I was in one of the preschool years when I was about to commit this small act of thievery. At most 5 years of age; and now I am turning 18 soon enough, therefore, the validity of my memory can be questioned. Maybe it is reconstructive memory or maybe not. I have remembered this for a long time so I do think it is a true memory.
Naturally, I don’t remember everything. I can’t remember who was my teacher, where I sat, not even the structure of the classroom. But I do remember that my teacher was a lady and I had a pouch bag which had the colour yellow somewhere.
Before a class activity, pre-schoolers were provided with pencils and erasers and whatever else is necessary and once the class was done the students had to return their stationeries.
It was probably a sunny day or a rainy day? I don’t know, I can’t remember. We finished some kind of activity and was supposed to return our stationeries to the teacher. I returned my pencil but sneakily put the eraser (which was most likely a cheap and bad quality eraser) into my pouch and sat there trying to act normal. Why did I choose to steal the eraser? I don’t know, I just did. But I remember that I was very conscious and anxious about the eraser in my small pouch. Therefore, when the teacher went, ‘I counted the erasers and one of the erasers are missing’ you can imagine my little heart trying to jump out of my throat.
We started searching for this ‘missing’ eraser and I was probably close to tears. We looked under desks and chairs and all through my anxiety level was sky high. But I got my sh*t together and here’s what I did: I slowly took out the eraser from my pouch in my fist and bent down to ‘look’ under my desk and went ‘I found it, miss!’
Surely enough nobody suspected a thing, or so I thought. My teacher applauded me and as far as I can remember, she made the whole class applaud me for being the ‘hero’ who found the eraser. Sometimes, I think my teacher knew it was my deed (I have a really obvious face) but she let me make the right decision myself. If that’s the case I would like to thank my teacher, whom I can’t remember unfortunately, for not embarrassing me and helping me to develop my conscience.