Friday, August 3, 2007

The Teachers Of Old - The Secondary School Teachers 1964

It was 1964 and we had passed the Standard Six exam to enable us to join the Sultan Ibrahim Secondary School in form one. The unfortunate ones who failed the exam had either to drop out or join another school called Sekolah Lanjutan and pass the Lower Certificate of Examination whereby they can rejoin us in form four.

Our form teacher in form one was Mr. J.V.Moses. An Indian teacher who came from another state which we didnt get to find out. We remember him as a teacher who walked at a very fast pace. He seemed to be more or less like Mr. Philias Fogg in the book Around The World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. He commuted daily from Kota Bharu by taking the bus to Seberang Pasir Mas, take a ferry across the Pasir Mas River then walk the two kilometers to the school. Since our class was in the afternoon session, walking to school in the hot afternoon sun was a torture to him. For him it was a daily routine. We joked among us that like Mr. Philias Fogg, Mr. JV Moses must have counted his every steps that he walked to school. It was not really confirmed if he did count his steps as non of us dare ask him about it.

Mr. JV Moses encouraged us to read lots of story books. This was where the habit of reading was inculcated in many of us. We are indebted to him for this beautiful habit. He told us to read books by Enid Blyton which suited us because of the simple vocabulary that she used. The Famous Five became the rage of the class. Everytime we read her books, we imagined ourselves to be in England. Every recess hour would see some of us rushing to the library to grab any copies available on the shelves. Being a small library, the stocks were of course very limited. From the Famous Five by Enid blyton we progressed to The Hardy Boys and The Beagles.

Being a non Malay speaking teacher Mr. JV Moses helped us alot in our quest to learn English. Like our experience with Mr Vijaya in the primary school, English is the only language that we could communicate with Mr JV Moses. So like it or not we have to speak English with our teacher. The learning process was very fast.

Food was Mr. JV Moses greatest problem while in Pasir Mas. He couldnt get used to the food available here. Thats the reason he had to commute from Kota Bharu. The State Education officcer and the Headmaster must have taken pity on Mr. JV Moses because he was later tranferred to Sultan Ismail College in Kota bharu and thus saved him from his daily misery. Our loss of such a dedicated teacher was the gain for the student of Sultan Ismail College.

Sad to say we lost contact with Mr. JV Moses. How nice it would be if we could contact him again to say thank you for the knowledge we have gained from him.

19 comments:

Azmy Omar said...

Yes.... Mr. J.V. Mosses

He was the one who encouraged us to read story books. I remember very well we used to exhange the story books among us, even before the dateline for us to send back the library books. Yes I read a sngle story per day until all the Enid Blyton's Famuos Five were read.

One thing for sure though, our English improved a lot because Mr. Moses insisted that we should have our own vocabulary book; copying the sentences where the new words that we came across and writitng the meaning of the new words.

Sadly nowadays students prefer to watch DVDs instead of reading.

Sad...... but true.

Anonymous said...

I am sure you will enjoy this...got nothing to do with your particular post....so you don't have to publish it.

There was this little boy about 12 years old walking down the sidewalk dragging a flattened frog on a string behind him. He came up to the doorstep of a house of ill repute and knocked on the door. When the Madam answered it, she saw the little boy and asked what he wanted. He said, "I want to have sex with one of the women inside. I have the money to buy it, and I'm not leaving until I get it."
The Madam figured, why not, so she told him to come in. Once in, she told him to pick any of the girls he liked.
He asked, "Do any of the girls have any diseases?"
Of course the Madam said no.
He said, "I heard all the men talking about having to get shots after making love with Amber. THAT'S the girl I want."
Since the little boy was so adamant and had the money to pay for it, the Madam told him to go to the first room on the right.
He headed down the hall dragging the squashed frog behind him. Ten minutes later he came back, still dragging the frog, paid the Madam, and headed out the door. The Madam stopped him and asked, "Why did you pick the only girl in the place with a disease, instead of one of the others?"
He said, "Well, if you must know, tonight when I get home, my parents are going out to a restaurant for dinner, leaving me at home with a baby-sitter. After they leave, my baby-sitter will have sex with me because she just happens to be very fond of cute little boys. She will then get the disease that I just caught. When Mom and Dad get back, Dad will take the baby-sitter home. On the way, he'll jump the baby-sitter's bones, and he'll catch the disease. Then when Dad gets home from the baby-sitters, he and Mom will go to bed and have sex, and Mom will catch it. In the morning when Dad goes to work, the Milkman will deliver the milk, have a quickie with Mom and catch the disease, and HE'S the son-of-a-b*tch who ran over my FROG!

J.T. said...

Reading does a lot of good. I remember the school library being my favourite place. I went through many Enid Blyton books. Then moved on to Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series. Those were the days.

I echo Azmy Omar's comment about students today. Sad that some of them just don't take to reading.

Zawi said...

Thanks guys for visiting the site and making comments.
I have been away from my pc the last couple of days. My youngest daughter has given birth to a baby girl last night. I was busy doing what I can to make her feel comfortable to receive her first child which happened to be my sixth grandchild.

Tuan Haji Azmy,
Thanks for reminding me of what Mr. JV Moses taught us on how to learn English.

Anonymous,
To me, the moral of your story is how far a child will go to achieve his goal ie revenge on someone who did something wrong to him. Along the way he had punished people who have done something wrong in their life. If you have more of them just keep em coming.

J.T,
We seemed to undergo the same phase of life everywhere even when we were in far flung Pasir Mas. We read the same book. How was it possible? It was possible because we had this ability to understand the universal language of learning ie English and thus we could expose ourselves to things from other countries and cultures. This exposure has definitely opened up our mind and our horizon. I understand there are now translations of Enid Blytons's books in Bahasa Malaysia. I dont know if some of the imapcts were lost through the translation.

To the three of you,
Your visits and comments has helped me to be more enthusiastic about writing my past experiences in my blogs.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your 6th grandchild.

and I am glad you enjoyed the frog joke..... panjang akal.....

I have to log in as anonymous as blogger keeps rejecting me.

MindSpring

J.T. said...

Congratulations on your sixth grandchild.

That is one "datukship" no one can take away from you. :D

Zawi said...

Mindspring,
Cant believe that people are rejecting you. What have you done to deserve such a treatment? You are most welcome to post your comments here. I really enjoyed visiting your site and reading your articles which are extremely thought provoking.

JT,
I used to joke around that I got a datukship when my eldest daughter delivered her first child that I am now a 'Datuk' conferred by somebody no less than God. Its not by mere mortals so it cant be taken away from me.

Anonymous said...

ooops, people are not rejecting me (I hope...) but for some strange reason my user name and password keeps getting rejected by Google-blogger. Thats why i have to sign in as anonymous....

I'll figure out the problem soon enough, insyallah

MindSpring

Nik Adnan said...

Yes, I remember Mr. J.V. Moses during my school days at Sultan Ismail College. He was a very dedicated teacher indeed!!! Taught us English, then. I would concur with Zawi and Azmy Omar (who happen to be my colleague at Sultan Ismail College, later) that Enid Blyton's books were much recommended by Mr. J.V. Moses.

It is really nice to hear about our teachers who taught us during our younger days at school. Sadly, today, things have changed considerably. Not much respect is given the teachers these days.

Azmy Omar said...

to Nik Adnan,

Hey you can visit my site;

http://adchmy.fotopages.com.

Hey Nick why dont you sent me your email add.. so that we can continue our friendship which has been stalled for quite sometime. my email is :
myownnet@streamyx.com

looking forward to hear from you.

Zawi said...

Nik Adnan,
I told you our loss was your gain. JV Moses was a gem of a teacher.
Nik I didnt know you read blogs too. Many read blogs but they dont even know how to post comments.
Thanks for the visit.

zaitgha said...

i started reading Enid Blyton when i was in Std 2 and i went to SK Ismail Petra...and my sons started reading the kids books of Enid Blyton when they were in kindy...but many students now do not even know who Enid Blyton is... sad indeed.

Zawi said...

zaitgha,
Thanks for dropping by.
My gang couldnt read it any earlier than form 1 because we didnt have many books in our library in the primary school. Second reason is we didnt muster much command of the English yet by then.
Todays kids are spoilt for choice. They can have anything if only they are in the habit of reading.

shanghaistephen said...

Dear Zawi,
thanks for a great piece down memory lane...if you looked at photos of old..esp once in the 60's you'd notice teachers then looked and acted like extended parents....there was so much of respect even with all that caning and punishment. Today the teachers hardly have time to teach the kids anymore...too busy. attending "khursus" and maternity leave is taken up of the better part of the year.And dedication is thrown out the window...just count the days and collect the pay at the end of each month...No one walks that extra mile for sheer love of the proffession !Sheeesh...how I miss the teachers of old ...sigh !

Kak Teh said...

salam, got here via jt. Yes, we remember great teachers. I have a few and we have become friends now. But there are those we'd rather forget.

Zawi said...

Shanghaistephen and Kak Teh, thanks for dropping by. Didnt we all owe our teachers our current niche in life? During our days even the school bullies who regard themselves as the gangsters know how to respect teachers and are scared of them.
JT thanks for showing Kak Teh the way to my humble blog.

J.T. said...

Hi Zawi

It is my pleasure to recommend your blog to all my readers.

Have a good weekend. :)

H J Angus said...

Hi zawi
Congrats on your sixth grandchild.
I am way behind with 2.

Your detailed stories on school teachers are interesting and shd be compiled into a book for the younger Malaysians.

Zawi said...

HJ Angus,
Thanks for the comment. Couldnt be writing a book yet. I am such a poor writer, may bore you to death. Short ones maybe ok with me.