19 August 2019
Me: For today’s session, we have to complete 3 things – Spelling, make a birthday card for Singapore & play the violin. You can decide on the order in which these work are to be completed.
First Tutee: OK, I will play the violin, make birthday card and then do spelling.
Me: Ladies and Gentleman, we’re very honoured to have in our studio today, a lovely boy who will play the violin for us.
First Tutee played the violin and went on to share with me what his music teacher taught him the week before. He also played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, with greater virtuosity this time round.
Then in his SG54 polo T-shirt he started colouring the Merlion showering Singapore with gifts such as encouragement, kindness, respect, gratitude etc.
“￼Singapore is a girl you know,” First Tutee said without looking up. He also added that he always asked his Teddy Bear, Hafif, on what colours to use next. Then he put the bear close to his ear to show me how the consultation happened.
Me: Do you love Singapore?
First Tuttee: Yes.
First Tutee: Because she’s my country.
As he coloured he told me he liked to start with the easy work first and then do the more difficult ones at the end.
I saw the wisdom of First Tutee structuring his tasks from easy to difficult. By completing the easier bits first, such as playing the violin & colouring, he was gathering the courage & focus he needed to take on the more demanding ones, such as spelling.
So I asked him if he would like to try spelling while colouring at the same time. But if it distracted him, we would spell later. He agreed to give my suggestion try.
And I was amazed that not only was he able to spell and colour at the same time, he was able to predict which word was coming up next. He also had some fun trying “to read my mind,” and “accusing me” of changing the words last minute.
After the card for Singapore was completed, he insisted on writing a few lines.
Then he went on to sketch a scene of his school auditorium during national day celebration.
Sketching & colouring help First Tutee to reflect on past events, locate his bearing and find his centre again.
Then without needing to be reminded, he turned to a new page and numbered 1-20 on the margin to get ready for spelling, the final task of our Sunday ritual.
Except for the word, “beware,” which he paused a while to recall, he spelt the rest effortlessly.
After he had gotten all the words right, he went into the kitchen to help himself to a mini conetto ice-cream, a food incentive, courtesy of my friend, Krison Tan.
I complimented First Tutee for keeping his word as he smiled and hugged Hafif.