Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Arts and charisma

22 Dec 2004
Time: 01:05
Mood: Porously ponderous

In my second semester, one of my required subject is Introduction to Arts. That was in October. Now it is the middle of December, after 2 months and then some of hard work, concentration, artistic muster, arguments, disappointments and anger, it boiled down to this: one single, final presentation.

The final bid to win some marks and jump up a few rungs in the eyes of my bewitched lecturer. Needless to say, she does not favor me much. I showed contempt openly. I passed along gossip that she's some lecherous old man's mistress. I followed her to her car deliciously imagining scratching proclaimations into the carpaint. I thought and did things any immature, injusticed student would do without actually harming her and myself.

But I am still at her mercy when it comes to my coursework marks. I still need to flatter her, trigger the correct buttons and work her to gain some more marks. She do not seem to realise not only are we not art majors, we lack basics and interest in arts in general. We do not owe her all our time to perfect our arts projects and where there's no talent, there's no talent, period.

I'm digressing.

I've envisioned (and found inspiration...alright, alright, outright copy) my presentation with my arts partner...see, we've done masquerade and chinese opera masks...I'd put on oriental music/phantom of the opera score and have my friends cum volunteers draped in shawls and scarfs enter the hall one by one while I described each mask. I'd say pretty things like why I and my partner chose to combine chinese and masquerade masks together in our project and how it fusioned and gelled. There'll be my mom's incense sticks burning some soothing, exotic stinkiness and lots and lots of those tealights from IKEA. Having a mom who reads tarot cards as a side income comes in handy when I need incense and bottles of scented water and candles and those things that hold incense sticks and matches....only I don't tell her. For my partner's part, there'll be modeling of his masks for a change of pace and him describing what masks he did and why.

All I need is some planning, bribing my friends into assisting me, a good script, music and....communication with my partner. A sore spot considering we're not on buddy-buddy talking terms. My fault as much as his. Perhaps I've been too calculative and critical of his faults. Looking back, he did contribute to our project, in more ways than one. And afterall, I am the one who wanted to trade partners and be his. All I pray for is that we can pull off something real classy and sophisticated without him choking on his grammar and me on my speech. I'm not exactly an amazing presenter. Being ill-prepared worsen things. Not talking to him isn't healthy. He irritates me, I pick on him, he got annoyed I get pissed....this circle is not right. I know I have burning issues like my temper and patience and low-tolerance...it'll do me good to keep it in, at least til the end of this semester. I am glad he volunteered to do the presentation report. But I am also worried he hands in substandard work. It hurts his ego and dignity if I ask to check it, but it jeopardises my marks as much as his if it's mediocre.

Maybe it's fair to say he have brilliant ideas, but he's a lousy executer. And I understand that. Many things are easy to say, not as easy to do. And maybe I am just barking at the wrong tree.

It just saddens me that I spent hour upon hour, forgoing meals, tv, shower and sleep and poured my entire heart into my arts project and knowing I'd get little marks because I've lost it on presentation. Effort. Blood! Sweat! Tears! I'm worried sick for my this semester's results. My shoot at the scholarship seemed to be down the drain. Yeah, the lazy, complacent daughter I will be. I worry and I worry. And for what. What's the worth?


On an entirely different note:

I always wondered what is it about people that makes them charismatic? I have not met a lot of people I truly admit to being charismatic.

Not the pastor I've talked to, not the doctor I've seen, not the politicians, not many teachers and lecturers, not many peers. In fact, I daresay the one charismatic person I hold high in my esteem for time immemorial is my ex physics tuition teacher, Mr Moey. Ask any of his students.

Charisma is like an aura exuding from a person that commands instant awe, attention and respect. Its a dignity and bearing that eludes most of us. Its a quality that separates a pearl from beads. I do not wonder why charismatic leaders have been able to command thousands of subjects to yield everything, including their lives and souls. Mass suicide, mass killings, mass prayers and mass strikes ring a bell? When you meet a true charismatic person you're just mesmerized and engaged by his or her way of speech, the quality of voice, the gestures, the facial expressions, the plaintive drawing into their souls, they can make you want to bear your souls to them!

But.....why are they charismatic and others aren't? What makes them special and you so drawn to them? What's the magic? Can anyone learn the mystery and mystique behind it? If I can choose to become any one quality myself...I want to become charismatic. But perhaps you need wisdom and maturity for it. Charisma...It is so rare and so appealing and mysterious. It can influence people into doing crazy things. It can incite terror, make peace and convince a country. Its eloquent and profound and ...deep. Yeah. If I can choose, I want to be known as being charismatic.


I feel like sobbing.
+For innocence lost.
+For the ambivalence and irony of my life.
+For not knowing who I am anymore, or who I want to be.
+For becoming who I am now.
+For being lost at sea and not anchored and refusing to land.
+For the anger, regrets and disappointment I've incited.
+For being confused.
The tears drop.

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