The Confusing Subject

places I have learned the most2

Recently my OM team finally met up again after yet another hectic couple of months, checking in on one another’s lives and realising once more that some of our perks never really do change despite time. It has been 2 years since we’ve kept our friendship going strong since the year we worked ourselves, basically, to the brink of death, together. I once described briefly what the experience working with this team was like, but for the sake of refreshing our memories I’ll do it again–what I remember of the year we spent as an official team together can’t be said to be days, nights or afternoons specifically and neither can I decide if they were mostly weekdays or weekends, because it was just about every single day and every single moment.

What I remember of that season was mornings in the darkness of our workspace, lying on each other’s laps or shoulders or shins all trying to grapple with the little sleep we had the previous night, mindless days in classrooms not really paying attention to what is being taught because we are too busy problem-solving through sketches and WhatsApp messages, then we get to the sultry afternoons that are somehow not sleep-inducing because we our hands are busy creating the props we have imagined together, and finally into the night that never ends, we skype till hours before daybreak keeping one another awake finishing the last stitches of our costumes. And those were the days I learned the most from school.

On the contrary this year, I find myself embarking on Project Work, a whole new realm of logic and understanding– one that my team struggles to conform to and has often failed to make out exactly. It was a disappointment, I feel, to find that the one subject that deliberately brought classmates together to embark on research and imagination, had clouded the room for creativity and debate by the rigid structures and criterion to be met. It is difficult to empathise with the system’s attempt at delivering this subject even after numerous lessons of my teacher’s painstaking delivery, and somewhere this year I think I have stopped trying to figure this subject out– to find out what it’s really trying to improve about me academically or what it’s attempting to encourage about the way we think and learn.

It then became more difficult, because I find it challenging to be putting in effort in something I cannot make out the purpose of. And it is thanks to conversations with my sister and seniors that I have come to find the new purpose of focusing on the experience with my classmates. Just as I have enjoyed experiences with teams year after year from OM and then in my volunteering experiences (like the recent Youth Corps Singapore), cherishing the crossing of paths of my teammates and I who would otherwise have never understood one another to the extent that we do today, just might be something I can possibly takeaway from this confusing subject.

places where i have learned the most


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