Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Memoirs of St David's High School Part 1

I remember vividly the day I enter the compound of St David’s High School. I took a deep breath in as I took my first steps into what is to be my high school for the next 5 years. I could not conceal my apprehension as I looked around. The school is outrageously a far cry from my primary school which had beautiful gardens with flowers of many colours, buildings which look new and kept and creative murals painted on the empty walls along the hallways. What I saw was enough to make me cry for the poor state of the school. I told my mum many times, I don’t think this is the place for me.

St David’s High School to a Form One student looked worn out with multi-coloured buildings of the oddest shade of blue, green and brown. I noticed the old furniture, wooden brown tables filled with grafitti, liquid paper marks, formulas of all nature, cursing, unsent love letters, carvings and just about anything that could be scribbled on the wooden piece called a desk. The chairs were plastic, a hideous shade of green with some chairs missing a leg when students with lack of fun decides to take it out on the poor chair. The paint on the walls of the school were peeling, as if it was tearing and saying, I’m crying a silent cry as hordes of students walk past me, brush against me, print footprints, spray paint and write on me when they vent out their teenage anger and frustrations.

A part of my looked at the school judgmentally. I could have gone to another school and be with all my friends. And that school is most definitely nicer, newer with better facilities. I hard a time picturing students who came and studied here in St. David’s with so little the school had to offer. I really miss the luxuries of coming from a Sekolah Harapan Negara (an award given to some of the best schools in the country) where everything is top notch compared to the pitiable state of my high school.

So thus begins my journey as a St Davidian.

Form 1
It is tough enough with my school being so completely different from primary school, I had no friends. Most of my friends went to either boarding schools or the neighboring high school. Mum put me here instead. She believed it is good to make new friends and learn to adapt and of course, St David’s is famous for churning out top students who go very far in life. I never really paid attention to what she said. I thought this was just some “promotional” gimmick she had. And so I stayed.

Making friends isn’t supposed to be hard right? But the one thing I never had problem in before became a problem. Everyone was so different and in my personal opinion, different in a very bad way. The boys were extremely childish, running around and playing catch and chasing with some of the other girls (OMG!!!), curse like nobody’s business (why is saying f**k and bas**** so acceptable) and stayed close to their cliques as most of them are friends from their primary school.

To add spice to the curry, many couldn’t place me, I didn’t look malay, Chinese or Indian so I was called Bangla. Everytime someone called me that, it sliced my heart like a never healing wound not allowed to heal and the cut just grew deeper and deeper with time. While everyone found it funny, let me tell you this, it was NOT!

The whole year was miserable. I felt no sense of belonging, I didn’t like most people in class for various reasons and those I didn’t have reason to not like were not very friendly or approachable. Almost everyday was a dread and I asked countless time to be shifted out of school because I hated it here. Alas, those words fell on deaf ears. I longed for the day I could go back to who I was with my own clique.

I did eventually make some friends. DG and gang were my first few. We used to hang out at the canteen because we all took the bus to school and arrived almost an hour earlier before school starts. Thank heavens school was in the afternoon session. I can’t imagine being in school also sleepy eyed at 6.30 am. Then there was the girl who sat next to me, known to all as Raj Fowler. She wore an easy breathing stripe as Robbie Fowler the footballer did. Kenny, my friend from primary school and Ketam, the only one who approached me the first day of school.

Ketam: Hey, how come you’re taller than me ah?
Kul: Eermm, I don’t know.
Ketam: I was the tallest person in my primary school
Kul: So was I.
Ketam: Wah lau wei (an expression of shock and / or amazement), girl taller than me man. I don’t care; I’ll beat you to that one day.

Yeah, our first conversation wasn’t about our names and where were we from. It was about a height issue but from then onwards, we became great friends.

Verdict: A year of being lost and completely hopeless.

Form 2
After the 2 month semester break, I was not looking forward to going back to school and facing the same people again. This time around I actually had the option of switching schools but I figured I’ll need to learn to fit in instead of running away.

There was a lot of excitement on the first day of school for we are now in the morning session with the seniors. And to my utmost surprise, girls I didn’t talk to asked me how my holidays were and all of us were there shrieking in laughter exchanging holiday stories. It was a great start and I beamed with glee.

So I made a lot more new friends this time around and it felt wonderful. I guess I was too harsh and quick to judge. And I found out why no one approached me. I apparently looked unapproachable, stuck-up and since I was tall and wore those “ballerina” Bata shoes, they assumed I was, well, arrogant and too high and mighty for anyone else *horror*

High school crushes loom across the hallways and corridors. One caught my fancy and another fancied me. It is pretty cute to think of all that had taken place, the little notes and calls on the phone, quick glances when we bump into each other in school. The pretending of not knowing one another to keep the rumours down and becoming dates at the school dance and nights. Cute and totally high school.
Verdict: New friends and crushes

Since this is such a long post already, the second half will be continued tomorrow.


Azzam?? said...

a very nostalgic entry u have here.. waaaaaa.. kinda like thinking about my highchool years also =D

Btw... what is your height huh?? are u like really tall??

Kenny said...

HAHA...very nostalgic. made me recall the 1st day we were at school together.

Ohkulala said...

azzam: i'm 172cm. i would say i'm above average but i'm also the shortest person at home.

kenny: oh yeah, and we came back from a looong way back!

Azzam?? said...

172?? x_x im 173.. if u were to wear any heels, u'd be taller than me.. =p and since u mentioned u're the shortest in your family, your brother (if u have any) would be waaayyy taller than i am!

Ginn said...

gosh..kul, suddenly i feel so short already now...=)

nice entry! you made me recall my younger days too...*grin*

Ohkulala said...

azzam: my younger sisters are 2 and 6cm taller than me. no brothers.

ginn: thanks! i kinda miss high school from time to time