Monday, July 4

Hari Asrama Terbuka 2011 @ SMK Katibas

A highlight event of our jungle school hostel is the annual Hostel Open Day. Where the girls can visit the boys & be amazed at their ability to clean up for a day & the boys can check out the constantly sweet-smelling spotless wonderland the girls live in.
I'll be talking about the boys in this post because, obviously, I've been working on these boys for the past 6 months as the newly inducted Chief Warden.
Fortunately, the girls were very well-behaved so they are pretty much left to their own devices.

My relationship with the boys has been a down, down again, slightly up, down, down again, maybe up a little and then down until you just feel like giving up.
If there wasn't a warden there to closely monitor them, you are guaranteed the smell of smoke in the rooms & rubbish in the bucket-loads. Toilets smell like they're septic tanks & taps are left running. They pee in water bottles at night & they keep these reeking bottles beside their beds. They eat Mi Sedap every night & leave the wrapping on the floor for the ghosts to clean up.
On the keceriaan side, although I have repeatedly provided them with materials, funds & instructions, the buildings are bare & the noticeboards empty.

It's partly my fault that the boys hostels are in miserable condition because I've failed to influence my team of wardens to go the extra mile & I failed to provide the right support for the prefects.
Something that I am constantly working on & seeking to improve in as a novice administrator & leader.

On the Monday before the Open Day on Friday, the incumbent Chief Warden & my personal teacher idol, Nicholas VT, took on the challenge of reforming the worst building of them all... The Senior Boys Block.
He began serious discussions & preparations with the Prefects in the block on Monday.
On Tuesday, they began their renovation/refurbishing work with a storm. It began with the Prefects & ended up with the whole block getting on the train. I was both amazed & inspired at the work they've done by Tuesday night.
Looking at the eager requests from the Junior Block for something similar, I started my own discussion with their prefects on Wednesday afternoon & began work that afternoon itself.
By Friday afternoon, we were done.

admire how beautiful the boys' hostels have become

Lo' & behold, the new & improved "Panggau" ("male lodging" in the Iban language) with future improvements in the works too!

The Hostel Open Day was a tremendous success!
I was thrown in the deep end when I accepted the Chief Warden role at my school.
I was without support from the top & without a person to guide me through the process. Instead of working with me, there were too many who were looking to take advantage of my trusting humility & lack of experience.

I even made Air Sirap, Pudding & Kuih Sarang Semut Coklat with the boys of whom I was Room Warden.
Still, it's nothing compared to the feast that Nick prepared with his room boys. haha~~
On the other hand, I am thankful for a role model to learn from. He has a lot of experience, grit & skill. I am very thankful that he was willing to roll up his sleeves once again & proactively kick-start a major project.
I guess that's what leaders do. They get things started & through their actions, others follow & in the end everyone achieves more.
I hope to one day emulate him & maybe a little bit more!

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