Monday, 9 March 2015

Atsuna: How Konggirl Became Konggirl

How Konggirl Became Konggirl
Translated by Markus Chow, Edited by Chen-t'ang and Kathy Griffen, Written by Atsuna
Original: http://atsunawai.blogspot.hk/2013/02/blog-post.html 


"Dear teacher, my daughter is not coming to school today, as she was framed yesterday and she was too hesitant to voice out," a mother said slowly, "if this goes on, I am afraid she would be scared of going to school!"
 
Wow, is that a threat? Then I am afraid I might as well be scared of going to work!
 
This incident started out when student A accused student B (daughter of the above mother) of leaving textbooks in a drawer, which is against the school rules. Though I think the rule itself is rather redundant,  students go to school after all to be disciplined –  ahhh no, to learn about discipline – so I had to keep a straight face and to punish her.
 
B had insisted that she was innocent, while A had a witness confirming that there was a copybook left in the drawer. Only afterwards did I learn that the reason A kept pursuing this case was because the two of them had a rough history back in primary school. This kind of petty grudge is not exclusive to adults.
 
"But the other students can be witnesses...," I began, but my sentence was interrupted by the mother's forceful sincerity: "That is because they are conspiring against my daughter!"
 
I couldn't help but be a little stunned. Is that what we called the TVB syndrome? But before we go into that, let's not forget that schools are society in miniature. As much as we are all asked to "suck it up" at work, we were all at one time "framed" for something back in school, weren't we?  If you want to protect your child from any adversity, you might as well have to support her for the rest of her life.
But, this truth could not be stated. Instead I told the mother, "If you really can't put your mind to rest, I promise to follow it up. But you should also be aware that during punishment period, your daughter was not supposed to do anything else against the rules, but, she was reading during so..."
 
"Ehhh, reading is a good trait!"
 
Now I could truly understand how konggirl is made. It’s the world's fault if you don't get spoiled, you use your parents to bargain with the teacher from the time you are little, and you use "breaking-up" to negotiate with or blackmail your boyfriend. You insightfully spot other peoples mistakes, but are narcissistically ignorant about your own. You live under an "Emperor's New Clothes" kind of clouded flattery from your parents. You fight for gender equality for feminists, only because females are "more equal". You are conditioned to fight for your rights no matter if you are right or wrong.
 
This is some hardcore, heavy duty education.
 
B's mother replied softly, sensing my long pause, "Dear teacher, I know that my daughter might have made a mistake, but then she has always had a poor memory. Could you please not punish her for these petty things again?"
 
I clearly heard a collapse of logic. If one can avoid punishment by excuse of a failing memory, could we abolish all tests and assessments from now on? After all, students don't want to be lazy!
I pulled myself together and replied in a nice tone, "But this school policy is meant to protect your books from being stolen."
 
"Then I shall tell her not to report to the teacher, and I will buy a new one for her in such case."
"But I wouldn't want students to think that money could solve all problems." But then again, why not, if your dad is a property business tycoon or you are talking about how well-off he is.
 
"Then...." She hesitated, and squeezed out a perfect solution for us, "could you please help to put a memo on my daughter's desk for her? Or ask for a reminder from her classmates?"
 
The negotiating tone which she used to plan for her daughter horrified me. The reason why a kind mother often gives rise to a failed son, as the common saying goes, is not by excess love, but by robbing the child's right to autonomy. Kids are more observant than we would like to believe. The first thing we learn as babies is how to grasp people's attention with piercing cries, or to have adults do our bidding by a responding smile. Human beings are cunning by nature, but laziness is the result of spoiling. If our parents and everyone around us are so hell-bent on spoiling us, why not?
 
Almost all parents have misunderstood the purpose of education. The content of exams is really not that important, nor the daily input of information and knowledge. The real essence of education is the positive attitude honed in the routine. Albert Einstein once said, "Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."
 
Under an unlimited bombardment of tests and exams, I didn't feel that I became any cleverer, but the attentiveness and patience that I acquired remains and has stayed with me for life.

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