Today we welcome the freshmen of Ma Chung. As I sat quietly in the back row of Balai Pertiwi, I tried to scan them and was wondering how Ma Chung would make them better persons.
I would say that character development is a twenty-four-hour business. Character Building courses is only part of a larger task into which Ma Chung students should be immersed. Positive attitude, tolerance, perseverance, politeness, respect for others and other values are inculcated through their routines: classes, meetings, driving, running into staff and lecturers, lining up in the canteen, using toilets. . . And it’s us, the lecturers and staff, who are entrusted with a grand mission of providing the good models for these young generations.
And that is not easy. It is so DAMned difficult . . . especially when you are having rough time controlling yourselves.
For today’s students are very critical of their lecturers’ behavior. Yes, they do have fun with some of the lecturers who are friendly, open-minded, spontaneous, but they do sometimes frown and think: “I think this particular lecturer is a bit over the line . . . ”
So much about lecturers. Let me shift now to my mentees’ characteristics. Have they been changing? Have they learned something from being one year at Ma Chung? Have they been maturing more, getting wiser, less emotional, less troubled, more patient and more persevering?
I think so.
I think, in my most humble opinion, that is the result of the entire experiences they have at Ma Chung. While mentoring sessions serve to wake them up to the good virtues and acceptable norms, their daily interactions with peers, lecturers, their battles with assignments and academic as well as non-academic pressures must have grown them. If they are headed toward a better direction, nothing deserves more credit than Ma Chung itself for a complete roller-coaster rides that help them grow up.
* dedicated to a very dedicated teacher . . .