Friday, April 23, 2010

Every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure

The past one week has been one of anticipation, expectation, perspiration and a tiny pinch of desperation. When all these co-exist, enough rest and sleep were far beyond reach. But then again, it was the week that witnessed the 9th Interschool Debating Championship (IDC). Surprise, surprise? Maybe not. Not for those who have been accustomed to the nature of this event which is one of the highlight in the life of one who enslave himself or herself to the debate arena, whether you came as an eager participant or you got to it as one of the hand that made it happened.

Two. Responsibility and passion are the appropriate words to explain why over three hundred IIU peeps spent their holiday to contribute their energy in making this event happened. I could not find any other word to express my admiration and gratitude towards all committees that have joined us this year other than thank you. THANK YOU!

Three. It is easy to understand the reason why people like me and my debate club colleagues came back to the campus during semester break to work on this tournament. But it always made me wonder what drives other university mates to keep on coming back to join us as committees years after years. For their passion and hard work, they certainly deserve a big applause. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Four. Millions of gratitude go to my Special Task committees who managed to turn late night chores into an entertaining time, working through the wee hours without complains. I really appreciate each one of you. Nana for being a great mentor, Chaer, Manal, Halimah, Ecah, Shahir, Ija, Sumaiyah, Suhaila, Anaz the entertainer, Cheyun, Muazan, Hafiz, Asma' and Laisha, thank you so much for your patience, perseverance and dedication.

Five. Having given the opportunity to be on both side of the wall gave IDC a sentimental value for my personal mantel. Once a participant, I crossed over as a committee and adjudicator. The latter was a role picked up automatically by us debaters of the internal circle which was also extended by invitation to debaters from other varsities.

Six. Adjudicating more often than not served snippets of entertaining moments for us because high school kids could end up saying the darnedest thing and do unexpected OTT gestures. Contrary to the funny things that came out from these kids mouth, I took adjudicating very seriously. I must say I am most nervous before the debate round starts, and my nervous system went crazier when I am about to announce the result. This was not the first time I adjudicated for the same tournament but it was the same feeling all over again for every round. The need to prepare for new ideas and empty my mind off any expectations that could cloud my judgment. The obligation to free myself from malicious thought that can impair my thinking faculty. Those could be quite a challenge to execute especially when you're doomed with lack of sleep. I constantly reminded myself that judging the kids debating didn't only mean that I was just putting down marks or ticking who won and picking the most entertaining lad as the best speaker. The responsibility stretched further than that. My judgment might determine the end of one poor kid's debating career in high school. My comment might motivate or kill one's passion for debating. One wrong fact might affect one's understanding for a long period of time. The best tips would be, when in doubt, remain silent.

Seven. While adjudicating, I was also teaching and enlightening, not just the participants but above all, myself. Only by adjudicating then I realized what judges usually expect in debates. As I walked back to the tabs room after each debate I often recalled debates in the past which I have lost, wearing a content smile, knowing what was lacking and what needs to be improved.

Eight. The opportunity to meet new wonderful people has been rejoicing. I treasure the bond my committees have with each other, and I treasure the new bond created between the participants and us. I also managed to get together with some old pals. It was good to catch up and relive the good 'ol days. Thank you Kay-A, Haziq, Kina, Eri and Afiq for coming. Hopefully the tournament was not just an event for us all to have fun but also an experience we learnt worthy lessons from.

Nine. To the winners and to each one of you that made this event a success, congratulations. To those who didn't win, congratulations too, because God has put you through trying times that will only make you stronger and better.

And that wraps up the 9th Interschool Debating Championship

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