A 12-year old, studying to enter junior high. Starting this month, he’s been sent to tuition classes almost everyday. Yesterday, he showed me and his mum a list written by his dad. I don’t remember all of what he wrote or for long it will go on, but the list included:

No using the iPad or computer

No tv

Apart from meals, bath and washing up, must be seated at the study table

I felt sorry for the kid, it wasn’t his fault that he is an only child. As it is, he’s looking less cheerful nowadays and more tired.

I don’t remember much of the time when I was 12, but I remember how full my schedule was. School in the morning, sekolah agama in the afternoon, tuition class in the evening.

The thing is, though, I don’t remember complaining. Or maybe I did. But apart from all the school and extra classes, I don’t remember my parents imposing rules like the ones above on me.

I remember reading story books and being outdoors, not cooped up inside at a desk with a textbook.

I’ve read about and listened to parents nowadays finding ways to ensure their children having the best education they can possibly have. The kids’ time are full with so many things, they can’t even have five minutes to just be kids.

Getting into a good school is important, and I’m grateful for my own education. However, academic excellence is not everything in life. Being taught well and how you use the knowledge are vital, because smart people can do bad things too. And most of the time, the damage is so much bigger.

Competition. That’s one of the words I’ve taught this week. It has different meaning to different people.

To me, it mostly applies to sports and who will be commissioned first (as a reservist officer). If I had stuck in the newsroom then I might compete to get the headline story or the most reclusive personality for an interview (which I did, once).

What does it mean to you?

4 thoughts on “Expectations

  1. drMm says:

    Is that a trick question? haha

  2. F.Idrus says:

    It’s… just how it is.. Kids should be kids, worse is a 6 years old need to study and sit for an exam to go into primary school. Parents send their kids to school as early as possible so that they can learn to read and write before they reach 6. I see kids here… kindergarten means socialization, plays and all things fun. But I guess, competition, if it exists, is very small here. Apparently everyone is been given equal opportunity to shine.

    Yeah, here is the land where being a painter, musicians carpenter or garbage collector are fine.

    Apparently in Malaysia, if you are not a doctor or a lawyer, or an accountant, engineer, kerja kerajaan or kerja bank… you’re not successful.

    Sad but true.

  3. F.Idrus says:

    oh, banyak cakap lupa lak nak answer your question, lol!

    When I was in Malaysia, competition means, work as hard as I could (to the point that work is my life) so that I can make more moolahs, so that I could buy all things material.

    Since I’ve been living abroad, competition means… nothing. Being away from peer pressure and society expectations helps too. 🙂 Success sure means differently here.

  4. norzu says:

    lain tempat lain cara dia kan. and different people different values.

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