• SPM 1119/1 Continuous Writing

    (Mid-Level) Narrative Writing (Kota tinggi, Johor SPM Trial 2018)

    Question:

    Write a story when you discovered you were no longer afraid of something. End your story with : “…after all, it was nothing at all.”

    Sample Answer by Students:


    Ailurophobia – the fear of cats.

    I never understood why I was so scared of cats. I didn’t feel disgusted when I look at them. In fact, I thought cats were very cute. They were fluffy, looked soft and the purring sound they made was nice. However, when they came near me, I would either scream or ran away.

    “You’re weird,” my best friend told me one day. “Most people are afraid of the cockroaches but you’re scared of cats. Cats are cute! How could you not like them?”

    The thing was, I liked cats. I really did. I was just scared of them. When they came near me, it felt like my life was in danger. I was scared that they would jump and hurt me although they were small. One day, I went home and asked my elder brother about it.

    “Brother, why am I scared of cats?”

    My brother laughed before telling me a childhood story I did not remember. Apparently when I was a toddler, I held a cat up by its tail and was bitten by the cat. I must have been traumatised by incident that I was still scared of cats although I couldn’t remember it. After hearing the story from my brother, I googled for the ways to overcome my fear of cats. I wanted to change. I didn’t want to be scared of cats anymore.

    It was not an easy journey. When I saw a cat, I would slowly approach it. If the cat ran away, I would not pursue it. If it didn’t run, I would try to touch it with my index finger. If the cat didn’t react negatively, I would try to pat its head. For a few weeks, I still retract my hand and backed away if the cat tried to get nearer.

    Later on, I started visiting the vet to try and play with the cats there. I pat their heads and learned how to hold them up. My first time holding a cat was funny. My hand was trembling so hard I ended up dropping the cat. I told myself that “Practice makes perfect” and didn’t give up. Soon enough, I could put a cat in my lap and smooth their fur with my hand!

    It was not easy to overcome a phobia but it was not impossible. My fear was still there but it was no longer crippling. I could now touch a cat. It wasn’t as scary as I thought. I learned that it was important to believe in yourself and work hard for your goals. After all, it was nothing at all.

  • SPM 1119/1 Continuous Writing

    (Mid-Level) Narrative Writing (Terengganu SPM Trial 2018)

    It’s time for Writing with Students slot. This narrative was written in class, incorporating ideas brainstormed by students from all my form 5 classes. As the students are mostly low to mid-level in proficiency, my focus is for them to use simple and clear language. If they are able to incorporate more colourful literary devices, that would be a plus.

    Question:
    Write a story about a boy who got lucky one day. End your story with: “If it were not for the incident, his life would have been the same.”

    Sample Answer by Students:

    It was not often that one would sit down, do nothing for a while and think about things that had happened in one’s life. Atman found himself doing just that. At 30 years old, his life was comfortable enough to afford a good car, a house, and a beautiful wife. His neighbours knew him as a kind man who liked to help others. Atman smiled to himself. He remembered what happened when he was young.

    Atman was a very naughty boy in secondary school. He did okay in class and he was not very rude to the teachers. However, Atman had one bad habit.

    Motorcycle racing.

    After getting his license, Atman’s parents bought him a motorcycle he had been wanting since he was in form one. At first, he rode his bike to school and around his neighbourhood. Unfortunately, he chose the wrong friends and later, he became involved in bike racing activity. He had won a few races. After each win, Atman became bolder.

    Atman started with simple stunts. When he felt confident enough, he tried more dangerous stunts like standing on his bike on the highway. One day, while he was doing his stunts, he rode past a teacher’s car. The teacher recognised him straight away and contacted his parents.

    When Atman reached home, his father slapped his cheeks so hard that he fell to the ground. He was shocked.

    “Why did you slap me, father? What did I do?” cried Atman, hand on his stinging cheek.

    His father huffed angrily, “You ungrateful son! How dare you ask what you did! You were in a bike race, weren’t you?”

    “What? No, father, I was just…”

    “You liar! From today onwards, you can no longer ride your bike! I will send you to school and fetch you afterward.”

    Unable to believe that his father would do that to him, Atman ran out of the house and rode his bike away. He was angry at his father for slapping him. As he was nearing a T-junction, a small girl suddenly ran onto the road to chase after a cat. Atman was too fast to brake in time. He pushed his body away from the bike, throwing it under a lorry as he fell to the side of the road. He rolled his body in pain. He heard people screaming. Before everything went black, Atman saw the girl holding her cat, crying. Oh, he thought, at least she’s safe.

    He woke up at the hospital. His mother was crying next to him. When she saw that he had woken up, she hugged him and made him promise not to ride his bike dangerously again. His father was also there. Atman only had minor injuries. His beloved bike could not be repaired. He apologised to his father. He realised that he could have died. He was lucky.

    Since that incident, Atman no longer rode a bike. Once he finished college, he saved enough money to buy a car. He was also a responsible driver. He was very glad to still be alive. If it were not for the incident, his life would have been the same.