I feel spent. Orientation week is as unenjoyable as anything. I get a very human urge to blame it on the committee, but it's not entirely their fault. Could do with less of that mud, though. Otherwise, they coordinated everything well, put their best into making this week proceed as smoothly as possible, and their planning was mostly impeccable.
Such camps are invariably a hard time for me. I am naturally quiet and hardly very gregarious. I very much prefer to find my own footing with others gradually. I'd rather circumstances dictate relationships, rather than the opposite. When tasked to interact in a forward fashion I'd naturally feel as if the ship I was standing on disappeared beneath me. I wouldn't know what to say, what to do. I lack the ability to conform to other people's interests, or to ask questions just for the sake of asking them. Girls are a further complication, for my experience with dealing with their kind is rather limited. As a result I can only mix with certain people in my group, people whose social presence I don't get intimidated by, people whom I won't think are eyeing my every move, waiting for any mistake, any gaffe they can pounce on and eviscerate. And even then I wouldn't know what to say. Neutral questions about background and feelings? I can hardly say them with any sincerity on my part. Football? Couldn't be less interested. Teacher gossip? I'm contented to listen, never venturing anything in return. Jokes? I daresay I have a few in stock, but I daren't tell them in front of people I don't know well. Books? I've endured enough flak over my supposed bookishness to demur. I remember Sec 1 very well. It was a supremely embarrassing time, because I had lack of sense enough to go around asking people about Kardeshev's scale of technological achievement.
As Kangxi would say, I've revealed a small part of my entrails. Back to discussing orientation.
It's an uncertain time. My sense of retreat hasn't dissipated entirely and with all these new people I feel rather aloof. I can hardly believe that I now technically belong to a JC level of education, injected back into the mainstream society, made to relearn social conventions once more. I drift in a lonely sea. Orientation hasn't achieved its goal for me. I would have appreciated it more if we had simply been thrust into lessons. That, at least, is an arena in which I can feel equipped to handle whatever comes. This four-day span of activities smacks of UYO camps and artificially-conceived icebreaking endeavours, that particular strain of camps which I appreciate the least.
I realize, though, that the orientation isn't meant for us, it's meant for the newcomers. It's meant to give them an emotional sense of attachment to their new surroundings, to establish the realities of their newfound allegiances and cast away old ones. I cannot complain about orientation. I cannot technically wish we were thrust straight into lessons. But I think orientation stinks. Not blaming the OC, mind. If there is something to blame, blame it on my tastes. And on the rain, which I despise. Which brings up another point where the OC failed - wet weather contingencies. The soya bean drinking was rather outrageous. There was a real risk of food poisoning. The packs of soya beans and the buckets themselves, not to mention the straws, placed carelessly on top of open sewers - if anything untoward happened, we know what to blame it on. Some rather ill-conceived activities - that pointless clowning around at Marina Bay, the limes game at the Esplanade, the outrageous and scandalous things David was forced to do as forfeit - proposing to random girls in the street, singing loudly to random passersby - rather in bad taste.
At the end of the day, the end is truly what one looks forward to. And if that doesn't sound correctly optimistic, at least it's honest.