I was looking at my 16-year old niece’s friendster page. Disturbing. And I say that because I still remember what 16 feels like. I think I wasn’t like that. I mean, I was mean and sulky and gothic and all that, but I was also a riot, or at least I think so. Because I was born late in the year, I was still 16 when I sat for my SPM in 1991. And that year:
- I broke my arm trying to break my fall (which was caused by me accidentally kicking myself while running backwards) at hockey practice. I had the cast on for more than 2 months and missed the hockey season altogether. But as a token, I was invited to be photographed together with the hockey team for the school yearbook. Just goes to show that threats and intimidations can work to your advantange.
- Still on the yearbook, I managed to get into about 15 photographs throughout the magazine. How? Perseverance, my friend. That, and also my friends and I had decided earlier on to insert ourselves into as many photo sessions as possible without being noticed. Apparently, no one noticed until the magazine went to print :-P
Was chased all over school by a male disciplinary teacher, and he didn’t catch me simply because I ran and hid in the male prefect’s study room which would be the last place the teach would look for me. See, smaaaaart. What happened was my buddy and I wore jeans to prep (jeans is a no no in boarding schools). As we were walking to our classes, we saw the teacher about 700m away. There was no way he could have figured that we were wearing jeans coz both pairs were superblack ones that were the rage at the time and it was dim. But we looked at each other, laughed, and without saying a word dropped all our books and ran in opposite directions. The teacher decided to give me a chase, probably because he thought I was the fatter, hence slower one. I ran as fast as I could while screaming “Aaaaaaa…” into the lab area, hitting the light switches along the way so that the corridors became pitch dark. Then I literally crawled my way out of the maze-like corridors, went into the male prefect’s study room, coolly walked in and locked the door. The head prefect was there and he wasn’t wearing a shirt, uh actually all the boys in there were topless god knows what they were doing, and he mumbled something about me coming in without knocking. He heh. Anyway, the teacher didn’t catch me but he hauled us out from the dormitory later that night to interrogate us and asked us why we ran away from him (see, I knew he didn’t know that we were wearing jeans). And we said, we ran because you chased us. I still laugh whenever I remember this incident.
- Saw a tomcat eating its offsprings. Honest to God. Grosses me out. I was told later it’s the law of survival, eating its male offsprings ensures that the tomcat remains the top cat. He was merely eliminating the competition.
- Rallied the whole school, well the female students anyway, to help me romance this cute new guy in school, whom for the purpose of this blog shall be known as Abu. After making a bold announcement during an all-female assembly that we had every Friday, Abu suddenly got a deluge of “Hi Abu, Ijah says hello” from any girls that he met the next day. Then I sent him notes with nothing but the word “Assalamu’alaikum” on it, written on different types of paper… graph paper, art paper, fullscap paper, pita detik, kertas turas etc, and passed it to him via different girls. He could never figure out whether the whole female population went crazy over him, or it was just some big joke (no to the first one, a little bit of yes on the second one). Of course the whole thing was fun while it lasted and went spectacularly wrong in the end (particularly when he realized he’d been the centre of a bet – and I am not sorry for that. The girl who MADE the bet should). But I was 16! You do crazy things when you were 16.
- While item 5 was taking place, decided to hound this boy in my chemistry class purely to annoy his best friend. I think he honestly thought I was crazy for him coz I did the whole shebang (love notes, giggling whenever he passed by, called out his name and then looked the other way).
- Entered several competitions voluntarily and won every single one of them – and as if that was not enough, also bagged evey single “Best” honours (Best Supporting Actress, Best Debater, Best “Pantun”ist or whatever they call it, Best Essay bla bla bla) – simply because I wanted to show that it was possible. I also scored perfect 100s on 6 out of 8 exam papers including Add Math for the same reason. My Add Math teacher stopped me in the library and said”I heard you got smart now”. Obviously she was shocked because I scored 5/100 in the first semester, in fact one of the lowest in the school’s history ha ha ha but I think she was alluding to me cheating than me having the brains to actually did the paper on my own. Didn’t matter. A 100 is a 100. Of course by the time the next semester rolled around, I was back to my lazy self.
- One time for a full month, I wore different clothes every day to prep classes. This was made possible because back then I was still small and thin (see photo below for proof) so it was easy to borrow clothes from other people. And on the last day, I wore a full black baju melayu ensemble (given to me by various male seniors 2 years ago as goodbye souvenirs) to the library, git cited and fined by the prefects and the next day had to collect garbage from all over school as punishment. C’est la vie :-) The photo of me in that baju melayu still exists, must scan and upload it someday.
- Stole photographs from Kad Merah (“Red Card”) and posted them on the main notice board with silly captions. Why? Because it was funny. BTW Kad Merah or Red Card is the permission card that we use to get a pass to go out to town. You are supposed to submit this Kad Merah with all the details filled up to the warden-on-duty and s/he would decide whether you are allowed or NOT allowed to go out that Saturday. Such power.
- Walked out during an Add Math class because the teacher slapped one of the female students for not being able to answer the question. When she was ordered to leave the class, I packed my stuff and left the room with her. That girl was never a close friend or anything, but I found it unusually cruel for a teacher to punish someone because she was unable to do the math. If she was lazy, now that would be a different matter. Strangely, everyone thought it was perfectly normal for me to do so coz no one batted an eyelid.
Now, don’t you wish I was in your high school?
Pic: Ijah, about 2 days after breaking the left arm. I was easily one of the most photographed that year because of my frequent shenanigans. Apparently a photo of me still hangs in the Dewan Besar (Great Hall) to this day.
See, I WAS THIN!! Hairstyle’s still the same though.