Dec 23, 2013

2012 and 2013: A Review (Part 1)

I think I'm crazy for attempting to do this at 12am, so I'll just do 2012 now, and maybe 2013 in the next few days.

Jan - March: MOE Teaching Internship at Crescent, where I taught Sec 2 Lit and Sec 3 English. My Sec 2 classes were adorable. The novelty of a young teacher - they all wanted to find out more about me and stuff. I had some freedom to plan and execute classes my way, which was great because I had some flexibility although also a structure so I didn't have to start from scratch. Showed them Sungha Jung videos to learn about mood and atmosphere, let them listen to snippets from songs like Life Is A Highway and Hot And Cold to learn about metaphors, etc (looking back, this was also a great preparation for teaching English at City College this year). Also got to exercise a bit of old dance discipline mistress strictness when they got too relaxed, lol. [my Facebook album]

And, of course, got my A Level results and UK/US uni offers. I was really thrilled about East Anglia's creative writing director sending me a personal email to say he was 'extremely impressed' with my portfolio. I hope it was genuine.

First picture: I was at the MOE internship with Geraldine and Rachel Louis, and it was another working day before our A Level results release, so we got Macs and cupcakes to calm our nerves lol.
Second picture: My foster siblings came back to Singapore to get their results, so they stayed at my place!! Yay fun.

Also crashed Orientation for the first time as an ex-student - I crashed Jessica Chen's OG, since she was both my OG kid and Council junior (I'm so proud of her). Made friends and they were nice people, and became really good friends with Ruo Wei (and crashed his OG this year! Ah I feel like I should do 2013 tonight too, but no, must restrain.) Oh before the new kids came in the Council band also led worship at chapel again, but it didn't go very well.
(Hmm, where are my 2012 crasher Orientation photos?!?!)

And started giving tuition, which I'm still doing. In 2012 I had a lot of students. The ages range from 8-21, and I usually teach English. In 2012 it was more Sec 2 English for Express and Normal streams.

April: For two weeks, I relieved two GP teachers at ACJC across six classes. I think they were all JC2 classes, so one year my junior. For the first week I got to teach, which was really fun. I wasn't a great teacher and made some mistakes, but it was a good experience anyhow - giving them cheat tips, showing them the female genital mutilation video (lol), holding a debate... I didn't have the freedom of planning the lesson, but it was cool anyhow. It was also when I asked about their perceptions of homosexuality [link]. I remember I was invigilating a class for a GP paper and reading Angels and Demons, and when I get really absorbed in a book my head goes really far down so they thought I was sleeping lol. In the second week the teacher just told me to make them sit down and do their newspaper articles, so the students thought I was just lazy and boring. But relieving was fun anyhow, especially with Abi and Gideon!

(Second picture: Oh yeah, also, Valentine's Day was spent with these kids at the Titanic exhibition and then at Abi's house watching Titanic hahaha)

April - June: Waitressed at Shinji by Kanesaka. Emme asked me if I wanted to work there, 'cos her mum owns the place, and I took it up because I thought they needed the help. (I was wrong.) It was insane and really draining - three times a week I'd reach slightly past 10 with my hair in a bun and light makeup done, change into the kimono and clogs, and be at the main place at 10.15 to sweep/mop the floor, clean the chairs, etc. You had to be mostly invisible, yet perfect - stand quietly by the side with your hands clasped in front of you, occasionally checking to see if anyone needed their tea refilled, etc. I definitely learnt a lot, and I'm very thankful for the experience, but I wouldn't work in an atas restaurant again. I learnt a lot both from the working environment and the customers. Rich people. Interesting people. Two customer experiences I remember clearly are the time this guy was discussing the different universities (when his friend left for a minute I asked him how he felt about staying local versus going overseas, because I was choosing between my university offers at that time), and this other time these two guys were talking about Yale-NUS. They actually talked about Jim Sleeper, about how his posts were ignorant and ridiculous. When they were about to leave I told them I was going to go there, and we're a fantastic bunch, and we'd prove them wrong. He suggested we contribute to the Yale Daily.

I remember spending most of my working days looking forward to the 2.5h lunch break. Fantastic Japanese lunches by the chefs, and a nap on the floor of the dressing room. And then it'd be work again until about 10+ or 11pm, and I'd leave really tired, catching a late train home. Sometimes I'd treat myself to a Starbucks or McFlurry.

Also, I applied and got into Yale-NUS somewhere around this time, and went for the Experience Yale-NUS Weekend!! It's a weekend where admitted students are invited for sample classes, college-shaping activities (e.g. what you'd do with a $100,000 funding; initial student club ideas) and other things. Obviously the highlight of that for me was the 2-4am chat with nine others - Dylan, Kevin, Xi Min, Theo, Eugene, Rio, Amrullah, etc - and, needless to say, all ten involved that night are here in the inaugural cohort today. We just couldn't turn Yale-NUS down after that fantastic chat, eh? (here's the link to my post about the EYW) (GUYS IT HAS BEEN MORE THAN 1.5 YEARS)

Ah, and my birthday was shortly after EYW. Went out with Ji En for breakfast, Dylan for lunch...what did I do for dinner??? And Eugene for lunch the following day!

Oh, also, Ruo Wei's erhu solo at the Chinese Orchestra concert!

July: I got baptised! Start of the name Hannah, haha. Here's the reason I gave myself the name, so that no one has to ask anymore. I think I spent this month just chilling, after the exhausting waitressing stuff.

August - Jan 2013: Started work at the Yale-NUS admissions office with Ronald, Jared, Amrullah, Kevin, Ximin (and later, Sau)!!!!!!!!!! WHEEEEEEEE best job ever; perhaps I stayed a little too long - should've tried out other jobs, but this was too fun. Managing the Facebook page, taking prospective students on tours of University Town, being given money to design the showroom suite with Jared (everything's still how I arranged them, including my photos / post-its / untouched Japanese self-study books / piano books / the f21 hat), it was all fantastic.

And of course, all the other fantastic Yale-NUS events - trivia night at Brewerkz, Paintball.. and all the informal Saturday gatherings - my place, Theo's birthday and bowling, Les Mis, etc.

August: Also went to Penang for the first time with Maddie. Stayed at Fang Jiunn's place and he took us around. I love the walls. And the wall art. And the char kuay teow!!! [my Facebook album]

October: Travelled to the UK for the first time, alone! For a whole month. Fantastic experience. Started in my mum's friend's vineyard in Oxfordshire (still the best 8 days of my life), then stayed with Geraldine in London for a couple of days and then at an apartment with Theo, and then Theo and I went up to Edinburgh and stayed at a backpacker's and Christabel took us around. Then Theo left and I went to Coventry to stay with Jaslyn at my initial dream university, Warwick (and it's a bloody beautiful place! Also went to Stratford-upon-Avon); then I stayed with Andrew's grandparents at Barnet, Greater London. I loved it. I love the UK. I loved walking around on my own. Beautiful place, beautiful atmosphere.
(the links are to my Facebook albums for the places!)

November: Went to Australia with my family and my cousin Ivan, because my dad was finishing his Master's there. We started at Canberra and drove through places like Wollongong and Kiama and ended at Sydney. I've been to Australia but never to these places, and it was also great. [my Facebook albums: Part 1, Part 2]

December: City Harvest Bible Boot Camp, Christmas in KL with the cousins as usual (I think), and NUS's Varsity Christian Fellowship Annual Teach-In Camp! It was a great experience - breakfast, workshop, lunch, workshop, dinner, workshop, supper. It's where I learnt about Islam and also how the Bible was canonised (how the 66 books came to be the 66 books over the years). Opened my mind to a lot of things. Also, the close reading on Colossians was fantastic.

Also the undercurrent stuff, ahem ahem lol

No comments: