Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Perks of challenges

I’m having the place all to myself at the moment. I cant believe that I was actually missing this. Once in a while it’s good to be left alone and do your own things as you please. In my case, it helps the creative juice flow easily and let me enjoy the train ride of thoughts.

We are counting our days to go back to the land of nasi lemak and teh tarik for a good six week break. There are still many things to do before we leave. A twist of fate seems to be encouraging our move and perhaps the situation was a blessing in disguise. As some people say, the best is yet to come.

I learn that being tested in whatever form has its perks. When you have gone through so much in life, there is high possibility that you will sail through on your next challenge with ease. It is only when you are faced the hurdle for the first time that it’s hard to digest but once you complete that bumpy ride, you’ll realize things aren’t that bad.

It helps you to appreciate the more important aspects of life which many take it for granted as they are caught under the whirlpool of tangible or material race.

One day last week, the young lady came home with a glowing face and a cheeky smile. I couldn’t stop wondering what she had under her sleeves. Perhaps it was another day of girls chit-chatting in the toilet which seemed a growing trend among them at school. She handed a few papers to me, certificates to be precise. She was extremely pleased with her achievements and remarked that it was better than having ice-cream on waffles for tea!

Later that day, I crept into my bed and reflected silently. Tears of gratitude and happiness were flowing. She has blossomed into a lovely pre-teen, with her craze of pin-ups and passion for doing well in subjects she loves. She’s an idol to her young cousins and god-sisters, and has lots of patience for them even when they drive her nuts with their constant babyish demands.

Moments like this makes me feel it is all worth it. I am blessed.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Like a St Trinian

After watching this movie, I wonder whether I should think twice in sending the young lady to a school in UK, especially since I am also considering independent institutions which dominate the top spots in GCSE and A levels results. For some, they even publish the percentage of leavers who attend Oxbridge and facilitate the application to Ivy League should the students want to pursue in the States.

Surely they have their own culture which may or may not reflect St Trinians (the extreme side of course). Each school has their own mantra and I am sure the ‘elite’ ones are not spared. As parents, we can research, interview and select whichever school suits our kids’ requirements but the end results boil down to their effort.

I notice that in UK, we have the opportunity to be selective as long as we put in the initiative. No doubt the grammar schools are competitive but they accept all applications regardless your home address. Generally they have two exams where on the second sitting, approximately 500 will make it with a final interview to follow and only 100 will be offered a place. Tough indeed but hey, it’s free education and who wouldn’t want to send their kids to these places where two thirds obtain all As in GCSE.

For most middle class, private education is affordable but those with excellent academic (like the ones which publish percentage of Oxbridge!) are not easy to get in. One still has to go through entrance exam and interview to be selected. If you think you might stretch yourself on fees, fret not as some schools offer scholarship or bursaries. Just as the Trinians, they expect you to be all-rounder and I think the young lady has set her eyes on drama (yup, whichever school we choose must have performing arts as after-school club).

I still cant believe that I am researching high schools for her. It feels that she’s growing up too fast. If only we can freeze time…..