In response to Akira Wong’s post on Why I regret Getting Straight A1 in SPM ,
I have to admit that I was happy that I did not get straight A’s in SPM. Because it makes me a happier student to not have to go through all the stress he went through which most of the straight A’s probably face it.
To be honest, I am just an average student. There was some subject that I am good at, some subject that I love and some subject that I am not good at. For example, I was never good in math, I failed, twice actually in my SPM and had to repeat it. Still, I got the same result – I failed. Even after a home tutor by my own dad who was very good in math. No, it was not my dad’s fault, he tried his best, he spent time to even teach me at his office in between his work. And I enjoyed most of my time learning from him, even though I had a hard time trying to understand how to get the answer. The problem is, I always question WHY the answer should be like that and not WHAT the answer should be. I guess I was more interested with the WHY, and the HOW rather than the WHAT .Because I feel that, just because the answer is like that, why should it have to be like that and not answer it differently. Which give me and my dad a hard time when I am running out of time to cover all topics till the exam will take place. So I was convinced that when it comes to math, I am not bad with it, I just can’t compute it.
And when it comes to studying, I was more interested in understanding the subject rather than getting good result. With due respect, since that most of the straight A’s was busy studying , I had fun all the time I did not studied. Not that I did not studied, but I studied only when I have the time to study and the mood of cause. Because if I was not in a good mood, what is the point of me studying? I could never get anything inside my brain but when I do have the mood, I would really focus on it. Its just that I don’t believe in studying for hours but can’t understand a thing about it, my definition of study is that I know I have studied if I can understand a subject – even if I only study a chapter – that was enough for me.
And I am already satisfied the moment when I got an A for a science subject that I never got an A. Even if I got only B, I am more than happy to have only B. Why? Because I always get a D or a C in that subject. There was only two time I cried for getting my result, first was my UPSR where I got an A for math thanks to my fierce teacher for giving me a hard time and so many exercise to finally earn an A after getting E’s, also in my STPM where I got an A for Bahasa Malaysia when the whole year of my form 6 before my STPM, I will either fail or pass with only D in my hand. That too,thanks to my late teacher who never gave up on students like me which at first I put up some attitude on him until he personally ask me to give him a chance to teach. And I did.
Thanks to my parents upbringing, getting straight A’s was not something that they want me to achieve. They know me too well of my capability in certain subject. It was not important to them that I get straight A’s, still it was important that I study.Which means, even though they don’t expect me to get straight A’s, that doesn’t mean I don’t have to study.
To me, the grades I get is what I deserve and a test of how far I understand a subject. We go to school to learn not to memorize, which something that most of us have forgotten. School to me is a place to learn,to seek knowledge, to understand what Idid not understood before.Thats why, even though I got only B I was okay with it because I used to get C, some of my friends told me that they were so worried to get A- which to me is something hard for me to reach but when I actually get it, I was satisfied with only A- because I used to get C for that subject.
Studying should not be a burden of memorizing facts and sort, I remember watching The Boy In Striped Pyjama whereby a rich boy who enjoyed exploring in the woods,reading adventure books etc was not allowed to be a kid any more and read only facts by his home tutor. Fiction was considered as not important when its actually just as important as learning facts. Gone are the times where kids actually went out and play with the outside surrounding and stayed home instead. Even sadder when I see a two or three year old kid playing Angry Bird via Tablets/iPad instead of climbing the trees, making sand castle and sort. Some even went for holiday and actually chose to watch a cartoon in the hotel room when they are just a few steps near the beach. If it was me going on holiday, I would leave my laptop and run to the beach or swim in the pool if there is no beach.
I grew up playing with whatever I had around me, I was told that I use even my finger as puppet, and I do remember playing rubber band war by using my pillows and mattress as my fort with the rest of my cousin, or water balloon war when I was little. I was glad to only have one side of roller blade and share the other with my younger brother. And I am glad that my niece are only interested to play with old box, sitting inside the box or sliding with her box even if there was a box full of her toys in front of her – which we then decide not to buy her too many toys and let her make her own toys. Which apparently she did, my mom told me that she saw a tasbih hanging on the lower cupboard and just learnt how to hang it. And her toy was to hang the tasbih and take it out and hang it again no matter how many times,she will repeat it.
Now that she can talk – she is almost 2 year old by now, and could pick up a lot of words though she can’t properly pronounce it,but if we introduced a new word,she will excitedly try to pronounce it. One time, I was at the kitchen with her so I showed the banana and told her what’s the name of the fruit. Instead of saying ‘Banana’ she saud ‘Na‘ .
Coming back, it is only after a few years later that I realize that everyone was born with their own ability and interest. What I am good at is something that others may be bad at but it doesn’t mean that they are less good than they are now, they could be better in other things. My interest in study then was history and economy, but there was a point in my school year where I enjoyed doing experiments in science class, I even remember that I was so into chromosome diagram that I thought that maybe I could be pursuing my career in that. But again, I failed math so there is no way I could be going to the Science stream and be happy with the Art stream.
Some of my friends got straight A’s but when it comes to assignment in university, they could not do it because it was so different than the school. Some of them even had to repeat their semester despite getting A’s in their SPM back then because the syllabus in oversea university are different than the one’s the person studied in home college. And the same cycle repeats by the time I have graduated from my university where I see my juniors struggling for their CGPA’s after chasing straight A’s. Even in my own batch,most of my classmate could not perform well when it comes to presentation, many will just read the silde and few will actually present in the simplest way where we can actually understand.
I mean, its good that you score straight A’s but do you actually understand all the subject or merely memorizing it for the sake of exam? With the pressure of getting a good job, it seems that it is important to have a good grade, but what is the point of having good grade but you can’t apply what you have learn in what you do? However I am aware that its not a problem by students only but a result of our own society and education system, from exam oriented to CGPA oriented and when they work they turn into KPI oriented which I happen to witness myself of what happens when people measure your success by how many A’s to Pointer to how many Paper/Seminar you attend.
I am not sure how this can change anything, but I just feel like sharing because looking back, I realized the reason why I was more interested in Economy and History was because I was going to be learning in that field later on whereby I currently doing a master research in Gold Dinar and Silver Dirham. To do a research on this, I had to have a knowledge on the history of the world and also the economy itself at the same time, my hobby was writing so it somehow helped me in writing my article or future paper or thesis though I am still struggling to find the right word for my proposal write up lol. And maybe, considering of making a career out of it one day,who knows?
So , I hope that whoever,and whatever you choose to be, I hope you enjoy what you do. Because as Jalaluddin Al Rumi said:
“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.”
This means everyone was born for a specific purpose,so if you don’t know what is your purpose in life, find it,if you still can’t find it – make one! Because…
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle.
P/s: Who I am now other than my Mom I thank my Dad for giving the best advice is to be happy to make mistakes, he said ” Make Glorious mistakes” and I did ‘ Gloriously’ =P