That’s right! When I was a little boy, not only I was talkative, I was cute as well. (Nah! Who am i kidding?) Of course, I wasn’t the only cute one. There are other boys and girls around me who are cute and chubby too. We were in our baggy uniform attire that could cover our entire body and with our big, heavy backpacks. It’s as though we were in some university studying 11 subjects. We were innocent looking and truthful bunch. Every one was so active like we were on some kind of drugs. (It’s just a metaphor) As those drug campaign on the poster will say, “kNOw drugs.”
If you were to ask me, “Is there so much to talk in school with my friends?” Yes, yes! “Don’t you see your friends every day in school?” That’s true, that’s for the weekdays, but I can’t see them on the weekends. Maybe i was just a sociable person. So, this is what happen in class…
One fine day, I walked to my classroom and I strolled to my seat. In my school days, we were assigned to our seats and I was assigned at the back of the classroom. If I remembered correctly, in our classroom setup, our tables formed like a ‘U’ shape. Which means that our tables are join together and we didn’t really have much gaps in between. You can imagine how convenient it is to reach out to the other person.
While waiting for the teacher, and since the class was in silence, I decided to speak to my neighbours. We chatted about our daily lives, what we did during the weekend, what their names are and all those basic conversation you hear outside. In my head, I would just find some topic to talk about. I just didn’t want the conversation to stop until there was some reason to end it. Oh, I can’t stand the absolute silence in my surrounding. I would feel uneasy.
After chattering for a few minutes, an adult appeared out of nowhere, walking in the class with books on her hands. “Who is she?” “Why does she have a book in her hand?” These thoughts were running through my mind.
Do you know how teachers usually introduce themselves? What they would do is take a piece of marker, usually blue or black and take the cap off. After which, they would stare at the whiteboard for a moment and write their names down. Then, they would turn around and start introducing themselves. This grand entry works since we were all quiet and focused on what is going on.
The teacher told us her name. I honestly forgot my primary school teachers name. (I’m very sorry about that) And she informed that she was our form teacher and she was teaching a particular subject. During that time, I kept quiet and listened attentively to what she said. Look, I am not really that talkative, you got my attention and at that point of time, she appeared interesting and I was curious too.
Once that introduction is done, she started teaching. Oh boy! This was the most boring part of my life. I tried so hard to focus on the whiteboard. As she wrote with the blue marker she was holding, I followed through. I was still concentrating on her voice and her writing. Nodding all the way as if I understand what was being taught. But in reality, nothing goes in my mind. (I think this should be relatable to most of us)
After countless of tries and into 15 – 30 mins into learning, I got super bored. I don’t really day dream but I do have a lot of things in my mind and i just want to let it out! I need to find a way. It’s like storing water in a dam and once the gates have been lifted, the water gushes out with extreme pressure. In this case, instead of water, it was words. So, I did what I ought to do. I glanced to my side, looking at my neighbour and grabbing their attention. Once, I got their attention off the whiteboard, I strike a conversation with them. I may have been a little noisy and I think I have caught my teacher’s attention too!
She turned around and gently instructed me to listen and stop talking. So I stopped talking. Now, I can’t talk, but I can whisper right? I would find any other ways to fulfil my objective. So, I whispered to my friend and began sharing my experience about the television show I watched last night. Thankfully, he watched that show as well.
If two people have a common subject that they can talk about, what could happen? Endless discussion and countless hours of chatting and laughing. Remember, we were in the classroom and we had to be less noisy as not to attract the teacher’s attention. Since we can’t laugh and talk, we giggled and whispered. Each time my teacher turn her back on me to write on the whiteboard, I would then start a conversation with my friend. As soon as she turns her body to face the class, I would just keep quiet and looked at her as if I was listen attentively. (Being as stealthily as possible)
This scene reminds me of a video where this person points the camera to the cat, the cat doesn’t move. As soon as the person puts the camera away, it starts moving. You know the cat is moving when it’s not at the same position when the person first started recording the video. Again, when the person points the camera again at the cat, it stops. That’s exactly how I am. I am the cat.
Nonetheless, I still excel in the subjects that was being taught in class. I think I did some revision at home. Either that or the questions were easy. I believe that I can excel in any subject. And the teacher thinks that because of me being talkative, I’m limiting myself into scoring even better in all my subjects. (Asian people’s thinking) Not forgetting, that I was actually distracting the other students who actually wanted to listen in class but because they have such a good heart, they chose to talk to me instead. (How sweet of them)
Now as you might have already know, it wasn’t just only one fine day. If it happened for a day, I think my teacher would have closed one eye and let the matter rest. But nope, it was countless of days, I was talkative. So, as what teachers would always do when they keep warning me countless of times is to inform my parents about it.
Back in those days, I had those “meet the parents” session where the parents would be invited to meet our teacher in school. Usually the session will happen when our exam results were out. In order to collect the report card, our parent(s) or guardian need to be physically there to collect it. I think that this meet the parents session would be a good moment to reflect on any child’s progress and give constructive feedbacks. When it was my turn, my teacher told my mother that I was talkative in class. “Oh no, now I’m really screwed.” “Will I get scolded at home?” I thought to myself.
Fortunately, my mother didn’t mention anything about the feedback that was given. I didn’t even get lectured at home.
What I have learned
Looking back, I think the reason I was talkative in class was the fact that my home environment wasn’t conducive or we didn’t have those moment to express our thoughts freely. Occasionally, my mother does ask me the normal questions like “how was school?”, “what did you eat?”, etc. But, I guess that sometimes we ask for the sake of asking and are not really genuine in the answer.
Yes, I agree that young kids do talk a lot and they also may have a lot of great ideas. That’s the reason I believe that we should encourage our young ones to talk and really give our utmost attention. I think we need to create an environment (Disclaimer: I’m not a parent myself but I’m learning by reflecting and observing) that is not only conducive but also a place that we are allowed to let out any form of thoughts that we have without being judged.
I also agree that kids just blabber so much that nothing makes sense. But what if one thing out of every thing makes sense? Wouldn’t it be worth a listen? Everyone sees things differently and maybe we may have failed to look at another angle. Just nice, our young kid saw through that and they provide us with their ideas.
Like I mentioned, if home wasn’t a place to let out these thoughts, guess where would be the next possible place to be? The next place where I spent most of my time would be the school.
Reflecting back, what if because of that comment made by my teacher, I choose to never speak again. (I may exaggerate this but we may never know young kid’s thoughts unless we ask) Yes, it may be good at the short term. But in the long term, it may affect my growth. If someone ask me to express myself, I would just think back about that feedback and speak very briefly. It seems to me that being talkative at that moment was a bad action. I am not blaming my teacher but I am just giving an example.
I am really thankful to my mother for not reprimanding me about my talkative attitude in school. Else, I think I will develop the mindset that talking is bad if the message is not being received properly by me. But over time, I got some advice that I should speak less and listen more instead. Which I embrace the advice up till now. Listening is more important than talking. Listening is a very good skill to learn. It is only through listening we understand the other person or situation better. (That’s if the other person is great to express their thoughts too)
I hope you enjoyed my story and what I have learned has brought some lesson to you. If you enjoyed the story, I would appreciate it if you would help to share this story around. It could benefit those around you.
Also, if you think you have learned another lesson other than what I mentioned, do leave a comment below. I will be most happy to read it and learn from you.
With that, I wish you a very good day ahead! Peace.
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