It’s my homework, sir.

In the summer when I was in Grade 3, I watched a TV documentary of a young violinist and fell in love with the instrument. At the time, I was taking piano lessons, and I had a small but proper piano at home. However, there was something so special about the beauty of a violin. It was love of first sight. I started to dream about violins every day.

One Sunday evening, my family was watching a TV program that featured an orchestra playing Beethoven’s violin concerto. I was glued to the screen. My attention was solely focused on the soloist and his shiny instrument.

There was an empty 500mL plastic bottle lying on the dinner table. Suddenly, I got the inspiration to make a violin out of this plastic bottle. I sat by the TV screen, and started to work on my craft. I used rubber bands for strings, and found a way to secure them on the bottle surface. I attached another rubber band to a straw to make the bow.

My plastic bottle violin was completed at the same time as the music came to the end. My parents were quite impressed by the outcome, and told me to bring it to the school. At school, we were assigned a daily homework called self-study, which could be anything that showed our learning effort in any subject. My violin would fall in the category of arts and craft self-study.

The next morning, I put my plastic bottle violin in a grocery bag and brought it to school. In the classroom, there was a teacher’s desk, and on the teacher’s desk, there was a basket where students could leave their self-study homework. Since my work was too big for the basket, after pondering for a moment, I left the grocery bag on my teacher’s chair. I was too shy to leave it on the desk. I didn’t want my plastic bottle violin to be visible to others.

We were all working on the morning worksheet when our teacher came into the classroom. After some time, I heard him asking to the whole class “Who leaves garbage on my chair?” Focused on my worksheet, I thought to myself “Oh, somebody is scolded by our teacher again.” But nobody answered him. So, he asked again. This time, I looked up. To my horror, I saw my grocery bag with my plastic bottle violin held in our teacher’s hand receiving everybody’s attention in the room.

“Who left this on my chair?” I was mortified by embarrassment. I slowly raised my hand. “Sir, it’s not garbage. It’s my self-study homework…”

Our teacher was shocked, and speechless for a second. “Eh, what is it?” He asked me as he checked inside of the grocery bag. “It’s a violin, sir.” He then apologized me for mistaking it for garbage.

I was relieved, and went back to my morning worksheet. After a while, I heard somebody ask the teacher. “What are you doing?” Then I heard him reply “I’m playing the violin.” As I quickly looked up, I saw our teacher playing my plastic bottle violin in front of the whole class. I was so embarrassed that I wanted to disappear.

In this way, my plastic bottle violin that I wanted to keep hidden ended up enjoying the attention of the whole classroom that day.