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10 September 2016 @ 11:30 pm
Back in 2014 when I first started teaching, I had no idea what to do. Sure, we received 4 days of TA training before school started but there is so much more to teaching that you could not pre-empt for. I was probably using a position of authority to conceal my fears and weaknesses. As a result, my first mid-semester evaluations were harsh and I was devastated (here).

I cannot remember how and why, but I shall credit it to God - I sought help from the Center of Teaching and Learning. They gave me a couple of suggestions to improve my body language, such as speaking slower (#fail). However, one of them was a simple mindset change that made a difference.

‘Rather than teaching down to the students, think of it as being alongside them as a helper.’

It was a really simple thought, but that gave me the empathy to see that all students wanted to do well in class and we are helping them in this learning process. Slowly, I have learned to relax both in class and grading (Once the harshest grader yo). This in turn, helps both me and the students to enjoy class, so praise God that I have not turned out to be a cynical graduate student that hates teaching.

This Thursday, I was awarded the Outstanding Organic TA award of the year 2015/2016 (here). I have certainly thought about this award, but it was still such an honour to be receiving it. It brought to a close this journey that He has sent me on: to develop empathy, communicate with others and improve on my body language. In my original post about the harsh evaluations, I have mentioned,
“Since nothing happens by chance in God's timing, I shall take this as an opportunity for me to improve. Especially so when I receive these feedbacks on my birthday :X “

Therefore, thank you God for this journey :) Ha, and I have proven that you can tell your students ‘Why are you so slow’ and still have them liking you :p

Mood: gratefulgrateful
05 September 2016 @ 04:36 pm
God is teaching me a lot about patience and waiting this year. It has been a wait of ~ 1.5 years and ~ 4 months for both visas. In between, there has been ~ 9 months of inactivity. While it is not directly applicable to me, it has been excruciatingly nerve-wrecking on my part to be by the sideline, keep calm and trust in God. There will be times where I am on the hilltop totally in faith and in eager anticipation of a miracle happening any moment. Then, there will be other times where I am rolling in the valley freaking out.

Trust in the Lord with ALL YOUR HEART, and lean not on your own understanding.
In ALL YOUR WAYS acknowledge Him and He will make Your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6 has been one of my dearly memorised verse but it takes on a whole new meaning now in this season of waiting. Am I truly trusting Him with the entirety of my being and acknowledging Him in all that I do?

Both of us conducted our first fast last month to seek the Lord's face regarding this situation. Individually, the same message was given to both of us: told us to W.A.I.T. Yup that was all that was given, nothing else, just more waiting. But now, there is a hard deadline of 1 week before class withdrawal can occur without any charge. Lord, what is Your plan? Will You please tell us?
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Mood: nervousnervous
14 July 2016 @ 09:41 pm
In this past month alone, so much has happened throughout the world and it is difficult to stomach. It almost feels as if all the bad stuff in the past decade has just condensed into one month.

Orlando shooting in a gay club
Bombings at Bangladeshi Eid gathering, Bagdad, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon
Triple suicide bombing at Turkish Atarturk airport
Police shooting of Alton Sterling (Louisana) and Philando Castile (Minnesota), as well as the subsequent Black Life Matters protest
Police shooting of Dylan Noble (California)
Killing of five police officers (Texas)
Killings in Nice

So much sadness going on that I feel sick. But I am reminded that I should not be looking for peace from the world. I know where the source of peace is and that is where I should focus on.
Mood: sadsad