V Day!

V Day!

V is for Victory as Vanessa graduates in Victoria on 12.12.12

Van Grad 1


Van Grad 2

This is what sleeping on the job looks like.

How would you feel if someone tells you bluntly in your face that they think your child is slow and will not be able to make it into a mainstream school? Well, my daughter’s teacher said that right smack in my face, when my little girl was 9 years old. I was at home preparing lunch when I received a call from her school. It was Vanessa’s form teacher and she asked me to see her in school. When I arrived there, she warned me that Vanessa did not do well in class and was concerned that she would be behind her cohort. That morning, I felt like I’ve been tackled to the ground assaulted by a million unseen fists!

The next few months was spent scurrying to pediatricians and psychologists, getting IQ and Educational tests done. Even I was also subjected to interview sessions. The psychologist I sent her to, Shirley, asked if anything traumatic happened during my pregnancy. I told her the only thing I remembered, which was falling flat on my pelvic when I was opening the garage gate for my husband to come home. Questions like who Vanessa’s primary caregiver was when I was not available also arose. Lydia, her full-time nanny, was my answer. I trusted Lydia, and she was always reliable, but after Shirley asked me that question, thoughts of Lydia abusing my child immediately raced about in my mind. I spent sleepless nights wide awake, wondering if I had unknowingly caused her some trauma during her infancy. Wondering if I had been on some rotten diet that has caused this lovely child of mine to be “intellectually challenged”.

The results that came back from her tests were confusing. It showed that Vanessa could be suffering from a mild form of ADD even though she was ranked in the 97th percentile for reasoning math. The doctors were non committal in their diagnosis and I didn’t even know what that meant, but Shirley assured me that this was good news; Vanessa was fine. The ADD she suffered from would not hinder her from making it into University.

During those dark moments, I confided in my former primary school teacher whom I still kept in touch with and was still teaching at that time. She told me to send Vanessa to an international/private school, instead of a technical institution, if the Technical stream was the only course she could make it to. In the end, I was fortunate enough not to face that dilemma as Vanessa continued to see Shirley for counseling and to learn ways to prolong her attention and focus. Of course, that didn’t mean that her grades would change overnight. She didn’t even make it into her affiliated secondary school, even though her affiliated school gave them a 58-point handicap from outsiders. Eventually, Vanessa made it to a normal stream which took her a year longer to finish Secondary School. She then moved to Melbourne for college and now, has successfully attained her undergraduate degree!

That was a long journey and I cannot express everything in one blog post, but a mother’s love is biased and it will not allow me to think any lesser of my child. Vanessa’s just a more visual (rather than theoretical) person. I admit she can be a dreamer, but she does lay foundation under her castles in the air.

Van Grad 4

Graduation Parade from Bowen Street to Federation Square in the morning.

Van Grad 5

Vanessa graduated in Professional Communication.

Van Grad 6

Nic, Valerie (Vany’s elder sister and my pride) and Seong flew over to attend Vany’s graduation.

Van Grad 7

After the parade, lunch break at All Day Burger, Curtin House Rooftop.

Van Grad 8

Van Grad 10

Van Grad 11

Vany doing my hair – we used to play the “beauty salon” game when she was younger.

Van Grad 12

Valerie, my elder daughter. She’s graduated last year with honours University of Mebourne and was on the Dean’s roll.

Van Grad 13

Last minute fussing and pampering.

Van Grad 14

I have struggled for so long for this day to come 🙂

Van Grad 15

Vanessa’s graduation (at Etihad Docklands Stadium) marked a big milestone in her life as well as mine.

Van Grad 16

V Day!

Van Grad 18

Lupita made this for Vanessa’s graduation.

Van Grad 0

From secondary school to tertiary and now, her graduation – Ray has been through them all with Van!

Van Grad 00

Life is full of hope if you only believe it hard enough.

Congratulations on your Graduation, Vanessa, I’m so proud of you, darling!

I hope your dreams take you… to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known! ~ Unknown.

There is no need to reach high for the stars. They are already within you – just reach deep into yourself! ~ The Quote Garden.

Below are links to some of the work Vanessa has done.

Anywhere But Here, a Documentary directed by Vanessa. It was selected as one of the Best of Media 2012 films in RMIT, and was showcased in ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image).

Blog and photo diary: VCLUXE

Facebooks: Vanessa Caitlin-Photographer and Cut X Pace

I hope you’ll enjoy them 🙂

Goodbye 2012… Hello 2013 !

Happy New Year Everyone 🙂

4 Responses to “V Day!”
  1. Kevin says:

    Congrats and you must be so proud of her. Both of you remind me of http://www.ohiseered.com/ ‘s artistic skills and and her mum’s foodblog http://hungerhunger.blogspot.com.au/

  2. Melisa R says:

    This post made me tear up! Congratulations to Vanessa! She’s a very lucky girl to have such a caring and responsible mother.

    • Sam Han says:

      Thank you so much Melisa. It has a haapy ending at last like a fairy tale, lol… Now I can laugh about it but yes it was very very stressful those years. She’s working now at billionaire.com as visuals and enjoying it. Thank you for sharing these moments with me 🙂

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