Scalded

THE HOLIDAYS HAVE BEGUN (not officially but for me, yea!) and when boredom struck today, I went to my grandma’s room and flipped on that old-as-heck PC which hasn’t been on for…maybe a year(?) !

It appeared that dust winter had consumed it as I wiped away the fluffy layer of dust when replugged some of those loose wires. Once that was done – WOW. It’s been forever since I’ve seen something on that screen, my MSN auto-loaded up, some Anti-Virus nonsense loaded up, etc.! That’s when it hit me –

THIS DAMNED THING ISN’T PLUGGED INTO THE (UNSUBSCRIBED) INTERNET MODEM.

Therefore, I decided to venture into the depths of ‘My Computer’ and see what mystical files of mine I would find, remembering all my projects being done on this ol’ machine! That’s when I saw a file named “SPBC.ppt”. It was one of those files that just sat there, uncategorized unlike literally EVERYTHING ELSE in the ‘Athanasius’ folder. With such a simplistic yet mysterious name and presence, I had to check it out, I had to see its importance and why I left it there in the first place.

*click-click* A picture of a giant fish with labels poking every side of it and wavy, blue words that read ‘Science Project Based Competition’ just lit up my screen. Sound like a simple science experiment Powerpoint slideshow, eh? Well, for me, this innocent Primary School ‘project’ (WHICH WASN’T EVEN A COMPETITION) was a reminder of how and why I was shaped around 3 letters for the 2 years that followed that project – I. E. D.

Google IED, and aside from Osama’s favourite toys, you might encounter what’s defined as Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Yes, EXPLOSIVE. I would, according to my friends – shiver, turn red, and ‘explode’ into an outburst of anger and once in awhile, regrettably, resort to violence. After that, almost instantly, I would return to a normal state, forgetting every single move I made during those few moments. And unfortunately, yes, what appeared to be a psychological phase stayed on with me for 2 years and has stopped for 4 without even the slightest shiver, and it will CONTINUE to stop for as long as I live.

But why that project?

In Pri 5, everyone had a change of teachers, and my form teacher happened to be a senior teacher and as she introduced herself to us on the first day of school, she mentioned a few things that stuck with me, and became personal as she continued teaching me for the next 2 years. She stated that we “did not have to worry”, that she was a fair and “unbiased” teacher, and that there’s no such thing in her classes as “Teacher’s Pet”, and yes, those in bold are QUOTED.

‘WOW!’ I thought –  no other teacher in my life has ever guaranteed that! (till today, she’s still the only one)
The problem is –  no other teacher in my life has been discriminative but her. (till today, she’s still the only one)

She HAD a pet that most of the class could clearly recognize. She HAD clear discrimination against me and a few other classmates as well, simply because we were a bit more talkative than the rest. We turn our heads, BAM – lectured. We whisper a tiny message, BAM – lectured, etc. And mind you, this only happened to the few of us. The others? Oh, they could talk the day away with no problem! What set me apart from the other of the discriminated was my reaction. If you know me, you know how much I hate behavioral discrimination, and considering that I was the ‘victim’ here, it really got to me, it really hit me hard. First few times, fine, she’s the teacher – let her be. Then…no no no. All that anger just boiling up – it was a recipe for explosion after Explosion after EXPLOSION.

It’s been 5 years since my last lesson with her, and yet, 2 major instances still strike me and for the sake of venting them out, here they are –

  1. The Banana Incident – It’s funny when I talk about it now, after all, all I did was draw on the skin of MY unopened banana (that I brought for recess). I know, I don’t get why I did it either, BUT the point was that I did it – between lessons, disrupting NO ONE. She came in, saw me do it and scolded me. I was confused at what I did wrong and was sure asking wouldn’t help. Next thing I know, I’m writing a letter. Best part, was I writing to her? Was I writing to the DM? The Principal? My mum? NO CLUE. Thus, I simply started with “Dear whoever it may concern”, something I learnt while reading actual mail sent to my home. Apparently, that was SO ‘rude’ of me she rejected the letter! Fine, I crumpled it up, and placed it under my desk to throw away after school. She scolded me again, this time asking me to un-crumple it, photocopy it and pass it to the DM. Yes, pass a photocopy of a crumpled letter about apologising for drawing on a banana. DM never responded. (Would you take that letter seriously as a DM?!)
  2. SPBC.ppt – And back to where we began, where each group in class was given a type of pollution to research and present in class. My group got Water Pollution among others which included, Air, Radioactive, etc. I researched the heck out of that project and I was so excited for presentation day. Now, presentations were split into 2 days. On the first day, one of the presentations was about Radioactive Pollution and one of the effects of this, according to the group, is mutations. Interesting, after all, according to my research, that’s also an effect of Water Pollution! Day 2: Water Pollution time – and it just so happens, that I was presenting the slide on Water Pollution’s effects, including… MUTATION. Despite pictures of multi-mouthed fish, multi-headed turtles and some weird thing to back my research further, my teacher accused me of copying the group from the day before. WHAT. That lie of an accusation just pissed me off, especially so when I remembered that I’m often being discriminated. Seriously….WHAT.

I still remember the time shortly after P6 Prelims, and she just mocked my studying habits (I don’t study.), saying how I would score badly if I continued that way and how I should listen to all her ‘advice’ and if I didn’t, how I would regret for the rest of my life, etc.
One thing I ALSO remember was PSLE results day and how I proved her wrong and yet, she could still say “Oh, I knew you could do it!”, that kinda stuff. WHAT.

One thing’s for sure, this tough experience may have belittled me a lot then, but it has helped with my confidence ever since. It took a while for the rage to go down and the confidence to go up, but it’s there alright 🙂

And yes, I did go back to visit along with some of my ex-classmates! The best part, the last time I was there, her reaction when she realized who I was  – different. Different from all the reaction that she displayed to my ex-classmates.

-WHAT.-

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