My dog, Joey, always makes me smile. The first thing he does in the morning is to bring me a shoe or some other random thing, as a gift. He’s quite popular on campus; he’s even been to a meeting with Vice Chancellor! It started about three of four years ago with the Students’ Union, when I brought him in during exams, as a sort of de-stress. Ever since I brought him in, he’s been coming quite often and it seems that he’s always welcome, he’s even allowed in the SU Bar. It’s lovely to have him around here, he’s a model pooch.
I always feel good when I finish writing a sermon. Recently, a colleague contacted me with very short notice, asking if I could deliver a service for an ill person. I only had 45 minutes to go and deliver the service, but it went really well, and I felt a great sense of achievement.
At Essex I do all sort of things, like breakfast bible study on Fridays, evening gatherings round at my house, film nights, and other social activities for students. It’s a part of the offer of the Chaplaincy. There is a big variety of things going on; there is a catholic chaplain, orthodox chaplain and various others associated with different groups and different denominations. It’s a multi-faith facility and a very stimulating environment. It’s great to meet people from all over the world. I grew up in Singapore, so I’m used to multiculturalism. To be educated in this sort of environment is a very good grounding for the future.
I’m an alumna of the University, so it’s very interesting for me to be back here. Of course, Essex was a big part of my life. I studied English and European Literature in the School of Comparative Studies and graduated in ’81. It was a completely different place then. I have to say it has vastly changed and I love it: the buzz around campus, the atmosphere, the fact that there's lots of different stuff going on, and ever-improving facilities. It’s more and more colourful, vibrant and inclusive. I think it’s very valuable what the SU has been doing to make students feel that they are a part of the community and make sure that nobody is left out. Many things are different, but the biggest change I noticed at Essex is that the university back then used to be extremely politicised and I sometimes felt that was a pressure on me as a student. Now people have different views and it’s freer. Some people would say that that’s a loss, but it was sort of a harsher age then.