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The Awakening

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Today we got back out O-level Chinese results.

I know you would expect me to start with a more interesting phrase than a mere statement of fact, perhaps something more exciting and incredible like, "Today I saw a dragon and it was pink, really." but that didn't happen. I sound sad because I am feeling sad.

No no not what you think. I was perfectly happy some moments ago, because I was so happy that I got an A1 for my O-level Chinese when all the while I was like, "Please, just not a B, just not a B because it means that I would have to suffer 2 more years of Chinese in JC." then it was like, "Congratz, you got an A!" from Mr Tan and I was like Yippppeeee!

But then the joy of getting an A wears of because of one simple reason.

We human beings are greedy.

Did I say we? I'm sorry. I mean, I am greedy.

Before knowing that I got an A, I would have given up everything to just get an A for Chinese. But after knowing that I got an A, I was wishing for something more. Something that others had but I didn't. I wanted the Distinguished Achievers Award that I didn't have.

There were four criteria for the award, and sad to say that I had absolutely no idea that there were 4 criteria and hence, I didn't fulfill one of the four. I didn't have an A2 for my CCA, I had a B3.

I was feeling unjustified and like an underdog because I wasn't in a CCA that had that many opportunities for a person to participate in contests and stuff to get the CCA points we need to secure us a good CCA score. There was only that many competitions, and half the time I was running around trying to settle all the Korean Konnection Skype event that spend most if not all of my CCA time. Korean Konnection hadn't been easy. It hadn't been easy for me to start a completely new event from scratch, trying to set up the web cams and trying to get all the equipments right, and trying to arrange test sessions with the Korean side. It wasn't easy, and I remember that in Sec 3, it drove me up the wall because just one day before the session, I still couldn't get the connection through.

But all the time, effort, sleepless night, anxiety and energy that I spent on Korean Konnection didn't even get me one CCA point, and for that I felt the briefest pang of sadness. It was like, my efforts were somehow overlooked, glanced over, just like the effort I placed in everything else.

I know that people out there will tell me that hey, you don't do something for the sake of getting points and awards because it defeats the purpose of the activity. I am not disputing that point, but sometimes if you are recognized for your hard work and your effort, it will definitely make things a lot better. Like a push, a drive, a motivation of some kind.

It feels a little sad, just that little because I put in as much effort into Korean Konnection as people put into their competitions, and in the end the activity that I was successful in didn't earn me any points or recognition like the others had. I felt sad because my efforts ignored.

I felt sad for my own lack of CCA points that missed me the award, but I felt even sadder for my close pal Jumpy for the lack of her award because I felt that if anything, she deserved it the most. More than half the people on the list and she didn't.

Jumpy was one of the most motivated, self-driven and passionate students that I had ever seen. She had an intense liking for science, language arts and maths, and strove for perfection in everything and she had a creative mind and insatiable thirst for new knowledge. She spent a lot of time pursuing her passions while balancing her CCA and school work sometimes at the expense of her rest time.  I remembered her as a responsible and capable CCA leader and I was impressed by how she juggled everything so well. I couldn't think of anyone more deserving of the award than her.

But she didn't get it.

She wasn't under the list of Distinguished Achievers because her MSG was just that little off the required MSG of 1.5.

I sat there and I wondered why was it that distinguished achievers could be measured via things like MSG and CCA points. I was pretty sure that if Einstein's school had such a thing, he probably wouldn't have achieved it, but that didn't make him less of an achiever than anyone else. He was possibly the most brilliant individual to walk the earth.

I remember telling Jumpy in a manner of false bravado that it didn't matter whether we got the awards or not, because we ourselves know that we were the next Steve Jobs and Bill Gates in the making. (We were really just joking if you are disgusted by our arrogance.) I told her, after all, who else is as brave as us to email Apple Company to show them our support? Very possibly our email had been directed to spam and then deleted, but hey, we still did it.

That was reckless, and cool.

But I had a fun time today celebrating Phiephie's birthday with her, because in that brief hour, I forgot about everything that I was not and just remembered one happy thing: my Chinese was good. We were both giddy with relief that our Chinese didn't flop that it was almost hard to be sad, till I start remembering all the things that I suck at.

But I would leave all that to another day.

JC? It is a new start, a new beginning. I don't know how it will be like, but I know how I would be like, and it would be okay.

It better be.


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