“With great power comes great responsibility,” the cliched Spiderman saying goes. Everyone supposedly has a gift, a superpower, if you will. My supposed superpower only gets me in trouble in school – most of the time.
Since kindergarten, teachers have already been telling my parents about how powerful my voice is. Not in singing, just talking in general. At the kindergarten I attended, I was grateful that they encouraged me by making me attend Speech & Drama related things, particularly acting in school plays. I don’t remember to what extent my speaking could go, but the only thing I remember was my K2 teacher saying I had a microphone born inside me. Then and now, that seems like a neutral comment. It’s what happened from then onwards that really shape what my voice could do.
Primary School and Secondary School – This was a confusing time when it came to my voice. No doubt, I was a talkative fella. Yes, more talkative than I am now (IKR, how is that possible?!). I would get in trouble for talking – come to think of it, it’s probably the only reason I would ever get in trouble. The confusing part comes in when most Singaporean teachers I had would always have to talk to my mum, urging her to try and get me to be more quiet in class. Perhaps, I was a little disruptive in class, but what can I do when all the Caucasian teachers I’ve ever had, and a few of my Singaporean teachers (usually English teachers), actually did the opposite and praised my speaking ability and told my mum that I should put it to good use.
In Sec 3, many of my batch mates in Choir were looking to become a committee member. I too, was one of them. Skip to handover, I didn’t become one of them. I was all right with that to be honest. I was still the outspoken senior that juniors could depend on and that’s all that mattered to me. The problem only surfaced when one day I heard a theory behind why I wasn’t selected – my voice. Apparently, I was too vocal, and that made me a ringleader. They were afraid that my opinions would lead juniors astray simply because there was a chance that it would differ from the higher authorities. Till today, the truth behind this theory is still unknown, but it has made me question my voice way too often. My voice appeared to be influential. Was it really, though? Villains have superpowers too.
“Was my voice a good thing or a bad thing?”
Move on to after secondary school and Poly was my chosen route. I kinda chose Mass Communication simply to talk, admittedly. In fact, when I first joined Mass Communication, I still wasn’t quite sure on how good my speaking abilities really were. All I knew was that I enjoyed watching speeches, probably another reason why I got into politics, speeches that could create impact and influence – Martin Luther King Jr., Adolf Hitler, you name it. Regardless of political opinion, I would love to hear them out, just so I could hear a speech.
Mass Communication has this incredibly awesome (in my opinion) module – Speech Communication. It was practically what I sign up for. We learnt the fundamentals of speech structure and how to deliver ourselves the best we can. I would say that I did very well for this module and it was great, because that gave me a boost in confidence in my speaking ability. Perhaps I did have a place in Mass Communication.
What happens when one day the same haunting comments come back? That the microphone inside my body should never have been there in the first place. That’s what happened. I don’t really wish to go into much detail, but for those who know, you know. It happened.
The only hope I’m clinging onto is that this is just not the module for me at the moment. The hope that I can one day use my voice, my “supposed” influence, my “supposed” superpower to make a difference. Maybe I just need to look harder for the balance in my voice to suit the environment I’m in, a Mic Check, almost. I mean, if I’m going to have a mic but not use it, then what’s the point?