Switching High School

After a month of attending online classes at her new high school (SMK/public school), Cass finally told me that she wanted to switch school – back to the initial high school of her choice, which is a coveted independent Chinese high school (ICHS). She passed the entrance exam in December last year and was accepted into the school. We had paid the registration and January fee. However, she later changed her mind about going to this school and went to a feeder public school assigned to her.

I wasn’t keen to transfer Cass back to this ICHS mainly because, like I’d mentioned in my previous posts, I do not wish for Cass to struggle studying in Chinese for another 5-6 years in a ‘military’ style tough Chinese high school. Plus, this school is well known for emphasizing importance in academics. It’s not uncommon for students to transfer out from this school to a national school when they can no longer cope with the pressure from this ICHS. There’s a minimum average mark that students have to maintain in order to remain in this school.  Another reason is the school fees.  Hubby’s business and income have been affected since last year when the MCO was imposed in our country at the start of the Covid19 pandemic. With Cass studying in this private school, another huge cost will be added to our monthly expenses.

But I see it pointless for Cass to continue studying at her current high school when she has shown almost zilch interest during online classes. She doesn’t look happy or enthusiastic since the start of online classes in mid January this year. After spending 6 years in a Chinese primary school, the teaching method and language (in BM) seems to have given her a slight ‘culture shock’.

Knowing that chances of our appeal to be accepted back into this ICHS are slim, I still tried my luck and emailed the school.  Several days later, a staff from the academics department of the ICHS called to inform me that our appeal has been approved.  I had to confirm the switch in school by 3pm on the same day as a lot has to be done for Cass’ data which has been deleted from the school system to be keyed in again so that Cass can start online lessons the next day. The staff warned me that the school’s academic expectations are high and homework is heavy. She warned me that Cass will have a lot of catching up to do as she has missed out on a month’s worth of studies and homework.  I explained Cass’ health issues and her impending surgery this year to the staff and she told me to consider carefully on the switch of school as Cass will have to put in a lot of hard work to catch up on  studies/homework that she’ll be missing during the surgery and recuperation at home.

Cass wasn’t worried anymore about the heavy homework load and possibility of struggling for another 5-6 years studying Chinese. She just wanted to switch back to the high school of her initial choice. All Science and Math subjects are taught in dual language in English and Chinese.

I called the school back at 3pm on the same day to confirm Cass’ registration, made the necessary payment and Cass started her first online class the next day at 7:20 a.m.   Online classes start from 7:20 a.m. and only end at 2:30 p.m. from Mondays through Saturdays.  I’ve never seen Cass this enthusiastic in her online lessons since late last year. I hope that she finds her mojo and zeal in her studies again in her new high school.  And she’s happiest as her best friend is also studying in this school, albeit in another class.

The next morning, Alycia had to be in school to arrange tables and chairs in preparation for her final leg exam in high school – SPM, which starts next Monday for a duration of one month! After Alycia was done with the arrangement of tables and chairs, she collected her school leaving cert and helped me to buy Cass’ books.  And there goes another RM500+ on books and another RM600 for the school’s yearly miscellaneous fees!

Haru like a koala bear on Cass’ hoodie jacket while she attends online lessons 😁

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Cassandra’s Choice of High School – Updated

After months of feeling unsettled with her choice of high school, Cass has, after going through a tough time weighing the pros and cons, finally made up her mind.  She’s decided to let go of the high school of her initial choice.  After going through the hassle of submitting the tedious application online and emailing the school by herself, going to the school to sit for the entrance exam and finally getting the results, she has decided to take Plan B.

All the while, I knew that Cass didn’t really want to get into this high school. She knew very well that studying in Chinese for another 5 – 6 years is not what she really wanted.   Alycia has been telling us that had her dad given her a choice 5 years ago, she would never choose this high school.

As most of her good friends applied to get into this coveted high school, Cass followed suit.  When the freshmen list was out recently and Cass’ name was in, she  was happy initially. But when the reality of her going to another tough Chinese school sunk in, she was not enthusiastic anymore.  She didn’t even bother to go to the high school’s website to read the instructions on the online orientation.  She asked me if she could change her mind. I told her to think about it very carefully as she wanted this high school so badly initially.  Finally when the book list was out last week and I had to make payment by last Sunday, Cass had to make the final decision and she chose Plan B.  It was a hard decision for Cass to make.

Even though we’d paid almost RM1k to the high school for registration fee and entrance exam fee, it’s OK that Cass makes an about turn now before we pay another few thousand Ringgit in January next year. It’s OK to forgo the RM1k than to spend even more and Cass is not happy in the high school.

So… Cass will be going to a public school, the same school that Sherilyn is going to. I’m glad that Cass made the decision to change high school before school starts in mid January next year.   This is the second time Cass had to make a major decision for herself.  When she was 10 years old, she told me that no matter the outcome and risks, she would take the risk of going through a CT scan (risk of radiation) and go through another major surgery(s) so that she could be totally healed from her urinary issues.

I hope Cass’ decision this time is the right one for her. But if it’s not, I’ve got her back and we can look at the alternative route, i.e. Plan C.  That’s what parents are for ~ to catch you when you fall and to go through the ups and downs with you so that you’re happy, safe and walk on the right path.

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CMCO Day 191 ~ Thursday, 17 December 2020

This is Cassandra’s book list, downloaded from the website of her high school.  I have until this Sunday to make online payment of RM581.20 to the school.  I have been asking Cass if she really wants to go to this high school before I make payment for the books.   Cass chose this high school mainly because her best friend and most of her classmates are going to this school and not because she likes to study in Chinese for another 5 to 6 years.  No doubt this is a coveted high school but she knows herself too well. She has always struggled with Chinese language, thus, she is now still not 101% sure if she really wants to go to this high school next year  😟

I’ve asked Cass to sleep over it and to let me know her decision by this Saturday.  I would rather she backs out from this high school now (even though I’ve paid almost RM1k for registration and entrance exam) than her regretting it later.  It’s going to be costly and troublesome to transfer her to another school later.

Alycia has been telling Cass that had her dad given her a choice, this high school will never be her choice because it’s just not easy to study all the Science subjects and Math in dual language (Chinese and English) and sit for double exams (public exams as well as UEC).  Chinese independent high school Math is well known to be mind boggling confusing and it’s been driving her nuts for the past 5 years.  Alycia had wanted to get into Catholic High School but her dad is just too, well, pro-Chinese school 😟.

My choice is still international school or homeschool learning (in a learning center) and had we not been impacted financially by the darn pandemic, I would have sent Cass to an international school located right smack in our cozy neighborhood.

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Cass’ High School & Alycia’s Plan Next Year

So Cass is now officially a confirmed student at the high school of her choice.  The school emailed Cass’ student ID to us two days ago. This number will be a bespoke number incorporated on the school badge which will be sewn on her uniform, which she will wear for the next 5-6 years.  Cass is a very happy camper!  But we’re both having a cocktail of emotions on her choice of high school. It’s not going to be easy in this high school and I hope that Cass will sail through the high school years just like her Alycia che che.

Speaking of Alycia, we’ve been toggling between Senior UEC at the high school (equivalent to Form 6) and Pre-U/Diploma/Foundation studies in a private college. With so much uncertainties ahead of us because of the shitty pandemic and not knowing if she can even attend physical classes in college, we have now settled for Form 6.  Classes will still be a dual mode of online classes and physical classes, depending on the pandemic situation.  When this dang pandemic is under control with a vaccine in place, we can always switch her from Form 6 to private college to pursue her Pre-U/Diploma/Foundation studies. Next year is going to be an exciting year for our girls!

Our in-house chef Sherilyn whipped up some super duper soft, pillowy and fluffy Souffle pancakes for breakfast yesterday. This girl has magic hands in the kitchen. Everything that she cooks and bakes often turn out magical!  These are the best pancakes I’ve eaten.

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Cassandra’s High School

For those of you who’ve been waiting for my update on whether Cass passed the high school entrance exam that she sat for last Saturday, the answer is a….

No.  She’s not going to the high school of MY choice…

but…

she’s going to the high school of HER CHOICE as she PASSED the entrance exam! 😐

And I guess this is also the high school of God’s choice as I’ve been praying fervently to ask Him to get Cass into a high school of His choice.

Is this a cause to celebrate yet? I’m not too sure.

Yesterday when Cass’ friend informed her via Whatsapp that her name is in the freshman list, we were both floored.  Initially Cass was ecstatic. Then when the reality sank in that she’ll be going to this school with a tough dual examination system, she couldn’t decide if she should accept the offer as she’s not the studious nor disciplined type with the exception to novels. Thick books especially appeal to her! The thicker it is, the happier the girl is.

Actually I was quite confident that she would pass the entrance exam as she’s been in the top class throughout her 6 years in a Chinese primary school. But whether this school suits her or otherwise and whether she could persevere for 5 to 6 years in the school (depending on whether she’s taking UEC / Form 6 in Senior 3), this looks iffy. This high school was ranked as one of the Best Schools of Excellence by the Education Ministry in 2015.

Students at Chinese independent schools still sit for all national examinations such as PMR and SPM. The subjects are taught alongside the school’s own Chinese syllabus, and teachers dedicate lesson periods to teaching the government syllabus too.

Cass has until next Thursday to decide if she really wants to get into this high school that she’s worked quite hard to get into. She filled out the tedious online application forms and emailed the high school herself as I told her that if she really wanted to get into this school (which is not my choice), she’d have to submit the application herself.  Registration fee must be paid by next Friday failing which the seat will be forfeited and given to a student in the long waiting list.

The only pull factor for Cass to want to get into this high school is her best friend and other good friends from her class who are also accepted into the school. She wants to be with her good friends since Primary 1 throughout her high school years.

This girl really needs to pull up her socks if she’s decided to get into this school. The school has a system that compels the student to repeat the entire year if the student’s average mark is below a certain grade.  Usually those who are dealt with a letter to repeat the entire year will leave the school and apply for a transfer to a public school in order to progress to the next grade.

So our littlest rascal has her first important decision to make that will affect 5 years of her life in high school. I hope she makes the right decision and my only hope is that she will be very happy throughout her high school years.



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RMCO Day 116 ~ Saturday, 3 October 2020

Today is Cass’ entrance exam at the high school of her choice.  This high school (which is Alycia’s high school) is not my choice but some how, I was the one feeling anxious for her while Miss Chillax was as usual unflappable and cool as a cucumber 🤦‍♀️.  I was worried of how she will find her way in the huge school as parents are not allowed to enter the school compound due to the Covid19 SOP.  We could only drop her outside the school and she was quickly whisked away by a female security guard. Thankfully there were many teachers on duty at the school compound guiding the freshmen into the respective classes.

I was worried of Cass’ health the most as she’s just recovered from a UTI attack. If she’s not careful and does not practise frequent peeing and hygiene, it’s very easy for her to get another UTI attack as the bacteria that’s hiding behind her bladder walls are just waiting for the right condition to attack and multiply.  Honestly, I am not worried at all if Cass passes the exam or not.  I’ve been praying everyday to God for Him to choose the high school of His choice for Cass. So we’ll wait and see. The results will be out in a week or two and parents will be notified via SMS.

After an hour of being stuck in the massive traffic jam caused by the mass admission of freshmen into the school compound, we finally reached home. I took Alycia and Sherilyn to Family Mart for a sofuto treat!  Belgium dark chocolate sofuto is finally back at Family Mart. How I miss this flavor!

At 6pm, I drove back to the school to pick Cass up.  I told Alycia to follow me so that she could get down to look for Cass inside the school. We waited for over half an hour.  Cass had to camp half a day in school for the exam, comprising of 4 papers.

While Alycia and I were stuck in school, our very capable in-house chef Sherilyn dished out Tonkatsu ramen with ramen egg and homemade Japanese Chashu. The pork bone soup was boiled for over 5 hours, thus was really flavorful and creamy.

This time, after warning from me, she did not overcook the ramen eggs. Last week, she put the eggs into a pot to prep Onsen eggs but she was too absorbed in playing with her phone and forgot all about the eggs 😆



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High School For Cassandra

Our laid back littlest brat whom I thought I’d managed to talk her out of choosing a Chinese Independent High School (same private high school as Alycia) changed her mind when almost three quarter of her classmates applied to get into this school, including her bestie, J.   I told the brat that I am not in favor of her choice of high school mainly because of her lackadaisical attitude towards her studies, in particular Chinese language.  Moreover her Chinese language is not strong with both parents being yellow bananas.  She converses in English with her besties most of the time though she’s in a primary Chinese school.   But she has been very steadfast in her decision and not at all funked by the high academic stress, high discipline and intense workload.

In Chinese Independent High Schools, students start learning Physics, Chemistry, Biology and high level Additional Math in Form One (in English and Chinese language) and the difficulty level only gets tougher by the year while students in other schools only start learning all these subjects in Form 4 (for Science stream students).  Also, they have to learn almost all the subjects in both Chinese and English and sit for two examinations in both languages.

To be fair to Cass, I told her that I will give her an opportunity to apply to the high school of her choice and I challenged her to submit the online application herself. The brat took my challenge and filled out the tedious online forms herself, including submission of all necessary documents including corresponding with the school via email herself. She didn’t want me to help her at all!  Her application has been successfully submitted and acknowledged by the high school.   The entrance test will be in October and results will be announced in the same month.  I can’t wait to know if she makes it to the high school or otherwise. I’ve been praying fervently to God to ask Him to choose the right high school for Cass. Whether it’s the high school of her choice or my choice, I pray that Cass will be happy throughout her 5 – 6 years in high school and will be blessed with dedicated teachers and good friends who are good kids who will be her forever good friends.

Our Korean lunch on Sunday at Seoul Korea — the best authentic Korean restaurant around and our all-time favorite. We really don’t mind having our once a week treat at Seoul Korea every Sunday! ❤️

Our weekly supply of organic vegetables delivered to our condo by our regular organic vegetables seller:

From top left clockwise: ‘Yeh Heong Fah’ edible flowers aka Chinese Violet Telosma Cordata (the fragrant flowers only bloom at night, thus the moniker), choy sum, winged beans and a special cross breed vegetable between choy sun and kailan.



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