My Alma Mater

One way that we engage our boys to learn more about us is to walk with them, down our memory lane.  Children are not patient to hear our long grandmother’s story but certainly they are keen to see and hear some of the interesting ones…those experiences that we had gone through and likewise, those similar paths that they would tread on one day.

As our boys grow older and are more able to appreciate our reminiscing tales, we drove them to where we stayed during our childhood, played with them the games that we used to spend hours on, shared with them some of the lovers’ cards that we used to exchange and not leaving out all the schools that we have attended. So the 4 of us would drive to NTU to show our boys the hostel that Papa used to stay in, the favourite greenery path that mummy loved to patronise during my NUS days and my favourite school that I will never miss out is still my secondary school.

My alma mater - Cedar Girls’ Secondary School, the place that makes my growing up years so much more enjoyable and memorable. So, while Papa Ed proudly showed off his photo in a yearbook when we combed his Secondary School during an Open House, I was proud to present my alma mater to our boys during the Cedar Fiesta in March this year.

Darren: “Wah! So many sweet “jiejie” (sisters).

Mummy: “Mummy once looked so youthful and pretty too.” (pardon me for my thick-skin, haha)

Darren:”Really? So sweet? Aiya, mummy still pretty lah.”

Comparing sweetness? Haha..our boy is still the SWEETEST talker.

A happy Darren at the Fiesta.


It has been decades since I last visited the school. Despite a school refurbishment, the familiar estate, the school, the bus stop - everything seems to bring me down memory lane.  Once I stepped into the school gate, I was behaving like an energetic youth, proudly presenting my favourite alma mater.

The new building after the touch-up. I miss that nostalgic touch.


The trees that have witnessed us grown into pretty young ladies, haha….are still standing tall in the Cedar estate.


Admittedly, this is the origin that has much significant impact in shaping the current me.  This is why I still have a strong belief that besides academic excellence, the school’s belief/mission is a key consideration when we select a suitable school for our boys. This is especially true in the teenage years when peer and school influence also play an important role, partly in their character building.

[Here, I enjoyed (what is to me) the most conducive learning environment which enabled my successful admission into my desired junior college. Here, I used to lament over the strictest school rules that one would ever encounter. Now, I am appreciative as it has taught me the discipline in life and shaped me into who I am. Over here, I was complaining over the daily jogging that we had to go through. Then, I was wondering which school would torture all the students to jog everyday in the full school uniforms and with a tie.  Now, I appreciate that those 4 years of daily jogging has boosted my physical stamina till even today.]

Papa and mummy have a story to tell when I walked on the school track.  I recalled how unique it was as we girls had to jog on the track almost everyday.  That is also the track that creates wonders, grooming many great athletes who do Cedar proud in many Sports’ Meets. FINALLY…….On a more romantic note, that is also the track where mummy first met Papa Ed when he came over with his schoolmates for training:)

When we got married, I was wondering whether I could request for permission to shoot my wedding photos in that track. Though it didn’t happen, perhaps, it’s not too late to shoot our 20th wedding anniversary photos there, this time with our boys:)


Papa and son were ready to take a short race down that familiar track. Somehow, the field seems to have been downsized (or relocated?):(


“Once a Cedarian, Always a Cedarian at Heart.” Our school moto “Nurturing Leaders of Characters” - I have never forgotten to remind myself that though our boys will never be able to be part of Cedar (being a girl school), I will place character building as a key consideration in their schools’ selection. Till now, I remain proud of my alma mater which continues to be outstanding in academic, sports and other fields. I will never forget the roots where I belong.

[All of us have our beautiful experiences in our different schools. I guess it is still how well we want to make the best purpose of our stay.]

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