[First published at RamblingLibrarian, 29 Sept 2008]
I had to work a few hours overtime this evening.
The sky was pitch black by the time I left the office.
On my way home, I went past a school. Its canteen was lit. Students sitting on benches, peering down on textbooks.
Must be exam mugging session, I thought.
Instantly I was brought back to my O-level year. My school also opened up our canteen for students who chose to revise their work in school.
I remembered those nights, some 20 years ago.
My school opened up its school canteen to a group of us, mostly boys, so that we could revise for the exams. Our homes were too noisy and cramped.
Age and time changes one’s perspective.
Until tonight, it never entered my consciousness that teachers too had to work overtime for us back then. They could have been home watching TV. Being with their family.
As a student, I didn’t hear or consider any of that. We’d taken for granted that teachers had to be there.
It finally dawned on me about 20 years later.
To my teachers who did their share of overtime for us then. And for teachers who continue to do so for students today.
It might take a long time.
A decade or two.
But eventually some of us kids will learn what is gratitude.