Friday, December 15, 2017

Six years in a blink of an eye

I still remember vividly the day my eldest boy attended orientation day at a 93-year-old SRJK school. Six years just whisked past with a blink of the eye. From a keen-eyed little 7-year-old, you've blossomed into a motivated, independent pre-teen. This year, you've gone through one of the biggest challenges of your young life. The effort and work that you've put in has paid off. Congratulations HQ, for achieving your dream of getting straight 8As in UPSR. Congratulations  for bagging eighth place among your form of 479 students. And congratulations  for achieving the many awards, one of which you've appeared in our national newspapers. We are very proud of you, HQ, not only for your achievements, but more importantly, for your determination and will in achieving what you set your mind to. 

      Saying goodbye to your school of six years, farewell to your very dedicated and thoughtful teachers as well as many good friends had been difficult for you. Our heartfelt thanks especially to Cheng Lao Shi, Cikgu Loo, Headmaster Ting, Madam Faezah, Asst Headmistress Zhang, Zhuang Lao Shi, Madam Yao, Lee Lao Shi and Madam Low. 

      In less than a month you'll move on to a new phase of your life. Secondary school presents a new set of challenges - may you have the strength and wisdom in facing them with confidence. Continue to learn and explore, set your goals and keep improving. May you continue being eager and passionate in the things that you do, coupled with good judgement in setting priorities. And may you continue being adventurous, optimistic and a friend to those in need. 

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text cannot be republished without expressed written permission. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Upcoming scan and check, she was all teary-eyed and emotional. She can't sleep, waking up ever so often and was weighed down with all her "what-ifs" questions. 

"I can't promise what you ask for, honey. But what I can promise you is, with all my abilities, I'll make sure you'll be safe and healthy. I'll be with you all the way. I have faith that everything will be alright. I love you very very much."

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

backdated: QQ's primary 1 school year @ 2014

QQ was in Primary 1@ 2014

QQ survived her first year at the big school. But not without much challenges.

She managed well on the first two days of school, when parents were allowed to be present. After the two days, my little girl started showing all signs of anxiety. She had trouble adjusting from one very loving environment of her kindergarten to one that is harsh, loud and very strict at the new school. I sincerely felt too, that the environment is too harsh for primary one kids. She's worried she might be late for school, worried she might need to go pee during assembly, worried she might be late for the line-up after recess, worried about her homework, worried about her ting xie, ejaan and spelling. She scored nearly 100% for all her ting xie, ejaan and spelling but yet she feared getting caned. On the occasions that she did make a mistake, her teacher merely touched her palm with the wooden ruler. She's worried she might be shouted at. She was chosen as the Cleanliness Group Leader, and she too worried over her role.

My once happy-go-lucky baby is now a super-worried-wart.

But she had to learn to cope. And cope she did.

I was so thankful that she had her big brother to look after her. Though he can't be with her all the time, it was reassuring for her to know her brother was in school as well. It is always so heart-warming to see that she not only has a big brother at school, HQ's friends too look over her... carrying her bags, patting her on her back, chatting with her, the girls even hugged her playfully. She was the only Primary 1 kid allowed to play after-school-games with the Primary 3s 😄

After awhile, she started to love going to school. She made friends easily, and the teachers loved her. Her class teacher, Yean Lao Shi was very dedicated and I couldn't wish for a better teacher. English and BM teachers were Madam Puah and Cikgu Seet respectively. Her best friends in school were Chen Yi Enn and Beautrice. Other closer friends were Wang Li Jing, Lee Shin Yee, Wang Sun Hao, Alycia, Ngiam Li Yuen, Gan Zi Suan, Nur Dania and Kong Yan Yang. It was interesting to notice that for the first few weeks of school, when I went to her class to fetch her back after school, I saw all kids sitting down on their respective seats and QQ alone walking around and chatting with her friends. Not making a lot of noise, just chatting and joking. Her teacher watching her in amusement. When she left the class with me, friends will shout out goodbye to her, which I have no doubt she started the practice for her other friends first 😄

One of my greatest worry was, she's sick so very often last year. She had asthma attack once at school and I had to rush her to the hospital. She fell sick so often that her class teacher placed her at the 3rd row in class to watch over her, even though she was one of the tallest in class. Through all the 3 semester examinations at school, she had to do them through one sickness or another. She was even in great pain during the last semester examination, sitting only long enough to finish her exams and then rushing out. She had to be hospitalised and go through a surgery shortly after that.

Even through all the pain and anxieties, she did well at school. We didn't place high expectation on her; she's the one who placed all the expectations on herself. Her achievements came as a nice surprise to us. 

- She was placed 1st in class for all 3 semester examinations. 
- For the year, she was the 2nd best student in the whole Primary 1 of 496 students. 
- 2nd place in Bahasa Malaysia story telling competition among 22 contestants
- 2nd place in English creative writing competition among the whole form
- consolation prize for Mandarin poem recitation competition 
- consolation in English story telling competition 
- 2nd place in sports group event
- Class Computer Officer, where she's in charge of the class computer and projector
- Cleanliness Group Leader
Receiving the first in class award on the last day of school
The projector showed her as the 2nd best results pupil in the whole primary 1 of 496 pupils
We're happy for her achievements, though I'm very worried about her general health. Throughout her struggle with her health, she had shown great courage, grace, self acceptance and humility, and I'm extremely proud of her.

For this year 2015 at Primary 2, my hopes for her is that she will learn to cope with stress and anxiety better. And definitely to slow down a little. Let's see how it goes...

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text cannot be republished without expressed written permission. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

what he's thinking

HQ may give an impression of being carefree, happy go lucky and very cheeky to anyone who first met him, but deep inside he has things running in his head that surprises me often. These are some of the things that has been going through his little head in year 2014 when he was 9. 

How do I get a job? 
When can I start working for someone or a company? 
How do I know how much should I get for working with them? 
What if they do not want me to work for them? 
What can I do now so that it can help me in my job when I grow up? 

How do you know when you have met your future wife? 
If I want a baby in January, then my wife and I should mate in April the previous year. Right? 

How does politic work? 
How do you choose the government? 
If you're working for the government, what changes would you make? 
At what age can I vote?  
When can I join politics? 
How can I join politics? 

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text cannot be republished without expressed written permission. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

backdated: HQ's primary 3 school year @ 2014

HQ was in Primary 3 @ 2014

HQ started school enthusiastically, full of spirit, optimistic and hope. Only Primary 3 kids get to be chosen as Prefect for the afternoon session; HQ was chosen as one and he's mighty excited about it. This year is even more important as Primary 3 students will be streamed into different Primary 4 classes the following year based on their Primary 3 academic results.

Even though academic result is extremely important for Primary 3 students, HQ seemed to be getting very little homework. Art, mek xia, and xia hua on every Friday; that was all. It is not likely that HQ skipped doing his homework as HQ has always been very mindful and careful with his homework. So while QQ was rushing to finish her 5 - 9 primary 1 homework every school night, HQ enjoyed surfing on Goggles and reading story books *shake head*. 

Much to my dismay and anxiety, his Mandarin tuition went downhill as well. We were very happy initially with the center he's going to (since mid year Primary 1), but after the whole group of tutors were replaced (and after my assessment), I had no choice but to switch both HQ and QQ to a seemingly reputable one-to-one tuition center for Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia. I signed up for both languages as it feels more money worthy and time invested. After about a month, I became sceptical of their teaching method - memorizing. To me, to master a language, it involves understanding and applying the language - speaking, reading, writing, and later learning its culture and slang. To my surprise, QQ was quickly moved on to Primary 2 syllabus after she had "mastered" all the words in Primary 1 Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia. This is crazy... they didn't even cover making sentences and writing essay, but moved her onto Primary 2 syllabus! In fact, I found out that their syllabus do not cover writing even for Primary 6! Even through all the doubts and skepticism, I still sent my kids to the center for far too long a period - a stretch of 5 months! I initially thought attending tuition here is better than no tuition at all. How wrong I was! Kids were getting very irritable, possibly due to the teaching method? They attended 3 lessons a week at first (again, more money worthy than attending once or twice a week), but we decided not to send them in at all during the exam month. We only finished the last few classes that we paid earlier as deposits after their exams. Big relief after that *wipe sweat*. 

Hubs decided to be the kids' Mandarin tutor for the rest of the year eventhough he works till late. Thank goodness hubs is not a banana like me! The kids were happy having papa tutoring them mandarin, maths and science, and mama as their BM and English tutor. 

Although HQ had a busy prefect schedule and an almost non-existent tuition, I am very glad that HQ performed well in school. He bagged the 1st position in his class for all 3 semesters and was placed into the "jing ying ban" (best class among all 10 classes) for Primary 4 the following year. He also won a trophy for getting 3rd place in English creative writing this year.
Award giving during the last day of school

Prefects recognition on the last day of school

We set no expectations from HQ this year. We just wanted HQ to learn that in any situation that we can't control, we control our actions. Be positive, be strong, and be sure of what he's doing. It is the process that really matters. It is his effort and his positive view on the situation that is important. And in the end, he performed much better than we expected. We are all very happy for him and extremely proud of him :-). 

(C) Lee Pei Yi. All rights reserved. Originally published for All images and text cannot be republished without expressed written permission. 


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