The girl who learnt nothing from me

When one of the students you taught does things like winning arts scholarships, holding exhibitions, getting written up by Wong Kim Hoh in the Sunday Times, getting cosy with Eric Khoo and various local and Japanese celebrities, and becoming an up-and-coming professional photographer, you’re tempted to claim some credit. Every now and then, you want to wheel this star student out, dust her down, and show her off as proof of your teacherly influence and timeless impact which have, gratifyingly, echoed through the ages.

Unfortunately, mine proclaimed, in front of her parents and a very horrified me, that:

1. All the important academic stuff I imparted to her during the two years in primary school have evaporated, so thoroughly that no traces remain whatsoever.

2. The best memories she had of my classes were the movies I showed. (Only after the exams, mind you.)

3. What she did learn from me were frivolous nonsense like:
– Charlie Chaplin movies are the best! Must watch!

– That Thai movie about the little boy and girl too! (For the record, it is “Fan Chan”.)

– Comics are cool! Loved the comics I lent her, the ones starring Garfield and Snoopy. (The only quibble I have is that I have zero memories of doing that. Serious. And I said as much to the parents who were, by then, looking at me indulgently. Jialat.)

– Loved the iBook I used in class, and allowed my students to use too.

– With her classmates, fooling around with the digital camera I had allowed them to use, though I was terrified and convinced they would drop my baby anytime. (This was in the early days of the mass-market digital camera era, and I had paid a fortune for it.)

Anyway, it was good to meet the star student and her parents again.

If you need a photographer for “events, parties, portraits, graduation, wedding & boudoir” (wait, boudoir?):

For those who have been living in an underground cave and have no idea who my erstwhile learnt-nothing-from-me student is, here you go.


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