Monday, June 29, 2009

Perception, performance and reputation

You know, I was sitting around at home, being a very effective couch potato when my mind wanders back into my memories of myself when i was in standard six.

A week before the UPSR, my crazy Math teacher made a 'latih tubi' week. It was like, we have to go to school and spend our time answering math questions... it was like a test that would never end!

However, my teacher made the tests very interesting, he created a chart, for every test, who got the highest and second place and the third, and those who etched their name on the big noticeboard in front of the hall will get praises like they'd never heard - I was striving to have my name there, it was like you can be popular if you have your name on the chart! (Who'd thought being a Math whizz can make you cool?)

I tried really hard untill one day, suddenly after my arduos math-cramming - I made it into the chart - and I etched my name as the number 1 of the day! Suddenly the thought of maintaning the position got into my head - I was willing to make anything to maintain my name in the chart.

There were these two frineds, who always made it into the chart, but they always cheated! They would send notes through their erasers to each other to communicate - after i got my name up in the chart, cheating was the only way for me to maintain myself. SO before the next test, i told the two friends that I want in into their little scheme - and I did.

So, i think God wants to punish me for thinking those evil thoughts, when my friend threw his eraser to me, my teacher - I think he appeared in the mid throw magically! - caught it! And guess what? My dumb of a friend actually wrote my name on the eraser, and I was caught, not only that, the teacher actually announced it to everyone, and get this - because my name was on the eraser - my name was the only one mentioned, oh the horror.

Anyway for that test, I did not make it to the chart, actually my marks for that test was absolutely horrendous, I got 42% (yes, I remembered). And when my teacher was passing out the marks, he actually said to his colleague and in front of my classmates

'See what he got from the test, this is what he could do without cheating'

Yeah, I cried...

Anyway, if you think that wasn't bad enough, here's one better. I was actually clever in primary school - I always aced my test - only that math was not my favourite - in fact i hate math! That is why when the chart was created only for math, i want to maintain my fame even there. Well, my classmates lost their faith in me, they said that I always cheated to aced my other tests. That actually hurt me - a lot.

The news of that little incident made its way all the way to my mom's ears - who is always brutal when it comes to marks, well I have said there brutal, so you can only imagine what happend to me afterwards.

I was at the finish line, we were there - about to take the UPSR, I was a star in primary school, but my reputation tarnished moments before i crossed the finish line just because i made that one mistake!

It was funny really, how the perception of people changed after you made a mistake, but who can blame them? I was wrong.

One little slip, and that was it! Reputation was everything back then, and i screwed mine up!


  1. It takes only 1 wrong move to lose one whole game. We gamers say this pretty often.

    the means never mattered, the ends is.

  2. however, your past does not necessarily rule your future. you do.

  3. i cheated in a dictation test back in primary 6 because it was an in thing to cheat. and my friend betrayed me.

  4. Kei: I know, that is why I was so bummed, I wish my conscience at the time was stronger that it actually was... thnks

    Amanda: I know, somethings just worth remembering - the moral of this story is - do not cheat!!!

    Cynth: Then we have the same history then...

  5. i guess cos we're each other's person.