Not long ago, I was hanging around the customer service office of the spanking new Robinsons Store at The Gardens in Mid Valley City when I noticed an attractive young lady who could not seem to take her eyes off me. I was more curious than flattered.
Finally, she approached me and introduced herself as my former student in Reliance College. Oh goodness, I felt really embarrassed for not recognizing her. On the other hand, how do you expect me to recognize her when she looked transformed in her smart trouser suit, radiant face and well-groomed hair?
We had a short but lively chat. I bombarded her with questions about her career development since she left college. She said she gained extensive experience working in different places and environments, and decided to move from the hospitality industry to the retail industry. I am sure she will excel in her chosen field, and I am so proud of her.
A college such as Reliance College is a student's stepping stone to the job market. The college provides its students with teachers and lecturers who teach, guide and help the youths step into the adult world confidently, skilfully and purposefully.
Many years ago, I was in Dayabumi Complex when a smart young officer from the complex security department came up to me, and said he was my former student in a rural secondary school. He kept calling me “cikgu”, the Malay word for teacher. I said I was no longer his teacher. He replied, “According to Malay tradition, once you’re my teacher, you’re forever my teacher.”
Wow, it looks like I have no choice but to live and die as a teacher! I’m not complaining though.