02 August 2006

High Achievers

Back in secondary school there was a time when school authorities would post up the demerit points of students. For those of you unfamiliar with our school demerit system, students start at 0. But if they are caught violating school rules, like painting the Mona Lisa on the teacher's car or destroying flowers as a form of 'landscaping', then school prefects might issue us some demerit points (typically 5 to 10).

Once our points reach 30 or so, our parents will be called in. This happens again at a few more checkpoints before we earn a suspension, and subsequently an expulsion if we happen to score 100 demerit marks. The system was terribly unfair because there was no parallel concept of merit points, but we students didn't care as they weren't really enforced anyway.

But there was this period when demerit points were highly publicized. Names of transgressors would be put up on a notice board, including their total demerit points and what their offence was. During recess, one of our favourite things to do was to go read through the board and see who the "high achievers" were. Even funnier were the things they supposedly did to earn those points. We have the standard "mencabar guru" (challenging the teacher) offenses but there were a few gems that I sadly forgot. If my memory serves, I think there was a "melagak karate" (showing off karate) or something.

Ahh.... those were the days.

Disclaimer: Being the GTS (Goody Two-Shoes) that I was, my name never appeared on that board.


William said...

Now you secretly wish that you had name on the board? Melagak karate really takes the cake.

My school didn't practise a demerit system. It used humiliation. Student's whose uniforms were not up to standard were paraded around the school in sarongs. Non-standard haircuts were fixed by the "school stylist". Some had placards around their necks. Also paraded around the school.

Famous cases involved a female teacher having a "foul-mouthed shouting match" with a student that resulted in the teacher threatening to throw a chair at the student. Cool.

ZemieN said...

Hmm... humiliation sounds effective! What was it? A Chinese national school?

What happened to the teacher for trying to do a "Steve Ballmer"? I hope she wasn't transferred, for everyone's future enjoyment.

joshua said...

OMG even my name was up there for an occassion or two. ouch!

but then again, you know what they say about GTS

ZemieN said...

Joshua: What? What do they say abt GTS?

I'm blissfully ignorant.