I am not perfect. I have still got so much to learn.
Here, I share my journey. My work. My passion. My ups. My downs.
I want to learn from you too, if you would let me. Leave me a comment & I will follow it to your site & read about your experiences!
Let's build a great team to make a greater impact on the nation!
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If a Malaysian were to agree to a meeting/appointment/date at a certain time, you can almost always expect them to be late...
Thus the well-known term 'Malaysian Time' which is +1/+2 hours from the predetermined meeting time.
But the most important question in the whole wide world is...
How late will the person be?
I don't mind that people are late.
We are all human & sometimes we cant help it.
But I cannot accept someone giving you the idea that he/she will be there soon when that someone knows that he/she will not be able to honour the agreed meeting time for a long duration.
Even 30 mins qualifies as a long duration.
Besides appointments, some Malaysians also lie about being late when it comes to deadlines.
Even an office where you would expect efficiency & accountability can make you wait week after week with great expectations for more than a month.
All I need is a realistic assessment of the duration that I will have to wait.
Be it 2 hours or 1 month, I would appreciate an honest approximation.
With this knowledge of truth, I can find some other ways to entertain myself so that my wait would not be as long & torturous.
I will also be less offended by your lateness too.
But then again...
The ideal would be for all of us to be punctual...
Be it Malaysian or not.
I was looking for directions to an unfamiliar place...
So I went on Google Maps like I have always done in New Zealand.
It was reliable to me in the white man's country & I expected it to provide me with a basic map of the general area.
Boy did I get a shock when I discovered that the map I received for a secluded location in Kuching was just as accurate & detailed as a map I would get for a street in New Zealand!
It was so accurate that all names are actual names & not English translations.
Lorong this, Jalan that, Taman this, Lebuhraya that & etc.
It is also so detailed that small lorongs, landmarks, LRT stations, schools & hospitals are even on the map!
And the best part is...
I could even get directions from one place to another!
Google Maps rocks!
To all Malaysians out there...
Now you got a reliable easy-to-use map free on the net!
After completing my tertiary education, here I am back where it all started.
Kuching, Sarawak my hometown & where I have spent the past 3 quarters of my life.
In the process of becoming a graduate, I have been taken to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia & Wellington, New Zealand.
Within that 5.5 year process, I made holiday forays into New Zealand, Australia, Thailand & West Malaysia.
I have also made some lasting friends who will be comrades in the struggle to educate a reluctant generation.
In summary, I have had a very fulfilling time at the institute & at university.
Now, I am home and having a breather after a tough tough time back in Kuala Lumpur.
Where will I be working at next year?
I don't know. I don't even have a clue. It is not my decision.
I have nothing to do but wait for a letter from the government that contains the location of my teaching service.
I can try to pull cables... but why bother my parents even more?
I want to be independent of everything but God.
I want to be a man of my own making.
I want to look back after another 6 years & be able to say, I made it even when the odds were against me.
I want to live.
I want to thrive.
But not necessarily the easy way.
Life is not easy, why cheat myself?
Maybe when I'm older & ready to settle down...
I will choose a place to grow my roots.
I will choose a lady to love & seed.
I will choose to nurture & grow a tree.
Today I woke up to a wonderful cool Wednesday morning
One where I hear the birds sing and the crickets chirp
I wake from the same bed in the same room, but I know
Today is not the same
I leave my room and walk towards the kitchen
Passing the empty rooms which were full of laughter
I'm used to being left behind, but I know
Today is not the same
My friends leave me for home because home is near
Every holiday I spend here, I spend alone
They are usually back in a week or two, but I know
Today is not the same
Intuition guides me to the balcony & the spectacle beyond
A panorama: the brightening sky, the yellow glow of the college, the green of the grounds
It has always been there for me to enjoy, but I know
Today is not the same
I have been shaped by the individuals & personalities here
And like Si Tenggang I have emerged with a strange knowledge
I have been very comfortable as a student, but I know
Today is not the same
I pack the same old belongings in the same old bags
The trophies, the gifts, the pictures... they move me
I walk out a well-worn door and feel a deep deep loss because I know
It will never be the same again.
Dont get me wrong, I like friendster.
I loved how open it was & I used it as a primary means of sharing details about myself.
It is kind of like my personal online profile equipped with all sorts of useful or interesting details about me. My current location, my current thoughts, my latest pictures, my birthday, my education background & all sorts of other details about me.
It was also a good place for me to keep in touch with my friends. The comprehensive friendster groups, the birthday reminders, the smiles, the messaging & the testimonials all work well to help me keep in touch with friends who are near & far.
But I couldn't take the many stranger friend requests, the constant bulletin board spamming, the picture stealing & the impersonal testimonial images.
A good service has been legally abused.
Lonely people started adding strangers at random without first getting to know the person...
Naive people started reposting or forwarding baseless messages of warning...
Self-esteem deficient people use pictures from other people or from celebrities as their own pictures...
And I'm encountering it more & more with each passing day.
These shortcomings soon got to me & I had to say that enough was enough.
The time has come to put it to a stop.
Either the rubbish goes or I go...
So there you have it...
I'm left frienster.
Then, how will I keep in touch with my friends?
Well... I have another more 'mature' social networking site.
And besides... I got a blog!
Only a week before, we were...
short of money...
running out of time...
jaded from 4 years of patience & sub-par treatment...
exhausted from a ineffective but veeery long course...
And with 2 failed attempts at organising a farewell dinner...
the cohort settled to not doing it completely.
As our time at this cream of the cream Malaysian institute moves into its twilight...
There was bitter bickering from several professional corners of the institute...
People who had no direct contact with us were criticising us for not having an annual dinner...
Saying that we were useless & not united...
Saying that we never contributed anything to the institute...
Saying that we should have one to appreciate our lecturers (who respected our decision not to)...
Saying that our juniors had a grand dinner every year with ball dancing & all that glitter...
It was getting out of hand.
That was when a few individuals of the Cohort gathered the leaders in the Cohort for a serious consideration...
of an annual dinner.
This is what we came up with & of which the Cohort agreed to...
On Sunday, 3 Dec...
We had the Cohort 2 Farewell BBQ!
Our last event in IPBA.
Our final farewell.
It was relaxed...
It was economical...
It was personal...
It was held at IPBA's very own Quadrangle!
Even without the use of spotlights or candles, the place lights up really nicely when the lights in the corridors of the adjacent buildings are turned on.
What did I do that night?
Besides helping out a bit with the preparations, I was also the host.
In the picture, I hosted a fun & simple game where everyone had the chance to be on stage.
After my game, ShiYing & JuLi twisted everyone's brains with a game of trivia.
We had a generous helping of food that night.
From the lychee & pineapple punch to the fried spring rolls to the savoury sandwiches to the seafood kebabs to the BBQ chicken to the dessert, everything was made from scratch!
Everything tasted so good too!
The entertainment for the night was a go at the newly released Guitar Hero: World Tour!
Everyone who wanted had the chance to sing or play the guitar on this music instrument simulation.
The guys really went crazy with this new toy but the real rocker was Adel who looked really comfortable with the mic.
Besides that, Azhar "Ali G" produced this entertaining video for the BBQ, "Cohort 2 Boys Merapek".
Check it out!
It's really funny!
As a parting gift, everyone had a copy of this picture.
Included in the picture are all the 124 members of B.Ed.TESL Cohort 2.
Nothing like a picture to go with the memories, eh?
After this event, I started to appreciate everyone in Cohort 2 even more.
We've been together through thick & thin.
Thanks for joining hands & working together when push comes to shove...
We did more than the haters thought we could...
Besides, we didnt have to prove anything to them!
We did this for ourselves!
Cohort 2 for Cohort 2!
I'd like to especially compliment & highlight the contribution of certain individuals who have made a difference for this event.
WanLynn, KaiChia & ShiYing for being sensitive to current events & promoting the idea to the cohort leaders.
Shawn Shim, our cohort leader, for agreeing to the idea from the beginning & staying in IPBA for 2 days to help preparations.
Nasrul, our head chef, for working so hard during the whole weekend: shopping, preparing, cooking & cleaning up after.
The Cohort 2 men who gave this event all they've got.
The Cohort 2 ladies who also worked hard for this event.
You guys made it happen!