They were here from the beginning.
Others witnessed and will live to tell their future grandchildren about The Great Flood.
Shuffling their little half-grown feet for the first time through the Old Temple Gates, they found themselves in a new and unfamiliar Temple Grounds.
At first, most were quiet, shy and reserved (traits that are unimaginable now). Some were even cold and showed some attitude towards the alien that was Miss Loi.
But it didn’t took long (as with most students) for them to settle in and got themselves (too) acquainted with her and each other. And joss sticks sessions would never be the same again once the gaps between their ears became fully operational.
Very quickly, the Ministry of Talkativity was established – where members deemed it a cardinal sin to even stop talking for a moment, and whose legendary Leader was rumoured to have learnt to talk before he could even walk.
In the years that followed, Miss Loi was resigned to a life of saving students (who were unfortunately seated next to these members) from joining the evil Ministry, at the same time having to fend off a thousand 无聊 questions in class (无聊 because the asker already knew the answers beforehand most of the time).
And then there were those who mumbled their way through the years, complementing their unintelligible mutterings with some the worst handwritings the world has ever seen, along with rollercoasting grades that were season-dependent (probably due to whether the examiner could read the handwriting or not).
But when this band of brothers and sisters, the enfants terribles of The Temple, stepped forth with the rest of her 2010 batch to receive their Mathematical Deliverance on Judgement Day last Monday …
… and despite the gratifying news filtering in from her double-maths students (some of whom … umm … “hardly know anything about AMaths” and had been repeatedly asked by their school to drop AMaths ) that
- 100%/90% have scored a minimum grade of B3 in E-Maths/A-Maths respectively.
- in both E-Maths & A-Maths, 75% attained at least a 4-grade jump.
- 84% have improved by at least 5 grades in E-Maths alone.
… and from her supposedly ‘weaker’ F9-plagued single-math students, of which 84% first arrived ‘spectacularly’ with a F9 grade (thanks to her usual anti-protectionist policy),
- 84% have improved by at least 3 grades. (basically it’s the same aforementioned F9 clique *sweats*)
- 75% have made the leap to at least a B4.
… Miss Loi’s mood was akin to the soft rain that fell in the afternoon.
As she watched with immense pride every single one of them stepped into the White Gates of Salvation – to be reincarnated as A-Level/Poly students – it was as if The Temple itself has come full cycle from those early days of uncertainty.
And now she couldn’t help but feel a lingering sense of emptiness once the last of them, those who had
given her so much nonsense ‘grown up’ with Miss Loi through the years, those (whose parents) had placed their faith in her even when The Temple was nothing but a minuscule shrine, disappeared into the blinding light.
But with fresh contingents of half-grown feet now marching through the Temple Gates, Miss Loi knows that she has to quickly break out of her spell of melancholic mood these couple of days and look ahead – just like those of you who may still be a little sore and reflecting over your L1R5s or the odd grade that got away.
For in addition to Miss Loi’s yearly adage of The next step you take is always more important than the previous step you left behind blah blah blah, this year she has a new one i.e. despite what some might say
Life always favours the late bloomers.
(but just don’t leave it too late!)
So hang in there and should you ever encounter an obstacle that seems too tall, know that there are always many, many roads to Rome:
P.S. This overdue post should have been done earlier in the week but as always, things have been pretty overwhelming following the release of the results *sigh*