Today I reflect on the year 2022. It’s post results day. It weighs on my mind. Did the students who scored distinctions deserve them? And how about those who did not achieve glory?

I congratulate the class of 2022 for giving their best. They fought hard during the Covid-19 pandemic where their lives were disrupted by the many restrictions in school. Everyone suffered, students, teachers and parents. The many Zoom lessons and how we adapted to it showed our resilience to overcome challenges.

But there is a special breed of student. He did not give up. He fought hard and did not complain. The super student. He deserved the distinction.

Achieving distinction in Chemistry (and I even dare say Mathematics) is hard work. Very hard work. Those who have been with me will know how high my expectations are. Practising questions is basic. Having school papers for homework is nothing new, yes, a full paper 1h40min. Cracking on with it takes guts.

Some basic expectations I have of a secondary school chemist. Come prepared for Chemistry tuition. Know your formulas and equations, reactivity series, tests and observations for QA, how to calculate, chemical bonding explanations and the conditions for chemical reactions(Haber process, organic reactions, etc.). If you are still struggling with these during prelims.. I can only pray for you.

I grew up with the delusion that getting the distinction is easy. My secondary school had a 95% distinction rate for Chemistry. TK glory days. Tan Kee Hoe, Lee Chui Eng (or known as Mrs Chee). I was not an A student, but my teachers pushed me to my limits. This is why I love Chemistry. This is why I scored the distinction. My secondary school teachers are epic glory chasers.

After 8 batches of tuition students, I realised even if I gave my all (maybe even Mrs Chee?), the student still mattered. The student’s attitude. Chemistry is chemistry. Be it 10 years ago or even 30 years ago. It is a subject that requires passion and tenacity. You must love it to own it.

tl;dr the students who scored distinctions were prepared for lessons, did my homework (I mean quality work), rarely cancelled/postponed classes and prioritised the distinction. I am proud of those who achieved glory. And those who did not, try again. Change your habits and achieve your dreams!

Remember kids, pain is temporary, glory is eternal. Dream big, achieve greatness.