There was one thing that usually scared me off as a little kid in primary school and that was my teacher. She was a short, plump woman who often went about with a cane in her hand. If it wasn't in her hand, it would be beside her chair or on her table. And whenever the cane got stolen or borrowed by another class, she would give everyone an assignment to get a new one for her. Like who does that?

When it comes to flogging and receiving cane, I was the 'odeshi master' in my class. Not just me but dumebi also. Dumebi was a slim, fair girl who stammered but trust me, she knows how to dust cane. So its not like the cane wont hurt o but you just want to be a boss and not cry because you know your classmates would hail you after. That hailing was really Even at that, I still tried to run away from the flogging.

I can remember vivdly when I was being punished for sleeping in the class. Maybe I had watched TV late into the night and then, I couldn't help but sleep in class. My class teacher asked me to stand up and raise my hands and shut my eyes. I obeyed this perfectly but then, the sleep was still strong in me and I couldn't help but sleep while standing. I would almost fall at some point but still try to pull myself together. As I slept, I would silently pray my class teacher releases me.

But what could be more fun when our class teacher isn't around? That was always ultimate fun! I'm sure many of you can relate. Perhaps she didn't come to school or she didn't come to school early or she went out to see our head master or she went out with other teachers for a meeting. And as usual, she would leave an instruction with the class captain - Oreoluwa Akinade - or the assistant class captain

    'Make sure you write down the names of noise makers. Anyone that talks twice, just write - times 2 beside the name'

I was always glad because ore was my friend and I could always beg her to erase my name but to be frank, it didn't work all the time o. However, there were some real noise makers whose name could never escape the noise makers list. They didn't care. They would talk and talk till the class captain lost count of how many times they talked and she would write - times 100 or times 1000.

As for me, I was a very gentle lad. I had my girls I spoke to but I was mostly quiet and if my name mistakenly entered the list, my heart would start a race it would find hard stopping. Minutes or hours later, when our class teacher comes in, three things could happen

1. Either she collects the names of noise makers and flog the noise making students
2. Or she would collect it and adjourn the flogging till the next day which will never happen because she will forget
3. Or she will discard it.

I always prayed for number 2 and 3 if my name was on the list but if not, I didn't need to say any prayer point. If number 1 happened, I was in for a big mess. My eyes would be blocked with tears but I would fight it back because I knew I always appeared strong when it comes to cane. Other girls would scream and cry and wriggle like they were possessed. Many would hold their skirts or trousers and run back so they won't be flogged early.

My weakest point was my back and my bum bum o. God knows I would cry hard if I was flogged there. So, my teacher always gave us a choice

    'Your back or your hand?', she would ask

    'My hand, ma', I would say

According to the amount of times my name was written, she would flog me. The cane was always painful and tears would try to come out but I would smile to my seat and when I get to my seat ehn, na to bow my head and let out all the available tears. When I was done, I would clean my eyes and raise my head up. If anyone ever asked why my eyes were red or swollen, I could always fake

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