Today was the first Sunday class for the Year 2018. I was really excited to be back as it meant that I will be able to meet my group of Kalyana Mitras (spiritual friends) and catch up with one another on our current and otherwise hectic but interesting lives.
What increased my happiness level to the next higher point were the greeting of the teachers with genuine and wide smiles on their faces and the array of food and drinks that were displayed at the Information Counter located in GIIS. The stall was set up by the "Sew Sisters" which is formed by a group of teachers with the intention of helping to raise funds for BISDS's operation on a sewing project during Wesak.
There were selections of nasi lemak and chinese fried dough--better known as "yao zha guai" or "you tiao" for all the students and staff to purchase and at the same time, perform a deed of Dana. To complement the food, tea and coffee were also provided.
This "Nasi Lemak Charity Stall" received lots of favorable feedback and donation where due credit is to be given back to the teachers who organized and held it which led to its success.
Being an existing student who is going back to BISDS for the advancement of Buddhism studies and gaining of knowledge, the classrooms, classmates, and even the teachers does not make much of a difference to the weekly classes that are being held. But being a new student does.
Being a new student meant having to know and familiarise oneself with the surroundings, new friends, and even the norm of what people do and learn every week. It is just a cycle that all of us go through when having reached a certain level of achievement in our own lives that may or may not ignite a sense of anxiousness, curiosity, and even anticipation of what's going to happen next within ourselves.
However, there was no need for the new students to fret as the Youth students were already positioned at places that were of first priority to the parents who are bringing along their child or students who came on their own to register for the 2018 Sunday class. Youth students were stationed at the pathway leading to the registration venue where there was a briefing held for the newcomers and to guide the students to their new classes.
Furthermore, the Youth helped out in setting up the registration counters for the book and t-shirt sales in the back corner of the briefing room to provide a hassle-free journey for both parents and students, without having to change from one classroom setting to another.
After the briefing ended, new students were taken to their classes and a few introductory conversations were exchanged between the teacher and the students to break the ice and to get to know each other better.
On the other hand, existing students who went back to school today were all smiling where you could tell that they are enjoying themselves learning the Dhamma.
Going back to school for this new school year was a great beginning to the many more weeks that are yet to come, all filled with happiness and joy.
Written by Rachel Phang, Youth class