Once bonded

The article I was working on earlier this year has been published at s/pores. I gave it the title "Once Bonded" --- you can decide for yourself if you think it's appropriate. What's it about? Here are the opening paragraphs:
When I was 19, I inked my name on a legal document to affirm that I would enter upon and diligently continue in an overseas university course specified by the government of the Republic of Singapore, complete it to the best of my ability, then return immediately to Singapore to serve the government for a period of eight years (hereinafter called the ‘Bonded Period’) in any body or organisation whatsoever in any appointment which the government might deem appropriate.

In exchange, the government would foot the bill for my education, pretty much.
I think you know where it goes from there. Don't worry, it doesn't exactly re-tread the ground I've explored on this blog before (here and here).

s/pores is a multi-disciplinary online-only journal that focuses on "Singapore studies". Besides my article, the issue contains Ho Weng Hin's "Reminiscences on a HDB Point Block" and Lee Huay Leng's "学语以外 : Beyond Language Learning". I was very pleasantly surprised to be invited to contribute something, and I'm doubly pleased at how the article turned out (even though the writing of it didn't come easy). Thank you, Pin (guest editor for this issue), and the friends who chipped in with comments and suggestions along the way.

This new issue of s/pores will be launched at a casual drinks session at food #03 on Sunday, 26 July at 6:30 p.m. Come by for some Vitagen vodka, fair-trade coffee or yummy vegetarian food (cash bar basis), and I promise to show you my "wilting, yellowed copy" of my scholarship contract with the government. Alternatively, we can just chat, and I promise not to, um, drink too much organic red wine.

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At 7/28/2009 12:12 pm , Anonymous Oikono said...


I read you entry on scholarships in Singapore and it is both well thought out and necessary for students looking at their future post-JC. I believe the key problem is that at age 19, everyone is so sure of what their future would look like, even when they should not be.

Also, nice entries on Korea. I stayed there for half a year and will head back to Korea (probably South, possibly North) to learn more Korean.

At 7/29/2009 12:14 pm , Anonymous quitacet said...

thanks for sharing. i look forward to your new book. i also hope you'll blog more about your experiences in the education service, so prospective scholars might have a better understanding of what they're getting into.

At 7/31/2009 7:44 am , Blogger Tym said...

Thanks for your comments!

Oikono > I really loved Korea too and would love to go back. Will be following your North Korea travelogue entries --- I'm very curious to see that country as well.

quitacet > I'll update this blog as and when other writing is published. Not sure if I'll write about teaching, but hey, there are plenty of teachers blogging out there.


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