Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Reduce, reuse, reminiscence, recycle.

That big exam, the climax of a student's student life, the final examination which a student's entire life in school has been building up to all these years, the SPM examination, has finally come to a peaceful close. For most of us, anyway. Some of the gang still have Accounts and Literature tomorrow, but they just end one day late. Anyway, cue the confetti!


Now that we've got all those colorful bits of paper out of our system, time for me to tell you about my day. No, I won't tell you about the examination, that stuff's boring. I'll tell you about what I did when I got home. School holidays, of course, actually started several weeks ago - for most students. But not us Form Five students, ho no. We still had our big exam to sit for. But not anymore. For the Form Five, our school holidays have officially started! Unfortunately, I've already used up all my confetti.

Anyway, now that the school holidays have "begun", it's time to go through the same old year-end clean-up procedure that we go through every year.

All the backpacks are turned upside down, their contents are picked up, and sent to be recycled. Of course, first we have to do a little reusing as well. Here's how it goes: All of the half-used notebooks are placed in a pile. One by one, we take a notebook off the top and open it up. If the book is more than half-filled with writing, then the clean pages at the back are neatly chopped off with the paper cutter and placed into the "scrap paper drawer". We've never had a shortage of scrap paper all my life. On the other hand, if the book is less than half-filled, then the pages in front with writing are chopped off, and now we have a clean and perfectly reusable more-than-half-left book, which can be used next year, or passed down to future generations. Everything else goes for recycling.

However, it occurs to me that now that I'm leaving school, this will likely be the last time I ever do this fun little activity again. I'm starting to wonder whether it's really all right to just decapitate and toss out all those papers. Hence, the title of today's blog post. When I think about it, we've spent countless years (okay, it's actually 10 years) going to school, filling books with writing, and tossing it all out at the end of the year. But the last year is different. This is the year that actually counts. Our teachers put in so much effort, and we put in a lot of effort as well, to fill these books wise words, invaluable information, and world-changing formulas, and now is it alright to just throw it all out? (Of course, I have no doubt that equal amounts of effort were put in by the teacher and the students in all the other years as well, but this is the year that actually counts.)  I wondered to myself, how would my teachers feel if they knew that all their hard work was going to be recycled into a receipt at Tesco or a paper napkin at Kopitiam.

But I thought about it for a while, and in the end I came to the decision that recycling these papers is the best thing to do. After all, in Biology, they teach us the importance of recycling. In Moral, they teach us how to recycle, and the importance of recycling. In English and Malay, they ask us to write essays on how to encourage the society to recycle more. When I think about it like that, the only logical thing to do now with all these papers is to recycle them. After all, our teachers put in all that hard work to drive those lessons into our heads. The best course of action that displays the best respect towards our teachers would be to recycle all these papers. Do not worry, teachers, your teachings shall not be forsaken!

That's why this whole box is going to the recycling center.

Also, the English Chairman part of me says that I should mention that Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle are all verbs, whereas Reminiscence is a noun, thus being inaccurate and not quite fitting there. Oh well.

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