Saturday, September 19, 2009

Alma Mater Revisited

Saint George Institution (SGI).
I try to make a visit to my alma mater every time I am back to Taiping for my holidays.
This year was no different. As some of you who might now know where I studied during my secondary years, I come from Saint George Institution (SGI), which is formerly known as a missionary school. You have Saint Xavier Institution in Penang, Saint Michael Institution in Ipoh, Saint Francis Institution in Malacca, and a few others around the country, but for Taiping, there is only one that that would be SGI.
There is a saying, "Once a Georgian, always a Georgian."
The badminton courts and garden.
Main building of the school.
I guess most, if not all of my batchmates, seniors and juniors will agree on this saying. Although I have left the school for almost five years now, I never feel bored to return there. That's the place where we spent our golden days for years, doing endless silly stuffs haha.
My Dad was a Georgian, and I guess he wanted to continue the legacy by sending me to the same primary and secondary school. And I am proud to say that I am a Georgian.
The basketball court, which was recently relaid.
Volleyball court underwent some upgrading work as well.
Our ancestors haha
. List of former principal of SGI. They were all Brothers, not the siblings kind of 'brothers' of course haha.

Walking through the corners of the school reminds me of the fond memories I had during my five years there. When I see something, an old picture frame for example, I would recall that it used to be so colourful several years back. Now, it has wilted into a pale looking picture, hanging on the wall.
Those were the days.
This floor is where the Arts Stream classes (more fondly known as VT classes) are located.
Wooden staircase the leads to the Form Six block.
Form Six block, which used to be rooms for the residential Brothers many years back.
Form Six class, at a different block.
The students kept looking at me when I walked through the corridors; perhaps they were wondering why a stranger has nothing better to do but to spend his time snapping pictures away there. I just gave them a smile. Some even shouted from afar, asking me to take their pictures haha.
I looked up and gave them a 'peace sign' as an acknowledgment lol.
5 Science 1 classroom.
I am not sure why they use a whiteboard for the timetable. Perhaps the students can change the time and subjects as they like haha.

Kuok Hau suggested that the students should just put PJ before Rehat, then Reading after Rehat haha. Simple, right? But reading period is actually more like a copying homework period for us last time lol.
My walk finally took me to my class I studies during my last year in that school - Five Science One. The classroom still look pretty much the same, except for the tables. We used to have wooden tables, but they were now changed to plastic ones. Worse, there are no compartments below the table, and no more 'illegal business' during class haha.
Chinese with Chinese (left), Indian with Indian (right), the trend is still there.
Some students 'vandalising' the wall lol.
I wonder how effective the red signboard is.
There used to be a land opposite the school, where we used to plant sweet corns and vegetables for our Kemahiran Hidup lesson. Those who were in my years and prior to that surely will remember who Mr Wong Pak Kiong is. Haha, a super fierce teacher who used to be in-charged of the prefectorial board and also teaches Kemahiran Hidup. I dunno how true is it, but Yong Ning said there was a time when he was being lectured by Mr Wong Pak Kiong (don't we love to use his full name haha) about the sexes of earthworm. He also said that he used to use charcoal to brush his teeth haha.
But now, the land is made a garden. A garden you can eat one haha.
The name explains for itself.

I took the chance by going into the staff room and meeting the teachers.
The staff room has undergone some renovations and upgrading works over the last few years, and the most recent one was a month ago, in which they expended the staff room. The whole room now is fully air-conditioned and the next plan is to make the whole room to be fully tiled.
I asked one of the teachers whether they got to choose their sittings in the staff room, but apparently, it was determined by the management board. Reminds me of how we students used to rush into the classrooms on the first day of schooling year each time to get the best seat haha.
They need this many signboards to warn students from entering the staff room haha.
How the new staff room look like.
My initial plan was to spend about an hour or two there with the teachers, but in the end, I spent almost four hours there chatting with the teachers. It was a far more relaxing and intersting to talk to them now since I'm no longer a student there. We could joke more openly and talk about almost anything, even some of the dark secrets the students wouldn't know normally.
Do not ask me what those secrets are though haha.
Ohh yea, it was a time when one of the teachers asked me if I have a Facebook account, but when I asked for that teacher's account, that teacher was kinda reluctant to give me, worried that his/her identity would be revealed haha. So, I told her, "Ooo, so you are something like a stalker who is invisible-lah? Like appearing offline in MSN like that-hor haha!"
To be fair, there are quite a number of teachers who have a Facebook account; some use their real names, some prefer to use their nama samaran (don't you think this term is cute haha). It could be a good or a bad thing. Good because you can keep in touch with them, bad because they would be able to track down whatever updates about your life, which is quite dangerous actually haha. But according to one of the teachers, he/she signed up an account to stay within the latest trend lol.
Mr Yee Cheng Teik, who taught me Physics for two years. Take a look at some Pelangi reference books and you might find his name on the cover haha.
Puan Zurani Mukapit, my Bahasa Malaysia teacher in Form Five.
Mr Lim Kiah Huat was my Geography teacher in Form One (what a long time ago that was haha) and Mr Harbhajan, my Dad's former classmate.
Mr Koay (Dad's schoolmate), Mr Chin (English teacher in Form Two) and Mr Ng Lai Hock (Dad's senior in SGI). Ohh yea, Mr Ng's son is my sister's friend haha.

Miss Ng Cheng Eng (our evergreen Biology teacher who always remind me of her playing with the skeleton in the lab haha), Puan Soh (without her, my Add Maths surely have koyak-ed lol), Puan Liang (amazing as it might sound, she is my Mom's kampung friend) and Miss Nurul (English teacher in Form Five).
Mr Hooi (advisor of the Philately Club I joined in Form Two), Puan Kunavathi (the teacher who taught us how to memorise the sixteen nilai-nilai moral haha), Puan Choo (English teacher in Form Four, also Mom to my sister's twin classmates) and Puan Rima (Geography teacher in Form Two, also a colleague of my aunt).

Don't you notice there are so many connections among the teachers I met? I bet you need some pain-killer to cure your headache now haha!


Innocent^^Guy said...

georgia aquarium i know lar...apa georgian?

i bet u ate some forbidden fruit from the georgian edible garden thats y so tall.. :P

calvin said...

@ innocent^^guy:
i don't know what the heck is georgia aquarium lah. you mean the one in the states, is it?

knowing that, you should get some fruits back from that edible garden since you're kinda not-tall-enough-for-a-guy xD

fufu said...

wow... your secondary school is so big... mine is just a small one! and i havent back since 1999 >< 10yrs already

calvin said...

@ fufu:
hmmm, actually it is not that big compared to the other schools in taiping. if there's a chance, i'll take you there one day :)

Ken said...

Francis + Xavier = St. Francis Xavier. (My primary school) Lol...

It seems all the missionary school have this saying', Once a xxx, always a xxx-ian'.

My F6 school uses this saying... ALWAYS. 'Once a Lassalian, always a Lasallian'.

Feel like visiting my alma mater. Miss those innocent and sweet memories so much...

pika said...

disgusting trend of the students that mix with only their own race , everyone out there who does that , shame on u

pika said...

disgusting trend of the students that mix with only their own race , everyone out there who does that , shame on u

pika said...

disgusting trend of the students that mix with only their own race , everyone out there who does that , shame on u

Kae Vin said...

so many teachers~ XD

calvin said...

@ ken:
the name of your school is interesting. maybe francis and xavier were gays and they married and named the school after their names =.=

calvin said...

@ pika:
yes, it is hard to change this, especially when they come from chinese or tamil schools >.<

i think it always comes down to the language they used. they are more comfortable using their mother tongue to talk, i suppose.

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
how should i reply to your comment?

Unknown said...

just wanna laugh at mr.koay's expression.

calvin said...

@ jingruiblurz:
he was burping when we took that picture lol!

Unknown said...


D-Tourist said...

haha.. over here in ipoh we say "Once a michaelian always a michaelian" LOL ...
does ur school anthem goes something like this "All thru our college a voice is resounding......"? :)

calvin said...

@ d-tourist:
yeah, i guess it's the same motto for other la sallian schools as well. besides, the school rally is similar as well. ours goes something like this:

"all through our classes, a voice is resounding..."

very nostalgic, indeed :)