Friday, August 20, 2004

All the best, Mr. James Tan!

Today’s a special day. Mr. James Tan’s birthday. 55th birthday to be precise. He’s 55 today! 55 means retirement to him too!

I’m not really familiar with Mr. James Tan ‘cause he never taught me in school. All I know is that he’s been teaching Add. Math and Math in my school, SMJK Kwang Hua for the past 32 years. And I heard that he’s a really dedicated teacher, loved by his students and all.

This morning, everyone from the morning session classes gathered in the assembly hall for the farewell ceremony, and bid Mr. James Tan goodbye. There were presentations from students of course, like choirs and dances. Most of all, there’s Mr. Tong Ban Ang (another teacher in our school ) who presented 5 Christmas songs with his harmonica. It didn’t sound like the music came from a single harmonica, it sounded more like a whole band playing the songs.

There’s even a short play by 2 students that went something like this:

Back when Mr. James Tan is still in college with a girl (now his wife) .

Mr. James: Eh, you want to try for this or not?
Girl: Try what?
Mr. James: This notice here says that a school wants a teacher. I think I’m going to give it a shot. What do you think? At least accompany me lah.
Girl: Don’t want lah. I don’t want to be a teacher.
Mr. James: Then what do you want to be?
Girl: I want to be a housewife. (murmured) Actually, James’ wife.
Mr. James: Huh?
Girl: Nothing. Nothing.


Then, representatives from classes and clubs went up stage to give him farewell gifts. Did you know one of those gifts is a Playstation 2!?

Everyone was crazy during his farewell speech. The crowd cheered and applauded at every pause. In his speech, he said that “When you really love your job, it isn’t your job anymore. It’s your hobby.”

After the speech, refreshments were served in the school canteen . Then, hundreds of students gathered around Mr. James Tan and escorted him to the school gate, all the way cheering and clapping non-stop, of course.

Well, all good things must come to an end and every meeting ends with a goodbye. To Mr. James Tan, retirement does not spell e-n-d. It is merely another stage of life he has just started.

Though he was never my Math teacher, I still wanna wish him all the best.