The second question is given by our beloved teacher, Mrs. Etty Ratnawaty. This time Dian Sushanti answered correctly. She shouted and clenched her hands in front of her body. “Yes!”, she exclaimed excitedly. Dian then quietly exit the classroom after greeted Mrs. Etty politely. As a child, Dian was polite and friendly as well.
Then, Mrs. Etty exclaimed her third question, I almost did not believe on my ears.
“Seven times eight.”
Several small hands outstretched onto the air. I was late a split second after Utje’s. Mrs. Etty invited Utje to answer her question. Utje answered with a stutter. Apparently, she was so nervous, so that her answer was incorrect.
“Unfortunately your answer was wrong my dear, you are not allowed to answer the next question, do you understand Utje?” said the teacher repeated the rules in this game.
Then the eyes of my beloved Mrs Etty switched to me. I was so pounding.
“You had I see raised hands after Utje, Mimit,” she said.
“How many is seven multiplied by eight?.”
Of course I had already knew the answer without any difficulties. That was the only item that I knew by heart from a multiplication table given by Mrs. Etty.
“Fifty-six, Mrs. Etty,” I couldn’t hiding my excitement.
“It’s correct, Mit, you are allowed to go home”.
I screamed and ran out of the classroom. Turns out that I did the same with the others, happy to be out of class at the early chances. It feels so manly that time. I included was the earlier to answer the multiplication tables’ question by Mrs. Etty, thus I allowed to go home. But, the more important things to me was, my reputation as the smart kid beside Mrs. Etty Ratnawaty was saved. She was my dearest teacher along the time.
photograph by Emile Seno Aji