....... in more ways than one.
Vic and me had been to KJS yesterday afternoon, for the Celebration Assembly, during which Aparna was to get a Award from the Principal Mr.Steve Francis.
The Assembly Hall was packed. In attendance were all the proud parents of the children who were to get their Awards today afternoon. Also in the audience were all the Primary Two and Primary Three children of Kowloon Junior School. And last but definitely not the least, the teaching community of Kowloon Junior School.
The Assembly began with a piano recital by two of the Primary Two students followed by a two songs sung in chorus by all 300 students of Primary Two and Primary Three.
This was followed by a short speech by the Principal Mr. Steve Francis who had also prepared a slideshow on “Achievements” – which was the underlying theme of yesterday’s assembly.
The presentation of the awards began with the Primary Two students. Then came the turn of the elder and more experienced Primary Threes. All the children were to climb up on the dais and receive their certificate from the Principal, after which some gingerly climbed down while some hopped off the dais.
And then came the moment we were waiting for – I remember Aparna’s name being called out, I remember seeing her name flashing on the white screen behind the dais and there she was – on the dais – receiving her certificate from Mr.Francis.
And then she stood there and told the Principal something. He had to lean towards her to catch what she was saying and she had to repeat it. He then told the Deputy Principal something and Aparna was still standing on the dais.
There was a small buzz starting in the Assembly Hall, much like a buzz in a beehive.
Then the Deputy Principal turned towards the audience and said
“Aparna would like to say something”.
And Aparna said
“I would like to thank Ms.Leedale and all my friends here at KJS. I would also like to thank my parents, my family and my brother for this award”.
She was remarkably calm and composed through her little speech, her sentiments strong in that she knew with absolute certainty as to what she was doing and her voice was unwavering, steady and resolute.
Her teacher’s jaw dropped open in surprise and stayed that way. She was plainly delighted.
There was a collective sigh from all the parents there that went something like
Aaaawwwwwwwww – that’s so sweet !!!
And then the Assembly Hall exploded with applause.
Later on too, a few parents walked up to Aparna and told her that it was really sweet of her to have “said a few words” after receiving her award.
What she did in the Assembly Hall yesterday took courage and lots of it.
I also mentioned to her later on in the afternoon “Had I been in your place, at your age, I would never ever had had the guts to do what you did on stage. I probably would have managed to stumble on the dais but that’s about it”.
I remember reading a quote once which goes ...
“While we try and teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about”.
Humility was a very strong sentiment that she sent out yesterday and it was extremely well received.
Aparna also taught me another important thing yesterday.
That mommies should never ever go to a school assembly wearing an eyeliner that is not waterproof !!!!