Everyone is unique and has different amazing personal stories that are worth sharing. All of the people who are living on this planet, each goes through different experiences which help construct beautiful or painful memories for that particular human-being. Those different experiences are the mold of who we become in life and shape our future self. It is not just about the experiences that we went through, what is even more important than that is How we React and What we do with the experiences we have gone through, whether it is pain or pleasure. Do we give up, not take a step forward and never taste the true life meaning? Do we make it a lesson and step for success? Do we believe in changing ourselves and be determined in any situations? Well, here is my little Memoir that describes the one moment that changed my life and who I am. It is a precious opportunity for me to become a change agent and find my true potentials to help people and make the world a better place.
A Life Changing Audition, The door to become a change agent
by Angely Rose
“The one moment that you do not really value or realize the great importance of it might be the moment that can change your life forever.” Have you ever imagined a moment that can change your life forever? A simple moment? An unrecognized moment? Well, I had experienced a moment that made a huge impact on my life and made me who I am and who I will be.
The approaching audition
On a normal school day, something interesting had been announced by our
fifth-grade teacher named Sou Sovanna. She is an old woman that everyone recognizes as the elder teacher in the school. “On Monday, there will be a school coming to host an audition. The school’s principal requires three students from each class to join. I have chosen some students already.” She paused a while to catch her breath from the long speech of the announcement. Then, she continued with an unhappy face that shows the class that something wrong has been going on. “Angely, Nimol and Jolie, you are the three students that are going to represent our class.” I had no doubt why we were the students that got selected. During my usual Saturday, I spent my time going through math and Khmer textbooks to review some lessons and did some math exercises and word problems. My mom was the first person who was informed by me about the audition. She was so inspiring and encouraging. My mom taught me extra math lessons from grade six which I had no idea about before. The usual night before the audition approached and the rest of the world was sleeping except me.There was a combination of excitements, marvels, and worries that came into my mind about the audition.
The beautiful morning of the audition
Other people in my neighborhood were wide awake and so was my family. I got up earlier than ordinary days. I brushed my teeth, took a shower and dressed in the white shirt and blue skirt which was the official uniform of Cambodia. I tied my hair up tight and looked at another me in the mirror, a me that is going to face something soon. The pair of dark but clear eagle eyes, the snub nose that looked like a hill while everyone’s has mountains, the rosy pointy natural lips and the limp hair that made up me in the mirror. I was prepared for the audition that I knew nothing about. I got on the red moto with my mom and headed off to my primary school. It was a kilometer away from my house. When I got of the moto, my mom said “Just try your best. No matter what is the result, you and me both will be satisfied.”
After a normal goodbye to my mama, I was walking with my heavy legs to a bench instead of my class because it was locked. I had my breakfast there and I thought about the last thing my mom said. I whispered lightly to myself, just try your best, Angely. You won’t ever know what is it going to be. After having my breakfast, the class door was unlocked and I went inside. I saw Nimol and Jolie holding their modern iphones. I was surprised, though when seeing such unnecessary tools like those phones on such important days like the coronation day or something like that. They said, “Auditioning is nothing. We just need a paper with all of the notes hidden from the recruitment team and that is enough to pass”. My heart sank to the bottom of the deep wild ocean after those words reached my ear. I was rubbing my ear again to make sure that what I heard was not wrong. “The three students who were selected for the audition! Run as quick as possible to the two new sixth grade classrooms over there!,” my teacher announced with a strong voice with a pointing gesture towards the classroom.
The first round of audition, a step towards impact
Nimol, Jolie and I were walking towards the classroom that our teacher pointed to. I was sitting with a girl that I had never knew before. In that moment, I could hear student’s voices, “What is the purpose of the audition?” or “What is the prize if we win?” Besides those questions, I also heard some hope. “I am definitely going to pass this ordinary audition.” Those expressions from each student had transformed the classroom to a market on a Sunday morning. All of a sudden, there were two women who were walking into the noisy classroom, one with the school uniform and the other with a neat office suit. The shorter woman with the school uniform on started to introduce the audition with a strong and serious voice “Hello Students! We are the recruitment team from Liger Learning Center that is located in Takhmao. This audition is going to determine the students who are going to get a full scholarship as the second cohort of the school. This is the one and only chance for you all in your entire life. There won’t be another opportunity in the future so you all should try your best to pass this. If you pass this audition, you will get the corresponding of $16,000 as the prize.” Everybody gazed at the teacher with awe and enthusiasm to go through the audition. On the other hand, I could notice the two teachers who were looking at each other in the funny way. Another teacher laughed gently and looked back to the students with a serious look. “If you are selected to go to study at Liger, there will be a laptop that will be given to each of you and that is a rare opportunity for students your age!” the other teacher explained with great expressions at the end. “We have different sections of tests in this first round. If you finish the sections before the time runs out, you have to wait. Do not cheat to do the other sections unless the new time has been approved.” The two teachers passed out the printed paper of tests to each students. “One, two, three, Start your first section!” There were a lot of sections for us. I felt so satisfied with all of the tests, rules and the prize.The test was as hard as lifting an elephant. I could feel the pressure throughout the test. However, I was announced as one of the students that were going to continue to round two of the audition. The intense happiness and delight suddenly poured into my mind and soul. The thrill was so great like I’ve won a million dollar jackpot or get to travel in the time machine. “All of the students that need to go the next round needs to stay here for the second round. Please be prepared.” I ran to pick my equipment from the classroom and quickly continued running to the front gate. I told my mom that I was selected as one of the students to continue to the second round.
The Second round of the audition, another step upon the great dream
The second round was approaching and I was ready. During this second round of the audition, I was engaging in a lot of the activities that the recruitment team planned for us. In those activities, there was flipping the blanket with three other students, getting to know each other by gathering names and ages with timing, fixing the lamp’s electricity, etc. During the activity sections, each student was pulled out of the activity to do the two other types of tests. There was timed reading and answering some weird questions that I have never even imagined before. First, I was required to go and sit face to face with teacher Reaksmey who was the member of the recruitment team. She picked a pretty thick book for my reading and the name was “The Economy of Cambodia” She turned to some certain marked pages and handed the book to me. She started speaking without looking into my eyes, “You may start reading when I tell you to, do you understand? ” “Yes!” I replied readily.
I started reading as fast as I could because reading fast is also one of my natural aptitudes. After I finished reading, I was required to go into the similar situation with the new teacher. He looked just like an Indian man so my mom calls him Indian teacher until now. During his section, there were a lot of unusual questions that were asked to me. “If you had a chance to invite someone for dinner, who would that person be?” Teacher Bunthan asked with a curious look to express the desire to know my answer “poor people or orphans!” I quickly answered because my mind had been stuck with a poor classmate that I wanted to help desperately. The teacher continued to ask another question“If you have a chance to go to the space, will you go? ” “Yes, of course!” I replied. Science and astronomy have always been my favorite subject at school. Exploring and solving mysteries of astronomy and outer space is a desire to me. The most memorable question to me was “If you could invent something new, what will it be?” I felt like the ideas in my mind has popped out. I was speechless for a moment. Suddenly, an amazing idea from the scenario I was looking at gave me something to speak. One of the most busiest roads in Phnom Penh with a swirl of dust transforming the road into a dusty planet. “Vacuum cleaners on street to help absorb the dust!” I answered happily. After that, he continued asking me a lot more weird questions. After all of the thrills and complex sections of this round of the audition, parents of the students came to hear the results. One of the teacher from the recruitment started speaking “ Congrats to all of you who is still here on this second round. However, only a few students are chosen for the next round of the audition. Before I announce those students, I would like to say that all of the students has done a fabulous job in this round and don’t be upset if you are not going to the next round.” Teacher Reaksmey has called out a row of students to go up to the stage. Those moments, those seconds,my heart was bleeding. I clapped and cheered with a hopeless smile. Suddenly something fascinating reached my ear that could change my feeling like pouring frost on a hot burned heart “Angely!” my soul was suddenly filled with the intense delight.
The third round of audition, the last step towards my bright future
The last round was doing a presentation for the Country Director, and two other staff from the school. I was required to interview villagers in my community to ask them about the problems that they are facing and prepare a presentation for the third round of audition at the school. My mom told me to respect the judges as much as I can. She even taught me the way to sit and speak with the judges.
Weeks passed and the time that I was given was over. The audition day came. I was in a closed room with three judges. I felt really different since my foot stepped into the room. I did not know any of them except a Cambodian teacher that I knew from the second round of Audition. The other two men were foreigners. I did not feel really comfortable talking to them but I tried my best to do the presentation. I carried my two posters that I had prepared from home to show the three judges. Teacher Bunthan which was the teacher that I knew from the second round of the audition helped me set up the poster. After I prepared the posters, the two men that I had never known before asked me some greeting questions. That made me feel less nervous about the audition. I started my presentation in Khmer and Teacher Bunthan translated it into English. After I finished my long presentation, the judges clapped and asked me to sit down to answer some more questions. I was comfortable talking with the judges as if they were my close friends. All of the things that my mom had told me like to sit real straight and to put your legs down (she means not crossed because it seems disrespectful to Cambodian culture). I behaved naturally and answered the questions that were translated from English to Khmer one by one. Each time that the judges heard my answer translated into English, they nodded and smiled which makes me so confident talking to them. At last, I was asked by a simple question in English which was: How many years have you been studying English? I understood what they wanted to ask me but my grammar was pretty bad. I was taught only the present and past tense at school and the question I got was another form of grammar that I have never heard before. I calculated the years and quickly answered, “I study English for three years.” I tried to answer the question the way they asked me in the similar ways my teacher has taught me. The judges told me to answer the question again in the correct form. With the help of Teacher Bunthan, I could be able to answer that tough English question by repeating his words. Finally, it was the end of the presentation time. I prepared all of the posters to leave. I waved goodbye to the foreign judges and said goodbye in Khmer for my Cambodian teacher. My parents said it was so long and they were worrying a lot. However, I felt the time was passing so fast. This was my first time being in a condition like this. After all of these complex tests, I was told as one of the students who will be given a full scholarship to study and the Liger Leadership Academy. That moment when I had been informed was so fabulous I can’t even put words to describe.
The next door to my hopeful future
In the present, this fabulous memory of the audition has been recognized and valued. It is a turning point in my life because of many reasons. After I got selected, I came to study in Liger Leadership Academy which is a unique school compared to other schools all over the world. There are great opportunities to strengthen my learning including TEDx, MUN, volunteer hours with other organizations, etc. In addition, the learning program is so unique. What have been shaping me the most are what we called Core Values and Change Agent Characteristics. Those values and memories will fold my future self as I continue my journey of life.
Try your best and take different opportunities as they come because you will never know what the results are.