February 3, 2011
This amazing advertisement made me reminisce my time in school. I have to admit, the Malaysian education sucks big time, it is designed to produce mindless drones that regurgitates whatever that is in those Sasbadi books, or the other hundreds of reference books that we have. In school, to have a different idea than the rest of the kids is frowned upon, or at least an empathic smile will be given to you, a smile that says, "I get what you're saying, and it's brilliant, but brilliance won't get you an A". In this insane system, the Mrs Chongs out there made it alright,and thanks to them (and prayers from many others), I managed to survive the education system, and as us Malays would like to say, "jadi orang".
I remembered my kindergarten teacher, Mrs Moon, who'll make jokes out of her name, and asks us questions that we never know the answer like what is the Solar System? (I knew the answer, and I was freaking proud about it, when she was pleased about it.) Mrs Moon taught me the value of curiosity, of knowledge, and of sharing ideas, experience and knowledge even when others are annoyed by you cause you came across as a pompous nerd who can't stop talking about what she knew.
Another prominent figure was Puan Maria, my hometeacher in Standard 3. She's an all rounder scary person. I remembered her threatening to cut a kid's fingers off with a Swiss Army knife if he ever stole from his parents again. Whenever I thought of her, one incident came to my mind. We were organising a class party, and a Chinese friend was asked to bring baked potatoes. I voiced out my concerns whether it's OK to eat whatever the non muslims are bringing(eh, I was 9 at that time, I know nothing of tajdid :P), and she had that horrified look, and went on and on about the importance of living together as Malaysians, and not according to our race, and one of her story was about how she had to lodge a police report. When it comes to fill in the Bangsa portion of the report, she wrote down "Malaysia". The policeman told her bangsa refers to her race (which is Chinese), and she insisted that no, her Bangsa is Bangsa Malaysia.
Pn Maria taught me about embracing others regardless of their religion and ethnicity. Whenever I see that small badge that says "Saya Bangsa Malaysia" pinned on my Nikon bag, my thoughts will be aboout her, and I can't believe how much a Standard 3 teacher had so huge impact on my life. How in the world did I get so many life lessons at such a young age? She made me believe that I wasn't the stupid girl that my previous hometeacher told me I was, she taught me that hard work pays, and she taught me the lesson of holding on to my dignity as a woman, and not to let others take advantage of me.
Pn Tengku taught me about discipline, etiquette and image is important.
Pn Mazliza opened up my eyes to the wonderful world of literature, and made me believe that there is no right or wrong way of looking into art (and in a larger scope, the concept of ebauty).
Pn Shalini and Miss Fiza nurtured my love for writing and embracing the weird side of me.
The Ustazahs, of course tought me how to live a simple life and embracing my religion.
Pn Ting made me fell in love with history. She challenges everything about Islam out loud (she's a devout Christians), and that made her unpopular among the Malays. But what she did for me was to spark my passion in Islam, and learning more about my own religion, just so I can defend my religion during the next debate rounds =). She cultivated my passion for debates.
Of course there are many other teachers that had done so much for me, but too bad, they have an ungrateful student who has a hard time of remembering names X(
These individuals are unique, and really are a gem. I thank God to have the chance to experience their marah/maki/cubit/pukul/denda. I am proud of who I am now, and as cliched as it sounds, I won't be who I am if it's not for these people. It just saddens me that future generations won't be able to get the quality teachers that I used to have. Kalau ada pun, asal kena jentik sikit, the brats of today will go running back to their parents, and these bongok parents will strut to the school sambil bagi ayat klise; "Cikgu, saya pun tak pernah pukul anak saya, cikgu siapa nak pukul?"
Hok alohh, sebab ko tak pukul la anak ko jadi setan. When I was a kid, if I ever complain that I got slapped/pinched by a teacher, what I get is another slap/pinch from my parents, cause they always believe that the teachers are right, and they'll punish me for a reason, and that gives them a good enough reason to slap me too.LOL.
Sebab tu lah aku jadi orang.