I thought that was… paper. Thin, wrinkled paper. But it was the wall.
Like one of those chairs that look deceptively comfortable. But when you sit on them, you’d say, “Oh, it’s made of plastic.”
This paper looking wall reminded me of the Kraft paper my grandma used to buy for me. He used them to make covers for my text books and notebooks, so that my books would remain as tidy as possible.
After putting on the cover, my grandpa would use a blue pen, write my name and class number on the cover in perfect Chinese calligraphy.
Some children used to take pride in having tidy textbooks with no rolled-up corners. And I was one of them. It showed how much I took care of those books. With neatly written notes on every page in different colours, my books told people how much I was learning, how much thoughts I got from those pages.
I was a proud kid in school for most of the years.
But I was not proud because of having a well-used and tidy textbook collection. I was proud because my parents and grandparents were proud of my exemplary textbooks and my good scores.
And putting on the Kraft paper cover is the first step of getting there. It’s the ritual towards a deep dive into that book and some learning experience and results that would make my family proud.
This first step is serious, solemn, full of hope and loaded with expectation.
It’s one of my favourite school memories.