Reciprocate…?

It’s Hari Raya tomorrow, and this year in particular it had some special meaning for me (not just any public holiday)… because i am visiting my friend’s house and it’ll be a first for me. i always knew we’re a multi-racial society and country (the nation building stuff aside), but somehow the environment that i grew up in offered so little of it.

i guess for the first ten years of my life when we’re still living in our old house, i fondly remember my malay neighbours giving us home-made cookies and us to them (on both CNY and Hari Raya). yet such a gesture was not carried forward when we moved, simply because we did not have any malay neighbours in our block.

and of course comes the school environment, where even in AJ there were very few exchanges about the different customs. but it kind of changed this year when i was doing my attachment, i had a malay colleague who was really friendly and outspoken.. she would talk to us and share snippets of what they do during ramadan, albeit minimal. in addition, my attachment offers me the chance to interact with the students who are fasting and they would sometimes share their mood for the day.. such small interaction offers a glimpse and understanding into a different culture (bit by bit)~

i guess even though such an ‘exposure’ didn’t last long, it meant something to me because for the first time (almost) in my life, i had such a close understanding of the muslim culture… that made me want to know more, and luckily our Rinie at home would also share with me when i asked her.

at this point i’ve digress from what i wanted to share… it’s about reciprocating… i once learnt in this self-awareness course that: to understand what kind of giving-person you are, you should look into what you will give to others when expressing gratitude or feelings. at this point mine is pretty clear: writing letters and notes to people, and i would definitely appreciate if people return the gesture. that said, today Rinie bought me a shirt and that was pretty unexpected…

i didn’t want to feel like i am taking her for granted, and besides the multiple ‘thank yous’ i did not know what else i can do to show her my appreciation.. that self-awareness course came into mind, so i bought her lots of snacks for her to munch when she’s out tmr~  it’s not really about ‘paying’ back but more of ‘i want to show you my appreciation’..

it leads me to think that sometimes we could overthink things, and something as simple as showing our care and concern for others may be interpreted as otherwise.. that said, i’m trying to be more introspective and become more aware of my surroundings.. just so that i can truly be comfortable around people and perhaps make them comfortable around me too.. but i guess part of me still wants to protect that clueless disposition and ‘hide’ in my own world.

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Half-way there, and maybe not…

Yeap I’m a bit more than halfway into my 4-weeks teaching attachment program.. and since i am not a really good writer i’m not sure if i’ll do justice to my reflection here.

nevertheless it will be something i’m going to put down in words, just so that one day in the future i might come back and read about it (and maybe see how i have or have not grown up…) i remember us having to share about why we take up teaching at the start, and that sharing itself was a humbling experience.

i met peers my age who are genuinely passionate and know what and why they want to go into teaching right from the start, and i have also personally confessed that i didn’t want to be a teacher.

i was actually against being one, until i decided to apply to be one eventually (that is after i graduate).

you know how some things you have to try for yourself before you make a decision, and then there is also the cliche saying of: never say never? yeap.. actually if you ask me why i chose this profession i might not actually be able to spell it out clearly? simply because i do not think it is a profession where your feelings towards it can be spelled out clearly and empirically.

but one thing i do keep in mind is: i want a job that teach me and let me learn as much as i can through meeting people.

call it selfish or anything, i actually chose teaching because i know it will not be a ‘boring’ job and it will not be desk-bound. more importantly it is something that allows me to interact with people, and young people.. i truly believe that who you surround yourself with will shape you as a person, so being with young people makes me young too?

anyways, the current attachment experience i’ve had is really humbling. just being with the students itself is a joy, although they can sometimes be annoying and we even have minor generation gap. but interacting with them teaches me and constantly remind me that sincerity is the way to go when communicating with others. secondly, classroom management is an art. everyone has his/her own style, and whatever works for you it’s great (of course it transform and evolve as time goes by).

today i also met a contract teacher, who shared her background and story with me. teaching being her second career and how she found meaning in the job.

maybe im being repetitive and not making a point here, but if there is one thing i can take away so far it will be: everyone has a story to tell (teacher or student), and the education industry offers this chance for you to discover the good in people and maybe also the good in yourself.

i am half-way into my attachment.. and i think maybe not even half-way in the journey to becoming a teacher. because being/becoming a teacher never stops, perhaps until the day you quit the force? hmmm..

最?

“你不是最好的,但是你得做到最好的自己”

人的心境都会变,以前的确不想自己改变因为会害怕变得不好。现在看到的学到的,渐渐意识到或许就像人们说的,请问问自己:你想回到过去的自己,是否因为现状是连自己都不愿接受的?

心境变了,也没有“最”了;因为之后也不知道这个“最”是为了什么。不想“最”了,只要舒服和充实就好了。。因为它们好像是一种很好的状态,无论对于他人或者自己。

纵使天气阴霾,云层里也依稀有光。单纯的眼睛会看到美好景象。追求舒服的状态也会迎来持久美好充实的心态 🙂

愿,
平安喜乐