A School, A boy, and the Memories: A Memoir

Rizky Aprilia Fajarningtyas


July 2003.

It was the time when my family and I moved to Bekasi after six years of living in Yogyakarta. Around the same time, I started elementary school. SD Bani Saleh 6 was the school which was chosen by my parents. It was not really big, but the atmosphere made me felt safe and serene. I spent six years learning many stuff, but I felt it was very short because I enjoyed my time there. Happiness, sadness, Laugh, fear, anxiety, and shame were the feelings behind my journey of my school life. However, this school was a place that taught me a lot of things. I met many great teachers and also various types of friends – that made me amazed because I was just a six-year-old girl who knew nothing about other human life and interaction before. Academic and non-academic activities could be carried out well because the place was guarded strictly by securities, so people who did not have any importance matters were prohibited from entering the school. The shady trees around this school brought the cool air that made me happy studying at that place.

When I was in the first grade, I was placed in class 1C. It was located on the corner of the first floor near the stairs. Maybe this made my class a bit dark and felt damp. This class was quite large to be occupied by around 32 students. This place was a witness where I met my new friends for the first time after moving out from Yogyakarta. It was a bit hard for me to adapt in my new school, my class specifically, because I came from another city. I was six and I was required to be able to adapt quickly in the new surroundings. It was so challenging and made me felt anxious. First day of school was felt so hard to be passed. I had no friends because I was uncommunicative to others. So, those days was just filled with my solitude. Yes, I felt alone in the middle of crowded atmosphere. I tried to observe other students, how they behaved and how they got along with each other. I envied seeing they mingled, started a conversation in the hallway of the school, and ate their packed meal together in the class or at the bench outside the class. They enjoyed their days, whilst I was just alone and kept my eyes on them from a distance. Actually there was a person who got acquainted with me, but it did not get long because after that meeting, she was back to her friends. The lack of confidence made me became an antisocial kid. In class, I chose to sit at the back row to avoid people’s attention. I was sit with a girl which even I did not know her name. Those bad days went on about a month. Luckily I survived.

At first, being at the back row was fine for me. I could understand what my teachers explained. I also made a note in each subjects. However, I started to feel something was wrong with my eyes. When my teachers took notes on the whiteboard, I could not see clearly. The writings were blurred, so I had to open my eyes bigger to be able to read that notes. My class had a dim light and lack of sunlight because it was blocked by another building. It made me felt dizzy when I looked up to see the objects. I knew this could not be done for a long time. After all, I had to go back and forth from my seat to the front so that I could take notes.

One day, I was in math class and as usual, we had to write about the explanation of the material we learned that day. Like I did before, I went to the front row to see what was on the whiteboard then I went back to my seat to write. It seemed that my teacher saw what I did. So, she told me to move to the front seat. The decision from my teacher was very helpful for me. She also told me to sit at that place until I did the eye check and wore glasses to help my sight.

At the front row, I sat with a boy. He introduced himself and also asked my name. I would not mention his name, let’s call him Malik. That was our conversation and we were back to our own business. He was busy with his note and I kept trying to read the notes on the whiteboard. Moving to the front row did not help me as much as I thought because my sight was still blurred. I started to feel anxious until I did not realize that Malik saw me. She called me and handed me his notes. He helped me, so I did not find difficulties to read the writings on the board. I was little surprised by what he did, so I did not say anything but thanked him. Since then, he often lent me his book when he finished taking his notes. We also started to chat and he taught me the subjects that I did not understand.

A few weeks later, I had worn my glasses and my sight became clear. I did not need to borrow Malik’s notes anymore. And the good news, as time went by, I began to have courage to mingle with other students in my class. I met two people and always ended up together. How’s Malik? He was still fine, although we were not as close as we used to. He was with his friend and so was I. The rest of my first years went well. We began to explore school life that apparently we have never known and tried before.

In the 2nd grade, Malik and I became classmate for the second time. We were accepted in the superior class. It was located near my previous class and it had a good lighting both from the lamp and the sunlight, so, it helped my sight so much. Here, our academic activities were more hectic than the other two classes. This class was always crowded because the eagerness to learn of other students was bigger. The friendship of Malik and I became more distant than before because we had our own group of friends. In the 3rd grade, Malik and I, and the other seven students became the representative to represent our school at the assessment of school’s rating at the institution (the institution was in charge of my school, there was six branch for the elementary school, from SD 1 until SD 6 Bani Saleh). Whether we wanted it or not, our study time was added in order to get the good result when the activity was held. We often studied together in a room near teacher’s office because the atmosphere was calm and far from the crowd. There, Malik still explained to me about what I did not understand, like we used to do. Even until know, I still do not know why he did good things for me.

My friends and I tried to be more active when we were in the 4th grade. We joined different extracurricular. I did not know whether it was a coincidence or not, but Malik took the same extracurricular as me. We chose scout as our non-academic activity. He was with his friends. Since then, we always met each other when we joined regular exercise every week in school. Our scout team was well-known among other elementary schools because we often won at various scout competitions. We were trained with great discipline so that we can maintain the achievement that was achieved by our seniors. We trained at the school field with our instructor. He chose that place because the field was decent for us to do scouting stuff. When the competition was near, we trained more intensively every day after school. It was tiring of course, but we enjoyed all the process, so every single matter felt memorable for us. Malik and I were on the core group that often represented our school to take part in competitions. We had lots of time to meet. Unconsciously, we became close friend. We often hanged out and played together around the school when there was a break in the middle of training. We usually sat near park to relieve our fatigue while chatting with others. We often fight because of little problems and jokes that slightly over the line, but we were still friends. We were just around 10 or 11 year old kids who did not understand about personality in each individual. After all, my school was a memorable place for me. I got many lessons there and I could meet Malik, a funny and attractive boy.

Photo by: Rizky Aprilia F

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