Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What I had learnt from PISA

Parkville International Students' Association (PISA)

PISA is the greatest thing that had happened to me in university.

It is the club I committed my soul to and hence it was with a heavy heart that I had to retire from active service in PISA after 2 eventful year.

Reminiscing the time I spent there, I am proud of many things that I had done and learnt from PISA. It was a tremendous experience.

It was in PISA that I had met inspirational people who are just so committed to make the university and the world a better place. It was in PISA that I made friends throughout all year levels. It was in PISA that I learnt that you can make your dreams come true.

When I first entered PISA as a junior member, I didn't even say anything during the first few meeting. I just listened to people talk and do what I'm supposed to do. Now when I exit PISA, I felt reasonably comfortable of voicing my opinions in meetings and even make announcement in public.

When I first entered PISA, I was in publications. I do what I loved to do, writing articles, maintaining the website and noticeboard, and doing advertisements. It is a way for me to put my command of English into good use. When I exited PISA, I had added being a treasurer, being someone who can think and initiate activities, and being someone who can communicate with the staffs in uni into my spectre of activities. I don't mind doing all this, I viewed it as an opportunity to learn.

Of course then there are the disappointments. But perhaps these disappointments are those that spurred me to do more things to right the wrong. I felt that there is a lack of initiative in the club. Hence I started initiating things like writing a survival handbook. I felt that there is a lack of activites. Hence I spent nights thinking about them and even wrote a nice calendar of activities. I felt that there is a lack of communication. Hence I started to mass e-mail every member. I felt that no one is listening to the grassroots. Hence I started to ask around what they think of the club. I felt that there is a lack of support. Hence I attended every activities PISA held without fail. I felt that there is a lack of commitment, so I emailed every committee member and tell them what I felt. I just don't care I am just the Treasurer, one that should be content being the bean counter.

Looking back, sometimes I do wonder if it is all worth it doing all these for a club that doesn't seems to know what support and appreciation is all about. Two things that bugged me most throughout my time here is: one, when the committee didn't turn out for an activity that is organised by their own club; two, when the committee didn't seem to show their appreciation of what their predecessor did for them. But in the end, how other people decide to spend their time in PISA is none of my business. Ultimately, how you what to utilise the opportunity given to you, want you want to do and learn from it is yours to choose. I knew I did my best and I have no regrets that I put 100% into PISA.

Now I think I can finally understand what JFK meant when he famously say "Ask not what the club can do for you; but ask what you can do for the club." How much you get from a club depends on how much effort you put it. As long as you just concentrate being true and committed to a club, you will learn new things and acquire some priceless life experiences without being conscious of it. Okay, JFK said country and not club. But it doesn't matter, I'm sure you get my message.

As we go on, we will remember, all the time we spend together..

For the new committee of PISA, I hope you will learn a lot from PISA. I'm sure all of you will do good.

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