Ainan's first days at HELP University
This week has been a happy one. I have known the happiness of a father seeing his son, happier than he has long been.
After his first day, in class, at HELP University College (Tuesday, 5th January 2009), Ainan came home looking quite upbeat.
"What did you think of your first day?", I asked, hoping for a positive answer.
Ainan paused and looked a little distant, for a moment.
"Nine...", he began, slowly, "Point Five...out of ten."
It was my turn to be upbeat, for that was a very high mark from Ainan.
Before I could ask it, he answered the question I would have posed.
"The classes were much better than anything I have known in school before."
"That's good...so you like it?"
He just nodded, in his minimal way, in which a little gesture, is worth an entire, never uttered, conversation.
This may seem like a subdued exchange but by Ainan's standards, this was a jubilant display. Never have I known him to be so pleased about an educational experience. For him, formal education has always been a disappointment, except for practical classes, in Chemistry. Other than that, he had always found it a matter of personal excruciation.
Long term readers will recall Ainan's incredible disappointment, after his first day in school, in Singapore, several years ago. He returned, very long faced and utterly dejected, at the experience: he had expected so much more, he had expected to LEARN things - but, in Singapore, learning wasn't on the table - the challenge was aimed rather low, for him. They were asking him to do things he had learnt to do a lifetime ago.
So, to understand how pleased I am at Ainan's response to HELP University College, you should hold those two images in your mind: Ainan's utter dejection at his first day in a Singaporean school - and his quiet elation at his first day at HELP University. The former school, he would have rated ZERO out of ten; the latter he rated at 9.5 out of 10. For me, this is likely to be the highlight of my year (well, it would be difficult to top, anyway). You see, it confirms for me what I had long known, in my heart: that if Ainan is given an educational challenge more on his level, that he will come alive and enjoy it. That is, after all, what I tried to tell the Singaporean education system (which consists of people who have ever-moving mouths, but no ears).
I was right. Giving Ainan a more meaty intellectual task, has made him happy. For the FIRST time in his life, he considers school a worthwhile experience.
Thank you, HELP University College, for allowing Ainan to know happiness in his education...and thank you, Malaysia, for being, so far, what Singapore is not. That, by the way, can only be a good thing.
(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to:http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.
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IMDB is the Internet Movie Database for film and tv professionals. If you would like to look at my IMDb listing for which another fifteen credits are to be uploaded, (which will probably take several months before they are accepted) please go to: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3438598/ As I write, the listing is new and brief - however, by the time you read this it might have a dozen or a score of credits...so please do take a look. My son, Ainan Celeste Cawley, also has an IMDb listing. His is found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3305973/ My wife, Syahidah Osman Cawley, has a listing as well. Hers is found at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3463926/
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