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Thursday, 8 January 2015

THE NEW SEMESTER

Our second semester is now about to finish its first week, and we are all preparing for the work that lies ahead. This is an important part of the year: all the CIE exams descend upon us in May and June. KY students have one last chance to check their readiness for the task when they take trial or "mock" exams in March.

I cannot start the new year without mentioning the recent tragic events to befall Malaysia, namely the widespread flooding and the loss of the Air Asia plane. Today, I see in the papers that they have found the first wreckage of the aircraft on the seabed and are now hopeful of recovering the black box flight recorder. If nothing else, this may lead to a sense of closure for all those who lost loved ones - something that has been denied to the families or friends of people on flight MH17. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them.

As far as the floods are concerned, Helen and I saw some of this first hand in Johor when we returned from Singapore by train. Again, we offer our profound sympathy to anyone who has lost someone in this natural disaster. Flooding, along with fire is something that renders you so utterly powerless against the forces of nature. I recall the wild fires we experienced close to the college during this semester last year, and the thick smoke that was occasionally prevalent. I hope that with all this rain recently, the ground will stay sufficiently wet to limit the amount of fire damage in 2015.

On a more positive note, we have four new arrivals at KYUEM this year who are already at work in the classroom. John Hoban and Muhammad Aizuddin have joined our growing Physics department, while two new ladies: Nurul Husna and Siti Aisyah Yap, will be teaching MQA. I'm sure you'll join with me in welcoming them to the college where I hope they will be very happy and stay with us for a long time.

Immediately following our last Parents' Day and before I left Malaysia on holiday, I received several emails from parents saying they were unable to see me on the day itself. In fact, our Parents' Day hours are 8.30 am to 12.30 pm, and I personally didn't get away until around 4.00 pm, so I did my best to see you all! I hope it's abundantly clear that I am always glad to see parents at the college, so please feel free at any time to make an appointment with my secretary Pn. Azura. I ask you to do this simply because I don't want to disappoint anyone who arrives here unannounced. There are certain times of the week when I just cannot make myself available (teaching A Level English Literature on a Wednesday morning, for example). I am delighted to meet parents at any suitable time, and to deal with their questions as best I can.

To that end, I look forward to renewing my acquaintanceship with parents whom I now consider to be old friends, as well as forging new ones in the weeks and months ahead.

A very Happy New Year to everyone. 

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