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  • Writer's pictureGwen Lee

My First School Visit Post-pandemic

It is anyone's guess as to whether the COVID-19 pandemic is truly over. However, after three years of lock down, travel restrictions, and a general hermit-like existence, my family and I finally got to visit Singapore again.

The country has changed dramatically and even the famous Orchard Road is barely recognizable with its extensive face lift and new tenants. We visited Universal Studio on Sentosa Island, went on the Singapore Flyer, and enjoyed playing tourists. The highlight of my trip was an author visit to Odyssey the Global Preschool.

In the past, I'd bring my ukulele on long-haul flights (a precarious endeavor), but this time round, I challenged myself to embrace technology by pre-recording my music on my iPhone's Garage Band app. (Despite working in tech, I'm actually quite the Luddite in my personal life.) After tinkering around for a few hours, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to jazz up my tunes with drumbeats and the addition of different instruments. So, armed with my new recordings, I headed off to the preschool in Katong.

Odyssey's Wilkinson campus boasted of extensive green spaces - a rarity in land-scarce Singapore. Morning Glory flowers crept up trellises and mature trees dotted the lawn where children played and ate. I was greeted by the lovely school librarian, Mr. A. who oversaw the library's extensive book collection. The presentation to the two age groups took roughly an hour and the children and I talked about everything from weather science and local food to Singaporean festivals. I taught the kids the tunes and actions of my Singaporean nursery rhymes and was so appreciative of Mr. A and the teachers' effort to gamely join in the singing! At the end of the sessions, Mr. A. gave me a tour of the campus with its library, art studio, and generous outdoor spaces.

Thank you, Odyssey, for hosting me. It's wonderful to be able to return to in-person engagements after such a long break!


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