Thursday, 22 January 2009
Having had enough time to spare, I decided to dig deep into the archives of BBC News, and one particular story did manage to really capture my heart. The story was about an ongoing tale of a woman's determination to make her living in the poverty-ridden Khayelitsha, which is one of the townships that can be found on the outskirts of Cape Town. The population of Khayelitsha varies from the low of 500,000 to the high of 1,000,000, making it the third largest informal township in South Africa. Vicky Mtozini, whose character is where the story revolves, is a strong and resourceful woman who works hard to build her bed & breakfast business amidst the backdrop of apparent poverty that has been the feature of any disadvantaged townships in the post-apartheid South Africa. Having lived in her tin shack for 16 years, Mtozini is determined to move into a more proper house in the future. Being a woman with a big ambition, she says, "I want to see a chain of Vicky's all over the country, wherever tourists go. Just like there are Holiday Inns all over the place." Isn't that inspiring, people!
The Vicky's Lounge
One of the B&B's guest rooms. Not too shabby right?
The View of Khayelitsha as seen from the lounge
Khayelitsha with the mighty Table Mountain as its iconic backdrop:
Oh god, bring me to Cape Town please =)
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Feeling happy, I decided to contain my extreme beatitude to myself but thanks to Mr. Lawrence and his enthusiasm,...
Can u change those words in your blog that u are disappointed with the results…….want to see better words in your BLOG
40 points and 7 for ……….dont ever CURSE me for not getting 7 in chem……mission accomplished
Well done…..lawrence "
Mr. Lawrence, I hope you're satisfied with this post =)
So, with a new, fresh and juicy result like this, I couldn't have thanked God more. I am very happy that's all I can say. Thank you everyone, for aiding and supporting me along the way. I'm at loss of words now. That's what I can say.
For my juniors and anybody who's ever been struggling and working hard for their IB, do remember that IB is difficult but it's conquerable, though. Don't lose hope as you never know what your potential has to offer. Good luck.
p/s Congratulations to Kay and Chan Hu who have had their Chemistry grade upped also. You must feel better right now, I suppose. For the resitters, good luck guys! Do well, and tell the world that nothing is impossible. Same goes to the June '08 people, too. I'm waiting for your beatitude enunciation in July (with the shmaltz, i hope)
I feel so blessed, people. I do.
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Okay, the video and the song itself, which revolved around the theme of the Earthly problems that humanity was (and is) currently facing, has managed to profoundly affect, at least. The song, sung in a very intense tone by Jackson, touched the issues that we always know but never bother to care about. The scene of war depicted in the video did remind me of the terror and violence that have always been part of the human's history of so-called civilization. We are all blessed with a wonderful brain to think, and an opportunity to understand what's happening in the world, but most of us choose to remain apathethic to the real conditions that our world is facing. Apathy and ignorance. We're all adopting these two values as our religion, unfortunately.
Talking about war, destitution, and destruction of mankind, I can never resist myself from talking about the ongoing conflicts that are clutching the lives of the Palestinians who have been the victims of our apathy and utter ignorance for so long.
AirAsia's tagline "now everyone can fly" cannot be applied to the people of the Gaza strip. Why did I say so? Look at the picture below:
If you think that our LCCT baggage handling system sucks, here you go:
If you think that your local airport's interior is too dull for your eyes to see, here you go:
Okay, with their borders being sealed and their airports being terribly vandalized, how are the people of the West Bank supposed to get out of their war-torn land to search for a warmer pasture, to study and conduct research, to visit their relatives, to perform their obligatory hajj, to watch the latest Rihanna's or Mariah's concert, or to even have a romantic honeymoon in Paris. Do they have to swim their way out, or do they have to be clad as a superman and fly on their own? I don't have any idea.
The ways the West Bank is being sealed bear some resemblances with the ways Hitler committed his atrocity towards the Jews of Warsaw by containing them all into the small, cramped, and dilapidated Warsaw Ghetto. It looks like us humans really love to commit the same mistake, over and over again. Back to my earlier point, it's all due to our own apathy and ignorance.
In the 21st century remake of Warsaw Ghetto, violence is an everyday's issue. Look at the images that I've found from the net (the miracles of Google are endless).
A streetscene in the heavily-bombed West Bank
A streetscene in the heavily-bombed Warsaw Ghetto
Cute babies and kids in the West Bank:
Cute babies and kids in Warsaw Ghetto:
The babies died and smiled. I know that the fallen kids will surely go to heaven. There, in heaven, their smile should always fill the air, void of the worldly hatred that the adults possess.
If you're dying to see the fruits of humans' apathy and ignorance, here you go:
Warsaw Ghetto, 1945
West Bank, 2009
Can you spot the very similarities between the two images of man-made destruction?
This happens when we never learn from history. This happens when we don't learn from the sufferings of our fathers and the mistakes that they've committed. I believe that many of those involved in the recent violence and aggressions in the West Bank have their fathers and mothers surviving the ordeals and atrocity in the Warsaw Ghetto. If they're still alive, feel free to ask them. How does it feel, having your family murdered and dignity snatched away. I think they'll be more than willing to give you an honest and truthful answer to that.
Apathy and ignorance.
Knowing that Mr. Lawrence actually cares about us behind the 'mercury and cyanide curtains' of his lab has enabled me to undergo through a passage back into the days when we had our Chemistry lessons for 4/5 straight hours (with some intermittent breaks of course), the months when we all laboured ourselves intensely in the labs to finish up our bitch called IAs before the deadlines finish us up, and the 2 years that we spent together, learning new things and being infatuated into the ideas of true learning and stuffs. Only Mr. Lawrence's people understood how immensely blessed we were, being in his laboratory that could've been mistakenly perceived as a murder scene. Therefore, feeling thankful, I dropped him an email just to say hello to our own Mr. Lawrence.
Here's how the email goes:
"Hello mr lawrence!
It was a rather hectic week, indeed. I was really busy applying and choosing my accommodation in Melbourne when you suddenly dropped a comment into one of my blog post. It was a very pleasant surprise, actually. Mr. Lawrence is finally free! We all know how busy you've always been, preparing notes and useful stuffs for your student.
The main reason for me writing this email is to thank you for everything you've ever done to us. I got a six for my chemistry, for your information. The result was to my disappointment, honestly, as I know that the efforts you've poured all those while were only meant for a seven. I was also quite frustrated with my six since I knew that a seven was very possible if I were to work harder. I did my work for most of the times, but I tended to get rather complacent with Chemistry since it was considered as an 'easier' subject compared to the likes of Mathematics and even English A1. The remorse remains till today, and it serves as a great lesson for me to consider in the future - never take anything for granted, never rush when answering test questions, and overconfidence kills. You've done enough to us, so you can never blame yourself if our grades are not up to the level we've all anticipated; the blame is on us, the students. The Lordly force of the God, through the so-called fate and luck also plays its role, indeed.
I'm starting to miss IB, actually. Long holidays at home have really caused me to rot systematically! Therefore, I would really love to see you before I fly off to Melbourne. Maybe we can share a handshake or any student-teacher gesture that can be frozen into memories! If you've got time, feel free to visit my blog to drop off a comment or two! Good luck with your May '08 students, our juniors. Hope that their results are going to outshine ours! "
I wrote quite a long email for him, and here his reply is:
Cunningly short, wasn't it? I know I'm not his favourite student, so receiving a reply from him is enough to cast euphoria into me. I'm soo gonna behave in Melbourne since I know somebody (apart from God of course) is watching me from his laboratory!
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
I GOT 39 FOR MY IB!
Yeah, that's a good news that i'd like to share with everyone. The results were out this morning (i guess 1.30 am is considered morning already). The atmosphere was full of undescribable emotions, as IB students immersed themselves in the ritual of being nervous and comforting each other to prepare themselves for such an event of the universalis magnitude that was about to happen; the result announcement. I was trembling all night long, praying hard to the God that everything was gonna be alright. The moment of waiting for the result has certainly made us feel closer to the Lord, i believe, as we surrendered our souls for anything that might happen.
1.30 am = it's results' time!
when the result was published on the ibo website, boom! i got 39! i passed the Petronas' requirements! I will fly! The nervousness petered out as my soul was inundated with joy and the feelings of gratitude for being blessed to that extent; the joy of being able to continue working for my dream; the joy of being able to go to a distant land (i know Australia is not 'that' far okay), the joy of having my hardwork paid off. I was thankful. Here my results are;
Phy-7, Chem-6, Maths-6, Bus-7, EngA1-6,French-6, TOK/EE-1
TOTAL = 39
I wasn't really happy with my Chem (sorry mr. Lawrence, i didn't get that seven, i turned you down), but my six in EngA1 did gladden me actually. In general, the overall result I've obtained does give me the wings and feathers needed for me to fly, and I am deeply thankful for this fact.
To my family, thanks for praying for me. To my friends, thanks for being with me.
To my teachers, thank you so much for your teachings and guidance. Thank you, Mr.Lawrence, Mr.Saimun, Mr.Masukor, Mr.JG, Mr. Pang, Mr.Azhar, Mr. Dass, Mr. Albert, Mr. Oliver, Mr.Shaw, Mr.Ong, Dr.Reed, and the list goes on and on. Thank you for everything.
To my friends who made it, congratulations. Congratulations Khairul and Siang Hang for getting 43. We're all proud of you. Yvonne, Winson, Jonmah and Amirul. Congratulations for having breached that 40 barrier. You guys deserve it.
To my friends who didn't make it, I am not in a position to tell you not to be sad or anything. Only you guys know what the feeling is not to make it, but one thing is for sure; God is fair and just. You guys have good hearts, and God has another plan, a better plan in store for all of you. Your efforts are not in vain. Trust me.
Australia, here i come!