Sunday, September 18, 2016

Batu Kurau

Just came back from Batu Kurau, Perak.

I've been making weekly trip to Batu Kurau for the past month to assist Fakhrul with his on-going Msc project.

His site is located in a rural area deep inside Sempeneh village in the territory of Batu Kurau. The first time I was there, I was marvelled by its scenery. It is theoretically a jungle, but villagers there converted it into many segments of small plantations, including orchards. So in a way, it is practically a series of orchards in a jungle.

There are rubber plantations on the way towards the 'research' site. What makes the scene stand out is the apparent amount of big 'stones' among all those rubber trees. I have never seen rubber trees planted alongside big stones. Even 'Batu Kurau' got its name from a big rock that resembles a fish (ikan kurau). The Kurau rock is still standing today, although I never had a chance to see it.

I was told next week will be our last trip. Hopefully I'll take some time off to truly admire the beauty of Batu Kurau next week, because I'm sure there will be a long long time before I'll have another opportunity to come back there.

* Nothing to write actually, just wanted to activate my neurons' reflexes through quick writing. I've stopped writing long enough that my synapse is just too slow too react now. I need to arrest this halt immediately or else I'll risk losing my already limited writing ability (have to write report, thesis[still a long way]...so writing is very important for me).

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Tales From School

National Day

As we are celebrating Malaysia’s Day today, and I'm having plenty of time to waste, I’ll share an amusing anecdote about an actual event happening in one secondary school in Penang, two weeks ago.

It was slightly a rainy day that morning. I was in the vicinity of the school’s canteen. Crowd of students gathered at the school's assembly area, which was just next to the canteen, where they were scheduled to have their school's level National Day celebration.

As students started filling the assembly compound, my interest grew. I couldn’t remember ever celebrating Independence Day during my secondary school days, as we were too busy focussing on academics (aha).

We did celebrate it during Matriculation; I still remember our principal (I was formerly from Mara Kulim Matriculation, the head of our matriculation was known as principal instead of director) wore a full army suit when delivering his wind-up speech on top of our assembly hall.

I was aghast and confused simultaneously upon seeing him in action; was he about to declare a state of emergency? It was amusing because all the other teachers wore the usual casual attire. He delivered his speech in a strong, fiery manner...army style. I was seriously thinking that he was about to declare a war. A friend of mine, sitting next to me, bewildered as I was, quipped, “dia ni dah buang tebiat ke apa?”

I was jolted back into reality by an announcement. A teacher announced that a special student was going to perform. I knew that student personally...as his father always came to me early morning every day to book for his lunch. He has a 'disability' with his vision...he couldn’t see properly. He wore a very thick spectacle. He is practically blind.

His disability didn’t deter his special talent. With a violin placed on his left shoulder, he started playing KeranaMu Malaysia almost to perfection. Heavy noise that was prevalent early on dissipated abruptly...as every students and teachers paid close attention to his tune. Every breath we took in synchronized with his violin’s stick movement...as he mesmerized us with the captivating sound of his music. He may not see properly but his talent was there for all to see.

After he received a rapturous applause upon the completion of his performance, a new segment started.

A quiz.

I loved quiz.

The quiz was about our nation’s forefathers.

"Tunku Abdul Rahman dikenali sebagai bapa apa?" came the first question.

A student raised her hand, and answered enthusiastically,

"Bapa Kemerdekaan!!!"

“Well done! Come on up here to pick your prize” was the teacher’s reply.

Second question was a bit tricky.

“Tun Abdul Razak...bapa apa?"

There was a wee bit of a silence among students. They looked on each others' face, discussing among themselves.

Then came a murmur from someone next to me...she was one of the kitchen's helpers.

"Bapa Najib..."

*Update 17/9/2016
I don't know why, but it's obvious the font used is quite big, is it? And I couldn't fix it...all the words are either becoming smaller or bigger (beyond my acceptable range of satisfaction) every time I try to fix it. 

So I'll leave it at that (sadly). Next time I'll try to figure it out. 


*Update 12/10/2016
Problem solved :)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Mid-September

It's already mid-September, 2016. In less than four months, 2017 will be knocking on our door.

Time really flies, and it flies so fast like a shooting arrow. It will kill you if you didn't keep up with its pace.

I am still on my 'sabbatical' leave, due to expire at the end of this month.

I still have two more weeks to indulge myself in whatever things that could satisfy my curiosity.

Which means, when October comes, I'll be going back to my old routine.

I was told I would be embarking into a new area of research, which includes animal handling.

My first phase of research is over, now we are entering the second phase.

Sadly, Yana has left the team. I do not know where she is and what she is doing now, but I wish her all the best.

There are many things that I'd like to jot down here, but I need space to write comfortably.

Currently I'm sharing this lab with three other friends.

Every single time that I have the feel to write something, Safwan is sitting just beside me.

Now that he's sleeping (yes we sleep in the lab, on the floor, with flattened boxes as our mat) so I have a bit of a freedom to write.

Not much to write, but at least I'm jotting down something.

When you leave something unattended for a long period of time, it will get rusted.

I think my keyboard is already accumulating so much dirt.