I won that battle.
There are two days in a child’s schooling life when he definitely cries (most of them do): One when he starts his schooling and one when he completes his schooling. From hating the mere thought of going to an unknown place away from home to the mind-boggling blankness the day after I finished my schooling, I have had a fair share of experiences in my schooling life.
From getting bullied to becoming a bully, from being a front-bencher to being the back-bencher, from keeping friends’ nicknames to nicknaming the teachers, from making new friends to understanding the meaning and importance of friendship, my school has played a significantly important part in shaping me into the individual that I have become.
One incident that I can recall is the initiative my teachers and my school took in converting me from an introvert to an extrovert.
A shy and introvert child can rarely make a good public speaker and this fact was not hidden from my school teachers. However, they were willing to bet their chances on me despite the fact that I was the unanimous leader of introverts. What they saw in this shy kid and what made them believe that this shy kid could compete and not only represent his school in a national level competition but also fight his fear of speaking in front of a crown of thousands, still remains a mystery to me. They chose me in a whisker from a lot of 100 children, a quarter of whom were toppers and some were excellent public speakers, who had already established the supremacy of their talents in earlier events. My teachers never disclosed the reasons behind this decision and it appeared to me as one safely guarded secret and what I could fathom from one of the teachers was just one statement, which was left to my interpretation: “We knew you had more to yourself then what meets the eye”.
I did not win that competition but that day I won my battle against stage fear and public speaking. I went on to build on the platform and opportunity that my teachers had provided and ended up hosting some events in my college life, which, in a way, was a huge achievement for an introvert like me . It has been rightly said: “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell when his influence stops”.
Sumit Kumar, CRY Volunteer, Bangalore
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