First impressions of a newbie

When I joined MAD a couple of months ago, I really didn’t know what to expect. What happened to me in the interview was most definitely something I did NOT expect. I felt like the little lamb who had walked into a dark room only to realize that it was a lion’s den, and that there were not one, but two lionesses waiting with bared teeth (pretty sharp ones at that).

After scraping through the interview, just when you start thinking that things can’t get much worse, Murphy and his damned law walks in. If being traumatized by two women in an interview was not bad enough, it only got worse at the camp at the hands of another one. She wanted me to wear a bindi (for some unfathomable reason) and pretty much threatened me to make me do it. I don’t remember exactly what the threat was, but I vividly remember it as being dramatically violent. (The only solace was that most of the older volunteers were also being meted out similar treatment.)

I was already planning to quit MAD, :P when the camp kick-started and I was allotted my set of kids. Jr had told me that I will be mentoring a group of kids for the two days. Having never taken a MAD class before, my experience was limited (if any at all). I must admit I was a bit apprehensive, but I just thought it couldn’t be any worse than what I had been through already. (No, not even Murphy’s law works that well.)

Initially, I was just trying to help them win maximum points. But soon I realized that some of the kids were getting left behind. The focus then shifted from winning to giving everyone a fair chance and making sure that the kids actually benefitted from the experience. After all, like Jithin Sr said at the closure ceremony, we wanted the kids to take home some great memories and leave behind their fears and inhibitions, didn’t we?

There were times when I was a bit confused. The kids would come up with some idea or the other – do I let them continue with it, or suggest an alternative which was better? I felt that it was better to let them execute their own ideas than force mine upon them. The confidence that they would take out of having worked out some of their own plans would be a better value-addition for them, I inferred.

Rainbow

The ‘MAD’s got talent’ competition was perhaps the biggest challenge of all. Having led comprehensively until then, I knew the kids would be really disappointed if we lose. (While the judges were tabulating their final scores, I guess I was more nervous than the kids.) But, more than winning, I wanted the kids to have the chance to go out there and get rid of their stage fear.

I tried avoiding group activities, because the kids with more inhibition would get lost in the middle of it all. The older kids were quite capable of handling themselves and hardly needed any help. The smaller ones had to be coaxed and cajoled a little bit, though.

I have to mention Jinson here. This kid would hardly speak within the group on the first day. He would just look at me and give me a smile most of the time. Convincing him was difficult, but I finally managed to make him stammer and stutter through a speech during the competition. It wasn’t exactly impressive, but it was a huge step for him to go up on stage and speak. It was so satisfying to see.

Perhaps the most wonderful moments that you take home from camps like these are those when the kids just hold on to your arms and ask you for guidance, depending on you, trusting you to lead them and teach them. And I can’t quite forget the expressions on their faces when we eventually won. Priceless!

The V.Y.B. camp was my first MAD activity. If the rest of the MAD experience is going to be anything even close to it, I know I am in for a great time. Jr’s desperately-trying-to-be-funny-and-clever-and-failing joke apart, everything else about the camp was just brilliant! Can’t wait for more!!

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Comments

  1. natasha says

    my dear blesson,
    its those two lionesses who let u be in MAD…so always be grateful to them ..hehe just kidding ok!

    n hey tats a well written post!

  2. natasha says

    my dear blesson,
    its those two lionesses who let u be in MAD…so always be grateful to them ..hehe just kidding ok!

    n hey tats a well written post!

  3. says

    Yeah, so much for respect! :P

    Anyhow, who were these two she-devils anyhow?? Want me to give them a talking to or something?? :D

    And PS : The Joke was funny, was a hit, was clever and it DID NOT fail! Whose fault is it that you dumbos don’t have anything of substance between your ears?? I mean, like, Jeez!!! :D

  4. says

    Yeah, so much for respect! :P

    Anyhow, who were these two she-devils anyhow?? Want me to give them a talking to or something?? :D

    And PS : The Joke was funny, was a hit, was clever and it DID NOT fail! Whose fault is it that you dumbos don’t have anything of substance between your ears?? I mean, like, Jeez!!! :D

  5. Bimal says

    Gr8 post Bro..! :)
    and yeah ., welcome to MAD.. Ime sure ule enjoy the ride..! ;)

  6. Bimal says

    Gr8 post Bro..! :)
    and yeah ., welcome to MAD.. Ime sure ule enjoy the ride..! ;)

  7. Xavier says

    Awesome post man….i’m glad your loving what your doing.:)want another good experience..be there at pallu on sunday for the ice breaker..and off course the pallu footer game..that i promise you will be an experience!

  8. Xavier says

    Awesome post man….i’m glad your loving what your doing.:)want another good experience..be there at pallu on sunday for the ice breaker..and off course the pallu footer game..that i promise you will be an experience!

  9. Paul says

    Awesome post dude!!N i assure u tht every MAD activity brings in just as much satisfaction n is just as much of a good experience….

  10. Paul says

    Awesome post dude!!N i assure u tht every MAD activity brings in just as much satisfaction n is just as much of a good experience….

  11. says

    Nice post Blesson! By the way, small doubt about your name – I seem to remember it has a ‘t’ at the end – as in ‘Blessent’ or something similar. What is the spelling? I just went with what Natasha wrote.

    @Jr
    That joke failed bad dude. Deal with it. And this comes from a professional humor blogger – I take my jokes very seriously ;-)

  12. says

    Nice post Blesson! By the way, small doubt about your name – I seem to remember it has a ‘t’ at the end – as in ‘Blessent’ or something similar. What is the spelling? I just went with what Natasha wrote.

    @Jr
    That joke failed bad dude. Deal with it. And this comes from a professional humor blogger – I take my jokes very seriously ;-)

  13. Blesson says

    @ Natasha:
    Yeah, I know. It is a life-time debt! ;)

    @ Jr:
    Not revealing any identities might just be better for my future at MAD. :P I am certainly not looking forward to any more trauma. :)

    @ Binny:
    There is no ‘t’ at the end. My name is spelled ‘Blesson’. :)

    @ Everyone else:
    Thanks!

  14. Blesson says

    @ Natasha:
    Yeah, I know. It is a life-time debt! ;)

    @ Jr:
    Not revealing any identities might just be better for my future at MAD. :P I am certainly not looking forward to any more trauma. :)

    @ Binny:
    There is no ‘t’ at the end. My name is spelled ‘Blesson’. :)

    @ Everyone else:
    Thanks!

  15. Sharon says

    hey Blesson, well written! :)
    oooh! i know who the second lioness is! :D (clue: check the forum in orkut! ) hehe… i’ve been meaning to post something about the interview day myself, will do so in due time! :)

  16. Sharon says

    hey Blesson, well written! :)
    oooh! i know who the second lioness is! :D (clue: check the forum in orkut! ) hehe… i’ve been meaning to post something about the interview day myself, will do so in due time! :)

  17. says

    I’m thinking we really need to tone down on our interview process.. Too much anger, hate and vengeance plans going on behind all our backs.. :P

    @ Sharon,
    Too lazy to go orkutting.. Who was that again?? :D

  18. says

    I’m thinking we really need to tone down on our interview process.. Too much anger, hate and vengeance plans going on behind all our backs.. :P

    @ Sharon,
    Too lazy to go orkutting.. Who was that again?? :D

  19. sumesh says

    superb post….. blesson…..and you did a great job at VYB….way to go!

  20. sumesh says

    superb post….. blesson…..and you did a great job at VYB….way to go!

  21. says

    Great post blesson..perhaps every year we must make the older volunteers go through an interview process by the newbies just to see if they still deserve to be in MAD…something like an Intrim Apprisal… thats gonna be fun !!!

  22. says

    Great post blesson..perhaps every year we must make the older volunteers go through an interview process by the newbies just to see if they still deserve to be in MAD…something like an Intrim Apprisal… thats gonna be fun !!!

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