Monthly Archives: January 2012

The closing of one chapter of life, marks the beginning of another! To infinity and beyond!!!!!

Today’s marks the last day of work in CGSS. I’ve cut out an excerpt of the farewell note I wrote to my colleagues.

“Dear colleagues and friends,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your love, friendship and guidance during my time in Cedar. Many of you, with your tireless devotion to your craft and love of the students have been a continual inspiration for me as a (relatively) young teacher. To the friends who have provided me much encouragement and a listening ear, my deepest gratitude. To the senior teachers who have shared their vast database of knowledge/pedagogies/classroom management skills with me, thank you for your sharing your invaluble experience. To the admininstrative and IT peeps, thank you for making everything so seamless and efficient, it has made my work much easier with you around. To Dr Bibi whose professional advice and warm friendship has aided me in helping to understand some of my students better, thank your for your time and expertise.

Thank you especially to Mrs Ouyang and Ms Sim for being pillars of support, continuously encouraging me, for your trust and the many opportunities you have given me. I also owe Mrs Lim a debt of gratitude for teaching me valuable lessons about life.

In 2012, I wish all of you a blessed dragon year full of love, happiness and bountiful wealth.”

I believe this farewell letter somewhat epitomizes the myriad of emotions that I felt. At this juncture I wish I was a writer by profession so I can use my vast vocabulary to put these complex emotions into some comprehensible. I mean I feel a tinge of happiness when I think about the adorable students and wonderful relationships forged over the past 3 years. But some aspects of the job made me a little sad. I can’t help but wonder if I could have done something else differently. I guess that’s because I’m a perfectionist by nature. 🙂 Hey at least I’m cognizant and not in denial!

I took some time to pen the letter above, mostly because I wanted my farewell letter to be sincere and genuine. I saw and still continue to see the world in black and white. I believe that its important for people to not be two faced and give credit when its due. I couldn’t bring myself to tell my immediate boss how ‘wonderful’ she was to me, but yet at the same time I didn’t want to lie because it was the politically correct thing to do. So I struck a compromise with ‘valuable lessons in life’ because really, when I become someone’s boss in future, I sure as hell will remember how NOT to treat someone. I will learn how to respect people and not throw my weight around just because I can. I’m deeply passionate about this, because as educators we hold ourselves high to the ideals or moral integrity, after all don’t we spend a vast amount of time focusing on character development? I mean I’m not trying to be on a high horse here, but treat others like how you want to be treated, should be the basic tenet governing human relationships.

For some parts, I had a challenging time, mostly because of my awfully immature and insecure immediate boss. However, it helped me to grow a lot as a person. I felt that despite the annoyances, the respect of my peers and love of my students made everything worthwhile. Of course I am not perfect; I have my own fair set of idiosyncrasies and possess a strong willed and sometimes unyielding personality. Sometimes my brutal honesty and lack of tact gets me into trouble because I’m so eager to get things right the first time. However, the single most important lesson I learnt from this is that I must stop,look, listen and empathise with the needs of the office environment and group dynamic before I speak or push for ideas no matter how ‘good’ I think they might be. When my eagerness to perfect a task, is not met by the same attitudes of my peers, it can sometimes cause conflict, and the solution is often, to be more patient and understand where others are coming from first. That I believe is something I need to work on in future.

On the positive side of things, the plentiful hugs I received today, the lovely notes, words of affirmation, thoughtful presents from my colleagues and students as well as this lil girl who burst into tears and asked me every so cutely, ‘WHY must you leave!’, brings this inexplicable swell of pride in me. It’s a wonderful way to leave an organization, feeling like you have made a difference.

After my colleagues treated me to KTV as a farewell gift. Andrew penned this song to me and sang it as the grand finale. I am touched beyond words.

The small little victories in life! How precious are they!

So here I am, closing a chapter and terribly excited about the future. Its this heady feeling that can be likened to Buzz light Year’s…. to infinity and beyond!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Moving to New York City

It’s funny the curve balls life throws at us, a month ago we were still planning our sailing adventure to Canada. Anyways that plan has been shelved aside for now, we have decided to move to NYC because Kris got a job offer in NYC.

Given the short time line of activities. We now have to fly to NYC from Feb 10 to March 11. Find an apartment, make it livable, settle my visa issues, get a new mobile line, research health insurance and the works.

After a month there, I will need to fly back to sign our marriage papers which we booked 3 months in advance for a date in the registry of marriages.

Henceforth this blog will talk about my/our lives in NYC!

Stay tuned for the adventures of CHARBOT!!!!!!!!

An ode to 2011

2011 has gone by almost in a flash. The year has been significant in many ways, it marked the end of my teaching days (at least for a while). For the past 3 years teaching consumed my life and the end of finishing my bond left a bittersweet memory.

In its totality I fee like I’ve largely succeeded as a teacher. I have learnt many things from this last couple of years and it has humbled me to a certain extent. There are things I wished I hadn’t done, wished I had managed certain emotions better but mostly I wished I hadn’t been so hard on myself. (As you can see I am doing it again!)

I feel like I’ve succeeded because I made a difference and impact on some. I have grown as a teacher and as a person. I became a lot more introspective and more acutely aware of my strengths and limitations. I became more principled and stuck to my instincts a lot more. I have also been more confident in my abilities in some way. At the same time, I am more aware of what I do not want in my life. However what I want is not too clear as yet.

2012 is going to be extra special because I am finally flying away from my nest. Somehow I knew that this day would come. Singapore will always be my home but somehow I ALWAYS knew that I needed to be in a place less pragmatic, a little more idealist and a lil less materialistic.

The last 3 years killed a lot of my idealism and made me more cynical. Some of it was due to circumstantial reasons but could have been avoided if I was equipped with the right tools. I loved what I did, yet at the same time what I was doing, or rather the institution that I was in made me more cynical and emotionally drained then I would have liked. I still feel that I would have made a greater difference to my students if I had done some things a little differently and handed certain emotions a little more carefully. But it was a good learning curve for me. I stood firm in my beliefs, fought hard for my integrity and for that I will be eternally proud of myself. I refused to be betray my conscience and bend over backwards for things that I didn’t believe in, regardless of the cost. It made my life a little harder, but difficult things concretise character and makes one stronger.

I am going to miss the friends I made there. Some of which I feel I will be able to keep when I’m gone. Some of which I will lose, but that is the reality of life. At every stage different people become more important, but memories…. Ahhhhhhh….memories can never be stolen from you.

I am crazily excited about this big move, but also nervous as hell. Nonetheless I’m confident that it provides me with better opportunities. I’m not sure exactly where I will be after the next couple of months but I know that I am lucky as hell to be able to quit my job for a while and take a break.

I am going to use 2012 as a period of rest for me. To find myself, enjoy my life, travel as much as possible and recharge myself for the amazing opportunities ahead of me. I am really excited and I cannot wait to begin this new journey of mine. Legally as Mrs B, after March 14.

Thank you creator of the universe. Whoever you may be. In whatever shape of form, for,

I am blessed in so many ways.