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酱团团长置身小学
Jul 7th, 2014 by 连

(今天在清理FTP的文件时找到了七年前2007年2月5日写一半的酱团文章, 且先上传于此地)

简单地说,平淡的打杂工作稍微变得有趣了些。

前些日子服完兵役,再加上本身嗜好挺耗钱的,长期处于无业状态决不是一件好事。于是我便展开了觅职行动,四处提交履历并打听工作机会。直到某天某人问我说有无兴趣当推销员,底薪新币千三,但是工作时间是一星期七天,朝9晚11的漫长无休日折磨。当然,有工作做就已经偷笑了,还管它辛不辛苦,一口便答应了。

原本工作是做得不错的,老板不嫌弃我没推销经验,训练我们这批推销员的老骄也是挺强的,的确能学到不少东西。但是公司最后还是踏上了我就讨厌的经营方针之路:直销,又称营销。二话不说我提出了辞呈,拿了几天工作的微薄薪水拍拍屁股走了。搞笑的是,我离职的第二天,公司就撤了滞销的念头。干。不过不打紧,因为才刚辞职,住家附近的某间小学就在愁不够打杂的。看看,薪水还挺不错的,便去面试了。

说是面试,但说得更确切是我刚抵达就开工了。工作内容比起之前四处奔波,考验口才的推销工作来说是郁闷了些。都是些打字,填数,会计,剪纸,糊纸之类的琐碎工作,称不上什么高难度复杂动作,但好歹也能享受一下宁静的工作环境。比起服兵役时得做的十人份工作,这点差事还算轻松的。但也因为这一点,我的工作效率比一般高出几倍。才刚交到我手上的两千多名学生名单,限定一个星期内将全部资料打印出来,我半天就搞定了。文件橱得重新改革限两天做完,我一小时就交差。于是每隔半晌我就得要求工作,直到完全没工作能扔给我为止,没办法,我便在电脑面前发呆。

但是恶心的事情发生了。

每一次我真的没工作做正发呆时,校长就会刚好经过,并撞见我这“窝囊职员正在偷懒”。虽然这点心有不服,但也是没办法的事情。人人都一样,只相信自己眼前见到的事情,往往不花心思去深一层思考就匆促下定论。结果最后似乎搞得将被开除的局面,经理为了留住我便让我担任免费代课老师。也就是说,继续当打杂的,领打杂的薪水,但是“顺便”代一下课,好比“教师1/2”。而我第一个代课的班级叫做三年级/和谐班。

“和谐”班?我来简单说明一下这小学一项较搞笑的特点。

一般学校为方便起见,总喜欢将班级称为“甲”班,“乙”班之类的,但我工作的学校全校班级名字都以学校价值观命名。随便列一下:

和谐,诚实,希望,谦卑,欣愉,亲切,博爱,和平,敬重,责任

大概了解了吗?

既然“和谐”班是第一班,理所当然的一定是最好的班。不出所料,我刚踏进课室小学生们就乖乖地回到座位,安静地看着我。第一次当代课老师还挺不好意思的,就随便向他们一群三十多个九岁学生傻笑自介了一下。负责老师没向我解释该教些什么,只简单地说了句:“没事,随便维持秩序就行了。看好他们,别让他们不小心宰了同班同学。”

真是好忠告。

所以呢,我便跟他们一帮人玩了些文字游戏,逗得他们还挺开心的。突然间我听到了哭声,同学们也向我报告说“有人在哭”。靠,老子第一次代课第一节课就有人闹哭?这可棘手了。。。走过去一看,某个印度男孩正低着头,一脸忧郁的样子。问一下发生了什么事,才发觉搞错了,哭的人在我后面的说。转过头,一名华籍小女孩正泪汪汪地低着头,泪水不停地落。

“怎么啦?”我用英语问道。

“没。。。没。。。做功课。。。老师骂。。。叫妈妈签名。。。5555555”小女孩用半生不熟的英语回答。

哇咧,就这样啊?不过,看到一个泪汪汪的九岁女孩正不知所措地害怕被老妈责怪,我好歹也该安慰一下。

“啊。。。这没什么的。首先,把中文功课做好,再拿去让妈妈签个名,并向她保证下次一定做功课,老师很肯定你妈妈不会骂你。”

小女孩显然不相信,用充满质疑的眼神正视我,并轻轻点了头。我就这样敷衍了一下便继续上课,不时还注意小女孩是否还在哭。不过老子挺自豪地天生会逗小孩子笑,随便开了几个玩笑扮个鬼脸,小女孩便跟着全班笑了起来。OK任务搞定。但是我似乎说服力不足,直到放课时小女孩都还是以,“哇咧,老师救我啊!”的眼神看着我。(不过第二天再代这班时,小女孩开心地说妈妈真没骂她。真是的,连鬼冢老师的话都不信吗?)

轻松代完第一班,哼着RIYA的LILIA来到了三年级/亲切班。哦!“亲切”班!肯定是一帮亲切的好同学。

我步入了地狱。

怎么说来着?简单说明一下当天情况:

“哎?不是老师?!“
“大家好,我是今天代课的连老师。”

教室马上掀起一片喧哗。老子要凶起来嘛可是挺恐怖的,所以我时时都在克制。尤其面对着比我小12年的小孩子,怎凶的起来呢?结果情况就变成了一下情形:
1。两个马来与一个印度男孩,三个人在我面前打滚。
2。课室后边某角落里一华籍男孩与一名马来男孩正搞断袖拥抱。
3。当我动怒大喊时,同学们全都冲到我身后的白板上涂鸦。
4。某女生大声喊道:“老师笨蛋!”
5。一名男孩拿着一根鸟长的棒子砸着旋转的风扇。

我败了。

之后再进入这班时,我都带着一把威吓作用的长尺。只要拍打教室桌子,全体学生马上肃静。。。三秒钟。

较难教的还得算是十二岁六年级的一帮猪(大家猪年快乐)。教中文时,班上的中国学生不一会儿就将作业做完了。这倒还好,但是新加坡学生就开始埋怨不公平啦,中国来的啦,什么乱七八糟的借口都扔出来。要除掉这种排挤还真是困难。。。幸好中国学生大都挺成熟的,不怎么理会。

某六年级班的一个名似乎叫作审盈的女同学批评我教书不严格,难以教好学生。老实说,我也难免有这种感触,但我就是凶不起来。我的确有在某间课室里试验了一下骂人的效果,操,嗓子大声些就全吓哭了。之后,我还给其他老师批评说我不够严厉,但我认为这是教学方式上的分歧,所以也不以为然。反正我该教的课文全都完成了,也没少做了什么。不过难免被批评之后,我的代课次数也被削减了。。。

Of Gangster and Gang Signs
May 7th, 2012 by 连

So back in Primary School (Elementary School for the non-British education systems, namely US) I had a bunch of good friends. I was Primary 2 and that was what, 1994? Besides the point that I am now an old age uncle, the more important idea here is that that was when The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers TV series first aired in Singapore. Yeah morphin’, a redundant apostrophe makes the ‘g’ 10 times cooler. For kids.

Oh I remembered the very day I woke up especially early at 8am on a weekend in 1994, probably a Saturday, and started doing what kids my age back then would do all day: Watch television shows. Man kids nowadays are so pampered. They get to surf the internet and enjoy shows on YouTube. We had to switch on a tube and HOPE something good comes on while our parents would nag at us to sit at least 5 metres away where you can’t see anything on Standard Definition resolution. Speaking of my parents, they would tell me how back in their day they had to play with marbles and spinning tops in the rural farmlands. We all know that’s not true and those times never existed, because the television is an ancient artifact.

Then lo and behold on this very 1994 day, an electric guitar riff came booming through the wooden box in front of me with an old lady climbing out off a flying saucer that’s clearly way too small for her size. “AHAAA after 10,000 years I’m finally free! Time to conquer Earth!” Watch the cheesy sequence in its full glory here: http://youtu.be/XO5JLcz6Qic

I don’t know why I liked it but the idea of over aged high school students turning into tight skin superheroes who can summon giant robots seemed to appeal to me very much. Without much marketing nor advertising, and stuck with an early morning time slot, none of the kids at school actually noticed this show. I presume the station just bought the rights from Bandai to test the waters to see if the local kids would like the “sentai” genre.

Sentai (戦隊?) in Japanese language is a word for a military unit and may be literally translated as “squadron”, “task force”, “group” or “wing“. The terms “regiment” and “flotilla“, while sometimes used as translations of Sentai, are also used to refer to larger formations.

source – Wikipedia

Yes, “Sentai” is a genre in Japan for battle squadrons in tight skin costumes, usually with the red suit dude being the leader, summoning giant robots for battle. I later found out that the American version of the above mentioned power rangers show was an expertly edited sequence of scenes from a myriad of sentai shows bought over from Japan. The drama acting was totally done separately. That’s like the coolest thing ever.

ANYHOO, I started telling all the kids in class about this cool show on TV. I begged them to watch it because I was totally hipster and wanted people to know that I knew about the show before they ever figured to wake up at 8am in the morning to watch shows. Slowly, the word spread and everyone’s talking about it. It was clear that a few other pockets of power rangers interest groups have started in the local Primary school scene. Some kids tried to match my hipness by recommending their own television finds. I remember one of the kids’ words clearly over the house phone, “傍晚六点半有好看的戏!叫Bunny!” Translated to English it means, “There’s an awesome show at 6.30pm called Bunny!” House phones are like an ancient relic now. I barely touch mine now that everyone contacts me through my cell phone. But back then… back then it was THE SHIT. Entertainment with friends with the press of a few buttons. Hell yeah. So I set aside time in anticipation of a cartoon show with a bunny rabbit, or at least a bunny girl that shoots lasers out of her finger tips. 6.30pm came around and all I saw was a crappy Sesame Street rip off. Maybe it wasn’t a ripoff but my biased hatred for the show tells me that’s a fact.

All I saw was a purple dinosaur with a yellow female-saurus playing with kids while dancing and be happy.

What?

What is this crap?

In fact, I hated dress up kids shows ever since I was in nursery school. That’s 3 years old. I’ve hated Sesame Street since 3 years old because it treated me like I’m an idiot. Yeah I get it, it’s an ‘A’. I know words that start with an ‘A’ like “Apple”, “Apples”, “Apple Seeds” and “Apple Fruit” so my vocabulary is pretty decent. You don’t have to keep forcing “Art” down my throat. Then this purple dinosaur betrays my anticipation of a Bunny rabbit with the ambiguous title “Barney and friends.”

I called up my friend and asked, “Are you sure it’s this show that’s on right now?”

“Yeah, Barney and Friends. It’s awesome.” Or in Primary 2 Chinese kid speak, “呀咯!很好看的!”

Being nice and polite, I didn’t proceed with telling him it was worse than 《彩虹夏日营》, a crappy Chinese kids show on air back then, probably with dancing kids. So I deleted that show from my to-watch schedule list and continued morphin’ . So… Choon Yow, where ever you are right now, you probably don’t remember me, but your tastes were kinda crappy back then. Now you know, no offence.

Pri 2 Friend Glossary

Lee Choon Yow – My best buddy during Pri 2. We would eat Mamee mee together by downing the seasoning first and chucking the noodles. He aided in my first and last ever cheating attempt in a test. The way he looked at me in disdain after he let me copy his answer made sure I took responsibility for my own scores and grades for the next 17 years.

Tan Cher How – My 2nd best buddy back then. We were kinda on good and bad terms half the time. Kids my age back then liked to say “跟你好” or “不跟你好了”, which means, “We’re good” and “We’re no good now.” Don’t laugh, I’m pretty sure it’s still the norm now. Cher How and I were like 50/50 because he had a bad temper and I took no bullshit. We once had a duel or something and I unleashed my windmill fists, involving swinging both arms in circular motion from back to front while walking towards the target. It ended up with him bleeding from his nose and I got caned back at home. Good times.

So with the morphin’ craze going around school, Choon Yow,  Cher How and I formed our own morphin’ squad. Whatever comes next is going to be one of those “Oh God Why?” moments.

We called ourselves 毒蝎帮, or “The Poisonous Scorpions”. So cool. You’ve got to admit that it sounds cool for Pri 2 vocabulary. Come on. We had squad signal signs to show that we’re from the same team which involved curling up the pinky into a hook and pretend it’s some sort of vicious sting. We even had “underground” talks about recruiting people to join our squad. I had some minimal martial arts display training back then so I was appointed the leader and started training my members how to do punches. But, as superheroes we needed super powers too. This came in the form of our watches. Let me explain.

My Primary School, Maha Bodhi School, was situated in Geylang back in 1994. Before it moved to the new Ubi location in 1995, the old school yard was old and run down as hell. The school was shaped like an N with public toilets on both wings. Right outside the toilet on the right wing we had a fenced up area between the toilets and the void deck. Whatever was in the fenced area, I would never know. And between the fence and the toilet walls was this drain alley. This alley was our squad’s secret meeting place to train our super powers.

Training our super powers took time and most of all, timing. The sun would shine into the alley only during the 12.30pm recess break.  We would quickly down our lunches and head to the secret hideout where we REFLECT SUN RAYS OFF OUR WATCHES ONTO THE TOILET WALLS AND PRETEND THEY WERE LASERS. AND WE WOULD CROSS STREAMS WITH THE LASERS IN EPIC BATTLES. This was obviously accompanied by sound effects from our mouths.

So it was all fun and joyous crime fighting until one day, news reports of youth gangs started appearing in the papers. Parang murders. Gang number signals. Youth with dyed hair punching other youths with dyed hair. For a while, dyeing one’s hair meant being a gangster because of all these reports.

Being in a Singaporean school, our Principal clearly had to say something about it. All the classes were summoned to the assembly hall one afternoon for an emergency announcement where a gigantic Buddha statue gazed down upon all of us with slitty eyes, judging all our misdeeds or something. “Ahem, so there have been reports of gangs recruiting teenagers and even children like all of you. We want to emphasize that gangs are illegal and bad. If you are in a gang, please approach the discipline master Mr Lam. If you know of anyone trying to recruit you, do approach any of the teachers or the police, because gangs and illegal and bad. What are gangs? Gangs are people, youths especially, gathering together to commit acts of crime. They smoke together, have tattoos and fight everyday. If you notice groups of youths hanging out together in places where they shouldn’t be, do report them.”

Suddenly, I was scared shitless. Have I been operating an illegal gang? “Youths hanging out in places where they shouldn’t be”. We’ve been hanging out in our secret hideout that we shouldn’t be at because it’s secret. That FITS THE BILL!

I don’t know how that concept makes any sense but I was 8 years old.

So the three of us became paranoid that there might have been people reporting on us and that we would get into trouble. As the leader, I suggested a solution to the problem. We drop anonymous slips of paper to the discipline master declaring that “The Poisonous Scorpions” were a study group and do not fight battles with lasers. The problem with the plan was the method of delivery of the paper slip and how do we make sure the discipline master sees it. For this arduous task, I asked Choon Yow for help with his long legs and fast sprint speeds. We would pretend to be playing catching like normal 8-year-olds, then as we run by the discipline master, CY would drop the slip on the ground while making sure his face wasn’t seen. Then the squad would gather behind the classrooms and peek through the windows to see if the discipline master picks up the slip of paper.

The first attempt ended with the slip of paper disappearing along with a strong gust of wind. I attribute the wind to CY’s fast speed and asked him to run slower this time round. He argued that a lower speed meant his cover would be blown. There was no other choice though, he was the only one who could do the job. Our lives free of visits to the discipline master’s office depended on him.

For the second time, I ran past the discipline master first, shouting out catching catchphrases as a disguise of our activities. “Ahaha you can’t catch me. Nanny nanny poo poo.” I think. Whatever. CY followed close behind me and in a swift motion bumped into the DM’s leg and stuck the slip under his shoe. We sprinted off like crazy with the DM yelling for us to slow down and be careful. Ha! We totally got him fooled.

Behind the classrooms, we saw him notice the slip of paper, pick it up, read it and put it in his pocket. Mission accomplished. The first and last coordinated mission of “The Poisonous Scorpions” was a success. Reluctantly, I gathered the members and dismissed them one by one. Our crime fighting days were over.

The next year, our school shifted to the new and current location at Ubi Ave 1, proudly proclaiming to be the largest Primary School in Singapore at that time. I was later told that the old building was painted green and converted into a rehabilitation centre. The last time I passed by the area on a bus, the building seems to be gone. Even our neighbour Kong Hwa Primary School’s new school building (new in 1996, haha to me it’ll always be new) had also been torn down.

My First Experience With Aloe Vera
May 6th, 2012 by 连

After a 2 year hiatus, it’s time for some good ol’ life stories!

This is a story of the oldest memory I can remember. I’m not too sure how old I was back then but I was probably a year old. I make this assumption because I recall crawling about on the floor instead of walking upright. Back then I was staying in a landed terrace near the Katong area, and anyone who stays there should know that mosquitoes are the bane of our lives. It’s a common occurrence to get at least a couple mosquito bites everyday. Naturally the installation of air-conditioners solved this problem later on.

Well that aside, to solve the mosquito nuisances, my parents would create an anti-mosquito forcefield by lighting up what they called mosquito coils. Unlike the convenience of modern day electronic, odourless oil emitting devices, mosquito coils were essentially green incense coils with a pungent smell when ignited that burns over a period of an hour or so. The fumes were oil based and presumably clogs up the respiratory holes of mosquitoes, pretty much like the electronic oil emitters.

I discovered that the smoke was oil-based because with the coils are major part of my then short life, it was inevitable that I would play with the fumes once in a while. Seriously, anyone should take a look at the tip of  a burning incense stick. The way the smoke flows out of the red glow is really mesmerising. The most common way I had fun was to trap the smoke in a plastic bag to store “celestial energy”. Back then, some time AFTER my original story I wanted to tell, there was a television movie about taoist celestial deities collecting prayer incense smoke as a form of currency exchange in the heavens. I never understood this but it sounded cool. Then I would realise that the smoke in the plastic bags would disappear, leaving behind a thick brown layer of oil. Now this was a really long side story.

My parents are both Buddhists. Not the original kind of Buddhists, but the Singaporean version of Taoism X Buddhism: The teachings of Buddhism crossed with the symbolisms of Taoist gods. Which is why we have an altar. For worshiping Taoist versions of Buddha while claiming to be Buddhists. Since the altar is where they would light the prayer incense coils, it is only natural that the mosquito coil would be placed under the altar. You know, them smokes belong together. So I was crawling about under the Buddha altar and came upon this contraption emitting smokey fumes for the first time in my life. The hypnotic emissions accompanied by the glowing red dot hidden behind layers of grey ash drew my attention for what seems like eternity. That’s 1 minute in toddler time.

It was at this point when I thought it’d be an ingenious idea to acquire the powers of light emission… by grabbing the light. This was followed by my painful screams that rang throughout the house. My dad rushed to me, swept me up in his arms to find a blister growing on the tip of my index finger. He then proceeded to carry me to the backyard where he ripped off the leaf of what I always thought was a cactus plant, and smeared the gooey sap all over my finger. The wound healed pretty fast there after accompanied by repeated applications of something called something called Jam Bak or something. It’s this round, flat tin can with some green ointment in it. I asked my dad about this and he claims he never used that for burn wounds, but for bruises instead, and that burn wounds should be treated with JinWanHong. Well, I’ve never heard of that.

Long story short, I learnt to use the glowing red dot of incense coils to play with fire. And Aloe Vera is fucking tasty.

 

[Update 8th July 2014] I just remembered after 2 years that the ointment in my memories was called “Zam-Buk”

http://www.rose-apothecary.co.uk/blog/?p=150

十周
Oct 6th, 2010 by 连

多十个星期就要回家了。此乃近末感慨期。

手提发帖
Mar 6th, 2010 by 连

image

最近在DROID上发现有搜狗中文输入法。另外还有博客发帖软件,简直太方便了。

在此测试一下。

桜が満開頃に
Feb 22nd, 2010 by 连

いやぁぁ、ずっと前から信じていたの真実は、きれいな桜満開景色は日本だけで見える。

でもこの冬がもうすぐ終わってく、季節と季節のあいだには、アメリカカリフォーニャに住んでる俺不自然のような気持ちでようやく花見をやった。人生初の花見体験アメリカに奪われた。家外、となりまわり、この町どこでも桜が咲いていく!


満天全地ピンクないろが目に映ってる。後二週間過ごしたら、たぶん町には道路側どこでもピンクに染められるかも。毎朝の自転車通勤をちょっと楽しみになった。

进步
Jan 8th, 2010 by 连

近来都在担心着处事待人,有无与他人良好相处之类的。也许有些至此自我提升的地方都尚有误,方式都不一定利于自己,但只要能维持大家和睦相处我也不介意压抑。发泄都可以等到卡拉ok房里头再说。

终于开始在公司上班,暂时就做些杂物。偶尔设计些有的没的图案,不然就是帮老板想些点子,谈几句。老板总喜欢天天拨出半个小时为我讲解一些企业经历与观点,我也就当做事在听故事,顺便挑一些蛮有感触的论点做笔记。工作与之前打过的工比起来都相对清闲好几倍,暂时还不习惯。

仍在寻找下一个目标。

ヨナさん、日本語ポスト今度書いてあげてね。今まだそういう気分ないから、ごめん。

梦回少年狂
Oct 28th, 2009 by 连

夜深凌晨,ASM编程进入了3200行以上的阶段,满眼星花缭乱地趴在键盘上睡着了。

我在短暂剩余的昨晚做了个梦,话说我又置身于高中时代,是个让我重整当年的契机。步入校园身体马上前往遗憾处,当事人各个皆在,似乎就在等待我的出现。

二话不说,我重蹈前举。毫无愧疚感地重蹈覆辙,身体不由自主。

但当年的画面却已不复,众人并无责意,坦然接受。

也许我并无遗憾,只求回顾,只求重见少狂。可惜梦境毫无让我陶醉与过往的意思。越是往前走,就越是必须放下以往,有时将其完全锁上也是无可厚非的。好比之前见到的枯树,生命已近末期,杆残枝烂仍见顶帽外围绿意盎然。

酱团v3.0
Oct 23rd, 2009 by 连

酱团又再次翻新,2006年至今所有的文章已全部消除。

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