In the article Remembering the "A" Level college days. Damansara Utama where the cool days started! made a year ago, I did mention about how we were divided into lecture classes according to our courses. This could mainly be grouped into the engineering classes, business studies classes and law classes. Among these were a few students who took the 'odd' courses like acturial science and if I remember correctly dentistry. I can't remember where the dentistry students were grouped at but I'm sure they were around during the "A" Level days as years later a few of my old college mates did become dentists after graduating from England. Ah, now I remember another 'odd' course, architecture. By 'odd' I mean courses which only a few took. They were so few that they can't have their own niche classes. Not during the "A" Levels at least. Thus at this level, they must be assimilated into the main groups of engineering, business studies and law classes.
I myself was one of the 'odd' ones. I was slated to take a degree in mathematics, pure mathematics that is and as far as I could remember there's probably another 2 or 3 students who took the same course out of the total of 200 plus students from our batch. Hmm... come to think of it, I was probably the only mathematics student in the whole batch. Whatever, I think I might as well include this. Actually after the SPM examinations result in secondary school was announced and I applied for university through the government's central agency called UPU (Unit Pengajian Universiti or something) if I remember correctly, I was opting to study computer science as my first choice. I can't remember the second but I believe mathematics was the third and last choice. And for all choices, I asked to study at a university in America.
Instead months later I was called to attend a BTU (British Top University) interview. While I failed to make the cut, being called to that interview meant that I had automatically made the cut for a British programme... except the "A" Levels had to be done locally as opposed to overseas in a British boarding school if I got into BTU. Soon enough I was called to the local college PPP/ITM for a place to prepare for studies in mathematics. As I was among the 'odd' ones, I had to share a class with the engineering students.
So there I was in a class called Group J with some 20 students or so. They were mainly civil and electrical engineering students. Then again we were there for the "A" Levels, not actual mathematics or engineering courses. So for the British-sanctioned exams, we would be taking the subjects of modern mathematics, pure maths and physics.
Now in the article Remembering the "A" Level college days. Damansara Utama where the cool days started! I had also stated that apart from the study or lecture classes the students were divided into rooms or dormitories. My 51C room-mates who were in the same Group J were (let me call them by the nicknames ya...) Tonga, Mangor... hmm... there should be another one, who is he? Oh, its Jim... we like to call him Jim Bates because of some sentences in our English text book. Perhaps someone can refresh me what were the actual sentences because I remember it was very funny everytime the sentences were recited in class. So that makes 4 from 51C including me.
Other members of the class included Lan Bagak, Utoi, Bob. Hmm... my memory is failing me. That is one of the main reasons I'm writing this "Remembering the "A" Level college days" series of articles... I'm writing so that I can remember. OK, don't force it. As for the girls I remember Nini, and one Chinese looking Ipoh Malay girl, I think her name is Lina or something.
Drats! That word just came out. Must be from watching all the cartoon shows when I was small. For God's sake, I could remember only 9 classmates including me. Hmm... was it a total of 20 or was it 15 pupils in Group J? Even that I couldn't properly remember.
I can remember these though. Lan Bagak, a Kuala Lumpur local and former Victoria Institution student was made the class head. Tonga was from Petaling Jaya, ex-Bukit Bintang Boys School I think. Mangor was from Batu Pahat, Johor... Utoi is also a Johorean but I can't remember from which part.
I remember Nini as this cute girl with a large mole on her face who likes to sway her feet (rather violently I thought) under the table. I remember that I was so fond of teasing the girls, not only from Group J but other classes as well especially from the more vocal law classes. Suddenly old girlfriends like Az and Ann (not her real name or nickname ya) came to mind. For the record, I have to adjust the nicknames of the girls who were involved with me. Otherwise I will continue the story-telling with the nicks or their known names in college ya. Hmm... the relationship with Ann deserves its own story. That I would do one day. Sweet dear Ann, one of the girls I've failed to realise their true worth. Sheesssh....
OK. Somehow I remembered this about Utoi and I like to relate it. I hope you don't mind if you happen to read this ya. Utoi's real name is Shukor. Or Shukur... I think it's spelled Shukor. While some of us started the first week in class with nicknames already installed either from our orientation days or from the schooldays, Shukor was only known by that name... Shukor. One day someone unintentionally intercepted his letter from home. As the usual college day practice, sometimes we read someone's letters, not out of malice or any bad intention but only to tease. That's when Utoi's roomates (I can't remember which room he came from) found out that Shukor is called Utoi by his family! So the classmates came to know about this and started to call him Utoi. At first he can't accept this. Soon enough however it became the name known to us until this very day.
Another thing I remember about Group J is our class lecturer Miss Shana. Now, she was something. Among all the lecturers in our college, she was probably the most attractive and well-dressed female... and she' teaching English in our class. Sad to say I can't remember the other lecturers that well. There's a Chinese woman wearing spectacles and long wavy hair who likes to swing her big bulging plastic pen tied to a rope when talking about centrifugal force. Hmm, there's a Mr Mazlan or something who taught physics a few months later or so, a conservative-looking Malay teacher which I liked to tease a lot because of his less than proficient English.
During those days, I like to tease a lot of people. Whenever there's chance, I would try to distort every sentences coming out of lectures or discussions especially during the English classes into something that I thought was really funny just to get laughs. I would find opportunities to do stupid practical jokes and such because I felt bored. You see, since Form Four or so, I hardly studied for anything yet managed to get by in exams and scored big in my favourite subjects especially mathematics. This has made many regard me as a genius. But now when I look back to those days, I realised I was just seeking attention. I was having problems especially with my dad and that led to a certain feeling of hate against authority. This in turn was translated into defiance in college which I turned into matters for laugh. I forgot what I did then was very selfish and disruptive to others. I was lucky enough to be born naturally smart and thus able to get by without studying... in fact I missed a lot of classes but still managed to score well in tests and exams. But I forgot that others genuinely wanted to learn while I was just filling the days because of an education system which I used to really look down on.
With that thought, let me end this installment of "Remembering the "A" Level college days" ya. Cheers! :]