Monday, February 20, 2017

The B Side

Coming from a smaller school like I did, the disparity between the classes didn't seem quite as apparent as it was in comparison to the immense institutions like Charming Calvin's where each form has dozens of classes. Last I heard they even had classes from A all the way to N- whish sounds astoundingly large when compared to my own schooling experience with only four classes per form. So even though we did have academic streaming once we reached secondary, it wasn't as if we didn't know about the boys in the other classes since there were only so many of us.

Despite our different classes, we generally mixed around on the playing field and during recess - certainly no spiteful Mean Girls social stratification going on there.

As the years passed though, I realized that very few boys from the B class ever made it to our class - almost as if an invisible hurdle had been drawn across the length of the hall that they simply couldn't leap over. Puzzled me always. It wasn't as if any of them were lacking in academic prowess since quite a few appeared to be extremely intelligent.

Honestly we weren't all that smart either.

No, you can't sit with us.

Just that as the years went by, the class hurdle seemed to get so high above their reach that most seemed to have given up on the jump. As vicious cycles go, their pessimistic lack of drive dampened their will to study which only widened the span needed to make that miraculous leap.

It's only now that Charming Calvin has taken up the job of teaching some of these boys that I finally hear their dismal cries of despondency.

Paul : There's nothing stopping you from doing better. You just need to put in that little bit of effort. 
Student : Not really. They are just better, those boys in the A class. 
Paul : Trust me, they aren't any different from you. 
Student : They are clever.
Paul : So are you. 
Student : But they are different. They just like to study. 
Paul : No one likes studying. 
Student : They seem to. 
Paul : That's because they have to. 

Obviously I wasn't going anywhere with him.

Without even making any plausible effort, he has already given up on doing any better. Basically he made it sound like the grandest impossible task, almost like the proverbial carp leaping over the dragon's gate. 鲤鱼跳龙门.

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