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.