Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Bakiga Window: Never Cry for Love...

"Never cry for love because it's non-consumable and loose".
A small message, written in chalk at the top of a blackboard, raises a few smiles in one of the prep rooms of Elizabeth Hall. A few of my students are inclined to agree, some ask about the spelling and punctuation, others try to decipher the meaning.

It is Monday 11th  April and we're upstairs above the newest girl's dormitory block. The upstairs hosts three rather barren looking prep rooms - rooms where the students are meant to do independent study before and after their school day. The dorm is named for Ms. Elizabeth Walton OBE, one of the pioneers of the partnership.

The building is lot brighter than some of the older dorms, but upstairs feels a little impersonal. Their are no books, and just two solemn notepads of a student's work adorn the shelves. Taking a look inside, it appears that the student studies A Level Maths and the notes go far beyond my realms of understanding. It must surely be a risky business leaving your notes here with exams around the corner.

Turning back to the blackboard, I wonder some more about the strange little phrase. Is it from a book? Is it formed from personal experience? Is it just an idle scribble on an already dusty sea of chalk?

I don't know, but it does make me think of my own students and how serious 'love' can be as a topic for them, even at this age. How it dictates so many elements of their lives, often without any understanding of the gravity of the word. How it causes so many daily dramas that are patched up by sundown.

Sometimes the distance between Kabale and London seems very small.

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