Library Happenings

Last year’s preschool class was adorable.  I would get high fives every morning and they would come sit by me on the steps and try to ask me questions in English.

 This year’s preschool class is…uh…determined.

Last Wednesday afternoon I was finishing up some things in the library and two of the new little preschoolers walked in.  They started saying “how are you, how are you, how are you” and i kept replying “i’m fine i’m fine i’m fine.”  One of the little boys started taking books on the shelf so I tried to explain they had to stay there and put them back.  Then this little boy grabbed the book closest to him and went running out of the library.  I had to grab him by his shirt to get the book back.  I tried again in English to let him know the books had to stay in the library.  We had troubles communicating as I don’t know the SiSwati word for book.  Or library. Or stay here. 

Finally I shut the burgler bars and latched it.  The burgler bars fit in the door frame.  The wooden door was still open so they were standing outside.  They kept undoing to latch and trying to run in.  So, put the padlock on.  That was fine until they began hanging on the bars, jumping up and trying to climb them.  So I shut the wooden door and locked that as well.

I could hear them doing something outside the library.  By this time quite a group had gathered.  I only had a few more things to do so I decided to finish up quickly.  They began jumping up and looking through the windows.  I started laughing but I turned around, I didn’t want to encourage them.  When I finally turned back, the same little boy had climbed up the window and fit half his body through the burgler bars on the window.  I finally got mad and started yelling that he needed to get down from there.  I went around shutting all the windows in the library.

So, I’m sitting in the library, the lower door double locked, the upperdoor locked (no padlock for those burger bars), and all of the windows shut and latched.  I could still hear them doing something outside.  I kept working but then I began to hear some loud banging on the burglerbars.  I figured they were trying to climb up the bars again so I left them.  I went to investigate when I heard someone start crying.  It was outside the door with burgler bars but no padlock.  I unlocked the wooden door and was astonished to find the little boy and somehow wedged himself between the door and the burgler bars-a space of about six inches.  I have no idea if he fit through the bars or just shut himself in there.  The latch was wedged into the concrete wall so he couldn’t get out.  The other kids had found a rock the size of my head and were trying to use it to break the little boy out of the bars.  By this time he was balling his head off.  We still couldn’t move the bars so I took him back through the library by the hand to the other door.  I let go of his hand to unlock the door and he took off running through the library.  I had to chase him down and took him back to the door.  This time I blocked him from leaving while I unlocked the door.  I took him outside and locked the door behind me. 

I took quite a bit of pushing and pulling on my part but I finally got the bars unstuck.  I tried to get  one of the older girls to translate for me and explain why he couldn’t play on the bars like that.  But I don’t know if the message got through.  Now when I leave the library I see him hiding out, lying in wait…


2 thoughts on “Library Happenings

  1. Oliver, I sympathize with you; although I
    never dealt with such a dramatic situation as yours
    I clearly remember how frustrating it is
    to want to help kids and have them act out.

    Welcome to the world of teaching!

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