Friday, September 16, 2016

Tales From School

National Day

As we are celebrating Malaysia’s Day today, and I'm having plenty of time to waste, I’ll share an amusing anecdote about an actual event happening in one secondary school in Penang, two weeks ago.

It was slightly a rainy day that morning. I was in the vicinity of the school’s canteen. Crowd of students gathered at the school's assembly area, which was just next to the canteen, where they were scheduled to have their school's level National Day celebration.

As students started filling the assembly compound, my interest grew. I couldn’t remember ever celebrating Independence Day during my secondary school days, as we were too busy focussing on academics (aha).

We did celebrate it during Matriculation; I still remember our principal (I was formerly from Mara Kulim Matriculation, the head of our matriculation was known as principal instead of director) wore a full army suit when delivering his wind-up speech on top of our assembly hall.

I was aghast and confused simultaneously upon seeing him in action; was he about to declare a state of emergency? It was amusing because all the other teachers wore the usual casual attire. He delivered his speech in a strong, fiery style. I was seriously thinking that he was about to declare a war. A friend of mine, sitting next to me, bewildered as I was, quipped, “dia ni dah buang tebiat ke apa?”

I was jolted back into reality by an announcement. A teacher announced that a special student was going to perform. I knew that student his father always came to me early morning every day to book for his lunch. He has a 'disability' with his vision...he couldn’t see properly. He wore a very thick spectacle. He is practically blind.

His disability didn’t deter his special talent. With a violin placed on his left shoulder, he started playing KeranaMu Malaysia almost to perfection. Heavy noise that was prevalent early on dissipated every students and teachers paid close attention to his tune. Every breath we took in synchronized with his violin’s stick he mesmerized us with the captivating sound of his music. He may not see properly but his talent was there for all to see.

After he received a rapturous applause upon the completion of his performance, a new segment started.

A quiz.

I loved quiz.

The quiz was about our nation’s forefathers.

"Tunku Abdul Rahman dikenali sebagai bapa apa?" came the first question.

A student raised her hand, and answered enthusiastically,

"Bapa Kemerdekaan!!!"

“Well done! Come on up here to pick your prize” was the teacher’s reply.

Second question was a bit tricky.

“Tun Abdul Razak...bapa apa?"

There was a wee bit of a silence among students. They looked on each others' face, discussing among themselves.

Then came a murmur from someone next to me...she was one of the kitchen's helpers.

"Bapa Najib..."

*Update 17/9/2016
I don't know why, but it's obvious the font used is quite big, is it? And I couldn't fix it...all the words are either becoming smaller or bigger (beyond my acceptable range of satisfaction) every time I try to fix it. 

So I'll leave it at that (sadly). Next time I'll try to figure it out. 

*Update 12/10/2016
Problem solved :)