A church brother who wishes to remain anonymous decided to sponsor four youths to a gig photography workshop conducted by a renowned local photographer called Aloysius Lim. He approached Ps Cuixian and I to nominate four youths each from GI and GII for his selection. One of the pre-requisites for selection was that the four selected youths must serve the church as a photographer for one year. To cut the long story short, Evangeline Tan and Nicholas Wong were the representatives from R-AGE @ GII and they attended the workshop held at Esplanade this afternoon together with a few others.
I was delighted for them as it seemed that they had a splendid time learning and getting exposed (no pun intended!) to other masters of this fine and necessary skill. R-AGE and Grace AG have benefitted from outstanding photographers like Caleb Kay, Jonathan Wong and Gideon Lim (all products of R-AGE by the way…) over the years and in recent times, Aaron Quek. We really should credit these faithful behind-the-scenes folks-in-dark-clothes for contributing more than 50% of all official church photography.
But today, a new era may have just heralded – I rejoice at the thought of it! And I think the four blokes I’ve just mentioned would also rejoice with me in knowing that a new generation of younger photographers will raise their competence, commitment and concern in capturing memories for this wonderful place we call church. For me, succession never gets old. (:
So, I’m proud to share with you Nicholas‘ and Evangeline‘s new perspectives towards photography and I trust that they would be faithful in the small things as they start to pick up the bigger things. Click on the two links to find out what they took home today and rejoice with me knowing that we will be counting on these talented youths in the future for wonderful memories captured on digital film! (:
P/S: This reminds me that I should not give up on my Be a Barney project and quickly get the website sorted out because I have a ton of cards already printed and waiting to be sold! I should also add to my existing collection – be it shooting new photographs or editing existing ones. I must make use of the off-peak work period to get this fixed…!
A part of me greatly anticipates my impending degree programme.
I’ve always wished that I was older and a more mature when I studied for my Diploma in Mass Communication in Ngee Ann Polytechnic a decade ago. Of course there is hindsight bias, but I really should have capitalised the vast array of opportunities that were dished out to me on a silver platter; I had the perfect environment to excel academically and glean the most out of an exceptional education that (the original) Mass Communication course offered. There was a stable of outstanding lecturers, an avant-garde syllabus, an established institution and a plethora of commercial contacts at my disposal, but I was young and foolish enough to be embroiled in unnecessary boy-girl relationships, petty class politics and just poor self-discipline.
God is good nonetheless and despite my less-than-satisfactory performance, I have been able to put to good use in my career the things I learnt in school. In 2000 before the course commenced, I expressed interest in journalism and radio (because I enjoyed writing and talking) during the pre-enrolment suitability interview. But in my final year with Ngee Ann Polytechnic, I ended up specialising in books publishing, photography and journalism, and did just that in my final year with the Singapore Armed Forces. When I worked in Shanghai, I excelled in something I was weak at during my school days – marketing. As a youth minister, I have ample opportunities to apply everything that I have picked up in the last 10 years; indeed, God lets nothing go to waste.
Today, I get to have a go at academia again.
While I reckon the opportunities for my pedagogical development to be lesser and less dynamic than it was a decade ago, I am confident however, that this time, I will milk this learning opportunity dry. Above and beyond aiming for distinctions, I am more keen to sharpen my mind; I’ve never been this hungry to learn in my entire life.
I urge you then, young people, to make the most out of your education – study as hard and make as many friends as you can, and put in your best for every assignment, simply because there’s so much to learn and enjoy in your scholastic years. I hope and pray that when you reach my age, you wouldn’t be writing a reflection like this because you’d have learnt from my experiences and aptly taken my advice. Otherwise, I’d call you a fool – unlike you, I didn’t have me to learn from.
On my way home from school just now, I told HY that I’m confident that my technical competence and professional experience will put me in an advantageous position to excel in my studies. With a more mature head on older shoulders, I can only stick my neck out and ask God to give me the wisdom to apply what I have learnt and know in my latest attempt at tertiary education after being away for seven years. Unlike the past where I never could quite grapple why and what I was studying for, this time I believe in studying for an efficacious God who lets nothing go to waste. I know that the regrets I’ve expressed in this post will be turned around and result in great returns – not for me, or my future with HY, or my subsequent academic or career pursuits, but solely for the glory of God.
That said, while some parts of me can’t wait to start school, the remaining parts of me just can’t wait to start learning. The air is pregnant with excitement and it fuels my adrenaline for my re-education.