Another Reunion- How Time Flies!

Posted by M ws On Sunday, August 12, 2012 0 comments
In 1997-1998, I was teaching in Business Communication and Presentation for the ABE Certificate in Business Administration and Diploma I in the School of Business of a private college in Penang. That cohort is the finest group of students I have ever taught in my life because of their diligence, respect for me, achievements through sheer hard work and the strong friendship forged in the classroom which has endured through the years.

The late Brenda Chiah was in that cohort. Her recent demise was such a shock to all who knew and loved her. As a results of that sudden departure, I met up with two of my former students from that cohort today.

This class photo was taken in 1997. I had short hair then. The late Brenda Chiah is seated behind Christine and Annie is on my left.

Annie picked me up at about 1pm and my heart was greatly warmed when I saw what a good man she had married. With two lovely boys, Annie and Vincent are dedicated parents who work hard to give nothing but the best of their love, time and gifts to their boys.

We met Christine and her husband, Vincent, and their two boys at Paddington's House of Pancakes @ Queensbay Mall...Christine just had her second child and I could not wait to see the little darling boy.

Since 1997, Christine and a few other students from that cohort have always tried their best to visit me each Chinese New Year. In between, we keep in touch via Facebook or teleconversations.

What makes it most meaningful is that I was at my crankiest during the second year when they were in my class because I was expecting my second boy. However, these students never begrudged me and loved me just the same. I never ever had any problems collecting homework from all of them and I am so proud of each of them today. Every single one is doing very well in their careers and also in their family lives. I still have every card that they sent me, even the little gifts, emails and smses - that is sentimental me.

Just last week, a friend's daughter from whom I bought accessories and bags, sent me a fridge magnet that carried this message : Teachers plant seeds of knowledge that last forever. I really hope I have done that with all my former students.

Today, we reminisced about the various role plays we had in class which put them in good stead in their respective jobs. Annie is now a director of a SME and Christine is excelling in a foreign bank. Annie's husband works in the same company whilst Christine's husband is a major player in the shipping line.

I was filled with so much joy, pride and happiness when I met up with them. Seeing the way the couples moved together in harmony, the way the husbands waited patiently for the us while we chatted nineteen to the dozen and the wonderful ways in which the kids bonded - really warmed my heart. Such precious moments which money cannot buy.

In my entire life, I have taught thousands of students but never one except this cohort where every single one really worked VERY hard in my class. Even though I was such a homework ogress then, each of them completed my assignments, participated in class discussions and all excelled in the external examinations with 100% passes.

I still remember how one of them, Kenneth, who was unable to join us today was ticked off by me after the trial exam. In the previous exam, he topped the class but almost failed in the trial. After receiving an earful from me, Kenneth said, "Miss Khoo, I promise you I will score 'A' for the external exam."

My response as I walked away was, "Don't just talk. Do it and show me the grade when the results are released."

And guess what? He REALLY scored 'A' and if I remember correctly, he is the only male who ever scored A in that subject in the external exam for as long as the college was running the program. Today, he is the GM of an international logistics company.

It is unfortunate that more of them could not be present as this meeting was a spontaneous get-together after I reconnected with Annie but I know in time to come, we will be getting more of the others to get-together.

I taught in the School of Business from 1997 to 2004 and have never forgotten this cohort which will always have a special place in my heart.

Without any bias, here are some pics of my other students from other courses/educational institutions.

The Khoo sisters (Sociology 1988) and former colleagues Patrick Tan and Serena Saw at a mini reunion last year.

Yu Li Ooi, Kath Chua (of Tropical Spice Garden who was my Sociology student from Uplands), Wong Lee Yin (my class monitor for Yeear 11 1989 Uplands, Roz Chua (Sociology 1989 and currently Deputy Editor of Penang Monthly, Penang Institute)

Szilard and Alma Kovari  from Hungary. Szilard was my Economics student and went on to study Engineering in Australia and then achieved two masters degrees

My 1993 Year 11 Class (Uplands) most of whom were my Economics and Sociology students. Two are gynaecologists, one is working in the United Nations Office in Bangkok, one an aeronautical engineer, another in banking, one in Oil and Gas Exploration, two are hoteliers, four are in IT, two are running their own businesses...

My 1994 year 11 Students from Uplands at the Graduation dinner. One was a model before joining the corporate world...another is a gynaeologist, one is in advertising, another a lawyer and one became an engineer.

My 1995 Economics students (Uplands) at a reunion dinner, Equatorial Hotel. One of them is a film producer in Europe and another working in Australia, one in US, one is finishing her PhD in California and another two in bio-medical sciences.

The Ang triplets whom I taught...Jien Heng and Jien You graduated with engineering degrees from University of Melbourne, Jien Gang will soon be a doctor...and Anne is the fantastic other of these three + one more boy Lun..

Former KDU A-Level student Van who is now working with CBC News network in Canada.

Former KDU A-level students Class of 2004 - Chin Xin-Ci and Dr W.L. Chung at a tim sum reunion in November 2011

To have ties that bind beyond the classroom is the greatest reward an educator can ever enjoy. Thanks to these students for teaching me about life, about giving and receiving love and for responding positively to my coaching and encouragement. I am touched that through the decades, many of them have kept in touch with me and have made special effort to see me and to fatten me :-). Certainly, we have left footprints in the hearts of one another. Special thanks to Christine for the treat and to Annie for providing transport for today's lunch. I am such a recluse that today was the FIRST time I went to Queensbay Mall this year! Take care and may God bless all of you!

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