Interact Club.

I have been thinking for a long time, keeping this within my mind, all those thoughts of decision making, leadership. Basically experiences.

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Background note:

Interact Club (I.C.) is under the branch of Rotary Club in each district. Interactors are so-called accountable to the Rotarians. On Sundays, the 6 Interact Clubs in Kluang will meet at least every twice a month (depending on the necessity). We call these meetings Council Meeting. We discuss and plan for events during Council Meeting. A Rotarian (having the post of New Generation Director) will be present with us to conduct this meeting.

I have kind of lead two join projects (all I.C. schools involved), which is Christmas Cheer and International Understanding Day. Youth Leadership Training Seminar was also held in our school. Every year, each club has to carry out at least 2 school projects and 2 community projects.

Christmas Cheer – visiting places like Miriam Home and Agape Shelter to sing carols and “cheer” them up. Carry out some activities like feeding the old folks and washing their dishes.

International Understanding Day – Every club will choose a country to present. Presentation will be in a form of exhibition and sketch (maybe a dance too). It is also a competition between schools based on creativity and productivity.

Leadership Training Seminar – Training for the Board of Directors (BOD) on their duties accordingly by the Rotarians.

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I was the Vice President for 2005/2006, and President for 2006/2007. We start our term from June to July the following year. At the same time, I was in the YF committee until I ended my term middle of last year. It was out of the decision I made, after sleepless nights and bothering thoughts.

Through this one year, Interact has taught me so much about leadership. Why? Firstly and the most ultimate reason is: We are on our own.

I only had my BOD for support and Catherine to give me “leadership lessons” (I’m not a natural leader). I struggled through my perfectionist views and expectations of people. I just had to accept the fact that I cannot make people the way I want them to be. It’s superbly irritating when I do not see the results I want or when they do no cooperate. Sometimes, it is not so much of what they cannot do or how terrible they are, but how I can bring out their strong points. Focus, on the right things.

One thing about me. I’m so not sensitive when it comes to people and me… what they do, sometimes I don’t even know that they are gonna backstab me! It awful being such a blur human, what more a leader.

Another thing. I like sleeping. And I can’t survive without sufficient sleep. More of my energy was sapped out of me by staying back in school when an event is nearing. Next day in school would just bore me (it always has anyway =P). I tried skipping my naps in the afternoon to finish my work, but it never really happen (until now!).

These were my main weakness when I was leading. And that seemed to be like. Everything. I even had to ask how I should speak to Rotarians in a mannerly way. Hah.

*takes a deep breath*

It is true when you hear people saying that I.C. is a waste of time, effort, energy. Plus, it affects your studies. Your tear ducts will be working very efficiently too =P

It may be a waste of…. as stated, but it is never a waste of learning and experiencing.

Imagine organizing a 600 people event. It is crazy. It is fun. It is torturing. It is a pleasure and honour. Although I admit I made many mistakes and flaws. Having meetings together with the IU Day Committee to make decisions and ask opinions… seemed so quiet. I hate making my own decisions… but I had to. That’s what a leader needs to do anyway. Hah. Over all, it was okay. Not too bad lah. Pretty satisfied.

I’m always scared to stand on my own. Somehow. But yet, I like the freedom given, not being restricted to my thoughts and ideas. Everyone too gets a chance to do what they have in mind.

The leadership that I encountered will, of course vary to the kind of leadership in YF. I cannot say which is better. Leadership in I.C. taught me how to socialize with all sorts of people, and ultimately how to work and organize in a secular world. It was an eye-opener for me to the outside world, to the world I thought I knew. After all, I was “protected” by a layer of ozone. I mean. The Christian world.

As for those YFers who are thinking of becoming an Interactor, or if you do, I can guarantee one thing for sure: You will be elected in the BOD. Reason: Your “out-standing” leadership in school now and you are English speaking. So, do put in deep thought of what you are willing to sacrifice before you even enter the classroom next year for AGM.

It is either leadership in YF or I.C.

Know yourself.

Well.

As for those already in there, my support will always be with you. There is no turning back. Stick to your path and journey on well.

And of course, for everyone else, don’t be too biased okay? =) Although you want the best for them and care about them. But they’ve made their decision, and all they need is your support and care. Because if we don’t, why call ourselves Christians who care? Let them fall and learn themselves. Be the one to guide and help them up.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. enilit
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 20:33:34

    Yay! *applause*🙂 Proud of you, mei.

  2. Peiling Soong
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 13:33:49

    It hurts when we fall,but only thru pains will we get the courage to stand up again n proudly proclaim that : Nothing could beat me bcoz God is always with me!

  3. joy
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 23:47:48

    hi tien.. i thought that was a very wonderful post.. and very encouraging (to those in I.C., eventhough i am not lah.. hehe)too.. it showed me the other side of interact which was not only about busyness and work.. and am really sorry for always ‘judging’ interact as ‘wasting time and very busy club’.. now i know interact is not just about busyness.. its more than that.. great post! =)

  4. WKS
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 16:31:25

    YES. THAT WAS A GREAT LEARNING EXPERIENCE. WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD….ESPECIALLY THE BACKSTABBING PART. HOPE U ARE OK NOW.
    LOVE, DAD.

  5. Eunice
    Sep 26, 2007 @ 09:44:30

    Hey there girl, to echo what Joy said, it’s a different perspective of looking at the experience, i.e. learning and growing through the experience. I am also sorry that I somehow came to that point of appraising the experience to be a waste of time and energy. I’m glad though it was for you, but you managed to get gold nuggets from it too. Way to go, girl.

    By the way, I see you’ve grown lately. I am proud of you.

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