The Ketua-Ketua Gang of a Girls' School: My Story
~The naughtiest girls are always the most angelic-looking ones ~ Anon
What are the characteristics of a Rooster?
They are wildly rambunctious, outspoken, ear-shatteringly loud, fiercely loyal, protective of their loved ones...just all round lovely to be with.
(We loved doing improv at the back of the class)
Mix them all up in a class, what do you get? Mix them all in an entire school form, what do you get? A bunch of colourful characters painting the school red.
When I was in Form 1 (13 years old), I looked at my Bukit Bintang Girls' School annual yearbook. And as I have done since my primary school years, I would always look at the graduating class of the year. I remember looking at Form 5 science 4 class, home of the greatest, brightest, awe-inspiring seniors. I stared and pored over their pictures, memorizing everyone's names.
My cousin sister was in that class and I beamed with pride knowing I had a tiny sliver of connection with them.
I remember asking myself, "Will I ever live up to their legacy?"
Well, not quite (not by a long shot actually), because our year was different. We Roosters were so different from the kakak-kakaks we put so high on the pedestal.
(Do we look like we we were part of the 'A' stream??)
We weren't trailblazers because we didn't write the Centenary song, we weren't forged in the fire of school spirit that we would return to coach choral speaking or drama competitions.
We were a product of a generation that started to see the world change from analog to digital, from terrestrial tv to cable. We had choices, developing so many scattered interests that diluted our attention from books and school.
What we lacked in academia, we made up in notoriety.
(If you want to date a Rooster, ☝🏼 looky here, don't say I didn't warn you.)
These were the seeds of our girl DNA that came to existence because of our colourful world.
We Thrived on Notoriety
In the small universe of that we existed for 6 hours a day, there were no boys to take up our energy, thinking how to impress them. So we relieved our youthful energy by breaking rules just for laughs.
(Our staple for recess is fried koayteow. Recipe here)
We Have An Appetite for Crime
We started with baby steps, perfecting the art of stealing bites by sneezing into our murukku-filled hankies or yawn into a kacang-filled hand. This was how we gauged how tight the security barrier was...and to build confidence in our devious ways.
Slowly but surely, our thirst for crime heightened. We developed a sophisticated system where we would eat before, during and after recess.
Just like Ocean's Eleven, we have designated roles for each Crime Partner - one to buy drinks, two to chup tempat, two to buy noodles, one to buy Cloud Nine to eat after recess.
(Puan Lyla taught my favourite subject in school, Literature in English. I remember her giving me a pat on the head and then said a prayer for me before I sat for SPM)
We Fought With Boys .. A Lot
They could never leave us alone. They would start a war with us in the Uncle school bus, threw papers, wrappers or called us names when we were in primary school.
Then, when we got older, they would try to win our hearts and break it the next second. And that's why we had ....
Girls' Against Asshole Boyfriends (GAB) Support Group
In hindsight, the GAB Support Group was not just a therapy group, but it was also the birthplace of Feminism. Counseling sessions included but not limited to trash talking a friend's asshole boyfriend. But mostly, those sessions were times we would reassure our girl friends that they were beautiful, smart and other lovely qualities we carry til today.
Close-Knit Mafia Family
We couldn't wait for Hari Raya or Chinese New Year to come because those were chances for us to dress up and attack sumptuous food. We were so close we knew our each other's parents' characters, siblings' secrets and we would even wear each other's clothes.
Not MEAN GIRLS
Imagine a Supergroup like Cream or Audioslave ...that was us. Because we had histories with so many of our classmates, we could break out of our usual clique to form another clique or merge with another clique to form a Super Clique.
There was no shortage of happy chatter or cantankerous banter that you would mistake our class for a stock market floor. But alas, our colourful personalities proved too much for the ✌🏻governing body✌🏻. We were told that prefects dreaded their turn to guard our class because our personalities were too big for their liking.
We Owned Weapons of Mass Destruction
Unlike conventional arms, we did not have to procure these advanced instruments. It was as though we had 3D printer in our brains and we just perfected our weapons through crowd-sourcing.
I remember we had the honour of welcoming alumni member and respected broadcast journalist Ras Adiba Radzi to share her career path and her experiences in the school.
The two most prominent points of her speech were:
1. She worked her way up from the wardrobe department and did not take No for an answer until she was given a chance to present the news
2. She said the best way to attack a flasher was to LAUGH AT HIS MEMBER
Throughout our years at school, we freely shared information on how to best counter the lecherous efforts of flashers. There were no protective shadows of our parents or teachers, so we had to count on each other and ourselves ultimately to be safe from disgusting beings.
How Boys Feel About Girls From A Girls's School
Me: Could you tell if a girl was schooled from an all-girls' school as opposed to a co-ed?
Boy: No...not really (hesitant and afraid of what questions may pop up next)
Me: If you recall all the girls you know and filter them according to all girls' school and co-ed, do you think that the all girls' school specimen are more 'gangster'?
Boy: (eyes shone with excitement) Well.. (trying to be PC la tu)..I won't say that they are more gangster-like, but they are more outspoken and vocal about things.
Me: Sooo...gangster la!!
Boy: No...it's more like standing up for yourself, being outspoken..It's good.
Me: (Was ready for a fight, but since he added the last sentence, I could feel my pressure going back to normal) Ok thank you for indulging my questions...heehee
(What could be so frightening about your camera Fasha...)
I hope you had a wonderful 2017. This year was a year of self-discovery and I learned and accepted that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Meeting people, doing things to enhance personal development, cooking and writing had a lot to do with that.
I had to go through hoops and hurdles; explored fun but meandering paths and was oftentimes mired in confusion before I arrived at this place right now.
I really enjoyed writing this piece and sharing bits of my life with you. I hope you have a good 2018 and my personal wish is that you will find peace and happiness in this world.
The End.. for now 👋🏻