Diploma in Counselling Skills-2013 Valedictory Function: A Report

The day 9 March 2013: What fun! What next?

Just a normal day for people around us, but for the Diploma in Counselling Skills (DCS-2013) students, this date had been on everyone’s minds for the last couple of months. It was the day everyone looked forward to as it would mark the culmination of the DCS course. No more classes, no more assignments or deadlines, no more presentations, final reports or viva! What fun! But wait a minute - it also meant no more meeting with friends, no more get-togethers, no more purpose on particular days of the week. Suddenly there’s a vacuum. What next? seems to be the predominant question on everyone’s mind. In short, at the valedictory function of the DCS course held at the IAT this afternoon, each of us was a mixed bundle of emotions. But as budding counsellors, everyone tried to put on a happy face and seemed to be doing a good job of empowering themselves to cope with these emotions!

DCS-2013 Valedictory
Image Credit: Vinod Khandpur

As strangers we met

It also brought to mind the day we all met here as strangers not too long ago when we were all just about to embark on this journey of unlearning and re-learning. Many of us had misgivings initially as it wasn’t easy to go back into a classroom, decades after we had all been in one.

Five-minute plays on emotions

Today’s function began with a devotional song by Gayathri Prakash of RT-4. All four batches then put up 5-min plays depicting various emotions, the pitfalls and coping with them, along with a liberal dose of humor and laughter all around. For a few minutes, it looked like performances in a Bollywood award function! Didn’t know there were so many playback singers, actors, directors and dancers amongst us!

5 min play
Image Credit: Vinod Khandpur
Image Credit: Vinod Khandpur

Faculty, ex-students on the stage

After this the most beloved and sought-after members of the faculty and a few ex-DCS students were called on stage to share their thoughts with us. Amongst these were Uma Madan, Bhavani, Nalini, Sapna, Sreedhar, Asha, Vasantha (ex-DCS), Vinod (ex-DCS). Others included Neelima, Sonal, Purnima and Radhika. Each one of them talked about their own days as students of DCS and also shared valuable inputs about their experiences as counselors. Kanmani did a wonderful job with compering.

Awards for students

A few awards were given to students for maximum attendance (Sudarshan), most no. of visits to institutions (Vasumathi), person travelling the longest distance to come to class (Vasantha), etc. All the respective batch leaders and deputy leaders, past and present, came up on stage and shared their experiences with the audience.

Dr Ali Khwaja
Image Credit: Vinod Khandpur

Ali on what next

Dr. Ali’s talk was very inspiring and motivating. He talked of the various opportunities in the field of counselling for those who want to take it up professionally. He also gave a lot of insight into the various courses available for those who wish to pursue and enhance their knowledge in psychology and counselling. He said that today was the day that the true test of friendship began for all of us. Friendships of convenience come to an end and friendships of genuineness begin.

Image Credit: Vasantha Sanath and Vasudha

Promises to keep

As all good things come to an end, so did the valedictory function and with it the DCS course. All of us gathered outside, and over plates of food wished each other well and made promises to stay in touch. There were hugs all around and a few tears as well. As we left the hall, each one of us carried within us the hope that this was not the end but that “the journey had only just begun”. I am reminded of the last stanza from the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost:

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

And our cameras froze these memorable moments in time forever!

To view Dcs-2013 valedictory function, click photos by Vinod Khandpur and photos by Vasantha and Vasudha.

Vasantha Sanath
Vasantha Sanath
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