Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hazy First Year

Yesterday was the first day of school for the many seven-year olds around the country. The returning students are probably split between the excited ones who have been bored being cooped up in the house for about 2 months, and the remaining ones are probably groaning at the thought of having to endure another year of homework, tests and examinations! And oh, let's not forget those who will be sitting for major examinations such as the UPSR, PMR, SPM or STPM - they are the super stressed ones I believe.

A visual on the evening news yesterday caught my attention. The camera crew went to a Chinese school and filmed the ongoings in a First Year classroom. Parents accompanied their seven-year olds to school on the first day and you could see them fussing so much over their little ones, and of course, many were seen loitering outside the classrooms and peeking through the windows checking on their sons or daughters.

The children are a funny bunch. Some were seated silently in their seats trying to soak in the ambience, some were making fast friends and chatting amongst themselves. Some were jumping up and down waving to the cameraman and one even covered the camera lens with his palm! That's a cheeky little one who knows his privacy is being invaded by some nonsensical papparazzis! Of course, let's not forget those frightenend ones who were bawling their eyes out and running out of the classrooms!

Li'l Doreen reporting for Year 1 is hazy in my memory, c'mon it's been 17 years ago! Being the first born, I got everything brand new - my white shirt, blue pinafore, socks and shoes, textbooks, pencils, crayons, poster colours, pencil case, you name it. Lucky aren't I? My schooling adventure began at Sekolah Kebangsaan Sri Tebrau in Johor Bahru, and I was in class 1 Sutera. I don't remember if my parents accompanied me, but upon checking with mom momentarily, she said dad sent me to school on my first day and helped me through the registering / enrolment process before he set off for work.

I don't think I cried or got scared when dad left - that would be embarassing no? Heh. But I'm sure I did OK. Being the eldest amongst 4 girls, I guess I was a feisty and independent little one! I hoped I didn't get into my "big sister" mode and tried to mother all the crying babies in the class, if there were any? Hmmm.

Mom gave me some pocket money, and packed me lunch because she didn't believe in eating out. But that didn't stop me from indulging in in those heavenly ais batang which was going for RM 0.10! I don't remember who my first friend was, but I remembered being close to a particular Malay girl in my first year. Afzan was her name. She was a cute, chubby one and she looked so round in her white tudung. So cute you know? Heh. (If anyone who's reading this and knows of a particular Afzan from SKST in Johor Bahru, let me know! I would love to be in touch with her again!)

I hated the chairs in my classroom. Remember those old wooden chairs that creak? They had these gaps where two pieces of wood meet to form the seat where you rest your bum. I always got the flesh of my bum or thighs pinched by that horrid gap! Ouch! Then I remember the bright yellow bas sekolah. My bus uncle was a tall scrawny fella with a measly moustache if I remembered correctly. His wife would always be in the bus during after school trying to make a few bucks selling us tidbits on our ride home. Then there were the games we played and the little jingles we'd sing as we clap our hands to these little games. I particularly remembered playing getah with the girls. It's a rubber skipping rope made by looping hundreds of rubberbands together.

But it's all so far away now....

Primary school was fun. I made many friends but lost them all along the way because the family moved to Alor Setar when I finished Year 5.

Oh well. Shit happens.

Posted by Doreen at 11:42 am