It was a sunny afternoon. A surprise in itself, the day ahead provided us more.
Bright faced and in increasing order of height, we, ten women, one man and fourteen children, trudged into the room, boys in one file and girls in the other. Sunlight flooded in from windows on the outer wall. I followed the girls and filled the benches on that side of the room. The boys sat on the other side. That is because, girls did needlework and such nimble activity needed all available light. Boys were given the rough bits like carpentry – not so intricate and less strenuous to the eye.
During the rest of the day, all those below the age of seven wrote on slates; others wrote with metal-nib pens dipped in ink contained in small ceramic troughs built into the desks. All implements of use, like blotters, rag cloths and booklets were provided and had to be tidied away for the next time.
2. Speak when spoken to.
3. Sit with your back straight, chin up and…