This is St John’s School, where I spent 11 years of my life.
How I got into this school was this, one day I was watching TV when I noticed that I couldn’t understand any of the stuff they were saying. It was all in English…so I made up my mind to learn more. My dad told me it was the 1st day of my primary 2 year in Chung Hwa Middle School when I walked into my class hand in hand with him, took one look, and told him “I want to study in an English school.”
So that was that. For some reason, I have to go through primary 1 all over again in St John’s (SJS from now on). This is why for the rest of my SJS years I was always a year older than my classmates. In my first day of school I didn’t like the idea of studying with ‘the babies of primary 1’ so I boldly walked into primary 2 class and just sat there until the homeroom teacher came in.
Obviously my name wasn’t on her lists of student and she found out I was suppose to be in primary 1 from the books I was carrying. Got kicked back into the right class. XD
St John’s School was the school that my father went to until form 3 as well. That time the school was run by a catholic priest. The school during his time was old and the church was made of wood. Today’s SJS’s church is quiet nice actually.
Now this is a good school with a good reputation for its solid curriculum back then. Fail Malay? FAIL. Fail English? FAIL. Fail Math? Guess what? FAIL! So yeah since I was very weak in malay, I had to repeat in Form 1 and Form 3. Not my happy years.
Friendships were a little difficult thing back then. I wasn’t ashamed that my parents weren’t working in some glam job at Shell. Yes, they don’t collect mercedes for a hobby or nim teh with Bill Gates, or whatever the hell rich people usually do. So what? My mother works as a house keeper, my dad is a house painter. They work hard and they put food on the table.
But for some reason, I got friends’ parents who are prejudiced about that. I still feel it today. Yes, they smile and say hello, but I can feel underneath that mask they will do the best they can to keep me from their son/daughter. Like I got malaria or the black plague.
Like talking on the phone and the parent would pick up the other one and put an end to our conversation. Or fail to invite us into their house during CNY and their daughter had to entertain her friends outside the house on the patio.
Or how about telling me not to ‘sit too close’ to their son while playing games (I was holding the magazine with the fighting combos and he was tapping away.) Geez, lady, we’re playing PS2 games, not spin the fuck bottle.
I’m not saying that there weren’t any good friends but when I repeated Form 3, I slowly began to see who my real friends were. My usual ‘gang’ stopped inviting me to ‘hang out’. I slowly lost touch with them because of their superficiality. If they stopped talking to me cuz their parents say “Dun talk to the girl who failed her malay or else you might fail your malay too.” Fine by me. It’s not their fault if their parents were like that. I couldn’t give a shit.
Despite all that, I got good friends too who I still talk to and occasionally hang out today. Funny thing, Patricia and I weren’t very close back in school. Maybe it’s because she was my junior. Haha. Siao Mei Mei (small sister) Whahahahaha. Then there’s also Aaron who never changes. Ho Woei Lin who I can always count on. Leonard who I can trust 120%. (Len, you get to have my diaries when I am no longer around in this world. Ha.) Siew Huey, the girl with the same corny sense of humour as I have. Druba, like batman, knows all, hears all, but no one knows how. Desmond, we still geek out with MTG nights and games.
Good people, living good lives surrounded by good friends with good memories. This is what I got from good old SJS, it was more than just text book.