Magic Three

So here we are. I felt so happy. I feel the freedom being able to do whatever I want (as long as it is legal, duh!) when school life ends. For now.
So whatever happened in three years? The hard truths that kept myself going.

Life has been bittersweet although I spent more than about a year in an odd and amazingly awkward situation. Being seen as this and that, some even thought I'm a bully, which I'm not and some thought I am smart except that I'm lazy. Being a victim of bias acts, defamed, dethroned from being 'cool' and ruling. If you get my drift, ever since the second half of my first year till about the end of of the second, it hasn't been a smooth sail for me.

Was it self-inflicted? Probably. But if it hadn't been about what happen back then, no one would have ever known my true colors.

So let's get back to the dawn of beginning. I didn't have a good start in campus because I had sore throat, and I lost my voice during orientation. Hence, my power was taken away and handicapped me in a way it's hard for me to socialize during orientation. Being the self-conscious and 'vainpot' I was, I didn't talk much which resulted in failing myself to assimilate. Only a few days before lesson started, one person knew I wasn't that quiet kind of guy - Joanne.

Then thing's went for a blur for a while, and I remember my first few lessons when Debbie and Huiting were the best of friends. They wanted me to be in their team for Construction group work - though there weren't many group work then. When I regained my vocal power, and started talking and start assimilating with my classmates already. Things went great.

Of course I remember being late for my 8am classes with Alvena - Events Experience and thank God it was just for a few lesson because after which most of the morning lecture will be compensated on-site. Amazingly, when I was late, I wasn't as a blur.

Then on things was a blur again, though I remember some of the lessons. Photoshop lessons where the entire class wasn't listening to the lecture at all - some were on Ugly Betty, some online fashion magazine (especially Sim Qide who even mentioned he's gonna do events for Chanel), then some were on their Hong Kong dramas (the likes of Qiu Yan and Ang Huiting), and one was on her America's Next Top Model (Nadiah, you're guilty for this) and of course, the few who were really listening were people like Lingfeng and gang. Then there was Contract Law lesson which I really, really dread that even pretending to like that lesson failed to keep me awake. The lecture was the quietest because many were falling asleep, not that they're listening and at that time, not many knew the term 'skipping classes'.

Construction was the best, especially prior to exam. Apparently the lecturer is retiring and leaving on the same time as us.

Lunches were like the stressful part of the day because we were like ranch because there were so many people during lunch hours and I was simply spoilt for choice. One of the many fun moments during lunch was hitching a ride on a pickup truck that Gary drove to the train station. For once, I felt like an immigrant worker. Cheap thrill!

During the first six months of year one was great. Probably because you get to know new people, adapting to new environment and knowing new things. You don't experience 24/7 air-conditioned classroom in primary or secondary school classroom so wearing a jacket at that time was like a freshman's posture.

They say you can't get too much of the good things.

We went to Singapore Science Centre (SSC) a lot because of our Event Experience module and that was my first time doing a 'report' and of course my first report was crap and brutally rejected because I know nuts about report writing. What's more we were not given like detailed guidelines - I had no idea we had to use our own instincts. I remembered then why I failed my first paper in Literature. My hands were full when I was a freshmen. Apart from school - and after school hours activities at SSC, I took up language classes and at the same time had five tutees in hand.

Being a tutor has never occurred in my mind really. After my 'O' Levels, I don't know what part time job should I take. I went for interviews, and try out different jobs but nothing suited me. I gave up working and chose to 'rot' at home instead. It was worth it not working then because there's no such thing as living up to my own expectations that time. Some had asked why I chose to be a tutor but I can't answer them fully except to say to earn extra money for myself.

Money was not the priority. After graduating from secondary school, I've always thought of making full use of what I've learnt, especially languages. Language is a powerful tool for communication. It says for all emotions, sometimes better than a picture does. So the question was, how am I going to continue practicing and embracing what I've learnt? Hence, I landed with this job in hoping it will do better good to me, which it did. It tests my patience, and of course, broaden my knowledge and language mastery. See, because of these reasons I'm actually charging not-so-high. That's why I don't tell people my rate(s) but that does not mean quality is compromised.

One day, something happened and it got into writing. It was personal and I thought fine, things were better off written should anything more happen, you've got it in black and white. Why wasn't I surprised... Ever since then, it's like I felt like I was a black sheep. It was like being judged guilty without trial because things that was supposed to be contained was made public behind my back and I don't know what else was said but I could  just feel it. It was hard to get into groups during group work, it was hard to be loud in class, it was hard to talk around in class, and it was hard getting attention. If anybody would have been in my position, they would be the one who changed class, and they would be the one who would have committed suicide. Big labels of defamation and ostracized was pasted right on my forehead whenever I entered the class.

I was even featured in a blog post. How infamous.

It was hard surviving, and I did a lot of thinking. Really, it wasn't pleasant. When people in the middle-east are stressed thinking if they could live for another day, when people in Africa are stressed thinking if they would be eaten by vultures, I was always stressed where the hell in lecture hall I want to sit because at that period of time, there was no one I could trust. With my stone-aged Nokia, the people who were communicable was Hafiz, Syaz, Nat. God knows how hard it was for me to win their hearts. I know it's not that everybody hated me but being associated with me then means risking of being hated too (it's only natural). I did get tired of all those, trust me. It was exhausting trying to suck up to a bunch of people whose mind I can't read. I was handicapped from being myself and I even got a karma threat. Should anybody wants to see my downfall, that was one hell of big great Humpty Dumpty fall.

In the end I gave up being nice and thickened my face for group work. It was awkward but desperate times call for desperate measures. I swear it's a lie if some didn't find my existence in their group awkward. Doing group work with them (Joanne's team) was a bliss because everybody gave smart contributions, Joanne was creative, and the rest was fast. They were efficient that if their bosses call me for recommendation(s), I'd fire the boss for not hiring the.

My team work with them despite being great didn't last long because towards the end of year two, my group work had been with Huiting and friends because she and Cassie were my Final Year Project (FYP) team members. So it is only wise to do other group work with them rather than being a nomad changing from one group to another, you'll just get confused on which team you belong to for which module. By that time, we had one less classmate - it's your story to tell.

A lecturer made a passing comment saying (we) were bullies.

And we had a class chalet before another term starts.

Planning the class chalet wasn't easy for me because I'm entrusted with my classmates money and organizing a party isn't cheap. Asking people for top-up was quite alright though some were reluctant and some probably didn't trust me and of course, thanks to Joanne and gang for standing up for me when it happened. Of course there were some instances harmless remarks were misunderstood.

When school reopened after that holiday, things started to pick up. Things were getting better. FYP with Rajes was a bliss though warning to all of you to record whatever she says/promises if you were to ever work with her because she tends to get very, very busy. Get my drift. She's funny. Comparable to Kumar, the stand up comedian. She even look like one from far don't you think?

Final year was another blur that went by so fast you can stop counting down like what you did for 'O' Levels. Especially when you learn new topic each week, as long as your notes get thinner at the back, it means the end is near. This is when you start worrying which university are you going for, what course to take, how many exemptions are you eligible for in a particular course, and whatnot. As for me, I'm born an Adam so the only thing that worries me now is National Service.

When the time comes we will know where and when I will I be enlisted. If you're eager to know, what's more the name bearer of the news.

SABE Dinner and Dance was awesome. Need I say more?

And now, in a blink of an eye, we're at the closing chapter of our tertiary life: graduation.

I would like to thank all the lecturers who has put in a lot of effort in our successes, all friends who gave company, fruitful opinions, wonderful memories and moral support, students and their parents who gave undivided understanding - I understand that changing in timings isn't not pleasant as it is but all my students are great. Not forgetting my parents who sent me to school and supporting what I do! This wouldn't have happened without them. Thanks with love!

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