Written by Li Xin Rong (19-I4) and Lee En Tong (19-U2)
Designed by Lee En Tong (19-U2)
“[My times spent as leadership positions] were similar in that I grew from each of them, and realised leadership wasn’t just about leading people; it’s more about listening to them and serving them.”
As 2019 draws to a close, we interviewed Jiya Dutta (19-O1), a member of the Ora House Committee, to end off Humans of Eunoia on a sweet note.
If money wasn’t an issue, what profession would you choose?
Hmm… I like to dance. Ok, I would pursue writing, as an author. I’ve been reading ever since I can remember. Initially, I didn’t start out with English medium books since I used to study in India. I used to read a lot of Indian mythology and books of similar genre, but once I came over to Singapore, I started with Rick Riordan’s books. (Rick Riordan is the author of Percy Jackson & The Olympians series and The Heroes of Olympus, to name a few) I just loved how he was able to use mythology and weave it into a brand new story in an original way.
It would be a really fulfilling and fun endeavour to try writing my own story. I’ve tried writing my own in the past, but unfortunately, it’s not likely something I would pursue if money was an issue. However, if money wasn’t an issue, writing would be something I’d love to do.
In what ways do you find meaning in the positions that you serve?
I am a member of the House Committee, and I find it really meaningful. I’m doing something not only for the house, but for the school’s culture as a whole. I feel that leadership positions are a way for you to give back to the community who has given so much to you. Serving in House Comm so far has taught me that I can find a lot of meaning in doing things for the House, and helping out in school activities. I feel that as a new school, we really need to cultivate a very strong school culture right from the start, so that we are able to help newer J1s next year integrate better into the whole system.
I find particular meaning in working together with my committee mates and teachers. Through this leadership position, I really learnt the value of teamwork. Without any help from my House Comm mates and teachers, I don’t think I’ll be able to do many of the things I have contributed so far. Road Run, organising signature events and house parties are some of these instances when I was really grateful for the social support structure around me.
Is this your first leadership position, or have you had other opportunities in your life so far?
I was actually Head Prefect back in primary school, and in secondary school I was a Councillor for a while. I was also the Captain of my CCA. The experiences that I have gathered from those different stints are similar, but also different. It was similar in that I grew from each of them, and realised leadership wasn’t just about leading people; it’s more about listening to them and serving them.
It has been almost half a year since you were invested into your leadership position. If given the chance to go back to the start of the year, what would you do differently?
If given the chance to go back to the start… I think right now, there isn’t much I regret from my time as House Comm member. However, I would have tried running for Vice Captain. Looking at how my Vice Captains are doing their jobs and putting so much time and effort in it, I would like to try that as well.
I would also try to take more initiative. I remember not being that outspoken or vocal with my ideas at the start. I felt that not being from one of the IP schools, my views would not count for much and that they had more experience than I did. If I had been more vocal, I would have welcomed more new opportunities instead of shying away from them.
It was actually a unanimous decision for my classmates to nominate me as the House Rep. It came from a place of wanting to include and make me feel welcomed, which I am very grateful for. I wouldn’t be the same person I am now without this leadership opportunity.
We are at the final article of our Humans of Eunoia series. When first starting out, I met with unprecedented challenges such as coming up with creative interview questions and learning how to best represent the interviewee in our articles. I learnt how important the transcription process (we voice recorded our interviewees) was in changing the tone and meaning of the article. For each interviewee, whether coordinating available timings, making my interviewee feel comfortable or taking a genuine interest in them, a lot of learning took place, and I have gained valuable experience. I am very grateful for this opportunity to get to know Eunoians a little better and strive to write their colourful stories.
– Xin Rong
Oh how time flies! This article officially marks the end of Humans of Eunoia and I am incredibly thankful to have been able to meet so many inspiring members of our Eunoian community. While we embarked on this project with the hope of achieving many of our intended ideals, we encountered various obstacles, ranging from generating questions to interviewing skills that truth be told, really stumped us. However, no journey is never fraught with difficulties and this genuinely made me better appreciate the effort that goes into journalism. As the rather cliche saying goes, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. It’s the colourful experiences of every member of EJC that intertwine to make our community uniquely beautiful.
– En Tong