Yesterday was the first day in many weeks that I went jogging. My first thought was if I would meet my secondary teacher, Mr Lee, as I’ve seen often seen him whenever I jogged around BuKit Batok. I would not have recognised him if not for meeting him once at my Secondary Art teacher’s Art Exhibition in 2005.
There he was, a frail old man with a mop of white hair, walking slowly next to his wife. His eyes showed a flicker of recognition as I neared and I greeted them cheerfully, Hello Mr Lee, hello, Mrs Lee.
Mr Lee was once my PE teacher and English teacher in sec one and two. Rumour has it that he met his wife, a teacher in the primary section, who is twenty years his junior. He was a jovial teacher and his lessons were fun. Did he recognise me from school before? I’m sure he did, as my sister and I often called out to him whenever we visited our alma mata, although he may not remember our names.
Last week at a tea session with my Nanyang schoolmates, we ended up talking about our teachers. One of my favourite teachers, Mr Goh Kow See was my English teacher who only taught in NY for two years. He taught me English at sec three and sec four and the whole level could tell I was his favourite student (true!). I was dismayed to learn that he left NY immediately after we graduated.
Another of my favourite was my English Lit teacher, Miss Michelle Lim. She taught in NY for a long time. We nicknamed her 睡袍美人 because her dressing reminded us of that, not that she was a beauty. She was very fierce but she had a soft spot for me. (Teachers like students who are good in their subjects!) I remembered visiting her once after graduation when she told me, you know what’s your biggest problem, Vicky? You are too lazy! You could do alot more if you are more hardworking. I agreed with her readily.
Recently during my alma mata’s anniversary dinner, I tried asking the other teachers of her whereabout. Unfortunately no one knew. All I knew was that she left for St Nicholas agfter NY.
One of the funniest teacher was my E. Maths teacher, Mr Ong, who also taught only for two years. He had never taught in a girls’ school before and did not know how to handle girls, if he should be hard or soft, strict or lenient. Whenever he marked our test papers, we could persuade him to increase what was a failure grade to a pass grade by adding in motivation marks, thinking marks and attempting marks.
The other day, Aaron asked if i wanted to revert to childhood. I said yes. I had not believe my form teacher when she once told us that student days were 黄金时代, but meeting Mr Lee yesterday reminded me of how much fun I had when I was a student.