Odds and ends.

"TOKA that, mofo."
-Mr Osnain, 2007.

Just an entry about all the bits and bobs of the universe. Seeing as I started with I nice Osnain quote, I’ll talk about him for a moment.

Mr Osnain is one of my most admired men on the planet. He’s spontaneous, doing partially crazy things for little good reason, and yet he knows exactly what he’s on about and can convey this very well. His humour can be slightly crude, but he’s a very funny guy who a) loves Singapore and b) is left handed, so he’s right up there on my favourite persons list. As I said, he’s highly spontaneous. Take Wednesday’s lesson for example.

Binuk mentioned something about some new school policy that planned to cut SOSE subjects in Year 10. He didn’t say anything, so we all went back to work. About ten seconds later, he announced,
"While I’m on my soapbox, why would you have to get rid of society and environment?!"
When I looked up, he was standing on his desk, his head centimetres away from the ceiling.
"The multiplier works in reverse! People lose jobs! People without incomes can’t find jobs! Society and Environment teachers are out on the street! No it doesn’t bother me Chew!"
Richard Chew looked up with a puzzled expression on his face, where he’d been writing quietly.
"Imagine sending people into society without having taught them about society and environment! They wouldn’t know anything about politics! They wouldn’t know anything about economics! They’d put me in a detention centre! I’d have to shave! That’s crazy!"

He went on for a little while, Binuk bursting out in fits of laughter, the rest of us quite awed.
"I’d love it if [the vice principal, Mr Kenny] walked past right now," he commented. Mr Osnain climbed down a little while after that, and returned to teaching us about the multiplier creating extra income yada yada.

Why I would regret dropping English Lit:
-I studied Literature instead of English in Years 10 and 11. Would they go to waste? Would I be ready for English when I haven’t studied films or advertisments?
-I’d lose Mr Mueller, who teaches both vocabulary, and the command of language.
-I wouldn’t be able to relate to friends of mine who do Lit.
-I would be able to relate to many non-lit peers.
-The loss of opportunity to more fully appreciate some of the greatest texts in all of history.

I would regret that last one a great deal. Mr Mueller is a fantastic teacher, whose command of English is unparalleled. Before I hit Year 12, I clung on to every syllable he spoke as if it were some kind of wonderful drug. And he does it so effortlessly, too! Yes, Mr Mueller has slowly but definitely changed my understand of the English language for the better. That said, I wrote a crap essay today which should get me about 30%. I feel awful, but nothing can be done now. There’s another essay on Wednesday, so if I nail that one, I might be able to redeem myself. He did say at the start of the year that if any of us fail the first two assessments, he’d basically force us to drop Lit and do English instead. My title as his student is endangered. He is a great guy though, not just for his language (which he uses to persuade, even when he’s wrong. He confessed this once, and I’ve held it to heart since- you have to watch out for him, because he can make you doubt yourself by the sheer fierceness of his imposing vocabulary), but for his thoughtfulness. He’s spiritual, even if he’s not religious (I daren’t ask or notice), and he left the class while we were writing our essays today to get me a cough lolly. I love him dearly, and would hate to leave because of my own incompetence. This next one’s important, so pay attention.

Girls, if you like a guy, for goodness sake just tell him so. If you drop hints, one of two things will happen. Chances are, he won’t notice them, no matter how obvious. You’ll feel hurt and he won’t know why. Number two. If he does pick up on them, and he doesn’t like you in the same way you like him, he’s not going to tell you so. You’ll probably think he hasn’t picked up on your hints and continue dropping them, and you’ll feel hurt and he will know why, but not say anything about it. So girls, do him and yourself a favour and tell him how you feel. Trust me; I’m a rat.

"Rhee is nothing to us." Mr Ross said he didn’t even consider it a real Taekwondo, and wanted me to start my gradings from whitebelt. I felt bad, and I’m still not sure why. Was I offended he indirectly said I hadn’t actually learned Taekwondo for those two years? Or was I offended that I claimed to be a student of TKD when I’d been following something like Rhee? Closer to the first one, I think. He didn’t respect the other club at all. Also, he told me to forget everything I’d learned because it was pernicious, and seemed very pleased that Oh Do Kwan taught more to their students. One-step combinations and hold-breakers for example. I’m not so sure if I like Oh Do Kwan so much now, but my first grading is on Sunday. If I’ve recovered suitably, I’m hoping to skip yellowbelt and go straight to blue.

And one more for Liam… [Written whilst waiting for Mum to get off the phone.]

Her left leg is straight, her right leg bent at the knee, pointing away from her. In her right hand, she clutches the phone as she leans against the head of the bed. She reclines slightly, slouching against its wooden frame and holding the receiver so its antenna points at the wall behind. Every time whoever’s on the other end speaks, the phone pierces the ait with a kind of electronic screech. She wonders why, and decides to ignore it. In her left hand, she holds the back scratcher, which she uses to half-poke, half-rub her legs absentmindedly with the wrong end of the claw. Her mouth is open and she stares at the ceiling blankely whenever she’s not talking. When she does, she sounds like she’s complaining in whatever Chinese vernacular she can whine in, punctuated frequently by english words, easier to recall for both parties than the Chinese alternative.

This is my mother, whom I love, and whom I am astounded by. Was she really the one to raise me? Amazingly so. God bless her.



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