A New Friend II

I asked the new friend I made online if he would care to meet up, and despite his busy schedule, he said ‘sure’. So on Tuesday evening we met for dinner at some cafe in Toa Payoh, and then took a walk to Creamier to have some ice cream. The food was not fantastic (I think we were both kind not to make any unpleasant remarks about it) and Creamier was so crowded we sat outside in the haze and choked ourselves in conversation chatted for a while.

Although it was not an unpleasant evening, it was not memorable or exciting and I am not sure he would give it another go if he had a choice.

Yet, I did appreciate the chance to ‘do something different’ during the holidays and actually have a conversation with someone who is not from the teaching fraternity. I was mighty glad I did not feel any pressure to keep up with appearances or have to look pretty – we made it clear we were interested in being friends and I think our conversations go beyond ‘what do you look like’ or ‘are you cute’. I was glad we could be comfortable with slow, personal conversation, just staring up into the (hazy) night sky and sharing ice cream. The evening prompted me to think about why I teach in the first place, whether or not it is truly my calling or if it was thrust upon me and I learned to accept and enjoy it in the process. I admired this young doctor for investing in his conviction and sticking it to his ideals when the going gets tough. ‘I had a choice, and I chose to be here.’ He said that night. Do I tell myself the same thing when the going gets tough too? Did I choose to be in the classroom, as a teacher?

We will see.

And we will see where this new friendship takes us too.



Are they your first form class?

She gestured to the class photograph on my cabinet. I couldn’t help myself but broke into narratives of individual little kids – one of them almost threw a fire extinguisher at their chairperson and another teacher, one cut himself with a penknife and had to be sent to the hospital after it bled out of his bag… these memories were priceless. And because they are priceless, they are also happy ones.

Our experiences, some though nasty, should be kept and stored as pleasant memories. After all, memories are but our way of remembering the past. If we choose to associate sadness and unhappiness with the past, our memories will be grey ones. But past experiences, unpleasant moments and discontinued friendships alike, can all be stored and saved as happy memories.

Those will make our lives more lighter, happier and more beautiful. :)