Off to 3 Matthews we go and I am 7 and a half years old. As usual, we heard the stories about our new class teacher, Ms. Addico, or was it Mrs. Addico?, she was strict, and had her spectacles perched on her nose while peeking over the lenses.
For each new class we got promoted to, we were given a list of books to get before school reopens. The standard text books and stationary appeared, then I noticed a new item; a story book. Just that, a story book; no title, nothing. My parents got me The Dog and the Hognobs (or something like that; I remember a dog and some hog thingy) I won't bore you with the story, but the dog, the farmer and his wife survived, can't say the same about the hognobs though. :)
The first term started in our new class, 3 Matthews (oh, the other class was 3 Marks) with introductions all around. We got the new time table and with it an understanding of why the story book, siesta time had changed to Library time. We exchanged books when we were done with our own. We started writing essays under a new subject, Comprehension. Comprehension was not really my forte in spite my reading of almost all the books the 55 members of the class had brought. At the end of the term, a damming remark from my teacher got me all messed up; spelling is good but comprehension is poor. During the vac, before the start of the second term, a visit from Cecilia, a classmate, changed me forever. Cecilia's elder sister was going to take her to the library everyday until school reopened and she wanted to know if I would like to join them.(of course!) I went to the Ghana Library Board in Accra, and I fell in love.
Oh? What? I fell in love with BOOKS! I have been reading ever since. (Check my handbag when you meet me, I either have a hard book or reading off from my phone) I read anything and everything I could get my hands on, and still do. I visited the library twice a week, taking two books at a time (I was given the extra card because I was visiting the library almost everyday). When I ran out of books in the library (I think I was in junior high then), I was given the books from the Library's book club, even though I was not a member. I was in senior high when I was given the nod to use the adult's library (that is the name we kids gave to the library wing with huge books where only adults visited). My stay there was not long because there were no chairs and I had only one library card as opposed to the two I had at the Children's Library. My best friend then had a card that allowed her to use the private library; you get to take twenty five books at a time and keep it for a month. Guess what? I used it more than she did. I visited the new community library in my neighbour; finished with the books there. The US Embassy library had some pretty serious stuff; there I discovered books on Linux operating system and a whole lot of science stuff. My dad took up membership at the British Council Library (when it still existed) and give me the cards to use; three cards for kid books, three for adult books and another three for movies. I discovered Dr. Who.(Remember Dr. Who?)
One thing I won't forget, that in 3 Matthews, for the first time, I forgot my own birthday.
Next week: 4 Alpha