Friday, 4 January 2013

Aurelia goes to school and i take the opportunity to recollect the IJ uniform

Aurelia in the basi convent uniform
Talk about cuteness personified!!!

My neice started school this week. In Singapore we follow the calendar year as we do not have this thing call summer to contend with. There are things in one's life that are triggers by events which other people experience - seeing Aurelia in a school uniform brought back my first day of school too. Six is not very many years, but when you see a child turn six and have watched that child grow from a helpless baby to a individual who can now fend for herself, up to a point, it does strike you as such a very very long time - so much can happen then.

That uniform. I may feel fond of it now but i cannot remember s ingle day when i thought i love thus uniform. It was uncomfortable, too hot, either too long or too short, there was the dilemma of wearing shorts (which i never did as it was too hot) or to wear undies and risk being humiliated...such as the time when i forgot to bring my PE kit and was told i had to do it in my shirt and panties. I was only eight then... i still remember feeling soo embarrassed cos i wore these blue frilly number that day. The belt was a source of great annoyance as well. For a start why have a belt - the function of a belt is to make you look like you have a waist. And it should stay in the one place. I am sure we drove the teachers nuts with our belts... here were the transgressions which you could incur with our uniform. The shortened list:

1: Not wearing a blouse and wearing a T-shirt instead on PE day. Not wearing your blouse immediately after PE. Despite the fact that it is stinky cos its made of nylon and will not let the skin breathe.
2. Rolling up your sleeves - T-shirt or blouse.
3. Not buttoning right to the top of your blouse. And i mean the neck.
4. Not wearing the belt. Or wearing the belt too low or too high. Or pulling the pinafoe over the belt so that you look like a 'bad girl'.
5. Hemline - too long/short - esply too short.
6. Socks - socks cannot be ankle length - but really we didn't care about this stupid rule. Some of us folded our socks till it disappeared into our shoes, halfway down our feet.
7. Shoes - need to be canvas and white - although often we would spend a lot of time stepping on each other's shoes so that they wouldn't be white.
8. Oh yes, finally, underpants. There was a lot of discussion about should the girls be allowed to wear shorts or should they wear undies COS it iwas well known in the whole world, we were told that convent girls sat badly, especially on buses and wearing shorts would ameliorate this habit. However wearing shorts meant that we were encouraged to sit badly and therefore wearing undies would be better as it would encourage us to sit better.

I cannot remember sitting badly at all. When i did start to sit badly on purpose, i always remember shoving the front of the pinafoe down so that no gratuitous shows were available. Most of the time any form of rebellion in wearing the uniform took place because i wanted to be a BOY!!!! Why did i have to wear a DRESS??? I didn't wear a dress at home why did i have to wear one to school?? If they said tomorrow, we will get rid of the school uniform, i would say yes, pleeeease get rid of it.

However, i cannot argue that Aurelia looks adorable in it and in some parts of the world, it is a rite of passage. The school uniform.

So here is a photo from Aurelia, five years ago...

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