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.
Write a story when you were praised for something that you did not do but it has taught you a lesson. Begin your story with “I would never have imagined that…”
Sample Answer by Students:
I would never have imagined that I would one day feel so conflicted by something I did not do. It was a peaceful day at school. Everyone was minding their own business, lost in their studies and revision because SPM was just around the corner. About 30 minutes after recess, we heard an announcement.
“Attention to all teachers and students, please gather at the main hall at 11.40am. Please move to the main hall in an orderly manner. Thank you.”
The announcement didn’t state the reason for this sudden call to assemble. I thought it was a fire drill, but the alarm did not go off. How curious! My classmates and I lined up properly and made our way to the main hall as quickly as we could. It was a short walk but it was a very strange one for me.
Every teacher I met along the way congratulated me!
My best friend whispered hurriedly into my ears, “Hey, why are the teachers congratulating you? What did you do? Tell me! Tell me!”
I shushed her and we continued walking. “I have no idea what is happening myself. Let’s just hurry to the hall and find out for ourselves!”
Once we were in the hall, our class teacher approached me and asked me to sit next to her. My friends gave me questioning looks. My face mirrored theirs. I started to have unhealthy thoughts. Did I do anything wrong? However, the other teachers looked at me all smiles, so I calmed myself down and prayed.
The principal greeted everyone and gave a speech about the importance of being kind to others. She shared a very touching story about a girl who helped injured victims of a recent road accident. According to the principal, the girl carried two elderly victims and stayed with them until the ambulance arrived.
After that, when she found out the elderly victims had no other family members, she accompanied them to the hospital and helped to take care of them. She visited them every day until they got better. Wow, I thought, what a selfless person! I knew I couldn’t be that dedicated and kind. The principal continued.
“And that is why the PPD and the District Hospital have decided to award the girl with a medal, a plaque and a certificate of good conduct. Please welcome Amirah to the stage with a big clap!”
I blinked. And blinked. And blinked. And then I gaped. “What?!”
Everyone started clapping and hooting. My class teacher asked me to go to the principal. With heavy steps, I walked towards the stage. Time seemed to stop for me. I was in a huge dilemma! Why did I say that?
First of all, I didn’t help anyone. I certainly wasn’t the girl my principal just talked about. Also, I obviously wasn’t that brave! I was scared of blood. They had mistaken me for the brave girl, probably because our names were the same. What should I do? I could just pretend and hog all the praise and fame, and maybe no one would find out. Or, I could just be honest.
I was about to smile and pretend I was that awesome girl when I remembered my late grandparent’s advice. “Always be truthful even if the truth hurts.”
I stopped smiling. Oh, dear! I almost made a big mistake!
So, I asked for the microphone to speak. They thought I was going to deliver a speech but they were surprised when I simply said the PPD and the District Hospital got the wrong person. There was chaos. Everyone chattered, confused. My principal called a few people and finally, the hall was silent when the principal announced that indeed, it was a mistake.
Amidst the silence, I laughed out loud, confusing everyone. Then, everyone laughed with me. Indeed, it was easy to just enjoy the praise and pretend it was something I did but I decided to be truthful. It was better to be praised for something I really did. If I had lied, the lie might be exposed in the future. I would be ashamed. My school would be ashamed too! So, I would rather be truthful.