school talk · thoughts

The story of (mini) tic tacs


It is the last week of school (whooop! whoop!) before the mid-semester break. I decide to bring a large box of mini tic tacs to my last lecture for the students as a little treat.

As they shuffled to the front of class to sign their attendance, I tell each of them to pick one little box for themselves.

Some looked delighted and flashed a huge smile. “Thanks, cher!“, they chimed, as they walked back to their seats, comparing the different flavours that they had in their hands.

Others looked skeptical. “Why you give us sweets ah?” I jokingly said that I’m springing a pop quiz on them midway through the lecture and they looked shocked. Some even said they don’t want the sweets anymore. Hur hur.

Some were shy but delighted. They picked a box closest to them and whispered a quiet ‘Thank you‘ before heading back to their seats. Yet others declined politely and said that they don’t take sweets.

There were, however, some who simply signed their attendance, took a box, and walked back to their seats without as much as an acknowledgement, much less a word of thanks. To some of these students, I exclaimed loudly: ‘You’re welcome!‘ A couple were taken aback and quickly uttered thank yous. Others pretended they didn’t hear or understand me. It was as if they were entitled to the sweets (they’re not).

They were simple mini tic tacs but told me so much about the students and of the youths today.

I am reminded once again that good manners never goes out of style and it is something that I will insist upon for Elliott. He need not be the smartest nor top the class. He does not need to be a child genius. But he must always, always be polite. And gentlemanly.


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