Don’t Leave Me, Ms. Maureen
January 03, 2010

"Every year also like this. School time come then I always need to fork out money one. Your kid how old leh?"

And I snorted iced tea out of my nose. The last time I checked, it was January 2010. I was 26, not married and couldn't recall adopting a child. My ID clearly didn't read 'Madonna'.

"I'm here for my sister actually."

Perhaps she didn't notice the South Park t-shirt I was wearing.

"Oh like that ah. I'm here for my boy. Going to Standard 1 on Monday. So scaredy-cat one. Today crying already... want mommy."

I looked at him. He was facing down, kicking pebbles in his white shoes. One hand, busy wiping off the incessant flow of tears falling down his cheeks. The other, clutching on tightly to mommy's arm. I could hear the echoes of the sobs he was trying to hold in and let drown in his heart.

Perhaps he was doing all he could in reclaiming his masculinity; which had just been crushed by his own mother. As his tears dry off, the boy finally lifted his head, and looked at me. The prideful ego of a man in the presence of another was already apparent in the youthful innocence of his watery, squinting eyes. Through which I saw myself.

For I was once, in his shoes.

I'd be lying to say that I had a smooth transition from kindergarten to primary school. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that I had an easier time adapting to boarding school and later on, college overseas. Well maybe the open shower thing we had in the dorms was a bit difficult. Nevertheless, I'd still take anything else over January 1, 1990.

It was the first day of school and I was due to register as a Standard 1 student. A day I wasn't looking forward to. Even as a 7 year old, I already knew way beforehand, then, that the whole experience won't be anywhere near fancy. Maybe I was a bit too at ease in kindergarten that I couldn't quite get out of my comfort zone just yet.

In other words, I simply couldn't imagine myself surviving the following years without biscuits and Milo at 10am.

Going into primary school meant more than just being in the white and blue uniform. The buildings will be bigger. There'll be more people in the classroom. We'll only get one break for the day during recess. I'll have to start buying stuff on my own from the canteen and bookstore. Even the teachers, were somehow, two to three times the size of lovely Ms. Maureen I had in kindergarten.

Most of all, I was dreading the whole process of making new friends. You know, questions lingering in my head. Who should start talking? What do you say first? What language should you use? What is that kid doing? Why are his shorts so tight? Shoot how does he even walk in them? How long until I could make fun of this guy? And won't you just look at his Jem and the Hologram tumbler. I bet he got it switched with his sister this morning. Ha ha.

Where was I?

So from these concerns of mine, and being the pure unadulterated soul that I was, as a child, I had no other choice but to express my dissatisfaction through the acts of crying my lungs out, wrapping my arms to a lamp post, sticking my legs in between the gates, and biting the guard's ear; as I stepped into the school compound with my parents. The word unjust comes to mind whenever I'm brought back to the incident and be wrongfully accused of cowardice.

That wasn't cowardice. That was merely an expression of angst and frustration over all that was not right with the system. Evidently, the Che Guevara in me rebelled like no other as I tried to slide my way out of the classroom window. Only to get my neck stuck in between the panes. Though the struggle, was all worth it. I simply had to fight, for my right.

As the images of the past fade away, I was back to where I was. On my knees, I placed my hand on the boy's shoulder. And said to him...

"Sit near the window without the panes. Just, run."


Tadika Cempaka, Love? :) Ms Maureen must've adored you heaps.

But yeah, crying em lungs out, wrapping your arms around a lamp post, biting the guard's ear. Classic.
I love expressive boys. Tsk tsk.

hahaha. serih2...

abeh saudara ni tak kerja ke?

Do you have any idea how scary first day of school is for us teachers?

We get the jitterbugs too and I remember screaming "Not fairrrrr" in my heart when I first started. Of all schools, I got posted to a Tamil school.

To make it worse, I was asked to teach three Year 1 classes. These days you dont get too many of the crying ones anymore - they enter school well prepared to send their teachers to mental asylums. Haha.

assss rif!!

heh..just terjumpe this blog kat blog cik siti ahai.

happy new year bro! :D

Good day, sun shines!
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It gets down to select a correct companion who uses your funds in a right way - that is incorporate it in real business, parts and divides the income with me.

You can ask, if there are such firms? I'm obliged to answer the truth, YES, there are. Please be informed of one of them:

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Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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