The morning the Lower Six students strolled casually into the premises of the Melaka High School, the poor lambs did not realise what they had walked into. The glint in the eyes of the dissipated Seniors ought to have warned them but in their innocence, it went unheeded.

Thus, the Orientation Week began with their arrival, about two weeks after the Arts students had been admitted. Most of the freshies got a taste of what Orientation meant before the day was out. But that was just a preliminary of what was to come.

Cries of ‘Hi Freshies’ come here were resonant during the following days and soon it was almost as good as prelude to some harmless but, also depending on the seniors, kinkiy orders. However, it must be said that there was a significant lack of person-to-person orientation and few and far between were the commands for freshies to propose marriage, to offer undying love and ultimate satisfaction (not necessarily in that order) to all and sundry of the opposite sex.

The fact that the Lowers were supposed to go all round ‘begging’ for the esteemed seniors’ scrawl gave the Uppers many opportunities but it was not often exploited to the fullest. As part of the orientation, freshies were required to obtain a number of signatures, the purpose of which was to allow them to get to know both Arts and Science Upper Sixers.

In restropect, I think it failed to achieve much as anyone not totally blind could see the predatory gleam in the freshies’ eyes as they went hunting for obliging seniors who were, for the most part, only too willing to become instant celebrities and give their autographs.

In the end it was one big fiasco as the people who were supposed to get to know the Upper Sixes were far too busy to find the stipulated number of signatures to those had already signed. Another result, between you and me and the whole school, was that there was one huge, mass outbreak of ‘forgery’. There were quite a lot of ‘new members’ of Upper Sixes who had some simply weird and fascinating squiggles which di not even pretend to be signatures.

Next on the programme were the games held between seniors and freshies. The freshies were really kind people who understand that once in a blue moon, others had to be given a chance. So that’s how it came to be that the seniors won by a wide margin, (again one can see that when the freshies decide to be nice, they go all out to do so.)

The champion trophy was offered for the first time by the Staff, (if next year’s batch are lucky, the present Lower Sixes might even decide to have a repeat performance. That would be what I call being truly magnanimous.)

The class-to-class orientation was to enable the Lower Sixes to meet their respective Uppers, who then proceed to extract various information from their Juniors. The question which recurred time and again went something like this: Any sisters ? No ? Wellm cousins also can and if that don’t have, then say, any female neighbours ? Between the ages of say 16 to 60 will be just nice. One thing you have to admit, they sure are an adaptable lot if they range from dewy-eyed innocents to over-the-hill dames, (experience, man, experience). Anyway, this has proved to be slightly more interesting as there was more time to get to know some Uppers without having to keep an eye for any other seniors within range. Furthermore, some paternal advice was given to freshies regarding school by various people who probably wanted to give sage advice to their future (past and present also inclued) offsprings. One clear fact was established during that afternoon.

None of the freshies had any problems with weak lungs, for before the day was over, they could sing as badly, er – I mean as well as any seniors, the school song, the State and National anthems.

The climax of the afternoon was not long in coming and soon everyone had a pretty good idea what water was like – dripping straight from various parts of the body, from the hair looking like rats tails to water-logged shoes.

Mass orientation on the next day got into a swinging start with wild-looking savages who resembled Red Indians who had gone berserk with the warpaint.

General Custard himself would have been deluded into thinking that these freshies were off-shoots of the Apache, Sioux and Commanche. There was also a fair number of clowns who looked as if they had strayed from a circus.

The ‘belles’ of the afternoon was undoubtedly a distinctly buxom group of ‘females’ who had entered for the Queen of Queens contest, meaning the Miss Malacca High School title.

One charming sweet, young thing the Lower Science One won through it was a close affair. For some contestants, it was difficult to visualize their husky or rather sexy voices with their statueque figures.

Another of the high lights was the Baby Contest. Who would have thought that babies came in sizes ranging from 1.65M to 1.9M ? Still, there were more than enough babies that afternoon to convince any sceptic.

A big, cute, koochee-koochee-koo baby from Lower Science Four was the babiest of the lot and crawled off with the prize.

A wonderful way to get a husband is the ‘Sadie Hawkins’ way. Many a carefree bachelor was hooked after a short run before the inevitable took place and they were forced in holy matrimony.

A hilarious ceremony was performed by Brother Charles after which the formal registration of marriage took place. The marriages were sealed with a most loving mud clasp, with the newly-weds emergin with hands cast in mu – the best, which means the muddiest mud there was to be found, nothing too good for the Sixies.

The final day of orientation saw it end with the Orientation Ball and the crowning of the Freshie Queen and naming of Mr. Personality.

Coverting Hard Copy to Soft Copy: Page 31 Optimist 1976

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