I vaguely remember that very fine day that changed my life from “depressed” to “happy.” It was a normal day in my boring life, but specifically a Wednesday, the day the newspaper brings advertisement on education and jobs. I saw the notification for CREST’s 23rd batch PGCCPD programme. The main draw for me was that it didn’t require an application fee and if I was admitted to the programme, I would get a monthly stipend for the 5 months. So with full interest, I applied and got a call for an interview very quickly. My interview was really exciting: it may be the first interview where I didn’t talk to anyone before facing the actual interview panel, I just concentrated on my thinking process and the questions that they were going to ask me. The interview went well, with the usual self-introduction and why you should be selected to this course and all.
To my surprise, when the rank list was published, my name was not in the list. I dropped the idea of taking another course, and started packing my bags for a trip to North India with my family. Then the call came of my selection, as someone opted out of the course. I am using this occasion to wholeheartedly thank that nice person for a lot of beautiful experiences that I got during my course, and a lot more after that.
December 3rd was the first day of the program, but I joined late on December 6th because of my family trip. I missed the group bonding trip to Wayanad, filled with games, trekking, leeches and the beauty of Wayanad, a place I have yet to visit. My first day as a 23rd batch Crestian started quite roughly, as I came back from trip to North India with a small fracture on my leg. My first class was a PD (Personality Development) session that involved a lot of physical activities, and my leg was in a lot of pain.
I would like to give a weekly time table for our batch. Students were required to punch in before 8:30 am, otherwise we would lose our stipend. The morning session would start exactly at 8:45 am with a morning song like “Good Morning” by Lionel Richie, “Words” by Bee Gees (smile ever lasting smile, words are all I have to take your heart away), and ABBA’s “I Have a Dream,” which was my favorite. There were a lot of beautiful songs but these are the few I remember now. This was followed by motivational videos and short speeches all together. The actual academic session started at 9:10 and lasted until 10:10. The first session was usually an English class, like phonetics by beautiful Thankam madam, or the textbook learning class by Mr. Vinod Kalliyath, or an active speaking class by Jyothi madam. From 10:15 to 12:45, we had either maths by Kesavan sir, logical reasoning by Sivadasan sir, personality development class by Suchi madam, or general awareness by Padmini madam. The lunch break was from 12:45 to 1:45, followed by presentation hour, library hour, or peer group discussions from 2:15 pm to 4:45pm. The evening punch out time was 5pm. 5:00 to 6:00 was game sessions by the interns. This was the routine for my batch from Monday to Saturday (Saturday morning were facilitated by information technology teachers). We also had guest faculty sessions, like training session by international trainers, lectures by professors from top universities, and motivational speeches by eminent personalities.
Apart from academics, my experience with my teachers, friends, and interns made my life beautiful at CREST. Most of the faculty associated with CREST have vast experience in their respective fields. So for me, it was learning more from their attitudes and behavior, rather than the lecture or class they instructed. My batch-mates were from different backgrounds in all aspects: different localities, different subjects, etc. I think that learning from these differences is the best way to make you perfect.