Tuesday, 30 April 2013

My old mathematics teacher

Bumped into an old teacher of the Penang Free School. Haven't seen her for ages. She taught me mathematics in Form Three. Problem was, my mathematics wasn't the best in the world. It wasn't even of average standard. Fact was, at that time, my mathematics was on very shaky grounds.

I remember after one of the monthly tests, I received very appalling results and there were a handful of us in the class that were singled out for our, erm, outstanding results. When it came to me, she just turned around and looked at me with her eyes wide open. Then, very slowly and dramatically, she mouthed out my precious marks. I can still remember it. And still see it in my mind's eye. "Twenty five," she said voicelessly. Boy, the silence was so very deafening. You can just imagine my discomfiture. What could I do in response but to stick out my tongue?

I am unsure how this result affected me later on but to my credit, I did receive an A for my mathematics paper in the Lower Certificate of Examination (LCE). Maybe I was lucky and ting-tong-tiang'ed correctly in the objective test papers.

I didn't meet her again for several years. Then in the 1990s when I somehow got mixed in with The Old Frees' Association - I was in the management committee for three or four years - she was already involved as the Sesqui-centenary Loan Sub-committee chairman.

Eh? I didn't introduce her to you? Sorry, folks, please meet Ms Tye Chwee Hoon.

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