November, the Month of Nerves and Luck

NOVEMBER is my lucky month. Lucky because it’s my birth month, and because the best thing ever happened to me in November last year. Actually, let me take that back—not the best thing, but the two best things. As all PSLE students know, November is the month of nerves. The days are jolly, sure, it’s the holidays, but they all march up to that big day, rotten and exhilarating all at once, when the results are released. My big day was November 24th.

Amid the crowd and chatter all around the school hall that morning, I heard my name. My form teacher’s voice boomed: “Li Yi Wei!” Over the short distance of less than ten steps I had to take to get to her, my mind was crowded with all kinds of thoughts: Will I get to the secondary school of my dreams? What if I scored below 250?

As I stretched out my hand to get the sheet of computerized paper, Miss Ang smiled, a big, broad smile. “Congratulations, Yi Wei!” she said. “Good job!” I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and held the paper right in front of my face. The moment I opened my eyes, the numbers greeted me: 260. And, my goodness, a parade of ‘A’s!

  • EL1: A*
  • Mother Tongue (Chinese): A*
  • Math: A*
  • Science: A

I screamed. Then my classmates crowded round and screamed too. We all screamed, and hopped about like silly, delirious bunnies—bear hugs, bunny hugs all rolled into one.

“Okay, all right!” Miss Ang cried, breaking up our mad exhilaration. “Yi Wei, could you go to Miss Poey’s office, please? And now everyone, let me continue with my result slips.”

Off I went, half-dazed, wondering why our principal wanted to see me. Was it my PSLE results or something else? Was I going to get a prize? The thought of going to the principal’s office made me nervous, but braced by that slip of paper in my hand, I managed to knock on Miss Poey’s door with a confident rap, three crisp knocks.

Miss Poey stood up the moment I opened the door, and gave me a big smile. “Yi Wei,” she said. “You’ve done the school proud. And I heard you got 260.”

“Yes,” I said, feeling elated. No one had given me such attention before in all my years in school. And for it to come now from not just anyone but Madame Principal made me feel all bunny again.

Without going through any preamble, Miss Poey delivered yet another piece of good news to me. “Remember that first prize you won at the inter-school talent competition in July?” she said. “The one where you sang Taylor Swift’s Never Grow Up? Guess what?”

“What?” I said, my eyes going wide.

“Well, the folks at Marina Bay Sands have invited us to participate in their New Year’s Eve party, and you, my dear, they want you to sing Taylor Swift’s New Year’s Day.”

Wow! First, 260, then four ‘A’s, then three stars, and now Taylor Swift. To call this a memorable morning would be an understatement. No, memorable is not the word. The word is lucky. Truly, November is my lucky month, and November 24th, my birthday.

(542 words)

***

Chia Xin Yu, Primary Six
June 2018

For more essays by Xin Yu, visit Xin Yu Writes.


This essay was written in response to the theme, memorable celebration,” and three pictures:

1. A birthday cake

2. The PSLE result slip of Li Yi Wei with the following grades: EL: A*, CL: A*, Math: A*, Science: A, and a total score of 260

3. A talent competition featuring a girl singing and a boy playing the guitar

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