Wednesday, September 7, 2011

10-year Reunion: Grateful

Leaving Founders Day, I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude. Clarendon is an institution that Im so proud to have been part of.

First and foremost, I was grateful to my parents for recognizing what an excellent school Clarendon was and still is.  They knew that by enrolling me at Clarendon Prep, I would be taught the best life lessons and be introduced to opportunities that I may not have been exposed to elsewhere.

For my entire school career, I felt like I was constantly nurtured under the loving care of my teachers. 

It was the encouragement of my English teachers that fueled my love for the language and ultimately lead me to explore the wondrous world of words.  My very first piece that was published in an anthology of verse was a poem I wrote in Std 2 called "My Secret Garden". This was the beginning and I am proud to say that I have had my writing published in local and international publications - enforcing my belief that I can spread whatever message I wish through the written word. My love for English also led to my career choice in teaching English to foreigners.

I was a bit of an introvert growing up and was a bit hesitant to take risks and challenges, but in Grade 10 I felt like I went through my own metamorphosis. I joined the Forum Discussion team, the school magazine, Interact and other clubs and societies. It was through these platforms that I developed confidence in developing my voice. Above all, I developed leadership skills.

With their guidance and caring attitude, teachers like Mrs Felton, Miss Rose, Mrs Edwards, Mr Deutschmann and so many others, my wings had fully grown by the time the end of my matric year came by.  

Biology was my weakest subject and I was sure I was not going to pass with good enough grades to enrol at a university.  The day I went to collect my results from school with my mum, I cried tears of joy. Months of hard work, studying and tutoring had paid off and I passed with good grades. I now have a Bachelor of Journalism from Rhodes University. Something I never thought would be possible!

Ten years later, I am still very good friends with many of the girls I met at Clarendon High School...including those from Sub B!

Thank you, mum and dad for choosing Clarendon as my education foundation. Thank you to the dozens of teachers who believed in me. Thank you to all the friends I made.  Without you all, I know for sure that I would not be the person I have turned out to be.

If I can give any piece of advice to current Clarendonians, it would be...

"Don't for a single second take any opportunity you have for granted. Respect your teachers and recognize that they are very special people who take on many different forms to ensure that you will leave the school successful and ready for the world. Don't wait till your reunion to come back to school and realize what a fine institution you were part of. Know it now. When you look around at the lack of education in our country and the children who would give anything to be in your place - even sitting on those hard, wooden floors, appreciate that you are one of the most privileged people to be receiving education of such caliber."

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