My memoir – scene 8- student life
Let me start with: At my first day of a new school year, I guess I was 5 years old; my mother sent me walking by myself from the apartment ( it was not very far but nonetheless it was not entirely residential neighborhood) to the grade school (we called primary school in Hong Kong those days). That was one of the best school in Hong Kong but they used Chinese language in teaching. For what reasons I did not know, but I was sent back home walking by myself by the school that same day. I possitively know I had not done anything wrong. So the error must have something in the admission process or it could have been that the school found out what my mom's profession was ( a madam) because that was a prestigious school.
Then right away, in the fastest time, she sent me to another primary school named Fatima Primary School. Actually, this Fatima School was founded bya middle-age Chinese Single lady ( I called her that because we never learned of any of her family members all 6 years while we were students there) who was educated with a master (at least ) degree in America and came back to Hong Kong and found that school by herself. It was a small private school located on a residential street with a lot of steps, like the grand staircase – long and narrow allowing access to two independent big old houses. One was used for the primary school, the other old house was a residence. Later, we students called it haunted and made up some stories to scare ourselves because we never seen anybody in or out of that house that many years; it seemed dark or dim all the times and doors and windows always closed. On graduation day, all students could stand one by one forming row after row posting for a graduation photo on those grand stairs.
My primary school(grade school) years were pretty much non-incidental in school and at home ( with my mom motel/madam business). All children went to and from school by themselves; whether they took public transportation or walked by themselves or with classmates. One day, I walked with another girl, both of us almost reached her apartment building, then we realized a teaher, Mr. Jong was following us. Then we laughed and said that he was following the other girl. He was very polite and seeing her safely walking upstairs, what about me? He didn't follow me home. Anyway, I still had quite a long walk. I guessed some girls had a crush on that grade school teacher- he was young, medium-built but good-manner, soft-spoken and not bad looking with his eyeglasses. No, I actually never had any crush on any teacher until I got to my senior college years.
In all my school years throughout, I was always, a grade A or B student average with particular better grades in mathematics like a lot other asian children. I credited the oriental genes plus the teaching methods. All we students were made to recite multiplication table, we were taught good in fractions, algebra, etc. So the weaker areas were usually English, literature , writing, comprehension, etc. But for me, I was sort of smart in all those areas too including art.
One time Mr. Lee, the teacher for English history, commended in the class about my focus during his class and a diligent student because everybody else seemed to be making some noises at that moment while he's sitting on edge of a student' desk talking. I was looking down on my text book and not even moving a bit because actually my nose was running and I didn't have any tissue paper or handkerchief to wipe it; that's why I
didn' t move my head or make any noise. But in reality, I was not a trouble maker, other boys would come in early before the first class bell to woe me to give them my homework so that they could copy my answers. So I did but I forgot how many times.
In those days, we were up to 12 years old, the boys and girls began took interests in each other. Because I was very skinny like a monkey with eyeglass, I was just a nerd as they put it in today's language. The boys after me only to copy my homeworks. But I never heard any students got into trouble for that. There were some girls whom the boys were after because they looked nice. Good thing was in those days, I believe it was not only the culture difference – Asian countries tend to be more conservative than western world plus there were no computers, internets, DVDs or video games, etc. In today's high school, girls got pregnant before they graduate; high school kids here drinking, smoking, swearing with full display of bad behaviors outside their schools. And did we hear on news that they bully a lot also inside the school.
In my old days in Hong Kong, we went out in a group, they talked about things but not adult topics; I heard them just going around in circles on childish topics. They didn't kiss, don't even mention hugging; so they were in what you called "puppy love" stage, just to hold hands. These scene happened in different time again when I witnessed in class the same kind of conversation between another boy and girl who were 16 yr. old already. I heard and saw that children those days were really "purer" than today's youngsters, really no comparison. The 12 year old boy screaming to me (I was sitting behind him in class) that he was seeing blood on the other girl's chair. He didn't know what was period (mensturation)? Today, children just sit watching Justin Bieber's music video and learn every aspect of adult education already. Bad influence from entertainment industries for purpose of making money. We never heard of child pregnancies, drug, eating disorders, fightings, bullyings….etc. The schools I'd been in were not even prestigious schools. I believe we have lost our future generations these days. Now even in Hong Kong, I can see bad influence in young people – no more little good students as in the old days.
The point I want to make is: today's public schoolds were so ineffective in influencing young people possitively as good children supposed to be not to mention to nuturing them intellectually. It's the flaw of the educational system in the western culture.