4. First semester business, and friendship thereafter

A.L.S.T.A.R. All-star. A-Levels Student Ambassador.

Heard of it during the orientation, but didn’t really care due to my preoccupation with my piano practice until I found out that my friends were organizing a motley of activities.

“This is awesome.”

Just like how Beatrice felt as she declared allegiance to Dauntless faction in Divergent, I felt it a great deal as I wrote down my name to join the club.

The next event was the appreciation dinner for the older batch of committee. It’s probably not a good idea to join as I didn’t help organizing it, but I paid the fee nevertheless on the premise of ‘nerd escaping’ after hibernating myself at the piano area for weeks (and that’s a day after my piano exam!)

The real fun, however, came after I found my group members (or simply, ‘groupmates’.)

The ‘Kedah’ gang

Intended to be naughty and add some fun for Yi Kye’s birthday celebration; that’s why I approached one boy (Ye Ang) from SMJK Sin Min (Yi Kye’s ex-classmate) when the Emcee asked us to form our own groups of 10. But this couldn’t get us extremely inclusive as there were 11 of us. Luckily, our ‘abnormal’ plan was granted exception and we named ourselves “Square Root 121.” (LOL)

The night itself we executed our birthday plan. The next week we engaged ourselves in a welcome program; it turned out that we finished last in the mock-monopoly game.

September was the period when the relationship among members reached another high end: we started discussing about the  food carnival a month later and met at the housing unit beside mine. That’s the magical moment when I realized 6 of the guys in that unit were in the group, with two others being our supervisors 😛 I then enjoyed crossing to their unit so much just for the sake of visiting them (including the blackout night). Likewise, some girls in our group stayed together too, and we were privileged to be able to use their facilities for a test run in concocting marshmallow and honeydew sago. Later, these girls (with their facilities) collaborated with Xue Heng (with his cooking skills) in making aglio olio spaghetti (so we helped out and enjoyed the exquisite cuisine!)

Charity+committee (not me)

The appreciation dinner aforementioned saw Xue Heng, some classmates and some other friends appointed as part of committee member of July 2014 cohort. However, little did I know that the interwoven relation between my group and these people could add most of them into my acquaintance list, just like how I knew many people in my A-Level batch. 😛

Wanted to wait for Xue Heng to go for groceries after Food Carnival, but ended up infiltrated the committee in this photo. Luckily I'm not the only one
Wanted to wait for Xue Heng to go for groceries after Food Carnival, but ended up infiltrated (uhm, invited by) the committee into this photo. Luckily I’m not the only one

October was the climactic period for both the normal the exco members, replete of activities like Food Carnival and “orphanage visit+spending our night at Puchong Water Park.” The latter happened to have majority of the participants from the committee, but I joined it anyway (so treated like a guest by those ‘bosses’ :P).

The reason why the visit was worth a note was simple. I was considered lucky to handle a docile child who could easily obey my instructions, although staying close to him, providing him warmth and making him happy at all times challenged me. But I felt the difficulty (vicariously) others encountered when their children couldn’t behave themselves, and those patrons had to clean the mess for them. This shadowed the imposing challenge of parental job ahead of us, and the dilapidated orphanage (whose leaked roof caused internal ‘downpour’ during rain) served best to remind us how grateful we should be to live without concerning about our needs. Meanwhile, my observation substantiated my conjecture that the workload of these committee is innumerable and deserves a salute from other members. I was therefore honored to hold this opportunity to mingle with these people whom I’ve only heard from Xue Heng or Jean, hitherto. Not forgetting to thank Jerry who saved me from drowning during water sports activity, too.

Finally bytes and bits (when my presence was felt)

The final event was the Leadership Camp done in early January 2015 for the next batch of students. Here’s what Mr. Vice President (VP) consigned to me during the Real Life Monopoly:
Given the interest rate of loans, calculate the amount of money owned/owed by each group in the Monopoly game.

That people could simply walk in to settle debt or borrow money while the interest calculation was running complicated the calculation, but thanks to the excel file given I sorted things out quite quickly and produced a final spreadsheet shortly after the end of the game.

Knowing that excel skills were all I needed to handle this job, the VP still expressed gratitude “on behalf of the committee to me” for my successful help. I was glad, though, that my long-striving for systematic processing of data had worked out.

That’s definitely a happy ending for me! To wrap up everything, I’m thankful to befriend these awesome folks in my first semester.

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