We eventually have to grow up.
We eventually have to move.
This weekend was one speaking of immense duality. Saturday was so energising, and I spent the Sunday learning-resting-healing-resting-healing-resting-writing. And I know I am ready to take on the world on a clean slate with a fresh new pair of eyes.
Yesterday was the 140th Homecoming at the school that shaped my life. The school I accidentally entered, the school I never knew existed, but also the school that the nation gave me a scholarship to, to enter this elite space even when my world was local and tiny. So many people have been vying to enter it, and I was so fortunate to have it offered to me on a silver platter. I have thus always held myself to task to live it up to our motto of Filiae Melioris Aevi (latin for Daughters of a Better Age). Many people call us elitist but I would think not – it drives us not to feel above people, but rather to raise people (to higher level, to a better world). Maybe that is why it has always been ingrained in me to strive for betterment.
How time flew. We were the first batch that started our semester in the newly built school. That was 1992. We have had so many gatherings with “old girls” (aka alumni) when I was in school, and we grew up knowing that we will return as “old girls” (haha, now it sounds like the age kind of old) for as long as we can. Homecoming is a great name for these gatherings, and this place is really a feeling of home. All the values we shared, all the values we still share. Next year, the girls will be in a new physical location. The next homecoming will feel different, but I am sure it will still feel home.
27 years on, I returned to school with my upper secondary classmate, but had so many memories of our conversation regarding the new compound that I thought she was my lower secondary partner. We always sat together in class. It was only yesterday that we realised we attended the same Philosophy class – Socrates. It was also only yesterday that I realise we attended the same junior college too, which was not at all surprising, but we lost touch until we met in Phnom Penh when I first started teaching there. Thank you Universe for connecting us again. And we are walking the ThetaHealing journey together now.
The Rafflesian Creed
We, the pupils of RGS, pledge
to uphold integrity in our actions,
to face all challenges with passion and endurance,
to serve our community with compassion,
to the best of our ability,
and in so doing,
honour the school’s history and motto.
Filiae Melioris Aevi
When you spend six years with the same people, whether or not they are in your class, your ECA (extra-curriculum activities), your house (we compete in five houses named after the first five principals), you would just remember their faces. When I stepped into school, the first feeling was in awe – there was traffic police! Hahahahaha. The school had to hire traffic police, we jammed up Anderson Road / Stevens Road (very key roads), and oh my, how proud am I of it (and I was not the only one!!!) There was a lady waving enthusiastically at me, “I know you!! You are my batch!!” and I was just, “HMMMM??” but the familiarity started to come in as we manoeuvred ourselves around after we both declared that we shall stick to each other for the rest of the day! ❤ It was great. A great feeling and a great reconnection. ❤ Turns out that we probably painted banners together for years. 😀
We ran into more people along the way. Seniors, batch mates, classmates in college, classmates in lower secondary, classmates in upper secondary. It was cool. Literally so, as we found one another in the air-conditioned classrooms. There were so many I did not run into though, and found out only when everyone started posting on Facebook or Instagram after the event.
Here are the songs that pulled so many of us together. Kit Chan sang Home, which is a song that every Singaporean sings with their heart every year. I am so proud to say we share the same heritage / alma mater. ❤ Joanna Dong sang Dedication which is a song that really gave me courage and strength when days were dark and gloomy. And of course our rafflesian cheers – pardon the screaming girls, haha – these are the noises we make at sports competitions and it really brings out our school spirit. We feel no fear and we feel no pain. ❤ And of course, we almost always win. 😀
Thank you to onefern and Wide-Open Films for uploading these videos onto youtube.
I was too busy immersing in the feels of it to be filming these epic moments.