22 March 2010

I stand at the edge, unsure.

For our final exam for our Work Orientation Seminar class, or WOS 2, the requirement was simple - write an at least 10-paragraph essay about the joys and pains of our practicum. Our experiences; the things we learned, the wisdom we gained, the things we hate and the things we love most about it. And since because writing, as I believe, is one of the things I most love to do and is fairly good at, well - let's just say I took my time and savored every moment writing this. This originally, is a four-page essay. But I deliberately extracted the unimportant parts, and left those I feel says the most. Smile, Read, and Enjoy.

From The River To The Sea

First and foremost, let me begin by stating the accurate definition of two words we love to speak of: pain 1 : PUNISHMENT, PENALTY 2 : suffering or distress of body or mind: also : a sensation marked by discomfort (such as throbbing or aching). joy 1 : a feeling of happiness that comes from success, good fortune, or sense of well-being 2 : a source of happiness : bliss, delight, enjoyment, pleasure. This, according to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Though we always say it's necessary to feel pain to appreciate joy, they're absolutely two different things – opposite extremes, actually. Where pain is agony, joy is bliss. Where joy is something that humans constantly long for, pain, is something humans strive to defy. Like beautiful Sunday mornings under warm sheets – I find joy. Whereas pain – pain are like falling leaves in Autumn expiring in the chilly winds. Joy is what you feel when you first meet the person whom you know you’ll never forget. And pain is that day you get your heart broken. Pain is when you fail, and never try again, but joy, oh joy – is when you fail, but keep trying and then succeed. When you keep failing, but never give up – joy. Joy is that thing you feel at the end of the day when you know you’ve won a hard fight – and you can’t help but feel proud of yourself.

Pain and joy are two very different things. And yet, one simply can’t exist without the other.

It was a peaceful Sunday morning. I was asked to come to the DWIZ office at 7 o’clock in the morning to start my practicum training. I came in at around 6:30. And because I was rather early, I was asked to wait outside by a table and some chairs. I was alone, and I was nervous as hell. Outside you can feel the holiday spirit bustling in the air, but in there, at the station floor, everything stood still. Like the hands of the clock had come to a halt and everything was silent – except for the soft laughters coming from the speakers of the radio booth where a group of excited announcers were running their morning show. I sat, and waited. Not long after, I was summoned inside the news room to start work. I was handed a couple of phone numbers to call and patch for the next program. I also learned the basics of running the Communications work. But most importantly I was taught how to write news, and was told that I had to meet a quote of 10 news scripts per day at the office. And so the next days pretty much all went that same way.

On the other hand, Living Asia Channel is one of those work places where you don’t even remember you’re working. From the cozy atmosphere to the wonderful people, it’s not work – it’s home. I’ve never met more passionate and free-willed people. To the way one would talk to you about spirituality, and finding God in a tree, a sea, or the sunset, or within yourself, you just know this is not a place of business, but a place of passion. Passion for the majestic tree, the sparkling sea and the glorious sunset. As I sit in front of my desktop at LAC, shotlisting a project on South Korea, I’ve witnessed how beautiful this country is. And I feel rather grateful for this simple task. Staring into the monitor the whole day was a small price to pay compared to the countless new things I learn from the raw materials I am working on. Once, an editor made us watch this astonishing new project he just finished. A feature on Mt. Kota Kinabalu entitled Spellbound, the artistic approach used on the feature truly was captivating. That is the thing I love most about LAC – it is made up of genuinely artistic people who choose to see the goodness, the beauty and life in even the simplest structure, every face, and any place. And the best part of it is, they go ahead and explore it; so they can let other people see the goodness, the beauty, and life that they see.

As all hopeful dreamer, I have a lot of questions – I have a lot of fears. It feels like I was threading this long, and what seemed endless path, but now I’ve reached the end and I’m standing at the edge of it, unsure of what’s supposed to happen next. School is the only one thing that students are sure of – it’s like this unfaltering thing that will always be there. And though we admittedly hate going to school most of the times, but without it - the only one sure thing we have – we honestly don’t know what to do. Sure, we know what we want to be, or where we want to be, but the big question is, how do we get there? It’s like playing X marks the spot. You know where you want to head; you just haven’t quite figured out yet as to how, exactly.

As I approach the end of this paper, suddenly it’s not only about the things I learned for the past months during my practicum training. Not only about the joys and pain I’ve experienced in the two organizations I worked with for a couple weeks, not the four months of our final semester, but I think it’s more about the four unforgettable years I spent in college. The countless education, knowledge, experience, wisdom and friends – these are what made everything worth while. It’s not about the pain, or the joy for that matter, but rather the people who stood by me through the pain, and the people who benevolently shared my joys.

I personally believe that if there’s one thing I’m good at, it is expressing my thoughts. And since this is my last shot, I hope you don’t mind that I poured my heart out to this.

From the river to the sea, we now leave the rapid waters of this river as it parts to the sparkling ocean, where we will join the rest of the world - a sea of inconstant and new, exciting possibilities.

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