Il Gionarle di Emilio

His teacher was a gentleman with dark hair, tall and lanky. He was authoritarian and demanded obedience from all the students. Emilio was never aware of class distinction until the teacher made them aware of it. The destitute children were seated in the back while the well-to-do sat in the front. Emilio sat in the middle. Besides obedience, the teacher demanded his students to arrive to school in clean clothes. That was made impossible when it rained, making the roads muddy. If they came with dirty clothes, he would send back home to change.

Once class begun the children had to be quiet. No talking was allowed unless the teacher asked them a question. They were afraid of the teacher, but mostly of being cained. It wasn’t the act of being cained, but the pain  and humiliation it caused. Emilio had gotten cained once during the beginning of the school year. He didn’t cry in front of his classmates, the humiliation was already unbearable. When recess was let out. He went behind the schoolhouse and cried. The other children left him alone. There was no point in telling his parents, they would have assumed he deserved it from being disruptive. Emilio accepted it as the way the things were.

He didn’t always write in his journal. There were days he went without writing, other times he was angry or upset and only wrote a few lines. When he did write, he went into describing his day and whatever exciting had occurred. But then, his journal ended when he had turned twelve. He hadn’t been motivated to write and had other things that kept him busy which he never went into details.

When I got to the last page it explained that Emilio died six months after he had turned twelve. His father had been heartbroken that when he found his  son’s journal he had it published in order to keep his memory alive.  The events had occurred during the early 1800’s