One week at Nanyang Polytechnic and I am glad to report that Joel hasn't been expelled for accidentally taking someone's temperature through his nostril. He attended lectures and hungrily devoured notes on human bio-science and foundation of nursing. Nursing school has so far been an exciting journey of learning whilst making new friends. Coincidentally, the list of new friends is heavily weighted in favor of the female sex. He dismissed it as a function of the nursing practice which tend to attract more females to the profession. I, however, suspected that he had a systematic plan to collect as many girls' phone numbers as he could, in a bid to put his Casanova charms to practice.
Joel was also appointed class representative. He assumed the responsibility with much enthusiasm, and amusingly, some gravitas. He had formed a little clique amongst the handful of guys who stood out like a sore thumb amongst a sea of girls at nursing school. There were 3 of them. A tall, geeky one he nicknamed Simon, a stocky, well-built one, he nicknamed Theodore and then there was Joel himself, the looney one whom he nicknamed Alvin. He branded this clique Alvin and the Chipmunks, and talked incessantly about the quirks of this clique. A few days ago, Joel, wearing his class representative hat, reprimanded a very quiet, and disengaged Simon, " if you don't get out of your anti-social mode and be more involved, you're in the wrong profession, mate". Good on you, Joel.
With Joel talking enthusiastically about the polytechnic, I was transported back into my university days. I remembered, like Joel, I banded with a clique of close girlfriends, attended lectures and tutorials together, chose course subjects that ensured we were in the same classes together, shared lecture notes and cried over cheating boyfriends.
I also remembered the joys of hostel life, embroiled in childish pranks like stealing the footwear outside the rooms of a neighboring hostel and dumping them all into their washing machines at the laundry room.
Funnily, I met Joel's dad during my first year at university. I could have never imagined even remotely that the youthful days of dating him, attending lectures with him, mugging for examinations with him, would have led to marriage and our having Joel years later. While the marriage didn't survive my growing up, I am so thankful for Joel in my life. And I am especially thankful for the opportunity to maneuver through Joel's journey of growing up into a man.
Dad used to tell me that my university days would be the best 3 years of my life. They certainly were. Equally, I hope that these 3 years will also be the best 3 years of Joel's life.