An Interview With Ex-TPJCian, Lina Bte Jalal: Direct From London!

Written by azhar.

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I would like to express my gratitude to Ms Lina for taking her time off from her busy schedule to answer my questions. It has been a pleasure interviewing you. = ) I hope Mrs Lim Yit Han reads this - your student is looking for you!

1) Which batch of students were you in previously in TPJC? What was your

civics class?

I entered in 2001, second intake. My civics class was 01S02.

2) Do you still roughly remember your civics and/or subject tutors?

Of course! I remember all their names and faces (as well as some other tutors whom I had the fortune of meeting during my time in TPJC) as well as some of their quirks, but some have left the school. I'm not sure if they remember me though, although Mrs Lim Yit Han (my Physics tutor) had contacted my mother before to ask how I was earlier this year. I only remember good memories, but I don't think there were any that were bad in the first place. One reason I liked TPJC was because I liked learning, and that was augmented by the tutors who taught me.

3) Which CCA were you in last time in TPJC? Any achievements?

I was in the Student Council (that's another reason I liked TPJC). I liked preparing and planning events, although it was stressful at times. When I was in the SC, it was also the year when TPJC was doing the pre-U seminar, hence we had usher duty, and we had more usher duty during the Teacher's Day Rally which was held in 2001 as well. I can't remember what achievements exactly we had, but I remember that (after a few hiccups) all our events ran smoothly! I never regretted joining the SC, it helped me gain some experience in event-planning as well as leadership in general.

4) What was the most memorable experience/event during your stay in TPJC?

I'd say being in the Student Council was the most memorable experience, but I can't pick out a specific event, because there are too many, and some things will stay well within the 16th Student Council.

5) How well did you do for your 'A' levels?

My results were GP B3, Malay B3, Maths A, Physics A, Chem A, Bio A, Maths (Special Paper) Merit.

6) What are you doing now in London? What is your occupation now?

After my A-levels I went to London to study at University College London for a Mathematics degree for 4 years. I now hold an MSci (a Masters in Science which is a combination of BSc and MSc) and I'm currently studying for a Maths PhD at the same university, in Number Theory. I'm still a student but it definitely feels like more like work, as I don't have a regular vacation anymore.

7) Do you still keep in touch with your ex-classmates? Do you miss college life?

I've only kept in touch with two relatively regularly (I also keep in touch with some ex-councillors), and even then it's difficult because I live in a different country most of the time and I'm not very good at emailing. I have an aversion to social networking websites eg. Facebook but I guess if I were on one of those I might keep in regular contact with more. I'd like to know where my ex-classmates are now, and I guess most of them would be working or finishing up their degree.

I miss college life sometimes. It was the last place I went to for education before being thrown into the deep end in a foreign university, so TPJC will always hold a special place in my heart for being "safe", among other things. I know the school has been painted over and there are new additions. I think the last time I went back was quite a few years ago, maybe in 2005. It's difficult to imagine being in college now though, because the education system has vastly changed since I was in school. The syllabi have changed, project work is now compulsory (it wasn't in 2001) and school policies must have changed too.

8) Any shout-out to your teachers or friends?

I'm lousy at shout-outs, but I hope that my ex-tutors are well and remember me fondly (if they do at all!) and friends, please let me know how you are. And Mrs Lim if you read this, I'm doing well. I tried contacting you back but I guess it didn't work out.


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