This is a part of my life story
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My First School
My name is Moonlight. The night I was born, according to my father, the moon was at its brightest of the year. Happy with his first born, but he had some worries. "The moon child is a sign of troubles." My father thought. Determined to change this omen, he gave me a very poetic name with the hope that I will grow up peacefully and serenity as the light of the moon. His hope was vanished sooner than he had anticipated. When I was three years old, my father sensed that his little girl, Moonlight, wanted to go to the noon, before she could walked. He was terrified.
I did not like the society I was in. I observed and learned that it had too many rigid traditional rules, and very few benefits, especially for female members. I did not tell any one about this liberal thought of mine, except my father. "I don't like this way of life, and I don't like this unfair and backward society. I don't belong here. I want to get out of here when I grown up." I spoke slowly and firmly to my father. At this point, my father looked at me as if I had three horns growing on my head. He realized that he had a rebel in his house. After a few months of search for information, he decided to ship me to a boarding school, far away from home, for unspecified duration, so that I could be trained by someone else. Needless to say, I was very happy to getaway.
The T.Q.T. academy was a semi-military training camp for children, ages from 3 to 18, whose parents were loyal members of the National Defense Party. They called themselves the Nationalists. Their goal was to kick the French colonists out of the country.
The school was operated by Educated Nationalists and closely monitored by Military Officers. Its programs were designed to provide both academic and military disciplines. Their goals were to build an army of National Loyalists. Children were selected by family background, physical fitness, and mental capabilities. Once admitted to the school, students would not be allowed to contact directly with their families, unless in emergency cases. That way, students had to depend on their leaders and their classmates. Our daily activities were running like a clock. We had no time for day dreams or unreasonable excuses. Within three years at the academy, under intensive training programs, the school had formed a solid foundation for my independent personality. It also equipped me with excellent survival skills.
My first dinner at the school was a memorable one. When the bell rang, we, the children, rushed to wash our hands, formed into two lines, and followed our leaders to the dinning room. As the rule, twelve kids formed a Squad. We were supervised by two leaders. The leader's responsibilities were to provide guidance, supports, and disciplines, if necessary.
Once inside of the dinning area, each Squad occupied three tables, each table has four small chairs. The leaders sat at the head table, on the platform, just high enough to observe our activities.
At each seating place, there was a bowl of white rice, a banana, and a pair of bamboo chopsticks which tied together by a string so they would not be separated and get lost.
At the center of the table, there was a plate with four small pieces of meat. No one knew or questioned what type of meat or what the name of that cuisine.
While I was waiting for permission to start my dinner, other three classmates had swallowed their portion of meats, their banana, and starting to dig into their rice bowl.
The kid on my left looked at the last piece of meat on the plate, and then turned to me with a broad smile "Do you want it? Can I have it?" He quipped. Before I could respond, that piece of meat was already stuck between his chopsticks and quickly disappeared into his hungry mouth. The kid on my right stared at my banana and quickly said "Can N0;?" Within second, my banana was gone too. But, no one asked for my bowl of plain rice. After a couple mouth full of boiled rice, the bell rang to declare that the dinner time was over. We left the dinning room. I went to bed hungry that night.
My experience at the dinning room did not escape the eyes of my leaders. At midnight, a leader went into my room, and woke me up. With a glass of warm milk and a few small cookies on her hands, she saved my life that night. She explained clearly and firmly that this is the first and also the last time for this special treatment. "From now on, when you sit down at the dinner table, you eat what in front of you, as soon as possible, do you understand? There will be no more milk or cookies in the future." Then, quietly, she left the room.
The following days, I asked one of the kids, if he knew what type of meat we were eating. "Dog meat!" one kid quickly answered. For a second, we stared at the plate, but none of us slowdown on chewing. I hesitated for a moment because I was thinking about my sweet little Japanese dog, Toto, at home. But, after a long day of brutal physical activities, my hungry stomach was ready for meat. I would not care weather that meat came from a dog, a cat, or a snake.
From this point on, I learned that under special circumstance, sentimental must be put aside. We learned to eat everything that available to us. We asked not question and made no judgment. It is not a mater of cruelty or uncivilized act, but it is a mater of survival.