Wednesday, October 7, 2009

This Boy Called Wey

(Thanks to William and Connie, who both wrote to tell me that there's only a Geography paper on Friday. Both Math papers are on Monday. My mistake in reading the timetable...)

Wey is writing his first PMR paper today. It'll be Bahasa Malaysia Papers 1 & 2. To brighten up his mood, I'm foregoing a healthy diet and cooking whatever he wants this week. Last night was ox tail stew (the best, so I am not willing to part with the recipe. Yet.). He wants pork tonkatsu tonight. He writes his English and Science papers Thursday, and Math 1 and Geography on Friday. The menu will be decided as and when, he thinks. I am ready to cook him anything, as long as he tries his best this exam! Chinese didn't become nerds these last 50 years. It's in our blood, since thousands of years ago when poor peasant parents sold everything to make way for their sons (girls not allowed) to be given the chance to write the imperial exams in the Chinese capital. If one village turns out a scholar, the whole village rejoices because it means life will be better as the scholar will be given a ministerial post serving the monarch. Education was the key out of their poverty, and this thinking is ingrained into every generation so that studying is now a trait among the Chinese. Since it was almost a life and death thing (as depicted in the movies, the pressure on imperial exam students must be thousands of times worse than what our kids go through. Those who fail either kill themselves or not return home, out of shame), eventually the exams became corrupted with cheating as students were willing to do anything to pass. Also because the exams were so focused on passing rather than learning, the Chi nese became rote learners, memorizing without understanding. I didn't make this up. Apparently, Dr Sun Yat Sun (American-educated, haha) noted this and told the British, to their discomfort, that their education system was modeled after the ancient Chinese imperial exams of passing through rote learning. Much of Asia is still using this system, no thanks to the Chinese. And the colonial British. In fact, now it's not just passing, but how many As you pass the exam with. And to some, it's not how many As you achieve but whether it is straight As.

Wey turns 15 this coming Saturday so it's a present from the Education Dept that no papers are scheduled on that day. Monday will be Math 2 and Sejarah (history) and Tuesday, KH (home skills). And then WE are done for the year! I will update now and then, if I can. You see, Wey isn't the only one writing the PMR. I am too. I have been making him do revision papers. If I'm not seated next to him, he won't do revision. I got up early this morning to make him a good breakfast. He was scuttling around in the dark (there was a heavy downpour and the lights went out) looking for his pens and stuff this morning. Last minute, as usual. And when he had left, we realized he hadn't brought his watch. I hope they have a clock on the wall...And now, excuse me while I go pick up the imperial scholar from school.


NEE said...

Good Luck Wey and take care Aunty Terri.

also i put up an agar agar mooncakes recipe on my blog. i remember you say you are interested. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I am sitting for my exam. today. I was so stressed out as it will be pass or out of job.Still need to do it every year.How I dislike it.

Denise ^ ChickyEGG said...

my WEY can do it!!!
*Jia you!*

Christine said...

Good Luck Wey

TeaLady said...

Terri wish Wey good luck. I know they get so anxious about everything, and usually with good reason if rest of life is dependent on how to do.

In the states, too, it is too focused on memorizing and not learning/thinking and I saw the end result of that when they got to university - cannot think.

Sooo, thinking of Wey this week. And wish him a happy birthday for me.

Zurin said...

Teri , I know what youre going thru...worrying for someone esp your children is worse than worrying for yourself simply because you can only have just so much control over the effort put in and the outcome. i'd rather sit for the exam for them if I could. I'd have less stress that way.

but im sure he'll do just fine. n happy birthday to Wey :)

LilyAnette said...

Terri, I dare to admit I am one that see only education can take one to somewhere! Although I don't take it that my kids are nerds, hey, being smart can be fun too! :)

All the best to Wey and Have a great birthday celebration with your youngest one!

william wang said...

Better recheck the timetable for Wey. Apprently, geograghy 1 & Maths 1 are having same exam time period. I suspect maths 1 is on monday, together with maths2 which starts later.

william wang said...

Just called up education department, 03 8884 3394, the lady on line was quite hasitant in confirming whether friday or monday but eventually said monday. Better recheck with the school.

fishm0i said...

Good luck to Wey!!

terri@adailyobsession said...

nee: wey thanks you. oh, now i thank you, for the mooncake recipe. u are so nice to remmeber my request. mwah!

anon: oh u poor thing. u must be in the professional field. i'm glad exams are a thing of the past for me. i had exams nightmare for many years even after leaving uni.

denise: wey read your comment n puffed up, very happy :)

christine: i showed him all the well wishers' comments, n he was encouraged. thanx!

tealady: thank u double, for the well wishes for his exam and his birthday. oh dear, has it reached america too?

zurin: yes, i wish i could sit it for him, but i think he'll do better than me. but i was surprised when he didn't know tt "stand on your own two feet" means to be independent. and he thinks "thrifty" means cheapskate. i felt my strength disappear from me when i checked his english papers today.

lilyann: nothing wrong with being a nerd/geek. we can't all be dancers and singers...

william: thanks so much for doint that! i've got a call and a mail informing me tt there's only geog paper tomorrow. u must have a kid sitting for pmr?

agnes: wey says "thank you"!

william wang said...

I have a nephew doing pmr, and am tutoring him in maths(last minute, started a week ago but not giving up), but his foundation is so weak that I hv to tell him do what he can for maths1 but leaves the last 5 mins and tick just for luck, hehe.

terri@adailyobsession said...

what?! u shdn't have told him tt, he'll feel small! but i know, i have said things i shouldn't too. like yesterday, when i found he made silly mistakes in english n when he told me he wrote on dr jekyl instead of robinson crusoe, which i have discussed with him numerous times in the past few months. n he didn't know what ductile means so he chose mercury instead of iron. i couldn't sleep well last night. hey, encourage ur nephew n best wishes to him.

MP said...

Dear Terri
i waited for today (Sat) to post my comment "BLESSED BIRTHDAY, HANDSOME WEY!"
Wey, give your very best in your exams. Mummy Terri, have faith in your son n though he may stumble here n there, but i believe Wey will finish beautifully the race in life that God has planned for him and in His eyes "Wey is a SHINING STAR"
Cheers :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Wey! Best wishes in your PMR exam.

Hi Terri. Thanks for your inspiring blog. Same scenario here, my son is also doing the same exam but he has the UEC at the end of the month. I am cracking my head what to get him for breakfast. No greasy food or anything that might upset his bowel. Wonder what you serve Wey in the morning to give the extra boost for the brain to think properly.

Hope to read more about Wey's exam progress. My son is rather surprised when I asked him the questions from the exams that you mentioned in your post. I even called up the education department regarding the time table.
Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend and may the good lord bless you all always.


terri@adailyobsession said...

mp: bless you, u r such a wonderful encourager! ur bible verses always carry me thru whatever problems i have. i hope we can meet up soon:)

nic: aren't we all nervous wrecks over our kids' studies!

wey doesn't like sweet stuff in the morning so it's always savory. i made a simple ham n cheese grilled sandwich with 3 pieces of wholemeal bread. you can fry the sandwich or just toast it, or even toast the bread separately. add an egg on top n it's a croque madame but it's messy to eat in the car. yes, i let him eat in the car.
sometimes i make life easier for me and give him a gojung, or bao (from chakitian im damai), or his dad fried rice for him. today i made a quiche/tart, not sure if he'll like it bc i used salmon instead of bacon. try my brekkie categories?

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