LEAP 2017: Calligraphy

Last month, I had a friend who approached me with a proposal: teach a calligraphy class for LEAP (an annual alternative class event in my university). Of course, I freaked out. My mind went into overdrive thinking – was I good enough to teach a calligraphy class? Was I ready to face a class of around thirty or more to talk about my passion? Why was I chosen when there are so many other people who are better than me in calligraphy? Would my class think that I am too inexperienced?

I asked my friend calmly, “What specific type of calligraphy? Using the nib and ink?”
She replied later with, “Brush pen.”

I felt my confidence rise. I knew that using the brush pen was one of my strengths (well, as compared to nib and ink calligraphy). I took a deep breath, typed in: “I’ll do it” and hit send. I had a month to prepare.

Official publicity material! 💚

I was so anxious, I couldn’t sleep at night for a while – I was really scared of my inexperience and how I will teach the class. I was afraid of what they’ll think of my work and my very being. It got to a point where I practiced teaching the class on my Snoopy stuffed toy (don’t judge) until I felt I was ready. So the night before, I prepared my bag of art supplies:

After checking my presentation slides for what seemed like the hundredth time, I finally went to sleep. The next day, one of my best friends, Nicole met up with me and encouraged me over lunch. She eased my worries and even walked me to my class where the project heads were waiting for me! A few minutes later, people started coming in. I felt my hands go cold and my blood rise up to my head. I knew I could nail it, but my perfectionist-self wanted everything to go according to plan.

My set-up. (L-R: notes I made the night before, warm up piece, and calligraphy book)

I had three friends (angels) who attended my class – two of them on purpose, while the other was completely by accident – so I felt reassured and calmer. I set up my things on the table in front, cleared my mind, and signaled to the project head that I was ready.

The class!

I was really nervous in the first few minutes but got really comfortable as time went by. I couldn’t sit still – I wanted to make sure that everyone was having fun and was learning. As the hours rolled by, I felt happy. Here I was teaching a class on one of my passions to other people – the experience itself was humbling and inspiring. I learned a lot of insight from being a mere student to a teacher.

(Please excuse the awkward photo – HAHA. I’m holding a brush pen, by the way.)

In the end, I really had nothing to worry about. I’m so happy to teach this group of people. I was really placed out of my comfort zone (introvert problems), but I tackled this challenge and experience head-on.

Today was a great day.

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