Thursday, July 19, 2007

Highschool Flashbacks & High Dramas (Back-to-the-Future Style)

17th July 2007, Tuesday

This particular morning, I was pretty hyped-up by a post written by Tine. It’s about the ups-and-downs she encountered during her high school days. I felt so nostalgic reading this post of hers. I was literally overwhelmed by my own excitement that I had couldn’t refrain from posting two quite long comments to share my own experiences with her. And I felt good doing it too.

I figured it would be cool to post something about my past too… this is something I had noticed wasn’t my usual style here. I guess I did deprive you all from a chance to get to know me better huh. A chance to know the roads this Muse had traveled to become who she is today. So, a little bit of background history wouldn’t kill I guess. LOL.

Here goes the story of this Muse during her heydays *“tut-te-tut-tae-tut” keying in the codes into the Time Machine*

SWIRL…. SWIRL…, SWIRL… (spiraling down the time portal in full speed).

[Kleio in full highschool light blue pinafore with white short-sleeved-shirt and her long-thick waist-length luxurious-black-hair pulled back in a samurai style fashion secured with several (I mean many) pieces of rubber-hair-bands plus a larger than life curry-puff like fringe gel to perfection]

Well, that’s pretty much how I looked like back then. Trying my very best to fit in, at least in terms of appearance. I could never really fit in emotionally though. Not until I met Gina (my best friend even till now) during my 3rd year (Form 3)… but, that was for another story, unless you all don’t mind another long drag. LOL. So, I’ll just have to keep that for another time.

Of Differences and Barriers

Now, why would I say that I couldn’t really fit in? Thing is, I am what my peers considered as a partial Chinese, but that is only in terms of up-bringing and not that I aren’t in anyway physically “pure Chinese”. Alrighty then, maybe I did look slightly off the part of looking truly of Chinese parentage. I could still remember people kept asking me whether I am half Japanese or of mixed parentage. I guess it might be because of my fairness in skin tone, well probably. Anyway, I really don’t get it until todate as to why my looks generated this sort of speculation at all *shakes head*. To me, I look every part a pure Chinese.

Apart from the so called ‘unconventional look,’ it doesn’t really help me fit in with a huge language barrier in line effectively barricading me from the rest of my peers. This was another reason why my peers called me a partial Chinese or what they fondly nicknamed as a ‘Banana’ (a direct translation from Chinese ie. Siang-Jiau-Ren. It metaphorically meant, ‘Yellow on the outside but white in the inside’ – meaning a westernized Chinese who doesn’t know his/her Chinese heritage or main language ie. Mandarin) a quite degrading nickname they gave to those like me. I am pretty sure others out there like me would concur with this.

Actually, this dilemma left me feeling alienated and left-out, hence I turned resentful towards my parent’s decision in enrolling me into a National School instead of a Chinese Medium school which was supposed to be the normal practice by the local Chinese community. I felt ashamed of not knowing Mandarin and of not having deeper knowledge of my Chinese heritage. At that time, it makes me felt unworthy of being called a Chinese at all. To the point of almost wanting to hide behind a fabricated lie that I am not pure Chinese but of mixed parentage (I didn’t do it tho. I now think it is rather silly of me to have that kind of thoughts.)

In a way, all these really affected my self-esteem. Therefore I submitted to my peer’s never-ending jests, teases and was even bombarded with many unflattering nicknames. Kids can really be amazing with their creativity in making up nicknames. My beautiful name (I have an English name apart from my Chinese one) was twist and turned into so many versions of distasteful nicknames, that I was so fed up with, so much so that I had one time decided to adopt a new name for myself at school. Mom gave me an earful when she found out tho.

It was just so easy for them to get away with the teasing because I can’t tell even if they were to made fun of me right in front of my face as they always did it in Mandarin. To me, it was like hearing a foreign language that I have no inkling of whatsoever. I have no choice but to let it be.

Now, I am proud to say that my current comprehension of Mandarin has improved tremendously, all thanks to the idiot-box’s never-ending streams of TV dramas in this particular language. Credits have to be given to my little boy as well, for encouraging me to pick up this language. That’s because I have no other option but to learn it, as my son is currently enrolled into a Chinese medium kindergarten and I found this is the most effective language in communicating with him. Hence begins a series of broken Mandarin at home. LOL. It was fun tho. Helps create light moments to wash away the daily stress and tensions.

Grades & Studiousness

Grades, hmmm… this is a rather tough one to answer. Let me see, I was constantly struggling with couple of subjects. Maths unfortunately is my woe. No matter how much effort I put in… I barely scrap the passing grade. Freaking hate Maths (arithmetic) even till now. It’s really nothing short of a miracle that I managed to somehow secure a credit (passing grade) for it, enough for me to get myself through my highschool final year examination. I guess Lady-luck was with me after all, that I need not repeat another year at school. That would suck Big-time.

History wasn’t my forte too. Don’t get me wrong tho. I do enjoy history it’s just that I don’t fancy studying local history. My interest leans more towards the international atmosphere. Another thing about this subject that irks me are the dates I have to cramp into my Goldfish-Memory (I am plaque by early stage of Alzheimer disease it seems). My short term memory is almost non-existent. You know, I could be standing right in front of my gate holding the keys in my hands and asking where the hell I put my keys! (incidents such as this and similar ones has and kept repeating itself many times throughout my life). I am so SICK of this and part of the reason I am currently pushing myself to pick-up the Japanese language is to stop my brain from wasting away. Hopefully in the near future, I would not have to repeat this phrase again and again, “Oh I am sorry, I forgot” *roll eyes*.

Alright so, basically my grades aren’t too bad. I would say I am neither an underachiever nor an over-achiever (just like how Tine put it). What’s my best subjects then? It has to be English, Science, Bahasa Malaysia (the national language) and Geography. Wasn’t too doing too badly in my Art class too.

Since I am top in class for my English studies, it helps me somewhat get back at those peers who had laughed at me being the so called partial Chinese. It felt good to see them toning down their ego to approach me for help in this subject. Ha! See, who has the last laugh now. Muahahahahahahaa.

A bit about my study style, I would sit at the dining table at home diving into my homework as soon as I get back from school till evening. I would only budge from time to time for nature calls or to get some sustenance from the fridge. I get my rest there too – sleeping while sitting upright with my head resting on the table drooling away. My grandma seems to be very fond of recalling this memory... she kept repeating it to friends and family *embarrassed*.

The Popularity Scale

[Kleio gingerly steps onto the “Popularity Scale” with trepidations. Forehead full of nervous sweat]

Well errr… how should I put it? I was umm… ahh… quite well received by the umm… opposite gender. In fact, there’s this one time where a bunch of so-called, “Tai-kar-cheh” (Cantonese: means, Big-Sisters… as in female gangsters) threaten to do me harm should I not avoid the attention of a particular cute boy of which I didn’t even know in the first place. Cos’ a gal in the said group has got the hots for him (Psst… and that cute boy has got the hots for yours truly). Yea right, I told them to go get a life and when they did get unruly I ran straight off to the teacher’s lounge. It was so funny to see them get cold feet and chicken out. Cluck… cluck… cluck… cluck. LOL. Man, that made my day.

And for the record, that kawaii boy became my first boyfriend. That is, if he could be considered as my "boyfriend" cos’ I wouldn’t even let him hold my hands. LOL. I does defeat the whole idea right. Actually I had a long history with this particular boy afterwards. But, I’ll leave that for another post... only if I feel like telling it. He is after all… my first love and the best looking one throughout my strings of suitors.

I can be quite daring and reckless at times tho I did tone down a bit nowadays. I remember I once threw a bottle (a plastic one of course, I am not a murderer) at a male classmate, because he irritated me. I think he messed with my beautifully sculpted hair. There was also another time where I kicked a ‘bangku’ (chair) towards that same idiot. But it was me that got hurt from that tantrum in the end. Sucks!

Oh, I forgot to mention one itsy bitsy detail *raises eyebrows suggestively*… I was the Assistant Class Monitor at that point of time too *grin*. Surprise!
Surprise! For a clearer picture, I am talking about my first year in highschool kay (Form 1). One more thing, I am also a Karate student back then. I guess that pretty well explained why I had the (I nearly said balls here. LOL) guts to readily take on these unruly peeps. I am pretty harmless now tho, with my muscles and guts all gone down the drains eons ago since the day I have decided to perfect the feminine side of me due to my increasing interest in the opposite gender. Though I must blame it all on the raging surge of female hormone during my 2nd onset of puberty *bites lip*.

One more for the record, I was also the secretary for Interact Club during my fourth year of highschool (Form 4). My best buddy, Gina was the President of the club. I had much fun, exposures and also faced with many challenges in this club. I even got into an argument with Gina then. It was our first fight and the last; we never fought afterwards till to date. And we are still best of friend.

From this point onward, I think you could deduce that I am most certainly do not belong to the geeks or nerds packs. I am probably a semi IT-gal. Semi popular only. I believe I get to be at this level just because I am different and this gets me attention out of people’s natural curiosity. So you can actually say that I stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb amongst my peers.

I have to say that life is fair after all, I might be ridiculed and alienated but I fare better than em’ in my studies and social conquest.

Lastly, I would love to tag a few friends. I didn't actually meant for this post to be a meme, but I really think it would be an interesting tag. So there's no obligation okay. You can chose to indulge me or you could ignore this tag by all means. I would not be offended in anyway ok.
My main aim is just to get to know more about you.

These are the peeps I would love to know more about:
Gina (Absolut Ginger)
Tien Soon (Tien Soon's Tech Blog)
Kenny Mah
Stev Blogs
Firehorse (Fatty Poh's Kopi Tiam)
Kok (Not so complicated)
Mikey (Mikey Mike's Subliterate Zone)
Peggy (All the Beautiful Things in the World)
CC (Quaint Melody)
Paris Beaverbanks


Kenny Mah said...

Oh oh oh... sounds interesting to me alright... could be an entire post actually (disregard my earlier reply to your comment on my blog about combining tags then)...

No idea when I'll ever get around it though but definitely something I'd want to do... maybe with kiddie pix of me too! ;)


Tine said...

Wow, I'm so honoured to have started something :p Seriously though, thanks for writing this up. I had such fun reading it, and raised a few eyebrows of my colleagues sitting around me when I laughed out loud at some parts.

Looks like you were such a popular girl in secondary school, despite a rougher start. Very cool :p Would have loved to become a "Tai Kar Cheh", but I was more of a follower than a leader.

I totally sucked ass in Maths from Standard 1 up to Form 3, till I attended Math tuition under a extremely strict tutor (who'd actually throw your book away if you made too many mistakes). After that, I became one of the best in Math in my class in Form 4 and 5 :p

Anyhoos, great post, Kleio. Bravo! :D

Gina said...

Wah.. that's a tough one. I am basically a nothing in school. Very unpopular with the boys. Unpopular with one of the teachers. Hahah. I am just unpopular.

cc said...

Thanks for tagging me. Will scratch my head hard hard to recall those days. Hehe. I'm owing a lot of tags, so this might take some time. Stay tuned. ;)

gina said...

Eh.. the cute guy was actually your bf ah? I also have hots for him. Hahahah! I think every girl did. He is so gorgeous!

You were not ridiculed in school lah. On the contrary I can see you are well received.

Haha. We argued a lot since we were in Interact Club. I was glad things turned out to be okay in the end. :)

Kok said...

you ah, manyak naughty ah. With cute guy some more leh. haha!

Karate?! O_O I better run far far. Later you "chop" me into half, how? hahaha!

Aiyo, I think you have to become my English teacher liao, Kleio. I seriously need to improve my English. Hmm...maybe not. Engineer doesn't need to have good English, right? :P

I'll do this tag for sure. I like this one. This is going to be my longest tag ever. Give me some time to flash back my memory ok? hehe.

gina said...

Eh.. I tersilap orang on the guy I had a crush on. I don't even know his name. I thought you meant the same guy. Anyway, it was good to read. Wish our lives were as colorful as they were previously, ain't it?

Kleio the Muse said...


Kenny Mah:
You sure? Now you got me so excited. No rush then, I shall be waiting patiently like a good little gal. Some kiddie pix would be great.

Cheers to you too ;) And thanks for indulging me.

You are my muse then. Thanks a lot for this inspiration. Initially I did not even know if I would post it or even write it up. But, I just can’t keep the nostalgic feelings away… so I decided then I had to do it. I am so ‘malas’ at first. Hahahahaha.

Glad you enjoyed it. Are you sure I am that funny meh?

Not really that popular lah. Just that I am like a freak to them, hence the attention. I am only semi-IT mah. Aiks! Why would you want to be a Tai-Kar-Cheh?… I nearly kena clobber by a group of them wor… just for unintentionally garnering the attention of a boy.

Ah, it seems like we do have lots in common. Maths is a sucker!

Thanks for the support Tine.

You aren’t unpopular at all. You just didn’t see how the rest of the peeps revered and marveled at you and your capabilities. You were great in school, everyone knows you. And happy to be associated with you.

Yes dear, you’ve gotten the identity of that cute boy wrong unfortunately. But I don’t blame you cos’ we only gotten to know each other during Form 3… and that was long after I have known him (during my Form 1).

That particular guy you mentioned wasn’t exactly my type of man. Because I don’t much fancy skinny and fair-skinned guys. I am more to those macho and manly type. Tan/dark skin appeals to me. I didn’t give that poor guy a chance. I am so bad. He was a nice guy after all.

I was ridiculed especially when I first join the school. The worst time was during my Form 1. I was literally treated like some kind of freak. Fortunately things improved especially during Form 3 and when I met you.

Yea, I am glad that things turned out alright for both of us… and for us to remain good friends still. Cheers to that!

Ya lor. Got ‘hangat’ boys dunwan meh *laughing deviously*.

Aiyoh, no need to be scare liao.. my Karate karat already. Can’t even bring my leg up to kick properly now. Hahahaha. So come back, come back ah… don’t be scare ah.

Aiyah, I so ‘pai-sei’ when you say I am your English teacher. Cos’ I could still find countless grammar and spelling errors, each and every time I check. I am still very amateur in writing compositions.

Engineers don’t need good English? Betul kah? Macam ini pun boleh. LOL.

I am happy that you find this tag worthy and not nonsense. I am glad you would indulge me with this tag. So flash, flash, flash away. Take your own sweet time ya ;)

Kleio the Muse said...

No worries. Take your time. I too owe alot of tags. Haven't gotten around it yet. Phew!

I was initially bit shy to tag others with this cos' I still owe quite a number of tags. Just that I can't help myself because I really really honestly wanted to learn more about you all. And I think this topic is very interesting and worthwhile.

Hope you don't mind dear.

Kok said...

True also hor. If got 'hangat' girl want me, why not? hahaha!

True or not? Don't later I go back, you give me a flying kick. Later I really pengsan. haha!

At least, you're still better than me. You can twist your words here and there which is what I wanted. Too bad to say, I don't think I can master. I'm just not good with language. hehe.

hahaha! Serious! Out of 10 engineers, I think only 2 with good English. Others? Aiya, just 'tipu makan' lah. haha!:P

No problem. I'll try to finish it by this weekend. Have to push my Adelaide Day 4 behind. hehe.

Mikeymike said...

I'll try to leave you one. I am so bad about talking about myself...

Your post was great! And it really helped tp learn more about you and Malaysia. Loved almost as much as "Frying Pan Dance"! ^^

I LIKE your playwrite style *grin* Works for you!

Hoping I can get new Vista laptop to take voice dictation, like they claim!! :P

Got new Barber Adagio for Strings by Emerson String Quartet - wonderful! :)


Che-Cheh said...

Well, you know what?I enjoyed reading your high school flashbacks. Funny and full of memories.

I've done mine. ;)

stev said...

really wouldn't consider it a meme

really liked the story & your kawaii style of writing *chuckles*


should be up on my blog by this weekend latest. by hook or by crook!

Kleio the Muse said...


Hahahaa... Aiyoh, don't worry lah. I am now as docile as a hamster liao. That's why need my hubby to protect and pamper me lor :D Hmmm.... but, I do wonder if I could still do a spining kick tho.

Aiks? got meh? I got twist my words meh? Are your by any means trying to imply that I have got a twisted mind? Humph! *sulk*

Kleio the Muse said...


Pleeeeease Mikey, pretty please do indulge me with this one. I am sure you could manage a summarized version of it *flashing big innocent watery eyes*.

Thanks for your kind compliment. Really? did my post somehow did really bring you better understanding to my country? That's great. Tho I didn't exactly know which part of my post did that.

LOL. That "Frying Pan Dance" was the silliest thing I ever did on my blog. It was kind of an impulse of the moment thingy.

Oh, so that's what my writing style is called... a playwrite. Ahahahaha. Never thought of that. I am glad this distasteful writing style of mine didn't repel you from further visits *grin*.

Wowzer, didn't know Vista offers such great gadget as a voice dictator. That would be cool! If you did secure one for yourself. Please do a demo on your blog ok.

Hmmm.. Barber Adagio for Strings? Must go check it out later. Any music recommendation from Mikey should be worthwhile. Thanks.

Kleio the Muse said...


You do? Thanks dear :D  Writing it brought back many fond memories. Hope it does the same for you ;)

Ah, thanks for doing this tag. Will go check it out.

Kleio the Muse said...


Aiks! Another new term for my writing style... now it's, "kawaii". What's next? LOL.

Oh man... *Kleio dancing in joy* Stev is gonna do the tag, Stev is gonna do the tag, Stev is soooo going to do it. I am sooooooo glad and happy. Yippey Yay!
I feel so honored already. Thanks Stev for indulging me.