Sunday, 14 February 2010


It has been six weeks since the beginning of the year and it feels like three months have passed. It was to be expected, after all—the intensity involved in starting up a new school, accompanied by all the excitement, enthusiasm, and, of course, the sheer amount of work, which has left me quite breathless and deprived of time to myself. This explains why this second blog entry of the year has been so long in coming—today may be the Chinese New Year, but it’s not that I’m only blogging every time a new year comes round!

One of the favourite questions posed to me in recent weeks—by my colleagues and students, both past and present—has been whether there is a difference between teaching my former students and teaching my current ones. Well, actually, the difference is very slight, if any, and it is largely because the students I used to teach and the ones I’m teaching now generally possess the same calibre and attitude. I’ve discovered that it has very little to do with gender, though, certainly, the difference in maturity level between Sec 4 girls and Sec 1 boys is very vast.

In any case, the most important thing is that I’m happy where I am, and happy doing what I’m doing. The one-to-one computing environment in the classroom and the small class sizes have brought out of me a creativity in lesson planning never before applied with such intensity or sustained over such a long period. It is an exciting journey.

What is good is that things have settled somewhat, and I’m no longer as breathless as I was in January. Plus, this long weekend is a most welcome and much-needed breather. So I’ll keep breathing normally and hopefully keep a more regular blogging routine—failing which there’s always Twitter.

Friday, 1 January 2010

A New Beginning is Just Beginning

At the stroke of midnight last night, I felt a certain sense of relief and release on leaving 2009 behind. Some people call it annus horribilis, but I won't go that far. After all, even if many bad things do happen in a certain year, it can't be all bad. We just need to look beyond the dark clouds for that silver lining, to look beyond the challenges, sufferings, and catastrophes to discern God's blessings in our lives and in the world.

So 2009 wasn’t all that bad. The year began with the world economy in shambles, but things did pick up towards the end. The UN climate conference in Copenhagen may not have been great but at least it didn't collapse. And what’s there to complain when four new shopping malls opened along Orchard Road in the second half of the year? On the personal front, though I was yearning for a change of work environment, there were some blessings along the way, among which was my form class.

Still, I can’t deny that I’m experiencing a sort of freedom now that 2010 is (finally) here. This is a new beginning for me in two ways: I’m moving on to teach in a new school and I’m starting to be involved in the choir ministry in Church again, after a very long hiatus. Of course, only time will tell how things work out for me in these two areas, but I’ve entrusted them to God and I’ve positive that he will empower me to bring out the best in myself in every situation. For now, it’s just exciting to be on the threshold of a new beginning.