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Boarder, Kate (Year 12) speaks about the acceptance and confidence she has gained since coming to Wenona.
I’m Kate. My Chinese name is Liu Jia Yi, and the pronunciation in Chinese is the same as 6 plus 1, which is 6+1.
We’ve talked about ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ over the past year because we would like to convince you that being imperfect is fine. It’s excellent. It’s great. We know that it is hard to accept yourself as an imperfect person while others judge your imperfections, as it needs so much bravery. However the theory behind it actually came from the 1600s from Sir Isaac Newton and his first Newton Law of Motion. This law explains that an object will remain at rest or stay in uniform motion unless an external force acts upon it. Which means, if we ignore the judgements of others, we will be ourselves, do whatever we want, and accept others’ imperfection, and develop more things that will help us to become a better person.
In my time in the Boarding House, I have met lots of brave young women who are not afraid to be imperfect. One example is Karoy in Year 9, whose first language is Chinese. Not only is she working really hard at her English skills, she now is determined to learn how to pronounce Russian sounds. But what I love is that Karoy has shared this fun with others and they are learning how to make Russian sounds together. It is often when we are able to share with others and when we don’t judge them that we can learn from each other more. However, not everyone can be like Karoy and the girls who made ‘rrr’ sounds together, to not think about the outside world’s voice, but accept their imperfections…such as people like me.
When I was a child, I would often stand on a chair at a huge formal dinner with my parents’ friends, and tell jokes to them. Yes, that was my true self! I was a cheeky person. However when I went to Middle School in China, I became a girl who never talked to the hot guy and never asked questions during class. Because I was ashamed about the pimples on my skin and that my friends would judge it. At the same time my study was not okay, and my teachers gave comments like, “How do you not even know about this?” It probably only happened in my region or my school or only with these people, but you can understand the impact these comments had on me. I even changed my personality. This situation put me into a black hole! By that I mean that I didn’t feel I could ask questions about the things that I didn’t understand, and couldn’t ask others - especially boys - for the methods of getting the answer in Maths. Then, my parents saw this situation. Well, of course, not because I was too shy to talk to boys! Their solution was to send me to Australia. Because, they saw students in Australia going to school with a smiley face, and going for sports straight after school with a happy face. They’d love to see their child be one of them and reduce the stress from work. Then they did.
After a long, long journey, I found my Western family and our year group at Wenona. They never judge people – well, I’ve never heard anyone judge me in the toilets. So it’s fine that the pimples stay on my skin for a while. And it’s definitely fine to ask questions during class. They accept me for my standard Chinese accent, although sometimes they didn’t understand, but they would still laugh. They accept me as a weird person who did push ups in the library sometimes after I’ve done my work, although - don’t do that in front of the librarians, that’s the key! The acceptance from them of whatever I am and whatever I do is the gift that Wenona gives me, which has developed my confidence, and my bravery, and I feel like I am returning into the little girl standing on the chair and telling jokes. Because of them, I accept my imperfections, and I’m confident in my true self.
I would like to thank Lara (Year 12), who always has a smile on her face and helps me and never hesitates. She not only used her free period to help me with the Chinese Festival decoration, but also gave me her 50 pages of notes from one term in Modern History. She never judges me for not being good at Modern, but instead she gives me a helping hand when I’m almost dropping from the cliff. Therefore, when we know that accepting ourselves is difficult, we should use Newton’s first Law of Motion to help ourselves out. And we should help others to be more confident in their imperfections, by stopping judgemental comments. Instead, if you see some issues, give them feedback, tell them what solutions may help. For example, “Hey mate, you look so worried, do you need some help with Maths?”
Last thing. If you think that you not passing an exam or being judged by someone means you are a failure in life, or that losing a game in sport is a bad thing and you are so worried that Mr Gasparinatos will kick you out of the team, then today, hopefully, this quote will help you. “Success is the ability to move from one failure to another, with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Kate (Year 12)