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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

It’s Another Happy Day

Met up with Christina today. It was an impromptu arrangement. She happened to take leave till today and I happened to be free in the morning so we decided to meet up. And because I’ve not seen her for such a long time, I postponed both tuitions today and had the whole day off.

Oh by the way, we have great telepathy. We called each other at the same time to discuss the meet up, we wore almost the same outfit, we both initiated that we wanted to thread our eyebrows on that day, using those traditional Indian method as before that, none of our friends were willing to go with us, and we nearly resorted to going alone. Such telepathy. No?

Ok back to my story…

We decided to head for LIPS as we wanted a place where the food is not too bad and where we can sit for hours and chat without being chased off by the management. I was pleasantly surprised to find that we were the only patrons there. That was the first time I saw an empty LIPS. Usually, the place would be so packed that we would have to sit outside.

This is such a rare sight that I thought I had to snap a picture of the place.

An empty LIPS café… empty but serene. Posted by Hello

We had some Monday Special lunch set which wasn’t exactly appetizing. But the chocolate cheesecake sure was!

Chocolate cheesecake Posted by Hello

It was great fun meeting up with Chris. Given that we know each other since Primary 2, we were both very forthcoming, incredibly 38 and chatty, and could talk about almost everything under the sun. There was never a single moment of silence. [Read: peace]

We talked about our lives. And the Water Babies! We talked about our jobs. How much I love mine, and how much she hates hers. We bitched about the shallowness of some people. We bitched about childish guys. We bitched about pretty girls with character as flat as erm... flat boobs. And goodness knows what else we bitched about. Of course, we also engaged in some deep philosophy, basically about how ugly people can be when their character is ugly.

And of course we just had to take a picture of ourselves on the red couch.

Us at Lips Posted by Hello

Oh and I digress a little… Those of you who haven’t tried eyebrow threading, do give it a try. I personally like it a lot although I know Chris would violently protest and discourage people from trying. She was “ow-ing” every second that the customer after us was trying very hard to stifle her laughter.

So after we got our eyebrows threaded and felt prettier, we decided to take some wacky photos. Some are too wacky to display on public and I don’t know if Chris would yell at me if I do so.

We were racking our brains deciding on some backdrops for our photos. We were walking around when I suggested walking into Spotlight for some inspirations. Inspirations we had… …

Me behind a fugly moo-moo mask. Got milk? Posted by Hello

And Chris trying to do a SCREAM thing. Posted by Hello

After making ourselves so fugly, we decided to change props and act sweet.

Me acting sweet Posted by Hello

Chris acting sweet Posted by Hello

And then flirty…

Me with a feather boa Posted by Hello

Chris’ turn Posted by Hello

I think we failed to act flirty. I promise we’ll practice more.

This is what you get when two crazy gals get together armed with a digital camera.

When our heads were still full of wacky poses and props, Mummy called to ask if we needed a lift since Daddy was fetching her from work. Having not taken enough proper photos without silly props, I asked Mum to shoot us in the car. And this photo was churned out only after 3 tries. It was too dark, the road was too bumpy and mum’s lao hua yan was settling in.

Parting shot Posted by Hello

Chris took leave and went to KL with her colleagues the days before she met me. I thought this shot of the twin towers look really awesome. Okay la, it’s not symmetrically taken but I feel that the effect is unique. It doesn’t look like something you can capture on digital camera. Reminds me of those glow-in-the-dark puzzles.

Glowing Twin towers Posted by Hello

Chris got me a gift from KL… When she said she had something for me, I thought she would be handing me some tacky Malaysia souvenirs like a keychain of the twin tower or a keychain of some shells and crab cruelly congealed in some clear gem-like plastic.

So I was really taken aback when she presented me with a “cheong” Burberry wallet in pink, as I did not expect it at all. She immediately told me it was the “cheong” kind. I knew it of course, and did not mind at all. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised and extremely touched. You’ve still got my heart gal, even while on a trip.

I won’t be using it for now, as my wallet is still quite new.

I went home and constantly opened the box to admire it. It really exudes sweetness. My family all thought the wallet was really pretty and my da jie had to add that it is too sweet for me!

My unauthentic but pretty Burberry Wallet Posted by Hello

So since I was snapping my wallet, I decided to snap my watch as well. This Swatch watch was given to me by the gang for my 21st birthday last year and I could not bear to wear it till my pirated metal strap Longines died on me.

Swatch Watch Posted by Hello

I’ve only worn it for a few days when scratches started to appear. Was really very heartbroken when I discovered the scratches. Blame my wrist for being so skinny that I had to overlap the metal ends to hold it in place.

Can you see the scratches? Posted by Hello

I’m gonna buy another metal strap watch and keep this one safe in its box. My mother wonders why I keep watches and not wear them.

It had been great fun today and once again, I'm soooo tempted to get a digital camera.

I’ll be at the TPY branch tomorrow to set up my classroom. It’ll be so fun decorating and personalizing it.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Biological Clock Not Tuned Yet

I spent a bomb today but am feeling very happy coz most of what I spent today was not on myself. At times, when you spend on others and make them happy, you will feel a sense of contentment. This time, I did not spend it on friends but on my family instead. I treated my parents dinner, da bao an expensive dinner for er jie and got a birthday cake for da jie, who by the way, shares the same birthday as Andy Lau.

Throughout the years, I find that my family has gotten closer. Of course, it couldn’t beat the times when we were still kids but it is getting better. Save for the occasional insane quarrels when I am usually the middle person, I’m quite thankful that at least I have a complete family, not too perfect but not at all dreadful.

I brought my parents to Sakae Sushi for dinner. It was sort of a treat for Dad whose birthday was on the 25th and was glad that they enjoyed their meal. It was their first time eating there and at the beginning, they were hesitant in taking the dishes from the “conveyor belt”, constantly worrying about how much I’ve to fork out.

Really! Sometimes I feel that Dad and Mum scrimp and save too much that they have not really enjoyed life. Each time my sisters and I bring them out for meals, they will worry about ordering expensive dishes and looking all so miserable when they see the prices on the menu and the bill soon after. It is ok to enjoy a bit of good food once in awhile. And Sakae Sushi isn’t like some fancy restaurants yet they were so worried for my pocket. I chided them for that and they said next time when I earn more, they’ll definitely take more red dishes. I was thinking to myself, the next time I earn more, I would take them to some fancy restaurant and if I have saved enough after a few years, I would arrange a short getaway for them. Poor them have not really enjoyed much in life.

But of course that takes time. I don’t know if time is a crucial factor here. These past few years, both Dad and Mum have been suffering from many ailments that I get so afraid they will just leave me anytime. Yes I’m paranoid. But some of their symptoms seem like what cancer stricken people would have. And I’m such a bad girl, a non-practicing Christian who sometimes condemn the Christian way of thinking and only seek God when I encounter problems. Maybe that is why God refuses to listen to this Jolene person and hence my prayers to keep my parents in good health were disregarded.

Most of the time, I do not display my love for them openly. I may seem very rebellious to them, especially to my mum. I’m forever rude to her. I’m forever feeling irritated with her. I’m forever snapping at her. I’m forever against her. I’m forever lecturing her whenever I feel she’s in the wrong. I’m forever scolding her when she scolds me or any other people unfairly. I’m forever scolding her when she is unreasonable. (She really is very unreasonable sometimes!!) I’m forever scolding her for scolding my poor dad. I’m always scolding her for being money-minded at times. I’m always scolding her for being such a kaypo… In short, I’m forever scolding her.

And then after being all so mean, I will reflect on what I’ve done. Although most of the time, I still think she is the one in the wrong, I will feel bad on the other lesser times when I’m at fault. But, I would never show any remorse openly.

I always remind myself to treat the people around me better for I will never know when they would leave. Yet, I do not practice what I tell myself.

I don’t know how this entry is interpreted but don’t be mistaken by the somewhat dreary tone of this entry. I’m bad at prac crit when it comes to non-Literature writing. I’m still in a happy mood. Oh yes one more reason why I’m happy… I drank lots of Baileys just now, one of my fave alcoholic drinks. I know this sounds out of tune but I’m doing it on purpose… so that I can wander off on a different note.

Due to the school 1-week term break, my weekend for this week was the Sunday which has just passed and Monday, which is erm… today. I have to go back to work on Tuesday so my grand Tuesday plan is temporarily ruined.

The time is 4.10am and my biological clock has yet been tuned. Still not feeling sleepy. Am I glad my sister finally installed wireless Internet even after I refused to split the cost. Goodness knows what I would be doing without Internet in my room when I’m not sleepy enough to go to bed. I would probably be doing more constructive things like reading my school materials and practicing my flash cards and ESP talent.

I can also use this time to make some changes to my blog, dabbling around with the html with my lousy html-dabbling skills. I felt so smug when I managed to include a great song on my blog last Tuesday. By now, many of you would have gone crazy by She Will Be Loved and either attempt to click the STOP button each time you view my blog or to smash your speakers with your badminton racket. And then it will all be thanks to me that this number one song falls all the way off the chart.

Of course, I’m merely being narcissistic, assuming that every one of you reads my blog everyday. I’m sure all the above would not have happened. All of you will still be sane, your index finger will not have suffered from excessive clicking motion (while frantically trying to click the stop button), your speakers will still be intact, She Will Be Loved will not be hated and fall off the charts.

The time is 4.30am and I’m still quite awake. I should go induce sleep now.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

This is beginning to sound alot like a diary

From now on, Tuesday would be my favourite day of the week. I changed my night tuition to morning such that I have the whole day for myself and for whoever who wants to meet up after that. “I need some time for myself and my friends. If not like very no life la.” C’s mother was laughing when I told her the reason for changing the time. “Yes you better change it or I would think you have no life too,” she joked.

Yoohoo!!! So whoever wants to meet up with me can do so on Tuesday. Any takers? No?

I’m feeling very energized today. After returning from tuition, I slipped on my exercise top, turned on some hip hop and dance tracks and started doing 2 sets of 50 sit ups. Then I did some leg lifting till my buns hurt. Lifted some weights till my arms hurt and grooved to the music. Quite little la, but it felt really good because I’ve not worked out in ages. I panted last time when I brisk walked my way from the bus stop to the LTs and classrooms back then in NUS as I was late for every single lesson. I panted a few days ago when I ran from Toa Payoh MRT station all the way to my workplace, the HDB hub, which in case you don’t know, is just a stone’s throw away. Yes, I’m that weak and lousy. Blame it on the NIKE shoes which gave way on me a year ago!

I’ve decided to start off every Tuesday the same way. If I manage to adjust my biological clock such that I do not sleep at 2, 3am every morning, I would wake up early to go for a run. Save for my cranky right knee problem, I really love running and realized how much I missed it when my last sports shoes had their soles flying off my feet. I’ve since been too lazy to go through the hassle of investing in a good pair of sports shoes which eventually became a great excuse not to run when my love for running died away.

I still do not have sports shoes. And my 2nd sis left hers in her office. So this activity has to be struck off from the Tuesday to-do list. I shall just include those sit ups and stuff as my weekly work out activities. And I hope laziness does not catch up on me halfway or I would have to strike this off my list as well.

Next I would do all the online stuff like checking mails, settling some sales from auction and FP, and do some blog reading and writing. I feel more in tune with people when I read or glance through their blogs. And I feel more in tune with myself when I pen my thoughts down or rather, keyboard my thoughts out. And I’m truly happy when I read all your sms-es and emails the past few days. A handful of you, most of whom love kids, were so supportive of my job. THANK YOU!!!!! And to all of you who miss me… I MISS YOU PEOPLE TOO! Aww… this is so not like me to say such things in public. I guess I’m infected by the kids in school.

I was greeted with shock when I tried to access one of the blogs I read every now and then. Where on earth is POPAGANDHI??? I’ve not even read her latest entries yet! In case you are wondering, she is one excellent writer. I feel so ashamed, as even though she is younger than me, she is a lot more well-read than I am and she churns out pretty good stuff at times. I use the words “at times” not because sometimes she doesn’t write good stuff, but rather, I could not understand some of her entries. For those that I understood, I enjoyed them. She is that good. Better than the most famous Singaporean blogger. Ahem… Okay, I don’t wish to compare cause they have different styles. And I would occasionally read the latter’s blog for the simpler English and for the laughs.

I love my weekends. Monday and Tuesday… days when everybody else will be rushing off for work and crowd the whole Singapore. And I love to go shopping on a weekday where everywhere would be so peaceful. I really hate crowds. But for the past two weekends, I’ve not got the chance to go out alone. Will try to do so next week. Gosh! I’ve really developed this penchant for shopping alone.

This week is the kids' 1-week term break. It is also the week when two other new teachers and me will be undergoing intensive training and preparation for our new class the week after. Can’t believe we are going to teach so soon. The demo class would be this Saturday where we would be accessed. We are supposed to pretend to teach while other teachers pretend to be difficult students. Sounds really scary. And while we undergo intensive training this week, so many other lucky teachers took leave and some went on short trips. Looking forward to a short trip this December if I’ve save enough. I long for a get away.

Right, I’ve gotta go call Zann to arrange dinner later. (Eh… it’s damn weird to call you by your sophisticated English name on my blog lor!) It has been raining since afternoon and still is. I wonder if we should go ahead with dinner.

Okay, this is beginning to sound a lot like a diary.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I Love My Job!

I’m currently undergoing training for my new job and I love every minute of it.

I am going to be a teacher at this place (I don’t want to name the place for fear of parents being wrongly directed here). The main characteristic of this teaching method is the concentration of its right brain education. Not neglecting the left-brain, which is developed in traditional academic settings, this teaching method promotes whole-brain education by developing the right brain and connecting it to the left, thus allowing both sides of the brain to work together in balance. It also trains young children to develop their brain potential including photographic memory, speed-reading, lightning math ability, multiple language mastery, perfect pitch etc.

Since the optimal time for development of right brain faculties is between the ages zero to six, all the kids enrolled here are young kids: babies, toddlers, preschoolers. And I absolutely adore kids!!

I faced objections from my mother initially, after the first interview, after the second interview and before signing the contract. Even after I’ve signed, she still constantly harps on the lower salary as compare to MOE teaching. However, at this very moment, the person most supportive of my job is actually my mum and I am really thankful for that.

I’ve also received many puzzled looks from the older generation, asking me why don’t I sign up with MOE and be a “proper” teacher instead. “Since you are going to be a teacher, why not be an MOE one? “The prospects are better. The salary is better.” “It is a government job.” “It is more prestigious.” “This one you are teaching, don’t know whether it’s proper education or not.” “How many years proven track record?” “Must be some shady business”.

I get very tired of explaining when these people don’t understand and I don’t even have the chance to explain to some of them and did not bother to, as it was a conversation between my parents and them.

I did not even tell my friends (unless they asked) that I’ve gotten a job too, as it is quite difficult to explain what my job is about and to let them understand why I chose this job. Most have not heard if it before and were skeptical when they heard that I’m going to teach kids from 0-6 years old. “What? So young also want to enroll the child for classes?” Want to pressure the child huh? Xiao!” “1 year old can learn what???” “Aren’t they babies?!”

Fortunately, Evan heard of this teaching method before and even thought that the prospect of being a teacher here is good. “Go for your training and let me know if they need more teachers ya? Then I’ll go send my resume too.” she joked. It was such a relief to hear such kind words from a friend when all along before that I was greeted with skepticism. I was glad I told her about it. Haha… but I had no choice coz I had to ask her a favour to finish up my unethical assignment since I would be too busy to complete it.

Some people dislike teaching. These people wouldn’t value the joys of being in this line. Some people have no affinity with young children. These people all the more wouldn’t understand anything.

Since one of the concentrations of this teaching method is also the education of the heart, we believe in parent-child bonding in order for the child to open his/her heart before unlocking the right brain. Thus, for every class, every child has to be accompanied by one parent.

On my first day of training, I attended a lecture by the principal herself. The days after that, I was to sit in some classes to do observation and was assigned to a buddy who will show me the ropes. I observed all the classes ranging from 1-6 years old. Every child has a certain kind of cuteness and intelligence in him or her. And I was so drawn to the love and bond between most of the Mummies and their children... hugging and kissing them, praising them even when their answers are wrong. The Daddies were quite loving to their kids too. I always find it a cute to see Daddies attending classes with their children. All these sweet sights simply melt my heart.

Some of the children are so cute and pretty and handsome. Even those who are not cute and pretty and handsome physically, they are cute from their actions and behaviours. And I really enjoy spotting the similarities between parent and child. Some children look just like photocopies of their parents and that is a good thing if the mummy is a pretty lady!

There are also the intelligent ones. This 3 or 4-year-old boy handed in his lion with only few patches of colours here and there.

His mummy asked, “Boy, why you never finish colouring your lion?”

Boy said, “My lion is white.”

Mum said, “But even if it is white, you still got to use white colour pencil to colour it you know?”

“Haiya, no need la. The paper is white mah.”

“So if your lion is white, why are there small patches of colours all over him?”

“Because my lion got stain.”

That mummy told us that she couldn’t argue with him because there really is such a thing as a white lion.

On another occasion, I was helping my colleague to mark some of her students’ worksheets. There was this question that requires them to list down ten edible things. Paper after paper I marked, the answers were all correct. And then I came to this paper which has answers like sweets, chocolates, hamburger… … and the last two answers were flies and beetles! I asked my colleague if I should mark it wrong. She flipped the paper to see who it was and asked me to mark the answers as correct. Marking this boy’s answers as wrong would only elicit questions from him that leave you stumped and wished you had never argued with him. “Teacher, you never watch documentary is it? People eat flies you know? People eat beetles you know?” And every teacher knows who he is although they do not teach him, as he would ask every teacher if Tweety bird is a male or a female.

I do not really know how should the intellect of a 1 year old be but I thought there was this baby who was quite smart too. He found a white teddy bear from the toys room and was hugging and kissing it, refusing to let it go even when Daddy wanted to carry him home. We tried very hard to coax him in returning the toy to no avail. Each time we tried to take the toy away, he would have the want-to-cry-look. So at last my colleague showed him a sticker full of teddy bears, She asked which he liked and he pointed to the white teddy on the sticker. So she pasted on him and attempted to remove the teddy bear from his grasp. He immediately peeled off the sticker from his shirt and returned to my colleague. It seems like he understood this concept of exchanging and refused to have the sticker if we are going to take the bear away from him. As I said, I thought that was really smart.

There are so many instances of cute and intelligent kids. There are simply too many to write them all down.

From my few days of training, I feel that this job is really meaningful and rewarding. It is not merely formal education you are imparting to the children but drawing out the potentials and capabilities in them in them as well. And when you see the happy faces on both parent and child and the bond between them, you will feel a sense of fulfillment.

I am happy everyday and didn’t mind staying back longer to help out with my buddy for some event the last weekend although there wasn’t any OT pay. In fact, I’m enjoying myself so much that I wouldn’t even mind if I’m not paid. But of course I’m paid la. It seems too good to be true that I could hardly believe I’ve gotten myself a great job. Probably because I’m only undergoing training and have not experienced the real essence of the job yet. I hope I’ll continue to feel this way, as I’ve never had so much passion for any job before.

Monday, September 13, 2004

To my friends… …

When I started my blog, I had no intention for it to be an online journal.

Really, before that, I told people it is stupid to parade your life for all to see online. I could recall the faces of my friends after I said that, quietly muttering under their breaths that they have a blog too. It was then I realized so many people around me blog, albeit not consistently. I also cleared this misconception of blogs being “diaries”.

At that time, what I had in my mind were blogs functioning as daily journal entries where the authors tell you about what they did that particular day, all their ranting and criticizing of others etc.

I have said before in my first entry that I do not really know how to write or style this blog but it certainly endeavours to not be a live journal. It will be more of my daily jumbled thoughts penned down. JUMBLED since I do not really understand myself well at times and since my opinion of issues sometimes no longer hold true by the time some people get wind of my entry. I had plan for it to be more of a place and space where I unleash my comments and views on certain topics. However, I'm also a sentimental person who likes to record memorable happenings in my life.

Lately, I have been harbouring thoughts to use this as an avenue for updating my friends and have finally decided to do so. I’ve no longer the zest and time to write about my views and opinions of things.

Recently, I found a job which I really like. I work office hours during the day and give tuition almost every night after work. And I find that I no longer have the time and energy to keep up with friends anymore. I’m too busy to reply sms-es during the day, reading and deleting them and making a mental note to reply after work, but I would forget as I rush off to find dinner kakis before heading for tuition. By the time I get home, bathe and relax, it would be way past midnight. I sms people at unearthly hours as I couldn’t possibly call them. I also lost touch with friends with no free sms-es as they would seldom reply. I find this kinda communication quite one-way and almost non-existent, for the replies on both sides would come only after several hours have passed. Also, it is rather difficult to keep up with the many different groups of friends this way. Since it already feels so one sided and tedious to message and chat with all of you individually, I think blogging would be a better way to communicate.

Only a handful of you have my blog’s url. I thought I could control readership this way. I was wrong. (Read the entry before this)

So after typing this, I would be giving my url to more friends. Since it is meant to update, please at least give me some acknowledgement if you have been reading my blog by leaving comments (leave your names please.. too many anonymous-es around), mentioning in emails, sms-es… whatever. I’m getting really confused as to who’s reading what. And my tracker sometimes confuses me even more. Also, if you have a blog you don’t mind sharing, do let me know too. We’ll probably understand each other more this way.

I will be updating on my job real soon. It is so fun, so fulfilling that I suppose my next entry would be dreadfully long and I’ll have to leave it for tomorrow to write.

To my un-friends…

the random people who view my blog every now and then… the various anonymous-es, some who left comments… the poor Fiona Xie’s enthusiasts who are misled to my blog while searching for her pictures, boob size, hairstyle, fingernails, bikinis… (BTW, it started off from this entry. If you are a big fan of hers, you may click here too.)

I would like to extend a big hello to you people out there!

I only gave a handful of my buddies this url. Yes, I could count the number of friends with my fingers… literally a handful.. ok make that two. I thought this blog would be hidden in some obscure little corner of the vast Internet realm where only my good friends could view it.

I was so naïve and so so wrong. I’ve often tell people how we cannot control readership as long as the material is available online. And here I am trying in vain to control by not giving my url to too many people.

I am not some Xiaxue whose blog everyone is reading and viewership madly jumping. I am just plain Jolene. A simple girl (lady?) trying to come to terms with her readers. I did not expect so many strangers to view my blog. I did not check the settings and my blog was probably made available for the public. Since what’s done has been done, I’ll not bother to change it. So feel free to voyeur as it pleases you, while I slowly try to overcome my uneasiness.

I feel I must raise this concern as we live in a small country where many social contacts may intersect at various nodes. There will definitely be some implications when I talk about certain issues. You are free to leave any comments. However, I hope that when you leave a comment, you could let me know how you stumble upon my blog, whether you are a local and at the same time leave your name or initials or something I could identify you with as an online acquaintance. Oh yes, and do share your blog too if possible. Also, If you happen to know me or my friends mentioned in my entries so far, please let me know too. It is always good to know what kind of trouble I’ve gotten my friends into by mentioning them or posting their pictures… =)

In the meantime, enjoy perusing!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Little kids, little gestures…

A few weeks ago, I was getting really sick and tired of traveling and giving tuition. I’m just sick of teaching. It doesn’t help when you have a mother constantly buzzing at your ears to sign up to be a teacher since “[I] have been teaching kids for so many years and have the relevant experience”. Giving tuition to a kid and teaching a class of 30 or 40 brats are two different issues, something she can’t perceive no matter how I explain to her.

And back to the topic of being sick of tuition…

Sometimes I feel really unappreciated.

Sometimes when other than plain teaching, I try to impart moral values into them, I’m told to mind my own business because I’m in no position to lecture them.

Sometimes when I try to be a role model and talk about my past experiences and achievements (Hey don’t snort, I was really a great achiever in primary school) to try to motivate them, I’m asked not to be too good because only God and angels can be good.

Sometimes when I try to explain right from wrong, I’m told to shut up.

Sometimes I’m treated very nastily and lashed with a lot of unkind words.

Sometimes I get accused for things I did not do.

Sometimes I teach them over time for far too many times that when I calculate the minutes every month, they would add up to two or more sessions. And you will feel the pinch especially if you are as poor as I am.

Actually, majority of the above feelings emanated from only one student, but it is enough to make me feel dejected at times. However, when this boy is in his well-behaved mode, he is really an angel.

Other than these, all the traveling and my state of joblessness amidst the tuition were really draining me. I have no time for my friends who are available only after office hours-- the time when I would be teaching. I’ve not kept in contact with so many friends and I even developed the penchant for going solo in public: window shopping alone, buying things alone, running errands alone and even eating alone… something which I can never come to terms with until I realized how peaceful it is to eat alone with a good book in your hands. I even contemplated watching a show alone. I know some people can easily do all the above things alone, but I’m not a solitary kind of person.

And so again I got tired of teaching.

That weariness soon died off and I became unprejudiced against it. I began to enjoy my carefree life, earning enough for my own use as well as to give my parents. At the same time, on those days without daytime tuition, I have my own free time to do those unethical assignments which pay handsomely. All these made me busy. But I love to be busier than that and even thought of signing up with MOE by the end of this year.

And yesterday being Teachers’ Day, I got pleasant little surprises.

Two days ago, I stepped into cute little C’s house with all his family members staring at me, hiding their smiles and stifling their laughter. I did not suspect a thing, as I lost all conceptions of dates and had no knowledge that Teachers’ Day was the next day. C ran around the house as if in search for something and upon entering the room, requested for me to close my eyes.

When I opened them a few seconds later, I saw a pack of Ferrero Rocher in front of me.

“Happy Teachers’ Day! Teacher, this is for you. Thank you for teaching me.”

I wondered if he bought it on his own and enquired.

“My mother asked me to empty all the money in my wallet and she will help me buy something for teacher.”

Cute cute little C. And for those of you who saw his photo in my handphone, you have to agree that he is really cute. My whole family has grown quite affectionate towards him just from my description of him and all his little “adventures”, which I would never fail to update them each time I return from his place.

Yesterday, A presented me with a purple package, wrapped simply. She was too shy to give me in the face so she left it on my side of the table so I could see it. Unfortunately I did not notice it till half the lesson was gone.

I unwrapped it when I got home. It was a bookmark in the shape of a golden paperclip with a dove at the top. Looks like those you get from Christian bookshops. She, knowing that I love to read, has chosen to give me a bookmark. I thought that was quite sweet too.

At night, I went to teach J. He asked his mum to give it to me, as he was too shy to do so. He claimed it is disgusting and only boyfriend would give his girlfriend such stuff. But at last he gave it to me with his own hands, concealing the pink rose behind his back till the very last moment. And his behaviour was excellent, almost like an angel. He completed so much work, more than what he could complete in 3 sessions combined.

Little kids, little gestures… but they mean so much to me.

I remembered all those little gifts and notes I received from some of my “tuitees” back then. Envelopes in the form of stapled foolscap paper addressing to “Tuition Teacher” (after the umpteenth time I reminded them that a tuition teacher is a tutor!!), filled with drawings, stickers, pencils, photographs of them without their parents’ knowledge, little notes with juvenile language and innocence.

This morning, I went to that little drawer to fish out those notes. It was really heart-warming to read them that I am feeling all so sentimental now.


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