yong is a teacher at one of the leading schools in ipoh. she's spearheading an ICT week for the school starting today. i was to be the *star* (quote unquote okay! hihi) of a skype session during the morning assembly to kick off the week.
few days ago, yong asked me to skype from dubai, at 7 am malaysia time (which makes it 3 am uae time) with an audience of 500+ students during the morning assembly, to demonstrate how skype is able to connect people anytime, anywhere. i was supposed to also share my experience living abroad having stayed in melbourne as a student and now in dubai as a mother of two, and how skype kept me connected to my loved ones.
i agreed to it immediately. i was extremely excited to be part of this session. i prepared a few notes in case i freeze up in front of the morning assembly crowd and was ready to roll by 3 am dubai time. i even took khaleef's camel stuffed toy just to spice it up.
as planned, both of us were online by 3 and 7am respectively. yong briefed me on what to expect - "just go with the flow...greet the principal, teachers and students...if you have nothing else to say, request questions." huh? 'nothing else to say'? they'd probably have to stop me, "err...time's up, cik." yong also told me that i'd be 'full-screened' on a large projector. "can see my pimple, ah?"
hi hi. man, was i excited!
the video was goin on fine without lagging, the sound was clear and unobstructed - we were ready to go on LIVE at any minute. i was positioning myself so that the kids can see outside my window and see the lights off the building and roads - to show the time difference.
"ok, we're all set. you just tunggu okay. next you'll hear all the speeches and budak-budak nyanyi negaraku nanti. after the perasmian, then you're on." and while i was waiting for the monday assembly to start i can hear yong talking to a male teacher on the side,
cikgu : dia ni dok blajaq kat dubai ka?
yong : tak. dia ikut suami dia.
cikgu : kat dubai tak kerja la?
yong : hmm tak.
cikgu : sonok la dok jalan-jalan ya?
lawak jugak terdengar!
next i can hear, "ok syigim, it's starting ok, it's starting." and i can hear a teacher opening the assembly and a clear greetings from the student. you remember how we used to greet the teachers during morning assembly right - monotonous, singing-like and strained - "seeelaaaamaaat seeeejaaaahteeeeraaaa cikkkguuuu-cikkkkguuuuuuuu.." and then they sang our national anthem negaraku and perak anthem! oh, how i miss my school assembly!
then i can hear yong was invited to give a speech before inviting the principal to give few words to officiate the ICT week. it's funny to hear yong for the first time as a teacher. but not too far off - she has been the more 'serious and grown-up' of us five. but she is easily amused by all my jokes, no matter how lame it is. ha ha.
after the principal opened the event, yong said, "now we're going LIVE with my sister in dubai.."
and then my notebook froze. suddenly yong's voice came in tersekat-sekat, and my video was paused. we had to restart. of all the moment in all the seconds of the day! just when i was about to go on! i don't know what happened!
sigh. it wasn't meant to be. i was very very sad and frustrated, not only because i so badly want to be part of the event, but also for yong - as i am sure all eyes were on her when she failed to connect with me. the saviour of the day was syida, who was also online at the time as a just-in-case thing but she stepped up and skyped from melbourne with the assembly.
maybe next time, huh? anyway, eventhough it didn't go as planned, i thank yong for the trust to put herself at risk by planning this skype session with her students, fellow teachers and the principal! this was just a small glitch compared to what she had accomplished in this launching! good job, yong!
i just wish it went a little differently...
we can plan and plan and plan macamane perfect pun - things don't just necessarily fall into place. sometimes, beyond our control. don't be too hard on yourself - lesson learned!