In Andre's Social Studies class, the kids were told to break up into groups, write and enact a scene from the Japanese Occupation. I'm not sure if the teacher mentioned that the skit had to be historically correct but I cracked up when I read the script that Andre's group came up with.
I don't have the full script but the following was a short segment from the skit. Andre was cast as General Percival.
General Yamashita (banging on the door): 'Openupu!'
General Percival (fiddling with the doorknob): 'Hold on, this door is stuck!'
General Yamashita tries to kick the door open. "Ow! Hurry up!'
General Percival (opens the door): "Yes?" (notices Yamashita) "Good heavens!"
After a monologue, General Yamashita drags General Percival to the surrender room. "Do you wish to surrender unconditionally?"
General Percival (mutters): "Yes."
General Yamashita (thrusting a piece of paper into General Percival's hands): "Here, sign this."
General Percival (reads letter): "'Dear Emperor, we are running out of weapons and food. Please give us machine guns, rockets, green tea..' What is...?"
General Yamashita (hastily snatches letter back) "Sorry! Here, this is the one."
General Percival signs the treaty. He then crumples treaty and tosses it at Yamashita.
Apparently, the two boys really hammed it up. Andre put on a dead-pan face and spoke in what he thought was a British accent. I have to commend the teacher for not berating the group for turning the event into a Laurel and Hardy farce.
In fact, after all the groups had presented, the teacher allowed each student to vote for the following awards in a secret ballot: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Group Performance and Best Script.
Andre's group was voted the Best Group Performance! His best friend aka General Yamashita won Best Actor. Clearly, the kids voted not on historical accuracy but entertainment value.
The teacher gave out 'Oscars' to all the winners which I thought was highly sporting of him.
Some may say this isn't the way to teach Singapore's history but I'm certain the kids will remember this lesson much more clearly (and fondly). And maybe Andre can explore an alternative career in stand-up comedy.
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7 months ago