Thank you, the swimming pool of ACS!
When I was asked recently to write something about the school, the first thing that came to my mind was not some outstanding student I admired or teacher that I knew but simply the swimming pool I am fond of.
Oh yes, the old swimming pool! The pool you either loved or loathed.
It was this pool that inspired me to study hard at my former school of MGS so that I could come to study at ACS and learn to swim.
I did just that, from 1982 to 1983. Just a two-year stint but useful to me, nevertheless.
You see, I wanted to learn to swim. I loved to see people gliding smoothly, gracefully and effortlessly in the crystal clear water. Not so much for the competitiveness of it but more for the beauty of the action.
Yes, you are a poet and the water is the paper! Swimming, to me, is poetry in motion. You are writing poetry in the water.
I do not have terrific swimming coaches at that time. They were Mr Foo Yoke Meng and Encik Abdul Rahman Baker. Taught me to swim they did and I learned as fast as I could, as I have only two years to do that!
While many girls went to great length to avoid the pool simply because they are shy to be seen in the swimming suit in front of so many male students, I threw modesty to the wind and learned every step and stroke there is (except for the butterfly stroke).
I was a late learner and therefore I have to work harder to catch up. There were moments when I almost gave up. Some naughty boys from my class loved to tease us; one even pulled my leg down as I was learning to paddle in the water. I got panic and struggled frantically in the water. But I kept my spirits. I knew there are perils for a girl to learn swimming in a boy’s school.
It took me a few months to master a certain stroke since we only had a weekly lesson, not a daily one. When it was almost time to leave school, I managed to swim reasonably well and in the deepest end of the pool.
No, I did not take part in any swimming competition. I have not reach that level yet but it is suffice to be able to swim at all. I am glad that I had achieved what I set out to do – to be able to swim.
Today, I still swim, actively. I was also able to teach my children to swim. It gave me great joy to see them gliding gracefully in the water, just like what I had always dream of doing, as a kid.
For this, I have the swimming pool of ACS to thank for!
Last year, on December 19th I took my family to visit the school.
“This is the swimming pool where your mommy first learn to swim!” I pointed out to my children.
“But it is a small pool. Not as big as the one we used to go to in KL!” they answered in unison.
“Yes, I know. But still, it was here that I first stepped into a pool and learn my first stroke. It is sentimental to me,” I told them.
“Then let’s take some photos of this place and video it for remembrance,” my husband suggested.
“I will do just that, for keep sake,” and then I proceeded to capture some photos and video the pool before we explored the whole school.
I took another look at the pool on the way out for I do not know when I will be coming back for another visit.
Cohort: 1983 Form 6 Upper Arts A
( Ipohgal @ http://188hughlowstreet.wordpress.com )
I wrote my first poem “The Executioner’s Song” at 16 and it got thrown out by the English teacher in MGS who deemed it too controversial for my own good. Nice effort but next time, write something more common, she told me but I did not write anymore, not for the next thirty years! Today, I write again, mainly on my childhood days and anything that caught my attention and made me think. I am a homemaker, a mom to two teenagers, an amateur writer and blogger.
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