It is important to focus upon the symbolism implicit in this story, and the way that in this "half a day," the school that the boy attends is paralleled by the way that life is like a school and teaches us important lessons of how to live. This becomes particularly important when we bear in mind the words that the woman who is in charge of this school shares with the narrator when she sees how upset he is on his first day:
"This is your new home," said the woman. "Here, too, there are mothers and fathers. Here there is everything that is enjoyable and beneficial to knowledge and religion. Dry your tears and face life joyfully."
The woman in charge of the school therefore comforts the narrator and tells him that in this new world he is about to enter he will find other figures who can fulfil the role of parents for him, and that he will learn all he needs to learn to live a happy life and enable him to make the most of it.