Wednesday, January 14, 2009

When Success is an Exponential Curve Away......

Kudos to Jeanette Aw.! Her acting has certainly improved by leaps and bounds! Keep it up! Jeanette's acting in the Little Nonya was fabulous! Kudos too to all the actors and actresses, especially the lady acting as Tao Jie. She is so natural and charming! My ex-student, Lin Mei Jiao also did very well to portray herself as a venomous and revengeful old lady as opposed to her role as a submissive wife and daughter -in-law in Women of the Times! Excellent! Interestingly Yiwu, acting as Xi Er does not have good facial features, but overall, he has such an appeal to the fairer sex! Yiwu had also done very well in 881 and Lotus 12, but he was at his best in the Little Nonya.

Jeanette Aw is an excellent example of what I mean of success being an exponential curve away. When interviewed Jeanette said that she gave her best in her roles as Ju Xiang and Yue Niang. She did not give up on acting even though she had been with Media Corp for several years and did not shine like Joe Tay and Fann Wong. Even when she suddenly was put in the spotlight after her roles in the Little Nonya, she is humble to say that she does not feel any different or that she should be in the ranks of the "Sisters" in Media Corp. She only felt annoyed at the unfounded rumours that the role of Ju Xiang was specially for as as her diction is weak, and that she is a divorcee!! Nevertheless the sprightly, petite lady, is taking up phonetics course to improve herself. Kudos!!

As an ex-teacher, I have seen how students improved by leaps and bounds. An outstanding example is my ex-student, Joanne Koo. When I took over the English Language and Literature classes after I graduated in the Institute of Education in June 1984 Joanne was writing simply, correctly (though sometimes with grammatical errors) and almost boring essays in class. Yet six months later, she started producing essays that deserved an "A". Some teachers might have thought that the essays had been plagiarised, but having experienced something like this, I knew that Joanne had an exponential curve of improvement! She was one of the two winners for the most outstanding students in English at the end of the year. Today, Joanne is a high flyer and an outstanding toastmaster.

Now, I am sharing with readers another example of what I mean when I say that success is an exponential curve away. When I started primary school, I had difficulties recgonising words and was often punished during reading. I was bored to tears and often folded the pages of my books, just like the way I helped mom to fold paper incense! It took a young, trainee teacher to notice my problems and every afternoon, she would come to school 45 minutes earlier to coach me in my reading. "Kas-sim ees run-ning! A-mi-nah ees sit-ting!" the patient teacher would articulate close to my ear, as if almost pleading with me to hear and differentiate the consonants and the vowels. Suddenly it dawned upon me that if I could break up words like the way my teacher had shown me, then reading would be easier! With the light at the end of the tunnel, I began to enjoy reading and would attempt to read all the names of shops and signboards as papa and I whisked past shops and traffic lights. I was a regular passenger on papa's scooter. I enjoyed visiting with papa, for while papa was talking with his friends, I would be enjoying myself reading the newspapers and magazines that I could find beneath the coffee tables! I knew that papa was not rich and did not want to trouble him to buy me reading materials.

I am glad that I did not give up on my shorthand and typewriting when I was training to be a secretary three and a half decades ago. Otherwise I would not be able to come up with an article almost every day now, as I am typing at about 150 words per minute. When I take notes, I still use shorthand. Whatever we learnt in the past is never wasted.

I always encourage my students and friends not to give up on what they are learning. It is a shame that some people gave up just when success was quite near! If they had persevered a little longer, they would start to enjoy the fruits of their labour, and gradually become a shining star in whatever they are doing, eg. cooking, playing a musical instrument, learning a new language, dancing, acting, etc.

Hence, dear readers.....always remember that just when you are about to give up, success could just be an exponential curve away! Hence, press on.....

Gan Chau

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