I've decided to put together a set of memories for your reading pleasure (and also because I just couldn't make myself fall asleep tonight). The memories are those I'd never forget during the two years I spent at CHSE, of course assuming that I'd live the rest of my life without suffering any sort of serious brain damage. These are not the usual type of things, like getting good marks in an exam etc. Here it goes then:
- SUDDEN JUMP
Our Chemistry teacher during the first semister loved saying this. It was the way he said it that was most amusing, so much so that we made our unofficial class motto, though no one really knew what it meant.
- THE BOX
My classmates and I received the shock of our lives when we entered our classroom one day. There, lying on the teachers table, was a box. Not just any box, but a box of...condoms. Actually it was a box that should've contained condoms but was empty. A Bio class had been held in that classroom during the previous period, and me, like a lot of my classmates, had never studied Bio during our lives and wondered whether it was used as some sort of a, you know, demonstration. So we summoned a student from that class and showed her the box (we didn't touch it, of course; you never know where the user had poked his fingers in before using them). She was just as stymied as we were. Someone even called out to the Bio teacher, "Sir, you left your condoms!" but he didn't appear to hear. We later learnt that the culprit was actually one of our own classmates, who saw the box lying about on the road, and actually picked it up! Disgusting, I know, and we made our feelings clear.
- THE BOY WITH THE GIRLISH NAME
That's me alright! No, I don't have a girlish name but here's what happened. It was during the prefects oath taking ceremony, and somewhere along the line there was a mix-up in the certificates. I received a certificate of a girl, which happened to thoroughly confused the Chief Guest. Her reaction was just classic, and it took a lot my will power to keep myself from laughing out loud on the stage. She put on the plastic smile she put on for every student just before we shook hands, glanced down at the certificate, and didn't even bother to mask her utter bewilderment. Wide-eyed, she scanned me up and down, glanced back at the certificate again and finally gave it to me looking a little bit like this.
- EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES
How can I not mention the excuse letters teachers receive almost everyday! The letters are almost always the same:
My son/daughter [the name] was unable to attend your classes on the [date(s)] due to [some sort of a sickness; the most popular choices are headaches and high fevers].
I often wondered whether teachers actually read this stuff, because if they do, they're surely bound to ask the absentees why they make miraculous recoveries so often, wouldn't they? There was one incident when a classmate of mine made me write his absent letter. He hadn't even been sick, and I happened to be busy at the time so naturally I felt extremely annoyed. So I decided to annoy him back. I wrote the letter, with the reason for his absence being due to "a sharp, almost unbearable pain in the left testicle". He never made me write his letters again. And even if you get late, teachers won't have with truthful excuses like "A tyre of my bicycle blew up and I had to walk halfway here" or "The police shut off the usual route I take and I had to ride by another route and got stuck in a traffic jam". No, it always has to be "I fell asleep and couldn't wake up on time". Teachers are funny, ain't they?
Ah, the sweet sound of expensive glassware being smashed by clumsy hands in the Chemistry lab. The first person in my class to make this sound smashed a burette, of all things. This opened the floodgates, and something was smashed every week. My clean record was stained near the end of grade 11 during a practical exam. I introduced what I shamefacedly claim is a new way of smashing stuff (I didn't mean to smash it, of course!). An on-the-spot breakage via the elbow. The beaker didn't move an inch, but it shattered to pieces right there on the spot, and made an almighty noise. There were several gasps, then the whole lab went silent. No one was talking, and every eye was scanning the floor for some sort of debris, then my "Oh shit!!" carried its way to the teachers ears.
The most fascinating thing about breaking something is that the lab assistants always brandish a battered, ancient-looking book. In it are the names of students throughout the years who broke expensive stuff at the lab, and also the stuff they smashed. My hands itched to throw back the pages and find out if there were any past students I knew, possibly even my father, who might have fallen to this trap. Maybe I should break something again to find out!
- STOMPING, MY FOOT!
Those who attended the Anniversary Day celebrations last year might remember the first activity; stomping. The participants, who were representing their respective houses, were supposed to tie a balloon to their ankles and try to pop the balloons of those of other houses. As soon as your balloon popped, you're out. There were supposed to be ten from each house, and mine was one short. I hadn't really wanted to attend this event, but was forced to due to unforseen circumstances, so I tried to hide in the shadows. Unsuccessfully, because a girl approached me and pointed out that my sandals were really good for stomping and that I should be getting on. I pointed out that we weren't allowed to wear sandals, and that my feet were extremely delicate and not exactly designed for stomping. She told me to just shut up and go out there. House pride was at stake, anyway, so i had no choice but to go. It was ridiculous enough having to walk with a balloon tied to your ankle, but wait for this. The referee blew the whistle to start the game. My balloon popped. I was out. No effort, nothing whatsoever.
- THE MISTIMED CHALLENGE
Horribly mistimed. It was like Martin Taylor's tackle on Eduardo, but at least we were unharmed. It was during the AS exams, when I mixed up the time and took my friends to Dharubaaruge and hour and a half early. As a result, we spent the time at the back of Dharubaaruge, looking out at the sea, laughing, pointing at the tsunami memorial and making jokes about it etc. We went to the exam feeling refreshed and in a good mood. I still think they should be thanking me for this!
I'll hopefully post a few more of these in the coming days. Starting to feel sleepy now..