Wednesday, August 06, 2008

And so it has been...

It hasn't been easy. I've only had 2 days in school and i have been bombed, shell shocked, pick-up-jaw-off-the-floor horrified, by the amount of work (and the quality of work expected, as V and i have agreed on) meted out by the lecturers.

To date (my collection as of monday and tuesday only, ok!):

1. Group work: Journal summary and analysis + group meetings + presentation (due: 18th August 2008)
2. 1 Week study of newspaper articles + Report writing
3. Daily/Weekly textbook readings.
4. Weekly written reflections (due: weekly)
5. Essay (counting...)
6. Interview (to my really agreeable interviewee, THANK YOU. You have really blessed me beyond any word of thanks.)
7. Reading of supplementary journals (got the kind where you need coffee as a companion)
8. Future group work and ROLE PLAY. OH MY *beep beep beep*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I CANNOT ACT! I LAUGH UNCONTROLLABLY! AND THAT IS NOT GOOD FOR CLASS PARTICIPATION POINTS!)

Is this what full time undergraduates have to deal with too? Is this normal? (I did my undergraduate studies part time. It was busy, yes, but not THIS loaded!) OR, is this what a masters course is like? It's totally new to me!

So, let me tell you.........

- Because i'm the youngest in the cohort of 14 adult students, i constantly feel like i am the most inexperienced of the lot. Feeling judged and calculated.

- Feel as if i've to prove myself smart enough to be able to match their experience.


- But i have to remind myself that God gave me this place and so i need to be assured that HE HAS prepared the way already, that i have His favour, and that everything will be taken care of. Honestly, my self reminders of God's plan and purpose are so MEEK in comparison to my mental yellings that tell me to do things in my human strength and way. That I am to be the one who has to make things happen. God, help.

- That said. Because of all my mad struggling, i think a result of this is that doing this course is going to pull me closer to God, that we're going to work more closely together hand in hand. And i guess I'll gain a better understanding of His work in my life through our partnership.

- I am having to learn to rely on Him a whole lot more because while doing this course, i am constantly faced with the fact that I am so weak and unable. I'm never going to be able to achieve and complete things all on my own. My ability is limited, but God is strong, able, all knowledgable and INFINITE! That's why for everything that "i am able" to bring to completion, i can only say that i do it because i have God by my side, and that I can do all things (purely) through Christ who strengthens me. Oh my goodness. Just as i typed that out, it's like a rhema effect. The TRUTH of that word from the bible is astounding! Jesus Christ, makes up for the rest of me, that cannot.

- It was hard to type "I can do...". I just wanted to leave it as "I do all things...", because it just says that "ok, in whatever i do... in all that i do...". It doesn't DECLARE the positivity of the fact that I CAN do, that even through challenges, it is still "I CAN". It's hard to include the "can" word. Because in actuality, i feel as if i CAN... NOT! By placing a "can" into that line, i notice a pulling out of myself from a negative mental and attitudinal rut.

- I THANK GOD THAT i am NOT in Australia!!! If i don't have my immediate social support, i think i would really burn out prematurely. Imagine having to live in a whole new environment, new culture, with new people (i'm generally shy), plus having the pressure (and not pleasure) of NEW WORKLOAD in a short span of time. Oh my goodness. I think i would be crying everday.

- When people ask me, "So how's school?", with bright eagerness in their eyes, i just smile a really weird smile, which is quickly followed by a grimace, and then a long whine, and then a groan and then... silence. It basically means that i am at a lost for words. My thoughts and emotions are still reeling from shock and flying around above my head. I've yet to bring them all down to a logical and rational order to cope and make sense of eveything. So... Please bear with me?

- With a busy schedule, i now realize with all seriousness... That EVERY minute in the day counts.

- Because the rest are all adults who have been in the working world for quite a while, i think i sense some level of guardedness about them. I get this sense that it's currently "my own survival is important". Probably stems from their experiences of working with people. Sigh. I want to make good friends. Lets see how it goes.

- And last of all and most interestingly... A quiet voice has been saying to me... (me no have schizophrenia, ok) + (And it took me mildly by surprise):

"Love. Do all that you do with love. Look at your classmates with love, love your classmates through your behaviour, how you treat them, let love show through your actions. Don't be sucked up by the competition, but instead let your behaviour be governed by moving in an opposite spirit. Don't be intimidated. Love is what this is all about. Counselling is about love. So, love."

It can only be my Heavenly Father speaking. God is love, and only His voice would speak out to me to love others, against my own ugly human nature that complains, judges and hates.

(Wow. People say to me that God speaks to them here and there, on the bus, while walking and so forth. I always thought to myself in response that "Nah, God wouldn't speak to me (because i chose to believe that i am not important enough). He never does. Let alone as i go along my daily life". But HAH. Look what happened. Time to change mindset! Hope this is encouraging to you.)

(I guess, it's also about whether we are willing to listen, or, be still and quiet enough to listen.)


Refreshing reflection! Now, back to planning out my work schedule with Jesus. :-)


WR @ David said...

This has been a most heartening reflection to read... May your confession of personal-inability be superceded by a testimony of God-enabled-capability for every trial to come. Let it be realised as we daily declare,"I can... through Christ who strengthens!"

Hope all your readers will be blessed by your experience; and faithfully wait on God to receive his personal word for themselves.

WR @ David said...


joline said...


:-) i hope so too.
meanwhile. more torture for joline to experience so that God would be at the centre of it all.

*braces self*
*wr@david should brace himself also cos joline is going to be whining a lot over the next 2 years*

zenn said...

ohhhh so sweet!suddenly feel very extra here leh.wahahahaha, trust in urself, trust in god.

zen said...

u shud feel tat being youngest among all ur classmates, u will have a 'fresh' perpective on youth issues. and tat probably u are more approachable to the problem youth than ur mature counterparts who will just remind them of their teachers. u will be more of their frends rather than a teacherly counsellor.

and i have a vision of ur dream wedding. how abt arriving in a white horse in ur bridal gown? woah! spectacular leh! then we can have jed in ur hands and ur groom is leading the horse.strolling in a sunset in the back ground. WOAH! i can imagine it liao.....

joline said...


i guess there are the pros and cons of being young. and yes, it's a good point that you brought up, about being the young punk among the "oldies". :-) that having been said... i must admit that i didn't click that well with the young people i was working with when i was volunteering... haha, in fact, my older colleagues were a whole lot better than me! they have the experience lah. i was like a kayu (wood) block!

eh, i would love the horse... yes.... (but how if it decides to take a poop...)

ms zenny said...

oh really? u just need some time to start 'clicking' well with youth. once u get the hang of it, i wld nt be surprised to see youth approaching u just for fun or just to say is far easier to start off if they see u as a frend they can confide in. well, i gonna stop toking cos i feel inadequate to comment on sth so different from my scope scope the pple come in is obviously a toothache. but boy the things they tell u once they warm up to u man. (secrets)

joline said...

ms zenny:

hm... you could be right you know. :-) perhaps i'll clique better with them once i establish a "talking, sharing relationship". the other time during the ygos stint, i met them in a social big group setting and that wasn't very conducive i guess. thanks zenn. :-) I feel a bit better. :-)

zenn said...

be careful not to 'provoke' anyone, if the 'leader' dislikes u, the whole gp will dislike u. young pple are in gps de, once someone like/dislike u, the whole gp do the same

joline said...


i agree!!!!!! HAHAHHAHA. i've seen that happen to one poor girl.

woah, how do u know all these things? were u a gang leader? ;-P

ms zen said...

my mentor kena black listed by one ger gang leader in his sch, then the whole class refused to come down for dental ttt. no lor, i nt leader lor, i m sch belle ok?hahahaha ok crap la

student zrn said...

i dun mean gangs as in gangster. i mean gangs as in cliches(i cant spell it rite, issit cliches) i typed gangs....hahahaha pls enlightened me, issit cliches or cliques? thks english teacher ms Lim

joline said...


i see! yeah man, ok i take note of the who the gang leader is. woah, kids these days ah. what happened sia. parental upbringing or too much influence from the media about being anti-establishment?

oh, it is clique. :-D

zenn said...

young pple is monkey see monkey do la, they follow their clique leader one. once she says this dental therapist nt good, many pple in her clique will feel the same as her de...they dont really think on their to follow pple...some la, of cos there are very sensible students who dun jump into the bandwagon de