This heartfelt letter is written by one of our rockstar students of our summer camp, Vaishnavi from Coimbatore. We are very grateful to her mother who permitted us to share this with all of you. Thank you so much Vaishnavi. Keep learning and expressing.
October 21, 2020:
“We are going to an IAP (Indian Academy of Paediatrics) gathering, get ready quickly” said mom. I enthusiastically donned a suitable dress to go. As we got comfortable for the hour’s drive on the spongy seat of our car, I travelled back to the times just before the lockdown. I smiled at the memory of me getting perturbed when attending a social gathering.
As we entered the IMA hall on 29th Feb,2020 for the annual family get together of IAP Krishna, there were new faces everywhere. I was fidgeting, this was not what I had planned for. I stuck to my mother like a leech. I tried to go and interact with other children, but it seemed that the chair had gripped me with all its might. My face lit up as one of my friends walked in through the door, she caught my eye and waved cheerfully. The chair set me free. I joined my buddy and we had a whale of time that evening. Once back home, mom started verbalizing why I had to overcome my hesitation of speaking to new people…’You are good in many aspects. You study well, play sportively, sing melodiously, dance gracefully but if you have to live in a society you need to interact with people. It helps in…’ and there I was drifting into my world of fantasies.
As the days stretched by lazily before me, during summer vacation, my mom proposed the idea of joining an online summer camp to enhance necessary social skills. I saw it as a fly in the ointment. I said ‘no’ straight away, but everyone was creating such sweet and beautiful thoughts regarding the course: you will learn to use new apps (Urgh! I can learn to do that myself!), you will learn to see things differently (maybe, but I am just not interested!), you will have an edge over your fellow students (Really, you got to be kidding!). I thought about it and eventually gave in. The day on which the course commenced… I can’t do it. I hate it. I lost control of my nerves just before the first interaction began…and then the ghastly, monstrous time of my life began (My opinion at that moment, actually it was a lot of fun!) I was rattled but calmed down as the class progressed. That week’s course apprised me to collaborate well, communicate crisply, enrapture the audience while speaking, etc.
- Feed backs have to be heard not responded to…
Whenever Rakesh sir gave advice on how the work could have been done better, I would interrupt midway and speak in my defense. Now, if someone gives feedback, I see their point and imbibe the required skill.
- I realized that in the process of learning it is ok to make mistakes. Your first attempt is only an experiment from which you derive your formula, it doesn’t have to be the finest work done…
There was one certain task in which I had to work along with another girl, who lived in another city. We had to make a video and a poster by clubbing our ideas and opinions on the given topic. The video should express our idea clearly. We had agreed to make a video by using power point. I was the one putting the audio and video together. In the slide show there was a mismatch between the audio and video. Despite burning the midnight oil, we weren’t done when the first golden rays woke the sleeping sky. The poster was done but the video wasn’t. The panic monkey in me was getting terrified by the minute. I dialed to my cousin. For my eyes she was like an angel from the heaven, who set things right within no time. My heart was beating with a large sense of dissatisfaction as the work was not what I would rate excellent.
There was a list of missed points and the flaws in our work when the review was given, but sir added, “You work was good, you became edgy unnecessarily.” Even at the end of the camp this was what sir said “You don’t have to be the cream always. It is ok to commit errors and learn. Don’t hesitate to step outside your comfort zone. People are ready to lend a helping hand, if you ask them.”
My jumbled speeches and write ups reorganized themselves to form the perfect and clear replica of my idea. I had defeated the monster which had me tongue tied at many instances of my life. My feelings now are always shown to the other person in the way that is most apt. I simply relish testing my extremes and expanding them now, for I know if I convince myself to venture beyond my comfort zone, I will face arduous challenges which when won over, will help me learn and grow. This is one of my lessons for life. I have to give my best, but I don’t have to be the best always.
The raucous noise of beeping horns brought me back to the present, abruptly… I feel so grateful to mom for coaxing me into this, else I would have missed a golden opportunity. That particular course, broke the chains that bounded my creativity and freed me from the gravity that refrained me each and every time I wanted to go and interact. My idea of new people after my experience is: A door that leads to fresh ideas and new perspectives.
I want to carry this beautiful art of speaking and writing with me, all the time. Also, I would want to hone myself in all the essential holistic skills. I have done so till now and would like to continue the journey further, so if I complete my grade 10 where even these aspects are considered important and are nurtured in students I will be all set to confront the world with my munitions-my speech and my pen.
-Vaishnavi, SoME Summer Camp learner