Remember this? The eraser from Hell? Well I do.
In Primary 4, we were encouraged to switch from pencils to pen. At 10, I felt like I’ve grown. Writing with a pen means you have surpassed the novice phase. I remember my friends and I exploring and experimenting with different pens, settling on the ‘best’ ones. While we feel liberated from having to use pencils, we met our new friend – the ink eraser A.K.A. the eraser from Hell.
You see, I have an absolutely terrible handwriting. I’ve tried so hard to improve, but to no avail, until today. I really think it’s nature, not nurture. Dad has a handwriting which looks like the heartbeat monitor. Not the monitor, I meant the…well you get it. When he signs something, it looks like he’s sketching a horizontal tornado. Mom on the other hand has a cursive handwriting, beyond comprehension. Her handwriting looks like concertina wire fencing Guantanamo Bay prison. I’ve been doubting her since young; with a handwriting like that, she must be a spy instead of a teacher. Picture these combined. Yup. I have a concertina wired tornado-handwriting. Ouch!
Ouch for the teachers and ouch for me. I can’t exactly recall who introduced me to these ink erasers, but I remember it’s a naggy middle-aged female teacher. It’s either my Maths or English teacher. At that point in time, I have never seen an ink eraser. That blind date to the bookshop did not turn into a love at first sight. Everyone was warned, I can still remember my teacher’s exact words: “DO NOT CANCEL”.
We were not allowed to cancel (strike off); instead we had to erase what we have written should there be mistakes. That evil teacher told us to think before we write too. Another thing you should know about me. Ideas come to me at the speed of light, and they dissipate even faster. Hence, I tend to write fast. And ugly.
These disgusting erasers burned holes in my books and worksheets. They’re really from Hell. I could sense the burning power they have.
Luckily for the current generation, they have correction tapes and whatnot. You’d think I’d type “…and lucky for me, I don’t have to mark works with holes…” NOPE. Lucky for me, I don’t have to be my evil teacher.
If there’s one thing I could say to her:
Every child is unique. You have students with beautiful and tidy handwriting, and you have me. You made me (and some of my friends) learn the lesson the hard way but we still have ugly handwriting. Sometimes, we have to accept and embrace differences. I’m an educator myself now and I’ve learnt that every child is unique, that no two children are the same. I hate my ugly handwriting, but I guess it’s God’s way of reminding myself to accept people the way they are, even when I know they are wrong, ugly, bad, mean, stupid, smelly, and all the negative adjectives in this world.
On another note, I have a box of these. Any vintage collectors? I’ll mail one or two to you. The bookshop vendor was clearing her old stock of stuff and found these evil erasers, among other things like palettes, poster colours, tracing papers, etc.