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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Glass and memories.




Guru means teacher. I suppose Kanan means senior. This is an airconditioned office where my cousin Catherine Chan/Tan hides with 3 others. I asked her why? It for ex Deputy Principals who are now senior teacher. It is a great privilege to work in an air cond office in a tropical island. Singapore's Senior Minister Lee Kwan You says the greatest invention is the air cond. Without it, the productivity will be so low because even one wants a siesta.

I was made in my school, my dad was teaching in Methodist Secondary School when I was conceived. I received all my school Education there. Who can beat that?

My School Alumni Association and Board are jointly organizing the 40th Anniversary celebration (of the Alumni Association) and 110th Anniversary celebration of School on 30th March 2012, in Sibu.  Unfortunately I couldn't attend. I did make it up when I went in July, made with old friends and visiting the school.




Whenever I see an old fashion Vespa scooter, be it green or blue or yellow, I do a double take. I would love to see a white one, because 3 of my male friends came to school in them.

One specially tugs my heart, it belonged to a friend. My heart misses a beat. It reminds me of an excruciating painful story. I stand to correct myself, not a story but a reality case.

When I was in senior high school, he was in middle school. He was this big fella. I think he was interested in one of us girls, I am not sure, but it certainly wasn't me. He always came to our class and gave us sweets. He was this big incredible hulk and rode a white Vespa. Very few students had vespas then. We just treated him as a young kid.

One day, we were called to a special assembly. Apparently, he did something, and threatened to beat up the principal. The principal was afraid and locked himself inside the office. He bashed a hole in the wooden door.

His dad, a professional person, held with high regards in the society, made him apologise to the principal in front of all the kids. Hence, the special assembly. We felt so sad, he was to us, a gentle giant. To this day, I never knew what he did that warranted such drastic punishment.

Of course, he left the school and town. We were very sad.

Fast forward about a year or two, some of us girls went to study in that town to be trained as teachers. He knew we were there. He arranged for us to have a nice evening at a very famous hotel. The chauffeur came and took us.

It was the first time for me, a country pumpkin, to dine in a very posh restaurant. The Aurora. I was surprised to see old men, and women dressed to their finest, dining and wining and dancing. For me, coming from a mission school, and a town threatened by the communist's rife warning against yellow culture, I was very surprised at this decadent lifestyle of the rich and famous.

He treated us to a meal of steak. He knew we never had steak before. I had T bone steak, medium rare, for the first time in my life. I still love T bone steak, medium rare.

Then I left for Canada.

I came back from Canada a few years later, someone told me he crashed his bike and died. I CRIED. I told my Dad I hold Principal responsible. Such public humiliation.

His death affected me. I became the champion for the under dogs, for justice. Years later, when I became a mum, I was lucky to be a faculty wife, living among like minded women in the university in Singapore. We sort of adopted a neighbourhood school. The principal was very glad to have us. Our kids excelled in all aspects.

One day, the principal didn't like us, in fact I think she hated us for meddling in her affairs. It was my memory of my friend that got me so mad. I wrote to her and requested an appointment. I threatened to go to the media.

She had caned a 7 year old boy in the assembly, rightly or wrongly, I and my girlfriends disagreed.

The principal listened to us and apologized. I hope I had averted a scenario of my poor friend. Later, she told us it was just an minor offense. His parents of a lower strata in society thanked us, they would never had dared to challenge the school.



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2 comments:

Gattina said...

Nice glass picture !

EastCoastLife said...

The mainstream schools in Singapore are still allowed to cane the male students if they misbehave.