Lately, I’ve been thinking that I used to be so afraid of letting others know what I’m thinking or about my opinion of certain things. So that’s why most of the time I write them on my diary and later blog instead. I was afraid of being judged. Sometimes I still am. I was afraid of having opponents. I was afraid that I would sound stupid. Then I started thinking, why should I be so?
I remember when I was in primary school, I used to be a winner – both in classes and in competitions. Always got that #1 rank until I graduated. I knew, even as a kid, it was not merely because I was the smartest. It was because I was obedient, I was quiet (I think) that teachers like me, and diligent, and I memorize things well. So teachers had this bias judgment about me. I just knew because I knew some friends of mine who are smarter but you know, never beat my rank. That was my primary school life. It was pretty easy.
Moving on to junior high school. I moved to a different school as other kids did. We met new friends from different primary schools, different background. And before we even started school, I was told that there are going to be smarter kids from different school. So it must be hard to be the #1 kid.
… Okay. I limit my ambition like, right away.
So I went to school like normal. Study hard but not hard enough, have friends. I even had a girls club back in junior high school. I felt so cool back then. It appeared that one of our teachers believed that I was a “good” girl and so she treated me like so. I was never the one who would sit at the back. The one who never talk in class. The one who pays attention to her every sentence even when she didn’t really care if her students understand her fast mumbling. Duh.
So anyway, there was one time when I decided to sit at the back, I couldn’t remember why. And you know, there are 10 or 11 rows in total so when you’re sitting at the very back, chances are, you lose your focus so easily and you’ll never pay attention again until the next class.
The Shocking Experience
Our teacher wrote some questions on the blackboard and asked some of us to come to the front and do the calculation. In short, she tested us and we needed to impress her. Of all 40 students, she picked me. And yes, I did say that I had no clue of how to solve the problem. I thought she was going to pick another student but to my surprise, she said something like this, “You used to be smart! (with exclamation). It must be the wrong people you’ve been making friends with.”
As a 13 years old kid, I’ve never felt humiliated quiet like so. I mean, in front of the other 39 friends I barely knew? And the worse thing is, all of my friends were in the same class. I didn’t know if it affects them. I still don’t. But it was a big shock to me.
I was immediately trained not to make any mistakes or otherwise, I’ll get so embarrassed.
Other Things I Notice Now
The other thing I notice is, our education system somehow force us to memorize things. I don’t know about the system now, but back in my days, it doesn’t matter how we got the answer (most of the test are not in essays anyway). They don’t really care about how you think. Even when you do your own analysis and got the correct answer, if your method is different with what your teacher’s using, you’ll still be wrong.
Even on essays, they don’t really ask for your opinion. They questioned you about some facts you have to memorize because I think it’s easier for them to check and give you a mark. You’re either good or doomed.
On our report card, there was no feedback on how we could improve ourselves. There was only marks and rank. And it made us think that the number is everything. We were not trained to having thoughts or opinion. We were trained to be a quiet worker who answers everything correctly.
Some of us find our way out but I can imagine some of my friends that are perfectly shaped by the school. It’s a good thing that we still have uni after graduating high school. Or otherwise, I don’t know what will happen to us all.
This is just a thing from school which we spend less than a half day in. At home? Nah, I don’t wanna talk about parenting, just yet. You get the idea.
Now looking back, I sort of understand why I’m more in the shy and quiet side. This might not happen only to me. It might happen to anyone, in any form. People sometimes treat us like an idiot to make themselves feel better. It’s just our nature. And it’s our choice to believe if we are one and act like one.
But what if they judge us?
What people say about us is just simply what they think they know about us. And they actually know nothing because we know ourselves better than anyone else. We have our judgment of them too. It’s just sometimes we don’t tell them and keep it to ourselves. I don’t know which one is the worse, lol.
I found that if I care too much about what others gonna think about me, there is just so much to consider because each person will have a different thought, different judgment. And soon enough we’ll be overwhelmed and decided not to make a move. Oh, what a waste of life.
So yes, do what you want to do and tell them what you want to say. (I learn this the hard way). Just a thought.
* This is a reminder post that I have to be wise enough before deciding to raise a kid of my own.
P.S: if you want to read more stories like this, let me know! 🙂 I’m kinda into this, hehe.
Also read my sister’s thought on Happy Karen Loh. Happy reading!