I am sorry I could not be there. I really wish I had been.
Whether you bother or not, here's the open letter to you guys on this blog that was started to record memories with your batch. So allow me to share some thoughts about your batch I have had for the longest time since I had quit teaching full-time. Well, this may also clear some air about why I had left. I had chosen to wait til this day to spring this on you. :)
You are certainly the second most memorable batch of students I have had in SAS. I remember the first day you arrive at the Kolam Ayer CC to listen to Mrs. Charles' welcome speech, the SYF Opening Ceremony at the then National Stadium, the support some of you gave for the XBox stalls we had set up for the fund raising events (finally they are not JUST food stalls), the colourful Ziggar Zagger rehearsals and performances you put up, the inter-class T-shirt competition, the Thanksgiving sessions...I cannot remember the rest now.
Now taller and more mature, I totally cannot recall how you had looked in your shorts during lower secondary school days. So some of you now tower over me, I like the fact that there are some who still do say hi to me along the corridors when I was in school.
To those who think I had left because of politics in school - yes, I was truly unhappy about some working conditions then but well, that was then. That IS generally THE reason why people leave their jobs for others. To those of you who have been telling the lower secondary boys that it has to do with me not being the English HOD, I want to openly say now, that it is NOT true. It is a funny rumour indeed because I have told the leaders in school that I have never been interested in the leadership track from the moment I had transferred to SAS. So spread the truth for me right?
What is also true is that - some of you who know me better will know this - that I was sorely displeased when I was told I would not followup with you guys at the end of 2005 when I was promised that in 2004. Try to imagine this - having spent so much thought and energy planning and executing your programmes with the amazing student leaders who are your peers, with plans to see you guys through to graduation - only to be told the disappointing news. Well, that is how working life is like and I have been taught to submit to leadership and that I did. Nevertheless, that was one of the contributing push factors for my departure.
I was there at your graduation ceremony. It was good that some of you decided to turn up for the event despite having told me that you had wanted to skip it before that. While I was rather entertained by the Captain's speech, I was reminded that students, as with the previous years, thank only the upper secondary teachers while the lower secondary teachers are completely assigned the backseat. Some more senior teachers mentioned that boys will be boys, but I tend to think that with the Thanksgiving ceremony and numerous reminders to thank all people, this neglect was quite a disappointment. But then again, such is life.
We all change with time. What I hope is that one thing never changes - remember the good times and always be thankful to all.
Best wishes to your future endeavours - be it a JC or poly education or whether you choose to switch to another field of study. Follow your heart, ask for advice from many people and do not be tempted to take the usual safe and much trodden path - though many of you will eventualy end up doing just that! For the more courageous, go out there and blaze the unbeaten trail!