Day one

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

22nd September, 2012

Batch 1, merit students


Bliss stood in front of the huge multipurpose hall where tables have been set up. There were signs in front of all of them stating what they were for. She began to read







Red house.

Blue house.

Yellow house.

Green house.

Violet house.

Orange house.

There were students in different colours of uniforms. The prefects in their standard school uniforms. Sky blue shirts with royal blue plaid skirts, white stockings and black cortina shoes with a royal blue blazer and/or royal blue berets on some with their badges on their upper bodies.

The other students around. Some on red checkered daywears, some on blue checkered daywears, some on green, yellow, violet, and orange checkered daywears, their slippers of varying colours on their feet. However they all had one similarity when it came to their hairstyles. It was either braided into an all back or cut into a low cut. There were no exceptions.

The new JSS1 students were easily spotted as they wore very long and bogus daywears which had never been shaped, something that would keep the school tailor busy over the next few days. Everywhere looked busy.

Soon she spotted an old student walking towards her

"Excuse me, where do I start my registration?"

The girl looked at her muttering something she couldn't hear.

"First go to admissions, then to uniforms, then to administration, then bursary, PTA, labour and finally your house". The girl made to walk away

"How do I know which one is my house?" Bliss asked.

"You untamed fags are quite annoying, just do what you've been asked to do"

Bliss swallowed the thank you at the tip of her tongue and simply walked away. Her brother had constantly warned her not to talk back at anyone regardless of the circumstance surroundings her. Besides she didn't know what class the other party was in and only knew that the other party was an old student. She did not want to make enemies on her first day.

She headed towards the admissions where she was given a class and a house. She was placed in JSS1 A and Blue house. The lady in charge of the placements had asked her where her parents were as she was the only new student who had come alone. She told him that her parents were in the car, having insisted that she navigated the situation herself. The lady chuckled mentioning that she would like to meet them.

Soon she was headed to the uniforms where she had collected two pairs of extra large blue checkered daywears, two navy blue plaid pinafores, two sky blue button up short sleeved shirts, two pairs of stockings, a navy blue beret, a black straight cut pinafore, a white Sunday shirt, a black beret, a blue blazer, a blue cardigan, a pair of black spandex shorts, a blue t-shirt, a pair of black track trousers and it's corresponding jacket. A foam cover had also been added to the list of items given to her. The woman had suggested she find a way to affix names to the uniforms to ensure they do not get missing easily.

Bliss headed towards the admin table where she was told to change into her uniforms first and return the mufti to her parents. Bliss sheared back to the car to change and leave her outfit behind them she returned to the admin table.

There she was given a set of forms to fill, some of which were to be taken to clinic to sign. After completing the form she was allowed to go. Next she headed to the bursary to have her receipts changed to a clearance card and to have her clearance card signed. The clearance card was a small cardboard card which was issued each term and was signed by the HOD of each department and the house mistress in charge of a specific class. It signified that a student had completed payments for all signed fields. After having her card signed in the field labelled Bursary, Bliss headed to the PTA. The PTA staff had collected her bank teller and changed it into receipts before signing her column.

Next she headed to the table reserved for the Manual Labour Masters. The teacher there had asked her to submit her labour tools which consisted of a broom, rake, cutlass, mopping stick, 1 bottle of insect repellent, 1 bottle of air freshener, 1kg of detergent and two small tissues. Bliss went back to the car and got the tools required.

The labour master, an elderly man in his fifties seemed to be a talkative. He kept admonishing her on the dangers of doing the wrong things, mentioning that the school had a lot of punishment for those who loved to misbehave. After a few good minutes of lecture, the man signed her clearance form and allowed her to go.

Finally, it was time to go to her house for clearance. There were four women sitting under the blue house table as well as three prefects. As she got to the table, one of the prefects, whose badge read House Captain asked her where her box and stuff were. Bliss mentioned that they were in the car and she was asked to bring everything she was entering the hostels with.

She returned once more to the car to carry her belongings and her parents finally decided to join her since they had to help her carry her stuff. She brought over her box, foam and the bag containing her provisions, her mom had helped her fold in the uniforms into the box.

When she brought over the box, the perfect who had called her over the first time had come over to ensure she had everything she had to bring and that there were no contraband items. Her underwear was countered and the colours checked, only white, black and blue would be allowed for her. Her provisions were also checked. Her bucket, and keg were supposed to be blue coloured but since the school had not informed the students of their houses prior to that day, they had let it slide. After the search, she was handed another foam where she was expected to list out her skills and hobbies for the sports meet.

Soon, three JSS 2 students were called to aid her carry her stuff to the blue hostel. On their way to the hostel, one of the girls who had introduced herself as Eldora had filled her in on the format of the hostels. Apparently, the hostels were built in blocks with the blue house hostel occupying five blocks. All hostels were fenced in with a certain distance from one another. The red house had the closest hostel to the classroom blocks, followed by the green house house then the violet house, then orange house, the blue house and finally the yellow house. Behind the yellow house was the teachers quarters and for that reason, yellow house made the least noise. Right opposite the Orange house though was the Matrons quarters and the tailors shop. The hostels shared two central taps, one in front of Blue house and the other between red and green houses. There was another tap behind Yellow house which served the teachers but which the students used when they had no water. However, each hostel also had a tap inside the hostel. 

She also told her a bit about the SSS2 and SSS3 seniors she had to avoid at all costs in Blue house and other houses. While talking they got to the hostel. They helped her find a lower bunk bed which was in a central position, it was far from the end corners SSS3's usually took and in the last row so she was not too far from the door. Eldora also helped her pack her things, teaching her how to bedpress her stuff. After she had finished unpacking, she left the hostel again to talk to her parents.

When she got back, she saw her mom speaking to one of her house mistresses who was in charge of collecting the hash money, as it was usually called of junior students who did not have guardians.

She talked for a while with her parents who said a prayer with her and gave a few more pieces of advice as well. Her mom emphasizing on her keeping her mouth to herself.

Soon Bliss said her goodbye and returned to her hostel.

'Royal College, I'm finally here'

Bliss smiled to herself, picking up her bucket and keg and hurrying out to get water. Eldora had told her that water could be scarce later in the day so she needed to get water now that other classes were either in the fields, in their classes, in various religious meeting places as it was a Sunday or on their beds. 

When she got back from fetching water, she realized that two of the students who she would be sharing the corner with were back.

"Good afternoon, my name is Bliss"

The two looked at her

"I'm Emmanuelle, I'm in JSS3. I'm your bunkmate, so you can just call me 'bunkie'"

"I'm Favour, I'm in SSS1 and I'm your bunkie's cornie."

Bliss stared, 'what was a cornie?'

Favour chuckled, "you could have just asked, I stay opposite your 'bunkie', the term is 'cornie'." 

"Oh... Alright"

The two began talking among themselves. It appeared they were friends as the both debated who would fetch water. Soon Bliss could not bear listening to them and climbing her bed, she fell asleep.

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