We Are All Winners

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Having to choose between marking worksheets on ionic compounds and correcting grammatical errors on essays is akin to making a choice between having a tooth extraction and pulling out a toenail, both without anesthesia. It can be rather painful, sifting through a molehill of scrawled words, at times accompanied with dried pasta splatters and oily spots.

There is a distinct advantage to marking essays over science worksheets though. Children can describe their experiences in the most fascinating manner. One student described his classmate as a model with an external organisation - What? Strutting about at her age?! - because she sculpts objects with her hands (ohhh)

In a writing exercise, a student penned a personal letter to her friend:

I like how you are fun-sized. You are not really short and not really tall and I wish I could have your height. To be honest, you are really really pretty. If I could compare you to something, it would be a teddy bear. You are an epitome of cuteness. You are like really cute. I wish I could hug you. 


In a concluding paragraph about a memorable experience spent with his family - students are supposed to write about the intrinsic value of their families - another shared his most illuminating insight:

I've discovered that the Go-Kart station isn't open on Sunday. It was really disappointing that we could not play on it. I will ensure that we do not go to Sentosa on Sunday because we cannot play the Go-Kart in that case. 

One student painted a vivid picture of why we should volunteer in a home:

There are two places which we can visit and I recommend that we visit the home for the elderly. We can cheer up people lying on a straight row of white beds and sitting on heavy-duty wheelchairs, as they wait patiently for death.

Another wrapped his essay with:

I don't want to write anymore because I don't want to sound like one of those old aunties in the supermarket. [...] [...] [5 sentences later...] I hope forward to receiving your reply!

In a reflection about his greatest achievement, another wrote:

We are all great as our greatest achievements are being born. There are millions and millions of sperms that could have entered our mothers' eggs. But we are the ones to do so. We are sole survivors in the sperm arms race. We are great achievers. 

Fractal Art (Source credit: Google)

It is humorous, really, what these children are capable of. It is my selfish wish for them to maintain some form of innocence even as they are buffeted by the relentless curriculum.

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