Bismillah Hir Rahman ir Raheem
Hey, guys!! It’s been a long time since I have posted a blog. Mainly because A-Levels is getting very busy & intense. Everytime I think about writing a blog post after I’m done with schoolwork, I either fall asleep WAY before bedtime or I’m not sure what to write about. Now that I’m on a bus travelling across chartered land, I’d like to tell you guys about a weird experience I had last week.
So last weekend from Friday to Sunday, we had a sports event in our school. Many students from schools all across our city and neighboring cities took part in the event, representing their schools. We had been preparing for this for weeks since Eid ul Azha. I was in my school basketball team but I was also an event head of chess along with two other boys from my school. Before the event started, all the event heads had to take trials from students interested in being part of the home team of their respective sport. For a while, I was confused because I was wondering “How do you take trials of chess? Doesn’t a game of chess take an hour minimum to play? & What are we supposed to assess, the number & type of pieces eliminated? Because that doesn’t count because the game depends on which king dies.”
Initially I was working alone but then I just blurted out to my fellow event heads “What are we supposed to test?” But they both handled it. They’re both good at chess and play chess at different school events. They both held the trials. But I felt so dumb and helpless that I couldn’t take the trials. It made me feel as if I was deliberately being dumb to avoid responsibility when I wasn’t. I felt like the extra useless baggage my fellow event heads had to carry around.
Then it was time to make the fixtures. A couple of boys from different schools registered for chess. But there were no girls. So we decided to include only girls from our school so our students could get free gold and silver medal 😂😂 4 girls, my friends, took part in it. I had to take part too so that there won’t be trouble with the fixtures and because they had such faith in me that i would get a medal……oh how i proved them wrong 😂
But as much as I tried, I wasn’t able to understand how to make the fixtures. My fellow event heads were talking about doing ‘knockout’ or ‘swiss chess’ or some chess that starts with an R. My head was spinning. I didn’t know what those even meant. That made me feel even more dumb & helpless. And after a couple of matches, whenever I would check the progress, I would always forget who won which match or who lost it everytime! So when someone from the executive council would ask about the progress, I’d say “Ask my fellow event head _____”
Now the event. It started at 7am. The teams started coming at around 8am. Once they gathered, there was a march pass in which the entire management team had to individually lead each team from different schools around the main ground. Then we had to allign them for the national anthem and torch lighting. Then our work began.
It was our job to referee the chess matches that were being held in our school library. But of course, its an event and life is unpredictable and almost nothing goes as planned. The night before the event, two more names had been added to the chess so they had to be adjusted. Then in the afternoon after Jumma prayer, around 8 boys popped up claiming that they had registered up for chess but in actual they weren’t on the list. I was managing the girls’ matches so my fellow event heads had to deal with it. They were irritated at first but then they were calm, confirmed their registration and adjusted them. Once again, something I’m not sure I could’ve done.
But here’s the funny part. A week before the event, we gave a list of the items we needed i.e. 6 chess boards and 6 chess clocks. And guess what happened?! Come on, guess! There are so many infinite possibilities of what could happen.
What happened was that we received 2 chess boards of low quality, a chess board printed on a bloody lafafa (plastic bag) & no chess clocks!! It was ridiculous! Registrations and Logistics departments had caused us so much problems. Even the IT department didn’t give us all our tags.
We used the two chess boards & tried using the lafafa chess board but it was too ridiculous and we couldn’t help laughing so much. Plus, the chess pieces and the lafafa kept flying off. We somehow found a leather chess board which we used. But one participant came and when he saw the situation, he said he had a leather chess board and a clock with him 😋 now what could be more disgraceful than that? My fellow event head would, whenever the opportunity came, pull out the lafafa chess board and show it to his friends, our sports teacher, our admin, even our principal. I think if you’ll ask him at any point in the future about it, he’ll bring it out of his pocket and flash it in your face within a millisecond and tell you exactly what happened 😝
As for the clocks, we used my fellow event heads’ phones, downloaded the chess clock apps and used them. I downloaded it on my phone but it was too confusing so I had to use theirs. I used mine later. But think about it; our school apparently couldn’t get clocks! And what if in between the match, our phones rang? Would we have told them to pause, close their eyes and stop thinking?
We somehow managed it and were done by the third day. But since I’m relating this event to my bubble, I want to tell you what I experienced in the first day of the event. I overslept, didn’t have breakfast and was constantly working till 7pm that day. Yet when I look back, I didn’t do as much work as my fellow event heads did. They held trials, made fixtures, handled the new participants and yet were calm, composed and active. Whereas by the time of Jumma, I was already drained. & I only moved around in an air-conditioned library! By the midway, I couldn’t focus on the matches. The girls playing were telling themselves at some occasions when it was a foul move or check.
I’ve been trying to understand why I was feeling so tired at that time. Then I thought; i was feeling anxious often that I wasn’t doing enough, that others were doing more than me, that I would be kicked out of the management. These thoughts made my heart race & my concentration distorted. All my energy was used up in maintaining this anxiety. I barely ate that day. I only had coffee which my friend brought and a shawarma which my fellow event head had bought for me. Everyone seemed to notice I was drained. But my fellow event heads acknowledged that I did hard work even though I don’t feel like I did. But atleast it gave me some comfort. Though I cried after the second day.
On the second day, my fellow event head managed to get clocks so we weren’t that disgraced.
The third day was the closing ceremony and another wonderful thing happened. The medals for chess were not made, along with tug of war and futsal! The girls who won were annoyed and were afraid of going on stage when they wouldn’t even get the medal. My fellow event heads had a greater problem because the winners from boys were from different schools and it was disgraceful to tell them they wouldn’t get the medals. But we had to deal with it. (now its been a week since the event and we’re still demanding to get the medals but they say they’ll get it ‘tomorrow’ ugghhh 😣😣😣)
The closing ceremony was ok. 90% of the people were barely paying attention and midway of the ceremony, they went for the food a.k.a sandwiches, chicken patties and cupcakes. But I was happy to get free mint margheritas 😊😊😊😊😊
What I meant to say in this blog post is that whenever I take up a big responsibility, I tend to get confused which makes me anxious which makes me exhausted which deceives me into thinking that I have worked hard whereas that is not entirely true. I would appreciate it if you all could give me some advice as to what I can do to combat this anxiety. I am a hardworking student but I want to be good in other things as well. Organising work requires a different type of skill. I want to be a leader. I want to have full confidence in myself. I want to be firm and yet not be rude to people and I want others to build me up rather than break me down.
I am so grateful Alhamdulillah that my fellow event heads never brought me down but considered me their equal and we helped each other out. I spent most of the event in the library with them and had a great and fun tine with them 😁
P.s I’m already tearing up while writing this.
P.P.S I’ll see if I can find the lafafa chess board again. If I do, I’ll add it in this blog 😜
Allah Hafiz 😁😁😁