Thursday, 8 November 2012

Reflection by Lee Raphael

Being stuck between the two very attractive EXCEL programs, mainly community and environment, it was ultimately not my choice of the EXCEL program. I DIDN’T CHOOSE THE ENVIRONMENTAL LIFE, THE ENVIRONMENTAL LIFE CHOSE ME (this is meme material). Either way, I was never a people person and would have thought Environmental EXCEL would be the perfect program for me. BUT I WAS WRONG, we have to guide people for the board walk. All in all, I’ve learnt a lot through this program.

Indoor Training

The whole nightmare started with an Indoor training conducted by Miss Ria Tan. The training was Crazy, She was Crazy, just not in the bad way. She was the most enthusiastic person I’ve seen, even until today! The presentation though covered seemingly boring stuffs such as what to expect during the trip and some tips to guide, did not cause anyone to fall asleep. Her passion kept us alive, her passion kept the presentation alive. Since joining the Naked Hermit Crab is highly voluntary and non-profit, it shows how much she LOVES what she is doing. From her, I figured out the importance to love what we are doing by loving the REASON why we are here in the first place. This is similar to being a Student Councilor, not that we should love to lead others, but love that we are here in the first place. As such, we will then enjoy all the hard work we are putting into on the execution of the different events.

On-The-Job Training

The second phase of the program is an Observation walk whereby the students involved are paired with a guide (‘crabs’ as they would call themselves) and OBSERVE. This day, we reported at Pasir Ris Mangrove Boardwalk (I bet you don’t know where this place is). I was paired with Mr. Loh and grouped with (if I remembered correctly) a family of at least 4 and a couple. It didn’t start off interesting, I mean, what can be interesting with Mr. Loh around. However, it was funny to see Mr. Loh try to engage the kids with the standard “see who can find the most Mudskippers”. Even so, he was very able to engage the kids and the kids only. I was not engaged at all. This showed me the importance of suiting your guiding style to that of your audience. That being said don’t expect mudskippers to be like

“I’m just sittin’ around, chillin’ out”

BUT THEY’RE LIKE...

 
“finding mudskippers? let’s play some hide-and-skip”

Interesting Finds Of The Day:


Guiding

I was paired with Ria on that day grouped with some families. Through the guide, I picked up some memorable quotes from Ria. “This may look like a black widow spider, but on closer look, this is actually a…” reminds me on how we should always encourage others on to contribute ideas and thoughts. This brings us to the principle that ‘there is no such thing as bad ideas, just better ideas’. Her encouragement is crucial in ensuring the participation of the kids within the group. Next up, “I only know of 3 types of fish, the ikan bilis, the nasi lemak fish and the…”

 

This quote shows me that to be a good guide, I don’t have to be all that well-read. She also attempted to teach Songshan and I how to guide with the minimum of information. As “for a kid, anything that flies, anything with 6 legs and anything with 8 legs, you would just have to know that it’s a bird, insect of spider. They would be interested anyway.” As such this enhances my understanding of the second lesson learnt whereby we should suit our styles to different audiences. This also showed me the importance of effective communication as it is visible from Ria that ‘minimum knowledge, when conveyed effectively is more informative than more knowledge convey wrongly.” Thus through this, with the interaction with the different families, I improved on my inter-personal skills and have greatly understood the importance of these skills. 

Interesting Find Of The Day:

 
Thus i hope to thank the Naked Hermit Crab for this opportunity for me to improve on my leadership skills and become a better person. THANK YOU HERMIT CRABS. (naked or not.)


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