Friday, June 25, 2010 ;
2:56 PM
It's been a while since I talked about being a teacher. I "left" that job 4 years ago to become a full-time mom.

Over the 4 years, I enjoyed being able to give all my attention to my family. I missed the interaction with my colleagues and students, but we managed to keep in contact and meet up regularly till now.

When I was a teacher, there are many chances or moments for me to feel a rush of pride. For example, when a student meets many obstacles, picks himself up and succeeds. Each year's Teachers' Day always leaves me very touched and overwhelmed by my students' cards and appreciation. Results day also make me very proud of them, whatever their results may be, because they have put in hard work and tried their best, and worked very well as a class.

Festivals and competitions too, when hordes of alumni will descend upon the school again, to celebrate together or cheer together. Those occasions never fail to make something in my heart flutter and I get a rush of adrenaline when I hear the songs, the cheers and see the mass dances.

Ok, so why this post? After a long time of endless diaper-changing and nursing, suddenly today I felt that pride again.

I was just reading the Straits Times during lunch, rushing through the headlines as usual, when I saw "Singaporeans shining in Ivy League". I glanced through the article, did a double take, went back to the first line, and this time read everything word by word.

Wow! Since 1999, when Chong Chan Vee (also from HC, if I remember correctly) was valedictorian in Princeton, it has been a few years apparently, for a Singaporean to be named valedictorian again. So now, another was crowned this glory in Dartmouth College. I don't know him...

But in the same article, it was stated that many Singaporeans do very well in the Ivy League colleges in the US and cited a few examples. Shawn Low just won a Hoopes prize in Harvard for outstanding scholarly achievement and research, while Justine Tay won the Merrill Scholarship in Cornell for being in the top 1% in the graduating batch.

Both were my students in HC. Shawn was technically half my student cos I shared the class with another tutor. Of course, both had been excellent in HC already. They had both topped the cohort in Biology in different tests/ exams.

I remember writing Justine's reference letter when she applied to colleges in the US. There were so many outstanding achievements I had to cram in, and so many personal accolades and anecdotes I wanted to include that I had to make the font size smaller and reduce the spacing so I could fit everything into an A4 printed piece of paper.

I am so happy for them. Congratulations.

My boys were with me when I was reading the papers and when I cut up the article and pinned it on the fridge, they asked me about it. And I told them. I felt like a mother when I told my boys how proud I felt.

Anyway, I have a 05S75 student who wished me Happy Mothers' Day this year, so I guess I qualify to be their mom. (Though it sounds so old... i thought i was more of a friend and counsellor. :-))

May all my students continue to succeed in whatever they are pursuing right now!

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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