Tuesday, 16 December 2014

MY EPISODIC LIFE JOURNEY AT NATIONAL GIFTED CENTER, UKM 2014



MY EPISODIC LIFE JOURNEY AT NATIONAL GIFTED CENTER,  UKM 2014


STARS ARE BORN

My mother was so excited when the doctors confirmed that she was pregnant.  The whole family was feeling joyous since the first child will come out soon.  My mother started reading the Qur’an from Day 1 until the day I was born.  My father read and was well-prepared emotionally and mentally to prepare for the coming of me.  After twenty-one weeks of pregnancy, the O&G doctor, Dato' Dr. Norleen confirmed that a baby boy was going to come out.
                
               
My family hosted a thanksgiving ceremony (kenduri kesyukuran) and a thankful prayer (doa selamat) and discussed the name of the baby boy.  There were three proposals for the name of the baby boy.  The first one was Ilham.  The second one was Mohammad Ilhani Azman.  The third one was Zoey Zeffrey Azman.  The family, after a lengthy discussion, decided to name the baby Zoey Zeffrey Azman.  It was a fuse between English, Arabic and the family surname.  My father started writing a daily journal of the experience and recorded details of the pregnancy.  It was a tradition of the family to record any meaningful experiences and important events in life, whether happy, sad, or joyous.  I had the opportunity to read and share the facts into this assignment.

After forty weeks and three days, Dato’ Dr. Norleen advised my mother to undergo the induce process, since the pregnancy has already passed its due date.  My mother was admitted to the Darul Ehsan Medical Center (DEMC) on the 17th of June 2002, which was a Monday.  The induce process took the whole day and the following day, my mother started feeling the contraction.  The midwife pushed my mother to the labour room at 11.00 a.m.  Unfortunately, the process was not successful because the baby’s umbilical cord was strangled on the neck and the baby started to become weak. After a serious discussion, my parents decided to undergo the caesarian process and the doctors decided to conduct it after Maghrib prayer.  I was born on the 18th of June 2002, Tuesday, 07:46 p.m. which is the 7th of Rabiulakhir 1423H.  I am the eldest in my family.  I am the first grandchild from my mother’s side.


I underwent a tahnik ceremony with the Zamzam water and dates by my uncle, al-Imam of the Puchong mosque, who I call Pak Ngah.  He was the one who recited the Azan and the Iqamat, and the 4 Qul.  Later, it was followed by my grandfather and finally my father.  In my family tradition, the procedure of tahnik was given priority to the pious and the closest family members only.  On the seventh day, my family held an aqiqah ceremony and the official name-giving ceremony, which gave me the name Zoey Zeffrey Azman bin Azman Mohamed.
                           

The whole family loves to travel and explore the world.  The family also loves to read.  My father loves to read non-fictional novels and bibliographies and memoirs about Tun Dr. Mahathir, Lee Kuan Yew, Mathma Gandhi and Prophet Muhammad SAW.  My mother loves fictional novels and her favorite authors are Agatha Christie, Sophia Kinsley, Jeffrey Archer and Stephanie Meyer.  My brother Ryan and I like to read law novels like John Grisham and James Patterson and medical novels from authors such as Maria Stewarts and Tess Gerritsen, and other novels from authors like Enid Blyton. My family also loves to watch movies.  We watch at least two movies a month.  We also love music. My father loves the R&B genre and traditional music such as Zapin and Gambus (Aud).  My mother choices are Rock and Ballad,  I love Rock, Hip-hop, Jazz and Pop and my brother, Ryan loves Ballad and Pop.
    
 
I started reading at the age of 2 years old, and I recognized letters at the age of 18 months.  I am the eldest in the family.  My favorite colours are red and white. My favorite foods are spaghetti olio and spaghetti carbonara, and my favorite drink is iced tea.  My favorite places to visit in Malaysia are Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang in Terengganu, Sipadan and Mabul in Sabah, and Tioman Island in Pahang.  My favorite cities to visit are Singapore, London, and Bali in Indonesia.  My hobbies are reading, playing computer games, especially Minecraft, playing the piano, and writing.  My favorite number is 77, and my element under metaphysics is metal, and my zodiac is the Gemini.  My Chinese zodiac is the Horse.  My favorite sport is swimming, and I am a swimmer.  I am glad that PERMATApintar’s swimming pool is almost complete for me to practice.

The whole family also loves to swim.  I started learning to swim at the ripe age of 5 years at Supersharkz Swimming Club.  I completed and I was awarded a certificate in swimming at the age of 6.  I finished all strokes in about 6 months or so.  My family swims at the Kuala Lumpur Aquatic Centre every Saturday.  I also love island exploring, especially snorkeling and I wish that one day, I can learn to dive.  I love the underwater world really much.  My family and I have visited many islands ranging from the group of islands in Langkawi, to Pangkor, to Penang, to Pulau Kapas, Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Redang, to Pulau Tioman, and ranging up to Sipadan and Mabul in Sabah, also going to Bali in Indonesia.  My family also loves to go for holidays and exploring new places.  We made a minimum point for vacation a year to an island, to the highlands and waterfalls, the cities and other countries.
          
     
My ambition is to become a cardio thoracic surgeon, as well as a writer.  My closest and favorite cousin is Dr. Hasfaneza, she is a dermatologist has influenced me to become a doctor, and always took me to the hospital to have a view of medical practice work in the hospital.  I was also influenced by one cardio thoracic surgeon, who treated my lovely Pak Ngah for his heart bypass.  His name is Professor Datuk Dr. Jeffrey, and he was the head of the cardio thoracic at the University of Malaya Medical Center.  I was also influenced by my father’s friend, Professor Datuk Dr. Izani Md Taib, and he is the head of the Cardio Thoracic Department at the IJN (Institut Jantung Negara).


My first formal education was at Tumbletots and Letterland at Subang Parade and Great Eastern.  At this UK-based program school, I learned phonics and gymnastics.  When I was one year and three months old, I became a blogger since I was three and a half under http://zoeyzeffrey.blogspot.com, which I still am an active blogger.  Later, I pursued formal music classes at the Little Mozart at One Utama when I was four and a half years old.  I learned classical music such as Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Chopin and Liszt.  Later, I continued my musical studies at Yamaha Music School at Shah Alam and Ampang, where I majored in piano and vocals, focusing on contemporary music, such as Richard Clayderman and Kenny G.  I passed my Grade 1 ABRSM at the age of 5, and currently, I am in Grade 6 piano.
    
      
When I was 5, I continued my primary level studies at SAYFOL International School, Ampang, KL until Grade 5.  This is a British-based school.  The most memorable experience I gained was when I learned literature since Grade 1, made by CJFallon.  I remember that the first poem I memorized was titled Dustman.
                   
           
The Dustman

Every Thursday morning
Before we’re quite awake,
Without the slightest warning
The house begins to shake
With a Biff! Bang!
Biff! Bang! Biff!
It’s the dustman, who begins
(Bang! Crash!)
To empty all the bins
of their rubbish and their ash
With a Biff! Bang!
Biff! Bang! Bash!

Clive Sansom

I was exposed to the world of English poetry and English literature such as the Narnia collection with the first book I read and studied in Grade 3 being The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe.  At SAYFOL, I was actively involved in the choir as my major, which I had an opportunity to join and attend the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) in Choral Assemble.  At SAYFOL, I also learned and became fascinated in World History in the Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greek civilization along with the Anglo-Saxon and Tudor history, which involved a king named Henry VIII.  I also took part in the Science Exhibition and Competition, and my project was a giant dinosaur which took me about 2 weeks to complete.  I also developed an interest in Science, since at SAYFOL; the syllabus is very lab-oriented.  I always came out top in Mathematics, Science, History, English Language, and English Literature.


I wanted to really join the summer camp at PERMATApintar, called Program Perkhemahan Cuti Sekolah (PPCS), but the program interfered with my studies at SAYFOL.  SAYFOL follows the British calendar, whereas PPCS followed the Malaysian school holidays.  My family decided to then move me to another private school known as Stella Maris School, Ampang.  Stella Maris follows the Malaysian and Singaporean syllabus, and has an added subject being English literature and Mandarin. I had a lot of dedicated mathematics teachers while I was at the school.  The first teacher had a name of Mr. Teh. Mr. Teh thought me mathematics in the Malaysian, Singaporean and Australian syllabus. He told me that I had no limits in mathematics.  He even guided me until the stage of PMR mathematics (Form 3). Mr. Teh is a 70-year-old mathematics teacher who has taught in many types of schools, varying from government schools, to international schools, then to private schools.  The next teacher is Mr. Francis. He is celebrating his 61st year of teaching, and he is 81 years old right now.  In Mr. Francis’s class, you can even hear a pin drop since his class is always very quiet.  He comes from an old school of thought but he is very passionate in his teaching.  Some of the teachers that teach are former retired headmasters or headmistresses of government schools.  Most of the teacher’s ages nearly reach 60. They are very passionate in their teaching.  Some teachers normally hang out at the canteen to help the weak students.  I was interested in additional mathematics, and my family engaged a private tutor, named Cikgu Ahmad, to help me in my additional mathematics.
   
In Stella Maris, we celebrate all festivals every year, for example Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Chinese New Year.  At Stella Maris, I understood the true meaning of unity.  Unity is not the three races having teh tarik at a mamak stall, but to be one.  The Chinese in Stella Maris total up to 70%, the Indians at 15%, and the Malays 10%.  The weaknesses however is that the syllabus is too exam-oriented, and the rivalry between students is very competitive.  Trying to get the best in subject during the prize-giving day is tough, requiring us to get around A+, which is 98 and above.  For the year-end concert, however, everybody must take part in the performances, and there are no excuses accepted to not attend the concert or not perform except for health reasons. Everybody must take part and perform with no absences or no excuse.  At Stella Maris also, I was very active in scouts, and I was often involved in the scout camps.  I had collected 8 badges during my time at Stella Maris.  We explore the jungle often, so we can understand nature more clearly.  Normally, the whole school compound is our classroom.  We are not only confined in the classroom, but we sometimes go outdoors too during class sessions. I also joined the choral speaking club, and I performed during the prize-giving cum year end concert.

Anyway, I couldn't tell them how much I felt, to say good bye to my friends even though my school life at Stella Maris was very short, being only 2 years.  Frankly speaking, I wasn't really fighting with them for the first 3 months, but later, I became a new competitor at that school, especially in Mathematics, Science and English.  What I couldn't forget was how I really struggled learning Bahasa Malaysia and my first year was really horrifying.  After three months, I slowly caught up with my Bahasa Malaysia, although it tough, it was possible.  I thought about the jokes, the laughs, the work, the friendship and the teachers.  I could not deny that up till now, I still could not erase my good time at SAYFOL International School because that was my first school and I spent a longer time at that school.  I had fun times with friends from all corners of the planet.  Most of us aren't going to see each other very often.  Many of them made my day.  The dares and challenges.  I had such a great year with them.  I thank them so much for all their help.  It really means a lot to me.  I will face a new phase of life in UKM. It's quick.  To my great teachers Mr. Teh, Pn. Effa, Pn. Nora, Mr. Francis, Pn. Rina, En. Jailani, Mr. Alex, Mrs. Chan, Ms. Anne, Pn. Sofea and the others, thank you very much.  I love you all so much.


I had to quit at the end of 2013 and I was offered to study for the Foundation program at Kolej PERMATApintar Negara.  I looked forward to getting a new set of friends and for achieving more brilliant things in life and I hoped the year ahead would bring me and all of my dear friends an even brighter future than we had in the past year.  Also to all my friends of Stella Maris, I'm surely going to miss all of them.  It has been such a blessed meeting with them and it has been an amazing journey being together for the last 2 years.  Even though it was very short, but it still feels as if the two years of our friendship would continue forever.  I hoped we all could meet up again in future functions. I’m looking back like its yesterday I stepped into Primary School.  All the times that I've spent with my friends at SAYFOL International School, KL for 5 years from the year 2007 till 2011 (from the age of 5 till the age of 10) and later at Stella Maris Primary School, Ampang for 2 years from 2012 to 2013 were wonderful.

I then had the opportunity to join the first PPCS in the year 2012, when I was 10 years old.  The program I attended was the Mathematical Reasoning (Penaakulan Mantik) program. That was the first experience I have ever had where I was away from home.  The difficulties that I had were the language and my room placing at Za’aba.  My room was on the second floor, but the rest of the Penaakulan Mantik students’ rooms were on the first floor, causing me a lot of trouble to figure out where the program was held.  I was not that fluent in Malay at that time, also causing a big trouble to the other students to figure out what I was trying to tell them, since almost all of the Penaakulan Mantik students were Malays, and the minority of Chinese from the SJK(C), who also could not speak good English.  The food also was very spicy and hot back then for me, which I had to adapt to.  I missed my family very much, but fortunately my teacher, Cik Shamim, was very kind and spoke very good English.  The program was in English and the explanations for those who understood Malay were given in Malay.  After the second week, I was very happy and I began to enjoy the program and my new friends, who came from all over Malaysia.  At the end of the program, I learned a lot from the classes, and I met a lot of new friends.


My second PPCS was on the following year, being 2013.  The program that I enrolled in was the Invention (Rekacipta) course.  I met some of my old friends from the previous PPCS along with some new ones. This time, I really enjoyed it from the first day.  I was informed that in the year 2014, Program Pendidikan Kolej PERMATApintar was going to hold a new program, called the Foundation program, which was open for the students from PPCS of age 12-13.  The requirement to enter the Foundation program was to pass the UKM3 exam, which was conducted during the PPCS itself.  I passed the exam and I was offered to study at Pusat PERMATApintar Negara, UKM, under the Foundation program.
      
I finished my Qur’an reading (khatam al-Qur’an) at the age of 7 under the tutelage of my lovely auntie, Mak Ngah, and under the supervision of my late Pak Ngah, Al-Imam of the Puchong Mosque. I also was taught al-Qur’an by my father, mother, and my grandparents.  My favorite subjects are Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and English Literature.  At PERMATApintar, I like the subject of Philosophy, and Research Methodology.

My idol cum my mentor is my lovely uncle, Professor Dr. Azali Mohamad.  He specializes in Econometric, and he obtained Professorship at the age of 41 years.  He was a former ‘Timbalan Naib Chanselor Hal-Ehwal Pelajar’ at UPM and currently, he is the Vice Chancellor of Poly-MARA. He is an active academic writer, and wrote many journals, which were recited by many researchers. He advised me to be unique, and to distinguish me and other students.


THE JOURNEY TO PERMATAPINTAR

Time goes by so fast; 20th of January, 2014 was fast approaching and I would register for the Foundation Program, at Pusat PERMATApintar, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).  I looked forward to a new chapter in my life’s transformation from my ordinary school life to a new campus life.  I felt worried and uncertain.  I remember going to the previous school and having fun with my dearest friends especially at SAYFOL International School and with teachers like Ms Sathy, Ms Halima and many more.

A week before to report for the Foundation program, I suffered dengue fever for the whole week.  I was admitted to Ampang Puteri Hospital.  I was very worried that I could not register for the program on the exact day.  I was worried that I could not make it to the orientation week, which was very important to familiarize myself with the program, school and friends.  I was actually feeling downbeat and worried.  I really prayed hard for a speedy recovery.  I was discharged from the hospital only two days prior the registration date.  I really rushed when I packed my stuff and rushed to be ready for the day itself.  I was given the key to room D17 and I found that my roommate was named Amirul Izani from Level 2. He was 16 years old and he comes from Seremban.  He was previously in Sekolah Menengah Sains Teluk Intan (SEMESTI).  He is very kind and helpful.


During the first week, I underwent through the orientation week.  My group consisted of Jing Kai, Jivan, Murthadza, Syakir, Affeiq, and five others with Abang Hathim as our facilitator.  The activities held during the orientation were many, but the ones that I had the best memory of was during the activity where we were asked to make a strong tower that could hold sheets of heavy paper up to 70, out of spaghetti sticks and marshmallows.  I believed that the orientation week has achieved its main objective, which is to familiarize the students with one another and their surroundings.  I had almost no problem to adapt and familiarize myself with the other students, since most of the students from the Reka Cipta program (RC) made it through into the program, such as Kamal, Nabil, Rawi, Izzati, Hakim and Izzudin.  I was eventually placed in 1K3, and I had been informed that the class had been assigned according to the time of registration.
          
After the orientation week, I got a lung infection and high fever, and I was admitted to HUKM.  I was given a medical leave for 2 weeks.  I felt down because I was worried about my studies and co-curriculum activities.  I also had to double up my efforts to catch up with the rest, and to complete outstanding assignments, which I had to do without attending class.  I thanked Kamal and Nabil for informing my assignments, lessons, and activities to me through Facebook throughout the two weeks.
I was uncertain on what co-curriculum activity to choose since there was no proper briefing about the activities.  I signed up for Archery as a sport, and for the uniformed club, I chose Bulan Sabit Merah, and later I changed it to the Mini Orchestra.  For the academic club, I chose the Olympiad club, which they canceled, and I changed to Astronomy, and later changed to Toastmaster Club.  I felt that the program was much unorganized, especially Archery, which always had a different schedule which clashed with other activities.  For the Mini Orchestra, there was no trainer to teach the music instruments.  Students had to learn on their own, and all students who took up Mini Orchestra knew how to play the instruments prior to the program itself.  Therefore, the Mini Orchestra had no function and there was no Mini Orchestra ensemble.  My piano skill became stagnant and had no ups or downs, since nobody could guide me in practice.  Staying in the hostel, I could not go out to attend piano tuition.  For my international language, I originally chose Korean, but a few days later, I immediately changed to French, for two reasons.  The first is, I intend to study in the UK, and the second is, the French use the Roman letters, which is easy to familiarize with.


THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE YEAR

Most of the students come from the government public schools (SK), and many of them are not fluent in English, and Malay is their main language.  Since I come from an international school and I come from an English-speaking family, it was quite hard to communicate informally with my peers.  I was really determined to improve in the Malay language.  That can be shown from my Bahasa Malaysia results from B+ for the 1st exam, A for the 2nd exam, and A+ for my 3rd exam.  Through my observations, the Malays have a negative attitude to other Malays who speak in English.  In reality, they want to hide their weakness in the English language.  I underwent my first experience in bullying during class lessons, I had no choice but to inform the case to my father.  Later on, I lodged an official CIMR report to Dr. Rorlinda (Head of Student Affairs).  


In the month of February, PERMATApintar encountered its first water crisis for the year.  It was a hard time for us to clean ourselves as well as to take wudhu’, but I was lucky that the administrators of PERMATApintar gave us permission to go home after class and come back before 7 a.m. on the following day. Hakim followed me to my house.  We were very pleased that we could prepare our assignments and concentrated on our studies without having to look for water, therefore its saving time and hardship.

For the first month, we had no English instructor to teach us, but in February, a new English instructor came, and she was assigned as the homeroom teacher for 1K3 as well.  Her name is Madam Diana, but we address her as Ms Dee.  She graduated from a university in the United States. She is quite nice, and she came up with a new approach of teaching English to the Foundation students.  For the first and second quarters of the year, Ms Dee assigned us to write a daily journal and to submit to her by Monday.  I love to write, but she wanted me to express my feelings a little bit more in my journal.  This is very effective in developing writing skills.  Throughout the year, we had to come out with new ideas, such as my metal robot, which I had to make, and then explain thoroughly in class.  Then, there’s the public speaking, which involves words and movement.  There are also the parodies, which are roughly taken, or mostly taken from Frozen.  Making the video was the first part of the nightmare, then there’s the editing process, which was hard.  By the second semester, we had to review novels and articles, with dictionaries, sentences, and the actual reviews. I've been grouped in the ‘Advanced’ category, which uses a variety of tough-to-review novels, journals and articles.  She also taught us to do poem writing and recitation, and then we had to present our original poems, with no duplicates allowed.  I was very happy, because I had learned about poems since Primary 1 at SAYFOL International School.  After the poem, there was the speech choir, and the girls were to face the boys.  I had already downloaded a few videos, as well as the script to get my peers to fully understand the meaning of speech choir.  The script for the speech choir was from the Malaysian champion which I did when I was at Stella Maris Primary School.  By the end of the year, Ms Dee instructed us to organize class treasure hunts which were held on different days.  In the way that Ms Dee teaches, it is very innovative and creative, and it is more current and appealing to the students.  I hope that other instructors will come up with new and innovative techniques in teaching the Foundation students.

In March, there was an event that happened, where the airplane MH370 went missing at the South Indian Ocean, and even until now, it is still unable to be found, and in the month of July, another tragedy occurred.  MH17 was shot down in Ukrainian territory by terrorists.  I knew how the families felt, as well as how the crew members felt.  One of my aunties, Mak Ngah, was a former MAS staff, and one of my father’s partner’s wife is a senior air stewardess, who changed shift with the ill-fated MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

On the 10th of March, I had my first exam, which lasted for two weeks.  I had problems for a few subjects, especially subjects who were conducted in Bahasa Malaysia, such as Pengajian Agama Islam (PAI), Sejarah, and Bahasa Malaysia.  I also had problems for Physics and Biology.  All of the Mathematics and Science subjects were supposed to be conducted and taught in English, but many of the instructors conducted their classes in Malay.   I was very happy that at the end of the year, I could speak and understand formal and informal Bahasa Malaysia. To master the language, we have to practice.  My results for the first exam were not convincing.  I obtained a low GPA of 3.27, and my ranking on the list was at the 17th position.


On the 13th of March 2014, my lovely brother celebrated his birthday without me.  I was sad, because this was the first time that I could not attend my brother’s birthday.  Sometimes, in life, we have to sacrifice for the better.  On the 22nd of March, the Graduation Day celebration for the second batch of PERMATApintar students took place.  I did not take part since I was not ready to join the Choir group, because my voice was still cracking (signs of puberty).  I believe next year, I will be ready to join the choir group, since I have experience as a choir member in SAYFOL International School, and I had attended the Petronas Philharmonic Choral Ensemble.


On the 22nd of March to the 30th of March, the mid-semester holiday took place.  I was very happy to go home and be with my family.  I miss my piano very much, because at PERMATApintar, there is no teacher to guide me in my piano.  The whole family went to Sunway Lagoon for a short holiday.  First of all, I love adventure games, such as the ride of terror, Vuvuzela, which had a height of an 11-storey building.  I do have a fear of heights, and I have not totally overcome it, but the Vuvuzela was a different story, and I had the courage to ride it and undergo a risk of falling down and hurting my face.
 
   
SECOND QUARTER OF THE YEAR

On the 31st of March, Pusat PERMATApintar reopened for the second half of the first semester.  I was determined to improve my results for my studies, and finally, I had improved and my GPA for the second exam received a nice jump boost to 3.55.  I was happy to finally receive my own uniform and attending the Monday assembly in uniformity for the whole PERMATApintar.  All of the 4th batch students lined up at the multipurpose hall, in two days, to get their school uniforms.  I feel proud to don the PERMATApintar uniform.  We had a college explore race during the second quarter of the year. My team consisted of Izani, Murthadza, Galvin and a lot of others.  It was a tough but interesting explore race.  At one of the stations, my group had to eat a raw egg with mayonnaise and such.  I decided to step up and do that challenge, and I turned out fine, but it was gross.  My team got third place and I felt tired but happy that this explore race was held and I wished that the explore race would be held every year.  I was very happy under the MPPTK led by Abang Achmad Bakthiar and Abang Amirul Ruzaini. Under this MPPTK, many events were held to unite the Pintarians and give those tips on how to lead and organize.  

One of the memorable days in the second quarter of the year was on the 13th of April 2014, when Abang Achmad Bakhtiar @ Bakte joined me out for outing back to my house.  Abang Achmad Bakhtiar is very close to my father.  He always discussed and consulted my father for study advice and tips and ideas on how to lead his peers, especially the other Pintarians.  He also shares the same ambition as me, which is to become a surgeon related to the heart.  He wants to become a cardiologist specializing in cardio intervention, whereas I want to be a cardio thoracic surgeon.  Abang Achmad Bakhtiar has a strong skill in writing in English as well as in Bahasa Malaysia.  I also love writing, but only in English.  I hope that one day; I would be able to publish my own novel.  I had written numbers of incomplete short stories, and I hope that I would be able to finish all of them.  Professor Datuk Dr. Noriah has spoken to my father that she would be willing to do a proof-reading and asked me to forward my stories to her once it was ready.  My father taught him to cook simple dishes, like spaghetti olio, and simple Chinese fried rice, since Abang Bakhtiar was about to pursue his studies at Rutgers University, USA.  After he left PERMATApintar, I was quite sad, like I lost a very good elder brother, but we still actively communicate through Facebook.  His mother, Puan Saleha, is also close to my parents.

On the 27th of April 2014, I represented PERMATApintar for the Spell It Right (SIR), organized by RHB Bank and the NSTP (New Straits Times Press).  It was held at Dewan Serbaguna, Politeknik Sultan Salahhuddin at Shah Alam.  The exam was in written form.  Jing Kai and I were placed under the Primary Level and there were more than 15 students who entered the Secondary Level.  Jing Kai and I both made it into the top 100 in Selangor, and the top 100 competition was held later, in the month of July 2014.  I also took part in the Purple Comet Mathematics Competition.  My team consisted of Nabil and Afiq.  I regretted not being in the same team as Jing Kai, but we were not really close friends during the first semester.  Later on, in the second semester, Jing Kai became one of my closest friends.  We share the same interest in mathematics, games, and music.  He became my sparring partner in music, and we are really fluent in the same language, which is English.  Finally, I found a friend which I can speak easily to.



Rawi is also my good friend, and although he does not speak really fluent English, he speaks English to me, and it is understandable, and I can practice my Bahasa Malaysia with him.  Rawi and Jing Kai come to my room every night, and we eat Maggi Cup together, and we enjoy a little bit of drink.  My family always stocks me up with milk, biscuits, and Maggi Cup, which I share with them.  On the 1st of May, a friend of mine, Hakim, celebrated his birthday.  His parents came all the way from Tangkak, with Bihun Sup and cakes.  We had time together.  


On the 5th of May, the nightmares came back once again, in the form of the second exam.  Due to my experiences in the first exam, I became mature and I became more cautious during the second exam.  I did more revisions, and finally, I improved my GPA, jumping it to 3.55.  I was also happy that my Bahasa Malaysia results improved from B+ to A.   On the 27th of May, the Level 2 students hosted a one-of-a-kind event named College Dinner.  The theme used for the college dinner was the formal Black-Tie.  My father bought me a new suit with a black bow tie and a white inner.  I felt smart and formal in this event.  Even my good friend, Galvin, decided to borrow my suit during a couple of occasions, including the photo shoot.  At the end of the semester, this happened.  It was fun, and I enjoyed the final moments of the first semester.  Next semester, everything will change.  Abang Izani will no longer be my roommate.  My bed would be in a different room, in a different block.  I would get a new roommate.  That ends the first semester and the second quarter of the year.

During the semester break, I attended tuition at one of my cousins’ house.  My cousin’s name is Kak Effa.   She is a modern mathematics teacher at one boarding school in Sabak Bernam, Selangor.  She is an expert in mathematics.  I had reviewed the whole syllabus for Form 4 and Form 5.  At the same time, I did revision in additional mathematics under the tutelage of my cousin’s top student, Muadz Zaki.  He taught me easier concepts and techniques in approaching additional mathematics.


THIRD QUARTER OF THE YEAR – NEW MEMORIES

I had to report back to PERMATApintar on the 15th of June 2014. This time, I was assigned to a different room, which was at room C37. I liked the fact that, this room was at Block C, and my room faced the mini roundabout, which is the place where some of the people play football at. The WiFi frequency was also better as my room was relatively closer. My parents and I tidied up and decorated the room. This time, we chose green as the colour of the floor mat. During the first semester, I chose grey as the colour of the floor mat. I like to decorate my room, and my father is good in interior designing. My new roommate was Abang Muaz Mazlan, 

Later on, by the end of June, an election was held. We had to stay up and we were instructed to attend manifesto campaign after prep classes at night. Most of the time, it finished at about 12:30 a.m. The candidates who stand for the post of MPPTK gave their manifestos and promises. On the Election Day, my roommate stood for the post of the MPP President.   I have observed that most of the winners forgot their promises in their manifestos after they have been elected. They forgot what they were elected by. They were elected by the people, for the people. 

I am of the opinion that they should appoint one of the Foundations to become a liaison, and later we have appointed our own leaders, Muaz Husaini and Fariha, to become our spokespersons. In my view, there are many things they can do for us, for example, for Exco Kebajikan, they could discuss with us on the menu at the Dining Hall. They should exclude menus which are less favorable to the majority.  We are also facing the problem of communication. Our main communication is through Facebook, but Block D has WiFi problems, and some of the rooms in Block C also have WiFi problems. Therefore, we cannot access the Internet properly and safely.

A special moment came by in June. I went to Istana Budaya with my family and Jing Kai for the actual concert titled “Persahabatan Merentasi Generasi” by PERMATAseni. The distinguished guests were Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. Jing Kai and I were lucky enough to get a picture with Datin Seri Rosmah.

18th June came early. It was my birthday, but I was sad, because it was away from the family. My family came over to surprise me with a simple birthday bash. I celebrated it with my Foundation colleagues.
  
29th of June 2014 marked the beginning of the fasting month. The 1st of Ramadan fell on a Sunday, so the students were given permission to go home. I enjoyed the first Sahur and Iftar with my family. This was the first time I fasted away from my family. Sometimes, I miss my grandmother’s cooking and the moment with my family for Iftar. I did miss Sahur sometimes, but I managed to fast a full month without difficulty. Every weekend I was given the opportunity to go home and have an opportunity to do a tadarus with my grandfather. Co-curriculum went like usual. I had to attend Archery classes at the UKM field even on the fasting month. At my former school, all outdoor activities were canceled during the Ramadan month, and my old school was headed by a non-Muslim, but they are very tolerant to Muslims. I hope that the administrators of PERMATApintar are more caring towards the students, especially the Muslims, and not to organize any outdoor co-curriculum during Ramadan month. All of the students went back for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holiday for one week on the 25th of July. We had a khatam Al-Qur’an ceremony on the 23rd of July at the multipurpose hall before we disperse for holiday. All of us were allowed to wear any colour of baju melayu. I felt pleased and happy that this ceremony was successful. Before the whole college adjourned for the Hari Raya holiday, all of the PERMATApintar students did a ‘bersalam-salaman’ ceremony to forgive and forget (maaf zahir dan batin).
 
The 1st day of Aidilfitri was on the 28th of July. My family and celebrated our 1st and 2nd days of Raya at Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. My grandparents’ house was one kilometer away from my house. On the eve of Raya, I had a family gathering at my aunt’s house at Puchong from my father’s relatives. All of my father’s siblings live around Klang Valley. I ate a variety of foods from the Johor cuisine, since my dad is from Johor. On the 3rd and 4th days of Raya, my family and my grandparents went back to my grandmother’s hometown at Taiping, Perak, and later to my grandfather’s hometown in Sungai Petani, Kedah. At the end of the first week of Raya, my family went to my father’s hometown, in Johor Bahru and Muar, Johor.
 
During mid-July, I was chosen by Dr. Nor Sakinah to participate in the OMK (Olimpiad Matematik Kebangsaan) and PERMATApintar sent out about 60 candidates and the fees were fully paid by the college. I hope that I can pass and enter the IMO (International Mathematical Olympiad) entrance exam.

In the early of August, the Toastmasters Club under Sister Arathi and Kak Rahazimah organized the Toastmaster’s Public Speaking Workshop from the 7th to the 9th of August. They taught us the basics of public speaking and how to prepare as well as the dos and don’ts during public speaking. I prepared two speeches for the second and third days, which were entitled Procrastination and the Wisdom of Youth. I enjoyed the workshop, and I hoped these types of programs would be held every year, because they really help me to improve in my confidence level. I have no problem in giving speeches in English, but I have to improve by gaining more confidence in giving speeches in Malay.

On the 16th of August, Ms Dee assigned us to do a video parody of Frozen, and assigned us into teams. My team consisted of me, Muaz Husaini, Hafiz, Athirah and Izi. My father helped to bring us to my house for the shooting. It was a success, and we finished by the end of the day, so my father took them back to PERMATApintar at about 7:30 p.m. My friends really enjoyed the shooting, and enjoyed the food cooked by my parents.
    
The nightmares came back for the third time in the form of the third exam, which lasted from the 18th to the 29th of August. I had a little drop in my GPA, from 3.55 to 3.52, which disappointed me, but my standing in Foundation jumped to the 11th place. I realized that everyone began to work harder, and I had to improve more and work harder for the final exam, which would be in the end of October and early of November. 

August was known in Malaysia as the ‘Month of Independence (kemerdekaan)’. We, as Pintarians, and Malaysians, held our own Independence Day Festival and Program. At around the same time, the MPPTK organized a pesta pantun. They picked two teams from the Foundation, but both lost at the semifinals. They also held a drawing competition, which I was involved, but I was not chosen.


The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was introduced by Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, and it became one of the most viral phenomena in the year. I was challenged by a few of my friends from SAYFOL International School, so I had to do what I was being challenged.  On the 22nd of August, I recorded a video of me doing the Ice Bucket Challenge at my house courtyard, and I published it on Facebook.

I reported out of PERMATApintar on the 13th of September 2014 for my 2nd mid-semester break. I spent my break studying additional mathematics and modern mathematics. The instructor for Mathematics, Miss Suzaina, has allowed me to sit for the trial SPM Modern Mathematics paper and Level 1 Additional Mathematics paper after the mid-semester break. That ends the 3rd quarter of the year.

FOURTH QUARTER OF THE YEAR – FINALE

On the 21st of September 2014, I reported once again back to PERMATApintar for the final quarter of the year. This time, everything stepped up a level. Everybody was trying harder for the final exam, and life was a little bit tougher, since the exam would cover a whole year’s worth of syllabus, so it was really stressful and pressurizing.

On the 25th and 26th of September 2014, two Archery classes on Thursday and Friday were conducted at 5.00 p.m. as the final classes of the year. I do not like to have co-curriculum activities on weekdays, as a student at the age of 12, and to have to attend class every day from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and later to have activities for Maghrib, ‘kuliah Maghrib’, and Isyak, also with night prep included, which finishes at 10:30 p.m., and with loads of assignments, and with 14 subjects to study, my life turned into a nightmare I always had every day. I hope the administrators of Kolej PERMATApintar Negara will take this factor into consideration, and not to change co-curriculum activities onto weekdays, and to stick to the schedule which is fixed during the early months of the year. Furthermore, as Foundation students, we must be given time to rest and play according to our age, and to not take Foundation and Level students as the same. If the kindergarten and primary school have facilities for us to rest and play, I hope that the administrators of Kolej PERMATApintar Negara shall think something up to accommodate the students of my age.

On the 26th September also, it stumbled upon Earth Hour Day, so the MPPTK thought up an idea to hold a Mid-Autumn Festival (Mooncake) in collabouration with Earth Hour. We switched off our lights at 9:50 p.m., and we headed to the multipurpose hall at 10 p.m. Along the way, the roads were lighted with scented candles, and so it was nice on the way to the dining hall. The importance of Mid-Autumn Festival (Mooncake) is, to understand other cultures in different ways, and to be more tolerant to one another, since Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-religion, and multi-ethnic country. We have to support our beloved Prime Minister’s campaign for the global community to be more moderate, or what we call, moderation.

On the 10th of October, which was Hari Raya Aidiladha, Jing Kai joined me back home for the Raya celebration. He also put on Baju Melayu, but we had his father’s permission. He seems comfortable in it, and he liked the Malay cuisine, especially chicken rendang. This is the process of understanding other cultures and to respect each other.

On the 17th and 18th of October, the PRS (Pembimbing Rakan Sebaya) held a camp. Its main objective was to improve the bonds between the Foundation students. All of us attended and had fun. On the 17th, the program started at 4:00 p.m, and finished at 12:00 midnight. On the following day, the program continued after co-curriculum activities, from 2:00 p.m. until 12:00 midnight. There was a complaint by the Level 1 about somebody tampering with one of the fire extinguishers at the multipurpose hall during break time. Not all of us knew about that, definitely including me. The MTK  has grounded all of the Foundation boys at the Bilik Gerakan. We were interrogated and later, one by one has been called who were interrogated to thing which unrelated to the fire extinguisher incident. We had been grounded until 3:00 a.m in the morning.  The MPPTK cannot take an action on his own hand and that is the PERMATApintar’s administrator power and even shall be exercised after a proper CIMR and hearing being conducted for us to be given a chance to give our facts.  This was totally an act of abuse power.    

On the 21st of October, I woke up early for a program that was held by UKM, which the UKM in Space (UKM di Angkasa) program, at DECTAR. I went by bus, and it was a short trip to DECTAR. The special guests that were invited were four astronauts, and it was officiated by the ex-Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. It was an amazing day, and we went back in the afternoon at 2:30 p.m. The impact of the program was to build interest in children about astronomy and any discipline related to astrophysics.

The following day, I attended a workshop organized by Encik Zaidi named ‘Bengkel Kemahiran Belajar dan Persediaan untuk Peperiksaan’. I got a lot of tips from Encik Zaidi about effective studying and stress studying. One of them is, the brain is fresh from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. in the morning, so that is an effective to study. Another is, group studying is better than studying alone.  By the end of October, Ms Dee decided to instruct us to organize our class treasure hunts for the other classes, and vice verse. The main objective is to use English more in daily situations, and overall, to build team spirit and have fun learning English.

The 1st of November then came. I was selected for the IMO entrance exam and it was nerve-wrecking and pressurizing, since the questions were little in number, but their standard was high. The night before, Encik Iqbal organized an IMO class before the exam, and the Foundations who were selected for the IMO exam on merit were, Jing Kai and I, but there were other students who entered on invitation. Only the top 200 from the 10000 candidates for OMK all over Malaysia were passed and being selected for the IMO entrance exam. I was proud to be in the top 200. Later, I passed the IMO entrance exam and I was in Top 60, but I was the only one who passed from PERMATApintar and became the sole representative of Kolej PERMATApintar. Being one of the Top 60 from all over Malaysia, I felt blessed and I was invited to join the 1st IMO camp, which would be held from the 20th to the 24th of December 2014. I also was invited for the IMO seminar on the 25th of November.
My final nightmare came back for the final time in the form of the final exam, which was held from the 27th of October until the 7th of November. It was even more pressurizing then the last one, because the exam covered the whole year’s studies, and it was stressing. At the same time too, Jing Kai and I were chosen to perform for the Nobelist Mindset Workshop opening ceremony. Every day, we would practice for an hour or so at the piano room. We had other things to focus on, such as the upcoming final exam, but in the end, it was a successful.

On the 14th of November, it was time for me to go. It was the end of the year, but eventually, I knew I had to return on the following day for the performance for the Nobelist Mindset Workshop opening ceremony. On the 18th of November, Jing Kai and I performed for the opening ceremony. It was a success, and we enjoyed the performance before our beloved patron, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. We performed four pieces; Fairy Tail Main Theme, Nostalgy, Ballad Pour Adeline, and Canon in D. It ran smoothly, and I was happy since there were no mistakes during the performance.





GOAL FOR 2015 AND MY VISION

Academic Goals

1.      My goal for 2015 is to get dean list, which is 3.67, for every exam. To reach my goal, I have to stop procrastinating, and to start studying harder and smarter. I also must reduce the time I spend for playing games.
2.      My goal for 2015 is to get high carry marks for every assignment I do, and to submit every assignment on time.

Co-curriculum (Academic) Goals

My goal is to take part in many competitions as possible, such as:
1.1  International Mathematical Olympiad – my target is to be in the top 10, and to represent PERMATApintar and Malaysia
1.2  Kangaroo Mathematics Competition – to get a gold medal
1.3  Purple Comet – to team up with Jing Kai and Kai Yang, and to try to become the top 10
1.4  ICAS – to take part in ICAS English and Mathematics
1.5  Spell-It-Right – to become the top 10, and to become the representative of Selangor for the national level

Sports Goals

1.      To practice swimming, and to become a good swimmer in every stroke, and to represent PERMATApintar in the year 2016.
2.      To enter the gymnasium more, and to reduce weight.

Culture Goals

1.      My goal is to become a fine pianist, and to show my talent and be involved in any event organized by PERMATApintar.
2.      My goal is to join the Choir group and to contribute more to the Mini Orchestra.

Personal Goals

1.      To be more organized, and cleaner, especially in body hygiene and room condition.
2.      To be more cautious when it comes to taking care of books and personal belongings.
3.      To be involved in the college activities, especially in the Toastmasters club, and the Swimming club.
4.      To be chosen as a student for the overseas Summer Camp, or short courses.

MY VISION OF LIFE
1.      To be unique, and a polished student, as well as to get a scholarship to pursue my A Level at Bellerby College, in the United Kingdom, and later to pursue a degree in medicine at Oxford or Cambridge, in England, or St. Andrew University, in Scotland.
2.      To publish my own English novel or a collection of short stories.
3.      To be more pious to Allah s.w.t, and become a good son to my family.
4.      To contribute in the conservation of the environment.


3 comments:

Unknown said...

sy bru shj hbs mmbaca blog awk. sy hrp sy dpt juga bljr disana lgi. blog awk sedikit sebanyak tlh mmberikan inspirasi utk sy berusaha gigih. semoga Allah memberkati! trima kasih.#ex-ppcs student

Noorazan Shazmeera said...

A very good & pleasant write-up.
May I know what is Kelab Permun as in KPp co-curriculum ?

Noorazan Shazmeera said...

A very good & pleasant write-up.
May I know what is Kelab Permun as in KPp co-curriculum ?