Friday, 18th July '03
The Fucked Bitch
I apologize for the langauge again, I do. But I'll take some artistic liberty, I suppose.
It is definately a red-letter day for me. I say this, not in sarcasm, not really in anger. Well, a bit of ah lian "want to fight ah?" doesn't constitute mad rage, does it? I'm not looking for sympathy - I don't think the opinion of a single soul should warrant it and anyway i know I'm way less likely to be have been "broken in" than the abovementioned soul, but a little affirmation of my still assumed non-bitch status couldn't hurt. Ha. I am such a human. But seriously, I'm taking this as a purely academic exercise, so Charn, Cruz, if you actually training-in-human-pschology peeps feel like giving me a hand, please do. Check this out:
"...the fact that this fucked bitch from this JC thinks she's so flabbergastingly better than others makes me wince in disgust. i seriously have no respect for her. she writes that she wished people would see things her way, but we do. its just that she's not as good as us, though she thinks she is. her monopoly of the leader's position is so disconcerting that i personally feel tired."
She writes well, doesn't she? Powerful words used precisely to convey exact emotions, and certainly not shyly. Enough to put me in a state of mild shock, at least. Until I came to this quite disturbing realization that... I actually think exactly the same of her. (Oh my, I _am_ a cretin.) Apart from the fact that she hasn't been able to carry out the "monopolising of the leader's position" bit. Looks like I have inadvertantly seen to that. Oops.
She also covers a lot of worth-pondering points... which I should now begin to address.
Hmm. Scientifically speaking, not too accurate. Still a virgin - I assume I'd know if I had "fucked" of have "been fucked". A bitch is a female dog, right? Female: I hope so! Dog: readers will have to come to their own conclusion.
I haven't touched Literature for a good 2.5 years, but I suspect the strategic toss-in of such words were intended to convey a certain implication about the JC I come from. Like what, then? That all girls from RJ are "fucked bitches"? In which case, God help us all, because a good many of us are going to be in policy-influencing posts and have illustrious careers. That I don't deny, the track record speaks for itself. But yet again, not all of us do, right? Would that possibly exclude any of us from that dubious honour?
Limin and I (with Lucas, Jia, Kai and Ying Ren if I remember right) once had this talking session about not turning into snobby asses. When I worked at Parkway I met two girls who stopped school after secondary, and I told the rest how small I felt compared to them. The knew how to press for sales like pros (which they were, basically), the ettiquette of being a push-cart person, they counted change in a flash with the utmost confidence. Limin shared about the ridiculously good lives we've had, telling us about this pupil of hers who was told one fine day to move out of her own home just because her father decided there wasn't enough room in the house for her. About this friend she has who's ex-boyfriend just got another girl pregnant. And we all felt unworldy and guilty for having a chance at life that so many other kids JUST LIKE US couldn't get.
Babs also talked about the concept of reverse-snobbery, how she sometimes felt a victim of it the moment she had to tell anyone where she came from. And how most of us refrain from telling anyone our grades / school unless asked. At which point we're proud of them, because we've darn well earned them. And pride in our school has nothing to do with it being a school that has worked hard to gain academic excellence / sporting pretty-goodness and come out a winner. Ask any Rafflesian what the word "Raffles" means to them, and the chances are you'll hear something about a sense of belonging where you're not judged for being a jock or geek, or for being neither at all. You'll hear the pride in the looking out for each other, cheering on each other JUST BECAUSE we're part of a family, and nothing less. Where you aren't judged based on what scholarship you get, what book prize, what sport you play. Where you're just YOU. Except by the ORA, who's admission criteria remain questionable. And Qiong once shared about feeling constantly left out at her work place because the only person she felt any bond too at all was Sera, and she just couldn't muster up any enthusiasm about her boyfriend (none, see) or latest boyband becuase that was just not who she was.
And yet, no one cares that this JC's folks have problems too. It becomes an eternal assumption that because we get good grades, life is perfect. For some yes, but more loads more the problems are different. Less consequential, but nonetheless hurting. It is hard not to get a scholarship when everyone you've known is flying off to Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford. When they get _paid_ to study when there seems no one company or government body that cares if your dreams are lived or crushed? To think you've done so much to come this far and yet realize that you could have just taken 3 subjects, screw the fourth and the 'S' Papers, as far as they will get you in NUS? To think that you'd be forgotten when all your friends come back from the cool places they've been, and thinking yourself lesser than them because you've had the easy life of studying in your own country, losing all these people who meant so much to you.
To have relatives who never cared much for you till you got into "this JC", after which they treat you like a God, want you to tuition their kid, ask your opinion on everything. To have friends from outside say things like "what are you worried about? You'll get 4 A's...", without knowing the fear you have of NOT being in the 40% that did, or worse, actually getting the heinous "B" which will cause your civics tutor to give you this disappointed look when handing you the result slip. And will cause your parents to constantly be on your case about how they had so much hope for you, it's all your fault for not concentrating more, they wash their hands off you, ever since you've gone to "this JC" you've thought yourself above studying, that you will now learn a lesson etc etc. My parents don't, thank God, but I know parents that do. And not even daring to talk to friends who you know did better, because you know they'll want to be there to console you, but each time you look in their eyes you're reminded of your own inadequacy. You're left feeling even more alone than ever, not because no one in your school cares, but because it's such a personal issue you're the only one who can sort it out for yourself (thanks, Tzo).
We have the occasional black-sheep who thinks he / she is the Ruler Of All The Earth because the sheep's from our school. Well we treat that sheep exactly how treat should be treated. Baaa to that.
On the objective side, I can see where the "this JC" thing came from. I talk about my personal experiences in school, yeah, but don't we all? Maybe I'm just too in love with my friends there, my 21st, my class. But telling a joke about how some guys call another poor girl "baboon" all the time... is that a crime? How am I behaving superior, tell me? I don't know, I can't make very much of it, but maybe I should be more careful. Maybe no one is interested. Maybe when I say "my classmate said..." it carries so many more connotations than when someone else says it.
"flabbergastingly better than others"
I like this part the best. Really, I do. Because a part of me knows it's true. I have enough confidence in myself to know when I have a good idea, when I can perform a task better than the next person. And it might sound conceited, but I get my kicks from seeing a job well done, and if I contribute my bit to it, usually that's the case. I also know I'm a lot more disciplined than a lot of people and am not afraid to take it upon myself to make a little change here and there. Yet, I know when I'm not, and anyone who's known me and read this webbie, can see it in the way I'm always asking Dage for Maths help, Limin for art appraisal, Roy for AV everything, Tzo and Qiong for web design sorting out, Nora for dance pointers, Zhong Lei for Chem 'S' rescuing, and looking to Ben for leadership in OH and CS. But it's not a matter of ego for me, it's a matter of fact.
And yes, this thesis has now produced what I was looking for, a glimmer of self-realisation. It is the the very fact that I take my abilities or lack of them so unpersonally that I get into trouble like this, that I produce the "fucked bitch" effect. Like now where I actually take time to break this down in this perverse, I-don't-seem-to-have-feelings manner. I suppose a more normal human being might want to cry or write some kind of scathing reply. Damn, what's wrong with me? But back to the point. Here I fail miserably in considering that other people feel things differently. I let the force of my personality get the better of me, and my own selfish need to make everything the best it can be (thanks, Ave) cause me to forget that it is the means, not the ends. All along I have thought the ends justify the means, and in the 21st / Drama fest, all of us believed as so. I have been a bit of an idiot not to see that there are people who don't think that way, and have thus far been quite unable to prevent a major dispute from taking place. I have also been asking for advice in all the wrong places. Limin, Tzo, Wenzheng. They all have what might be called "professionalism" in our cirles, but I now know is just a certain way of thinking not everyone suscribes to. And no one could quite highlight the problem but Ave.
"wished people would see things her way, but we do"
The strangest thing about this is I never expected anyone to do so. Must ask the writer what my way is, because I haven't the foggiest. And to really break it down, human minds can have no telepathy... supposed to be scientifically impossible because of a highly individualised soul imprint, if K'iln People is anything to go by. The argument therefore follows that no one will ever know if they see things my way, nor will I ever know if they do. The writing under analysis is in itself, proof of such.
"she's not as good as us, though she thinks she is"
The statement reinforces the point made two paragraphs above. That I unknowingly make a group of people with a certain disposition upset. I definately said nothing of the sort, for I know full well that while I might be convinced of my "superiority" at some points, I am equally convinced that I lose on many counts to almost everyone I've ever met, which includes the writer. She definately has a more assertive devil-may-care personality that I wish I had. She has a person that loves her dearly and a talent for scriptwriting I don't even come close to. And she definately spells better than I do because, well, everyone does. But she has so much to learn about being a responsible adult, and I don't say this as an age discriminant. There are people younger who are fine, people older than me who are not. Whatever it is, how she is more or less than I am, I'm not shy about it either way. In the end it all really evens out. But how I can show myself the wrong way, it's amazing. Learn from this, En, this statement has been sent from above to strength you now, to show you how to handle more fragile feelings. Asking a mutual friend (who's name I will not mention because it might cause some "turbulence") about this, she says that the writer is "jealous because [I] come from a fantastic school, am an only child, seemingly have no problems, and because [I] have proven myself more competent as a person, glide effortlessly into leadership roles. yah, and [I am] happier." That is gratifying to hear, I won't pretend otherwise, but only the "happier" part makes sense. Though the instinct for self-preservation in me also tends to want to agree with the "competent" bit. Again, I am such a human and no amount of WWJD bracelets will help me on this for a while.
"monopoly of the leader's position"
She's tired, she says. Ok, that would explain why she hasn't got enough conviction to tell me to my face. But back to this "monopoly" thing, which DOES strike me as odd. For one because I don't see that anyone has a smaller part in the showing than I do (for if I was really that unaware of my limitations and want the limelight, then I would do less background work, and grab for large speaking parts like the writer does, right? I would also openly declare that no one else is to oppose my judgement, that no changes can be made to things I've set down, again, as the writer has.), and for another that I'm quite sure I don't. In fact, I take immense pains to make sure I don't, because a team is a team, which we are. Facillitator, perhaps, certainly not leader. And if the perceived leaders don't do anything, who will?
I think Kow or Bert has said this before, he quoted it from somewhere: "If not now, when? If not me, who?" So if no one else takes action, it might as well be me, right? So far there are only two people who have been actively contributing, and the writer was interested for a while before (quite ceremoniously) throwing in the towel. So I can see no reason to think she's being sidelined because that was the way she wanted it? Or am I being dense and assuming that people say what they mean? It was also wierd that when Sharon asked for a title and synopsis there was no action from anyone against the "leadership", and she eventually had to ask Ave to do it.
I always thought it was somewhat presumtuous when Mr Hodge told us in various addresses that leaders really have the status of servants, and when the 20th hammered us time and time again with the "you will be unappreciated, you will be hated, what's right isn't popular" mantra. It was like we were all condescending beings, matyring ourselves just to feel like we've sacrificed and that we're bigger than others. I still think that way. But now have to look at those incidents more closely. After all, these were my seniors, and for the most part, they always knew better.
*sigh* Am tired now, showing is tomorrow. I should be asleep, but what I read was too stimulating. Gosh, I don't hope to ever incur anyone's wrath like this again. It will completely tire my typing fingers out!
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]