Time to revive a dead blog.
This year marks my last arts camp. It really comes full circle this year. This is also the year where I am demoted to being a councillor after two amazing runs as House IC.
Being a councillor is really … different. Not that I have not been one before- I was a councillor for Orientation Week in my freshmen year. Filling bottles, providing welfare of all sorts, shapes and sizes is our duty and our mainstay.
Being a councillor also means, by exclusion, not being a House IC. This means that in this unique case, the responsibility of caring for the house comes second only to the responsibility for caring for my immediate freshmen. This means following the lead of my OGLs, and helping to herd the stupid freshmen around. You might think this is difficult to do, but it really isn’t (note: stupid freshmen).
Being a councillor, I’ve come to realise after these five days, is really not a demotion. Not by a far stretch. Being a councillor being being able to have truly meaningful conversations with freshmen, other councillors and OGLs. It means forging very real, close and true bonds with each and everyone in the OG.
Being a councillor made me feel emotional again.
When I was House IC, I felt the House as a unit- you see the rough, average, and mean representation of the House, which takes after what you choose it to be. Yes, you feel the House spirit, and the surge of energy and inspiration when you feel the whole house behind you- be it in the mass games, tug of war or just shouting PENIS in the Lecture Theatres. But as a councillor, wow.
As a councillor, you are in the thick of it (that’s what she said). You see each and every person among you. You can feel what each of them feels, not “on the whole”, or just a rough gauge, but the very real, very intense and very unique emotional signature of each person that you care for. For me, it was my freshmen, my fellow councillors, and my OGLs.
This year, I joined R4, and my OGLs were Terence and Samantha.
I am constantly reminded of Joey when I see you. The same motherly care, perseverance and eye slits. But far more than being like her, you have really come into your own this camp. The qualities you exude are something truly remarkable and commendable. The selflessness that rivals much of mine, persevering so hard to the point of falling sick, and taking care of the painstakingly small details. I am so glad I had a part to play in choosing you to be Nauf and Andrea’s R10. I am proud of you.
From that intimidating freshie to the OGL that you are now- you are the one that has impressed me the most. To see you grow and be comfortable in the role that has been placed upon you, and keeping a level head despite all the constant challenges that have come your way. Terence, you have done me, Chow, and everyone else who had faith in you proud. The way you led the freshmen and your councillors is really something else, and the care and protection that you have provided is unparalleled. We are all behind you for OWeek.
Welcome to Happy Valley Retirement Home! I’ve said this a thousand times and I would say this again- you are by far the best decision I have ever made to come into R House. We will reminiscence about your freshmen days, to your OGL days, and now, to your epic run as House IC and winning. I secretly had the goal of making you cry before the end of camp, that’s why I engineered the “final cheer”- to give you the emotional moment that you can bring with you and look back on should you ever feel lonely on your travels. My gift to you because I am poor. Proud of you Andrea. It was an excellent run.
Welcome to … unhappy mountain non-retirement home. The newly-minted House IC back from the mountains. Your overwhelming dedication to the House is exceptional. Never mind that you are new- every House IC grows into his or her own over time. Your horns might be green, but your heart is a fiery Red. Shape the House to what you will. Never let anyone else steer your opinion, or affect your judgement. After all, you’re the captain now, and the House is always, always behind you in everything that you do.
To the R4 councillors:
You are the best bunch that I have met, and trust me, I am a good authority on this. Every day, looking out for the freshmen, sleeping only after they do (and sometimes even after Terence and Sam), doing all the menial tasks for the freshmen. I really salute you. Your dedication really pushed me harder and harder to do likewise for the freshmen, despite my frail body and old age. But I am proud to have stood and served alongside you guys. I remember how by Day 4 you guys were shagged out and drained, but still volunteered to accompany the freshmen around school and toward Botanic Gardens. I hope my efforts that day to cover most of you have made it a little bit easier. Terence, Sam and I truly cannot thank you guys enough.
To the R4 freshies:
Ok let me try this. Georgia Jiaxuan Jamie Cheryl Clarisse Evette Laural Felicia Cory Cornelius Joel Raymund CheongYi Wyatt Tommy. Phew. Did I miss anyone out? Truth be told, I gave up memorising your names on the first day. I was thinking I’m too old for this. But as the day went on, I felt this compulsion to know each and every one of you better. You guys have such wonderful personalities, and I am so happy to be your councillor. Although you all cannot comprehend how important I am, I guess its better that way. Just remember me as that umbrella-carrying, inappropriate joke-making, apple-giving, water-refilling angry old man. If you want personal dedications you can PM me.
To the OComm:
Justin and team, you guys did a great camp. Many of you would have left with regrets, but that just shows the undying passion and spirit that you guys have. I am just happy that I am able to share the burden with you guys, and assist in any way I can. It was a tiring six months, but I think you have give yourselves a pat on the shoulder after this. Also, please clean up my club room and settle accounts. Thanks.
That kind of concludes a memorable Arts Camp 2016. Here in a different (but not diminished) role, understanding that we are just a speck in a long line of specks, as numerous as the stars in the universe but also just as bright , and that we all have different lives, grown into different roles, and that we live forever as long as people remember us.
“We all change, when you think about it, we’re all different people; all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good, you’ve gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day, I swear.”
I have been Freshmen, Councillor, House IC, President, but I’m really just me, in the end.