PalmLeaf

Thailand

An aspiring writer chiseling away at her block, with a toothpick.
Two-time Peer Ambassador and proud Ravenclaw.

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School

June 17, 2019

PROMPT: On Courage

14
The first day we met
You greeted me in black and white 
Heads of hair cropped short
And socks an inch above the ankles
 
“Discipline” was the first word you taught me
“Respect” the second, 
“Order” the third,
And we were not allowed to suggest a fourth
 
When change came, it came with lightning 
And set us ablaze with color 
Wash away the black shoes, and make way for sandals and new minds
We shouldn’t be enemies, you and I
 
The first day we met 
We played in iron-fenced sandboxes 
Unearthing knowledge  
That had been hidden for us to find
 
We made a hole in the fence
Just big enough to climb through 
Now I can unearth useless knowledge 
If I want to 
 
Let us defy the frames and borders
That push us to stand against each other 
It’s time for a change
For a streak of color
To wash away the past 
And set us on a path
Towards a frameless future 
 
 
Author’s Note: This poem is a hat tip to a very famous private school in Thailand. Recently, this school has been gaining a lot of attention from the media for breaking from tradition and defying national norms by allowing its students to dress in their own clothes instead of a uniform once a week, if they want to. The school also offers a very diverse selection of electives  (which are already uncommon in Thai schools to begin with) for high schoolers and is gradually reforming its curriculum to become more “student-centered”, focusing on happiness rather than order and uniformity. This is a pretty big deal in my country because the Thai education system is known to be very restrictive and unfriendly towards any “divergences from the norm”. The changes this school has made are very small steps for now, but I’m really glad to see them and I hope this will bring about a new future for Thai students!

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7 Comments
  • The Dreamer

    I really enjoyed that, even not knowing what the poem was about it was lovely. And then reading what was driving it made it even more cheerful and delightful. Well done!


    over 1 year ago
  • The Bubbling Pen

    Wow what a fantastic piece. I'm so amazed at what that school has achieved and how you have brought light to the issue of conformity and restrictions within education. Fabulous work xx


    over 1 year ago
  • keyperofhearts

    This was amazing! As a student, I can totally relate to it. It's a great piece as it focuses on one of the current issues on the new generation (us). I hope to be inspired by your writing more on in the future. Best of wishes! ;)


    over 1 year ago
  • PalmLeaf

    @zaid ilyas I’d love to know more about what school is like in India! I’m glad you can relate to this piece :)


    over 1 year ago
  • PalmLeaf

    Thanks, ruzahk!


    over 1 year ago
  • zaid ilyas

    I think Indian school should try that too and as a past student of a school with chokingly tight curriculum, I think you have portrayed this very well, love the piece keep it up ;-)


    over 1 year ago
  • ruzahk

    This was such an interesting piece, and I was inspired to read more about schools adopting these kinds of curriculums after reading it. Thanks for bringing interesting things to our attention, and celebrating things that deliver happiness over uniformity!


    over 1 year ago