Friday, November 8, 2013

My Lecturer, My Friend

Ms Dolly (in white, second from left) with Hui Ling (in red, next to her) taking a visit to a Coca Cola Factory during the overseas trip.
“She is one of the most respected and knowledgeable lecturers that I have ever met.” This is how Tan Hui Ling, Diploma in Aeronautical and Aerospace Technology, describes Senior Lecturer/SEG, Ms Dolly Lim.
Meeting Ms Dolly Lim during an overseas trip was one of the best things to happen to Hui Ling at NYP. 

From 12-16th September 2011, around 30 students from both SEG and SCL took part in a five-day Suzhou-Shanghai educational trip. Out of the 30 participants, only 4 were females, including Hui Ling. In fact, she was the only female from her course who had signed up for this trip. Even though she had male classmates to hang out with, she felt a bit left out.

It was during one of those nights that she decided to talk to Ms Dolly. This was one of the best decisions she made during the trip because she got to learn more about Ms Dolly, and discovered that she was a very friendly and knowledgeable person. Being one of the few females in the trip also made it easier for Hui Ling to bond and confide in Ms Dolly.

During the trip, whenever Hui Ling asked questions, the patient Senior Lecturer was always more than happy to share and explain her views.

Three months after the trip, in December, Ms Dolly invited all the students who had gone for the overseas trip over to her place for a BBQ. It was a smorgasbord for the students; there were cakes, pastries, a lot of cooked food and even some home-cooked food from Ms Dolly. Jokingly, Hui Ling asked Ms Dolly if she knew how to bake cakes. Not only did Ms Dolly say “Yes!” she added, “I can make you a cake for your birthday!”

The next few months flew by. During the period between December and May, Hui Ling did not see Ms Dolly around the school very often. Perhaps,  it was because the semester was coming to a close and school was getting more stressful.

It was in  May that the pair coincidentally bumped into each other while walking along the hallway from South canteen to Block S. Immediately Ms Dolly reminded her that she was going to bake a cake for her. Hui Ling was surprised that a lecturer had personally remembered her birthday and she was deeply touched that Ms Dolly had offered to bake her a cake.

“It should have been the other way around! I should have been the person to have given her a gift for being so kind instead!” Hui Ling had exclaimed as she remembered the event, “I hadn’t even given her anything before, I am so, so touched by her gesture”.

On the 28th of May 2012, Hui Ling received a phone call from Ms Dolly to meet her at her office. True enough, Ms Dolly had baked an entire strawberry cake for her that looked good enough to have originated from a patisserie.

“I am a lucky student to eat a cake  baked by a Senior Lecturer,” she recalled happily.

Hui Ling believes that the 2011 trip to China had given her a lot of experiences. Not only had she been given a chance to visit the universities, museums, factories and shopping centres there, the friendships she made while on the trip with both her schoolmates and lecturers were invaluable. The relationship with them is not a “hi-bye” relationship; she has made long-lasting friends. And she will never forget that it was there that she met Ms Dolly, a beautiful and inspiring teacher. She will always be grateful for the care and concern that Ms Dolly has shown her.

If she had another chance, she would definitely go for another trip.

This semester, Ms Dolly teaches Hui Ling and she is a patient teacher whose main goal is for the students to understand and appreciate the module.

To her fellow NYP schoolmates, Hui Ling has these words of advice, “In Poly, we will meet different people; we may like some and, maybe, not so much others. But when you reach Year 3, and recall the times you’ve had with them, you’ll definitely find that they are good memories. And we should treasure the people we have around us now as the bonds we have with them are really precious.”

Hui Ling is enjoying her adventure in NYP. What’s yours? Come choose your own adventure at NYP Open House from 9 to 11 Jan 2014!

By Ignacius Tay, Diploma in Molecular Biotechnology, Year 2


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