Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My experience - Public Speaking/Spell-it-right

Assalamualaikum w.b.t

So I didn't want to share this with you guys until it was all over. And now it's over, so I'm sharing it with you guys. Sorry, I'm still quite blurred. Haha.

Last Wednesday, which is 15th June 2011, I participated in a Public Speaking Competition.

If you're not familiar with the format, the competition is divided into two sections. The first section, which is the prepared speech, participants will deliver a speech with the topic of their choice, in the allocated time of 6 minutes. The second section is the impromptu speech. Participants are quarantined, and given four minutes to prepare a speech, as in just jot down ideas and stuff. The impromptu speech is just for three minutes.

This was the district level. It was held in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Ibrahim Fikri. I was in the Northern Zone category. The Southern Zone category was held there too, but in different halls. I was feeling very jolly that morning, the total opposite of my mood the night before. Delivering the speech went quite smooth. The topic i chose was "How to Build Self-confidence". I was enjoying the moment. It would be nice if I had that mood in every competition I entered. sigh. Usually I'd be shaking so much! Even during my oral tests, I shake. It becomes worse when it's obvious. That day I managed to lock my hands, and keep the shaking unnoticeable. Sometimes it's not about being confident, it's the illusion of being confident. Appearing confident, actually helps you to feel confident. Was that confusing? whatever. Haha.

Even though it was my 1st time entering a Public Speaking Competition (not counting the one for Co-curricular day in my school last year), I managed to get 1st place. Alhamdulillah, I was chosen to represent the Northern Zone of Kuala Terengganu. The topic for the impromptu section was "A Person I Would Like to Meet". I gushed about Bill Kaulitz. People who knew me were like "I KNEW IT!" . ;P The topic for the Southern Zone was "A Place I Would Like to Be At". I didn't manage to meet the champion, but her mother was one of my adjudicators. The teachers and I returned to the school and we went straight to the Principal's office. "Sir, we won! 1st Place!" He was very delighted. I felt happy to see him that way, he was supportive ever since the start.

You know how sometimes something good happens, and it's followed by something bad? Well, the day after the competition, I fell in the bathroom. The floor was very slippery. I fell on my glutious maximus. :P Thank God there were no serious injuries! Falling on your butt is very dangerous, you know. So readers, please be careful. And don't pull a person's chair if they're about to sit down. It's not funny, and it's just stupid. Don't be stupid.

So, I was able to go to school. During the assembly, the school Principal announced about the competition and I had to stand right in the middle of everyone! Not receive a trophy on a stage or whatever, but just standing, in the middle of all the other students who are sitting. Awkward. Haha!

Saturday, 18th June 2011 - Spell-It-Right
I wasn't hoping very high for this one. I was thinking about the State Level for the Public Speaking Competition. I even decided to not enter, but people persuaded me. haiz. My brother entered too. We departed from home very early in the morning. Long story short, we both lost. He misspelled "Chaparral" and I misspelled "Labyrinthitis". It was kinda fun though.

Then today arrived, 21st June 2011. The day for the state level of the Pubic Speaking Competition.

Unlike the previous level where I didn't bring any supporters, this time the teacher bought 9 of them. They were brought so they could be exposed to these things. And in case I transfer schools next year, I'd have an understudy. Or in this case, understudies. So there were 10 of us all together. Not counting the teachers. Two teachers were involved, btw.

The State Level for this competition is held in Besut. Specifically Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tengku Mahmud I. Our school is very far from the venue. We departed at 7.35a.m and reached there at 9.15a.m or so. Other participants have it worse, some of them even had to leave at 6.30a.m because we needed to reach there by 10.00a.m . During the journey, I talked with the teacher, non-stop. People sitting at the back were eating, non-stop. Hahaha! But the boys, only two, they just kept quiet and listen to music or whatever they were doing at the back.

Self confidence itu penting

self confidence itu penting sangat

Besides the fact that there was supposed to be five judges instead of three, everything went well. I used my original text. Although the timing was better than the district level, I was really stiff. Only my arms moved, and my body would only move if it was "pulled" by my arms =___=" My friend told me I was like a tree stump. I looked at the pictures that they took, and I did! In every single picture, I looked exactly the same except for my arms and head.Oh well, at least the intonation and facial expressions were good, so my teacher said.Would've been better if I didn't look at my notes at all. But it wasn't the time for trial and error. And now is not the time for regrets.

In the 1st quarantine room, the participants had the chance to talk. Alisha Reverie (Kemaman representative), Shern Koo (Southern Kuala Terengganu representative) and I were the loudest in the room. Hahaha, other representatives would talk if we asked them something. Except for that one boy, he was the only boy, and he just stayed by himself. 0____0 I guess he's shy.

Wanna go to the Philippines!

The topic for the impromptu part of the competition was "a place I would like to visit". I chose the Philippines. The teacher and I were hoping for this topic, so yay! LOL after it all was over, we gathered in the school's jubilee hall. The primary school's choral speaking competition was held there, and when we were finished, they were down to their last group. So we had time to loiter around. The hall was filled with people, so it was very hot. I didn't stay there for long, because sweating causes rashes. Not to mention, discomfort.

So I decided to join my friends who were sitting at a hut nearby. No, not the woody hut thingy. It was made of cement and tiles. We had a chance to talk with the students from the hosting school. The participant, Syamimi Halim, and a few of her friends who were the emcees, and school photographers. Everybody got along fine.

So I'll just skip the pointless parts. It was time they announced the winners. They announced the consolation prize winners. There were 8 contestants, each representing their district. But for Kuala Terengganu, as I said, it's divided into the Northern Zone and Southern Zone. I was very nervous. I held on tight to my teacher's hand. Four names were announced, none of them mine. Me and Alisha were communicating with each other from afar, we used facial expression, hand gestures, and a lot of lip reading. Haha. When they announced the 5th name, I was like "NOT ME! OMG! IT'S NOT MY NAME! :O" which means, I got a place.

The only ones left were Shern, Alisha and I. Then the announcer announced that Shern came in 3rd. That was when my grip to the teacher's hand tightened. Me and Alisha were using our made-up sign language skills to say "OH! YOU AND ME AH? YOU AND ME!!" we were wide-eyed and so hyper! Then the announcer did a very suspenseful affect. He said that he's going to announce the champion, so the name that was not announce should come up the stage to receive the prize for 2nd place "like in Akademi Fantasia" Hahaha.

As expected, Alisha's name was announced. She got up and went straight to the front. I turned to my teacher and asked "wait, I'm supposed to go, becasue I cam in 2nd, and she came in 1st". The announcer had to stop her, I guess she was just too excited! I mean, who wouldn't be, right? So the announcer announced my name, so I reached the point where Alisha was standing, and we congratulated each other. I was so grateful to come in 2nd. She really deserved 1st place! She was amazing! :D

Me, Shern, and Alisha

had a great time, laughed a lot, got valuable experience, gained new friends. I say today is a great day :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

always do the right thing!

Salam readers!

Let me tell you what happened to me.

I have this friend, no wait, maybe it's not precise to call that person a friend, hmm, let's go with "acquaintance". We were close, but a few things occurred between us, which really effected our friendship. Being in this bittersweet thing, which I couldn't really make heads or tails of, affected me, internally. I ended up feeling angry, upset, sad, ignored, the list goes on and on! But, I blamed myself. By doing so, I got depressed.

So I decided to do something. Something so risky, it would've changed out relationship forever. It did. Whether it would change it in a positive way, or  negative way, I didn't know. But at that moment, I genuinely thought that it was something that I had to do, regardless of the circumstances. I decided to end our broken friendship. Yes, I shattered the cracked glass. or whatever. I didn't see it as an action of surrender, it wasn't me, giving up. It had felt like that a tiny bit, but it was more of a sacrifice. I felt like I was being a burden, and even to myself, it was a burden. For a very long time, I was glad that I did it. A lot of things were falling into place for me.

Almost two months passed. Yes I know, it isn't that long. Thank God.

Then last week, something kept bothering me. I started questioning my action, the one I thought was one of the best decisions of my life, so far. I remember that I was thought that all Muslims are brothers, and we should not break our relations with them. It's a sin. I did remember this, but I thought it was excused due to the circumstances. Knowing that I am not wise enough to make a decision on my own, I decided to refer to my seniors. I wouldn't want to make two bad decisions in a row. I asked them, and they explained to me, and now, Alhamdulillah, I understand.

I felt really guilty. Not only to that person, but to God, Allah SWT. I literally cried when I was chatting to them about this. So even though it was very hard for me, I knew I had to do the right thing. I am the kind of person who can't stand guilt. Like seriously, you don't know how much it bothers me. Sometimes it brings cons to me, but most of the time, it keeps me on my feet. I wrote an apology. Not a short message, but it was like an essay. I explained my side of the story, and with a prayer, I sent it via Facebook. Yes, even though in that time span of almost two times we didn't contact each other at all, we were till friends on Facebook. I guess that was a good sign, that there was still hope, or something. I t could be revenge, but whatever.

That night, I got a reply. The reply was 1/5 the length of my sappy apology. hahaha. It went well, I was glad. Syukur, Ya Allah. We decided that it was nobody's fault, and we should let bygones be bygones.

  1.  Seek guidance from Allah SWT in times of hardship and when in doubt, because only He can give us peace and happiness, or the contrary.
  2.  Be grateful, especially to God.
  3. Don't make a drastic decision on temporary  emotions, especially if you're a teenage girl. If you know what I mean.
  4. Don't hesitate to do the right thing
  5. Don't be ashamed to seek help when you know you need it
  6. Don't deny what you truly believe deep inside, but be sure to investigate it thoroughly.
  7. Learn to manage stress
  8. Take time to understand people
  9. It's best to forgive and forget, but remember what it taught you.
  10. Listen to these advices. 
Much Love, Sofia :)