My Life 2

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I went to a secondary school near my house as I really hate taking long bus trips to school.

There was nothing special about my four years in school but I did make very good friends. I am still in contact with them and they remain my confidant – friends whom I can trust my life to. There is a chinese saying 有福同享,有难同当 (be it good or bad times, we will go through it together, and we leave no man behind) I guess you can have millions of friends, but it is meaningless if none are your true friends at the end of the day. Although we may not be meeting up as often as before, but when the time comes, we can still count on each other.

Junior college is two years of  playtime for me as it was the first time we are given more freedom as students. But the expectations were even more demanding. We were expected to be disciplined and be diligent in our studies. Perhaps the most enjoyable time in JC would be my participation in Chinese Orchestra. I was an erhu player and I did enjoyed it. I really did enjoy my first year. We had a really competent president. He is a charismatic person and a natural born leader. I was in charged of logistics.

However, at the end of the first year, the president had decided to drop out of school and switched to study in a polytechnic. I was really upset and this meant that no one would be leading the club.

I was given a rude shock when the teacher in charge appointed me as the next president. Furthermore, he was “demoted” to be the assistant teacher in charge and the teacher who took over was from the chinese drama club. We were unhappy about these changes. The members were fine with me being the president as I was very heavily involved in the executive committee activities that many deemed me a the vice-president. But changing the teacher in charge was not something that we were ready for.

Nevertheless, I told myself to not get involved in such politics. I already had enough on my plate. One of the most impending issue is one the graduating members leave the school, the club will have less than half of the original members. I had to ensure that we have enough members to fill in the gap. Miraculously, we had a decent number of new members joining us the following year.

The rest of the year was just fighting against the new teacher in charge. Running Chinese Orchestra is different from running Chinese Drama Club. Let’s just say there is still some cultural differences and we do not agree on fixing things that ain’t broken.

But why did I say this is the most enjoyable time in JC?

Because the team members are united.


My Life

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In 10 days time, I will be celebrating my 28th year on planet Earth.

This morning, I woke up wondering how my life has changed during the past 28 years.

There was nothing fascinating about my childhood at all. I grew up in a very normal family. There is always bread on the table and a roof over my head. But one thing for sure, I hated school. A lot.

I have a strict but forgiving mother. Well, that description does sound contradicting, isn’t it? Well, whenever the rebellious side of me shows up, she would punish me, but at the end of the day, she would not “hold any grudges”. She is a firm believer of good education and made me and my sis read books. A lot of books. Books by Roald Dahl, Enid Byton, etc. Whenever my father is free, she would always brings the family to the library, science centre, museums etc, to encourage us to “never stop learning”. For that, I am really thankful for my mother.

My father is a hardworking person. He will never complain about work and will do his best to support the family. Being the sole breadwinner is not an easy feat, especially in a money sucking country like SIngapore. I am glad to have a father like him.

My sister is the brain of the family. She is a very bright kid and was an above average student in school. As the first Doctorate graduate in the family, she is the role model for the other cousins in the family.

My Childhood

The first few years of my life is a big mystery to me and I wasn’t much paying attention to it. So I guess I should start off with my preschool life.

When I was in preschool, I had to wake up at 6am to get ready for school. Unfortunately, I have a lazy bone in me and waking up at this hour was definitely not a delightful event at all, every single day. I would drag my feet to get dressed and pull a long face while waiting for the school bus. Unlike my sister, I was not a bright kid in the block and was a pretty average student. Well, at least I survived preschool phase.

I went to a well known primary school in the east where my father was an alumni. My sister was already in Primary 3 so it does make sense for me to enroll into this school.

The first day of school was eventful. When school ends, my sister was supposed to look out for me so we can get on the school bus. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and my sister boarded the bus without me. I was all alone at the parade square. One of the teachers who was supposed to look out for lost sheep like me brought me to the principal’s office. They rang up my worried parents.  I was very apprehensive as the teachers were still a total strangers to me. I recited my address (my mother made me memorised it and write it a million times, great hindsight!) like a robot so the principal can make transport arrangement to send me back home. It turned out that my form teacher was just staying in the next block. Thank you Mrs Yong for saving my life. I saw her a few days ago but I guess she had already forgotten about me.

My school is not a normal school. At that time, it was known as a Special Assistance Plan (SAP) school. Although it was classified as a chinese-medium school, the school’s curriculum is still taught in English. However, unlike other schools where the second language can be Malay, Chinese or Tamil, my school only teaches Chinese. Nevertheless, we were constantly drilled to be very competent in both languages. The traditional Chinese values were also instilled in us.

My school is adamant on the school rules and discipline is strictly enforced. We bowed and greet the teachers whenever we meet them. Anytime, anywhere. Failure to do so will be frowned upon and deemed as a rude and an undisciplined student. If a student is caught running along the corridor, he/she would probably spend the rest of the day standing on the top of the table. Before each and every lesson starts, the class will stand, bow and greet the teacher. The same applies after the lesson ends. A metre long cane is placed in every class cupboard. Any student caught breaking the school rules, be it being too noisy in class, rude to the teacher, failure to complete homework, or even slouching, will be greeted with no less than 5 lashes on the palm. I was slapped by the Mathematics teacher for not handing in my homework. During Physical Education lesson, we were made to run countless laps around the school compound. Occasionally,we were drilled in foot-drills. Yes, in my school, we meant business and we are carved to be very strong willed and highly disciplined students. But it was also a terrifying experience!

I guess I shall stop here for now… to be continued!