Sometimes I look back at the decisions I have made, and I really wonder if I would have been a totally different, and better, person.
When I was in Secondary School, I got very sick of being constantly compared with the elite - the fellow River Valley High School students. Many people may not know this, but RV was fifth in the nation at the point when I joined it.
In any case I joined RV instead of RGS because of two very ridiclously stupid reasons. 1st) I liked BOYS and 2nd) I thought a white tight-waist dress for a uniform would look splendid on me.
Being a frivolous little teen, all I wanted was attention, and fun (and having attention is fun). I did all sorts of nonsense, and I was a chao ah lian. I even joined some stupid secret society which closed down 1 month after I joined, called Ba Hai Tong or something.
As a result, my studies suffered ...
With my amazingly high PSLE score of 269, which I'm sure you already know of, I got into the best class in RV.
My word, the geniuses in there. Or maybe, as the middle-class society members would term them, freaks. In my class, there were people who scored 100% for every single CA and SA paper, and finally churn out a spanking 100 marks for the final score.
There were people who not only scored the best results for English, Higher Chinese, AND Maths but were also good in sports and very talented in Art. To add, she's also good-looking, everyone loves her, and she even has relatively big boobs (Yes I am talking about you Lin Liang!). What the Hell?!
The students in RV sobbed their hearts out when they got 7 points for their Os, because they might not be able to get into HCJC's/RJC's triple science class. OH why, why did they get A2 for Chinese Literature?!
It felt horrible I tell you. In Primary school, without any efforts whatsoever, I would top my class. It was nice of course, everyone praising you. But in sec school, instead of letting this stress motivate me to work harder, I adopted the wrong way of handling it - by trying to tell everyone that studies was not my priority, and therefore I sucked at it.
Not good. Evading the problem.
I remember this one instance in class when our Maths teachers, a high-pitched wrinkled affair, gave back our Maths CA results to us.
She is naturally gleeful as she got the best class to teach. Our A1s means her capability as a teacher, although I would not say it is entirely to her credit.
Most unfortunately for her, Cheng Yan Yan Wendy is also in her class.
She started out in a happy voice.
She said, "1D, I am very happy that in this Maths paper, almost everyone in
class scored As." She paused for a while to build the necessary suspense and
continued squeaking, "Only one person failed."
She frowned like Ken Lim
does, looking above her thick glasses.
"YAN YAN!" She screamed directly
at me. "Did you know that you got an F9 for this Maths paper?!"
feel the least bit surprised but a little startled at the sudden attention of
the class on me.
"Uh yes Miss XX," I replied. As a matter of fact I did know
"This is very bad results!" She rang shrilly. I knew that too.
"Do you know that your class did the best among the other classes?!
Without YOU, our average would have been an A1!"
Ahhhh ... So this is
what the fuss is about.
She continued scrutinizing me, her face dripping
with disgust of the highest level. I think she wanted to smack me on the head
with broom in the corner.
"And with YOU," she continued while the class
looked on in horror, "We GOT AN AVERAGE SCORE OF B4!"
Please imagine a collective disappointed gasp from my classmates (now lawyers and doctors, mind you) at this point of time.
"B4!" She repeated, as if saying a few million times will make
sound better. "THAT IS ONE OF THE WORST SCORES IN THE COHORT!"
Everyone looked at me. Fortunately for me, geeks are often very nice people, and my classmates were all kindred spirits. That must be the only reason why they continued encouraging me to do better until 2 years later when I couldn't get into the triple-science class. They must have been quite happy to see me go.
"Sorry," I whimpered, making a small note in my head that I should really improve my Algebra, and forgetting around 10 minutes later.
So this went on for 2 years until we split classes according to the subjects we choose.
I got into 3J, in which I got to know Xiao Feng, Ee Kean, Sheng Rong and some other really good friends.
That aside, my results still sucked. As a matter of fact I think I've got some proof:
OMG, HIDE THAT THING!!!!!!!!!
Secondary 1, click on the thumbnails:
Apparently the only subjects I had any respect for was Arts and Crafts and other miscellaneous unimportant things like Home Econs. These subjects also translated to those which we do not need to study for. Ahem, my cooking skills are very good ok! Did you see the mash potato I cooked! It was fantabulous!
Oh yeah. Both teachers said I was cheerful! A cheerful Lian!
I don't know what happened, but my B4 for Higher Chinese suddenly plunged to a D7, and refused to get up till much later. Even better, my B4 for Maths suddenly dropped to a F9. Wow! If there were a 'deprovement' reward, I would have gotten it!
On the brighter side, I brushed up on some of the non-mugging subjects such as English Literature and Home Econs.
BUT WHO CARES IF YOU SCORED FOR HOME ECONS! Nobody! Unless u are planning to be a chef!
Ha! Got rid of that horrible History!
But General Science, after it was split into Chemistry and Physics, dropped to new lows of E8s and F9s. Sigh. I got B4 in sec 2, what happened?
This is depressing.
But hey! *brightens up* I am a lively girl with an artistic flair!
By the time Sec 4 came, the only subject I had any respect for was English and E Lit.
Ah, but during the last semester I did better! I am also a "popular person who is caring and helpful towards her classmates"! My liveliness cheers my class up! Hey wait. My cheerfulness livens the class up.
With such appalling results, it is no wonder that I chose to go to Poly instead of JC. And with the decision to go to Poly, it is no doubt that I continued to have appalling results.
I told myself, during sec 3, that I will not follow the usual normal scholar's route for several reasons:
1) I will be learning useless things such as F maths which will not gain me any money in future. These useless information will be taking up extra brain space and not coming to any use at all. In contrast, Polytechnics provide useful skills and knowledge.
2) I will do so well in Poly that I will go into University just the same.
3) I no longer need to wear flat shoes so I will not be so ashamed of my height.
4) I will be armed with both a dip and a degree when I go out to work in future, which is better than just a degree.
Most unfortunately, I think the decision to go into SP was the worst mistake I made in my life.
In Poly no one cares if you do well or not, so we were left to survive on our own. I was lazy, undriven, and not motivated. My priorities went to other unimportant stuff, such as BLOGGING (but at least good things came out of it, thank god)! My results were only as good as the average student, and I cannot go into University with a scholarship as I thought I could have.
"Useless" subjects? Unfortunately, since most intellects go through this path, they will discuss these useless subjects from time to time, i.e. History of America or something. If you are not able to discuss social issues with these people in depth, you are perceived to be the average, featherbrained, superficial joe. These 'important' people (important because contacts are so very important and these are influential people) will not be bothered with you, and you can jolly-well speak to other middle-classed subjects discussing the weather.
Because I did not go into JC, such subjects were not my concern (should I have taken GP I would have to read the newspapers everyday in the least) and I did not bother about them. I do not, I admit, have that "depth" that sets the intellects apart from the ordinary.
If I had studied hard then and went into JC, I might be taking a Law degree now. No one can say I am stupid except fellow Law students, but that's ok. The people at insipid forums are not even in the league to discuss my intellect. My starting pay will be $2,500, and I'll possibly set up a partnership with EK called Wong & Cheng partnership.
As Wong kindly informed me, my name would have sounded like this:
Cheng Yan Yan Wendy, NUS LLBS (Hons)
BUT ALAS! What was I thinking? What do I have now?
One SP Media & Communications diploma, which is no fight with NP's Mass Communications diploma, and a joke compared to NTU's Communication Studies degree.
And to add just a little oil to the fire, Singapore's media industry has just shrunk (yesterday, no less) from two big companies to one whooping monopoly. Any space for more media students to penetrate at all? I think not. Not with double staff everywhere.
TODAY Streats? What the hell is happening?!
I hate this. People used to ask me what stream I was when I was in secondary school, Express, Normal Academic, or Normal Tech?
I took pride in replying, "Special."
Because that's what I am.
Now when people ask me whether I am in Poly or Uni, I can merely say Poly - and they nod, like they totally expected me to be a Poly girl, because I do not seem like the JC type. Not that Poly is an embarrassment, but if people used it as a yardstick for my worth, then I wanna say I could have gone into Uni anytime I wanted.
But I cannot say that, because there is no proof.
Isn't it so very sad? My value as a person, only judged by a piece of paper. A very average piece of paper, may I add. An average piece of paper which I have not even bothered to collect from SP after my graduation.
I feel indignant, exasperated, and resentful. I am no mediocre 20 yr old.
On the other hand, the possibilities based on a decision are so vast that it is almost impossible to predict. For instance, if I were in Uni I would just be an average Law student, or maybe a Biz student.
Or even worse, failed my As and is still retaking it now and ending up in Arts and Social Science or Engineering.
At least now I have the most popular Singapore Blog.
I shall end this bitter blog entry with a gentle reminder to myself that I should listen to my mother's advice in future. "Du shu hao," she used to tell me. "Girl, you got the talent to study, then make use of it, don't keep playing."
To all the young kids reading this, make sure you go into JC if you can.
Meanwhile, it is time for me to prove my worth. I shall be driven and motivated from now on. Procrasination? That word will not exist in my dictionary.
By tonight, I will set up a media center for my blog, and by next month, I promise some new exciting features.
If everything goes by plan, I will be driving a SLK in three years, unless I decide on a nicer car. You wait and see. =D