death by paper cut

{April 13, 2011}   Class of 87′

today i visited my alma mater of which i was from the class of 87′ – galilee kindergarten. i might have made a mention to my kinder years in passing before, but i’ve never stepped through the doors for the past 24 years although i can see it from my bedroom window.

i was on sick leave today so on the way back from the doctor, i met my mom to pick up the kids when they were dismissed from school. yes, also galilee kindergarten.

this is them now.

David Goes To School 2

this was me then.

Galilee Kindergarten Class of 86 (2)

this is the niece participating in the end of year concert 2 years ago.

Noelle Pre-Nursery Year End Concert

this was my graduating end of year concert.

date stamp included.

Galilee Kindergarten Class of 86 (5)

Galilee Kindergarten Class of 86 (1) Galilee Kindergarten 25th Anniversary 5

i seemed to be quite a sport on stage, but the performances were not the most memorable part. what i enjoyed most were the free form art pieces we did on easels with big brushes and massive murals. the vivid memory of my kindergarten days came in handy when, while studying in melbourne, i was volunteered by my mom to contribute an article to the galilee kindergarten’s 25th anniversary book. the fact is, my earliest memories did not begin in kindergarten, but a couple of years earlier when i was 3 years old at YMCA nursery. i remembered the conversation with friends, the mass baths, the unfair punishment for not napping  in the afternoons, some teachers i still grudge, and others that were very nice. yes a 3 year old can grasp injustice and fairness and be indignant for life. but i digress.

the organiser of the 25th anniversary book was very glad to have stumbled upon me. she actually went door to door at the teban and pandan garden estates in search for alumni to contribute articles.

within a year, it was published. my article took nearly a full page and a few pages behind, the niece was featured. i was sent a copy for good measure.

Galilee Kindergarten 25th Anniversary 1

Galilee Kindergarten 25th Anniversary 3 Galilee Kindergarten 25th Anniversary 4

the article in full, which also mentions the serendipitous encounters with fellow alumni in tertiary education.

I attended Galilee Kindergarten when I was 5 and 6 years old (1986-1987). I have fond memories of my time here. Although I have no recollection of the faces or names of the teachers, I can remember vividly some of the activities I did there. Since young, I’ve developed an inclination for drawing and colouring. Therefore I loved the times when I was given an easel, a large brush and free reign to paint as I wish. I also remember a mural that was done collectively as a class – the teacher spread out a huge piece of paper on the floor and encouraged us to draw on it. The paper was so big that we had to crawl on it to get to the other side. Other lasting memories of my experience at Galilee Kindergarten was the preparation for the graduation concert. I think 7 of us were given a large single-coloured oversized “dress” to wear to represent a colour. On cue, I was to do a star jump when my colour was sung. I was decked up in shimmering pink.

I never made an active effort to keep in touch with my peers when I went on to Primary school. However, more than decade later I have bumped into people that recognised me as school mates. One such incident happened during a General Paper lecture at Yishun Junior College. A random school mate I had not known was instructed so share some document with me. He introduced himself as Jason (from the modern dance CCA) and asked if I was “the Wynnie” from Galilee Kindergarten. He remembered that both us used to wait for his grandfather and my domestic helper to pick us up from school and walk home together. He did not recognise my appearance – it was my name that rang a bell.

A few years after that, when I was doing my teacher training at the National Institute of Education, I had another serendipitous encounter with a former school mate of Galilee Kindergarten (Serene). She was to be my assigned roommate at the Hall of Residence in NTU. We found each other familiar and tried to identify associations and former school affiliations to make the connection. It was only when we’ve exhausted the list and mentioned Galilee Kindergarten that we realised we were acquainted 14 earlier. In fact, she performed along side me as the shimmering Green in the graduation concert.

A generation later, my 4 year old niece is also enrolled in Galilee Kindergarten. The programmes are more extensive, the activities more varied however the fundamentals remains the same and that would be the dedication of the teachers and the high level of engagement that Galilee Kindergarten sustains their students with.

Happy 25th Anniversary Galilee Kindergarten and continue to be a blessing to other young tots.


ser says:

wow this is so sweet! =)

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