Firsts, who could ever forget a first.
In 2014 I had my first ever human baby. Being an emotional and family oriented person I am, I love everything that came with it, the sleepless nights, the baby tantrums, the no social-life-for-a-while phase and a whole lot of other things I have never imagined existed. Although all those hit me at the same time, but I guess that’s how life is most of the times. You never know what you’re getting and you will never know when you’re ready until you have to be ready.
Life and adulthood, is like looking both ways before crossing the street, and then getting hit by an airplane.
In 2014 I also had another “first baby” in form a studio of architecture students. Now, teaching was something I have never thought I would get myself into because.. I have never been able to teach in a systematic or formal manner. I know so and I can say so, because I come from a family of educators; my Terengganu grandparents were primary school teachers, my Malacca grandad was a headmaster of his school, and my parents, yes, both, are lecturers at a local university. So that’s how I know formal style of teaching wasn’t in me. But life just being life, presented a tutoring opportunity right in my face (it went through a lot of people). Never in a million years would I have thought I would join the academic industry, but, “Hello Crossroads, we meet again!”
So the lucky studio that will forever be engrained in my heart is, Petarch; the first year, first term of architecture students. Funny to call them my first babies, but that is a common term used by the lecturers when they talk about their students or studio. This was my FIRST ever tutoring stint and my FIRST ever set of students, so can you imagine how it was FRIGGIN relatable to having my first human baby, where I had NO idea what to expect, but just to learn as I go along and enjoy the ups and downs and most importantly, no matter how ugly it gets, you just love em anyway, just like a human baby.
Little did I know I had spent three semesters with these bunch, which went in a blink of an eye (guess what, relatable to how fast a human baby grows up!) I have seen them come out of their shells a little (everyone learns at a different pace), and seen them excited about design and architecture but at the same time get crushed by it too. See them go through things in architecture I went through, and knowing what lies way ahead of them (the typical architecture struggles). I tried my best to be the type of tutor I never had when I was in architecture, but I am sure they will never understand how hard I tried to help them and make them see things they never see coming until they finish the whole 5-year program. It’s how learning is. No matter how much people tell you or guide you, the best way to learn it is to experience it yourself.
Firsts, always have a special place in your heart because it’s the time you do something wholeheartedly and not expecting anything in return. The excitement, the terror is pure and genuine. It’s solely living and learning for the purpose of the experience and journey. Its also about loving everything about it even if it’s full if flaws and struggles as if that’s the only thing you have to love, because it really is, at that moment in time. It’s incomparable to nothing else. That’s why nobody ever forgets a first.
Here I am, a year plus later, ending my semester with the uni I’ve been tutoring at, and at yet again, at another crossroad in life. Where to next?