|A very enjoyable afternoon with Pn. Chuan, Julian and Kevin|
Sunday, 2 July 2017
Catching Up With Two Brothers
It is immensely heart-warming when your ex-students remember you, for the right reasons, and yearn to meet up with you. Students come and go in teachers’ lives, and only some take the trouble to keep in contact. Needless to say, the advent of social media like Facebook and WhatsApp have made this much easier. But when ex-students make it a point to pay us a visit in school or arrange for a meet-up, it transcends catching up to a different level, a much more personal one.
I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with two brothers, Julian and Kevin Looi. Julian was from my first batch of Sam Tet students and I had not seen him for more than ten years. I remember him as a reserved, shy and lanky boy. He has now blossomed into a charming, affable and handsome 28-year-old, who has girls swooning over him. Although I did not teach Kevin, he was a student in my Young Christian Students Movement. I remember him very well as he was a quiet but adorable boy. And today, I’m pleased to see that he is just as endearing, but is so much more vocal and humorous. As he is 5 years younger than Julian, I did not know they were brothers back then. The connection came to light only when their mother, Pn. Chuan, was transferred to Sam Tet as the Senior Assistant later. This was after both boys had left school.
I was touched to learn from Pn. Chuan that I had left some positive impression on both her sons. This is one of the greatest compliments a teacher can get, as we often fear that we do not give enough, that we may have overlooked some as there are always so many in our care, that we may have been impatient or insensitive at times, or that we may have been careless with callous words that leave a scar.
Interestingly, both boys (or should I say, young men?) are so similar in many aspects. How could I not have made the connection back then? They both enjoy cooking and baking, and now often take over the kitchen (but leave the cleaning up to their mum). Julian showed me some photos of the food and cakes that they have made, and just from the looks, I would say the brothers could give many eateries and bakeries a good run for their money. Both Julian and Kevin are so united in teasing their mum mercilessly. It was incredibly refreshing listening to their good-natured banter. The bond between the brothers is solid, and it’s easy to see that they share a camaraderie that can be the envy of many siblings.
Inevitably, all good things must come to an end. We had to reluctantly leave the cafe, but with promises to meet up again another day. I took a look at my watch and was surprised to see that we had been chatting for one and a half hours! Had it been that long? Time flies, when you are having a good time. This has definitely been an afternoon that will long be remembered and treasured.