Where will you be my darling? Where will you be when the dark is rising?
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
This is Jimmy Tang.
And this, on the right, is Jarrah Al Kandari.
Hah, I'm not putting up pictures of poster boys (and why would I?). These are the two oldest friends I have, who I still keep in contact with. I had a huge bout of nostalgia and memories as I was only able to find and add them on Facebook recently. Jimmy remains the oldest friend in my life that I still keep in contact with. When I had graduated from Kindergarten, I moved onto Grade 1. I actually got lost because I didn't know what class I was suppose to be in so I cried. Lmao, yeah. Some kind teacher told me that our names were posted in a board beside the class we were assigned to (making a child feel stupid is very easy), and she brought me to the correct classroom. I was still sobbing a bit, and we were told to just read books and talk with our friends. My first day of class in grade 1 meant I had no friends, and my kindergarten classmates weren't in my class. None of them. Anyhoo, some chubby boy walked over to me and gave shared his book with me, allowing us to laugh and read. He eventually became my best friend, and we were tight. A genius (I mean that in a literal sense) joined us later, named Kevin. Kevin shared a love for dinosaurs with me, and he even did this cute little dinosaur workbook for me, like filling in names, colouring triangles to form the teeth in the jaw of a T. Rex and stuff like that. He was so smart that he actually entered the gifted program, and left for a gifted school. I made many other friends, but they are just names and faded memories. Vince, Vincent, David, Drawzen (that's how it's pronounced, screw the spelling on this one) and Cindy. Cindy was an annoying girl with a loud voice who hung out with Jimmy, Kevin and I. I remember she always wore this very plain outfit of a sweatshirt and sweatpants, of grey colour. She was annoying, but she was a nice person too, giving us gifts and craftwork. I moved to Orde Street Public School later on, so I left behind that group. Many years later, I would eventually find an old phonebook that contained Jimmy's number, and called, and lucky me, it was still his number. It let us catch up and I introduced him to my Orde friends, namely Ahmed, but he also briefly met Jarrah. Jimmy was there for my final birthday in Canada, and we did this kiddish thing where we would charge at each other with our arms folded and clash our shoulders really hard to see who would fall, shouting "You go!" which comes from some inside joke I can't recall at all now. But yeah. He's changed a lot.
Jarrah was my second friend when I moved to Orde. All the crying had stopped by then. Lol. I was still the new kid though (as I realize I often am), and didn't know anyone, since it was a brand new school. I actually made friends with a guy named Morrow first. He was a blonde, white guy. I found out later he hung out with me because he had no friends (and I'd soon find out why). He was nice enough. During lunch time, when we were supposed to enter the gymnasium for lunch, we ate at the playground, which we found out the hard way was not allowed. We'd sit inside this small wooden shelter and talk about Beast Wars. In class we had this playtime where we could take a bucket with toys inside, and play. One day I randomly picked up some kind of building block toys. It wasn't lego, nor duplex. It looked similar to Bionicle's kind of mechanism. Sort of. Hard to explain. But I ended up making a really grand building and even my own character piece. The teacher (Mrs Prymak, from Iran) was so impressed she let me keep it at a corner. Morrow added in his pieces later on, and soon Jarrah, a classmate I had never spoken to before, was interested. He ended up talking to me, and started hanging out with me and Morrow. By this time I had gotten to know most of the classmates already, and then I realized that Morrow was beginning to treat me bad, lie to me frequently and tease me. Sure, bullying is easier to deal with now, but as a kid? It's difficult. It ended up getting into real fights on the playground, and somehow the moron Morrow had turned everyone who used to be my friend against me. Jarrah, Leo Wang, and some others I remember their faces, but not their names. Recess was a dread 'cause that was the time they'd all disturb me and chase me, pushing me and stuff. Eventually I grew to deal with it, and began fighting back. That led to them slowing down until they stopped. And then I began regaining my friends. Jarrah actually lived in the same condo as me, at One Park Lane. He lived 11 floors higher than me. We would go swimming together in the condo pool, and very often in the morning, we'd walk to school together (I was always late... something that hasn't changed growing up). This stopped during the bullying. But after a few minor chats and phone calls, we became good friends again, and he had more or less become my best friend. Morrow lost all his friends after the bullying stopped. They had become my friends instead. And we didn't bully Morrow back. We just ignored him. Anyway, Jarrah and I remained good friends even when we ended up in different classes the next few years. Every recess we'd still play a form of soccer with a tennis ball with many others, including Ahmed, another friend who I considered a best friend later on. We'd get into a few arguments here and there (normally over the soccer game), but after a few hours of cooling down he could still call me up for a swim, or to eat at his house. Our parents were decent acquaintances as well. My family took care of his guinea pig when he went for the Hajj, and their family took us out to ice skating and meals outside when my family wasn't around.
And those were the times in Canada. Keeping in contact wasn't something that I value as much as I do now, so I lost contact with a lot of them. Now I still maintained contact with plenty of my Canadian friends, chiefly Victoria, Alison and Pauline. But I lost contact with Jarrah and Jimmy. Ahmed managed to find me later on, and I found Anayatul. Then recently I was looking back at some old pictures from Canada, and I began trying out names I remembered. And I found them. Sally Diep, Jimmy Tang, Jarrah Al Kandari. And wow, what a surprise they had become. Jimmy ended up running some kind of business that helps improve family lives (he's also become a Mormon... hmm), and Jarrah went back to Kuwait, and is now studying dentistry in Egypt.
And the feeling when you find them, and catch up is pretty amazing. It's like finding a part of you that was long forgotten, and the memories that you recall. And seeing them so different now. Geez. Jimmy is still slightly chubby, but he's a lot slimmer now. Jarrah was super active and sporty as a kid, and that hasn't changed. Instead of soccer though, he's now into water polo, and his body is ripped as hell.
And speaking of all this nostalgia, I found this website that allows students to grade their teachers for their easiness, performance, skills and lets them leave comments. I found my most hated teacher, Mr Moore and it seems that lots of students hate him as well. Although I don't deny he was an effective teacher, being a moron could've been left out. I remember him creatively making homework through "Choose a Chart" where we would bring home a chart with questions and stuff on it. It range from math, to English, to codes (my favourite one), poems and other stuff. However most of the time he picked out the homework for us, and for some reason he always gave me the hardest charts. Geez. Only towards the end of the school term when the cycle of charts was almost ending would he give me the easy ones (like the codes) because he had no choice. Pfft. My mom said it's because he believes I am capable of hard questions, and thus gives me the hard charts. But heck, I'm a kid! Give me EASY assignments! I loved the codes! Should I feel complimented that even as a kid I was considered smart? I don't care! I wanted EASY stuff! Zzz. Anyway, I also discovered a bunch of other names that ring really familiar... Mr Richard Stein from grade 6, room 15. Ms Giovanna Riccio of grade 5, room 21. Mr Michael Alan Moore taught me for TWO years in room 16 for grade 3 and 4. I thought I was free of him after grade 3. And as stated above, Mrs Jasmine Prymak taught me grade 2, in room 18. A bunch of other names that ring familiar but weren't so close were Mr James Snetsinger, the gym teacher, Mrs Mann, the librarian, Mrs Pike, Mr Martin Lewis of room 17, Mrs Pearse, Mr Verba, Mrs Tomlinson-Morris of room 22, and of course Helen Illes Vernon, our principal. There were some staff like Josie, Rose and our French teacher, a Chinese lady who liked to wear lab coats for some reason. Speaking of which, I've forgotten the names of the Cantonese and Spanish teachers =/. Also of note is Ms D'desse (pronounced like that) who was a teacher in training who was with us for a few months. And she was freaking pretty! But puberty hadn't hit yet. So yeah. Ms DiPaola was also a teacher in training, although I didn't like her as much.
I've often said I don't like forgetting things, and that losing all my memories is something I dearly dread. However, these early years can't be helped. They're not easy to remember, and as a kid these things didn't mean so much in the first place. But now they do, and to think I've found my two oldest friends who I can still keep in contact with. They were my best friends in the past some time, and remain the oldest of them, and the oldest I can still remember and now, proudly, and happily, remain in contact with.