Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I got this SMS on my phone at noon today from #2!

"DJ is officially the national WIRA champions 2008! And the only school in Malaysia to have won the WIRA competition THREE times!!!!!!!!! Praise God!

Well done team! God is an awesome God!!


A mother's journey recapped:

I think it was around October 17th when #2 got a call from one of her friends on the debate team that their school was in the running (being Selangor runner's up) for the National Wira debate since the original Selangor champions had decided to drop out from the race for reasons that they were a form 5 team and SPM being round the corner.

My heart goes out to them because if my kid was in the same situation, it would be a predicament to decide and even if one wanted to go for it, it would not be enough because the WHOLE TEAM had to agree to go for it TOGETHER!

I took this off an ex-DJian's blog:

"The greatest of debaters are not only the most eloquent -- they are the most bruised, the most resilient, the strongest of heart".

And...so true it is! I know for a fact that this team worked very, very hard to get to where they are today. It wasn't only about writing speeches, discussing motions and running debating mocks. They've had their moments of joy, tears, unhappiness, friction, frustrations and a roller coaster of emotions.

Working in a team is a most wonderful experience once the rough edges have been polished but getting there with a team of intelligent, independent, loud (sorry ah!), opinionated, eloquent and individual characters is quite another story. (Their team made up of six from Form 4 and one from Form 3, eventually three debated while four others worked hard together on the motions)

#2's previous school, BU4 had helped mould her but after her PMR results she requested to be transfered to a school with sub-science streams because she already set her heart on doing music as a career and she wasn't ready to slog through the pure sciences.

It was not by chance that we chose DJ and I can proudly declare that transferring #2 to this school has been a great blessing!

For #2, it was a dream come true to be part of DJ's prestigious debate team because she had just got into this school January 2008. I still remember when she came back one day after school and told me that she was asked to take part in an inter-class debate activity in the early part of this year.

She came home and started preparing her fist attempt, vigorously 'attacking' dictionaries and cyberspace for information! That moment forth brought the beginning of an amazing journey of friendship, commitment, triumph and defeat.

She was then invited to join the school's debate society which eventually led her being part of the winning team of this year's WIRA national debate. I have seen her and her team slog long, long hours working towards every single competition.

My heart cringed as she continued the long hours into the wee night at the computer doing more research and writing more speeches. All I could offer was words of encouragement, more food and hugs for this child of mine who never ever sleeps later that 10.00p.m. and all because of a commitment to her team and their goal. She's still at it even after I leave my computer at past 1.00a.m.! *sigh*

At 5.00a.m. in the morning the hair dryer buzzes incessantly while she tries to catch up on her music practice on the piano. Then the vicious cycle begins again - rush to school and into the 'debate room' for more discussions, strategies, plans, practices, editing and every brain draining activity one can think of. This goes on up to 4.30p.m., oblivious to whatever that is happening in or around the school mind you.

When the debate team failed to clinch the state title, I think everyone was bruised - quote: "The greatest of debaters are not only the most eloquent -- they are the most bruised, the most resilient, the strongest of heart".
But they remained strong and best of friends.

When my husband heard of the defeat, his first words were: "Praise the Lord! Now you can go back to your life"! And so true...#2 had 'no life' literally, other than giving that 110% to the debate team and it's goals. I'm sure the six others in the team experienced the same.

It was back to hitting the books again! Home work to catch up on, projects to finish and disappointments with piles of unattended school related work assignments. (Walks around the house like a zombie reciting moral nilai).

All that said and relieved that things were back to routine again, suddenly there's news that the debate team has to decide if they want to take a shot at the Wira debate 2008, national trophy! The final exams were round the corner and when #2 asked me what she should do, I advised her to pray about it and decide herself. She came back with a positive and that I had to be ready for her to fore go the exams. Personally, I'm fine with her results, not outstanding but she's been consistently working - that's enough by my standards.

The vicious cycle began again, only worse than ever. Sleeps later than ever because discussions take place via MSN late into the nights and tight dateline submissions of speeches. Early mornings were dedicated to more editing and printing of speeches and transfers of soft copy into thumb drives. By now, my heart has a 'cold hollow feeling' one that is honed by insecurity of my child's well being and insane adrenaline drive of long late nights, deprived sleep and too early morning beginnings!

But I see her grow in determination, comradeship, understanding, emotional stability, time management and lots of positives! I am pacified and soothed. Thank you Lord!

I think lunch time is the only relaxing break for the seven of them, running around looking for decent eateries for a supply of 'nutritious' food to feed the brains. To keep the energy, they turn to sweets to keep awake. Then it's back to 'work' up to 4.30p.m.

My heart cringes again everyday when I fetch her from school. She looks exhausted and I'm sure her team is too. But her heart is on fire and the adrenaline is on the high and once back home it's straight to the computer again.

Music classes (her favorite) has to be adjusted and postponed, music practices has declined tremendously, music competition preparations also set aside, Violin classes postponed indefinitely, family dinners declined (please pack food for me), shopping sprees declined (no time), sleep deprived but Church activities carry on (but must finish on time).

To cut the story short, the seven of them with their dedicated teachers worked, worked and worked like there was no tomorrow.
Quoting my eldest daughter:

"What other schools did in months, they did in twelve days".

I believe one common contributory factor that brought them to victory was the power of prayer. All seven believers or non believers among them spent time together and alone praying to God. Many friends, families, former school mates from all over the world cheered them on while silently praying for this great victory.

When we declare we are praying, it does not make us Saints. We are not better than others or in a clique of elites. It is because we have failings and are weak that we pray so that we can draw strength and grace to live in the light and walk the right path.

Just to recap an old post:

"When I say "I am Catholic" I'm not shouting "I've been saved! "I'm whispering "I get lost - that's why I chose this way. "When I say "I am Catholic" I don't speak with human pride, I'm confessing that I stumble - needing God to be my Guide. When I say "I am Catholic" I'm not trying to be strong, I'm professing that I'm weak and pray for strength to carry on."

"When I say "I am Catholic" I'm not bragging of success, I'm admitting that I've failed and cannot ever pay the debt (The debt of Christ's death on the Cross). When I say "I am Catholic" I don't think I know it all, I submit to my confusion asking humbly to be taught. When I say "I am Catholic" I'm not claiming to be perfect, My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I'm worth it."

"When I say "I am Catholic" I still feel the sting of pain, I have my share of heartache which is why I seek His Name. When I say "I am Catholic" I do not wish to judge, I have no authority - I only know I am loved. "

Quotes from: World Youth Day, Sydney 2008


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