Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A silly memory, a small laugh

Our lives are filled with many moments. Some are sweet, some are bitter and some are so humiliating that we could die. And when I remember those embarrassing events that pockmarked my live, I would laugh a silly little laugh to myself. No one would know exactly why I do that. They might think I am crazy.

But now that you know this, be rest assured that I am perfectly sane.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Letter to Madam Salmah

Madam Salmah, you probably will never read this. But if you do, please forgive my awful grammar and syntax, for I have gone many years without writing proper English.

I would like to thank you for making English classes fun. I was very apprehensive in Intec. Can I fit in? Can I find the courage to speak up in front of my classmates? You did not know then, but you brought me out. You challenged us, challenged me. The very first thing you did in our ESL class was to hold a class debate. We hardly knew each other back then. It was semester one and everyone was a new face to everyone. But you made us team up, pick a side and debate. Debate was one - and probably, the only - thing that could make me aggressive. We argued with each other. We intimidated one another. And suddenly, we were friends! There is nothing like a good argument to bring people together.

I love the way you teach. You made me realise that the newspaper is not just a newspaper. You took news items and turned them into topics worth discussing. You challenged us to speak our minds. Everyone was given opportunity to have their say. After an hour of deliberation and debate, we would sit down to think and write an essay. But could you have known that the wheels in my mind were already turning the moment you came in. They were whirring at breakneck speed, trying to think of things to say (and to write later) to impress you.  I wasn't alone in that; everyone was trying to use bombastic words to earn a praise from you.

I really want to apologise to you, if I could. I resented you, come semester two because you forced me to join the interclass debate. I found it to be a time-consuming exercise. I was overwhelmed with the workload in college. I had thought that this competition was just another one of your schemes to advance your agenda - whatever that may be. I had thought you to be highly arrogant. I will admit that you may not be without fault, but so am I. I failed to realise that maybe, you recognised my ability. I went into the competition with resentment. Indeed, it was terrible because I did not enjoy myself at all.

Credit must be given when it is due. Now I look back at my own essays with fond feelings. I regret the fact I only kept two of them. Had I not planned to do pharmacy, I would have switched to language studies because you made English so enjoyable.

All in all (one of your favourite phrases), I would like to thank you for your guidance and the memories in the Warrungu classroom.