I used to teach Pre-University students General Paper. Little did I know that my experience would come in handy one day.
“Do you know irony?” I asked this boy who sped through his reading test so confidently that I decided to put him on the spot.
“You mean dramatic?” he responded immediately. Which was amazing because the Pre-University students I had taught then were two years older than him but paled in comparison with regards to their understanding of irony.
Colour me impressed.
“Not dramatic irony,” I spoke with awe in my voice, “just ordinary irony.” And began to rattle off the definition of irony - a situation in which the exact opposite of an expected outcome happened. Yes, even though I only spent three years in a junior college, I desperately drilled this definition into hapless students so many times that it remains etched at the back of my
I explained it several times. It was clear that my explanation totally flew over his head. But it was okay. He didn’t need to understand irony to live a good life anyway. Or maybe it would all click one day for him. The point was, I was able to stretch his mind at an opportune moment due to my background.
Lest this turns out to be a humblebrag, I will end this by saying that this boy shattered the stereotypes I held about the students in my specialised secondary school. He might have failed his Primary School Leaving Examination. He may not be that proficient of a speller even, but this doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have a working knowledge of a sophisticated literary device.