When I first started my writing career recently, I mean really putting keyboard key thumping to computer screen (an equivalent to putting pen / pencil / quill (?) to paper); I never gave it much thought of where it would take me, that is; the writing. I will “boldly go where no man has gone before.”
I am a dreamer. Ah yes, I can remember far back to 1967, when I was in Standard 3B (Today’s Year 3). We were in afternoon school. Our class was the one above the “Tuck” Shop (canteen). This was in La Salle Primary School, PJ (Petaling Jaya, Selangor). There were 3 classes above the tuck shop – ours was the middle class. As you enter the front door of the class, my desk was in the front row, next to the window on the other side of class. Anyone of you went to La Salle School PJ? If you were in that school during the 1960s and 1970s, you will know these classrooms above the tuck shop. The word “tuck” in English means to tuck into your meal and shop means where you buy your food from in school. Nowadays, “canteen” in school or “school canteen” is the term everyone knows as a place to buy their food from. Is the word “canteen” related to the word, “cantor” (Figaro, Figaro, Fiiigaarrro!). No, just kidding.
I would spend most of the time, looking outside the classroom window, oblivious to most of what was going on in class. I watched the construction workers build the new block of the school. Today that new block is 55 years old.
I would daydream about so many things like what it would be like to fly an aeroplane so high in the sky. Often, I may just stare out into the emptiness.
It was for this reason that when I was in Std One of the same said school mentioned above in 1965, our classroom was one of those “shed” classrooms with zinc roofing, I think. There was a row of these classrooms. These classrooms are no longer there. Back to the reason… when I was in Std One B, the old bat, my class teacher Mrs Lee, bless her heart; came to our house one day to complain to my mother that I was slow. I mean how would she know if I was slow. She could barely see past her nose. She was 109 years old… well at least to a 7 year old kid like me. Guys who were in school at that time… you know her. She always wore nyonya outfits. But I’m sure she meant well. I think. Bless her heart.
One of my greatest dreams was, still is, I guess; is to change the world, to leave a lasting good impression. But I didn’t know how, until I started using what came naturally to me – that is to write.
At this juncture, I would like to say that this article is not what it is panning out to be. I started it with a complete different idea 😏. It’s a spinoff from the original. And the original is not written yet. Haha 😂.
Even then, I struggled and wrestled with this “gift”. This gift of writing. I most times did not pay attention to it. My whole school career had me scoring top marks in it. But I did not recognise its potential. So, when I left school; it was buried or stowed away with all my old schoolbooks.
After completing my schooling education, I somehow always landed up being a writer or editor for the many, many groups and organisations which I was involved in over the years. I still did not think anything of it because I felt that anybody can be a writer. Being a “Topgun” fighter pilot, maybe not. But writing, yes. I work best in stress / time constraint conditions and between 2.00am to 5.00am. Haha. Like Maverick of TopGun who enjoys what he does; I am “Innovator” and I enjoy what I do, too.
Thank God for keyboard key thumping to computer screen technology. My handwriting is one of my trademarks. It’s so bad that I have great difficulty reading it, too. The very first thing my class teacher of Std 4 B La Salle School, Klang; Mrs Mun, Bless her heart; asked me after meeting me for the first time in over 40 years was, “Alan, has your handwriting improved?”
Do you recognise the talent you have?
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1. Pic. 1; Fiorenzza Chiuminatto