Our 2013 GCE 'O' Level Graduate, Megan Lee gave a moving tribute to her teachers and the school for the guidance and support they had given her throughout her years in Pathlight at the last Parent Communication and Training Night on 4 March 2014. Below is her graduation speech.
By Megan Lee Qi Jun
2013 GCE 'O' Level Graduate
Good evening, everyone. I am Megan Lee, a Pathlight alumna. I graduated from Pathlight School last year, and am now waiting to enter polytechnic, where I will be pursuing a Diploma in Visual Communication and Media Design. Tonight, I will be sharing with you my experience in Pathlight School.
Before I came to Pathlight, I was in a mainstream primary school, and did not cope well in there. At that time, I could not express myself as effectively and confidently as I do now.
I was one of the quiet ones who kept mostly to themselves. Furthermore, I did not understand how to communicate with others appropriately. Therefore, I did whatever I felt like doing without considering their feelings. As a result, I faced all kinds of problems: bullying, teasing, teachers who didn't understand my condition, and even being personally targeted by some of my classmates, becoming unpopular amongst them.
The frustration of not being understood was what eventually transformed me into a blazing rebel. Rebellion was my form of protesting against the way I was treated. I hated it. I hated my school. Only a handful of teachers actually understood my condition and told the class I was 'special', and tried to help me in their own ways.
Being rebellious, I resisted their attempts to help me, so they gave up on me and went down without a fight. In Primary 4, things escalated and after numerous incidents and being sent to the Principal's office, I was expelled.
Even my own parents didn't understand my condition back then. They thought I was just a spoilt brat. When the Child Guidance Clinic recommended my parents to send me to Pathlight School, my father claimed that I was being sent there because of my bad behaviour, urging me to change so that I could get out quickly.
This misconception stayed on for a few years. I didn't understand myself, or the school that I was going to. All I knew was that my days were full of misunderstanding, frustration and misery.
When I first entered Pathlight, I felt the difference on my first day of school. My very first form teacher introduced herself to me and to the class. I made my first friends on the same day. The small classroom setting helped me to get to know my classmates personally and befriend them more easily. Furthermore, there was no more bullying or ostracism.
The flames of my rebelliousness were quelled and over the years, I settled into becoming a gentle and composed lady. It was a process of metamorphosis. I felt like I was freed from an oppressive cocoon where I had been trapped for years, to finally emerge and unfurl my wings to realise my potential. Indeed, Pathlight is a place where lives are transformed.
Pathlight teachers put in their entire heart when helping me. They took time to understand me. They believed in me. They were persistent and never gave up on me. Of course, I haven't forgotten the therapists, too. They too, played an important part in my life in counselling and guiding me.
Finally, as I prepared myself for my 'O' Levels last year, I saw that all the teachers had put in their greatest effort to secure our best for the final challenge. They helped to explain the concepts we still failed to understand and guided us when we were perplexed. On top of that, they took time to have personal consultation with us. I felt strangely calm throughout the year, unlike most 'O'-Level students. And at last, when I received my results this year, my joy was unparalleled. I had scored exceptionally well for nearly all of subjects, beyond what I could ever imagine.
As I traverse life's uncertain path, when my foot slipped into the mire, there were people who pulled me out. This imagery depicts my deepest appreciation and gratitude for those who have helped me and walked with me in my journey.
Although we have finally arrived at the crossroads, and it is time to part ways, I will never forget any of you. I will never forget those who believed in me. I will never forget those who served and made me the person I am today.
These lessons and experiences I shall carry with me as I enter polytechnic. I strive to show the world my capability and continue to be the mature and refined student that Pathlight has groomed me to be. These I shall manifest through both my studies and my character. I have bright hopes for my immediate future!
Thank you for listening to my speech. I hope that my words have inspired you and convinced you of the reality of transformation brought about by faith and patience. I am a living testimony of this.
Thank you, everyone.