OUR AMERICAN PEACE CORPS TEACHER

The Optimist asked, “How do you find Malaysia ?”

Next year at this time as I am cruising some American highway in my little Ford, I may feel some twinge of nostalgia for that roar of my 350 Norton or for the nerve-wrecking challenge of facing Malacca drivers in road combat !

As I am eating my morning corn flakes and blueberries, I will definitely miss those banana-leaf breakfast at the Sri Krishna of Tossay Telur, all sloped up with various gravies. And wait till my family sees how I have lost my ability to handle knives and forks ! Give me chopsticks, please or let me use my hands. !

There are definitely some things I will always remember. I will remember the school, with its sloping tiled roofs and wooden corridors, swarming with the uniforms. I have enjoyed the mellow architecture and the rows of carefully-trended flowers that follows the walkways.

There are many phenomena occurring on the school grounds which could happen nowhere in America: a conversation in half Malay half English with Chinese intonations; a Monday-morning assembly with the entire student body lining a field facing the teachers; “exam” classes where students are virtually in a panic with last minute studying; people eating noodles with chilli day after day.

I have worked hard in these two years but I have also taken an elaborate vacation. Names like “Singapore” will never again be part of the “mysterious East” for me. Although there are no places further from Michigan in this world, I have come to know nowadays these places aren’t all so mysterious.

As I leave, I wish Malaysia and High School nothing but the best. High School has the capability to produce more and more graduates who are not only knowledgeable, but responsible people who are aware of their surroundings, concerned for their futures, and compassionate towards others. That’s what’s important and the good name of High School will persists as long as that capability is realized.

Mr. Richard Schmitt, our American peace corps teacher.

Converting hard copy to soft copy: Page 56 Optimist 1977

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