Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Gift

Dear Santa:

This year’s Christmas will be my second meaningful Christmas. Though I didn’t quite celebrate it last year, but I think being at home will be the best gift for every Christmas, including and especially this year’s.

There was this Pre-Worlds Debate Tournament held in Nanyang Technology University in Singapore. We’d received their invitation around October and (myself specifically)decided to attend it since then, despite my no-experience-in-leading-a-debate-team-to-neighbour-country-ness, and directionless-ness, with my passport status still questionable.

The tournament was happening on 22nd – 23rd Dec 2007, the weekends before Christmas. Though we can’t expect a white Christmas in Singapore, but I believe it’ll be quite an experience for us in the debating team. Another international debating tournament and we can spend our time visiting Singapore during Christmas.

Some personal reasons why I wanted to go there so badly is not only because it’ll be a great chance for me to learn different debating styles and watch some higher level debates, but it’s also some diplomatic reasons.

I’ve met some debaters from NTU during my Australs this July. They are friendly and good debaters, too. At least we remember each other’s name and we still keep in touch on Facebook after Australs. I get to know this tournament through Neha. Hence, this was my diplomatic and friendship part of the reason to go there.

Since we are not going for Worlds in Assumption University in Thailand due to some bureaucracy mistakes , I hope at least I can go for this Pre-Worlds during my holiday, to keep myself from rusted. Without further doubt, I posted the invitation letter on our yahoogroup and waited for people to join me in this.

At first, I told NTU committee that we’ll be sending 2 teams and 1 adjuds there. Later, as more and more people wanted to go, I inform NTU again that we’ll be sending 4 teams and 3 adjuds. It was double the amount. I felt like giving them a high hope that we’re so supportive of their tournament. And the number kept increasing – even after the registration date and we have to pay extra for the late-registered names. All these became like a false hope to them when finally UKM decided not to give us money for it.

To cut the story short, my parents were quite unhappy when I insisted to go alone. I felt the responsibility to go because UKM team which were suppose to be consisted of 5 teams and 4 adjuds had shrinked to …none? I thought at least we have to send a representative. However, I decided to pull out last minute when I decided it won’t do me any good to go there and face the odds alone, as my return ticket was not yet guaranteed and I might end up no place to stay because it’s near Christmas. I gave up and I thought I heard a voice inside me said I’ve made the right decision.

I spent the rest of my holiday at home, reading Sophie Kinsella (Undomestic Godness), my all time favourite author for feminine fiction now, playing online Scrambles at Facebook (Gosh, I totally hooked on it!) and watching TV to a lesser extent.

I have no mood to update my blog because I wasn’t quite in the mood to talk about my disappointment regarding this NTU issue. Now I understand how the Worlds issue mentioned above has hit Jun Hoe badly and (correct me if I’m wrong) demotivated him. The bad news of no funding from UKM has hit my severely and I felt all my anticipation and preparation were wasted. It thoroughly threw me down from the mountain of hope and crushed my spirit for debate. At that instant I really lost hope in UKM and future debate tournaments. I doubt if they will continue to support us for coming tournaments. I doubt if we will continue to fight for UKM reputation as hard as we did in previous tournaments. I doubt if the debating team has the same high spirit for debate as we used to.

Come to think of it now, again, I can see things happened for a reason. If not because of unsupportive-ness from UKM (yet, I’m still sooo not going to thank them for this), I wouldn’t spend my Christmas at home. I wouldn’t have time to laze at home and finished my Sophie Kinsella my sister bought me and my friend, Sheue Fen brought me from UK. I don’t have debate trainings up till mid night and it was an enjoyable read – my real holiday. And the most important part is: I’m at home with my family =)

With this, I pray that my gift this year is to see everyone have a Blessed, Merry Christmas. I thank God for all the decisions He guided me to make and I’ll always trust God to lead me to the correct path. Whenever you have doubt or indecisive, ask God! Tell Him your problem and listen to Him, He’ll show you to way to life. This time, I’ve never felt so peaceful in my heart after the decision - to decide between debate or not debate. It’s my first time to give up debate. And I’ve made a right choice by listening to God.

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