ISSN : 2266-6060

Back to School (episode 2)


I did not stay too long behind the principal. As I had read the teacher’s name, I knew the most important thing. But back home, I understood in a few minutes that I only had done half of the job. By aligning the name of my daughter and that of her teacher, I only had gathered one piece of information. An important one, but only partial, regard all that the list contained. For the question « who you’re with? » — the one that young students would soon ask each other tirelessly — works two ways. Life is not all about teachers. Each year, the classes, within which the sound footing of friendships took months, are smashed into pieces, and the names from the previous lists mix randomly, following the long discussions and the obscure strategies of the teachers and the principal. The cards are reshuffled and one starves to know who are the friends who will remain close, those who one will only meet in the schoolyard, and the ones who would have been preferred elsewhere.

So I came back. Looking at the people who were already there, I tried to bring the names of the friends who matter back from my sleeping memories. Quite a list. In front of the panel, I noticed that I was not the only one who was worrying about his reading ability and memory. I also realized that there was no more need, in our times, for a good view or fast reading skills. Neither good glasses. All that was needed was to stretch out one’s arm and put a camera in front of the list full of names. To grab the text, like a butterfly in a net, in order to look at it quietly once at home. And even send it immediately to the spouse for s/he can analyze it too.

I don’t know what surprised me most: seeing so many people pointing a camera or a phone at the panel, or finding myself almost using mine without even thinking. But I resisted. I looked carefully at the list and copied on my phone the names of my daughter’s friends. Then I texted them to my wife. Later, she went to read the list with our daughter. Going through the names aloud. I had forgotten three of them.