Rainy days and baby cries

Feeling extremely tired after just two weeks of my work attachment at the clinic! This is a very different kind of school holiday because for the first time in forever (frozen vibes after seeing so many little girls in Elsa dresses/with frozen water bottles…) I am not just rolling around at home watching YouTube, baking the life out of my kitchen, eating nonstop etc. etc. On the contrary, I have had to wake up at 6.30am every weekday and huddle with the rest of the working class on the train to work! It’s not even really work per se since all I do is observe the doctor, but nonetheless it’s been extremely insightful in every sense of the word! I’ve had the rare opportunity to see what it is actually like to diagnose cases, counsel parents, see newborn babies, visit restricted areas in the hospital and so many other things. On the shuttle bus to and from the hospital, all I feel is blessed.

Seeing newborns and babies also restored my sense of wonder: it is truly an inexplicable sense of joy to hold the hands of a little neonate; to see the pumping of a tiny heart; to smile at a child and have him/her beam back at you. It’s also lovely to see the children’s parents, grandparents and helpers bring them to the clinic and love the child no matter how sick he/she may be. I’ve seen so many caregivers with crazy eyebags (I feel like this mother I saw today had double eyebags? Didn’t know that was possible…), catching the illness from their child and just being exhausted overall but still put their child’s wellbeing first and care for them with an undying resolve.

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Besides staring at cute kids all day and attempting to stop them from crying by handing them stuffed toy bears, I’ve also had the most mentally-stimulating conversations with the doctor I’m attached to hahaha. It’s mind-blowing how much she knows about everything! She also hands me many readings from brochures to textbooks on medical conditions, which are all incredibly useful because I can’t find these medical texts in the library. There’s just so much to find out and an endless wealth of information on each condition. Whenever the clinic is slightly quieter with no patients waiting outside, or when we go on rounds, she takes the chance to ask me about what I’ve read up on and gives me new information to find out more about. In many ways this is much more challenging than school work because of how real it is: I see the child’s condition and I find out more about the causes, symptoms and treatment, and see first hand how the diagnosis is made and how it is communicated to the parent. While it is difficult to have to think fast when seeing the patients and talking to the doctor and to continue researching at home even when my eyelids are drooping, I really enjoy this type of mental stimulation. Being exposed to the field of medicine is incredibly humbling – each day brings new knowledge.

Of course there are times where I really feel like not doing anything HAHA. Sometimes I wish I could just wake up late and cook and eat breakfast leisurely and then watch YouTube to my heart’s content and roll around and bake and live life like it’s actually the holidays. I am also getting very envious of my friends who are overseas!!! BUT then I remind myself of how insanely blessed I am in a different way because this is SUCH a precious opportunity that rekindled my love for children and their innocence and made me appreciate medicine so much more (x1000!!!!)!!! Just one more week left and then a mini break before I fly away to yet another exciting experience! This has been such a meaningful and enriching holiday hehe I really don’t want to go back to school.

Also some less serious things I’ve noticed hahaha:

  1. the most common bag to hold baby things in is Anello HAHA luckily I didn’t buy the backpack on impulse man it’s for moms
  2. the most common phrase to say to a baby is “olalala olalala” – like wtpong does that even mean..??? parents and grandparents say that to the baby to stop them from crying but 9/10 of the time it doesn’t work HAHAHAHA
  3. the most popular sweet flavour is strawberry and the least popular sweet flavour is mango.

That is all. 🙂

Graduation

The fact that graduation is so near didn’t really sink in till I watched the video our juniors put together for us. Our mass dance song that played in the background also brought back many fond memories, where my journey in house first started! While reading a friend’s post and looking at all the photos online, I decided to look back on my four years in RG too, and found myself smiling at many things I did that I had already forgotten about. I extracted over a hundred photos – over a hundred things that made me glad I came to RG and didn’t run away when tough seasons rolled around. There’s no doubt that the school environment is stressful, but I also believe that this is what works best for me and makes me want to push myself further. Perhaps I have pushed myself too hard sometimes, but to be very honest the results never disappoint HAHaha and it’s all worth it in the end!! My friend was telling me how many people in our class push themselves too far, but that because we know God, we know when it’s time to stop and let God do the rest. I think that is very true! Especially for this year, I feel that while I have never stopped trying my best, I also find peace and assurance in the knowledge that God is always working behind the scenes and that I really have nothing to fear if what I’m doing is in God’s plan for me.

One very strong testimony I have of how God has worked in my life would be meeting Julia! (Hi Ju if you are reading this!) In Y1 I really really (X1ooo) hated CCA because it was an environment where I felt I was constantly being judged and deemed as inadequate due to my lack of experience in dance. I couldn’t wait to quit at the end of the year and definitely did NOT see myself staying in the CCA for all four years! But along the way, I met Julia and noticed how despite everything that was going on around her, she managed to stay positive and spread joy to all those around her. As I got closer to her, she also invited me to church. And that began a transformation in my life. She has always been a role model for me in her walk with God, like how she had a prayer group when she was Y4 and now I have one of my own! ❤ All the adversities I faced drew me closer to Jesus and throughout my four years, He has really blessed me with so so many sisters in Christ that I know I can always count on.

Being in RG also revealed to me that I am largely an introvert. I do enjoy the company of friends, but really only those that I am very close to and can have comfortable conversations with. I read somewhere that friends are people you can share comfortable silences with, and I think that is somewhat true. Given a choice, I would rather sit alone than be with a large crowd haha. Being seen alone used to be something I feared, but after a while I grew to appreciate these quiet times and not care so much about what other people think.

Can’t have a post about RG without HOUSE! Okay some confessions now: #1 never really thought much about house in y1 (/don’t really remember what I did in house pracs because unlike some batch mates I wasn’t the type to fangirl seniors) and #2 as a student leader trainee, I wanted to join psb. HAHA but even so when I was allocated house, I still tried my best of course! Dramafest was a turning point because the dedication of the seniors rubbed off on me, and I guess I was just very focused on doing my job well, but the kind seniors really took the effort to affirm my efforts and made me feel like perhaps this is where I belong! I also never imagined I would ever become house capt because my fellow house commers were so much more suited for the role and outspoken and passionate and enthusiastic and basically all the things I thought a house capt needed to be. But the seniors really took the time to make sure I knew that I was equally capable, and encouraged me to give it a shot, and for that I will be eternally grateful! Their actions and words showed me the importance of investing your time in growing others as leaders in their own ways, and how words of encouragement and affirmation can do so much in giving someone a boost of confidence! As house capt I was also one of the less outspoken ones, but that didn’t hinder my learning experience in any way, because I still gave every single house event my best shot and truly cared (and still care!) for my house!

Campaigning for house capt is arguably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life, but that was just the beginning of the hard work in house. I am super thankful for an extremely capable EXCO and house comm that helped me in planning and executing all the events and initiatives. I always had ideas that I didn’t know if others thought were dumb, but ah well we went ahead anyway and I just hope they made some Richardsonian out there love house a bit more!! Like our encouragement board during the exam season ❤ In a way, that’s how I paired my desire to care for the student body (why I wanted to join PSB) with my work in house. I told myself that any student leader’s role is to serve and care for her peers, and being in house simply gave me a fifth of the school to care deeply for! One of my favourite memories will be Sportfest this year. We tried SO hard for it – we filmed a video to talk to our house about how much it would mean to us if they played the games, we painted a brand new banner, we held a cheer refresher with tons of food etc etc and just were all very emotionally invested in it. Losing sportsfest really really shattered my heart, but all the Richardsonians that came up to me to hug and comfort me after that just put my heart back together and made sure it would never fall apart again. We won the sportsfest challenge – which showed that our house had really done very well in participation, and it wasn’t just the runners who were trying hard for Richardson. This leadership experience, while daunting at times, was extremely rewarding and really unlike any other. It taught me to fight hard for what I loved and taught me to appreciate those fighting alongside me.

I hope I have covered everything by now – God, house, dance – I think that’s pretty much it HAHA and I’m not gonna proof read everything again so I hope I didn’t ramble too much up there.

Time for photos!! I limited myself to around 20 photos of memories and people that mean a lot to me, but that’s only because I’m watching my wordpress post storage haha otherwise I would easily have posted over 100 photos!

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When we filmed our Raffles song video for an inter-house game and came in second! Very fond memories of this ❤

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113/213 class party!

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2nd dramafest but the one I remember most! Such talented seniors and dedicated crew – if only they had the creative props and sets awards last year hmpf.

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Banner painting will always be one of my favourite Rg activities!

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Nincompoops annual secret santa exchange! My secret santa even has a facebook account that gets passed down each year to my new secret santa – how cool is that.

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YFC! Met so many hardworking souls through YFC and I’m very very proud of how far we came and how much we raised for SCS! This was one of the bumpier journeys I guess but also one of the most meaningful!

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March house camp on my birthday! My lovely EXCO ❤ ❤ no words.

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Comettos (missing Jing!!) I love it when I see yall around school hahaha except KE because I only need to turn around to see your face.

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Don’t remember when this was… but nice HAHA we should do this again batchies!

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My best prac countdown buddy! And science lab buddy! Thank you soph for always telling me about your life, I really do enjoy all our conversations ❤

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Shu the most loving and lovable person around, a true blessing to all!

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Tree dance dancers for dance concert! Seniors I used to fear in Y1 but who came back to choreograph a dance for us ❤

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The time we were “rushing back” from RI after taking a pit stop for snacks, and then being so afraid of getting scolded but our fellow Y4s that we banned everyone from answering their phones HAHAHHAHA sorry batchmates.

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Whenever we take photos we take this exact same mirror selfie.

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Going to support the cheerleaders at their night pracs! Cheerleaders are legit so amazing they work so hard for their houses and dance so well I think every one of them deserves an award.

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Painting our sportsfest banner at Yizhen’s house where Xiang painted the wall…. and we had some of the best shanghainese food around, and understood where Yizhen got all her funny genes from!

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Cozifam – the wildest most dedicated people around,

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Shakespeare in the park with the RALit class that is too smart for me!!!

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407 is constantly feasting… our class either smells like KFC, pizza, or both. (in this picture it was mcdonalds hotcakes though hahaha)

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Finally wore a yakata to school! J and I embracing the only Jap bits of us here.

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RACH!! Doesn’t matter how rarely or often I see her because this friendship is one to keep for a long long time and I’m so grateful for her ❤

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Lastly – possibly my favourite photo of the last four years hahahaha some of my favourite people and the emblem of all their hard work!

As a p6 5 years ago, I screenshotted the acceptance email to RG, posted in on my insta and said “BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!” and I guess that set the stage for the most remarkable journey thus far 🙂 I still don’t see myself as sixteen and any bit mature; I feel I am still very much ignorant and needy haha. But for the chance to study in RG, meet all these great people and be blessed with all the opportunities the school has cast our way, I am so thankful! Ending in the classic RG way,

Filiae Melioris Aevi

Omnom October :O

The past two weeks have been bittersweet in a very confusing way. Graduation draws ever closer but I still don’t feel that sentimental yet. It just feels like everything is slowing down, and the lack of things I need/want to do makes me feel lethargic. I’ve been going out very frequently with my friends (money fly away really I need to quit spending so much on food) and those days were genuinely happy days because every friend is so different and spending time with them one on one makes me feel very blessed to have them in my life. But then there are other moments where I am uncomfortable with the fact that I am settling into this new normal without my grandma. When I go running at the stadium all I picture is her walking along the track, or doing her morning exercise with the other aunties there. I think about which aunties were her friends. I see a grandma walking down the RIPAC steps; I see a grandpa bringing his grandkids home on the MRT and I just think and think and overthink. Life is pretty different because we don’t have to constantly rush home and we don’t have to consider where/what we can eat, and this different normal makes me want to reject it and crawl back to the yes, maybe more difficult, but the normal which contained my grandma. Didn’t mean for this to be so whiny but I’ve been thinking about it a lot and couldn’t find anyone to burden with my thoughts so here they shall go.

On to happier things! I’ve been stuffing myself way too much lately sigh @FAM !!! Really doesn’t help that I haven’t danced in half a year lol feeling hella blobby but also I love food too much to stop myself from eating sweet things all day every day.

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One day Yq said she wanted to make ice cream cookie sandwiches … so we tried and got these diabetic dino oreo ice cream cookies

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Mentaiko ramen with Shu!

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Coffee options was such a good decision because 1. the teacher is so chill 2. we get to go cafe hopping 3. we learnt how to do latte art!!

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Cafe hopping

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A babyccino is just milk; don’t be fooled like I was.

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$2+ apple pie that looked more like a char siew pie? But tasted pretty legit!

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Bibimbap with KE!! Quite disappointed that we didn’t manage to eat at Joo Bar but ah wells saved a little bit of money and also got FAM heels with her!

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Matcha ice cream ❤

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Joe and Dough before water biking with Rach!

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This was so much fun!! Can’t wait to go again 😀

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And we finally went to eat our pokebowls after talking about them half a year ago.

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On Jap study leave day, J and I made sushi burgers and watched some Taiwanese and Korean dramas. Obviously trying very hard not to fail but I don’t think we will la hahahaha.

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I cooked myself lunch! And poached an egg too! 😀

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Kumoya with J to celebrate end of Jap!

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Far East Plaza has some really good food – I wish I had more time in RG to eat here. Then again, because I have been having so many free slots I have also been spending way too much money… November onwards shall be the time of saving.

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Strictly pancakes with Nic!! Haven’t been here in a while but the pancakes are still as fluffy as ever 🙂

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Wheat with Hazel after our *secret* seminar hahaha

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And finally Gym Gala!! Pretty friend J

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and pretty friend Wei ❤

Do you see what I mean by eating too much … omg legit can’t wait for internship to start so I stop. eating. like. a. pig!!! I’ve been watching the K2 and Doctors and it’s so weird that Doctors is inspiring me to study and become a doctor HAHAHA maybe I can mention that in my interviews? Some creative ways of learning about the profession lmao. Gonna try to find a balance between studying and playing, before JC hits and I go crazy again 🙂

Also feel a little inclined to get back into my YouTube channel because wtheck I have 600+ subscribers when I don’t even post anything nowadays. Plus I really enjoy editing videos, it’s just the filming that’s kinda troublesome. I think I will give up (since I haven’t been posting anyway) on my baking account … Idk it’s kind of stressful to have to keep baking and taking nice photos just to get more followers and likes, and I don’t want to post something if it doesn’t actually taste that great because then I just feel extremely fake. I feel as though I try to maintain all these channels to categorise different parts of my life, but then they just become overly public personas and become more of a burden than something for myself to enjoy. Also it’s not cool to just try very hard and be just average!! It feels like everyone around me has something that they are VVVV good at while I’m just trying to do so many things and not really being outstanding in anything at all.

At the same time I’m glad I now have a stronger relationship with God through my quiet time and altar calls etc. I think I am starting to understand his messages to me, and that is so exciting!!

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Aren’t Psalmists the best writers ever?

Mama

I wasn’t sure at first if I wanted to blog/post about this on Instagram because I didn’t exactly want this to become too public, but I guess I have to put my feelings and memories somewhere before they slowly fade away. Disclaimer: This is going to be incoherent.

The past year since Mama first became ill has really been an emotional rollercoaster for my entire family. I am very thankful for such a tight knit family – we used to see each other only once a week for our Sunday dinners, but of course of late our meetings became a daily affair because everyone wanted to be with Mama more often. It made me realise how lucky I am to be in this strong and loving family, where although everyone was going through a difficult time, we were going through it together.

Growing up, I didn’t realise how unique it was to live with your grandma, I thought everyone did haha. I feel like I always took the small things for granted, and looking back i wish I had responded with more enthusiasm and gratitude whenever Mama did something for me. Like when she remembered to buy ice cream for us from NTUC, frozen fries, char siew baos for breakfast etc etc the list goes on. She always put us first and I wish I had learnt to do that earlier.

I also wrote a poem about Mama last year. It was for a Literature assignment and for some reason I was very inclined to write about Mama and bazhangs. It was about how the yearly bazhang affair was a familiar thing to me, but how it would soon change completely when Mama is no longer with us. I didn’t realise that time would be as soon as this, and when I pulled it out to read it again a week ago, I felt nothing but anger at how poorly written it was. I had so many thoughts that I couldn’t find the right words for, and it frustrated me that my Grandma’s love was being reflected on so very inadequately.

Random thought but I also really dislike Outram Park MRT because the only times I’ve been there were to go to the hospital – the one place Mama hates. Going there after school is the really the worst feeling.

I always wanted to do more for her, like buy her food and bake her things but as time passed there was less and less that suited her diet. Before my EYAs, I told myself I would buy her something every day on the way home from school, but that didn’t work out either sigh. I wanted to make her food that was healthy and that was soft enough for her to eat – I still have all the steamed cake recipes bookmarked now. I remember making a chiffon cake and a steamed cake that both tasted super bland, but when I offered it to her she was always full of praise. Thinking about it now I don’t recall a single time when she scolded me. Her words to me were always either praise, or a reminder to take care of myself and eat more.

For as long as I can remember, Mama has been praising me for my grades hahaha. I never thought much of it because it was like that every year. When I finished each paper, I would go home and tell her how it went. If I said it was good she would say I’m smart; if I said it was bad she would say never mind she knows I’m smart. She would also always reward me for my good grades with a big fat ang pao that I tried, but failed to decline each time. This time, she passed away on the day I was supposed to receive my grades. I really wish I could have told her that I did well this time too and that she didn’t have to worry about me anymore because I would always do my best to make her proud. She was proud for me for winning the house cup even when she didn’t fully understand it hahaha I tried my best to explain but then I think the message almost like I won a house. So I showed her pictures of us with the house cup instead and I think she understood in the end.

Towards the end when less and less words were said by her bedside, I just spent most of the time gazing at her and holding her hand. Her previously warm hands had turned very cold. Each time I was by her bedside I was praying nonstop in my head, first in English, then in my limited Chinese, and then in a confused mix of both. On the day before she passed away, I finally mustered the courage to pray for her out loud. I got the permission of my aunt and Mama as well, and as I prayed in Chinese, Mama nodded and smiled, and I know that God had given her peace.

I think it hasn’t fully sunken in yet that Mama is no longer here, but when I come home from school in the next few days to an empty sofa and an empty bed I guess that’s when I will feel the absence most strongly. Mama taught me to say my first prayer to Gong Gong, and that’s how all my prayers to Gong Gong start because I thought I was always supposed to say the same thing. Now it’s time for me to say the same thing to Mama:

Ah hui jing guai, bo de nang. 

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Hong Kong 2k16

Can’t believe this trip actually happened since we only booked it slightly over a week ago, but it was a really great break from studying and school in general! It was great from the moment I got on the plane because I watched two incredible shows – Miracles from Heaven which actually made me cry … and Descendants of the Sun (yes half a year late but hey at least I made sure I finished my studying before I got myself addicted to a drama right!)

Miracles from Heaven was such a powerful show, especially since it was based on a real life event! I had read about the girl’s testimony before, but seeing it in movie form was impactful on another level. In a nutshell, it was about a little girl and her family’s struggle with a disease that rendered her unable to eat food, and she was on tubal feeding for quite a while, while her parents tried to do all in their power to cure her. They were a Christian family but her mom backslided because of this, BUT the girl was still steadfast in her faith. One day she was back home and climbing a tree with her sister, and she fell headfirst into a hole in the tree, down 30 metres. And everyone thought she would have died or sustained major injuries, but instead she was completely okay, without any injuries from her fall, and cured of her disease. She later told her parents that she had had an encounter with God while she was knocked out at the bottom of the hole, and that He had assured her she would be healed once she returned. I guess it sounds kinda dramatic and impossible, but it was based on a true story, and God does really work in ways we may not understand, and in situations our human minds deem impossible to get out of. Love God and the miracles He surrounds us with to remind us of His grace and unwavering love!

And then to stop myself from crying I decided to start watching DOTS since everyone had been 100% hooked on it a few months ago hahahah and I finished the whole drama in 5 days – good job me! Haven’t properly watched a show since P6 I think but this was so good idek why? This plot was really unrealistic but it was so so cute all the time hahaha. ❤

In Hk I basically walked a lot, ate a lot and watched DOTS… Haven’t gotten that much exercise in the past two months or so; I think my legs were really shocked. My favourite places were probably PMQ and the zoological and botanical gardens! PMQ was an old police building that is now converted into a space for designers to sell their work. It reminded me of Public Garden, except that it’s permanent and has two buildings and five stories worth of shops! The zoological and botanical gardens are atop the central-mid levels slope (?) so we took an escalator up and then walked down through the gardens 🙂 I love that the gardens are free and have so many monkeys! I would visit everyday if I lived in the vicinity 😦

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House CHAMPS! :’)

Since I’m waiting for my blueberry muffins to burst out of their tin (I didn’t realise the power of 2 teaspoons of baking powder…) I shall blog!

I’ve been meaning to blog since Monday but I put it off because of Jap prelims this week. Now that that’s done and dusted (お疲れ様でした!), I think a blog post is in order 🙂

On Monday, RICHARDSON WON OVERALL CHAMPS!!!

It was really such a dream – I was just mentally preparing myself to be okay with 2nd for everything because I didn’t actually think we had done that badly, just not good enough to actually get champs. It was so insane because our teacher was pulling out coloured slips from an envelope and since we were standing behind her, we found out before the school found out. Before that, we also found out we got 2nd for Swimcarn, 1st for IHG week, and 2nd for Most Participative! We were celebrating each small award but since we’d found out before hand for the first two we weren’t super duper over the top at that time.

BUT when she announced the third and second placings for Best Overall House, and IT WASN’T US, I started hoping. And then I saw the unmistakable flash of blue in the last envelope left (sorry drama but it really felt like SUCH a drama), I just died. And Ash died too.

I was honestly quite apprehensive still because what if they made a mistake in the calculations omg. But it’s been a week and there have been no revisions so I’m taking the results as final :”D

The award itself shouldn’t matter as much because ultimately I know how much effort I have put into House, and it doesn’t take an award to validate my work, or my House Comm’s work, or my House’s effort. The only thing I hope this trophy will do is inspire.

When Ashley and I first stepped up as Captains, we were (in all honesty) not that inspired. We felt like a lot more could be done to improve our House’s house spirit and that House Comm could be pushed a lot further. As Captains, we balanced each other out and filled in for one another. We knew we were being pulled in all directions, but never once did we do less for House because of other commitments. We’ve made so many last ditch attempts and our EXCO has grown so. incredibly. much. so at the end of the day we are just really proud of everybody :”)

We still see a lot of room for improvement in the next EXCO and next year’s House Comm, so I hope this trophy reminds them of what they can achieve if they really give it their all. They don’t have to win next year to make me proud, they just need to keep pushing our House further and further till every member knows what it feels like to love and fight for House. I first truly fell in love with House through DramaFest, because DF is a intense commitment that puts you with your House mates every day for a few consecutive weeks. At the end of it, you love all the actors and the stagehands, and the Y4s bond with Y3s and Y2s and Y1s, and it’s such an incredible warm environment that you never want to leave. Same with banner painting and Sportfest, and every other House event that I’ve had the privilege of experiencing as a House Comm member.

I hope every Richardsonian felt inexplicable pride when our House’s name was read out, and I hope that translates into inspiration and a desire to keep fighting for our House. It’s really not as though House events are very frequent anyway, just the occasional IHG and Swimcarn and Dramafest etc.! It’s so so easy to just sign up and play a small part in House and allow your RG life to be more than just studying.

I’ve come way further than I ever thought I would in RG. In Y1 I was confused. In Y2 I wanted to be in PSB because I felt caring for people was what I did best. Then I got sorted into House and I was like okay no worries I can do this too! Then Y3 came and I was running for Captain when I really thought I had no chance of getting it. And then last Monday came and we won. Basically, it’s been QUITE a ride, but one that has no doubt shaped my RG life and that I am very very lucky to have had.

38 weeks ago, I bookmarked Romans 12:4-8. It was the inspiration for my Captaincy campaign.

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

I took it as an analogy for all the roles Richardsonians could play – they simply have to use their own gifts to contribute to our House.

Beyond that, I thank God for the gifts he has bestowed upon me. I may not have been the perfect leader (oh g my hand shook so. much. while reading my speech) but God has carried me through regardless.

Whoever he calls, he truly does glorify.

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