I remember the day I received my PSLE results.
It was shit.
Admittedly I didn’t do that badly. I still secured a high enough mark to get into a reasonably good school, and in that sense, I didn’t fare too badly.
But what irked me was the notion that I was just seven, seven points away from getting into Bukit Panjang Government High, a school that’s like a three minutes’ walk from my house.
Goodbye, laziness, and hello long walks to school.
But in the midst of it all, my teacher, who had passed me my exam results, looked at me keenly and said, in a very soft voice.
“You did well, Zhi Hao. Well done,” she smiled.
I nearly teared up. Fact was… I wasn’t satisfied with my result. Not at all.
But in that instant, my teacher’s kind words just permeated my stoic stature…
And darn near reduced me to tears.
Eleven years later
I’m now a highly respected member of the community, doing some great work for the world. Indeed, I’m sure my teacher wouldn’t regret saying those words back then, seeing how classy and dignified I’ve turned out to be…
“I’m pretty sure that’s a lie.” [Editor’s note]
But with two days ago (22 November) being a very important day for all the Primary Six students in the country (PSLE Results Day), I went combing through bits and pieces of info via Facebook, eager to roll back the years because honestly, I’m getting a little too old for my liking.
As one might’ve expected, there were tons of happy faces: portraits of students smiling gleefully with their parents, not so tastefully brandishing their humongous scores in the cameras (but to be fair they worked for it. So it’s an entirely legit flex).
But then, just as how there’s no yin without a yang, there were disappointed faces as well. Crying faces. Distraught faces. In fact, I reckon you really wouldn’t want to send Aquaman in there, because he could probably amass an army with the amount of liquid that goes on in there.
And then I stumbled upon a very interesting Facebook post. One by a certain Haryati Mohamad Saleh.