Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the secondary school I went to. It was even reported in the news.
As I looked over the posts on its Facebook page, memories flowed back into my mind. The feelings I have with the school are mixed.
The school is a SAP school and places high emphasis on academic excellence. Yet, it is also a ‘chinese’ school with its long history and its places high importance of traditional moral values. Compared to the schools of today, we also had a whole long list of ECAs that we can join.
This was the place I once hated to go to, because of the high academic standards. In hindsight, I often disagree with some of the ways grades were placed on such high priority. I can vividly remember the days where I dreaded to go to school, especially in the first few months after leaving primary school. Yet, it was the place where I forged friendships lasting till today. I have fond memories of activities in my ECA (yes, called ECA back then, not CCA), which gave me many opportunities to lead and to have fun. It is also the school my husband attended, even though I did not know him back then.
The school uniform looks really distinct and different from all other schools’. It still looks the same after 60 years. Our school song is like no other I’ve heard and it is in Mandarin. In school, we recited the national pledge in Mandarin. I found myself speaking Mandarin in school more than English and I totally, totally cannot understand the ‘hatred’ towards Chinese language that many children of today feel. I did not especially love or hate Mandarin, but I find myself more able to appreciate the beauty of the language as I grow older. Listening to the school song, I felt goosebumps on my arms. So few lyrics, yet such deep meaning.
On some days, I would drive past this other school I had wished to go to after my PSLE. I found myself wondering how different I might have been if I had attended that school, which is at the other end of the spectrum, at the ‘ang mo sai’ end of the spectrum instead of the ‘cheena’ end. I’m actually glad I did not go to that school, not because it is not a good school, but because a ‘cheena’ culture may suit me better.
Even though not everyone of us from a SAP school will be a high-flyer or choose to become one, thank you for the 4 years I have spent there.
Happy 60th anniversary River Valley High School. 立德立功，化愚化顽
Ever since there is a new coffeeshop near the LRT station, we have been going there quite often. I was very excited at its opening because it means an additional source of food options. Somewhere along the way to the coffeeshop we would have to walk through some footpaths and I had noticed that there seems to be an extraordinarily large number of snails here. Perhaps there are many near my cluster of flats, but they seem to come out only after the rain. These snails here at this new footpath, come out even when there is no rain. And there are really lots of them.
One evening, along the way to the coffeeshop, I saw a boy kicking something against the wall. When I walked nearer, I was appalled and disgusted to see that he was kicking a snail! What a spoilt brat. I looked around to see if there were any adults (presumably his parents) around, but there weren’t. I told him that is a snail (with a life), not a ball for him to kick. I gave him a stern look and continued my way, turning back to look at him every few steps I took. He stared at me and then continued kicking the poor snail. I was pretty surprised that the snail’s shell sounded pretty strong. Still, which animal can withstand abuse like that?
On the way back after our meal, I walked to the spot where the snail was. True enough, it was dead. Not only dead, but squashed. What a poor thing. I felt my heart squashed a little and it brought my mind back to a dark rainy night a few years ago. I was walking home from the carpark. I was walking quickly and suddenly, beneath my feet, came a “crack” sound. I stopped in my tracks immediately and not let my foot land completely. Still, the damage was done. I had killed a snail.
Ever since that night, I had been careful in my steps, especially after the rain, watching out for these little fellows. I told my friend about the boy and the snail, and realised that she has something for snails too.
2 nights ago, we walked that path to the coffeeshop again. On our way back, I caught sight of this snail which was not fully grown yet. Even though I was up and walking, I could see its shell was horizontal, not upright as I thought they always are. I stooped down to look at this little fellow and as it was making its way into the area where the pathlight was shining, I quickly whipped out my phone, wanting to catch it right in the light. Boy, was it fast! Hahaha. Yes, honestly, they move a lot faster than I had imagined.
I checked out the internet and read somewhere that the snail can move with its shell vertical or horizontal, depending on its preference?! So it’s like “hmm today I feel like having my shell up” and up it goes? Nice!
Well, the snail moves at an average speed of 0.013m/s. The banana slug on the other hand moves at an average speed of 0.000023m/s, according to this website. See, told you the snail isn’t that slow.
Mr Lee KY had been hospitalised since 5 Feb. Every day, we hear news that his condition has deteriorated.
This day has finally come.
Heard the live address from the PM over the radio while in the car on my way to work.
Could hear him holding back tears when he switched from Malay to Chinese.
Watching is more painful.
RIP and thank you.