Thursday, July 7, 2011

My FIRST School Talk!!!

Having had a number of First Experiences in 2010 (as written in my previous Blog Post; under “My First Of Everything...") ever since I've published “This Is My Story...”, it was time to experience yet another “First” in 2011... And this time, it was back to school, having my very first School Talk!

It was a School Talk for me to share with the students how the choices I've made in the past led me to my losses & downfall, and what are the actions I've taken to get back up on my two feet. The school hopes that through this School Talk, the students can learn from my mistakes, to realise the importance of making the right choices in life and understand the possible consequences behind each of our actions that will affect us if not now, then in the near future.

And at these students’ age, it is the time where they start to notice the opposite gender, get curious about Sex and above all, experience Love... Because, just as what I've shared in “This Is My Story...”, just one bad choice, one careless step and one wrong guy can lead to a life of disaster, which will from then on, change one's life forever.

Thus, it gives me great honour to head directly to the school to hold this Talk.

So, at which school you're wondering? North View Secondary!

As honoured as I am, when I was told by AMDG that I was going to have a School Talk, I got stressed. I wrote what I had intended to say on a piece of paper and practiced to the mirror... But even looking at my own reflection, I was stumbling over my words and I couldn't imagine how things would turn out when I have to hold a two-hour talk, “live”...!

It had been a long seven and a half years since I graduated from my Secondary School and being the worry wart that I am – I began thinking about how the students from this new generation would react or respond to me and to the content of my Talk and the way I hold it... I haven't given any speeches, much less a Talk; and I seriously don't know what to expect from the students and how I should go about engaging them, I was simply; terrified!

A few days before the School Talk, I hurriedly made an appointment with my GrandMentor ( to seek his advice and thankfully, he gave me a slot in his (always) busy schedule.

Meeting him, he told me that there was nothing for me to worry about because I was once a student too (he then walked me back through my mind back to those days when I was a teenager myself…), at that age of youth & innocence; clueless about the world out there...

And he further reminded me that the students’ intention of attending my Talk was to learn how to better protect themselves against guys with ill-intents; so that they can learn how to be cautious & conscious in their choices & actions too.

I then took the opportunity to ask (invite) if it was possible for him to come with me to give me support & facilitate the session since this is my FIRST public speaking in a school, and after making some calls to re-arrange his own busy schedules, he said ALRIGHT to me… (You have no idea what this means to me…!!!) I heaved a sigh of relieve, deeply.

He then continued to share with me his countless experiences over the years conducting workshops, symposiums, seminars, forums, etc., and he gave me some key pointers on Public Speaking; telling me that these are only guidelines; and what any good Speaker would do; is to AT ALL TIMES “feel” the main & primary audiences (An analogy he gave was that any good club DJ would always “feel” the main crowds on the dance floor to determine the right kind of dance music to play) and most importantly, go with the flow of the situation, (flow like how water would flow from a river stream to the ocean… Slowly… steadily… And effortlessly, and all will end well.)

I knew what he was telling me, and I did my best to absorb as much as I could… but to truly understand it, it was ONLY right at D’ moment when I was standing in the AVA room of North View Secondary School on 6th July 2011 that my official FIRST public speaking lesson truly began…

This Talk was initially for all students in North View Secondary School who were interested, regardless of their age or gender... However, when all the ladies requested for me NOT to allow the boys in, I was caught off guard at that moment as I did not know what to do since the school already announced that it’s for both boys & girls.

It was at that moment I recalled what my GrandMentor had said to me… “AT ALL TIMES “feel” the main & primary audiences… Go with the flow of the situation, flow like how water would flow from a river stream to the ocean… Slowly… steadily… And effortlessly, and all will end well.” Thus, I made a decision then & there; that today's Talk will be left for the ladies only, because I can understand how awkward it would be for the ladies to talk freely about relationship & sex in the presence of the opposite gender.

Hence, I sincerely apologised to the boys personally and extended an invitation for them to come back when the session ends instead.

I then began my talk with a Sharing Session, where the ladies shared their own private & personal experiences with boys and their thoughts & perspectives on relationships. Seeing that there were no male students present, the ladies were opened and took the session as a Girls-Talk!

Although most of them were still shy in the beginning, there were a few who were outspoken & spontaneous; one of them whom shared that she had been in an abusive relationship and another gave a recount of a man directly asking her for sex!

Through this sharing session, I gave my thoughts & opinions on each subject and shared with the ladies how I had dealt with my abusive relationship with Simon and the choices one can and SHOULD make when one is being abused by their partner.

It may seem appalling that students their age have experiences like that and in reality, teenagers are becoming a rising group of people troubled with abusive relationships and unwanted pregnancies. On the contrary, they are the ones being neglected the most... Through this session, after they've started opening up, you can see that some of them have their own story to tell and it worries me as I wondered if there were more students in other schools who are in need of help/ advice/ guidance, if they have anyone to turn to, or have any idea what steps they should be taking.

As I talked about my GrandMentor, they got curious…

So he came down from where he was seated (right at the back) and joined in the conversation, sharing with the young ladies how he had pulled me out of my pit-hole, enlightened me, and how he put me back on track.

Through his sharing, he also reinforced the points I had made earlier with a touch of humor & countless analogies, which sent the class of students giggling & roaring away with laughter many a time.

Then for the next hour, we began a Q&A Session. As an Artiste of AMDG, there are certain questions (especially about “This Is My Story...”) that I'm not at liberty to answer, be it at an Autography Session or in my Facebook, due to my Contractual obligations with AMDG ( But in Talks like these, those questions can be raised and the ladies one by one threw the questions they have for me at the back of their head... Some are pretty sensitive for me to handle, but still, I gave my utmost thoughts, facts & truth; with details to the best knowledge I could put forth into words.

Some wanted to know how it was like being overdosed with panadols, how I'm dealing with the consequences of my miscarriage & abortion, while others were curious to know why I had chosen to write “This Is My Story...” and a few asked about my current take on relationships, my family, my friends, and one asked IF I still had feelings for Simon... etc.

In my replies to them, I expressed my feelings and my thoughts towards the subject they had asked, and wherever appropriate, I gave inputs of the messages I want to bring across to them, which is also the main purpose of the School Talk...

ñ Learn From My Mistakes

ñ Realising The Importance Of Making The Right Choices

ñ Understanding The Possible Consequences Of Our Actions

The Talk ended with an Autography Session and picture-taking with all the ladies, when I had finally begun to relax and just smile naturally, and that's when I realised how tensed I was during the whole Talk. It was scary for the first time doing this, and I started to wonder if the students enjoyed & benefited from the Talk. It was such a relief to hear the ladies coming up to me, telling me that they’ve enjoyed today’s session... And it was a BIG tick on my checkbox when some of them told me they've indeed learnt invaluable life lessons; dealing with relationships, life choices etc… These attentive students even said that they would definitely think of my Talk before (ever) committing themselves to such deep level of intimacy (sex) as the consequences are too hard for any of them to stomach & regret later in life.

At the end of the day when I got home and logged into my Facebook account, I was really happy to read the Wall Posts by the ladies who had attended my Talk. Their compliments, support, encouragements and acknowledgements to me really gave me a blanket of comfort that very night, because as I am writing this Blog Entry, recalling the School Talk, I felt that it could have been much more fluent and smooth.

Nonetheless, what matters most is that the students enjoyed and picked up much life lessons from the Talk. Though a scary experience to begin with, it ended with sweet responses and was ultimately memorable… My FIRST School Talk!

Like how my GrandMentor had widen my horizons when I first met him in my Secondary School (he was engaged by my school as an Advisor; also as a coach to train & mentor student Leaders of a CCA; the Pupils' Activity Centre), I too hope that through this School Talk, and the following ones after, besides advocating my cause, I had and can help inspire students to treasure their time as teenagers and make the best out of their youth to learn, explore and live through, taking this opportunity to reflect what their wants, needs, passion and aspirations are today & tomorrow, so that they can work backwards and understand their purpose in life.

All that is said… I would like to THANK the teachers, management & Principal of North View Secondary School; for giving me this great opportunity to come to your school and hold this Talk. It is not only a form of support toward “This Is My Story...”, but also an avenue for me to advocate my cause to the younger generation and I'm truly grateful and thankful.

Also… My heartfelt thanks to each and every student who came to the Talk... Although I've stumbled over my words at some point (which I'm sure you've noticed, but very understandingly ignored), you ladies have been really supportive of me, being responsive and giving me your encouragements and well-wishes... I had a really good time talking to each & every single one of you, especially during the Autography Session. Thank You ladies!!!

And to those students who WAVED, Called-Out & Shouted-Out my name when I first arrived at the school lobby; that was very sweet of you… Thank you so much for that warm welcome & hospitality… I was touched by ALL of your nice gestures!

And to those who couldn't make it to the Talk because of the 'N' Level English Oral Examinations (I appreciate your thoughts & especially to those who came forward just to let me know, I find that very thoughtful & courteous of you to do that...) Thank you!

BiG THANKS to AMDG (for laying the groundwork and organising this School Talk for me)...

And my Artiste & Talent Manager Ms. Rena Shi (for being there always supporting me in every Event/ Activity/ Autography Session.) Thank you!!!

Last but not least, special thanks go out to my GrandMentor; for specially taking time off his work to be there for me on my first School Talk, providing the support I needed, and most importantly… His knowledge & experiences, key pointers & guidelines on Public Speaking that he shared & taught me… And the ONE; Which I’ll NEVER forget, EVER…! Was the statement he made, “AT ALL TIMES “feel” the main & primary audiences… Go with the flow of the situation, flow like how water would flow from a river stream to the ocean… Slowly… steadily… And effortlessly, and all will end well.”  If truth be told… It all ends well indeed! Thank you, Mr. Eric See... For EVERYTHING!!!

All that is said… I’ll let the pictures do the “talking”… My FIRST Talk in a School… With the students being awesomely sweet & nice - My salute to North View Secondary School!!!

Click HERE for all the photos taken.

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