Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The First Day Back

Sometime last week, we were telling a friend who was back in Singapore on vacation that she should hang out in the city on New Year's Day and the day after to see the faces of morose children who had to return to school the next day. Well, it's not just the students that are morose. I'm morose too. Everyone's morose.

The minute I stepped into college, the teacher face had to come on. Kids, all over the place, sitting across the broad stairway. So, how do teachers get through them? People say I'm thin, but really, I'm not two dimensional and paper thin to be able to squeeze through all these large 16 year old boys. So Bah! to that.

I think this feeling of bah-ness comes from facing another year of the same thing. The status quo. Everyone's moved, changed places/jobs/countries (delete accordingly), doing different things. Not me, hence the feeling of ennui.

All over the island, I suspect it's the same. Teachers are grumpy because at the end of the day, we never quite grew out of the "I hate school, I don't want to go to school, I wish I was anywhere but here..." phase. Plus they have to fight traffic. It always seems a little bit weird that the first week of school is a week of congestion. Anywhere you see a congestion, between 7 and 8 in the morning, there're schools in the vicinity. And by the end of the second week, traffic is tolerable, even though it wasn't that every school had a 20% drop out rate and there are less children going to school. So, leaving at a quarter to 7 isn't sufficient time for me to get into college before the bell goes.

Apparently, at another school, to welcome the housing of primary, secondary and college under one roof, there was a HUGE combined assembly in the field with the little kids wilting from being in the sun and never really having to stand still for so long, the middle kids fidgeting and kicking soil at one another and the big kids, being the oldest in the bunch talking on mobile phones and incurring the wrath of their teachers at the same time.

My brother happened to be at the assembly since my little nephew is now old enough to join the ranks of formal education (So fast!!!! I still remember him at 3 months!) and he surmised that 80 percent of the teachers looked like they wanted to be somewhere else and leaned over to his friend and commented that his sister (me) was probably looking about the same at that point. How truly insightful he was!

Yes, those who are able to have breakfast at McDonald's have the luxury of such discerning insights.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 10:56

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