Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nightmare Of Going To School

Elsewhere in this blog, I have repeated several times that I’m rarely involved in JJ’s education matters. That is because I’m not infected with the typical Malaysian’s obsession with scoring straight A’s. At the risk of getting shot by all the big guns out there, I simply don’t believe the value of Grade A in our education system these days is anything like the value of Grade A of the good old days. But I readily admit that I may be wrong about this! 

Anyway, this post is not about comparing grades in school. As far as JJ is concerned, Mia has always been the one who’s obsessed with her performance. If JJ does badly in her exams, I reckon that Mia would probably suffer the agony of a bullet wound. She’s the one who sends JJ to school, and when in due course the teacher requests for a meeting to discuss something about JJ, Mia would be there to attend. I think I had only attended a meeting with JJ’s teacher once throughout the 5 years since Primary One. And I went to collect JJ’s report card once a couple of years ago. Occasionally, when Mia is too busy to fetch JJ from school, I would be the one to do it. It’s therefore fair to say that I have very minimal involvement in JJ’s education matters. 

But very early this morning Mia had to catch a flight to Hong Kong, and she will only be home very late on Monday evening. She’s making a second attempt at the Vibram HK 100, an ultra trail marathon for a distance of 100km over treacherous hill range. Last year she had to throw in the towel at CP7 due to severe fatigue. I tried to give her some tips on how to increase her chances to finish the race this year, but of course because I’m her husband, all my tips went to waste—she won’t have any of it! I mean, seriously now, how many women would listen to their husbands, right? 

So anyway, since Mia is away to torture herself in Hong Kong, I had to be the one handling JJ for the next few days starting from this morning. And oh boy, was I up for a big shock! The first thing I had to do this morning was to wake up an hour earlier. OK, never mind about that, that’s the easy part. Then down to the kitchen, boiled water and then prepared breakfast for the kid. Damn! When I was her age, I hand-washed my own laundry, and prepared my own meals too. 

Then I had my own Quaker oats. I woke JJ up at 6am. School starts at 7:20am, and it’s just a 10-minute drive to her school, so plenty of time; no problem. But amazingly, time seemed to pass super fast. Before I knew it, it was already 6:40am. I rushed upstairs to get dressed for work, and then to my horror, I had to iron my own shirt. After I broke the shirt-ironing record, I threw in JJ's school bags into the car, started the engine, and then left the house at around 7am. I suspect that everybody was conspiring to slow us down; the traffic jam was just mind-boggling! We moved inches at a time, but we finally reached the forsaken school in the nick of time. Then I helped carry JJ’s huge bag (what da hell do they have in their school bags, rocks?) up the 3 storey to her class. As soon as we reached her class, the bell rang. I was walking down the staircase when suddenly the Negara Ku started blaring from the loudspeakers, and the students started singing. I tried to avoid being noticed as I walked slowly to my car. 

Then I realized that in my rush, I had forgotten to bring along my cellphone. I’m not sure how I survived without my cellphone years ago, but I had to return home to get my phone. Leaving the engine running in the car port, I rushed into the house, then up the stairs into my bedroom; grabbed the phone and then to the car again in double quick time. I was out at the main road when I realized that I had my sandals on. So I had to turn back home again to get my shoes.

Surprisingly, I arrived at the office just before 8am. I bet the chaotic morning must have raised my blood pressure at least by 10%. So yes, I'm so happy to report that I've survived the first few hours of Mia's absence! I sure hope she has internet access in Hong Kong, so that she can text me this evening what I should do with JJ for tomorrow.

Keeping my fingers crossed...

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