So as part of making the “horses” thirsty, I had to teach Boom by Jean Tay for Literature lessons.
It’s a pretty good text in that it’s accessible to the students and rich with literary features that make it good for teaching.
For example, one of the essay questions we worked on in class was “Why does Tay title her play Boom? Support your answer with close reference to the text”.
I doubt this question would ever come out at the O-Level exams, but I thought it was a pretty good way of getting the students to think about motifs, symbolism and themes – and their relationships – in the text.
Regardless, the students – being students – have no qualms about asking teachers questions/interrupting the lesson in the hope that we’ll digress/tell them stories instead.
So while I was writing the question and instructions on the board, this exchange took place:
“Jean Tay your friend ah, sir.”
“You’re also a writer, right, sir.”
“So? All writers must be friends is it?”
And midway during the discussion…
“You got watch the play or not?”
“NO. (Beat.) Why?”
“You look like one of the actors lah.”
“Brendon Fernandez, is it?”
“No lah, the actor in the play.”
“Yar, he was one of the actors in the play, right? That’s his name!”
“Y’all are friends ah, sir?”
Guess it was payback for all the times I annoyed my teachers in class…