I entered the classroom, a very poor decorated place with walls peeling off. Around the rusty chairs and cracked tables, a bunch of cadets no older than eleven pushed each other and talked jokes. As always, geeks were the easiest to spot because they haven’t had other interests except for the books where they buried their faces in. Like they used that sweet scent of decomposing pages as a drug, they remained fixed in one spot.
An officer walked in and all cadets stiffen up, their necks presented, faces still – following the man in a clean uniform. Our teacher hasn’t said anything, just saluted us and we sat down. If this was a civilian school, he would try his best to silence us, but this was an Ildocian military Academy and no further warnings were needed. With his troubled face, the teacher approached the blackboard and whipped it with a sponge.
– Alright. I don’t need to tell you how to address me or anything, so let’s begin with our class. I see many of you are confused with what we will be doing during our time so I will clarify this for you. – the teacher held his hands back as his steps rang in the classroom, – An officer is a gentleman first, and then he is a war machine. This means we will work on that and make you fine men before you learn of tactics and destroying an enemy.
Children listened to his speech and looked at the tall man walking around them. I had my pen and paper ready to take notes, but this was something I didn’t know how to write down. Teacher cleared his throat and continued lecturing us.
– Zarians learn to play instruments in their Academy. They are skillful with string instruments and some say they are quite good with a flute too. Konians learn of how to sing and their choirs are known for a long howl in the peaks of Eternal Mountains. Gratnians are thought to paint and their Academy has a drama class. We… We will learn to make poems. – the teacher smiled at us, his head looking at us in a carefully guided manner.
– Sir. Permission to speak Sir! – I raised my hand, and teacher nodded, – How will poems make us better leaders, Sir?! – I asked in a clear and strong voice when he posted a warm bow and took a deep breath while getting back to his table.
– Well, firstly it will open your mind. Only an open mind and critical mind can thoroughly inspect the data and make you not learn, but understand the military skills we will teach you. There is a certain grace in poets. They see the world differently. They think with their heart, but make the judgment with their cunning. It is a useful skill in knowing how to make poems. This class will teach you the forms of poems, their shapes, and experimental techniques. It might not destroy your enemy, but it will help you find different ways to destroy them. – again the man smiled and took a seat.
We got our first assignment to write a poem the way we already know how so he could see our skills. I wasn’t good at this, and I wasn’t to let this subject throw me off from my goals of becoming a great leader. I sensed a struggle to find words and fulfill his expectations, and partially… I regretted my enroll to this Academy.
And the one I actually made.