Friday, April 5, 2013

Miss Fries and the Chans

I took Miss Fries to the causeway, look across and you see West Malaysia. The thick skin me, I told her to tell everyone that this was my house. She said "Yes!" 

Miss Fries, an incredible woman who worked in NASA chose to come to Sarawak. She taught many years in Methodist, at least twice after a Sabbatical. She worked with Father as Father was in the admin. She taught 3 of us siblings, Elizabeth Kit Penn, Charles Chok Kwong and myself.

Miss Fries taught me Maths and Physics and was my Form teacher in form 5. She arranged our seating according to our results in a reversed order. The best ones sitting at the back.

On the first day, she told us she wanted us to us a fountain pen in our work. At that time, we had to use a fountain pen for our public exams. She wanted us to get practice right from the start.

She also emphasized when when it was time to stop our writing during the exams, she meant it. She said she made the mistake when she first came to say "Quit writing" and the students frantically wrote. She then realised that the students  thought she meant " Quick writing."

She said a joke that I will never forget and I use it with my studentsnow. "How far can a dog run into the forest?" Everyone says 3 miles, 5 miles, 10 miles? nil, The right answer is half way, after that, it is running out of the forest. From a Math teacher, what do we expect.

When our 1971 class held our first 28th Reunion in 1999, the Sarawak team asked if I would be the liaison and handle all of Miss Fries trip. I approached Malcom, and he saved me a lot of headache by offering to take care of all her travel. Whew!

Miss Fries stayed with me on both transiting stops in Singapore. I gained so much with her in my house. I told her I had been having her as my role model.

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