Sunday, May 04, 2008

Team, you've done us proud.

The SMKDJ Wira Debate Team 2008

Daryl, Keefe, Calvin, Jayshendra, Kevin
Rachel, Zafirah, Sophia
(and Puan Koh and Puan Tan)

Letting go of something you love is the hardest thing to do. And as I have come to learn and grow with this team of mine, saying goodbye is definitely difficult.

If you have not heard already, our team gave it their very best at Kuala Selangor and we came up in 2nd place in the state finals. I know I told this team that we'll go all the way, and even though the road may have seemed to end here, they did indeed go all the way. Even though the final decision was ruled against our favour, the way they spoke so confidently and eloquently made me feel so proud. If they were lousy up there, if they did not speak and argue the way that they were taught to, I would have failed my duty as a coach, but at the finals, they were up there on the stage, being the debaters that I knew that they could be. What more can a humble coach ask for?

We've come a really long way in our one and a half months together. Guess time really does fly when you're having fun, or as Keefe puts it, it all passed by in a blink of an eye. *BLINKS*

We stressed over debate definitions....

We stayed up late into the night doing our speeches....

We fought over petty issues.

We raised our voices at each other....

....but we also....

Encouraged each other on....

Drilled points into each other's heads....

Camwhored together!

But the most important thing was that through thick or thin, we stayed together. I said it once before and I'll say it again - great friendships were forged in the fires of the Bilik Tayangan, that has been true each passing year, and this year was no exception.

In the quarantine room!

I'm just so proud that we gave this our very best shot, working hard on our cases till the very end, and that we truly have no room for regrets.

It was a true honour to coach this wonderfully diverse team and I just hope that you guys realize that you have so much potential within each and every one of you. In our one and a half months together, we have all grown so much as a team. We not only learned about gauges and definition debates, but we also learnt the more important lesson - how to work together as a team.

Even I was just the coach for this debate, the journey sure wasn't easy. It was many late nights helping the debaters with their speeches, staying up till the wee hours of the morning editing the scripts they submitted, and even ending up dreaming about various stands in bed. Yes, I quite literally had debate nightmares. Yes, quite a number of times I woke up in the morning to some debate dream thinking that we got our stands and points all wrong!

Sophia and Keefe going through their speeches just before the debate.

But we pulled through, debate after debate all the people who showed their support, John, Andrew, Marc my friends and students really made me remember what debate was all about - supporting each other as we grew together as speakers and friends.

And even though my standards were so high, in the end, I am proud to say that my debaters finally put it all together and put a stellar showing in the state level Wira debate championships. The amazing thing is that they're not even in form 5 yet, and they're already performing so well, who knows what they can achieve next year?

Keep working hard team! Keep giving it your best and you will reap the fruits of your labour soon! I'm so proud of every single one of you in light of how much all of you have grown as debaters, but I'm even more proud of the fact that I can call each and every one of you my dear, dear friends.


Love all of you guys so much!