Saturday, November 10, 2007

I still haven't found what I'm looking for

The first thing that came to mind when Dad asked for a song to go with the powerpoint presentation of photos he had prepared for the YWC reunion, was Jim Sturgess' cover of the Beatles' Revolution. Tried it. Didn't work. Too lively. The second thing that came to mind was the a line from the Postal Service's Such Great Heights: "everything looks perfect from far away." How fitting, I thought. Tried it. It worked. Sentimental not sappy. The lyrics were a bonus.

However, when we arrived at the reunion we experienced a bit of technical difficulty. The track was missing. Dad, in a panic, was about to insert some random CD from his car when I remembered I had some stuff in my thumb drive. I could have sworn I felt a light bulb ding over my head. There in my thumb drive was U2's I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. Urgent vocals. Iconic theme. The lyrics were a bonus. Perfect.

Kind of an in-joke, I guess.

It was one of those reunions where the past was not entirely welcome. Every project started at the YWC has either stalled or failed. Half the project members have vanished. The other half, lost and disillusioned. Few showed up at the reunion. This was understandable since we were all expected to deliver reports on our projects. Nobody relishes reporting a failure. Except perhaps me. I had maintained during the camp serious doubts about how far these projects could go. It was sweet vindication and bitter shame to announce that our project Vox Discipuli was, in effect, a failure. The camp's facilitators are (and I have it from a very reliable source) close to despair, which is saying something since most of them are hardened optimists. I can imagine them shaking their heads: why can't we get those bloody kids to do something that sticks?

Hence the scheduled pep-talks. Hey kids, you weren't asked to succeed. You were asked to try. This mantra was repeated again and again, each permutation more encouraging than the last. I assume it worked because by the end of the meeting we were feeling like success stories waiting to happen. Our failure was only temporary. A minor setback, that's all. Lack of motivation be damned, we felt like running out and singlehandedly reviving our projects. Almost.

In truth what happened was anything but wildly enthusiastic revival.

It was a sober wake. The reports were eulogies. The short speeches were the words of consolation one offers to the bereaved. Although one might expect otherwise, no fingers were pointed and no names were mentioned. There was a hint of humility and great personal responsibility in the air because we recognized that the true mess-ups were not our projects, but ourselves. At last there was some semblance of closure. Now the projects had officially failed, they could be put to rest. For good. We could stumble on if we wanted to - which is why Vox Discipuli will remain standing - but consider the matter closed. Hey, we tried. In a room full of optimists, one might dare say we did good.

Our projects might not have fulfilled their objectives. The reunion might not have been what it was meant to be. We YWCers might not have been everything we ought to have been. Perhaps everything we didn't want turned out to be what we needed. Heck, there wasn't a thing that turned out the way we wanted it to. But since when, really, did we have a clue about what we were looking for?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

prepare us properly

The Malaysian education system needs to be upgraded for the better of the Malaysian citizens.
Year by year, the standard of the education system goes lower to the cater for the laziness of the students of today. If the government feel that a certain topic is slightly tougher for the students to comprehend, they simplify it, so that students' results in their report card looks better.

In order to accomplish Vision 2020, the country needs to generate higher quality students. Developed countries such as America, London, Japan and Singapore continues to raise their standards so that students will learn a wider range of topics and become more well informed about the world. They continue to progress based on the world's development.
However, in Malaysia, we tend to move backwards and allow students to rest.
Malaysian students should be given more challenge to be more determined and to study further.

The government should prepare the students from a tender age so that they are capable of competing with students overseas in the future. Besides that, exams too should be made more challenging for students.
Today, when students sit for exams like PMR, almost half of student population obtain 7As.
If one doesn't, people think they're stupid.

The fact is exams are too easy. Public exams should be diversified, for example by slotting in general knowledge or latest happenings in the world so that students are more filled in about proper education.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


'If I caught you two making noise again, I'll threw you out of the classroom,' threatened the initially shy and timid teacher who finally had enough of the troublemaking duo in the classroom.

By then, sitting from the back of the classroom, I had heard more than enough to know that this wasn't a slip of the tongue, and I began to wonder if my teacher was even capable of constructing error-free sentences. Good Lord, I know of younger kids who speak better English.

Oh, by the way, this shy and timid teacher, was my English teacher. Wow...

Throughout my schooling years, I have amused myself during English classes by observing my teachers and their grammatical mistakes, though sometimes I grew indignant when they had to search the dictionaries for the meaning of simple words and made glaringly obvious pronunciation mistakes, such as 'fury' to 'furry'. However, I have to admit that once I went a bit overboard and got hauled up by the Assistant Supervisor for making my teacher feel, *cough cough*, "uncomfortable" in the classroom. Hem hem, moving on...

Not every English teacher in Malaysia is bad of course, but there are always cases of teachers being hauled up to the classrooms to teach the English language because of lack of "teacherpower". However, the sad thing is that some or most of these "teachers" only know enough of the English language to survive, and I'll bet that even most of that will consist of the Malaysian standardised Manglish. I pity them, especially if they get students who are actually good at the language and is more than capable of embarrassing the hell out of them in the classroom.

It's a known fact that the standard of English in Malaysia is low. If you need proof, all you gotta do is look at the Form 3 English text-books, or any other Malaysian English text-books for that matter. Anyone who has done a reasonable amount of reading would scoff at the books, and even up till now, my English exam papers consists of simple questions regarding grammar, common idioms, and stuff like that. Acing it is a piece of cake.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


New school semester:

At the first week:

At the second week:

Before the mid-term test:

During the mid-term test:

After the mid-term test:

Before the final exam:

Once know the final exam schedule:

7 days before final exam:

6 days before final exam:

5 days before final exam:

4 days before final exam:

3 days before final exam:

2 days before final exam:

1 day before final exam:

A night before final exam:

1 hour before final exam:

During the final exam:

Once walk out from the exam hall:

After the final exam, during the holiday:

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thought counting

Burma, Burma, Burma.

Not Myanmar.

Stick it to the junta.

From Wikipedia: In 1989, the military junta officially changed the English version of the country’s name from Burma to Myanmar, along with changes to the English versions of many place names in the country, such as its former capital city from Rangoon to Yangon. This decision has, however, not received legislative approval in Burma.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Eventual of Education

The eventual purpose of education is to discover new knowledge. If we think of education in general, of everyone studying at the moment, wouldn't you say that the purpose should be enrich the fertile field of human knowledge?

One person might want a good education to get a good job but education as a being of the world is a platform show us new doors to new discoveries.

We do this by asking questions and challenging the establishment. With knowledge, and understanding, we can ask insightful questions based on knowledge.

So we learn and understand to ask questions and which will eventually lead to greater knowledge for the race of mankind!