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My First Day at School



By Isba Naaz

The first day of school is usually one filled with familiar faces, welcome-back hugs, and healthy doses of either ambition or apathy. But this year, going back to school was fraught.

With the coronavirus pandemic persisting, many students are finding their first day isn’t exactly what they had imagined. Either way, though the first day carried a lot of excitement, it still was a strange experience. While packing my bags along with books and notebooks, I packed sanitiser, extra masks, tissue papers and a face shield. Then, I went to bed praying to god that everything goes fine tomorrow.

The next morning, I got up with the sun and birds. I got ready, grabbed a quick breakfast, and headed out of the door. I was on my way to my first class of the day when I heard the bell. Students rushed past me to get to class but I seemed to be stuck in one place. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t — or wouldn’t — take another step. The bell rang louder and louder until I just couldn’t take it anymore. My eyes snapped wide open. Turns out that bell was actually my alarm clock, and I was still in bed.

My dream had only really gotten one thing right: It was indeed my first and last day of school. I half expected to wake up from yet another dream where everything could go back to how it used to be, but I soon found myself in front of my computer logging into class. I forgot that I have to go to school and not login into the class from the computer.

The day I had been looking forward to for the last two years, was finally here. I was very excited to be going back to school, but also a little nervous. I was eager to be able to see my friends and teachers, and walk in the familiar corridors filled with laughter that I had missed so much these past few months.

I was looking forward to going back to a somewhat normal school day with a regular schedule again as my elder sister, Iqra was also going. She too was very happy. But, I didn’t really know how school was going to work during this time. However, I quickly learned that the faculty and staff put many procedures in place and were doing everything they could to keep us safe.

While walking into the school, we were greeted by both familiar and new faculty members at temperature check stations near the entrances. Walking back on campus felt just as it always had. It possessed the same welcoming atmosphere of love, joy and excitement. But instead of gathering as an entire school for our daily assembly, we directly went to our classroom where our desks were separated as far as they could from one another.

We went and got seated, maintaining social-distancing. Our class teacher Priyanka Ma’am came in and warmly welcomed us. She then gave us instructions to not remove our masks during school hours. After praying to God, Priyanka ma’am started the Science class, it felt nice to sit in front of your teacher. The interaction was one of direct eye contact with the teacher and that felt wonderful.

Then we attended Seema Ma’am, Pooja Ma’am and Sangeeta Ma’am’s classes. These were also very interactive and it felt wonderful to see Sangeeta Ma’am solving maths problems on the blackboard.

Then came the period which we missed the most in the past two years, and for which we sometimes used to request our teachers – Physical Education/Games period. We made a line following social distancing norms. Walking through the school using specific pathways is something new, but we are slowly getting the hang of it.

Although we were not able to hug each other like usual, we were still able to stand with our classmates and present ourselves in front of the rest of the school. After reaching the ground, our PT teacher, Gautam Sir greeted us energetically. We did warm up and took two rounds of the ground. It felt wonderful to be able to take rounds of the school again, and feel the breeze. Then after resting for five minutes, Gautam Sir gave us sanitised equipment and told us to play some sports by maintaining social distance. My friends Keiravi, Khusmita, Aadya and I decided to play Badminton.

Later, Gautam Sir also joined us. After attending the class, we packed our bags and recited the afternoon prayer. I prayed that now this offline mode continues and everyone stays healthy and happy.

At the closing of the day, our teachers escorted us class-wise to the gates and we bid goodbye to our teachers after a very different first day.  Overall, it was a really wholesome first day offline of school, filled with new experiences and challenges.

Poetic गुफ्तगू – With हुमेरा खान @poetsofDelhi