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A Game of Survivor

I'M kinda upset. I mean I am upset cuz my brother is depressed over something he's going through right now. I can't do much to help as the system he's in is one that is full of shit and the kind of people who are in it are a bunch of cruel sons of bitches.


Today I was at an event where they celebrated and honoured the works of a great teacher Datuk Seri Selvamany via a biography of the man. It was a long and draggy event where they observed necessarry protocols as the important guest was the Perak Sultan (state of Perak royalty), and perhaps in the process, they might have forgotten about media management, resulting in passively cranky journalists who received not the information that they came for. 


Sitting through the event, I couldn't ignore one thing - how the old boys and girls adore their Sir, and clearly, the respect they have for him is heartfelt and sincere. To still earn that much of admiration and acknowledgment from his students after all these years, Selvamany must have been quite a teacher in his time - more than a teacher perhaps as the title of the biography written by one of his former students goes Selvamany: More Than A Teacher. It was heart-warming to see successful men and women pass 50 flock around their Sir and become a child again, recollecting memories. There were no racial barriers as the multi-racial guests hugged and mingled all noon. 


And then I thought of our teachers today. How many are as dedicated ? Or as learneth ? I've had great teachers like Mrs. Darling Lim who made reading history fun, which transformed our grades magically within weeks after she took over. There was Puan Sheila, my dedicated English teacher who was sweetly  patient with a moody student like me. But there was also a Bahasa Melayu (Malay language) teacher who hardly made it to the class for a good year (and even when she did, she let us do our own thing). I would have flunked Malay without the expensive private tuition classes my parents sent me to. And there was an English teacher whose English was the butt of the class joke. 


Then there's racism and bullying. Back in Uni, there were stories of a common culture where some lecturers let students of his own race preview the question papers before the big exam day. Well, come to think of it, racism aside, it simply deals with values and integrity too. What kind of values are being imparted here ? Why am I not surprised with the dim wits we've been producing batch after batch like bad butter cookies. A fine example is the rotten doctor who never touched or looked at my bee-stung shoulder back. She faced the monitor and punched in my symptoms into the system before entering for my prescriptions! I'm positive I can do a better job Google diagnosing myself. 


My brother's system is like a game of Survivor. It's up to him how he wants to play it. Good like Boston Rob or dirty like Russel Huntz. He could be a natural born survivor like Ozzy Lusth. It's a shame that he has to be in a game to acquire a basic thing like education. Usually games only begin when you step into the working world. 



Comments

  1. I hope your brother gets better!!!

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    Replies
    1. thank :) he seems a little better today.

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  2. Just like Baur I really hope that your brother gets better too Jaya, I know that feeling he must be having and it's a horrible one. Great read as usual!

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    1. thanks for the concern, Matthew. yea, it sucks to see him like that.

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  3. Games seem to be everywhere, the working world is the most apparent but they exist there too, hopefully he rises above their crap.

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    Replies
    1. i sure hope so, and i guess games are everywhere too.

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  4. Aww I'm sorry your brother is going through this right now. Hope he gets through it soon!

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  5. Hmm, I'd better not ask which races get an easier ride in Malaysia! As for teaching, that is a skill which itself can improve with practice and tuition. The problem is when teachers don't try to improve.

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    Replies
    1. true that, GB. there seem to be many lazy teachers in the system. sad, sad.

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  6. Hope he gets better soon.

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    Replies
    1. thanks Pesos. he is i guess.

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  7. I hope your brother's life improves soon. And I remember how miserable it is to attend an event and not receive the information you've been promised. Your memories of teachers were interesting, too.

    Love,
    Janie Junebug

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    Replies
    1. thanks for sharing my sentiments on media management, Janie.
      i had some great teachers i must say :p

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  8. Puan Sheila obviously did a good job - your English is excellent. how many languages do you speak?

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    1. thanks Nursie. Puan (Mrs in Malay) Sheila encouraged me to write.
      i speak 3 languages - english, malay and tamil.
      but i can also speak some cantonese to save myself.

      english and malay are compulsory subjects in our system.

      Delete
  9. I thought you would not post anymore. :3

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    Replies
    1. i was just away for the hols :)

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  10. The game of life has always been a dirty one, the only rules are there are no rules.

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  11. Wishing the best to your bro. It seems that the education system, like all other systems, are full of the good and, unfortunately, the bad.

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  12. I know a situation similar to that actually. Several students in my first year English class were caught plagiarizing but because the Dean of Arts was of their race he let it slide.

    Seriously, what the hell. :|

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    Replies
    1. stuff like that makes my blood boil.
      teachers should be more responsible than that.

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    2. Are you serious???

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  13. Sorry to hear about the troubles your brother is facing. Your story about Pn Sheila made me think back about my std 5 English teacher, a certain Ms Elizabeth who was the one who drove me to try writing.

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  14. it's great to have people like pn sheila and ms. elizabeth.
    i wonder where she is now. i'd like to go back and see her one day.

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  15. Being an elementary teacher, I try to nip and racism and bullying I see in the bud. It's hard to determine normal childhood interactions with some of the extreme stuff. Sometimes, though, you see it pretty blatant.

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    1. That's very responsible of you as a teacher. And it's important that a child gets a good teacher because teachers shape the minds of students.

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  16. I hope your brother sees victory in his struggles.

    History became fun when we got to act out the wars with yardsticks as guns. Classrooms laid to waste as a battlefield somehow became my favorite way to learn. Some students aren't as lucky as we were to find even a single great teacher. They are so rare.

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    Replies
    1. That's a whole lot of fun ! Teaching methods make a difference to how well teachers engage their students.

      Anyways my brother's sanity right now is like watching the forex trading graph.

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  17. I hear you. A great teacher can make all the difference in the world.

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  18. I agree with copyboy you are a great teacher :)

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  19. I cant name a few jackass teachers myself but i prefer to remember and gratify the teachers who have instilled in me values and brought out my talents and skills (some I never knew of). So salute to the teachers who have brought change to our lives...

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  20. Hey Jaya, hope all's well with ur bro now... Yap, u said it there r few bad apples that take away the sheen off what has historically been considered the noblest profession...but I guess the sheer number of the great teachers who've molded our lives kinda make up fr it :)

    Hope all goes well with ur bro, Jaya...

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  21. I'm sorry about your brother - hard to know something bad is happening to someone you love and be unable to change it.

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  22. Good luck to your brother. He will get through whatever it is and come out stronger and wiser. I agree - there aren't so many dedicated teachers these days and the one's that are make such a difference.

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  23. Hey Jaya, hope allz well now :)

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  24. Perhaps I'm sick of having to play games because I'm not good at it. I'm all for say what you mean and mean what you say. Politics makes my skin crawl, Jaya J.

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