Monday, March 26, 2012

The Paper Chase

Post O-Level, I went to a junior college and studied in the Science stream instead of Arts despite scoring well for my Arts subjects. I opted for pragmatism instead of idealism. Some how, growing up, my teachers have given me the impression that guys usually study engineering and that an engineering degree opens up many doors. I scraped through.

Post A-Level, I contemplated my next step. Having scraped through my A-levels Physics and Chemistry, I realized that I might have made a mistake studying Science. I toyed with the idea of Psychology, teaching, Social Work and sociology - artsy stuffs that seemed interesting. Studying people and trends seemed interesting to me, as opposed to studying more maths and physics and engineering stuffs. Yet 4 years ago, I was told that I wouldn't be well paid if I were to be a social worker. I had no idea where sociologists end up. And that Psychologists had to study up to Masters to be recognized ... or something like that. So engineering it was. Artsy courses took the remaining few choices in my application form. I secretly wished I got into an Artsy course. Yet somehow, I managed to secure a place in Civil Engineering. Very thankful, for many others fail to get a place despite getting better grades.

Each year in NTU, the grass always seemed and felt greener on the other side. NIE seemed like a wonderful place to be in and I saw myself being a happier person as a teacher than an engineer. Years went by and I told myself I was gonna be a teacher when I graduate. But things changed in my 3rd year of study: During my Industrial Orientation, my supervisor managed to convince me to give Engineering a shot. Along came my final year. Like many of my peers, I started looking for job opportunities. I looked at organizations like LTA, HDB, BCA, private main contractors, Keppel, Sembcorp and many others. I knew of the long working hours and the 6 days week but the high pay attracted me. Again, it seemed as though I was opting for pragmatism instead of idealism.

Year 4 Semester 2. Just a month before the exam, I looked through the list of e-mails sent by the school.

Looking for Singaporean Site Engineer. Project Engineer. Rail Engi. Production En. Design. Struc...

MOE. Career Talk. PE teacher. Avoid it like how you avoided your crush, I told myself. 21 March came. 10 mins to the career talk and I find myself sipping Ice Lemon Tea. A friend appeared and asked me why I was just sitting and staring into thin air. I mentioned something about just thinking about nothing and the career talk. He said he was heading there too.

An hour and a half later, the mind changed it's mind again. Teaching PE seemed like something I'd enjoy doing. And if I were to indeed become a PE teacher, I realized I could afford myself the time to pursue a Masters in Social Work at UniSIM so that I could be a social worker when the scene improves in the distant future. Just ideas I'm currently toying with. Some how, I find myself at the end of a full circle. Perhaps, pragmatism and idealism can co-exist afterall. Perhaps one day, I'll be that teacher I've always wanted to be. Perhaps too, a social worker trying to solve an intractable social problem through a pattern-breaking change. That would probably be my idea of a happy ending to this fairy tale I'm trying to live... if i get shortlisted and pass the interview that is.

8 years on, it seems I'm still pretty much the same person, still chasing the same dreams.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On writing journals

I sat at the back of the class as the journals were returned to the Primary 6 kids.

I noticed each one of them immediately flipping to their latest journal entry and reading through the comments they received. I saw a boy smiling and showing the kids around him the little star-shaped sticker he got. And it reminded me of the time I received 7 stickers a long long time ago. I noticed a couple of the kids stealing glances at me, for I had left comments in their journal. I'll never know the effect of the little comments that I left at the end of their writings but I hope it encourages them to keep writing.

Little gifts had been given the week earlier to 4 kids whom we felt were pretty good writers. A disclaimer was shared with them: The prize winners are only 4 out of many good writers, so keep writing and you'll never know when you might be next. Again, I hope it encourages the good writers to keep writing and the ones who've been writing three-liners join in the fun.

Yes, writing is fun. It's like listening and talking to an imaginary friend in your mind.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Every action has an unequal and opposite reaction.

Sometimes, it's easier (and probably encouraged) to be silent than to speak your mind coz you'll never know when your words might hurt or offend. So thoughts usually remain as thoughts until I can mentally arrange them into careful words. But sometimes, just sometimes, I like to experiment by speaking my thoughts out loud just to get some immediate feedback. People say Im too reflective.

One day, I shall find a quiet corner and write a page or two or three about why I'm such a reflective person.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Friday.. no, it's Saturday already

After almost 4 years of university trying to set a good example for my siblings, I realized a couple of things I shouldn't have done. I shouldn't have stayed in school till late only to reach home at midnight. I shouldn't have spent some nights in school just to study and clear assignments.

These actions of mine will come back to haunt me should my siblings enter a university one day. They'll probably say, "If Abang Marzuki boleh, kenapa kita tak boleh?"

By then, I'd probably have learnt to be less controlling and protective of my siblings. May Allah protect us and keep us on the Right path.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Climb

I guess I can safely say that I've learnt that life will always be filled with ups and downs. Nothing said or done can be unsaid or undone. We forgive and be forgiven.We move on. We vow never to repeat the same mistakes again. We vow to change.

We then pick ourselves up once more. And live life better than the one we used to live.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One week you're up ...

... another week you find yourself trying to climb up where you once were.

Monday, March 5, 2012


A trial indeed. A trial that I fail to conquer. The mother has always been the patient one, never giving up. But I on the other hand, have less tolerance to raised voices and disrespect. I admit that everyone ain't perfect, ain't free from flaws. But really, to reduce the status of a mother to that of friends whom you can talk down to is a little too much for me to handle. Words do hurt and each time I feel like clenching my fists, I take a step back and breathe. I rather walk away and let you do as you please, even if that makes me an irresponsible brother who walks away from a responsibility.

Life's not always rosy. I can never dream of starting a family of my own until I can handle the little challenge at home.

Friday, March 2, 2012

2 interviews later ...

... and little talks with some friends have left me thinking about life in just a couple months time. The mind's a tangled mess but right now, more pressing issues include draft FYP report, mid terms, catching up on lectures and tutorials and ... yeah that's probably it. (:

As I select "future" as one of the labels of this post, I realized one thing. The future I've been writing about in past is coming.