From my Chrysalis

I was not the average talkative student in college. In fact i was extremely reserved. Looking back now i'm not so sure it was voluntarily or even the best but that was what happened. I hardly spoke to anyone and didn't mix too well. This was worsened by the fact that i didn't stay on campus throughout my first 4 years in a 5 year course. I had opted to commute the distance from my home to the campus EVERY DAY. Crazy huh? Well i pulled it off. But something happened in my final year of college. Something remarkable in my otherwise boring life and it began a series of eventful happenings over the course of the next few months and years. In the fourth year, we all had our 6 months Industrial attachment which was graded and required us to intern with a company of our choice for that period. Somehow i ended up working with a not-too-shabby ISP whose name i will withhold. The events at the ISP aren't the issue. However the defence of the work we had done was! You see, i had never spoken in class before, not loudly and i hardly ever answered questions even if i knew them. I was shy amongst other things. Our defence however required every student to stand in front of dozens of their course-mates and other students as well as a panel of lecturers to highlight what the had done, learnt at the company they had worked. Good presentations were usually met with applause while others....well, you can imagine. The classrooms weren't so large so it seemed full to the brim and there were always onlookers from outside. In short it wouldn't do to mess up. Was i nervous. No. Why? Shy me...that seems odd...but i had a secret. Deep down inside i secretly loved to present and debate and stand in front of people. It was like an oxymoron really because i couldn't talk much to my fellow students one-on-one but could stand in front and defend something. I knew i had it in me but the opportunity had never really presented itself. Till now. That day, i had prepared my slides and my computer was full powered to be projected onto the screen for the 'world' to see...lol....So many others had come and done their bit and my turn was fast approaching. I noticed as the person before me came up that my system had suddenly developed cold feet and the battery was running low. It was kinda late to do anything about it. If it went off during the presentation, i would be left with nothing but my speech. Did i mention that this whole shenanigan weighed in so much on final grades for the semester? 'Karisa....it's your turn.' I was startled out of my reverie by one of my course-mates. I hardly heard them call my name. Picking up my almost-dead laptop i slowly made my way to the front of the 'Senate' committee. That was what it felt like. I experienced both a rush of excitement at what i was about to do as well as some anxiety. This was my first time after-all. I was a virgin at public speaking. Setting my laptop on the podium, i proceeded to introduce myself and began my presentation. At some point, the system went off but i carried on. The anxiety disappeared replaced with confident assurance. I knew i had this. The almost worried and concerned look on the faces of some of my classmates slowly changed to surprise....this was the shy girl who NEVER spoke??! REALLY??!! I just kept going and when i was done, the silence of the class was shattered by a thunderous applause. It was a moment. I basked in it and of course the old shyness returned. I was highly commended and it was no surprise i earned one of the highest grades in that exercise. I walked back triumphant to my seat with a new knowledge of what i was capable of. It was uncharted territory no more. There would be more days in front of the 'Senate'.

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