Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Thank you teachers

The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.
~William Arthur Ward

Monday, 21 December 2009

Season's Greetings from Joanna

Dear Friends,

Firstly, let me wish God's richest blessings on all of you and your family this holiday season! How truly blessed we are to find ourselves in the bosom of dear ones - a truth that I've been powerfully reminded of in 2009.

When the bottom fell out of the economy earlier this year, I received a call informing me that my role had been axed. Although it wasn't easy to bid farewell to a wonderful team of colleagues and the security of a paycheck, this news gave me exactly what I needed - a six-month break and a healthy bank balance.

Within 48 hours of reaching out to family and friends, I was enveloped in kindness and received invitations to stay in homes all over the world - a privilege I happily exercised. The Glass Half Full series chronicles this welcome break.

My heart overflows with gratefulness when I think of the many precious memories that were created this year:
  • Our Yeoh family was reunited with Julie's homecoming to Malaysia during Chinese New Year, and family ties were further cemented when we took a family vacation to Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, Bodega Bay and Las Vegas
  • A wonderful vacation to Candidasa, Bali where I enjoyed massages, snorkelling, fishing, massages, drinking, making new friends and I did mention Balinese massages didn't I?
  • Spending time in New York City with my friends Andrew, Isabel and their beautiful boys. The many hours spent wandering through the inspiring Metropolitan Museum and Central Park has deepened my love for the Big Apple. And a big Thank You to Elaine Li for showing me the world beyond Manhattan, and to my NYU friends for the intellectual stimuli
  • Hunting down the Liberty Bell, Independance Hall and Philly cheesesteaks in historic Philadelphia with Julie was good fun! We also made a side trip to Washington DC where we narrowly escaped a deadly train crash...thank God...
  • Visiting and learning about the Amish community in a town called Intercourse ;-)
  • Witnessing the gala reunion for BBGS (Bukit Bintang Girls'School) at the Pavilion KL was a dream come true. Thousands of girls and teachers came together to celebrate the spirit of a school that has outlasted its bricks and mortar. I am so blessed to have contributed to the event by writing the Back2BBGS blog and the Women of Vision exhibition
  • Travelling to Australia to witness the wedding of my cousin, Aaron and the baptism of my god-daughter, Alyssa. Being able to catch up with so many good friends made it feel like a proper homecoming
  • Enjoying 5 minutes of fame when the Star newspaper published an article on my career and travels, through which I connected with old friends and a gentleman who asked me if I liked younger men...YIKES!
  • Watching all five of my god-kids grow in stature and spirit is such a joy. I'm so grateful to their parents for allowing Aunty Jo Jo to contribute to their development in her nutty, unconventional way
Let me say a big THANK YOU to all my family and friends for your kind words, hospitality, a warm bed, storage space, countless coffees and cakes, food, wine and friendship. All good holidays must come to an end so when October came round, I found myself another position at a oil & gas services company in Singapore. This city state will continue to be my home as I believe it's the perfect beach-head from which to catch the crest of the Asian century.

As we bid farewell to the noughties ('00s) and enter a brand new decade, let's continue to be grateful for all that we have and become all that He created us to be.

Here's wishing you a HAPPY NEW YEAR and a blessed 2010!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Candle 34: Melinda Tai Mei Lian

Hi Joanna,

I found your blog by chance—what a joy! I am not sure if my story will qualify for your project. (Joanna says: Of course it will. This forum is for BBGSians of any age and creed. CBNers stay away!)

You probably do not know me as I was many years ahead of you at BBGS from 1962-1974. My headmistresses were Ms. Ma Tak Yan in Primary 2 and Ms. Cooke in Secondary. I remembered how I was such a riot at primary school for talking too much in class and was often send to the office. Those were the days. Ms Cooke was a joy and a sweetie---I always looked forward to her class.

One of my fondest memories was “Funfair Days” where each class would either cook, make something or perform for the event. One of the best times was when our class was voted for cooking the best popiah! There are so many teachers' names that I may have forgotten, the ones that I remembered fondly was Ms. Boey, my Bible teacher. Despite her disability she is forever cheerful and helpful.

I have some great friends, unfortunately I have lost touch with them when I got married and immigrated to the United States.

Melinda Tai Mei Lian