auld lang syne
i used to wonder what people were actually singing about when mouthing the lyrics to auld lang syne. then my youthful curiosity took over and i actually searched it up in a dictionary. something about times gone by. well, the days of my youthful curiosity are now auld lang syne.
i have changed quite a bit over the years, and for better or worse is kinda hard to tell. i’m inclined to think that it’s for the worse, however. i’m no longer as enthusiastic about things, or sensitive, or caring, as i once was. on the other hand, i’ve become more rational, composed, and well, stuff i don’t really like. i guess it involves being wiser, and getting hurt less of the time, but really, how much does one enjoy in life without passion?
the past 2 years have been a great learning experience for me. my decision to split from the rafflesian crowd was mainly to see how i’d do in a new environment. call it an experiment if you wish, but having been in the GEP since primary 4, i haven’t really met many new people for seven years. which is pretty long, i’d realised. i guess i managed to do okay in vj. i mean, the first sixth months were pretty torturous for me, but after i’d got the hang of it, it was pretty good. the trick in socialising, i think, is to somehow make a few good friends. one or two will do. from there, you’d expand your social circle to include mutual acquaintances, thus making more friends, and a chain reaction kinda occurs.
they have tested my older friendships as well. i’ve still drifted from many people i used to talk to often, but to those of you who’re still there for me, i can never thank you enough.
these two years have also confirmed my career goal in life. aside from peer influence (quite a few people i know are interested in teaching as well), i’ve met teachers different from those i’ve seen in ri. i suppose ri, being an independent school, had been much more selective in its employment of teachers. in vj, i’d witnessed teachers who couldn’t be bothered with their students, teachers (fine, a teacher) who physically punished their students for no apparent reason, and teachers who were teaching just for the sake of discharging their scholarship bonds. i know that i can be an educator far superior to them, and it is now my goal to do so.
the most unique thing which had happened to me in these past 2 years was the council term. i’d even written about it in my MOE scholarship application.
It was also in my JC years that I first experienced something totally different from anything I had done before in my life – council elections. Here I was, a graduate of Raffles Institution, formerly of the Gifted Education Programme, cream of the cream. Or so I thought. Running for council was a humbling experience, since for all my academic credentials, I was in no way better suited for the post of Student Councillor than any of the other candidates hailing from schools less prestigious than my own. I managed to get through, somehow, and was confidently planning my ascension into the executive committee. After a few weeks, though, it was clear to me that others were better suited for the posts. I had learnt a great lesson in leadership – that one must be able to follow, in order to lead. This is my major setback in my JC life, and yet, it is my greatest achievement. I was never a conceited person, but working so closely with people from different secondary schools during council term has taught me how unimportant in life academic aptitude can be. As long as one has the correct attitude, one will go far.
and, of course, with a paltry 500-word-limit, i hadn’t really done the council justice at all in this description. but the things which truly matter, the bonding, the trials, the friendships, are all details i’d doubted MOE to be interested in. what does it matter? i don’t need to write something down in order to know it’s there. some things simply cannot be expressed in words.
18th, i salute you.
it’s almost 2003, and i’m still not proud of myself as a person. may i persevere and progress in my quest to become a better person, and may God bless all whom i love.