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"Every night my bunk mates would curse and swear at me.
It affected my morale," he says, adding that it got so bad he sometimes curled up in bed in tears.
Eldest son Seth, 14, is grappling with teenage angst.
Ethel, 12, is stressing over her Primary School Leaving Examination.
"I had to train groups of between 30 and 150 people. After NS, he worked in a printing company specialising in big advertising banners.
By then, he was dating the woman who would become his wife and they had plans to go to Scotland, he to study architecture, she to further her studies.
National service did wonders to help him get rid of his shyness.
His penchant for neatness and his always immaculately made bunk caught the eye of his superiors who decided to make him a trainee sergeant major. His dyslexia made it difficult for him to memorise Malay drill commands so his platoon was always the last when marching from one place to another.
His parents ran a shop dealing in car audio and other accessories.The younger of two children, he grew up in a wooden house built by his paternal grandfather in Lim Chu Kang."He nailed every single plank, and even built a car porch for my father.On more than a few occasions, I had to stop my mother from leaving home to go back to her parents," he recalls.At Ama Keng Primary, he was a well-behaved and hard-working pupil who excelled in maths but nothing else. It was after Tertius was diagnosed as dyslexic in Primary 1 that I realised I was probably dyslexic too. In Teck Whye Secondary, he struggled with his studies but was a hit with the girls despite being painfully shy.
Tertius, 10, is dyslexic, and Elliot, like any curious eight-year old, needs a bit of attention. And he has been doing it for the last four years after his wife of 10 years upped and left suddenly for reasons he says he still cannot comprehend.