I didn’t know time would pass this fast. Now… where should I start from? I don’t think anyone would be able to survive through this whole post but I just want to note this down forever 🙂 I’ve been rushing ROD presents for the last few days along with 4G class chalet hence I haven’t had spare time to blog, but here goes.
4 years literally passed in a flash. I don’t know if I have ever written this in my blog- but I am an appeal student through Clementi PS’s Choir. I returned from Korea on December 29 2008 and there was no update about my appeal result. I called in to the school- and I was told that if I were willing to join a Uniformed Group in the event I fail my Choir audition, I would be placed on priority list. I agreed without a second thought, and 2 hours later came the phone call with the confirmed offer. I was squealing with delight and jumping with joy around my whole house, my family members were all so happy for me and I really liked that feeling. I just never considered “What if I really fail my Choir audition?” because I was so confident of my singing ability. I guess I could really sing 4 years ago.
I remember sitting in the computer lab that day, asking the people around me which UG choice I should put. Honestly, I had already wanted to place NCC (Girls) because of my PSLs (Maam Weely and Senior Xiuyun) and my classmates but I viewed it as an embarrassment- hence I quickly submitted it and didn’t want to tell anyone about it. I knew the odds of failing my Choir audition were really high but I never expected myself to really get into NCC.
The day I received my CCA results (09/02/2009), I saw the class list that changed my entire secondary school life from there. My classmate got into Choir, and I got into NCC. I started to 怨天怨人, thinking why it was that I failed my Choir audition, why didn’t I work harder? Why did I cheer so hard that I lost my voice for the audition? Why, why, why? It seemed that my entire life came crashing down on me- suddenly I’m forced to do something I wasn’t willing to do, something I disliked, something I never imagined myself doing.
I was on my way to peer tutoring with Ling Sheng when I cried really badly on the bus. I knew nuts about the CCA even though I attended the UG Orientation. Ling Sheng said that I might grow to like it, and I tried to take it as a comfort. Yes, seniors were nice, seniors were friendly. I remember Senior Shereen approaching me thrice to tell me the same thing- “JOIN NCC GIRLS!” but I didn’t care duh. I mean, hah, really? Hello everybody I am from Choir and I want to join Choir.
The first time we fell in at the container blocks- I saw Mr Lee Guan Shin taking our attendance. We had to fall in in rows of three, and I was absolutely annoyed because I was made to stand stationary on the very first day. Seriously! Girls left the platoon one by one to tell teachers their
excuses valid reasons for not being able to join a Uniformed Group. I wanted to get out and join any CCA. Anything, clubs, sports, I was so certain that anywhere else would be better than NCC. However the problem was that I appealed into RV, and I agreed to their “Terms and Conditions” already. There was no way I could get out of the CCA. I was really envious of the people who left one by one. NCC was the last rubbish dump any girl would want to belong to- it had the most slots left and it was the only CCA other people could transfer to.
I survived the first few CCAs doing sedia, senangdiri, sedia, senangdiri, kekanan pusing, kekiri pusing, BUT IT GOT REALLY BORING. Other Uniformed Groups started to pick up their fun elements and I remember trying my best to cheat myself that NCC was the best. Saying stuff like “Our uniform is free!” and “We got 2 different uniforms” started to get really common especially since there wasn’t really anything to flaunt about our CCA.
However, the suffering slowly got better and I started to appreciate the fact that I was in NCC. I remember running during our 2nd PT session (6 rounds on the outer lane, according to my memory) and staring at the back of the shirt of the girl in front of me. “River Valley NCC” I really couldn’t believe it. It’s like I rediscovered that I was in NCC, this time facing it a lot more positively, a lot happier. In fact, it slowly became my sense of pride. Whenever I attended family gatherings, no one would believe that I was placed in NCC.
March Camp was shit but I kinda enjoyed it- it exposed to me the harsh realities of the life of Uniformed Group members, and I thought perhaps this was a good change. I changed my mindset since then. I was really happy in my CCA, I thought perhaps nothing else would change this.
Special thanks would go to my Part A specialists- Maam Feei and Senior Shirleen. I remember them coming to act looking so approachable, friendly and they would chat with us on MSN all the time 🙂 They tried their best to be close to us on a personal level rather than people of authority. According to them, previous batches of specialists never did that but they really wanted us to feel at home in NCC. There was a point in time I was so crazy about NCC, I counted down the hours to CCA on Tuesdays and Fridays. I looked forward to falling in, to meet my platoonmates again, to meet my specialists again, something must have been really wrong with me. It was crazy, it was tiring, but I still looked forward to it. I was offered to join a 2nd CCA (ask me personally if you would wish to know), but I turned it down right away without a thought. NCC was my home already. I was never going to find a second home.
After they stepped down, things pretty much changed though. I’m not sure if it’s because of the way things were running or the new specialists, or maybe I just got sick of the routine of drills and PT, but things just weren’t the same anymore.
That’s when NCC life for me dipped to the lowest point. I really hated CCA, that few months attending CCA were horrendously dreadful. During CCA, we would drill for very long periods of time and I would grab every chance to check my watch. During water breaks, it would be only 3.50pm or something… and my mind would be like “Crap we still have 2 hours more.” I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one feeling this way though- my platoon bonded through this. Hating and bitching of our CCA, we even headed to the arcade to release our angst at an innocent screen LOL. Thinking back, it was pretty funny 🙂
Until now, I really cannot understand how this love-hate relationship existed, but I remember finding every opportunity to miss CCA. I was a PSL and it was really easy for me to get involved in activities that would miss CCA. Huimin and I signed up (oops 拆穿 her) for stupid things such as supporting matches and ICAS papers just so we could skip CCA on a Tuesday evening.
We were that desperate to get away from the 3 hours of CCA.
Those dreadful days passed even faster than the interesting activities though- we passed our March Camp really well because we were so used to the routine. I guess I was really lucky enough to land myself in a NCC interview for the first time in my life- I thought that was really nice because it recognised my efforts for the entire camp. I knew for a fact that I wouldn’t leave RVNCC- but the only problem was that I didn’t enjoy CCA as much as before. And true enough, I never found back the same enthusiasm I had for act.
Things got better with introduction of new activities during Part B- no matter how noobish my standard was, somehow I managed to squeeze myself into Orienteering, Shooting and Challenge Quest. Taking part in those competitions made me feel more attached to NCC. I guess I should be thankful that I had that competitive streak in me, I wanted to be better than the rest. Sorry if I sound selfish here my dear platoonmates, but I liked being competitive. Even though we did not win anything much due to my excellent sabotage for most of the competitions, I enjoyed my participation in them.
The turning point in my NCC life: selection for FSD Course. I expected 2 out of the 4 FSD Team 2010 people to get in, hence I didn’t think much of it. Afterall, it is probably customary for people of experience to lead the next batch of cadets in FSD. When they drilled us randomly and strictly one day, I knew they were doing selections. For PTI Course maybe? I think I did pretty well because I had been practising drills then at home, I thought my foot drills were getting really horrendous. But I never expected myself to get into FSD Course. From then on, I started looking at drill videos every single day. I was supposed to unleash the creativity within me. BUT HOW? How do you start choreographing a routine from scratch? How was I supposed to lead a team when I was completely foreign to this subject matter?
I guess the thing that defeated me the most was how I was put down by people, I was really discouraged. However, all the same I wanted to prove others wrong. Undoubtedly, this pulled apart the bond between my platoon. But from then on, I had to take on a whole new responsibility for RVNCC, which was to maintain the glory we had for RV FSD. They had attained National 2nd the previous year, and it wasn’t going to be easy. I guess I shall not elaborate more on my FSD life since it’s all over my blog, but it was really tough. I cried so much during that period, I was so sick, but I held on. Thinking about it, I guess I was really strong. I don’t think I’ll be willing to do it all over again. Furthermore, I don’t think I should elaborate more about FSD being the largest disappointment in my life thus far? My biggest guilt and my biggest regret.
Part C life came by really quick, and we attended so many courses and parades. That’s when my love for NCC rekindled itself very much, I looked forward to HQ NCC activities, I looked forward to act, and I guess NCC Day Parade really marked the change. The moment practice ended on a Friday, I’d look forward to next Friday’s rehearsal, and for the entire week it would be my motivation. Posting period brought out the most conflicts from within my platoon, but I guess it couldn’t be helped. Specialist Course was also a major change from cadet to cadet leader, suddenly the whole unit greeted us as sergeants even though we were mere cadets. Suddenly you had to earn your own rank, suddenly everything that I had been learning for the past 3 years made perfect sense. Afterall, what would a Part A cadet think about learning Individual Field Craft?
Suddenly the prospect of taking over the unit seemed really near as well. That was when all of us had to start thinking- what did we want? What post was the most suitable for us, and what would we really enjoy doing?
Ever since Part B life, I’ve wanted to be a Part B PC. I really disliked my Part B life very much hence I never wanted my cadets to feel the same way as me. I wanted to change things for a Part B cadet because in my opinion, drills and PT were not simply the way out. However, I started to doubt myself during posting period because it meant taking the new Part As and I thought I wouldn’t be able to change the platoon standards. I thought it was really fearful to take over a new batch of cadets who would be missing their old specialists very much. Most significantly, my Part B standard was atrocious and I wasn’t ready to deal with rubbish cadets like me.
Hence I made a rash decision to change my desired post last minute- ask me personally if you would like to know 🙂
When results were released, I had expected myself to be a Part B specialist. True enough, I got it due to my suitability. I don’t know why, but suddenly I got really really thankful that I did not get what I aimed for. My specialists thought I was really disappointed, but not at all. I am a people-oriented person, why would I want to busy myself with admin work? And most importantly, I guess the greatest achievement of specialist life will actually come from your cadets, not the approval of never ending proposals. Talking about that, I respect Jiawen and Jieling for having tanked so much admin work all these while 🙂
Today, I am really glad I have been Part B PC. Through the year taking Part Bs (or As for that matter in 2011), I have learnt a lot. I started off as an idiot, I attended acts without doing enough background checks on them, didn’t double check their standard with their previous specialists, didn’t even plan a PT properly. Slowly, I improved. I reminded myself of my goals, to make CCA fun, to make sure nobody quitted, to make sure my cadets liked the CCA as much as possible. Even though I definitely haven’t been 100% successful in doing so, I hope the Part Bs are not on the verge of quitting anymore 🙂
I read one of the ROD letters today, asking for a dedication to the Part Bs HAHAHA so… yeah.
Hello my lovely Part Bs 🙂 It’s been a pretty long year! I got a shock when I found out that there were 3 out of 13 people in your platoon older than me- I got a shock when I found out that there are so many different types of people… weird ones, crazy ones, quiet ones… all in one literally. I really dreaded specialist life, preparing No.4 as a specialist is much more dreadful than preparing it as a cadet. I had to make sure my collars were starched nicely enough so that you girls didn’t end up staring at mine with shifty eyes, I had to make sure your uniform was in tip top condition or I did not have the rights to criticise your uniform parts.
However, things get enjoyable the moment I run down the camp, down the stairs to see you guys. Everytime I walk down to hear any of you greeting me after falling in, it was really pleasant 🙂 it brought joy to me whenever I got tired or cranky in class, and I looked forward to going for CCA. Whenever there’s a fun PT, I would look forward to taking you guys cause I know that would be one of the acts you all end up smiling, laughing or anything. Whenever you girls mentioned that you enjoyed act at the end of the day, that easily made my day. Chenxi Annqing and I tried our best to help you all love CCA, enjoy CCA and perhaps consider staying for the years ahead. I don’t know if we have been successful because we can no longer see things from a cadet’s perspective, but I’m glad many of you have picked up the passion along the way.
I have learnt a lot in this year, thank you for such a wonderful experience. I will never ever ever regret taking up this post of a Part B specialist and getting to know all of you all 😀 I miss all of you already!!!! 😦 I do hope with all my heart that the total strength will remain 13 next year 😀
All the best for Part C life 🙂 Most personal comments and NCC specific details are already in your book (sorry for the bad colours and handwriting), “See you again next year” Heh 🙂 Forever your PC, forever my Part Bs :-))
ROD concert today was wonderful, it was obvious a lot of effort had been put into planning the concert and all the decorations, great job Part Cs 🙂 The door gifts were wonderful too. The customised light stick was really amazing omg.
Most importantly, thank you Part Bs, the presents I received today just reminded me why I’ll never ever ever regret taking you all.
I really loved the handwritten cards, thank you for all your efforts 🙂 The presents were really awesome and I’ll never forget today 😀
And last dedication, to the most important people on this journey,
Evidently, the whole company is not here, but thank you for having been on this journey with me, Delta ’12. The crazy loud noises that will never get old, the creation of new scandals anytime anywhere with all of you, and how proactive you guys were such that we could plan things on the go whenever we wanted to do something. Thank you for tolerating my bullshit all this while, tolerating my retardness and my weight (random), as well as making conversations so painless. Today’s dance was amazing and Call Me Maybe will always remind me of RVNCC Delta ’12 from now on 🙂
First act 09/02/2009
After I joined NCC, I certainly became more outgoing, more sociable, more vocal and grew to have a lot more initiative than I did in Primary School. I have grown up a lot, matured a lot and learnt a lot from this wonderful journey. Thank you RVNCC, for developing me into a physically and mentally stronger person, for equipping me with so many life skills, for bringing me so many friends, and for such an amazing and unique experience these 4 years. Nothing would beat this experience ever.
Given a choice again, I’ll never pick another company, I’ll never pick another post, and I’ll never pick another CCA.