Last week was a very new experience for me. Having lived and traveled all over the world, I’ve never experienced anything like what happened in Surabaya last weekend. Over the years I’ve been fortunate to have lived a rather uneventful life when it comes to events such as sent shockwaves through the community and made headlines around the world last week. I spent a lot of time at school during those days off, helping keep an eye on IBDP exams, and realized that I’d never spent so much time in an (almost) completely abandoned school building. It’s a rather strange feeling.
Schools aren’t meant to be quiet places, not at all. There should be students, teachers and staff buzzing about with the excitement of discovery and learning. Walking the halls with none of those beautiful sounds was rather sad, leaving me with a sense of loneliness that is hard to describe. I’ve spent plenty of time in empty schools on the weekends, early in the morning, late at night, or even during days off. However, I’ve never spent so much time as I did these last few days knowing that the students should be there with me, after a while the silence became almost deafening. A loud reminder of why our staff and students weren’t in school…
As we opened the doors and welcomed our students back to school, the halls once again came to life and, at the same time, opened their proverbial arms to embrace our students in a climate of positivity and safety. It was important to welcome our students back together in an assembly, to acknowledge the events of the past week, and begin the process of finding our new ‘normal’ at school. There is no doubt that we’ve all been deeply affected by the atrocities of May 13 but there is also no doubt that, as a family, the members of Sekolah Ciputra will come together to support each other and move forward.
I’m proud of the way our community has responded and I’m thankful for all of our amazing staff members who’ve gone over and above to ensure that we managed this situation well and, more importantly, we have come out stronger as a community than we were before.
The week started out with tragedy but ended in inspiration, you’ve all inspired me…thank you!