No, I haven't forgotten that I have another kid (the perpetually hungry one). It's not that it's all quiet on the Andre front. It's just that some events were up in the air so I haven't been able to talk about them yet...until now.
This is Andre's 'O' level year and as any parent of a kid sitting for a national exam would know, it's called the "Year of No Life". Apart from mugging, there's really little time for much else. Andre's last experience of this was in 2012 when he sat for the PSLE. As mentioned in a blog post then, his leisure time was mostly spent playing sports like mini ping pong.
There's another reason though. In 2014, I wrote about how Andre communicated to us that he wished to pursue the polytechnic path instead of jc and study a particular course. Since then, his interest in that industry has strengthened and he's now very sure that's where he wants to go.
So earlier in June this year, he applied for Early Admissions Exercise (EAE) to the course. EAE is essentially like DSA for p6 students, except it's for sec 4 or 5 students to apply for early admission to the polytechnics. It was previously called Direct Polytechnic Admissions (DPA) but was changed to EAE this year as the process was tweaked. You can find out more details about EAE here.
As part of the course criteria, Andre had to attend an interview and sit for an aptitude test. When Lesley-Anne and I were prepping him for the interview, we could tell he was pretty nervous as he'd never attended an interview before. He kept asking, "What if they ask me this? Or that?" until I said, "Aiyah, then just use your common sense!" To which, he replied rather indignantly, "Like I have any!"
Andre is usually quite chill so it was quite unusual to see him behave like an eager beaver during the process. On the day of the interview, he arrived at the venue a whole hour early, prompting the person marking attendance to mutter, "Wah, this is very rare." Thankfully, Andre was not nervous during the interview. He could answer all the questions asked and he felt that he left a good impression. It probably helped that he was captain and vice-captain of his school badminton team for four years (leadership attributes matter in EAE, from what I understand). The aptitude test was a series of general knowledge MCQs specific to the industry.
His instinct was good because when the results were released in end August, he found that he was successful in his EAE application. Woohoo! Once again, as with Lesley-Anne's tertiary journey, we'd prayed for God to grant Andre this pathway only if it was right for him, so we're very glad that all indications seem to be yes.
It definitely takes the pressure off the 'O' levels as he will just have to meet the minimum criteria and not the cut-off point for his course. But it's the knowledge that Andre has finally found some direction in life, that is more rewarding and reassuring. We've warned him not to think that polytechnic studies will be a piece of cake, that it requires consistent effort. He knows this but he says he's motivated to work. And that makes all the difference.