There are times when one realises all effort were wrong, and thus futile. And then the key is, if one realises the need to start over.
Last Friday, at 10am, we had a presentation in class. Quite a great one, to be honest, especially when we are the first to present. We are (hopefully), or at least I am, pretty satisfied with the product, though the process was once dreary.
We weren’t assigned first, we picked first. Initially, we planned to be second, observing the example behind curtains. But no one signed up for first, the significant blank was reserved for the absentees. The professor approached us, bribing us with extra credits and the half-praise phrase that we would make a better example. We just fell for it.
The next few days were robust. Continuous and vigorous discussions on WhatsApp. The two scholarly articles for comparison were chosen, summarised, analysed. Everything was set for presentation in the weekend, and we had four days to spare. Isn’t this uplifting?
But, as you’ve expected, things weren’t what we expected. As soon as we’ve submitted the outline and content, the professor notified us of the inadequate choice of articles. In other words, everything was wrong. Every moment spent on weekend was futile.
We were depressed, I was depressed, and we struggled and debated over whether to change the articles. Some believed the content was still related and just needed amendment, others worried a wrong basis could ruin the whole thing. I personally supported the latter, and instead of the limited time, I was more concerned about the reluctance to realise wrongs and start over.
Fortunately, after a face-to-face communication with the professor, we came to a consensus that a start-over was necessary. What came after was not as vigorous as it had been, but still continuous, even if that meant endless nights of under-rest.
At the morning of the Friday, we are still fine-tuning the PowerPoint slides. 15 minutes before the final performance, everything was finally set. And…break a leg!
‘The time frames and focus of the articles are different. Why do you think they’re worth comparing?’
‘…’ We were silenced for 30 seconds
‘The key of the practice is to recognise different perspectives of looking at a big phenomenon. And I think you guys have achieved it.’
Hew, we were so relieved at the professor’s comment.
‘Bye, guys, see you next week!’
‘Great job, guys. Great job!’ said the teaching assistant, ‘Everyone, please take your attendance before you leave.’