Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters 2019 Shortlist



Runner-Up Year 7/8

Laura Chong

Year 8, Carlingford High School

Since primary school, I always had a problem with time.

Waking up three minutes before school started, rushing to get out of the door. (I'll wake up on time tomorrow.)

Five, ten, fifteen minutes late for band practice. (Just wake up ten minutes earlier!)

Doing my assignment the night before.

Late for my lessons, for my appointments, for anything (the traffic was so horrible!)

I was always going to be on time tomorrow.

(I'm going to do better when I'm in high school!)

Getting to class five minutes before the bell. Checking my watch (there are three minutes and fifty-eight seconds, we have to hurry up!) but not sparing the same punctuality for anything else.

Trying not to procrastinate. (1:00 am on a Monday morning, finishing up my work. I should be in bed, but I'm not.)

Not being 30 minutes late to a 2:00 appointment. (Sorry I'm late! There was a lot of traffic.)

Making the most of it, trying to enjoy it.

Time is a nuisance, but it's also a gift.

Time in music, staying with the beat, 162 crotchets a minute, 180, 75 (subdivide the upbeats, always).

Crotchets, then quavers, then semiquavers. Halving the beat, the time.

Triplets test your sense of time. Divide a beat into three, trip-ple-let.

You can't stray from the rule of the conductor's baton, dictating your time. It's what keeps a hundred different people together, all playing different rhythms and notes, yet somehow forming a coherent sound.

You can't play a piece full speed when you're beginning to learn it. Starting at 60% speed, working your way up, so you can always play in time. Until you reach that 100%, that perfect time which means 'you made it!'.

Staying up until 11:00 pm, at the latest. (8 hours a night for a healthy adolescent!)

Not waiting until the last minute to finish work I should have done weeks ago. (Never going to stop procrastinating, am I?)

Spending time with my family, my friends. Myself.

Spending time on things I enjoy. (Not too much, but it's always too much.)

Making sure things done when they have to be done, not when I want to get them done. (You have to finish it today, it's due tomorrow!)

Using my time wisely. (An hour for revision, an hour for practice, five hours for fun).

Knowing when I'll have time, knowing when I'm too ambitious. (You can't finish a whole assignment in fifteen minutes!)

Knowing when to stop. (It's been an hour, you have to do your work.)

Knowing I won't. (Just a few more minutes!)

(Next year, I'll do better.)

I know I probably won't ever.

I know that the me in that 'tomorrow' is always going to be better than me now.

But if everyone else can do it, then I can too.

I know I can.

I just have to use my time wisely.

There are only twenty-four hours in a day, after all.