It was orientation day in campus just a few days ago. Universities always had a week long orientation but for my institution, it was only a single day. Students have that single day to play together. That’s also including half a day of briefing.

At the end of the day, when the rest of the students left the auditorium for their well-deserved rest along with their new found friends, Class No. 10 stayed behind. They sat in a far corner quietly, refusing to leave.

From a far, I saw them took pictures together. After a while more, two students started crying. My course coordinator walked toward Class No. 10 at the far corner of the auditorium as I stayed with the student volunteers at the other. We watched her as she spoke to them. We couldn’t hear her from where we were, except for the words “Keep the bond together”.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

The student volunteers explained the circumstances to me:

Unlike the rest of the classes, Class No. 10 never existed. The truth is, only one student is truly from Class No. 10. The other 11 were slot in from another course, joining the orientation organised specially for this particular course. You can view it as a rag tag class formed solely for the purpose of the orientation. They were meant to be split up right from the start.

It was a happy and frustrating moment for me. It was happy for me because I knew that the orientation had achieved its objectives, that is to bond the students. It was frustrating for me because I couldn’t understand why could such planning have taken place, splitting a class up after we gel them so well together.

For that single student, he would probably be assigned to another class. He will be starting from square one to get to know the rest of the class again except this time it would be harder for him. This class will be one that have begun swimming together like a school of fish owing to the success of the orientation programme.

It was also an enlightening moment for me:

I’ve attended many one-day workshops where the participants were put through difficult challenges together but at the end of the day, we adjourned and we go our separate ways.

I’ve never seen a strong bond building up in such a short time frame before.

It left me to rethink how I can bond with my class together better the next time I meet them for a two-hour lesson.

Class No. 10 showed me that it could be done.