Talk about a popular person in your own age group
James Yap is a popular person not only in our class but also throughout the school. James is the kind of person who is talented as well as outgoing.
Most students in the school know him as a champion swimmer. James always represents the school in freestyle swimming and has won a lot of medals in competitions. He is also a member of water polo team. Last year, in the district championship, James was the one to score the winning goal for our school team. He is well-remembered by his schoolmates for this.
James is friendly with almost everyone, and he is known as the class joker. Sometimes, before the teacher comes to the class, he would stand in front of the class and throw us a riddle. His favorite riddle is the one which asks “do you know why…” Actually, he never gives us time to answer. He would shout out the answer almost immediately, and the class would burst out with laughter.
Even when James is called upon to answer a question by a teacher, his answer often contains a joke or a remark which makes us laugh. Usually, because his jokes are funny and not rude, the teacher would laugh along with us.
James also likes to organize outings and gatherings. Unlike some people who only invite certain groups to these functions, James often organizes them on a class basis. He once organized a class outing to the zoo. Towards the end of the visit, to show our appreciation, James had arranged a special treat for our class teacher who was accompanying us. It turned out that he had reserved for her the zoo’s special offering – tea with the orang utan! Of course, the animal was tame and had been trained to sit quietly with human visitors. We all, including the teacher, had a good laugh.
On another occasion, we had a class gathering at his house. James come from a rich family, and lives in a bungalow with a big garden. Most of us already know about James’ background because he used to come to school in a chauffeur-driven car. When James was in secondary three, he told his father that he preferred to take public transport. He wanted to be more independent.
I suppose the fact that James is not affected by his talent, nor his wealth adds to his popularity. But some students say that even though it seems that James leads such a charmed life, he does not see eye to eye with his father about his future. His father owns a business and he would like James to work in the family business after he graduates. But James is keen to pursue a career in sports or entertainment.
At this stage, it is still too early for this disagreement between James and his father to develop into a real conflict. I hope, as an adult, James will continue to make full use of the talents that has made him such a popular boy in school.
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