Friday, September 28, 2007


I first met my student JT (Justine Tan) when she was a little girl of about 9 or 10. She used to carpool to and from school with my cousins Chaya and Danya, and they had invited her to one of our Go clan lunches. She was this sassy-looking little kid with glasses who had no qualms about going up to my mom and brazenly asking if we had ordered Peking duck that day. :p I never imagined that several years down the road, our paths would cross again, she a high school junior, and me teaching her section's English class.

At first I was a bit alarmed, thinking I'd have to deal with an older version of the saucy kid I remembered, but it took only a week or 2 before I was telling my mom that Justine had changed completely, and was one of the most courteous, well-adjusted and intelligent students in my class. I continued to sing her praises throughout the year. When I found out the following year that JT was transferring to the British School Manila (BSM) on an HSBC
scholarship, I felt sad knowing ICA would be losing such a wonderful student, and her class would be losing a beloved friend, but at the same time I was happy for JT because of the many opportunities BSM could offer, including improving her chances of getting accepted by a university abroad.

Predictably, JT did well at BSM, serving as editor-in-chief of their school paper and graduating as one of the top 2 IB (International Baccalaureate) scorers in her batch. Now she's attending the University of Toronto, and true to form, she is thoughtful enough to keep in touch with her old English teacher via YM. This morning she told me that she had been featured in an issue of HSBC's Corporate Responsibility Magazine, and she sent me a scanned copy of the article. I read it with a sense of parental pride and vicarious happiness, knowing one of my kids has achieved so much, and not only because she accomplished everything on her own merits, but also because JT is the kind of person who deserves all this recognition and success. I wish her all the best during her college years in Toronto, and for all her other endeavors beyond. :)


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