A Report Book like this has been the bane of my life.Note the way my name is recorded, - Hamid, Maznor bte.
[My father's name became the surname. When I came to England to study, the bank and the University indicated my name in exactly the same manner. They have problems with foreigners who have no surnames or family names. In fact they describe your name as a 'Christian' name! Also,as a Muslim you never tag on your husband's name - you keep your birth name and your status as your father's daughter.]
I enjoyed my time at Crescent Girls' School. I made many great friends and had a lot of fun during those years. In an all-girls' school you can be as uninhibited, as sloppy and mischievous as you like. You don't have to behave like a Miss Goody Two-Shoes. There's no need to look pretty and demure because there are no boys around to impress. Anyway it is not easy to look sweet when you're spotty. But who cares as we're all of the same ilk!!
We were introduced to a new subject - Domestic Science - when we started secondary school. It was merely old wine in a new bottle - which is actually just plain Sewing and Cooking.
During our first Cookery lesson we had to learn to make a hot beverage like tea and coffee. We were warned that if we spilled even a drop of milk (condensed) while doing this, we had to lick it off the table. Some of us did. Luckily I was saved that humiliation.
Next we had to light the oven to bake our first rock bun. Very, very few of us had even seen an oven, much less to use one. We were so scared of this D.S. teacher from Hell to the point where, in trying to co-ordinate the oven control and lighting the oven we burnt the fringe of our hair. I was one of them. I still remember the acrid smell of burning hair. This time we were not punished because Miss Tyrant feared the repercussion if we complained to our parents.
One day, Molly Quek, the lovable tomboy in our class who lived at 6 MS (milestone) Pasir Panjang Road, devised a plan to puncture 2 of Miss Evil's tyres. We lent her our blessings and connivance. After school was over, we watched with glee as Miss Nasty spluttered and screamed with anger when she discovered the state of her tyres. Aaaah, that was sweet revenge.
They could not find the culprits - not a peep from anybody. Anyway, by today, we are protected by the Statute of Limitation and I shall never squeal on my comrades and neither will Molly. By the way our tomboy was the first one to get married when we finished secondary school. I bet she is now surrounded by 4-5 grown-up children and 20 grandchildren.
Hip, hip, hurray for Molly Quek.!!!
The upshot of this tale was - I got thrown out of Domestic Science classes. I remained happily undomesticated and slightly wild. I was so happy to be a dropout that I shall now publicise my miscreant credentials.
Hip, hip, hurray for Maznoor Hamid!!!
It was tough trying to explain the two red marks to Abah but he was not a tyrannical dad. I managed to convince him that I was 'promoted' and not 'transferred' and that was not bad, despite the colourful bits in my Report Card. As for the Form Mistress's Reports, I got hell!
This is the photograph of the school leavers of 1961. Molly and AsH are in there somewhere.
Cooking to me is more of an art, not really a domestic science. That is why men have cornered the market for haute cuisine. With time I learned to love cooking. My only concession to it being a science is because I like experimenting with new recipes. I was told by the spouse that the first chapati I made could be used as a tool for wall-demolition.