Jessica Chen, It’s About Evaluation, C6
Several weeks ago, I joined the Area Contest, and accidentally, I won the first place in evaluation. After that, I joined the Division Contest, and accidentally won the first place, too. Therefore, I joined the national contest. And this time, without any accident, I didn’t win any prize. So, after telling you these records, am I going to share some tips on evaluation? Joey, am I? Of course not! If you would like to learn some useful skills at evaluation, please sign up for the next Evaluation SGD, by Claire Liu. Instead, I am going to share the process of me competing in these contests, filled with ups and downs, kisses and kicks.
Last semester, I joined the In-House Contest, and I won the third place in the evaluation contest. At that time, I was only a tiny new leaf as an evaluation beginner. When I looked at the huge, tall big trees, Joey and Jack, who got the first and second place in the contest, I respected them deeply and greatly. I knew that one of them will join the upper contest after then. However, unexpectedly, I was the one who had a chance to do so this semester.
When Richard asked me if I am willing to join the contest, I started to struggle. Honestly, I don’t like to join contests. I don’t like the feeling of being decided who’s better and who is not. I don’t like the feeling that when the result is announced, some receives applause, while the others would not get any attention. Besides, I knew I wasn’t experienced and competent enough to win a contest. To become a skillful evaluator, I still had a lot to learn. Moreover, I usually got quite nervous when joining contest and that stopped me from fulfilling my potential. This made me start to worry. What if my mind goes blank and comes up with nothing in the contest? Despite all these lingering doubts in myself, however, I still decided to give it a try. It was a challenge, and I was willing to challenge myself. Then, my journey began.
Competing in evaluation contest is different from making evaluation in usual meetings, since contestants have way less time to prepare, and the ability to structure ideas in limited time was exactly what I was lack of. Therefore, to practice, I took notes of every speech I heard during our meetings. I tried to list out the good points and suggestions quickly and precisely. After that, in order to know if my observation was in the right direction, I asked for senior members’ advice. During the discussion, I told them what I had noticed, and asked them to share their opinions. The process of exchanging thoughts stimulated my mind. Gradually, my thinking process speeded up and I gained clear perception step by step. And this is the first thing I acquired because of joining the contest.
After a few weeks of preparation, I joined the contest. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t feel relaxed. I kept stretching my body, trying to relieve my nervousness. Frankly speaking, it helped a little, but I could still sense my nervousness. Before the contest started, the same question popped out again. Being so nervous, what if my mind goes blank and can’t come up with any creative ideas? As the contest began, this question remained unsolved. However, it turned out that human has the natural ability to solve problems when we face them. If you try really hard to squeeze out something from your brain, then some ideas may appear. In one of my contests, I had trouble thinking up a creative opening. As the clock ticked, I was worried, but eventually I sang a song and changed some lyrics, and I believed it caught the audiences’ attention. That is, when encountering problems, deal with it boldly, sometimes you will reach your potential unexpectedly.
To conclude, during the whole process, from the preparation to my last contest, I made progresses and developed my potential gradually. And this is what I certainly won’t gain if I refused to join the contest in the beginning. Sometimes, we aren’t that confident of ourselves, and all those doubts and worries stop us from trying. However, we won’t grow if we don’t challenge ourselves. That is, try to push ourselves more to our own limit, and we may achieve something we have never imagined. After these contests, when I lift up my head and see the huge trees, I know I am still immature, but I am growing steadily, expecting one day I could be one of those trees.