ties that bind

I had the honour of being a part of my school’s 25th anniversary celebration today, even though it was a really insignificant role (I was someone you’d glance over and never think about again), I really enjoyed it. In the sense that this was better than not being involved at all.

Despite all the smack I talk about my school, the workload, the distribution of workload, and the teachers, I’m still undeniably proud of it, and I don’t really understand how my friends aren’t. Over a decade spent here has made this basically my second home – I don’t know if it’s because I come here almost every weekday, or if it’s just somehow grown on me. I love talking smack with my friends, I love the feeling of having a schedule each day, I love turning everything we learn in class into jokes outside of class, I love how what’s left of our grade has become much closer, united, and that we’ve got each other’s backs, I love the little bit of time in the morning that’s ours… the list goes on.

Today’s performances were mostly done by the primary section (just to clear things up, I’m in the secondary section) and that made me realise how self-centred I’ve actually been. The primary and secondary sections don’t get the chance to mingle much, unless you take the school bus home, so although I know a lot of the secondary kids’ faces and names, I know virtually nothing about the primary section. It’s been at least 6 years since I was last there, and in that time, so much has changed – the teachers, the curriculum and even the campus. A lot of the things I had in primary school only exist in my memories, and that’s kind of upsetting, but at the same time inevitable.

Watching the little kids’ performances brought me to another world that was more happy and optimistic… us older kids are so unwillingly to do anything, from sucking it up to showing even an ounce of school pride. Meanwhile, these kiddos have no reservations at all – they’re proud, they’re confident, they’re so compliant… It makes me wonder where we, or where I, went wrong. Watching them, as well as just being an usher, made me realise how we’re just small cogs in a machine. I’ve never regarded the other grades or the rest of my schoolmates, just focused on my studies, my classmates and how school life was going for me. In short, it’s kind of opened my eyes to how big my world could be, if I stopped keeping to myself so much.

So, about this year’s celebrations… I was here for my school’s 15th anniversary celebration as well. That one involved everyone – back then, we only had 8 grades of kids, and for a year, I guess classes were changed to allow more time for us to put together a school-wide musical (Reaching Out, Touching Lives, anyone?). We even performed it outside of school, in a huge auditorium that could fit all our parents. This year’s celebration seemed to be more for show, with pots of plants placed around our white and black school, the overly re-repaired floorboards of our plaza covered up by carpet, and the day being deemed a holiday for everyone not involved. As in, not everyone in our school was involved in the official celebrations of our school’s 25th anniversary. It’s a bit sad to think that, but at the same time, I guess a silver jubilee is more prestigious and important than a 15th anniversary.

All in all, as much as I refuse to verbally say it or physically express it, I’m really proud of my school, and how far we’ve come. A decade in the same place, growing up with pretty much the same people, despite how little we talk, we’re still bound together by some sort of connection. Really, though, these ties do bind. Speaking of which, my school’s open house is tomorrow, and in commemoration of the 25th anniversary, they’re launching a special edition magazine (I think I saw someone holding a copy today!!) which features a poem I wrote!! Again, I’m proud to be a part of my school, but even prouder that they like something I wrote.

So, if you’re in the area tomorrow, drop by Singapore International School’s 12/F Sports Hall to take a look around! It’d be great to be able to share something that matters so much to me with everyone. :^)


Sometimes I stay in school for so long I get to see the sunset from the newly opened MTR station. Really, it’s become my second home.

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