School Rules


The dream I had this morning felt like it could have been real. Like a childhood memory I was trying to erase. But in the end, it was just a dream. Thank god!

It was a really complicated dream. It started with me as a teenager in secondary school. There was an assembly in the main hall. The principal was spewing out the usual repetitive announcements. It was too early to be listing to his monotone voice. It would put anyone to sleep. Looking around the hall, trying to stay awake I notice some old, childish posters peeking out from below the layers of event and club posters that had piled up over the years.

The faded and worn poster paper seemed so familiar.

And so the flashback begins!


It was back in primary school (so I was around 6 – 9 years old) when there was still only one class per year. The single storey building, cold and breezy. The tiny wooden chairs that changed size and colour for each year. (Basically, the seats start out really small for 4-5 year olds, bigger for bigger kids aged 6-7 and so on)

Looking back now, (teenager) The school wasn’t that strict but things were different through the eyes of an innocent 7-year-old.

My friend got sent to detention for a very silly reason. (don’t know the exact reason but lets say for wearing the PE uniform on the wrong day) I thought it was really unfair, especially since, back then, the detention room felt like a prison. It was a room situated at the back of the school. There were no colourful pictures or posters on the walls, nor a speck of dirt to be seen. It was truly intimidating for a small child. The room was always silent. An hour of detention, silence, and the watchful eye of the deputy principal was one of the scariest things a child could experience in primary school.

The next day, my friend was different. She wore her the correct uniform everyday. Avoided eye-contact with the authority teachers, never spoke out of turn. For the whole week, (which felt like month’s to a child) I hardly saw her smile in school, even at break time.

I didn’t know what happened in that detention room but it must have been truly horrifying for her to become so wary. She didn’t deserve this, just for one mistake, wearing the wrong school uniform. It’s not like she came to school in her normal clothes.

So, I decided to take a stand. Why should the students have to follow the rules the teachers don’t follow themselves?

So, using my safety scissors, glue stick and poster paper I (clumsily) made petition like posters and stuck them up around the school and PE hall (Really low down since I was so small).

For the next week I became a self-proclaimed enforcer!
If teachers ate before lunch I would point out it was against the rules.
If a teacher was late I would give them a red sticker on a clumsily drawn performance sheet.


If we had to put our chairs on the table at the end of the day, so did the teacher.
All the junior students liked my posters and even the teachers seemed to enjoy my rebelling against the justice of the school rules.
For a few days, my teacher even put her chair on her desk at home time.
In those few days, I noticed my friend was back to her normal self.
So, there was no need for me to carry on as an enforcer.
Ah children! They change their minds so easily!

Back to the present:
The principal had finally finished his morning announcements just in time for the first bell to ring. I follow my peers shuffling out the side exit with a big grin on my face. My best friend asking me ‘What are you so happy about?’ (The same friend from primary school).

‘Oh nothing, just remembered something funny’


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