Ready, sing

Today in forgotten memories that suddenly pop back up: I was probably in Grade 3 or 4, and I was picked by a teacher to lead the singing of the Bedan Hymn at the flag ceremony. This was a totally random selection, but they did often choose students who weren't shy--or so they thought. 

I was super shy (I still am!) but I guess I masked it well?

Leading just meant saying, "Ready, sing," and then conducting the singing. At eight, I had no idea of what really needed to be done much less how to do it. I didn't know beat and time signatures (I don't think we'd discussed it yet in music class), and, to me, leading just looked like waving your hands about. 

So that's what I did. In front of two hundred or so people. 

Most of the other kids didn't care or didn't know what I was doing was wrong, but, of course, there were a few students (who were taking extra music lessons) who told me so, some of them a bit snootily. 

And so did the teacher who had picked me! She, who didn't even check if I knew what to do before she gave me the responsibility.

I used to cringe hard every time I remembered that day, especially when I was still in Bene, where I spent most of my pre-university days. Of course, more embarrassing things have happened in the many years since then, and that memory was filed way beneath all the other things that made me cringe about myself. 

It had stayed forgotten, until today.

There are things that push you out of your comfort zone and turn into those magical "But what if you fly?" moments. This was not one of them. 

But I did learn from that teacher: I learned to do better and check for skills before giving out responsibilities and not to expect people to know things they hadn't been given the chance to learn yet. 

And I learned to remember that the pause between "ready" and "sing" is there because you really need to give people time to be ready.