“Three Observations” by Cheng Tim Tim

Curtain breathes. It makes a silent mosquito on my skin. I can’t always tell the hour from the filtered sunbeam. I grasp a corner of the curtain and pull. A strip of morning sky is to be scrambled by more buildings and cranes. I must get up. My hand feels its way to the windowpane. With one push, daily life rumbles in.


This is a piece of furniture full of questions. Well, not too many, actually.

  1. Am I meant to be a desk or a door?
  2. How do you hibernate when you are a sloth?
  3. Lord, can you hear my Instagram prayer?


I always forget how young they are until I hear their voice messages or browse their photos. I wonder why. Do they not speak enough in regular lessons? Or am I treating the teenagers as an undifferentiated body of heads and clean uniforms as opposed to me, who often struggles to orchestrate a class? Tasked with the expectation to make English less frustrating, I have started to teach no-fire cookery classes. After listening for the measurement of ingredients, some of them dripped red and blue food colouring only to get some sort of purple-grey batter, but it still made them happier than the grey on the page. As we waited for the rainbow waffles to griddle, in between my shouts “don’t just watch, there are dishes to wash”, we talked about leprechaun, two-headed dragons and LGBT. They knew things I didn’t know when I was their age, just as how they created their own palette and patterns that I didn’t demonstrate.


Tim TimCheng Tim Tim is a graduate of the Department of English and Department of Education (Class of 2016). She has problems with proper nouns. She is one of the founding co-editors of EDGE. [Read all entries by Tim Tim.]

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