Monitor at school!

It was the first day of school and there were butterflies in Din Din’s tummy.

“Aren’t you excited!” remarked Derek, his younger brother, as they were bathing for school behind their cave home. The sun had just risen and Din Din was still groggy.

“What’s there to be excited about,” Din Din grimaced. “Waking up early; so much school work; then homework; teachers and most importantly peer pressure!” He shuddered and it wasn’t from the cool morning breeze.

“I like school,” said Dave as he splashed his face with fresh water from the large rock basin. “And I love my friends!”

“Well, I don’t have many friends at school and there are so many bullies in my class,” Din Din complained.

“But it’s exciting to be promoted to a higher grade!” remarked Don the youngest sibling, as he brushed his teeth with a twig of Salvadora persica tree.

“I guess,” said Din Din grudgingly.

“Come on boys! Have a hearty breakfast so that you can concentrate on your first day back to school,” hollered their mother.

The four brothers sat at their dining table sculpted from a large rock and enjoyed their breakfast of fruit salad.

“I wonder who will be the class monitor this year?” wondered Derek aloud as they set off.

“I hope I am made the monitor this year,” quipped Dave, as he skipped towards the Terrestrial School.

Din Din didn’t join in their animated conversation. He knew there was no chance of him becoming monitor — he wasn’t a brilliant student and he wasn’t any teacher’s favourite either. He was just ordinary. The only thing he excelled at was gardening, which was his passion.

After the school assembly, Din Din entered his new classroom with his friend Cindy the cheetah and his other peers. The dinosaur stopped dead in his tracks. Right at the front of the class stood a golden coloured large cat. “Hello,” the cat boomed.

There was stunned silence.

“Come please! Settle down!” the cat invited.

Once the students took their seats the cat purred in pleasure and swished her extremely long tail around, “I am Paula, the puma. I will be your class teacher this year!” Then her face broke into a huge grin revealing her gleaming set of teeth. “Welcome to the new academic year!”

“One of the first things we will do is assigning the responsibility of a classroom monitor. Such a pupil is chosen for this post who will help maintain discipline in class,” said Paula.

“The monitor is based on recommendations of the teachers you had last year and this year Din Din the dinosaur has been selected as monitor of this class.”

There was a stunned gasp. Din Din was astounded. There was a delayed spattering of applause.

“Who is Din Din? Come to the head of the class, Din Din,” Paula summoned. “Your duties include helping the teachers with their chores as well as making sure that the pupils in class are disciplined.”

Then the teacher looked at the class, “This means that you all will pay heed to what Din Din says as he will report directly to me.”

Din Din was experiencing conflicting emotions. His face reddened from being the center of attention but his heart soared with pride at the thought of being chosen for such a task.

“I will do my best not to disappoint my teachers who have placed their trust in me,” Din Din said clearing his throat.

“I’m sure you will,” Paula said.

When the class was in utter chaos during the art lesson, Din Din had to ask them to settle down with their sketch pads.

“Oh don’t be such a goody-two-shoes!” scoffed Tyro the young tyrannosaurus. The others snickered. Din Din blushed.

When a flower pot was knocked down by Dell the beaver, it was Din Din who had to tell the teacher. When the classroom was empty because the Math teacher had forgotten it was his lesson, it was Din Din who had to go to remind him.

“You’re such a party pooper, Din Din. If you hadn’t gone we could have had a free lesson and just fooled around!” whined Zoe the zebra.

Cindy the cheetah was waiting to walk home with Din Din.

“I’m so sorry, Cindy!” said Din Din, winded for breath. “There is a meeting of all the class monitors. You please go ahead without me.”

Cindy looked crestfallen. “But you hardly got to spend time with me. You were busy at recess time too!” she said.

“I really am sorry, Cindy,” Din Din apologized.

At the monitor meeting, Din Din felt nervous when he was asked to voice the disciplinary issues faced in his class that day. He struggled to remember all the rules which were discussed in the meeting.

Din Din was exhausted when he reached home. His mother rushed to hug him. “Oh Din Din! I’m so proud of you. Your brothers came home before you and told me the exciting news of you becoming the class monitor.”

Din Din smiled weakly.

“What’s the matter, dear? It’s such a big privilege!” Mrs. Dee asked in concern.

“I’m just tired, Ma! Tyro and a few other creatures in class are giving me the cold shoulder. Cindy was disappointed in me because I couldn’t be with her all day,” Din Din shared. “I don’t think I can handle this pressure.”

“All this will happen. With every position of authority, comes a lot of hard work. But you must do justice to your task even if it means upsetting your peers. But the biggest challenge is to handle your fellow creatures with respect,” said Mrs. Dee soothingly.

“That does not mean that you should give up. Take this opportunity as a learning experience. I can relate to you because I was the Chief Monitor when I was in school.” Din Din felt better.

“Really Ma?! So you can help me by advising me in all such matters. I’m so relieved!” He hugged his mother. “So what’s for lunch? I’m starving!” he exclaimed.

“That’s my son!” Mrs. Dee smiled. “It’s mango stew! Your favourite!”

Have you ever been a monitor at school? Did you enjoy the experience?

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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