Thursday, January 08, 2009

Brats Too Lazy to Take Care of Their Pencils Deserve the Life Cycle of a Dragonfly

Chronic case 1 : Ah Vui. Senior One. Almost my height. Double my weight. NEVER brings his pencil to my classes. He always wraps a bath towel on his head like a ninja when he shows up sometimes with a spoon to scoop "the best custard in the world" which he brings along. His younger sister Yvonne's pencil case is forever bursting with the fanciest stationery. After loaning him her lovely technical pencils many times, she got fade up and "close shop" to him. So he has to use my dilapidated wooden pencils.

He complains wooden pencils are not as sharp pointed as technical pencils.

"A beggar is not a chooser," I tell him.

Then he says it is my responsibility to sharpen the pencil for him.'s a waste of my breathe to reason this aspect with him. His mother carries his school bag for him to the school bus. His mother takes him to the bookshop whenever he loses a school text as final exam is round the corner - again and again. His maid still accompanies him to and fro my house which is only a few blocks away. His younger brother helps him to print out his exam syllabus and schedule. I have no chance of convincing him that life should not be pampered to that abnormal extent.

"I hate sharpening pencils, I'd be in a very bad mood if I have to do it," I growl.

That settles the wooden pencil issue. Ah Vui has been using all my dilapidated pencils since then, occasionally complaining that they are too short. I will never give in. I still keep him because this is his only mega-shortcoming. He always endeavors to finish his given assignments and gives me writings of surprisingly interesting opinions and he has a natural flair for coining new vocabulary. The longer he's with me, the more he reasons like me. Best of all, he knows my likes and dislikes very well. Still, I want to win in this pencil issue, he heh.

Chronic case 2 : Tauke Tan. Primary Six. Literacy level of primary one. His was 100% illiterate when I met him a year ago. The only child of financially well-off parents. Full time occupation: being served like a king, watch TV and play games. His maid brings him everything he wants. He still wets his bed and his mom still baby talks to him.

Initially he borrows pencils from his cousin who is also in my class. When I found out, I forbid cousin from loaning her pencils because they ended up throwing the pencils back and forth to each other.

I told him he gets only lousy pencils from me. His only chance of using 'decent' pencils is bring his own. After about 6 months, yesterday was the first time he ever brings his own pencil.

I don't mind keeping this tauke. He meekly submits to most of my instructions. Sometimes when we have disagreements, all I need to do is to let him know again and again I will never give in to silly requests and he eventually learns the hard way. Wicked chuckles*

A baby dragonfly has fat chance of getting parental pampering. Dad and mom have about 7 weeks to live, so they are busy making more babies. His parents duties are done when mom plonks the creamy eggs into a pond. By the time he hatches as a tasty nymph, his dad and mom may be already half way to the grave.

Chronic case 3 : Ah Shian. Primary Three. He brings tons of pencils but always begs me to sharpen them for him.

He has a peculiarly "manja" way of begging. He clings to my arm like a leech, puts on this most pathetic expression and whines " Pleazeeeee sharpen my pencil for me." And he'll cling on like this making it difficult for me to walk until I tell him coldly,

"Whose responsibility to sharpen the pencils, yours or mine?"

He's the smart son of an engineer, he knows the answer. He only needs someone to throw the ball back at him. By the way, I don't allow him to sharpen pencils in my classes. He has to sharpen them at home.

You people should spend one day in a dirty pond as a dragonfly nymph. No air-cons in the living room and bedroom. You only get to stick around a slimy mud home. No time to watch TV, you have to be on the alert all the time, otherwise a tilapia may snack on you. Yum! There's no parents to pay for a maid to serve food to you on a silver platter. Remember they are already R.I.P. by the time you are hatched. However they do endow you with a mouth that can function like a fast fork lift for you to grab small fish or mosquito larvae for food. Yeap everything is D.I.Y. for a dragonfly nymph. You want to eat, go and hunt food for yourself. If you want to be a lazy bum as you are now, you starve-lah! What, you think you can get your wings and fly to freedom soon? From what I know, dragonfly nymphs live in water for at least two years and some even five years before they reach the stage of growing wings. A dragonfly nymph will gladly take care of a pencil if it can swap position with you.

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