Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A Road Already Taken

Today, 3 May 2011, marks the first anniversary of me being employed here at Sri KDU.

I still remember getting that phone call inviting me to come for an interview. I did not apply for a position here, instead they called me to see if I can replace Mr. Chong to teach Mathematics to form 4 students.

I was desperate for a job at that time, because for the whole of January until April 2010, I was working without pay as a research assistant. Basically the research fund ran out, but I still stayed and worked without receiving any salary for four full months before that fateful call from Sri KDU came.

To tell you the truth, I also got offered a job at Help University College the same time as the offer from Sri KDU. Given a choice, I was leaning more towards Sri KDU, but being such a filial son I decided to let my mom have a say, and she suggested Sri KDU. And that's how I ended up working here.

Before coming to Sri KDU, I already got to know or known of some particular students from my incessant blogwalking trips. Chien Teng was the first Sri KDU student I got to know from these blogwalking trips, and I once randomly commented in Tiffany Khoo's blog. I also knew of Ysabella and Waihowe because Chien Teng mentioned them in some of her blog posts. All these students I managed to meet during my first day of school because I ended up becoming their Math teacher. It felt a little bit weird seeing these students in real life, since I've read bits and pieces about them for almost a year before coming here, and yet they knew almost nothing about me.

First few months of school was tough. I was immediately in the middle of Mid-Year exams and had to mark tons of papers with little preparation. Preparing the comments for the reports proved to be quite a challenge since I did not know most of the students. After that came Paramount Championship finale and Winners Nite, and then preparations for Shine the Musical began. I was in charge of the combo band, which I feel I was very unqualified for since I know almost nothing about how to play any musical instrument, let alone how to manage a band. But Melvin Chong and Mr. Andrew was quite helpful and they did most of the work, which made me feel redundant and useless, but nevertheless I learnt a lot from that experience.

But the icing on the cake was that I was given the task of taking photos for the event, which I gladly took with pleasure. Being able to practice taking photos of an actual stage event with ever-changing lighting conditions was a great learning experience. I learnt to change settings on-the-fly using two cameras, a Nikon D90 and a D60. I took more than 2000 photos that night, although only about 30% of them were usable. Prior to the event I also got to have one outdoor and some green screen photoshoot sessions with the cast and crew.

Towards the end of the year came the interclass competitions, for which my class, 4 Aristotle, won overall champions. We won champs for basketball (the whole team consisted of school team players, duh) and creative arts, and also the overall championship. I remember feeling so proud of my students when we received the many hampers we won for the interclass events.

This year has also been quite eventful, with me suddenly being appointed Housemaster for Blue House and teacher advisor for the school basketball team. So much had to be done in order to prepare for Sports Day, and all the hard work by the students and the teachers paid off when Blue House became Sports Day champion this year. The basketball team managed to go further this year than they had ever been, and they received medals for making it to the semifinals.

My class this year, 4 Mozart is full of amazing and talented students. They compete in almost all of the Paramount Championship events and won medals for quite a number of them. They are also the favorites to win the singing and band events, and are contenders for the upper secondary Champ trophy. I feel so thankful and blessed to be given the opportunity to be the homeroom teacher for this group of young and talented students. They never ceased to make me proud every day for their many impressive achievements.

Anyway, beginning today, the cycle repeats for the first time. Mid Year exams is coming soon, the preparation for which was exactly the first thing I needed to do the first day I arrived here last year. So from today onwards, I have no excuse for being a newbie. Beginning today, I no longer tread on fresh ground. Starting today, I walk on a road already taken, with a year's worth of experience to guide me.

May this year be as eventful and as amazing as the past 52 weeks I had in here Sri KDU.


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