Report On Graduation Night

Accompanying us down the long aisle was the most inspiring, and grand music I' ve ever heard .As we walked down, all attention was on us, the graduates, the young achievers, the future leaders of tomorrow. All our loved ones were seated and the glare in their eyes could spell a million words of proudness. Mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters all gathered to watch us, one by one receive our graduation certificates .All dressed in our very best, every strand of hair was in a proper place, for a glorious event, " The Graduation" . 

            It was late January, in the deep wetlands of Paya Indah; the 17 of us were on a 3 day " semi holiday" . We got to do a lot of activities surrounded by the natural beauty of nature .Batik painting, jungle walk, hippo watching, bird watching, cycling and that' s just to name a few. But there was more to this trip than sightseeing and fun. We were on the road to graduate. We were at Paya Indah on a Friday night, and when we reached there, we were all indeed fascinated by the surroundings; we rode a tramp through the wetland. As we rode and carefully noticed the peaceful nature around us, we arrived in front of a set of cabins. Shaped in a diamond from the out side, the inside, was a queen sized bed and a bathroom. It was so beautiful that some didn' t even want to leave the room. Later that night, we all we called for a meeting at Aunty Janet' s Chalet. None of us knew what to expect, so we just sat at the verandah and waited. Then Uncle Sonny played some slow music on his portable CD player. Unsure of what was happening I just kept quiet. We were then told to write down the names of all the people who had hurted us in the past. I could think of a thousand names at the time, but I realized that I had already forgiven all these people .I was so blank, and had thought that I didn' t have a grudge against anybody.

Then, it clicked!...My hand did all the talking, but just three names we on my piece of paper. Just three, I then remembered that I was dead angry at these three people. After writing all the names and why I was mad at them, Aunty Janet asked us to burn it!..At first I couldn' t, as I couldn' t forgive these people. Then I decided to just let go& There it went& all the anger in to flames..and then ashes. Then we talked about it with our small groups, and to my surprise not only I had difficulties letting go but my group experienced the same thing!...Then this activity was repeated, but this time we had to write down names of people who we had hurted. I was the last to get up and move to the fire place, my paper was so full!..I had written names of people from my past and present that I know I hurted, sometimes even on purpose. That moment sitting on the chair at the corner of the verandah made me realize what a cruel thing I have done to these people, then I quickly got up and burnt the paper. In my heart, I was so angry at my self, but then when I saw one person that I had hurted so badly, I ran to her and gave her a hug and apologized. Although I know I had hurted many souls, I vowed to change starting from that night.           

For the next day, we followed through a series of activities conducted by the marshals there. It was very interesting and memorable. I learnt a lot about the type of birds and different species of plants the their uses. But soon after lunch, a another session was called .But this time it was at a little " pondok" near the paddle boat area. The scenery was a lake surrounded by coconut trees .I could feel the wind blowing through my hair and down my spine. We formed a circle, and had to act out what we had accomplished. But there was a catch to it, we were not allowed to talk. This was a very lively activity; we had laughs, and cheers. But we didn' t end there, it was just hours before the grand graduation. We were given many small pieces of paper and had to write to people who had made a difference in our lives .I took the paper and the pen .I wrote whatever came out of my heart. I took this advantage to tell those people in my letter how much each of them meant to me. 

As the hands on my watch hit 8, we were all standing out side the hall where all the magic was about to happen. Dressed in our best, all neatly groomed, sweet smelling and indeed with our hearts pumping double the normal speed, we lined up in one single line. We had candles in our hands as we walked down the long aisle, I could feel the eyes on my back, my palms we getting sweaty, but I just put on a calm face .All our family members we seated infront of the 17 chairs that we meant for us .As I looked around the hall I saw all the hand made decorations by our parents and siblings, there were massages on them, as I read one by one before taking my seats I realized how much effort was put to make this night a memorable one. As I took my seat, it wasn' t long before I had to stand once again, my name was called, it echoed in to the darkness out side. I stood up, and my mind went totally blank, I had no idea what to do. As I listened to what Aunty Janet said about me, I could believe that it was true. How, much I had completed in the 8 months programme. Then my mum had the chance to acknowledge me, at the end of the acknowledgement, she came up, gave me hug and a balloon, but as I stared in to her eyes, they were watering. I felt all the love when her body touched mine, and I knew that I wanted this relationship to last forever. Then Hazwin my beloved buddy, said a few words about me. This happens to be the girl that helped me through everything, she shared my laughter and cried through my sadness. 

When the night came to an end, we retired to our chalets, that night, we worked on Aunty Janet' s card till about 2 in the morning!...

But as I lay my head back on the pillow, glimpses of that night played over and over in my head, and I was just thinking how many kids get to go through this and then get a graduation to remember?...not many, I felt so lucky, so happy. This will be indeed a memory that will forever be placed in my head and a part of my heart. 

Written by: Marisha
15 years old