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Mrs Low's Book Bag

We are almost at the end of the school year here in Malaysia. More significantly for my daughter, the end of this school year marks the end of her Primary school education. In previous years, there was a formal ceremony for the graduating class but of course, this year, Covid happened. So the official last day of school will be spent in front of her laptop and, I suspect, will be without much fanfare although some tears may be shed. The teachers she's had this year have mostly been the same for the past 3 years, all of whom were invested in helping their charges complete the National exams for Primary 6 (the UPSR) with some degree of excellence. However, the UPSR was cancelled this year because, you know, Covid happened. Nonetheless, her teachers, like all teachers everywhere, had to rally and reinvent the classroom, all while still attempting to deliver solid lessons modified to suit the logistical challenges that arose. 

As a Thank You, I thought I'd make tote bags for Nikhita's teachers for them to lug the kids' workbooks and exercises home to mark, assuming that life will get back to normal soon. I know this would have been a more suitable Teachers' Day gift but Teachers' Day this year (May 16th) was during the first round of lockdown here in Malaysia (dear Covid, what was life like without you?) and everyone was still getting their bearings. Teachers' Day passed without a sound. 

So not quite late, yet doubly appreciative, I present Mrs Low's Book Bag (+matching mask).

Mrs Low was my own Form Teacher back when I was in Primary One in the Bronze Age. She was tall, classy and seemed perfectly impeccable to my 7-year-old self. She was patient and kind and I don't remember her ever raising her voice at us. I was in total awe of her and it would make my day to get a smile and a word of praise from her. 

One day, Mrs Low commented on the practicality of my new school bag. It was a big red tote with an over-sized pocket on the front. She liked it so much that she asked me if she could bother my mum to get the same one for her. I was over the moon with glee (and secret pride)! Well, my mum got her a blue version because they were out of the red. When presented with it, Mrs Low beamed at my mum and said she much preferred the blue, which caused my mum to apologise even more profusely (we are Asians after all). Everyone went away very pleased with themselves that day and the memory permanently imprinted on my impressionable mind. Mrs Low began using that bag the very next day to carry all our books for marking. 

Years later, my older brother who had been at the same school told me that Mrs Low was actually very well to do and had no real need to work (caveat - this was the era of the stay-at-home-married-woman) but chose to because she must surely have loved teaching. So my estimation of her grew even more so many years later and why this tote is named after her. I wonder sometimes if she inspired my own journey towards teaching.

I hope I can convey my appreciation to Nikhita's teachers well enough with the hand-crafted bags. The inclusion of the matching mask is an apt souvenir of 2020, I feel.

If you like the tote (and mask), you can order your own version here for the teachers of every kind in your life. 

Happy holidays 🎄


Malaysia - Order by Dec 10th for shipping out by Dec 15th (shipping upgrade not necessary).

Rest of the World - Order by Dec 10th and upgrade to EXPRESS SHIPPING ✈

*Note on the Face Mask - Reversible face mask in print fabric to match with the bag, and a light-weight grey cotton (denim effect). Additional PPE layer in between fabric layers for added protection. Please understand that these cloth masks cannot be certified medical grade.


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