited a classroom and see how other teachers did this.
The children proceeded to introduce themselves. They were almost three dozens, and so learning their names at the first sweep was a challenge as well, yet one that Paplo could easily overcome.
“How old are you?” asked Paplo.
“Eight arcs old,” replied most of them. There were a few of them that replied nine, or even seven, which somewhat confused Paplo. How could some be seven, most of them eight, and some of them nine?
“I see,” replied Paplo, not really seeing anything. He wondered for a moment if eight was his age, or if he was supposed to teach children older than him. It was so ironic. “Well, now that we know ourselves, let’s begin with our studies. Open your books, please.”
The children obeyed. There was a single book for every four students, which spoke of the situation within Etzos.
Paplo had one, given to him by the lead surgeon, for he was the one that employed him. He couldn’t take it home, of course, but that didn’t seem like a big loss. As he opened it, his blue eyes were greeted by those strange symbols Paplo couldn’t decipher.
“Where have you left off? Which page are we on?” asked the teacher.
“This is our first class, mister teacher.”
“Ah.” Paplo’s eyes drifted off into the sanitarium’s hallway, a distant improvised classroom calling his attention. The teacher was writing something on the chalkboard, and Paplo, for the sake of being a normal teacher, tried to do the same. Turning around, he’d take a piece of chalk, and brought it to the board.
Since he didn’t know how to write or read, Paplo thought of a quick solution. Using the book’s cover as guidance, he began recreating the characters written on the cover onto the chalkboard, trying his best to make them exact copies, certain they would explain the theme of whatever subject they were about to learn. It was harder than it looked. It didn’t take him too much, and when he turned around he was met with the confused eyes of the children. Unfortunately for Paplo, they did know how to read.
“Right then,” announced Paplo, pointing towards the chalkboard. On it, the words ‘Teacher’s Book’
shined for everyone to see. Paplo hadn’t quite realized his book was different, and his confidence was nothing but confusing. “Let’s begin. Timmon, start reading.”