What I did that day was bold. I have never did anything like that again. It was perhaps bolder than walking into the boys' washroom, to use their toilets, when the ones in the girls' washroom were out of order. What I did bordered on disobedience in a big way. It alone was a punishable act, but it was better than being disciplined for something so harmless as handing in a poorly written calligraphy script.
I would never have did when I was six years old, when I was in the first grade. I had not really developed the good sense to think independently then. Since I already had the strap, I did not really care to relive the experience all over again.
Getting a slap on the hand wasn't so bad. It is the least severe form of punishment any parent could inflict on a child. But at school, though rare, it is the worst thing... next to getting too much homework, of course.
What made it worst... I did not deserve it. It wasn't entirely my fault that the boy I was sitting next to bumped my elbow and threw off my stroke.
I did not feel at ease until I finally arrived home at our tiny apartment. There was no need to tell anyone about what had happened. I had succeeded in escaping the teacher's ruler as well as the vice principal's metre stick. The only thing left to do is to go back to class the next day and face the full consequences of my actions.
I sat quietly in my seat, when Miss Wong arrived to teach the math lesson. I tried my best not to make eye contact with her, hoping she would not notice me. Her most intimidating feature was a lack of a smile; this made her even more unattractive than she actually looked.
As much as I tried to remain invisible, however my efforts proved fruitless, for Miss Wong did notice. Not only did she notice me, she wasn't going to let me off that easy. She instructed me to remain after class. Fortunately, it was just the one ruler, but it did hurt nonetheless.