Darn, I wish I could’ve posted this earlier. That server disruption is really a bummer.

I would spare you all the drama and suspense of the night when the IB results for the November 2008 session are made available (go to Jon Mah’s for that). Instead, I would just go in straight away. I got 43 out of 45. I wasn’t expecting it, as I’ve been ‘seeing’ 41 or 37 in my mind for few days before that. Coupled with the fact that there were many problems and interruptions during my two years of the IB diploma course in Sri KDU as the pioneer batch, it’s easy to see why I wasn’t expecting my results to be that high. So it’s little wonder that I straight away jumped in euphoria (to borrow Faizal’s now-favourite word) and went up to my sister’s room, woke her up and we screamed in joy in the middle of the night.

That night before I went to sleep, I received a text message from an unknown number congratulating me for the “fantastic results”. It turned out to be Mr Masukor, woken by Jon Mah in the middle of the night. I thanked him, and asked about how the others did. He said he couldn’t remember exactly and was sleepy and wanted to go to sleep.

That night, before I went to sleep I sent an email to Mr Lawrence, my lab-eccentric chemistry teacher:

Hi Mr Lawrence,

Just wanna pass on to you the great news. I got 43 points for my IB results, and thanks to you I got 7 for chemistry and A for my EE! Most of us made it with more than 35 points, but I haven’t heard from a few others.

But anyway, thanks again!

The next morning, still in euphoric mood, I received a reply from him:

You are the only one hwo got A for EE…any regret doing DNA with me…stay back late through the night

I want your EE softcopy to be save in library…send me attachment pls
Well done….keep in touch…let ju ann know Siang harn knowย  I want his EE also…he got a B

Ju Anne and Siang Hang, I did not spell your names wrong. That’s how Mr Lawrence wrote it ๐Ÿ˜€

It’s true, I stayed back late through the night in the lab, doing experiments. There was a time when I went back home to my apartment at 12 midnight. So when my junior, Hannah wrote on my wall in Facebook that Mr Lawrence told them not to be afraid about EE because they have mine as example, I disagreed. I think they should be afraid. They don’t know how much time have gone into that EE, how many chemicals and experimental apparatuses have been brought home, how many cups of coffee have been drank, how many evenings have gone by while Agnes is sleeping soundly. Come to think of it, I don’t think they would want to know about it.

That night, I wrote another email and sent it to all the teachers in Sri KDU who have ever taught me, including Mr JG who is now in India. This is the email:

Hi all,

I’m writing this email with no other purpose except to express my heartfelt gratitude for all the teaching, knowledge, experience, and time you spent for me and my fellow friends during our 2 years of the IB programme at Sri KDU. I have indeed achieve tremendous success that is beyond my rational expectation, and there are no other persons that I can attribute it to but every single person of you.

However, while it is with utmost gratitude and happiness that I receive my IB results, I do feel sad and disappointed for those of us who didn’t pass the cut-off point as required by Petronas. While I am aware that those persons are responsible for their own results, I do wish that I could have done more for them. I do wish that I could have done better. We could have done better.

Throughout the two years I have tried to instil a sense of community among us, a sense of urgency and importance that we need to help each other, that in our climb to the top let us not trample on and forget those below us. Instead, let us reach our hands and help each other to climb together. It will be hard and long, and there will be many challenges and urges not to do so, but only by doing so can we reach the top collectively as a community, and only then will we truly feel the joy and satisfaction of being successful. This I have not felt this time around. Make it your goal. I implore you.

I am looking forward to paying a visit to the school again before flying off to New Zealand, God willing. It has been such an incredible experience and many new things were shown to and experienced by me, though I have to say not all of them are pleasant. But through it all, it has been a pleasant journey and experience.

Wishing you all good health and happy days ahead! Make sure to really grind those guys in the June 07 and June 08 batch. But don’t do it all by yourself. Just devise the grinding machine. Make them run it by and on themselves ๐Ÿ™‚ .

Lastly, all the best in your endeavours. I’m looking forward to hearing from all of you soon, and wish the best for me too!

By that time I have known that 11 of the Petronas scholars in my batch didn’t make it past the 35 cut-off point required by Petronas to qualify them to further their studies overseas.

Just an hour after I sent that email, I received a reply from Mr Masukor, my Maths teacher:

Khairul, I am lucky that our paths crossed, I share the sentiment expressed. I am proud of the fact that you can express your thoughts so clearly and forcefully and more importantly; that you expressed them.

Better stop before I jump into my “kutbah” mode.

I, off course, expect to see you before you depart to NZ. ( where are you now, …Langkawi?)


To answer his question, I sent a reply email:

Yes, I’m in Langkawi. Last weekend I went fishing with my dad, and spent the night at sea! Caught quite a number of fishes. It was a big new experience for me. The morning before I went fishing I went kayaking (my mom and dad went kayaking too, and so did my younger sister, and seriously any worries about ‘snakes falling off branches onto your head’ is really a paranoia), and the day before that I went snorkelling, yesterday and today I went volunteering at the local animal clinic. Now I’m hoping can go jungle trekking in the next few days.

Life is much more meaningful when you get out of your comfort zone. Confront your fears, and you’ll build character. Experience really teaches. How I wish I can really share what I feel with my fellow friends ๐Ÿ™‚

And I hope this post does its bit in sharing what I feel with my fellow friends.

An hour after Mr Masukor’s email arrived, I received another reply from Mr Lawrence:

I truly believed we will only feel the success if along the way we are able to help our fellow friends make it………one down all down ….one go all go……

In life…it is not ideal….in any battle there is bound to be casulties of war……part of growing up and learning to cope with reality.

Proud to be your teacher and all my dreams and hope is that one day if you are in a position like me to help and change lives….please do it…God will bless you

Well done and keep in touch ….invite me to your wedding one day

The world is out there…..go and make it a better place…

Please go to this link…..it will change your life……..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ylgchWR-Ig

While I would be very glad to invite him to my wedding, I think I’ll be having problem tracking him down by the time I need to send him that wedding invitation. I’ll make an effort for it, surely.

By the way, this is the video that he wants me to watch:

The reason why I share all these rather personal emails is because I want to share with you what I believe should be shared. I want you to really care about your friends and colleagues and the other members of the community. We live in a selfish world, but we can change that. It starts with us, so let’s start together.

I want to urge you that if you can make a difference, do make a difference. Don’t be those people who only know how to preach and talk loudly and accuse people and say a lot of bad things about other people, but they themselves do not contribute anything useful to the society. Trust me, you don’t need to talk so loud for people to listen if you actually bring good for them.

I want to encourage you to get out of your comfort and go experience new things. Be brave. Going fishing and spending the night at sea was such a big new experience for me. Don’t just be a bookworm and study all the time. It might make you pass IB with 45 points, but it won’t develop your character as a person, and it won’t get you the other skills you need to really succeed in life.

And to those scholars who will be taking the IB exam this May, I want you to go read this. If you have already read it before, read again.

Remember that the world does not revolve around us. Step away from being self-centric. The world doesn’t need selfish people, so if you are, stop being one.