Monday, September 29, 2008


I had to work a few hours overtime this evening.

The sky was pitch black by the time I left the office.

On my way home, I went past a school. Its canteen was lit. Students sitting on benches, peering down on textbooks.

Must be exam mugging session, I thought.

Instantly I was brought back to my O-level year. My school also opened up our canteen for students who chose to revise their work in school.

I remembered those nights, some 20 years ago.

My school opened up its school canteen to a group of us, mostly boys, so that we could revise for the exams. Our homes were too noisy and cramped.

Age and time changes one's perspective.

Until tonight, it never entered my consciousness that teachers too had to work overtime for us back then. They could have been home watching TV. Being with their family.

As a student, I didn't hear or consider any of that. We'd taken for granted that teachers had to be there.

It finally dawned on me about 20 years later.


To my teachers who did their share of overtime for us then. And for teachers who continue to do so for students today.

Thank you.

It might take a long time.

A decade or two.

But eventually some of us kids will learn what is gratitude.


  1. Thanks for sharing this.

    Well, I guess all of us do have a problem with gratitude. Being a fairly reticent guy (despite being in PR, marketing and all), I haven't been very effusive in thanking my teachers, lecturers and professors for shaping me to be who I am today. Perhaps now is a good time to do so.

    Incidentally, I never quite felt anything about working overtime because I am such a hardcore workaholic. I think the number of days I got home when the Sun was still up would number less than 30 in all. And I have just crossed my 13th year as a contributor to the workforce. Hah!

  2. Anonymous8:53 am

    This is a nice post, well written and succinct - I think it got the point accross really well.

  3. Anonymous8:46 am

    Bro, you write very well. Reminds me of Lord Denning. Short, staccato-like sentences. Nice observation on life and values. Takes introspection and reflection. U dah man!

  4. Folks, thank you, for your comments :)

  5. It's always nice when somone remembers. Better late than never.

    Once, some of my wife's ex-students dropped in un-announced to her pleasant surprise. These 'boys' (from Whitley) were having a gathering at the nearby Sixth Ave makan places and wanted to surprise her. They couldn't be much younger than Ivan.

  6. Wonderful. I thought about it myself during my Os but that was because there were teachers in my family and they complained about it constantly.


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