Kindergarten was a strange experience for me. I remember lining up in the schoolyard, and being forced to drink a glass of hot milk before entering the classroom. It tasted awful and made me want to puke. I haven’t drunk any hot milk ever since I left that school.
I loved science. I loved bugs. I loved looking at the stars. My father would buy science magazines, and as soon as he was not reading them anymore, I would get them and take them to my bedroom. I never really had any children’s books. I didn’t have any interest in them. But those science magazine, they were something else. Those bright blue backgrounds, molecules, DNA strands, and planet illustrations were so really very amazing. There was so much to learn. I wanted to know everything.
I loved science.
I had to go to kindergarten. There was the morning milk ritual, and then there was a long mind-numbing day. We would often paint. The lady who was taking care of us would tear off large sheets from a wallpaper sample binder, set up the brushes and the paint, and we were told to paint.
At the time, I very much enjoyed painting snails. I was fascinated with their patterns. Nobody would say anything, and I was happy with my spirals.
Everyday we were forced to lie down on the floor to nap. I was just looking forward to going back home.
We were told to draw a man.
One day though, it was different. We were told to draw a man. The lady insisted that it had to be drawn accurately and that we shouldn’t forget any bit. I got very excited. That was so cool. I had been looking at the health pages of my father’s science magazines, all the anatomical illustrations were so brilliant.
Something was missing
A boy next to me drew some sort of stick figure. I told him, that’s not what a man looks like, see! I was finishing my drawing, not a stick, the body had a bit of depth. I stopped. Something was missing, I thought. And I drew the male genitals, two balls and a little hose.
I drew the male genitals
I was very proud of me. I was glad I had learnt about it at home. I called the lady, telling her that I had finished my work. She took my drawing, looked at it, and then she got really mad. She crumpled the paper, and threw it to the trash. She then grabbed me by the ear, dragged me to a corner of the room, said that I was punished, and that I had to stay there.
I was punished
I was scared and offended. I was good, I worked hard, and my drawing was really great.
When it was time to go home, the lady told me to think of my foolishness, and of how sinful I am. She added that Jesus had seen everything and that I should ask his forgiveness because he was mad at me. I was 5, but I clearly remember wondering, why would he be mad at me, did he have no balls?