Thursday, October 23, 2014

calmer days

Today is one of those calmer days I rarely get to experience. Having my favourite beverage - iced coffee; while sitting in this dim office. I just hate white light. I feel drained if I have to sit under it continuously. I'd rather enjoy sunlight with my curtain partially drawn, which is pretty hard to come by these days since monsoon season is here. The weather is rather moody. Just like me.

Coincidentally, today, all dental chairs here underwent short-circuit. So I could only perform check-ups, simple fillings, and anterior tooth extractions. If I could just express this relieved feeling contained in my chest without my assistants thinking I have went nuts, I would. Just to let you know how relaxed I am today.

And as usual, during lunch break (which I can rarely afford nowadays), I would listen to soundtracks of Lord of the Rings. Just to let you know how relaxed I am today. Again. Hihi.

I guess in a way I am glad that more patients are visiting my clinic since last month. Most importantly, more old cases which means more patients are returning to actually get all of their dental problems treated. In another way, I am rather anxious because I am the only dentist here. I might have bitten more than I could chew.

I am not sure whether it is just me, or people nowadays are really becoming much more merciless. You see videos of people ramming other cars just because their car is blocked. Hands chopped off during snatch thefts. Disabled kids abused. People raging just because their car was bumped. And more sadly, there are actually human applauding these things. Here's the deal. What goes around comes around. You battle dissatisfaction with violence and rage, and initiate that vicious cycle, things will not stop just at that point. 

Why can't we human just be more civilised?

Let's take this as an example. A few days ago, due to lack of sleep as I attended a few on call cases till about 2am, I accidentally released my brake and I bumped into a car in front of me. I am not an inexperienced driver. I had never experienced accident while I was behind the wheel. Well, perhaps once, when a few simpletons tried to make profit out of others' misery poured engine oil onto a road. As impossible as it might sound, coming from me, I was actually driving at 60kmph, but I guess my tyres gave their way. So anyway, the bump was soft. I was sure I did not cause even a scratch on that lady's car (Suzuki Swift by the way). I switched on my hazard lights, ready to have a look at it and face my consequences. I am not sure whether it's a brand new car, but for whatever reason, this lady barged out of her car and a mini drama started.

"FUCK!!! FUCK!!!! You see what you did to my car?!! Now how do we go about it?!!"

I was sleepy and exhausted. I was honestly not in the mood to start a fight. So I said calmly, "There's no need for vulgarity here. Could you please move your car to the front just a little bit so we can both have a look at the bumper? I am the oncall officer today, my apologies. I am very exhausted. I will pay you if there's a scratch or indentation".

"FUCK!! You're so careless!!! Your car is small if anything happens, I'm the one at lost here!"

Yeah, whatever. Just because I drive a small local car, you really think I'm dirt-poor? For all you know I can afford cars much more expensive than the one you're driving. I can even afford to buy a house now. It's just that I choose to delay these until I get married. I have my own reasons. I said to myself.

As expected, there wasn't even a single scratch. "There, no scratch. We're good now?", I said to her. She turned red and stormed into her car. "Alhamdulillah", I thanked Allah. Not a really eventful morning for me. Ever since my father taught me a du'a asking for protection and safety from Allah while on a vehicle, I make it a habit to recite it every single time I drive even if it's a 500m trip and most importantly, I always believe that Allah is the Almighty. No force can be compared to the Creator's.

Nevertheless, such incident could've been solved in a better manner, but these days, we are losing manners, dignity, decency, and so many good values as we blindly chase after materialism and individualism. What a shame. What a shame for all of us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

tin whistle

I am and have always been a fan of Lord of the Rings trilogy. Remembering those days when I even thought of saving some money so that I can buy LOTR goblets at Royal Selangor.

Ah... those much more carefree days. Not much worries. I didn't mind where my money went. I didn't have any crush or anyone that held my heart. I enjoyed being in my own world, rushing home after watching every LOTR movie at Sunway Pyramid to add more stuff to my box of LOTR collectibles and tried my hands on playing some of its soundtracks I listened on our old organ which was located under the staircase at our previous home in Subang Jaya.

It's always dark under that staircase. You could always find me there whenever I was extremely happy or sad because unlike my other siblings, I didn't have a room of my own. So I didn't get the luxury of drowning myself in emotions without my maid barging into our room. Yes, my previous maids and I shared rooms. I'm okay with it since I had imaginary personal space whenever I put on my earphones or lay my fingers on that organ.

You know... I had always dreamt of being part of a famous orchestra, travelling around the world with my colleagues. I had always longed for a career in musics. And when I have grown old enough, I would splurge all my savings n just live in a small, humble apartment, from which kitchen windows I can simply pluck herbs for meals I would be cooking. You know... those small apartments you see in European countries. I enjoy that solitude. I guess because almost all my life, not having my personal space, living in a busy city like Subang Jaya, made me wish for these things. And yet, I chose to be in a relationship with someone and I see those dreams slowly fade away. I am not even sure if my sacrifices will be futile or fruitful. Only Allah knows and Allah has the best plans for us. I do not wish to achieve my dreams 100%. Perhaps I can just grasp a few of them. I had never liked the idea of having too many people in my house, having a huge car which hunders my movements, having a huge house which would take forever to be cleaned and furnished. Ever since I finished my degrees, I somehow transformed into a person who is home-proud. Meanings I have to have the place I'm renting/living in at least nicely furnished and all-tidied up. At least in moderation. So yeah. A small apartment makes everything much easier.

I'm not sure where am I heading with this post, but yeah... these are my thoughts that I had been wanting to write down.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

learning to love things I do

Someone told me, "Z, ko ni pemikiran rigid sangat, tu yang kejap-kejap down". I partially agree with her. I am pretty rigid in most things, especially integrity. I am the last person you'd want to cut corners with, but there is certainly one thing that I am least rigid about - learning.

I scored straight As during UPSR and PMR. And then I started to take for granted of my ability to learn fast, but I wouldn't blame myself fully. I was also frustrated with the way learning process went during highschool. My why, why, and whys, will always be answered by some of my teachers with, "Because that's the way it is stated in textbooks, so be it". 

Dear past science teacher in highschool who didn't bother to study beyond our syllabus, you could've done better. Honestly.

In highschool, it's mind-boggling how I could pay so much attention to documentaries when they're playing on the TV, but I couldn't stay still for even 5 minutes before starting to do mindless sketches during science class in school. I understand my parents' limitation in teaching me themselves. Ayah and Umi didn't have any background pertaining to science, but they did try their best in igniting my interest in it. Ayah in particular would bring me up and down Fraser's hill and point out certain plants, told stories about them, and gave me questions which even he could not answer. For Ayah, it's never, 'memang dah macam tu'. It's always, 'mesti ada sebab jadi macam tu' and we would go back and buy books at MPH pertaining to plants we saw or perhaps just search them up in the net together. Then while I'm pulling out his grey hairs, I'd tell him things I had read in those books and I'd get excited whenever I find my answers before he does. Our balik kampong trips wouldn't be without mathematical or scientific questions. I didn't need any materialistic rewards to utilise my brain to solve them. That's not the way my father taught me. Seeing my father smile out of satisfaction when I proposed him a few answers to his questions was more than enough for me.

Nevertheless, as I return to school, it's back to 'you just memorise every damn thing and don't ask me too much'. I eventually fely utterly disappointed. I started to lose my willingness to learn. "Why are you so lazy? Just do whatever I tell you to", my teachers would ask me. I couldn't answer at that time. I didn't understand the reason I am so resistant to learning in school. I just felt like my interest was elsewhere and I remember telling my friends, "Sumpah aku takkan ambil kursus kat universiti yang berkaitan sains, dowh".

It was only until I entered matriculation college that Allah blessed me with more passionate teachers who were actually much more enthusiastic in executing their duties. Honestly, I was haunted by inferiority complex at that time, because among all my peers, I had the worst SPM results. 2 As. My aunts and uncles chuckled when they heard of that. "There's no future for you beyond this point", a relative said.

I was so scared of asking questions during science classes in college such as biology and chemistry. Everyone seemed to know functions of Golgi bodies, ribosomes, and etc, and I didn't know shit about it! As my hands were cold and clammy, I went forward and said to my then biology lecturer, Pn Sudani, "Pn Sudani, saya ni paling teruk result SPM antara kitorang semua. Saya betul-betul tak tahu apa-apa pasal biologi. Result SPM saya 4B je biologi. Tu pun bantai je". I was expecting similar responses as my highschool teachers such as, "Ha, siapa suruh malas belajar?", but surprisingly, she gave the warmest smile and said to me, "Tak apa. Kita semua mula kosong-kosong kat sini. Kalau tak faham apa-apa, tanya saya. Tak ada masalah".

My days during matriculation college in 2006

I was still skeptic. 'They all said the same thing at first and always couldn't-care-less afterwards' my heart said, but little did I know that this lady is actually the very first real deal I would be blessed with! For the first time ever, I was introduced to international books such as Solomon and Campbell. While most of my peers had Campbell, I prefered Solomon. At that time, I decided that, screw this shit! I had been tailing my peers and that didn't bring me anywhere. Time to do whatever I felt most comfortable with. I guess my brain was pretty empty that I absorbed everything Pn Sudani taught me like a sponge. My every single 'why' would be answered with, "Kejap ya, saya buka buku kejap", and she'd come up with satisfying answers a few minutes later. And repetition of this led me to thinking, "If that book gives her answers to my questions, why didn't I have a look at it that much too?", and those books began to be my best and most loyal companions.

Maths. I was so dumb in add. maths during highschool, at one point I even scored 11% and my friends and I were making a joke out of it. I didn't bother to improvise myself anyway because my questions would always be answered with formulas. Formulas which my math teachers didn't even understand its origins. In college, I was again blessed with a dedicated teacher, Mr Fadhli, a very energetic person who I initially found to be irritating because he'd point out kids to answer his questions during lectures, but he didn't give me formulas when I came up with questions. He'd answer with how those formulas were created. I eventually were able to create my own formulas. I honestly didn't memorise any mathematical formula. I always looked at every question and deconstructed them. Then, go through each piece one by one, baby steps. And create my own formulas from scratch every single time I answer every mathematical question and I had never failed to score 100% for any of my maths papers. Alhamdulillah.

During second year in degree of dental surgery, DDS. (USM)

The momentum my lecturers in college set me on maintained till this very second. I learned to love dentistry although it's a course I chose randomly (no shit, I used 'A-E-I-O-U' to pick it out), although I received an offer to study medicine (which letter I hid from my mother till I received the other offer letter) because I just love bringing a change to something, just like amazing people around me brought changes for the better in me. And I learned to love dentistry. Well, at least much enough to graduate with an A.

Finally, working already :)

You know, come to think of it... Teachers nowadays have much tougher work plans, but they're also given so many benefits. We dentists and doctors, had always been burdened with ample of work. Since it had always been that way since forever, people no longer look at the amount of responsibilities we have seriously. Dentists have among the highest rate of suicide. Doctors have among the least job happiness experience. With all those benefits, I really think teachers should step up. And chuck those 'Dah macam tu, hafal je lah' shit away, because you're killing future scientists. Kalau nak asyik fikir 'Alah susahnya keadaan aku' memang sampai mati tak puas dengan apa yang kita dah ada. Cuba fikir 'Apa yang aku boleh buat untuk ubah keadaan ni?', but to all dedicated teachers who really teach your students with all your heart, I thank you and keep up the good work!