Friday, 12 January 2007

The Top 5 People Who You Respect The Most.

Early on in my Form 5 term, the disciplinary teachers of my school, SMK Gunung Rapat, Ipoh, thought it would be good for some of the students to attend a "spirit-building" camp over the weekend. The venue chosen was the Kem Bina Semangat in Segari, a sad and lonely place across the river from Lumut. I hear it's been converted into a National Service camp now. The students for whom it was compulsory to attend were the Prefects, Librarians and the Class Heads. I was a prefect so I had to go, no matter how much I protested.

From what I remember, that spirit-building camp consisted largely of lectures, group exercises and a lot of marching up and down the road that leads to Segari. One distinct memory that stands out until now for me was this one group exercise in which there were five of us prefects. We were all from the same form, but from different classes. The guy who handled our group was this young teacher, just out of teacher training college, who I remember smoked a lot outside the gate of the school.

The theme for this group exercise was, I think, the people who you respect the most. The teacher asked everyone of us to name the top 5 people who we respected most.

Yazid was first.

Yazid: God, Prophet Muham...
Teacher: God's not a person.
Yazid: Oh. Okay. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Azim: Peace be upon him!
Nurezam: Peace be upon him.
Razif: Peace be upon him.
Yazid: ...and my father, my mother, my elder brother, my elder sister.

Then it was Azim's turn.

Azim: The top 5 people I respect the most are, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him-
Yazid: Peace be upon him.
Nurezam: Peace be upon him.
Razif: Peace be upon him.
Azim: ...my father, my mother, my uncle and my elder sister.

He was followed by Razif.

Razif: I respect Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him-
Yazid: Peace be upon him.
Nurezam: Peace be upon him.
Azim: Peace be upon him!
Razif: ...as well as my father, my mother, my elder sister and Dr. Mahathir.

"Who are the people you respect most, Muhtadi?" the teacher then asked me.

Me: Er.
Teacher: Yes?
Me: Um. Roald Dahl. Steven Spielberg. Nobuo Uematsu. Rene Goscinny. Can't think of the fifth one...
Yazid: What about Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him?
Nurezam: Peace be upon him.
Azim: Peace be upon him!
Razif: Peace be upon him.
Me: What about him?
Yazid: We must respect him the most.
Me: Oh. Uh, okay. Why not? Him too then.

I think I got pulled aside by the teacher after the group session but I can't remember exactly what punishment I received. Ah those mists of time sure are cloudy.

9 comments:

  1. when i was in uni, I went to a kind of bina semangat camp once, in kota bahru, where i proceeded to vomit my head out and got excused to spend the time with my best friend who happens to live there.

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  2. So that's how you escape. Wish I knew that.

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  3. The teacher punished you for not saying you respected the Prophet Muhammad? o_O

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  4. I went to a Kem Bina Semangat too :) They made us pull our ears and do squats every time we made a mistake.

    I think that anecdote is hilarious. You know, Ted, you really should compile all your anecdotes into a book. 'School's like That.'

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  5. irene: Maybe the teacher didn't like Roald Dahl...

    Xeus: "School's Like That" huh? Hoho! Maybe lah. One day. See la how.

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  6. loved this ted, really made me smile. it would work well as the basis for a longer story ...

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  7. glad you liked it sharon. not sure if I can make it into a longer piece though...

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  8. Send it to Saras as your anecdotal contribution to the Perdana Leadership publication on Malaysia 50 years. - Details on Sharon's blog.
    Made me laugh. I liked your dialogue, and it brought back memories of brainwashi - oops bina semangat sessions I went through at UKM.

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  9. animah, that's a pretty good idea. And here I thought I didn't have an anecdote that's funny enough for her! I wish contributors get to keep the copyright though. Oh well.

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