Calling SMK BL With Love From NYC

When I was in secondary school, we were still using payphones & dail-up internet. Technology has made giant leaps since then. Seeing all these students, it felt like I was speaking to a younger me. You see, I was once a student at SMK Batu Lintang in Kuching, Sarawak, too. Therefore, I have so much hope in my heart for these young people & I totally expect them to surpass me in every single way. My dream is that at least one of them will pay it forward & continue to inspire future generations of BL-ians.

After getting her students to write responses to a postcard from NYC, their teacher, Ms Ho, capitalized on her student's interest with a video call. She overcame the headache of setting up AV technology in her typical low-tech Malaysian classroom so her students got to practice their English in an authentic conversation & experience the potentials of 21st century tools in the classroom. Respect. Her students asked several thoughtful & challenging questions that blew me away. I'll share a few of them as it'll really get you thinking.

Here are some of the best questions I was asked:
  • How has the experience changed you?
  • What will you take away from the time spent there?
  • How do you define success?
  • What are you thoughts on the political turmoil in the US?
  • How is the situation with gun violence at schools in the US?
  • Will someone like me be able to survive a course taught in English?

I'm glad I don't have a video of the session to share with you as I don't think my half-baked responses to those questions were really worthy of sharing. I wanted so much to leave a deep impression & inspire them to strive for moonshots. I don't think I did well enough. In fact, it's more challenging than my Fulbright interview because everything that I say will influence the thinking of young leaders so I made every effort not to err. Nonetheless, I'm really thankful that the students were so accommodating & the teacher trusted me well-enough to allow me to interact with her students so intimately.

Dear students at SMK Batu Lintang, I wish you all the best &, of course, I'd love to visit your school in the flesh! Invite me to something!

The best wefie of the year!

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Salam Aidilfitri