It happened to be the last meeting of this term when I gave my 5th speech. It also made me had some sleepless nights as CC5 is for the evaluator to evaluate on my body language when giving my speech. Indeed, I find it difficult to give a speech that allows me to incorporate apposite gestures. At the eleventh hour, I composed this speech and leaving me inadequate time to get myself ready. Thus, the numerous “Ah”s and unnecessary pauses, again. Well, hope I can think faster next time.
As a teacher there are numerous occasions in my career life that I have to bid goodbye, to students, to colleagues, to family and to friends. I used to be a cry baby, weeping at the slightest touching scene of the Korean dramas or blowing my nose away every time I watched Titanic. Therefore, it is really a monstrous task for me to bid someone goodbye. I still remember that after 4 and a half years teaching in the remote village, I practically ran away over night without informing my students that I was leaving. There was no notification whatsoever at all, so that they won’t throw me a farewell party for me to cry into a river. I left them without a word and the rest is history.
How do you say goodbye? To me, it takes some practice before we can actually bid adieu in a more sophisticated manner, rather than, ran away, like what I did. At times, we say goodbye at a more personal level, while others formal and proper.
It is always harder to say goodbye at the more personal level. This is because there are a lot of emotions involved. For example, if you are bidding adieu to your family and friends, I’m sure you will feel very different compared to saying goodbye to that colleague you know who have been gossiping about you all along. Maybe you would even shed less tears and need less tissues for that matter. I’ve seen how family members wave their children off at the airport, how parents sob and cry over the daughter that is going to marry into a faraway land, and the worst case scenario, family members howling at the departure of the love ones to God in heaven.
Saying goodbye at the workplace seems inevitable, it also seems more “easy”. The only thing you need to take care of is to make sure you don’t burn bridges, as you never know what will happen in the future. The world is round, who knows one day you will come back as a superior, that’s good news. What if you come back demoted?
Besides, I feel that it is easier to say goodbye nowadays compared to 10, 20 years ago. It maybe due to the fact that we have only snail mail. We drop a postcard and it probably takes weeks or months before we get a reply. And long distance phone calls will burn through a hole in your pockets in those days. We don’t have fibre optic high speed Internet connection, neither do we have Facebook and Twitter, or free messages through Whatsapp. Not to mention, we don’t even have AirAsia around, to make sure everyone, CAN FLY. So, once we say goodbye, we may need to wait for a long time to hear or see each other, again.
In comparison, the advancement of technology is so great nowadays that there is almost zero delay in relaying our messages. Even if you are half a globe away, technology keeps you close to the heart. Communication is cheap and people are loathing to be connected. We don’t talk anymore, we like or +1. We have such easy access to seeing each other’s faces each day via Facebook posts or Tumblr that we don’t even need a webcam. We are so near yet so far. We have too much of it that we actually try to distant ourselves. We adopt technology and use them to build barriers in our relationship. We send messages through Whatsapp while we are sitting next to each other. We communicate with each other through Facebook wall when we are in the same room.
Today, I am here to give this speech because of this fine gentleman. He is the one that brought me to this club and he is to bid his Presidentship adieu. I wish to say thanks to him on all what he has done for the club during his term of the Club President on this stage to make it formal and at the same time not losing the personal touch. So I am going to say it to his face.
So, adieu adieu dear Thomas, remember me, for parting is such sweet sorrow in this digital era. See you in FB and let’s go supper later.