Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Season of Surprises and Decisions - Complete Post

I have lacked topics to blog on lately, caused undoubtedly by my excitement regarding my future in the UK. However, today I had an online conversation with someone and it triggered many thoughts which I feel can be shared.

I will not name this person out of respect. Those who recognise the person, I beg you to remain silent... I have absolutely no intentions other than revealing my thoughts on the subject.

She is a very good student, and very famous. Recently, she was offered a place in a faculty that rejected my application. It was a very handsome offer, with financial aid thrown in. I congratulated her on her offer, although I wondered what would happen if a certain other opportunity were to come her way. Sure enough, it did come. I heard of the decision she had made and even met her on Windows Live Messenger. I asked her if her decision was firm. She affirmed it. I then found myself hitting the Backspace key far more often than usual throughout the conversation i had with her.

I did not want to be a factor, however minute, in her decision. I wanted to stay absolutely neutral. But I found that remaining neutral stopped me from offering the advice I wanted to give as a friend. I contemplated it, and remained neutral still. Much as I might have agreed or disagreed with her decision, I determined not to let her know. However, I was still doubtful as to the balance between respecting a person's freedom of choice and advising the best course of action.

The power of someone's words and opinions are greater than we think. Possibly most people have had a decision influenced by others. I know. I have tasted the consequences of heeding and not heeding others' advice. And, possibly, I have arrived at what I wanted the most. I faltered along the way, but ultimately I was brought back. There were dilemmas and sacrifices on the way, but I ended up with one of my greatest desires placed back within my reach, even though I had thought it lost forever.

I believe in God. I believe in destiny, not fate, and supposedly not luck. But I do accept the concept of luck, just that I define it possibly a little different from the conventional.

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." - taken from Adrian Lim's Messenger nickname

This is not exactly how I define luck, but the first time I saw this attached to his nick was right after I received news of the partial scholarship from JPA. And I have constantly thought of its relevance since then.

In my case, I did not really prepare for the UK. I just held on to the offer as tightly as I could. That wasn't preparation, it was instinct and possibly stubbornness. But the opportunity was certainly offered to me, and I got "lucky", so to speak.

Special Dedication to my friends from Form 5A (and 5B), and later on, all my friends who are heading to/in university:

I have recently been with my friends who did STPM, therefore they are now receiving their respective offers. This is the category of people which the earlier mentioned decisionmaker belongs to. Some of the offers they received make me feel confused as well as angry.

Confused because these people whom I have known for between three to seven years are good students. They are intelligent and diligent, and I know that their hardworking attitudes and moral upbringings are, I declare, SECOND TO NONE! I know many of them wanted (and indeed deserve) better things. But my friends did not receive what they deserved. I question. "Are they blind? Can't they see what kind of talents and great characters they are losing?"

Then comes the anger, because I consider that I have seen my fair share of talents that are not used to full potential. People who walked away from wonderful opportunities because of fear, complacency, pressure, reluctance to try. People who could have been great...... but are not, or will not be as good as they could be. Wasted and underdeveloped talents. Talents which could have been improved far beyond their current excellence, possibly beyond their wildest dreams...... but are not, thanks to certain factors. Some of them had indeed aspired to great things, but were not allowed to sustain hopes. I can at least understand a little if one's ambitions are hampered by a lack of finances, but not when their academic qualifications are not recognised!

My dear friends, although I am not at all satisfied with what some of you are going to embark on, I hope that your characters will prevail in the next half a decade. The values that attracted me to each of you during our school life... let them remain. I wish you all well, and no ill... I am proud of all of you... and I will see you again... someday, somehow, somewhere.

The song on this page is dedicated to all my friends (high school or JC) who are heading for uni, and to those who are already in university, take it as a belated dedication :P. It's not a new song, but I want it to hold true for us.

SMK Chung Hua Miri's Form 5A/2004 class monitor, signing off......

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Wow, what a day it was for me... I received two letters in the mail today. To my surprise, one of them had the words "Urusan Seri Paduka Baginda" printed on, which is jargon for government-related business. I didn't expect it, since I knew that only the (irritating) Public Service Department of Malaysia would ever send me stuff with that heading. So I opened it to find the surprise of my life waiting inside.

I only remember saying, "Is this true? Really?" in Chinese before my mum snatched the letter away from me. True enough, the JPA had allowed me to undertake medical study in UK under partial sponsorship. Partial in that it would only be for Years 3, 4 and 5 of medicine (for those who don't already know, the most expensive years of med school), during which they would sponsor my fees and living allowance up to a maximum of RM 550 000. By this point, I had already more than figured out that the cost of UK medical education had just been slashed by more than half should I take this up.

I could hardly eat after that and immediately started calculating the remaining costs while referring to certain webpages. I estimated that, including inflation, I would still need roughly RM 300 000 to scrape through the first two years. Plus some more to cover what the RM 550K would not. I then spoke to my father on the phone. He was pleased with the news except that the bond was to remain at 10 years. I was tentative with regards to the finances that he would have to fork out, but he felt that it should be all right. Personally, I was quite content with the bond.

Now I have to take care of the relevant paperwork. I hope this all works out... I can hardly believe that this door would be opened for me, more so since I had practically lost hope. Could it be destiny? The wonder re-registered itself in me when I discovered that the other envelope contained... Nottingham's accommodation offer. What a coincidence.

Now everything seems to be in high gear. It's mid-June already. In September classes start in the UK. I can hardly believe it. To highlight its significance, I think I'll bold the entire post.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I've had a sickening past few days.... Literally. I've diagnosed myself down with flu, and it's still with me. Been trying to rest more and eat more fruits... but my temper is cut short because I have a mouth ulcer. The ulcer itself is nothing, but couple it with a set of irritating braces, and I feel trouble.

I've noticed that more people are visiting my blog too. I dunno whether that's good or bad, but I do realise that my topics of conversation are going to run thin cos people have seen my blog. Oh well, I'll just have to find something new to talk about... Hehe.....

In terms of uni applications, I only have one disappointing piece of news. Monash Uni Australia rejected me outright. That means I won't be joining Christina for sure. That leaves 6 more unis. I'm getting shivers... And if anyone is wondering what happened to Nottingham Malaysia... I opted to defer my offer to Sept 2008 :( No prizes for guessing that I do not want to spend my parents' money, even for a semester.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Someone special told me.... The suffering is finally over. I beg to apologise. I felt that it was suffering, but so many people go through this kind of life with no other choice. Who am I to complain?

Strange how we feel that some things should never have happened, and others we wish could happen all over again so that we could relive the moments. Stranger still, the people we meet on every journey we make, making the experience memorable or better forgotten. The little details are no less real than the big picture, because they are part of it.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Work 3

I'm practically dead.... No, I was until an hour ago after church. Standing for more than eight hours....... Whoo! I've never felt more footsore in my life. And since I'm on morning shift, I came out of the complex at 6 pm then got to church at 7.... and almost fell asleep during the prayers cos I closed my eyes. Oops....

My dad is Powerful.... Haha..... what makes me say that? Cos the staff realise his presence even before I do... and he's MY dad. When he arrives, they tell me that he's there, not I see for myself. I'm not kidding! Also, he can spot someone who is hiding from him in one glance across the level. Wow. The minute he showed up, everyone scrambled back to their duties.... HAHAHA!!! Except me... I don't need to scramble. I'm always working.... Seriously!

I've also made a few "friends" at work.... fellow promoters, one of whom knows Nai Hui from Marudi days. Also came across a very strange albeit nice character in Daniel, a young HR officer in the company. Referring to my first post on work, he was the one who interviewed me, who said hi and helped me out on my first day at work. Today I was sitting outside the staff entrance waiting for my dad to pick me up after work. I did see him come out and someone greet him but I thought he wouldn't bother with junior staff like me. So I bent my head to think about something, only to hear someone calling, "Jennifer Lee." Wait a second. No one calls me that. True enough. So we had a short friendly chat about my work until he noticed my dad's car (my back was to the road). To his credit, he is really one of the nicest people I have ever met, objectively speaking. The obvious link between my father and I aside. He's very refined, educated-looking and well-mannered for someone working in this company. More so than everyone else, including managers, except my dad. And me, of course. (lol)

And before someone suggests that I might be interested in him.... He has a girlfriend. Now that is one incredibly lucky girl. I didn't mention that he's also fairly good looking.

I'll post again soon.... Down to my last 3 days of work. Wish me luck.

EDITED: Daniel looks a little like Lam Fung, the Hong Kong actor who's acted in quite a few of the Cantonese serials on TV2/3, especially noticeable likeness when Lam acts as Ken, a doctor in "The Last Breakthrough/ Tian1 Ya2 Xia2 Yi1).