Sometimes I wish I could do more for them. Make them see the importance of working together. Of helping each other. That life is not just about grades, or results, or awards. That there is beauty within a single note. A single moment. That they have the power to stir souls and make lips smile, or make tears fall.
Maybe, I’m being too ambitious. Setting goals too high. I should look nearer. Closer. After all, every little starfish saved matters, no matter how small.
The colleague next to me keeps a tank of fish for relaxation purposes.
Today, one of the little guppies jumped out of the tank, and screams ensued from our corner of the staffroom.
To those who have never witnessed a fish jump out before, I can tell you it is a traumatic experience.
Minutes of struggling and screaming later, the fish was safe and sound back in the tank.
“Yes, the fish have a tendency to be suicidal”, so the “expert” said.
I can’t help but wonder if it’s just the general gloomy aura of the place :p
On the lowest of times and the bleakest of days, it helps when I sit back, think about all the blessings I have, and wonder what have I done to deserve them.
I remember when I first took over. Their morale was so low.
Students came to me every week saying they wanted to quit. Saying they weren’t learning anything.
The instructors who felt like coming, came. Those who didn’t feel like it, didn’t.
I once walked into the room and saw the conductor just sitting there. Waiting for the students to move the chairs and instruments into place. No motivation, no direction, no sense of belonging. Especially after the seniors that year graduated. Everything just plummeted.
I felt it really was an uphill task, trying to change things. After 2 concert outings, 1 BBQ, 2 camps, and a MAJOR administrative battle to change instructors… (read: $$$ and red tape)
I’m really glad to say, we can finally see some positive change.
The Ones who wanted to quit now come regularly. Students who had to go on afternoon learning journeys asked if they could skip that and come for practice instead. Because they know they have a performance coming up and they want to perform well. Even when they had to come back on Saturday, the usual whiners didn’t complain. They take attendance so much more seriously. They feel pride and take pride in wearing their CCA Tshirt. And in the recent CCA fair… I swelled with pride to hear comments about how they have improved as a whole. (their lunchtime performance last year was disastrous)
Though there’re definitely still some knots to be untied, but seeing them grow and move towards a positive standard really makes my day, especially after a day of yelling and screaming and pulling my hair out at… Certain other things.
On a certain level, seeing the change I can make on this CCA is what makes me hesitate whenever I contemplate a change of environment.
It’s been 2 years… This year the 3rd.
What does the future hold?
Remember the simple and intimate solemnization I attended?
The pictures are out! Here are some of my favorites 🙂
A beautiful journey.
It’s not always the destination that matters – sometimes it’s simply the intention that counts.
“Where do our stories end and others’ begin?
Are the borders negotiable?”
I miss Hanoi.
Thankfully, there are still places in this world where one can retreat to.