Thursday, August 21, 2008

The punishment in class that bore fruit

One night while attending the dinner to raise funds for Methodist Boys' School where I served as a teacher many years ago, I met my former student who was doing his PhD in a local university. I could not quite recognise him as it was in Form I that I taught him Science. A lapse of 12 years really changed the face of a 13-year old boy into a 24-year old man.

He told me that the punishment that I meted out to the boys that talked and did not pay attention like him really helped him to progress until postgraduate level. At first I couldn't recall the form of punishment I administered to them. He told me that I asked them to stretch out their hands and hold them straight in front of their chests until I asked them to stop doing so. It was a cruel punishment as I came to realise later because I tried it out myself and my hands were shivering after some time. I really admired how they managed to carry out the punishment then. Later I gave up the sadistic punishment and resorted to caning the naughty boys on their palms. The meter rule in the lab became my 'cane'!

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