Tuesday, 31 December 2013
“My Experience as a Chief Guest on Freshers’ Day” - Professor M.S.Rao
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” - William James
Some of my students invited me to attend their freshers’ party. Students of some colleges conduct freshers’ party which is also known as interaction day wherein the senior students give party to junior students to get familiarized and get acquainted within the educational institutions in India.
Usually I don’t attend such parties as I am busy with my routine research and writing assignments. I decided to attend the party as students admire me and have insisted me to attend. Coincidentally, the principal of the educational institution is a very good friend of mine. Before the party was to start, the principle requested me to preside as the ‘Chief Guest’ for which I was unprepared. Secondly, he also advised me to leave a message to students on the eve of interaction day. These two things came to me as a sudden surprise. Hence, I presided as a Chief Guest, and also thought of delivering impromptu speech as I am passionate about students.
After the principal delivered the speech, I started to deliver my speech where I greeted students on the eve of interaction day and started with a story of a philosopher who was approached by two mischievous students.
Two students wanted to test the philosopher, and also to prove him to be wrong. One of the students hid his hands with a bird and asked the philosopher, “People in the town say that you are a very wise man, and a great philosopher. Can you tell the bird I was folding in my hands is dead or alive?” The philosopher understood the intentions of the student and told him, “It is in your hands whether you want to keep the bird alive or dead. If I say that the bird is dead you will show the bird which is already alive to prove me wrong. If I say that the bird is alive you will show the bird as dead by killing it.” The students were surprised with the wisdom of the philosopher and apologized for their mischievous act. Similarly, in real life also, your future is in your hands. It is up to you whether you want to make your future bright or bleak.
I explained to them about the importance of attitude. In fact, attitude plays a crucial role during employment interview. The recruiters hire for attitude and train for skills. Hence, students must build positive, strong and right attitude to succeed in their lives. Remember, it is the attitude that determines your altitude of success.
I spoke with them about the importance of extracurricular activities. Some educational institutions emphasize too much on curricular activities ignoring extracurricular activities which is a retrograde step. Curricular activities provide subjective knowledge while the extracurricular activities like planning, organizing, and coordinating interaction day equip students with leadership qualities, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills and soft skills. Precisely, curricular activities equip students with hard skills such as subjective knowledge and technical competence while the extracurricular activities equip students with soft skills. The blend of both soft and hard skills is essential for personality development and career success. Finally, I implored them to build leadership qualities which are very much essential to build a better and strong India.
I was a memorable and unique experience to share my message to the ignited students on the eve of ‘Interaction Day’.
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”- John F. Kennedy
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