2013, the year that was

I don’t know why it took me 3 days into 2014 to write this post but here it is!

2013 had been an amazing year, and I dare say, the best year I’ve ever had in my 25 years of life. I went through a tremendous amount of ups and downs in that one year alone, and I feel like I’ve overcome and accomplished the most in that year. I’ve dug out a lot of pictures to talk about my 2013!

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I started cooking a lot last year cause I found out that I have high cholesterol (7.6 – normal is below 5.0, this is considered dangerously high). I had a shock of my life when the doctor said I will get my first heart attack when I’m 40 if I don’t take care of myself. So yeah I started cooking, eating healthier and exercising. The latter has failed miserably though T___T

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In March, my choral speakers showed me that determination and passion were more important than the trophy. This year we didn’t win the championship despite working crazily hard but we went home very happy indeed. My kids never ceased to make me very proud :)

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I found ways to better manage my challenging class. I started reading to them story books and they really enjoyed it!

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Voted for the first time :D :D :D

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Had my second teacher’s day where this kid who never paid attention in class surprised me with a gift. He also told me that he came that day just so he could give me the gift, and that he wrote the note himself.

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Wept in class for the first time in 2013 and it was the hardest I’ve ever cried in class/school. A kid I’ve put a lot of effort and faith in told me to go to hell after a particularly difficult day in class. I lost my cool and punished everyone by making them write essays after essays. I later said sorry to a few good students and a girl wrote this back to me.

I feel like I failed this particular student though, since shortly after she left school and never came back. She’d lost interest because she kept falling further and further behind and I couldn’t do anything to help her. I lost a lot of my kids this way and it made me lose faith in a lot of things.

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Sat in class alone for hours just thinking of the fate of my students and thinking and rethinking of different ways to help them. This is the place where I’ve learned the art of reflection.

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Started a reading program where I fundraised RM 10,000 to get thousands of books for my students!

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Found little joys that continued to give me strength to go to school with zest and optimism everyday.

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Wore a saree for the first time!

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Wore a tudung for the first time too! Haha

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Met the most beautiful baby in the world and discovered how much this tiny being has changed my best friend’s life.

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Also discovered how much my boyfriend loves babies :D

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For my birthday this year, my students pretended to ignore me THE ENTIRE DAY and got me so sad before they surprised me with a cake during extra class!

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We also worked really really hard, for days and nights, for their PMR.

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Brought my kids to KL for the weekend and was so humbled by their genuine appreciation for everything in life.

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Fighter grew to become a happy chubby healthy baby :D

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Was given the opportunity to be featured in a documentary on my life as a teacher!!!!

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Did a play with my kids, which was the most strenuous and challenging thing ever especially when the kids don’t speak English AT ALL. But they did it!! Super duper proud of them!

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My kids helped me pack and I bade farewell to them and the school, the people and place that had taught me so much more than I’d expected.

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Also said goodbye to the books that all my readers have donated to me. THANK YOU FOR THE SUPPORT GUYS!!!! <3

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Said a very difficult goodbye to a student I’ve had the privilege to work with (he was the conductor in my choral speaking team and was the sole reason why we’d won so many times). I’m mocking him here for crying cause I don’t want to cry myself haha. He sobbed really hard when saying goodbye to me and my heart broke and I knew I’d be in such a gooey mess too.

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Went to the paddy field for the last time ever and teared thinking of my two years here. I never knew how attached I’d grow to this place and how much I’d love a place so different from what I’m used to and so far from my own comfort zone.

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Went to Cambodia for the first time and really loved it!

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Saw myself crying on TV hahaha not very flattering!

 
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Went back to school to see my kids when they get their PMR results. They did really well!! (though we didn’t reach our big goal, but we really did aim for the stars!) This year, we got the most number of As in English in the history of my school, ever!!!

That’s all for my 2013. It’s been an amazing year and I have so many people to thank for making it so awesome.
Thank you to my parents and friends for believing in me, thank you to Karthik for without him I couldn’t have gone through these two difficult years, to my students for showing me how to love unconditionally, to my readers for the constant encouragement, to everyone out there who had donated me books, stationery, printer, projector, postcards and money and had strengthened my faith in humanity, to Teach For Malaysia and my school for the opportunity to make a difference, and to all teachers out there who continue to persevere and labor their love day after day for years!

I’m so thankful I chose to start this chapter in my life and although I will no longer be teaching as of now, I know for a fact that this is a chapter I will never close and will get back to writing in the near future.

Happy new year everyone!