Jeanette Tan is currently studying at the University of Cardiff, and was a volunteer of Project KL 2015.
One of the fondest memories I have of Project KL was with a student whom I’ll always remember as the Angry Bird Boy.
My first encounter with him was when I was assisting in his class during their English lesson. Hearing from my fellow volunteers who have previously dealt with him, he was known for always being really loud in class, refusing to complete his work hence; he can often be quite a handful.
I remember sitting with him during that class and as the English lesson that day was focused on names of animals, he mentioned to me that tigers are naughty animals. I reiterated to him that he must always be and is a good boy and he must never be naughty like tigers. I convinced him to promise me that if he were to stay quiet and pay attention to the teacher in class, I would draw him an Angry Bird.
Indeed, he behaved himself and followed through the English lesson on that day and true to my words, I drew him an Angry Bird and it made his day. Each time I bumped into him outside of class after that day, I would ask him “Ingat tak cikgu cakap adik ialah budak apa?” (Loosely translated, “Do you remember what does teacher call you?”) and he would answer “Adik budak baik” (“I’m a good boy”).
It truly brought a bright smile to my face whenever I was able to make short conversations with him, just to remind him that I believe in him with all my heart and that he must also believe in himself to be a well-behaved boy.