Nyssa Jo Wallace
When my brother and I first started going to Sunday school, I wanted to show everyone that I know the Bible stories. I don’t remember learning the Bible stories, but I know them. They’re forever written in my memory. After a few lessons, Ms K banned me from answering questions anymore because other kids need to answer.
Honestly, I’m fine with that. I can hold myself back.
But that means now, instead of paying attention, I’m bored.
Tristan and Sammy sit close by, whispering excitedly. Ocarina of Time just came out for the N64. Sam owns it. Tristan doesn’t. Sam wants to tell Tristan everything about it, and Tristan wants to learn everything.
The teacher yells at them regularly to pay attention. Ms K disdains Tristan openly; she thinks he’s a bad influence on Sam, the pastor’s youngest son. She also works at our daycare. She’s one of the workers you avoid. She’s always scolding him for little things, like playing on the computer too long or rocking back and forth on the couch. She never pays attention to me, even though I’m his older sister. Fine with me!
Today we’re learning about Moses. Or we’re suppose to be learning about Moses. We all know the story of Moses. Whispers come from Tristan and Sam. No surprise there. Two girls silently sit in anti-social solidarity. Another boy’s chin rests on his fists, not quite staring at the teacher. I sit by myself as I am the only 2nd grader. Everyone else is younger.
I flip to the morning scripture. I recently learned how to find bible verses. We don’t have to read in Sunday school class; Tristan’s grade is still learning how to. But I can read, so why not look through the thick book to avoid further boredom?
At the bottom of the page with the morning verse, I notice something… a list. And oddly formatted list. Like a poem. How the words are written in a strange way. Not straight and lined up, but curving around the page.
And so I read it. The words are symbols strung together that must mean something to adults but not me. That doesn’t matter though. The way it waved back and forth across the thin column is mesmerizing.
But the words themselves don’t interest me. Just the way they flow on the page.
“Shut that Bible!” Ms K leans over me, slamming the book’s cover over. She picks it up to lay it on her desk, shut and out of reach. “Now, as I was saying…”
I don’t understand. I know the Moses story. I’m not talking to anyone? Why does it matter if I’m reading something else? It’s still the Bible. It’s still on topic.
Apparently, reading ahead for a class with no grades is not allowed.