- During my Kindergarten (KG) and primary school at PPBRS, I won book prizes for standing first in the class.
- Two books were in English.
They cover illustrated stories.
I love stories and story tellers.
The books may be a sign that I would become a story teller and an amateur historian.
- One book “Ee Soot Pone Pyin” was a translation of Aesop Fables by Ngwe Tar Yee and Min Yu Way.
Many of our generation will be familiar with “Ngwe Tar Yee Magazine”.
The book may be a sign that I would become a translator.
- I won a Thermos Flask for reciting “Mingalar Kabyar” by Saya Dagon U Tun Myint.
- It may be a sign that I would become a volunteer for dhamma courses and meditation retreats.
- During my middle school days at SPHS, I won two pens — one for good handwriting and another for good behavior — in Saya U Pe Tin’s class.
- I won fifty pyas several times for doing well in the English tests givrn by Sayama Amelia Kyi (Miss Hong Kong). I could not afford to pay 25 pyas fine for failing her tests. The carrot and the stick worked for our generation — at least for me.
- During my high school days at SPHS, Brother Austin gave me a ticket to see “1960 Rome Olympics” at the Thamada (President) Cinema for reciting verses from “Morals and Manners”. It may be an indication that I would one day write and translate poems (Kabyars).
- For doing well in a test, I won a book “History and Atlas of North America”. It may be a sign that I would study and work in the USA.
- I owe an apology to Brother Austin.
He predicted that I would be in the Top Three along with Khin Maung U and Min Oo in the Matriculation examination.
Brother Austin would mark my homework with a 9 or a 10 and then subtract 2 with the note : “I need to have new eye glasses to read your tiny handwriting”. I ended up with a 7 or 8.
- Because of my idiosyncrasies, I stood 7th in the whole of Burma and received a pen instead of a Gold Medal.
I did not end up in the SPHS Roll of Honor (which listed the Top Five).
Kenny Wong (MEHS63, M69) stood 6th.
- Brother Austin relocated to Malaysia after the Nationalization of schools.
He did not live long enough to see his obstinate student become mature and flexible.
- I received prizes and awards from RUBC.
- I received several awards (e.g. Distinguished Toastmaster) from Toastmasters International.
- The prize that I cherish most is the Smile and the occasional “slap on the back” by my beloved parents, sayas, sayamas, colleagues and friends.