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Remember Mark

Weighing over one hundred and fifty kilogrammes, he could barely fit into that chair. The desk in the classroom, could barely contain him. The desk had to sit on his laps or he had to sit sideways in order to be able to relax a little bit.  Big Bondus was seventeen years old and had a large frame for his age. His head was massive like a crocodile head and his body was like a hippo body. He walked in a slow manner and stood at six feet three inches tall. Big Bondus was repeating the year and was a little older than the other students in his class. He had extra-large palms and wore a size 16 US for footwear. His mates called him Big B.

In his class, students teased and bullied him. The younger and slimmer kids would make a remark at him and run off. Some would try some physical unpleasant games with him and run away. They all knew that before he gets off the chair which was always a task for him, to dash after them, they would have long escaped to a zone of safety. Big B had learnt to cope with this. He would often times ignore these kids and once in a while stretch his hands to see if he could grab any of them. Yet, they would be elusive. His greatest weapons were his large palms, big frame and large feet. Once he stamped on a boy’s foot and almost crushed it.

How many times would Big B report to teachers, how many warnings would teachers give to erring students, how many consequences would teachers mete out to the bullies? It was a real tricky situation, that needed a sustainable solution.

Big B was not exactly the bright type. The processing speed in his brain, needed an upgrade. It took him a very long time to process simple instructions. He was a boy who had made genuine progress over the three years he spent repeating the grade. He has had about three English teachers and was used to being shoved about.  Because of his weight and bulk, he wasn’t very quick at doing things physically. For example if everyone walked down to the grocery shop at an average speed of say ten minutes per kilometer, he would trudge along at fifteen minutes per kilometer.

Seated in the marking room, the English teachers  had been marking for about one hour. Sometimes when a teacher stumbled across some hilarious item, he or she would share it with the rest of the team and the team would either smile, laugh or grimace. Somebody stumbled across an answer booklet that had the numbering on the exams paper neatly copied out onto the answer sheet. Then the candidate had started copying down the questions one by one without any of the questions being answered. The marker passed the sheet to another teacher to have a look at, in case there was something he was missing. The other teacher had a look at the script and said “there is nothing here, except the numbering.” That meant that the student would score a zero.

“That must be one of my students” Mr. Itula said. “It must be Big B.”  Since it is only identification numbers that the candidates wrote, you wouldn’t know whose script that was. In addition, teachers were not allowed to mark or see the scripts of their students. When the script was turned it had the writing “Good to see you” at the back. Only one student could do that. It took him a full year to learn that sentence and the moment he learnt it, he sang it like a song. Anytime  he saw anyone, it was always, “good to see you”.

Walking down the long hallway, Mr. Kurt saw a little crowd ahead of him and heard some noises. The noisy crowd was apparently laughing, jeering  or cheering at something. Scenes like this were not unpopular in school during lunch times. An all-male school like St. Bartholomew’s had boys with high levels of testosterones and what you would expect was, anything that took some energy out of them, would be welcomed. The students would either be playing football, basketball or table tennis during the lunch break. Some would look for some quiet corner to just sit and have a chat with their mates. Unfortunately some would stumble across trouble or seek to make some trouble or revenge with perceived foes. It was all adventure for them. It made the school tick.

As Mr. Kurt neared the crowd that was jeering and booing, he peeped inside the circle. Mark was being held by his two shoulders mid-air by Big B.

Mark was one of those kids who thought he was smart. He was pesky. He loved picking on Big B. He would poke at him and run off. He would snatch his pen and dart away. He thought he was invincible. It was an unexpected meeting, when he  opened that big door to jet into the hall way and here was Big B right in front of him. It was too late to turn back. Big B’s patience had paid off. “Now I got you, you little git and I am going to teach you some lesson boy”, Mr. Kurt could imagine Big B say.

Mark was perspiring in the forehead. He had no strength left to resist. Nobody dared to go separate him from Big B. Big B might be slow but if he got a hold on you, you were dead meat. Mr. Kurt  likened him to Lennie in the legendary tale of Of Mice and Men.  Mr. Kurt parted his way through the crowd and walked towards the big man. By this time, Big B was shaking Mark with such vigour. Mr. Kurt was scared for Mark. He tapped Big B, on the shoulder. Big B didn’t turn around. Mr. Kurt tapped him again and whispered in a stern voice “let go of him”. Big B turned around, looked at Mr. Kurt and dropped Mark to the ground, but didn’t let go. He instead jerked Mark towards himself and lounged his head at Mark’s head. Mark was dazed. He was disoriented and was swirling. Mr. Kurt had to approach this with caution because, once, a teacher was manhandled by an angry student because the teacher did not approach things with caution.

“Hello big man, I am glad you have taught him a lesson” Mr. Kurt said.

Big B beamed with a smile. He must have thought, ‘I am not in trouble after all.’

Mr. Kurt knew what would be working on his mind was, ‘I might as well make him a dead meat because I am already in trouble and I am caught red handed.’  But hearing those words calmed him down two notches.

For Mr. Kurt, it was a case of fifty percent damage was better than a hundred percent damage.

“I think he has learnt his lesson let go of him now” Mr. Kurt continued.

Big B pulled Mark one more time to himself and head butted him the second time and let go of him. Mark fell to the ground, motionless. Mr.Kurt removed Big B from the scene and called for support and the ambulance.

For the rest of the term, Big B lived in peace. Unofficially, the caution phrase for bullies at this school was “remember Mark”.

 

Uwem Mbot Umana©2017

5 Comments

  1. ” Remember Mark ” by Uwem Mbot Umana is a captivating young adult literary fiction set appropriately in an all-male school, St. Bartholomew. It is indeed another powerful value imbuing story churned from the ever productive mind of Uwem Mbot Umana. Similar to most of Uwem’s stories, “Remember Mark” is not just a source of entertainment but is also a means of developing readers mentally and socially. Remember Mark is a story that centres upon the theme of bullying . To say that I like this story is an understatement of how I feel about this story. This story brings to light a very familiar and common occurrence in our schools. It speaks about the various forms of bullying encountered in life. It speaks about retribution for our deeds and I love it for all these reasons.
    “Remember Mark” opens up by intimating readers on the challenges faced by a certain student of St. Bartholomew school named Big Bondus. Big Bondus is what we may call corpulent. He weighs over one hundred and fifty kilograms. He has a large frame for his age of seventeen. He is described as having a head as massive as a crocodile’s and a body like a hippopotamus. Big Bondus stands at a good six feet three inches tall and walks in a slow manner. He could barely fit into the the classroom desk. Wow, what a description! At first, when I read the physical description of Big Bondus, I thought: ” this big Bondus of a guy is surely going to be a terrible bully”. I was so wrong, I had been using my previous experiences in which physically large students are usually bullies as a yardstick.
    Big Bondus is repeating the year and is slightly older than most of his classmates. Big Bondus is a victim of severe bullying at school due to his body build, slow movements and poor academic performance. He is always bullied by most of his classmates. Big Bondus is also always at the receiving end of hurtful remarks and physical disturbance. The perpetrators of these acts are mostly younger and faster kids who know that Big Bondus is so large and too slow to catch them. Most of the times, big Bondus just ignores the troublemakers and some other times, he tries to get at them using his massive palms and frame as his greatest weapons.
    Times after time, big Bondus has complained to the teachers and times after time have the teachers done their best to solve this problem. As earlier said, big Bondus is not very intellectually sound. It takes him very long time to process simple instructions.
    An event is described in the story giving readers a typical example of big Bondus’s intellectual abilities. In the marking room, an English teacher stumbles across a “strange” answer booklet. The numberings and questions on the exam question papers have been neatly reproduced on this ” strange ” answer booklet without any answers given. The examiner who had found the paper passed the script for other teachers to see. Although the answer booklets do not usually carry the candidates’ name but only their identification numbers, a teacher named Mr Itula is able to identify the “strange” script as belonging to big Bondus because of what is written at the back of the script. At the back of the script are written the words : ” good to see you “, it had taken big Bondus a whole year to learn those words and he had become very fond of them.
    The story climbs to it’s climax where a smart and astute teacher named Mr Kurt is walking along the hallway when he spots a little crowd jeering and cheering. The scene, off course, is not uncommon in the testosterone-filled St. Bartholomew school. Performing his duty, Mr Kurt goes over to see the cause of the commotion. In the middle of the circle, big Bondus is holding a boy named Mark in mid-air. Mark has always been a pesky and troublesome student especially towards big Bondus. He was fond of troubling, teasing and poking big Bondus. Mark’s luck had ran out when he finally fell into big Bondus’s arms. Mr Kurt could well imagine what was going on in Big Bondus’s mind. Mr Kurt is a smart teacher and he understands the psychology of his students. He manages to get big Bondus to let go of Mark who was immediately rushed for treatment. From that day, things changed for Big Bondus. I leave it to you to imagine in what way things changed.
    In “Remember Mark” , we meet Big Bondus a victim of bullying, teasing and body shaming. We also meet Mark, a pesky and troublesome bully who specializes in taunting and troubling Big Bondus. Bullies like Mark are found in every field of life not just in schools, they’re people who take delight in hurting others. We meet Mr Kurt, a smart and experienced teacher who understands the psychology of his students very much.
    “Remember Mark” by Uwem Mbot Umana has so many solid lessons,I could write very lengthy essays on them. As earlier stated, the theme of this story is the theme of bullying. Bullies are simply people who disturb and cause pains to others whether physical or emotional pain. They are people who have very low self-esteem and try to cover up their low self-esteem by picking on others, they try to feel better by intimidating others. Bullies are found almost everywhere in life. Bullies work by threats, intimidation and harassment. Bullies also hate public humiliation more than other people.
    This story also brings to light the fact that specific kinds of people are more prone to bullying than others. People who seem to have a kind of “problem”, physically deformed people, small people, overweight people, “freaks”, intellectually poor people, etcetera. We would always meet people like these in life and it is very wrong to treat this people unfairly or to bully them. We should not scoff, tease or maltreat these people as they are human beings like us with emotions, strengths and weaknesses.
    This story warns us against underestimating and looking down on people. Every dog has it’s day. Mark had always underestimated Big Bondus and considered him incapable of defending himself. He was finally taught a good lesson. Never underestimate people.
    Also, we should never look down on ourselves for any reason. Most of the times we feel ashamed or unworthy because of our physical looks, our grades, etcetera. This can lead to low self-esteem or depression. Hold your head high and love yourself for who you are.
    “Remember Mark” also teaches us to stand up to bullies. We should never allow ourselves to be intimidated or silenced by bullies. Bullies are afraid of being challenged or publicly humiliated. One of the ways to free ourselves from the clutches of bullies is to stand up and challenge them. When Big Bondus challenged and dealt with Mark, things changed.
    Also, in this story, we see the importance of being smart and understanding as a teacher. Mr Kurt shows great skill and tact in handling the commotion in the hallway. A good teacher must be able to understand his students and also be able to handle matters carefully.
    “Remember Mark” reminds me of another short story by Uwem Mbot Umana titled “I feel so sorry for you” in which we meet a bully named Derrick who had been terrorizing other students until his reign is brought to an end by a fellow student named Penney who challenged and humiliated him publicly. Another student named Nick who had constantly been a victim of Derrick’s bullying is emboldened by the way Penney stood up to Derrick, Nick challenges Derrick to a quiz publicly and in the process frees himself from Derrick’s bullying and also puts an end to it.
    In “Remember Mark” and in “I feel so sorry for you”, we are taught that we must always confront our fears. We are taught that we must always stand up and challenge people who bully us. If Big Bondus hadn’t done what he did, he would have remained the victim of bullying. Same goes for Penney and Nick in “I feel so sorry for you”.
    “Remember Mark” also reminds me of yet another short story by Uwem Mbot Umana titled “And From That Day” where we meet a bully named Ali. Ali has always been very troublesome, pesky and irritating to everyone. Ali is a thorn in the flesh of his teachers who have tried everything possible to put him under control all futilely. One day, all things fall into place as Ali the bully is publicly ridiculed and beaten by a calm, quiet, reserved and level-headed student named Adolf. Again we see that, we must stand up to bullies in order to put an end to them.
    I love this story because it teaches us that no matter how long it takes, justice and retribution would surely get to everyone. I also love the way this story portrays Big Bondus’s struggle and rise over Mark’s bullying. It shows that no matter what happens things can always turn around for the better. I love the fact that the author uses this story to teach us that, in life, we would meet different kinds of people and it is wrong to look down on them or ridicule them. I also feel that this story has taught us to develop a good self-esteem. We should try to avoid getting hurt by people’s remarks. Again, I love this story because it speaks boldly and loudly against bullying which is a major problem in schools and in life as a whole.
    I believe that the author’s purpose for writing this story is to call to notice the problem of bullying found in most academic societies. I also believe that the author has used this medium to enlighten us on some of the causes and solutions of bullying. I am convinced that the author fully achieves this purpose.
    The setting of this story which is a school called St. Bartholomew is very appropriate to it’s genre.
    The characters in “Remember Mark” which include Big Bondus, Mark, Mr Kurt and Mr Itula are well developed and act in very believable and understandable ways. The plot of the story is well structured. Also, “Remember Mark” is not very suspenseful and is also quite predictable, I mean, by the time I read the second paragraph of the story I could correctly guess how the story would end. As earlier stated, this story centres on the theme of bullying. The author makes use of literary devices including a lot of similes and some metaphors.
    Before I conclude, I wish to leave you with these questions: ” do you believe that Big Bondus would NEVER be bullied at St. Bartholomew again?”, Also, ” do you believe that the best solution for bullying is public humiliation?”.
    In conclusion I have to say that this story is a very good reader especially for students. It is not just a source of entertainment but is also a source of encouragement for people who feel that they’re not good enough in one way or the other and for people who are suffering at the hands of bullies.
    I recommend this story to everyone. “Remember Mark” by Uwem Mbot Umana is a story worth reading.

  2. The writer’s description of Big B was quite precised which gave me the impression that this was a case of the big guy bullying the smaller guys in school but reading to the end, I was wrong. Although the story is another portraying what students face in school, it was brought from a different perspective.

    Big B was the biggest and dullest in school which made him the clown of the circus. The smaller students would pick on him and humiliate him knowing well that before he could retaliate, they would have sprinted off. Fortunately for Big B, his day of vengeance had come when Mark, one of Big B’s oppressors, bumped into him. Big B seized this opportunity to get back at Mark for all the bullying he had done and there was no escaping.

    Resolving the situation between Mark and Big B had to be done cautiously, this, Mr Kurt was wise in talking Big B out of punishing Mark further. Big B finally let Mark go and peace reigned for the rest of the term but the phrase ‘Remember Mark’ was never to be forgotten.

    My take from the story:
    Irrespective of how physical appearances, we shouldn’t let anyone treat us like we are inferior, especially if it’s something we have no control over. Embrace who you are and be comfortable in your skin. No one is perfect, so those who tend to feel superior and oppress us actually have some flaws known or unknown to them.

    As teachers, judging a student based on their weakness does not say much about you. The teachers at St. Bartholomew judged a student because they figured who the script belonged to. Personally, that shouldn’t happen. Even if the script belonged to Big B who happened to be not the brightest, them concluding without actually finding out felt wrong.

    To all the bullies out there who think they can get away with oppressing others because of something they lack or have in excess, a day would come when you’d eventually meet your match. You can’t live life being mean to people and not expect to receive such meanness back, one way or the other.

    I liked the fact that Mr Kurt used past experience to handle to situation between the boys. As a teacher, his job is to act as a peacemaker between students and him talking the way he did to Big B actually calmed things down rather than responding carelessly and things would have escalated.

    An interesting story and worth recommending.

  3. “Remember Mark” is a beautiful realistic fiction by this great author Uwem Unman. Once again it reminds me of a couple of stories by the same author like “And From that day”, “Coza”, “Nuremberg Ignited hope”, and “Another gentleman”. These stories from Umana are focused of solving an impossible problem that has lingered for too long of which a serious unconventional method is used to bring about a lasting solution. The purpose of the writer in all these stories is to teach the reader that there is always a solution to any challenge or problem in life if only we can persevere and never give up. I love this story and would recommend it especially for people who feel they don’t fit in.

    “Remember Mark” is a story that surrounds one major character Big Bundus. A 17 year old odd ball. He was a complete misfit. He had abnormal physical features. He was a class behind his mates, he processed things slower. The students made fun of him and bullied him. Even the teachers had reasons to laugh at him. What a situation to find oneself in life. He was all by himself, he was uniquely different and he found himself in an unpleasant situation that neither him no anyone could help. It looked like it was an unpleasant situation he just had to live with and or maybe die with. Even his body make up did not cooperated with him intact everything was against him. But as we read on, this conflict is nicely resolved with a wonderful climax created by the writer which makes this story truly intriguing.

    The setting of the story is in modern day western society high school. We get the general feeling of a school setting throughout the story. The reader is is able to imagine the mood and atmosphere of hyper active boys being boys in school with all their energy and naughtiness. But as one reads on, a feeling of pity for this “special” character-Big B is aroused. Life can be unfair.

    Big B is our major/lead character or the protagonist in the story. The writer revealed this character through his physical appearance and how others react to him.

    Mark is the antagonist. His character is revealed thru what he thinks and does: “Mark was one of those kids who thought he was smart. He was pesky. He loved picking on Big B. He would poke at him and run off. He would snatch his pen and dart away. He thought he was invincible”.
    Mark as a character represents everyone (students and teachers) who has actively opposed and has been hostile to Big B.
    Mark played a major role of representing others characters that troubled Big B both in attacking him as well been made to severely pay for the action(s).
    Mr. Karl is another characters in the play that also represents other characters. He represent the teachers who have (sincerely or otherwise) tried to proffer solution to the big problem Big B had with the students, his academic performance and with his personality.
    The plot of this story is smooth. The conflict ties one incident in the story to another thereby advancing the plot. The conflicts is clearly described from the opening paragraph where we see the problem of the story immediately. The conflict however, is of two types:
    1.Internal conflict: Big B had some struggles within himself. These were of 2 types:
    a) His physical make up. “Weighing over one hundred and fifty kilogrammes, he could barely fit into that chair. The desk in the classroom, could barely contain him. The desk had to sit on his laps or he had to sit sideways in order to be able to relax a little bit.  Big Bondus was seventeen years old and had a large frame for his age. His head was massive like a crocodile head and his body was like a hippo body. He walked in a slow manner and stood at six feet three inches tall. Big Bondus was repeating the year and was a little older than the other students in his class. He had extra-large palms and wore a size 16 US for footwear. His mates called him Big B”.
    b) His inward incapabilities: “Big B was not exactly the bright type. The processing speed in his brain, needed an upgrade. It took him a very long time to process simple instructions. He was a boy who had made genuine progress over the three years he spent repeating the grade. ..Because of his weight and bulk, he wasn’t very quick at doing things physically. For example if everyone walked down to the grocery shop at an average speed of say ten minutes per kilometer, he would trudge along at fifteen minutes per kilometer.
    2. External Conflict: Big B also had struggles with forces outside of himself. It was Big B versus the students: “In his class, students teased and bullied him. The younger and slimmer kids would make a remark at him and run off. Some would try some physical unpleasant games with him and run away. They all knew that before he gets off the chair which was always a task for him, to dash after them, they would have long escaped to a zone of safety. Big B had learnt to cope with this. He would often times ignore these kids and once in a while stretch his hands to see if he could grab any of them. Yet, they would be elusive”; “Big B versus the teachers: “He has had about three English teachers and was used to being shoved about” and Big B versus the society he lives in.

    As the action rises, the events of the story get complicated.
    The Conflict of the story is seen in the third paragraph: “How many times would Big B report to teachers, how many warnings would teachers give to erring students, how many consequences would teachers mete out to the bullies? It was a real tricky situation, that needed a sustainable solution”. The writer gets us to a point of no return, we must read on until we see the resolution. The events and complications begin to resolve themselves or should we say Big B resolves his problem himself as even teachers have tried in the past and failed:

    The Climax of this story is achieved in the eight paragraph: “It was an unexpected meeting, when he  opened that big door to jet into the hall way and here was Big B right in front of him. It was too late to turn back. Big B’s patience had paid off. “Now I got you, you little git and I am going to teach you some lesson boy”.“As Mr. Kurt neared the crowd that was jeering and booing, he peeped inside the circle. Mark was being held by his two shoulders mid-air by Big B”…….”Mark was perspiring in the forehead. He had no strength left to resist. Nobody dared to go separate him from Big B……Big B was shaking Mark with such vigor. g B turned around, looked at Mr. Kurt and dropped Mark to the ground, but didn’t let go. He instead jerked Mark towards himself and lounged his head at Mark’s head. Mark was dazed. He was disoriented and was swirling”. Wow! What an awesome climax. Was Big B going to kill Mark? What will happen if he did? Can any help come to rescue Mark? Does Mark have the slighest chance to at least defend himself? The reader wonders on and on and must read on to see the end.

    Next is the falling action. The conflict is now resolved. Mr. Karl played a major role as a sincere teacher who seeks for a permanent solution for Big B. “Mr. Kurt had to approach this with caution because, once, a teacher was manhandled by an angry student because the teacher did not approach things with caution. ““I think he has learnt his lesson let go of him now” Mr. Kurt continued”. But was the internal conflict resolved? Was Big B’s sense of self worth and self esteem healed`? Shouldn’t this be a food time to get counseling for Big B? Or perhaps, the now calm situation would finally help Big B otherwise?
    What can we conclude to be the theme{s} in this dramatic story? First, we see the theme of Oppression, Revenge, Discrimination, Victim of nature, Bravery, Facing your giant and dealing with it, The only person that can help you is you!!

    The figures of speech used also enriched the story:
    Onomatopoeia: “crowd that was jeering and booing”
    Simile: “His head was massive like a crocodile head and his body was like a hippo body”.
    Metaphor: “Mr. Kurt  likened him to Lennie in the legendary tale of Of Mice and Men”

    I love this story and it good for everyone to read it

    Thanks

    MAJOR character isa young 17yr old Big Bondus. He is the principle character. All event in the story is about him. His character is prominent as is his size. Simile is used: His head was massive like a crocodile head and his body was like a hippo body. His body statue seems to be a disadvantage to him. behind in class, slow in processing things in his brain.

    He finds himself in a situation that seemed hopeless——conflict/problem identified and is building up. He was a misfit. the students bullied him bcos of his physique, , the teachers made fun of him bcos of his very poor skoperformance

  4. “Remember Mark” is a beautiful realistic fiction by this great author Uwem Unman. Once again it reminds me of a couple of stories by the same author like “And From that day”, “Coza”, “Nuremberg Ignited hope”, and “Another gentleman”. These stories from Umana are focused of solving an impossible problem that has lingered for too long of which a serious unconventional method is used to bring about a lasting solution. The purpose of the writer in all these stories is to teach the reader that there is always a solution to any challenge or problem in life if only we can persevere and never give up. I love this story and would recommend it especially for people who feel they don’t fit in.

    “Remember Mark” is a story that surrounds one major character Big Bundus. A 17 year old odd ball. He was a complete misfit. He had abnormal physical features. He was a class behind his mates, he processed things slower. The students made fun of him and bullied him. Even the teachers had reasons to laugh at him. What a situation to find oneself in life. He was all by himself, he was uniquely different and he found himself in an unpleasant situation that neither him no anyone could help. It looked like it was an unpleasant situation he just had to live with and or maybe die with. Even his body make up did not cooperated with him intact everything was against him. But as we read on, this conflict is nicely resolved with a wonderful climax created by the writer which makes this story truly intriguing.

    The setting of the story is in modern day western society high school. We get the general feeling of a school setting throughout the story. The reader is is able to imagine the mood and atmosphere of hyper active boys being boys in school with all their energy and naughtiness. But as one reads on, a feeling of pity for this “special” character-Big B is aroused. Life can be unfair.

    Big B is our major/lead character or the protagonist in the story. The writer revealed this character through his physical appearance and how others react to him.

    Mark is the antagonist. His character is revealed thru what he thinks and does: “Mark was one of those kids who thought he was smart. He was pesky. He loved picking on Big B. He would poke at him and run off. He would snatch his pen and dart away. He thought he was invincible”.
    Mark as a character represents everyone (students and teachers) who has actively opposed and has been hostile to Big B.
    Mark played a major role of representing others characters that troubled Big B both in attacking him as well been made to severely pay for the action(s).
    Mr. Karl is another characters in the play that also represents other characters. He represent the teachers who have (sincerely or otherwise) tried to proffer solution to the big problem Big B had with the students, his academic performance and with his personality.
    The plot of this story is smooth. The conflict ties one incident in the story to another thereby advancing the plot. The conflicts is clearly described from the opening paragraph where we see the problem of the story immediately. The conflict however, is of two types:
    1.Internal conflict: Big B had some struggles within himself. These were of 2 types:
    a) His physical make up. “Weighing over one hundred and fifty kilogrammes, he could barely fit into that chair. The desk in the classroom, could barely contain him. The desk had to sit on his laps or he had to sit sideways in order to be able to relax a little bit.  Big Bondus was seventeen years old and had a large frame for his age. His head was massive like a crocodile head and his body was like a hippo body. He walked in a slow manner and stood at six feet three inches tall. Big Bondus was repeating the year and was a little older than the other students in his class. He had extra-large palms and wore a size 16 US for footwear. His mates called him Big B”.
    b) His inward incapabilities: “Big B was not exactly the bright type. The processing speed in his brain, needed an upgrade. It took him a very long time to process simple instructions. He was a boy who had made genuine progress over the three years he spent repeating the grade. ..Because of his weight and bulk, he wasn’t very quick at doing things physically. For example if everyone walked down to the grocery shop at an average speed of say ten minutes per kilometer, he would trudge along at fifteen minutes per kilometer.
    2. External Conflict: Big B also had struggles with forces outside of himself. It was Big B versus the students: “In his class, students teased and bullied him. The younger and slimmer kids would make a remark at him and run off. Some would try some physical unpleasant games with him and run away. They all knew that before he gets off the chair which was always a task for him, to dash after them, they would have long escaped to a zone of safety. Big B had learnt to cope with this. He would often times ignore these kids and once in a while stretch his hands to see if he could grab any of them. Yet, they would be elusive”; “Big B versus the teachers: “He has had about three English teachers and was used to being shoved about” and Big B versus the society he lives in.

    As the action rises, the events of the story get complicated.
    The Conflict of the story is seen in the third paragraph: “How many times would Big B report to teachers, how many warnings would teachers give to erring students, how many consequences would teachers mete out to the bullies? It was a real tricky situation, that needed a sustainable solution”. The writer gets us to a point of no return, we must read on until we see the resolution. The events and complications begin to resolve themselves or should we say Big B resolves his problem himself as even teachers have tried in the past and failed:

    The Climax of this story is achieved in the eight paragraph: “It was an unexpected meeting, when he  opened that big door to jet into the hall way and here was Big B right in front of him. It was too late to turn back. Big B’s patience had paid off. “Now I got you, you little git and I am going to teach you some lesson boy”.“As Mr. Kurt neared the crowd that was jeering and booing, he peeped inside the circle. Mark was being held by his two shoulders mid-air by Big B”…….”Mark was perspiring in the forehead. He had no strength left to resist. Nobody dared to go separate him from Big B……Big B was shaking Mark with such vigor. g B turned around, looked at Mr. Kurt and dropped Mark to the ground, but didn’t let go. He instead jerked Mark towards himself and lounged his head at Mark’s head. Mark was dazed. He was disoriented and was swirling”. Wow! What an awesome climax. Was Big B going to kill Mark? What will happen if he did? Can any help come to rescue Mark? Does Mark have the slighest chance to at least defend himself? The reader wonders on and on and must read on to see the end.

    Next is the falling action. The conflict is now resolved. Mr. Karl played a major role as a sincere teacher who seeks for a permanent solution for Big B. “Mr. Kurt had to approach this with caution because, once, a teacher was manhandled by an angry student because the teacher did not approach things with caution. ““I think he has learnt his lesson let go of him now” Mr. Kurt continued”. But was the internal conflict resolved? Was Big B’s sense of self worth and self esteem healed`? Shouldn’t this be a food time to get counseling for Big B? Or perhaps, the now calm situation would finally help Big B otherwise?
    What can we conclude to be the theme{s} in this dramatic story? First, we see the theme of Oppression, Revenge, Discrimination, Victim of nature, Bravery, Facing your giant and dealing with it, The only person that can help you is you!!

    The figures of speech used also enriched the story:
    Onomatopoeia: “crowd that was jeering and booing”
    Simile: “His head was massive like a crocodile head and his body was like a hippo body”.
    Metaphor: “Mr. Kurt  likened him to Lennie in the legendary tale of Of Mice and Men”

    I love this story and it is good for everyone to read it.

    thank you

  5. *Remember Mark*

    Set in the all-male school of St Bartholomew’, Remember Mark is a story that just goes to prove that everyday for the thief, one day for the owner.

    Big Bondus, or Big B as he is called by his mates, is a victim of bullying, constantly taunted, both verbally and physically, because of his massive body structure. He was often slow, both physically – as he struggled to move his huge body fast enough to catch the bullies who sought his trouble – and mentally – he was slow in grasping information or what he had been taught by his teachers – leading to him repeating a class three times. But the good news is Big B was eager to improve. Even though it took him a year to learn it, he was finally able to say the sentence, “Good to see you”. That was a win!! A win he no doubt cherished a great deal.

    Now, when Mr Kurt saw Big B manhandling Mark, I must applaud the wisdom with which which diffused a potentially fatal situation. The diplomacy he exhibited was outstanding. He assessed the situation from all angles. Firstly he made his presence known to Big B, which bought him time to talk Big B out of decimating Mark physically. Secondly, he put himself in Big B’s shoes. He knew Big B had been the subject of numerous abuses and nonstop bullying over his size. He equally knew that Mark deserved what he got. Hence, his subtle acknowledgement to Big B. He wasn’t necessarily telling Big B  “You did well beating Mark” . He was telling him, “I know you get taunted on a whole lot but you’ve made your point to the school. Now no one will dare bully you again.” Big B acknowledged this else, he would have continued pummelling Mark. By Big B giving Mark a final headbutt, he effectively ended any thoughts of anyone messing with him again.

    Mark ceaselessly taunted and ridiculed Big B but ultimately, he met his Waterloo. Like I said at the beginning of this, everyday for the thief, one day for the owner.

    A lesson-teaching and thoughtful read.

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