Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I convinced him not to quit - Part 1

I remember drafting this post from my gmail account and sent it to my blogger account on 11 April this year. And, I was glad I documented my conversation with Hoe. After some editing, I am publishing it now, more than 6 months after it happened.

Another bombshell...he broke the news to me. Still in his school pants, half-naked after coming back from school, he was sitting at the staircase trying to catch a moment with me while I was rushing through my dinner before my tuition class with my students.

"Can you do me a favour?"
This question didn't sound good at all.  At that moment, I knew something must have gone really wrong. 

"Can you write a letter to school saying I want to quit IGCSE?"


"I cannot cope. I don't want to waste your money."

"Paying for education is not a waste of money. And, you don't decide that it's wasting our money. What happened?"

"I just don't want to waste your money."

"What happened? What's wrong!"
It was not a tone of concern. Rather it was an impatient tone, searching the truth.

"I can't cope. There's a lot of homework. This teacher gives a lot of homework."

"Why can't you cope when you hardly do your homework? It's not that you stay up until 11pm or midnight to do your homework. What nonsense is this?"

"She asks us to do a lot of work and I can't cope. She walks in and say things like, I don't know what to give you all. Do this..."

"It's not that you can't cope. You are just plain lazy and you are finding excuse to avoid extra work. So, you 
choose to quit."
"IGCSE is a very important subject. You qualify to take it and not many people can enjoy this privilege.
English is your strong subject and now you want to quit."  
"What else are you left with?  You should quit English Lit or other non-core subjects, not IGCSE. People pay a lot to sit for this exam and you want to quit?"
"I will not let you quit." I was very firm.

"If I have to go and see your teacher and Mr Wong to make sure you attend your class, I will do it."
"What about the first class you joined? The teacher kicked you out of this class. Will she accept you back
into her class?"

"I don't know. If can, I want to go back to Puan N."

"She gives you all less homework?"


"You go and see her. Talk to her nicely and politely whether she can accept you back into her class. Never badmouth your teacher in front of Puan N. Just say you want to go back to her because you can't cope with Puan R. If she refuses, then I will go and see her."

"You have to change your attitude. Youngsters change when they are 16.  You don't seem to change for the 
better. "They mature and know what they want as they reach Form 4. But, you are still the same. You always avoid work."

"Don't regret in future."

It was the usual squabble with him. Each such session with him is never easy. I have to relentlessly emphasize
a point. Repeating my message, again and again. It ended with somehow, an expected silence from him. I will take that as an agreement from him to either talk to Puan N or continue on with his usual class.

When things cooled down, I went to him room and speak to him in a comforting tone. 

"Hard work always pays off." 

Whether he listens and decides to turn over a new leaf is yet to be seen. I was greeted with silence, which can be interpreted as something positive. He was at his desk, taking out a few exercise books, as though ready to complete his backlog (I suppose it's backlog as he never does his work).

All I know is I will continue to be by his side to 'remind' him relentlessly.  

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