Monday, November 23, 2009

VCASS Orientation DAY 1

My first day of orientation at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School was not the most “ideal” first day, I must admit. Hahaha, considering how I bought the wrong train tickets TWICE in a day. Yeah yeah, like my mum says, I have been “too sheltered”. :P

But thank God, I actually was pretty cool the whole time. It was my first time travelling alone on public transportation in Melbourne. I had to take the bus, train and tram and it took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach VCASS, which is right in Melbourne city. I found it really unbelievable and cool that I’ll be going to the city everyday for school! I still can’t imagine how life would be for me then!

Another big change would be the best thing ever: we don’t have uniform!!! Thank God for that! The principal was telling us that VCASS is only 1 in 4 schools in Australia that doesn’t have uniform. =D You have no idea how glad I am. I absolutely detest wearing uniform this year. But on the other hand, no uniform can be a bad thing: I’ll have to decide what to wear every morning instead of just donning the same ol’ garb. xD But who cares, I’d rather rotate on my own clothes than wear uniform!

So today, after buying two wrong tickets, I arrived over 30 minutes late. I guess for orientation it’s meant to be like that. I’m actually glad I bought wrong tickets – it’s only through my mistakes that I truly learn! So throughout the day we had an introduction to solfege, theory and music software. It was good fun; plus, the staff and teachers were pretty quirky and friendly. =)

At the beginning, the teacher asked us to introduce ourselves. She got us to share our biggest fear of attending VCASS. :P One girl said it would be the travelling, another said she hopped on the wrong train today, I for one admitted to buying the wrong tickets… One guy said that his biggest fear would be to turn up at school wearing the same clothes as someone else! Hahaha, so hilarious – that was my “fear” too… :P Everyone laughed nervously after each response – really, we were “all in the same boat”. xD

All in all, there were only 26 of us, 7 of which were my age (Year 11 in 2010). There were 4 other girls and 2 guys my age. Hmm, pretty big group huh. Haha, I really hope and pray that I’ll get to know all of them better and that we’ll be a close bunch of friends soon.

There were quite a few violinists as always, but only 2 other new pianists! One other Year 10 girl who does jazz piano, myself, and a Year 8 girl. All of us are so excited to be going to VCASS!!! It’s just a bummer that I’m having year-end exams for the next two days. But after that, I’ll finally be free from school for 2 months and I’ll get to just relax, practice new pieces, and prepare for next year. I really thank God so much that I’ll be experiencing another big change again. Now that the audition is over, I don’t feel like there’s a “black cloud” hovering over me anymore. Hahaha.

I still find it amazing that only a year ago, I was a homeschooler. It wasn't a bad thing though. Without all those extra hours of practice, I'd not even be loving music now. But anyway, I studied at home and I never had the chance to perform and play my compositions. I never took public transportation or travelled on my own. I never had the chance to see a live orchestra, or even “common” instruments like the cello and clarinet. But since coming here, only in one year, I’ve experienced all this. And next year, I’ll be travelling to Melbourne city everyday on my own, taking every type of public transportation and doing music everyday at school! I’m just so, so exhilarated. It’s crazy. I have no idea how I even managed to go through such enormous change in such a short time, but of course, it is by God’s grace and without His guidance and peace, I’d be nowhere near this! =)

Also, I want to testify and thank God for allowing the change of the migration laws and fast-forwarding our big move. So instead of migrating in 3 years time, we had to move in 1 year. Imagine if we migrated only in 2011, I would have missed ALL OF THIS! I would have missed all the orchestra and performance opportunities at Blackburn High, learning from the awesomest piano teacher ever – Sandra Birze, furthering my violin studies, auditioning and receiving that big VCASS envelope, learning to be independent, teaching music and earning 4 times more than working at McDonalds, and meeting all the people that I’ve been meeting. Wow. Man, I just can’t imagine if God did not intervene and push us forward to Melbourne before we were actually “ready to go”.

Truly, in all this, God has and is providing for our family. My sisters are also experiencing many new things and big opportunities are open for them. It’s hard to believe we’re living such a different life now, in a way. But always, I must remember that no matter how hard I work for something, if I do not allow God to chip in, all my effort is futile. Yes, I may be successful in the world, but who knows, I may not be living my destiny in God’s will. And no matter how successful, in the end, it all goes down the drain. Like King Solomon said, “Vanity of vanities… But this is man’s all: Fear God and keep His commandments.”

Sometimes when I’ve achieved what I wanted, I forget that God had enabled me to do it. It is easy to forget, and hard to remember our “humble beginnings”. May God remind me always that in everything I do, it must be 100% me and 100% God. Then only will I do what I truly enjoy and want to do, and most importantly, what God desires for my life. How cool is that. It’s easy to say, but hard to live out, huh?

Well, that’s my struggle for next year and for however long I’ll live. For now, I just feel really happy and thankful for everything I’ve experienced. =)

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