Most Respected Teacher

Met Boss by coincidence after lunch today. He was sipping from a can of Coca Cola as he was walking back to office. Old habits die hard, even after 6 years.

6 years ago, I was an undergraduate doing my Final Year Project, struggling with the taxonomy of crabs and ecology. Boss was my supervisor and mentor. We both love Coke, and I used to keep a regular supply in the refrigerator. (Then, I hardly noticed the calories being piled onto my body. But I digress)

Growing up, I hardly remember the teachers who have seen me through my primary, secondary and tertiary education. I never visited my ex-teachers during Teachers’ Day, and I could count the number of Thank-You cards I wrote with one hand. Yes, I’m heartless and not the least bit grateful.

However, Boss was the only teacher I kept in contact with, 6 years on, albeit only once a year. I was blown away the first time I attended his lesson, back in Year 1. Hey, this is a guy whose lessons were never boring (finally!), lots of anecdotes (I’m a sucker for stories) and with a great sense of humour (at least very similar to my own warped one)! It’s no wonder I tended to score pretty well for his modules.

The year spent in Boss’s laboratory under his direct tutelage was a bittersweet yet most memorable year. Life as a budding researcher was tough, and I admire the dedication and passion to remain one. I was taught much, in studies and in life.

Hubby still shudders at the memory of hunting crabs with me (he was my appointed buddy in field work. Tough luck). It was really not much fun, when we had to stumble over sharp rocks in total darkness for ages. And that was just to get to the place where the crabs might be found, all the while keeping a close watch over the tide, lest we got stranded and drowned without even saying I Love You. And the swamps! I wouldn’t even want to talk about them. As you can probably tell by now, my stint as a field researcher was very short-lived. Well, at least Hubby and I have common memories to bitch about now, occasionally. Well, he’ll bitch about them while I shrug my shoulders helplessly. Hey, it was my project, my grade depended on it…

So Boss is Numero Uno in my list of respectable, formal teachers. You, yes you, not Boss though, are still my all-rounded, lifelong teacher and mentor, don’t worry. You know who you are…


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