Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nostalgia

Exams are in a month and the studying could be better. Maths is incredibly frustrating, and I'm afraid I'll have to resort to just going into the exam hall with pure 'tawakal' and nothing else. It's all too much sometimes. I should've just done AS Maths. I wonder if I'll regret continuing with A2 Maths. Only next March I will find out.

I just realized how much I miss debate. Seeing some of the people I know participating in prestigious tournaments like AUDC, WUPID, Australs, ICRC, MDO, National Novice, Royals, IIUM Interschool and PPM, I feel a tinge of regret for not going to UIA and for not being brave enough to join HELP's debate team. If I went to UIA, I will definitely join the debate team. English or BM I'm not sure, since both appeal to me in different ways, but what's sure is that I will be a debater. Interschool 2008 is, and forever will be, the fondest, most cherished memories I keep from my high school years. Nothing, nothing will ever replace that feeling of anxiety before every round, the panic urgency in the 30 minutes of preparation time, and the elation and relief we felt when we were announced winner of each round. Victory is sweet, but the defeats we suffered were memorable too. I still find it amusing that the 2 rounds we lost during the preliminaries were to all-boys teams (STAR and MOZAC), and our quarter-final loss (which eliminated us from the competition) was to another all-boys school, MCKK. We thought it was the end of the world when we lost to STAR and MOZAC. At the time, placing 8th overall and meeting MCKK in the quarter-finals were almost unthinkable. Another funny thing was that our big break came in the octo-finals (we were given the privilege to skip double-octos because we placed 8th overall after 7 rounds) when we beat yet another prominent all-boys debating team, RMC. The euphoria of winning probably got to our heads, or we were just too overwhelmed by the atmosphere, that we didn't perform very well against MCKK the next day. The defeat was painful, but I honestly felt, and still feel, that we had nothing to be ashamed of. Never in the history of the tournament has a day school placed 8th overall, and to lose to eventual finalists MCKK on such a big stage was a small dent to the name we carved for ourselves and our school. I learnt life lessons during that week at IIUM - perseverance, humility, resilience and most importantly, the bond we formed as teammates will last forever. I never knew we could be so united, we covered up for another teammate when she messed up, and we always encouraged each other no matter what. I remembered how I broke down after one of the rounds where I did horribly, but you girls were always there, supportive as ever. Ainaa, Nadrah and Hasanah (wherever you are), I hope that you girls will never forget those few days we spent together in the hallowed halls of IIUM, for they played a role in shaping us into the individuals we are today. I wonder if you girls remember those days in as much detail as I do. Haha.

IIUM was also where I suffered my first ever concussion. I was climbing those horrible double decker beds in my kaftan (smart me) and accidentally stepped on the hem, slipped, fell, and knocked my head into the corner of the wall. I remember that I could not see clearly for a few minutes, everything looked blurry and fuzzy, and that my head felt heavy and swollen. I'm just thankful that it happened after we debated MCKK. Haha. I remember the flurry of panic it caused. Nadrah was panicking, Fatin called our usher, Kak Beah, and she came hurrying on her bicycle. BICYCLE. I was rushed to the campus clinic and the doctor gave me some painkillers. My friends were fussing over how I should take those pills regularly etc, but I was just happy that our tournament was over already by then. It was actually quite cool, experiencing my first concussion. Hahaha!

I won't forget the response from our school too. We were asked to present a mock debate in front of the whole school the following Monday. Yes. THE WHOLE SCHOOL. I felt cool back then, but when I think about it now, its actually quite embarrassing. People were calling me 'Akak Debate' and 'Tuan Speaker' after that, which makes me cringe now. And the best part was we all received Aungerah Kecemerlangan Kokurikulum from the school for our achievements. The school meant well of course, but they got the award all wrong. The brochure stated that we met MCKK in the finals, and the certs said semi-finals. HAHA. We couldn't stop laughing. I would've died if we had to debate on that huge stage at the CAC!

I know that Interschool 2008 was more than 2 years ago, and I might appear as someone whose life is defined by that one achievement. But IIUM meant a lot more than just an achievement. That tournament made me believe in myself, believe in my friends, made me realize that anything was indeed possible. I miss it all so much. The atmosphere, the people. I wish I made more friends back then, talked to more people, shared a lot more. I wish that we were not so caught up with the 'competition' side of things and built more friendships and acquaintances. Now, I would do anything just to get those moments back. How I wish our juniors could experience the same feelings we did, learn as much as we did. I wish the debating culture in our school was more alive, so that Melawati will be a force to be reckoned with in Malaysia's debating community. Sadly, that is not the case. But I still have hope that someday, somehow, we will live those glory days again. Because experiences like that don't come twice.

It's wonderful to be part of something that meaningful. And I experienced it in ONE tournament. How I envy my debate friends from MCKK and RMC who are probably so used to winning, so at ease in tasting victory. But perhaps it was the rarity of our achievement that made it all the more special, all the more precious. Being in that debate team made me feel important and included. It is truly a beautiful feeling, one that I miss dearly. Very dearly.

4 comments:

Sheikh Nabil Farabi Al - Syariff said...

Salamu'alaykum,

This post, is really, somehow, like an eye-opener for people to find the real meaning of life. It is like paving a way for man to actually ponder upon their life which what defines oneself now.

Significantly impressive.

"Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth and (in) the difference of night and day are tokens (of His Sovereignty) for men of understanding,"
- Surah Ali-Imran, Ayat 190

One word, Subhan Allah.

Aira Nur Ariana said...

Why, thank you Nabil. I didn't expect it to be that impactful. Alhamdulillah. Thanks again :)

nadrah zainuddin said...

HAHAHAHA dayyum. aku takleh stop gelak baca part kau jatuh tu :p
aira ingat tak that fat guy yang dtg nak amik gambar dengan kita masa last day tu? yang jerit jerit ' nak amik gambar dengan melawati! nak amik gambar dengan melawati!'? dia dibenci oleh aikolian ye. haha.

Aira Nur Ariana said...

INGAT!! Apesal aikolian benci dia? HAHAHAHA!

tak guna eh gelakkan aku. time tu bukan main risau!