A victim of the old paper chase?
Just that bit more quality is missing she said
Not once mincing her pronouncement of his mid-terms
Smart he is your son, there was never a doubt
Could he say a few more words for that science test answer?
Or offer to shine beyond the Humanities
Embrace other spheres, other possibilities, other STEM*?
In the all-important O Levels just THREE years hence
If he falls a grade short, there’s simply no recompense
He’s sure to miss that golden chance to cherry pick the best colleges
This world is served on a silver platter
Only to those who keep getting better and better
By the standards that are universal: A’s, gold medals, cash prizes, scholarships, Ivy Leagues
Poor teacher, doesn’t she know my son and us?
We don’t march to the beat of that tired secular drum
Life’s more than a grade up or a mark down
I sense she’s just a victim of the old paper chase
She wants to warn students they must push harder to excel
Or maybe it’s her motherland reminding her of Gao Kao**
Meantime son don’t worry
Your mom and I will ring-fence you
We’ll be your gatekeepers like the Eden Garden
Never will we allow this shallow world
To swallow you up and spit you out
The moment you so much as slip up
Your mom and I have been down this road before
We know the consequences
The failures the guffaws
You’re getting the benefit of our hindsight
They say 20/20’s the ticket to informed foresight
Enjoy your life son never fret. And that my boy is
*Science Technology Engineering Mathematics
**China’s university entrance exams