Sunday, May 16, 2004

Sunday Afternoon

It's hot and it's sleepy, so it must be Sunday afternoon. I'm no where near making a dent on my marking and I've been at it for the last 3 hours. That's how much marking I have to do. Plus I dropped my pen on the ground and now it's all scratchy.

I wish today was Saturday so that tomorrow would be Sunday. I never used to dread Mondays so much but now, since my Mondays stretch from 7 in the morning all the way to 9 in the evening, I dread them ALOT.

I just need to get past this week. Yesterday was too short because I spent the morning watching my debate team lose again. The consolation was that they're actually getting better at losing- they're not losing so badly now and they don't use stupid phrases like "we need to cut of the serpent's arm of human rights violations". And and and, to their credit, they actually managed to win the last debate and one of our boys was best speaker for that round! Yay! So they didn't lose all three debates, they just lost two! We have to be grateful for small things.

Last night, I was at my first college choir performance. It wasn't too bad. A colleague of mine refused to go because he was part of the top college choir in Singapore when he was at college so he claimed he couldn't watch anything that was not as good as that. Not a nice attitude to take, but well, to each his own. I had fun, possibly because I wasn't expecting much. It was held at the ACS (Barker)* auditorium and my colleague who is very enthusiastically 5 months pregnant announces that she would like to send her son, currently en-named "Hyman" to the school.

Dan doesn't think the kid would ever get through school alive with that name, especially in a boys school like ACS. The first boy who beats him up would be accused of "breaking Hyman" or "tearing Hyman up". Cannot make it. He'll be in therapy till he is 80.

It's scary how clueless and sheltered some people are. We've tried telling her time and again that "Hyman" despite meaning "life" in Hebrew is_just_not a name for a boy. But she thinks the meaning is more important than the kid being laughed at. She was also very confused when we told her that in order to get the yet to be born son into ACS, she would need to a) contribute a new wing to the school, b) do many many many hours of volunteer work at the school or c) become a member of the Methodist church. I mean, it is a very very popular school where every year, they have to ballot the number of vacanicies left with unlucky parents looking suicidal and hysterical and she doesn't get what understand the necessity of what we were saying? To her, as long as her son would like to go there, he'll get in.

Perhaps I'm being mean. Perhaps, I understand this better than she does because I still remember what it was like to almost not have a school to go to. My parents had disobeyed the "stop at two" policy the government had implemented, and is desperately regretting now, and had me. This meant I had to wait till all the other first and second child kids got into their chosen primary schools before my parents could think of which school to put me into. To make matters worse, my mother's first choice of a primary school for me, the one affliated to the church we went to, had GREEN POLKA DOTS on a white blouse and a green skirt to match! This aroused as much wrath as an already fashion conscious six year old could muster- meaning loud, ear shattering wailing of banshee and screeching of harpee that no parent could tolerate for long amounts of time and I had big lungs. So, where to send me? The only other school near enough and had a uniform agreeable to me had a wait list long enough to pave the road from the school all the way to my home and my parents had to just wait and hope. This only happened because we had absolutely no affliation whatsoever to the school and this was 22 years ago.

Things are much harsher now, there are popular primary schools with large banners that announce that "Parent Volunteer Applications Opening Soon!" and parents will do that to try to get half a foot into the door of the school. Property round top schools in Singapore cost an arm and a leg because parents will move near enough to the school in order to gain entry into the school based on proximity and my colleague was appalled when she thought we were trying to teach her to "buy" her way into ACS. Wake up and smell the roses, mommmy!

What a bourgeois society we live in! It's one step away from the exclusive prep schools in New York and Boston where you have to put your child's name on the wait list the minute he is born and you can't ever settle for second best or how will your son face the other kids in the sand pit!

Shrug. I hope for my colleague's son's sake that she becomes a little bit more clued in on how the world actually works because the poor kid's really going to have a hard time if she remains as naive as she is now.

*One of the oldest mission boys schools in Singapore with a long standing tradition of wealth.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:02

1 thoughts...

1 thoughts...

At 9:15 pm Anonymous Anonymous said...

er...sounds like what a christian fascist would do....the name thing...

or tell her she can donate 11.8 million to us and we'll be eternally grateful and she can thus be convinced she's GOd's gift to ACS.


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