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Lower Secondary English essays

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Describe a significant event in your life and the impact that it had on you
 
Most people would consider a significant event in their lives in relation to some great truth or revelation or to an action made by someone else, probably a significant relative or something similar. To me, my significant event is more mundane. Although experienced by countless teenagers around the world, it still had an impact on my life. I remember all too well, my first traffic ticket. Being seventeen and done with the SPM examinations, the driving license was a rite of passage that announced to the world that I was a 'man' with freedom and mobility. Admittedly, I was a bit of a brash adolescent but the new-found freedom of driving was a bit intoxicating. At least there was nothing else in my system to impair my 'rough-around-the-edges' driving skills.

My dad's red Proton Saga had clicked its 300th kilometer mark on the milometer. Still, he was probably as nervous as any parent should be when 'required' to hand over the key to a 'man' and pray he will return with both car and kid in one piece. I was not so concerned with such matters. "Hey, at that age, we're all bulletproof... invincible... immortal! A car crash? No, that would never happen."

Fortunately, I did not hit anything or anybody. But that hill along Jalan Kelisa was a tricky one for an auto with manual transmission. It rose at a good thirty degree angle, maybe more. At the time it felt like ninety! I kept inching the clutch in and out, riding it like I was told never to do and trying to keep the engine from stalling while not ramming into the car in front. There was plenty of traffic too on this hot and humid day. "Come on!" I muttered. "Will the light ever turn green?" Drawing that balance of trying to keep cool, not let the car roll back and switch radio stations was a tricky business.

The traffic light did change to the splendid color of go and the cars moved forwards through the intersection. Just as I reached it, left foot pushing in the clutch, left hand trying to find the gear, the light all too quickly hit the warning yellow. I shifted. The car stalled. Horns honked. It was Kuala Lumpur after all, people had lives to get to and money to make.

Face burning as red as the color the light now glowed, I managed somehow to restart the car and roughly jerk through the intersection. All this while, I tried to avoid the angry glances from the cars waiting their turn at the traffic light. After gaining confidence, I sped down the road and headed for an easy intersection. Seeing the familiar amber traffic light flash, I knew I would be able to make it before the red light flashed even if it was my dad's ancient Proton Saga, I was expecting to race.

As I 'zoomed' past the intersection, my eyes caught the flash of headlights synchronized with the `whoop whoop' of the police siren. "Oh, just great!" I thought and my heart sank. I pulled over and started living for real all those scenes in television shows about traffic violations and uber-cops. The humiliation continued with each passing minute feeling like a day as I tried to find the registration for the impatient policeman. After locating that offending document and wrestling with the license that always seem to get stuck in the plastic clear section of my wallet, the officer wrote the ticket and handed it to me. It felt like a death sentence.

Maybe it was only a moving violation, but I knew facing Dad was going to be harder than any city judge and it was. With burning ears and tiny giggles from my 15-year-old sister, that event changed my life for the better. I got over it, like most teenagers and time healed my wounded pride. The lesson was learned about proper driving skills, keeping your cool and the responsibility of showing up for court and taking my medicine. My wish for a dismissed charge never materialized, but a sincere contrite appearance and first offence lessened the verdict from what could have been reckless driving to just running a red light. The wheels of justice turned and in this case, made me a better driver.

     
 
 

 

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Lower secondary English essays 1

 
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