Friday, May 16, 2008

Remembering My Teachers

Do you remember your teachers? I do. Here is a list of my teachers from kindergarten to university who I still think of from time to time.
Montessori Kindergarten, Seremban
(Its most illustrious son must be none other than our first Angkasawan. Hey! I went to kindy with the angkasawan’s brothers and cousins! He! He!)
Miss Lim – who not only taught me to read and write but also to sing and dance as well.
Convent Primary, Seremban

Miss Muttu – the fierce headmistress who zoomed around in a green mini clubman (those days the mini was really mini...). This lady was really garang...Macam landlady Mr. Bean tu.

Miss Chapman – the opposite of Miss Muttu. The gentle, soft-spoken, senior assistant who was asked whether she was related to Mark Chapman, John Lennon’s murderer on that fateful day in 1979. Drove a hatched-back mini (Another mini? What’s with those teachers back in the 70s?) . Migrated to Oz when I was in Std 6.

Miss Patricia Lee – the beautiful but grumpy Math teacher who could play the lead guitar. She would stand on a rickety wooden stool to write sums on the blackboard and kept asking if we understood or not. Her famous line when we just buat bodoh – “Couldn’t be bothered” He! He! She had no car and would regularly tumpang my mom.

Mrs Ho – the lanky bespectacled lady who only drew humans in the form of twigs! She wrote the famous comment in my report card that my mum kept repeating to this day and age: “Suka berbual-bual dalam bilik darjah”. Hmm...can’t remember what car she drove.

Mrs. Kulasingam – the motherly English Language teacher who couldn’t stand my finger-tapping - "I know you play the drums but this is class..."  Hehehe!  Never saw her in anything but saree (teachers don’t wear sarees anymore, do they?)

Mr. Joe Chelliah – he did not teach in my school (Mana ada male teacher kat Convent?). He was a music lecturer from MPIK. He taught me how to play the guitar but I turned out to be a better drummer. The rest as they say, was history...(Chewah!)

Mrs. Tan – the kind, regal and petite angklung maestro whose nails were perfectly manicured. She would offer to send me home in her Datsun after mini-orchestra training sessions. I could still remember the standing ovation that she got after conducting the angklung ensemble to Abba’s “Chiquitita” during our annual concert.

Puan Halifah – my stylish class teacher. I would gawk at her clothes and her hair-style instead of listening to her lessons. Apa lagi, dia mengadulah kat mak I who was also a teacher there. Ala cikgu...I think you like the attention, kan? kan? kan? :)

The late Cikgu Fatimah – Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s mother. The chic grand old dame who taught us Jawi. Wore pink lipsticks when no other teacher dared to. Would always tell us about traditional games which we never heard of. Anybody here who knows how to play “Cha” ?(You’d go like..”What..?”)

Ustazah Ramlah – the dedicated ustazah who taught me Ugama well. Her description of “Hell” scared the hell out of some of the students that Miss Muttu had to advise her to focus more on “Heaven”! My mother said that she would often ask how I was whenever they met. ...Also drove a mini (chuckle!)

SMSAH, Jitra, Kedah (Boarding school)

Cikgu Sopiah – Our fierce BM teacher who made us memorize all the grammar rules. Kalau tak ingat...siaplah... Was also our scouts adviser.

Cikgu Rohani – the patient Math teacher. Really patient gile.

Cikgu Bashah  – my SRT teacher cum head warden. Forced us to take SRT because everybody wanted to take Commerce. It’s actually a blessing in disguise because at 13, I finally learnt to crack an egg! (That bad...)

Cikgu Azmi a.k.a Jimmy the rugged, History teacher who was also the cricket coach. Has this liking for all things Johor (picture this: staying in Kedah but went all out to get a Johor plate number for his car).

Cikgu Sobri the Geography teacher from Perlis who wore bell-bottoms to work (no longer "groovy" in the 80’s then). His greatest enemies – my friends Che Pah and Sabarina. Moi? Kira teacher’s pet jugak sebab pandai lukis (e.g.: Barang-barang yang diperbuat daripada pokok kelapa...ha! ha!)

Cikgu Tajuddin a.k.a CT the Sains Paduan teacher and Cadet Advisor. Kutuk my batch really bagus punya and in the end our SRP results were the school’s best (then).

Ustaz Wahab the Arabic language teacher with a Masters in Arabic from Khartoum, Sudan. Didn’t understand a single word he uttered (he tried to use the “Direct Method” – no translation at all). In the end he relented.

Cikgu Wahab – art teacher who really pantang tengok dahi licin sket (sama perangai dengan Cikgu Pak Non).

Ustaz Ahmad Darus Agama teacher. Funny guy with a terrible accent (Kala jongkiang?? – for scorpion)

Mr. Kalidass – my English language set teacher who has a Masters (in the 80s, not many teachers have that). Hated the mundane grammar classes (not your fault, sir) but loved writing. Told us to use the descriptive phrases found in novels in our essays (err...sir, wasn’t that plagiarism?).

Miss Chan Bee Suan – another English language set teacher who uncovered my talent in writing. The wins in the NST essay-writing competition surprised me more than her.

Mr. Lim Eng Hwa – my Physics teacher. Would go around the lab, humming a Chinese tune, watching us do our experiment and when we least expected it ... WHACK! Kena ketuk sebab main-main. Pledged RM 100 for those who failed physics in the SPM because he claimed no one ever failed physics. In the end...ada jugak mamat tu...
Cik Sharifah
– the walking encyclopaedia whose side-kick was Cik Ju.

Mr. Baha and Dr. Zain – the grammar lecturers with jaw-dropping accents.

Cik Yazariah – the beautiful and manja literature lecturer, whose accent and hair-style were instantly copied by Salina (Jangan marah Salina...)

Mr Faiz Sathi (Now Prof Madya) – our "composition skills" lecturer who told us all this 18sx jokes (“Many moons come, I no come, son come, how come?”).

Mr Malachi Edwin (Now Prof) – who taught us literature. Very hard to please but I did pretty well in his class (only As...ahem). Very frank. When I chose BM over literature as my minor he retorted “How disgusting!”. Favourite expression: “How gross!” 

Abg Zizul and Dino - who taught me how to play the caklempong, a traditional musical instrument and further trained me in playing the drums. There's also this other guy who introduced me to rebana ubi... what an experience! Forgot his name...
Prof. Moses Samuel – This one gets the trophy. The Harvard alumnus who knows everything that needs to be known. The lecturer in shining armour who saved a postgraduate damsel in distress (o.k., sir, exaggerated a bit! he! he!) Don’t retire yet, sir. Hope to do my PhD under your supervision.

Finally, my role models are my parents, educators themselves – abah, a retire
d university lecturer, mumsie, a retired primary school teacher. They were hugely popular among their students. The streams of students during raya, the presents during teacher’s day... I have big shoes to fill.

To all my friends who are teachers (leave a message/comment guys!) and my former teachers, "Happy Teacher's Day". Teaching might not be the best of jobs but it has its moments.

1 comment:

Salina said...

Happy teacher's day to you Noreen! i thought i had straight long hair during my uni days not the layered hair style that Yaza's has.

Anyway like you i do miss some of my teachers esp my primary school teachers! keep writing darling!