The Mentor Legacy
It was in the year of 1985 when I got separated from my family and went to the boarding school down south. Only God knows how my heart wrenched when I watched my dad’s car leaving the school compound. It was drizzling at that time but it was a blizzard in my heart sad.

Being the freshie in the school, all of us, the Form Ones, were assigned a mentor from the fifth formers to help us adapt to the school life. A pick-sist it was called back then. Short for pick-sister. I remembered, all of us were gathered in the school hall one night. We had to go up on stage one by one. There was a big bowl? big basket? big box? confused I don’t remember the details. That 'thing-that-I-don't-remember' was filled with the names of all Form 5 students, and we, the first formers, had to pick a name from that 'thing'. The person would be the pick-sist for a year.


Even though the contract was only for a year, and even though I hardly go and meet my pick-sist, the fact that I have somebody to turn to in case of trouble was comforting enough.


Then I turned 17. I was one of the unlucky (or was it lucky? winking) ones not having a pick-sist since there were more of us (Form 5) than the Form 1 students. But throughout the years, there were pet-sisters (pet-sis) relationships being established. Was it mentor-mentee-like relationship? Sort of la… But at times, it was just 'in' and 'cool' cool having a pet-sis (or maybe 2 or 3). And at that time, the word mentor or mentee was so foreign.



Pic is from here.

During university days, I was blessed to have several superb supervisors mentoring me throughout my studies, especially the research part. I was so awed (and intimidated at the same time) by one of them. He is so brilliant. He has a lot of students doing research under his supervision from various fields. But during every meeting with him, he managed to get in tune with my work and never failed to give some insight on my work. I respected him a lot for that and wished I can become like him someday. Well, the fact that it's a guy does not influence my perception batting eyelashes coz I have been supervised by a female supervisor as well and she is just as great.



Now, I’m at the stage of my life where I am the mentor. And I’m supposed to continue the legacy that has been passed on to me these past years. But do I have what it takes to be a great one? Will I be the mentor or the tormentor? Look like this mentor needs mentoring as well…tongue
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