It’s been a year and a half since I relocated back from Chumphon, Thailand to Penang. It may not seem like a long time to some of you, but many things have happened since and it feels as if time has kind of short-changed me.
On a personal level, I can’t say if I’ve been my happiest or physically healthiest these one year and a half, but one thing for sure – I’ve done the necessary. I’ve achieved what I both wanted and needed to do – to land a full-time job (I took the risk to relocate back and accept a part-time lecturing job against the wish of my Thai employer, who had wanted to sign a two-year contract with me), to save some money, and to get married.
Sans my PhD, of course. But you can’t have everything at the same time; you’ve got to sacrifice something. Between getting a wife and registering for my PhD, it has to be the former first. Ha ha!
Professionally, it’s been one hell of a ride. In a way I feel I’ve been positively occupied – there isn’t a day in my work life when I can sit back and relax. There are always matters to be settled.
It’s not necessary a bad thing, but at the same time I also feel I’ve invested too much energy into a system that is driven a little too much by commercialisation; a system that is led by some individuals who are not very sincere about driving changes. And yet we’re poised to be the pioneer in reinventing education, they say.
It gets mentally draining after a while to have to be questioning the flawed system when everyone else closes one eye about it. It gets tired to have to be fighting meaningless, redundant processes, among many other things.
But hey, it’s a good training ground. I’ve learnt how to deal with a totally different segment of the college students. I’ve learnt to be even more dynamic with a dozen of things coming at me all at once. I’ve come realise that in an academic setting like mine, being too academic doesn’t work.
All these problems that are thrown at me everyday only make me better at what I do. They give me a better sense and direction of what I need to do – even if it’s in the long run – to be a good lecturer for my students, a good teacher for my future kids.
Come end of the year, this chapter of my life will be concluded, and another will begin. I can’t wait for year 2019 to befall, and wish everyone the best of luck. :)