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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Small gestures make the difference

I was feeling somewhat down today. The burden on my shoulders is still there, weighing itself on me. When I arrived at the university for my last lecture of the semester, I was still very much feeling under the weather.

As I was walking on the faculty's grounds, I came across a couple of my ex-students. When they saw me, they smiled from afar while nodding their heads. Their smiles, which to me came from their hearts, somehow succeeded in bringing a tinge of happiness.

Not long after that, upon performing the Asar prayer at the surau, I crossed paths with another ex-student as I was leaving the surau. He stopped to shake my hands and asked me how I was doing. We chatted for a while, which is quite strange at first because we never actually chatted before. But the chat in itself was very sincere that it felt like we were good friends.

I went to my class feeling somewhat better. And I managed to deliver my lecture on an upbeat note. After the class, usually the students would be rushing home, since my class ends at 6:50 p.m. However, today was very different. Seven of them stayed back and came to see me after the lecture. We talked about the subject I was teaching. They mentioned that they were enlightened by the subject. As pure science students, having an understanding and appreciation towards the history of the development of science serve as a motivation for them to pursue their respective courses with greater rigour. Truth be told, I felt a sense of satisfaction with what these students told me. At least, to my mind, they have managed to learn something from the subject, not just taking it for the sake of fulfilling their course requirement.

At the end of the day, these three gestures from my current and former students really lighten up my otherwise depressing day. I went home feeling that I have indeed done something right, that I have contributed something to others.

And that is indeed a great feeling.

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