Monday, March 03, 2008

Of Distracting Giant Squid and Disquieting Headmistresses.

It's official - I need to be more focused. I wanted to write this post for so long, ever since I got out of the shower, but I somehow stumbled upon my dear friend, wikipedia, and we ended up on another magical mystery tour (minus the acid trips).

I was reading up on this sport that my brother told me about - freerunning, or also known as Parkour - because of this YouTube video he showed me.

Who doesn't want to jump around like a character in a video game? I so want to do that stuff (and it's exercise that is so much more interesting than the crunches and push-ups I do! It would help me with my 6-pack, wouldn't it?) Intrigued, I googled Parkour and began reading through sites and forums dedicated to it.

Here's what wikipedia has to say about Parkour just for your convenience:

Parkour (sometimes abbreviated to PK) or l'art du d├ęplacement[1] (English: the art of displacement) is an activity with the aim of moving from one point to another as efficiently and quickly as possible, using principally the abilities of the human body.[2][3] It is meant to help one overcome obstacles, which can be anything in the surrounding environment — from branches and rocks to rails and concrete walls — and can be practiced in both rural and urban areas. Parkour practitioners are referred to as traceurs, or traceuses for females.[4]

Founded by David Belle in France, parkour focuses on practicing efficient movements to develop one's body and mind to be able to overcome obstacles in an emergency.

Did exercise ever look so cool?

One of the Parkour websites mentioned the Paleo diet and that was the trigger that got me on wikipedia. ):

Here was that wikipedia trail:

the paleo diet ---> flores man ---> island dwarfism ----> pygmy mammoths ---> animal gigantism ---> deep sea gigantism ---> colossal squid!

Yup, in a matter of clicks, I ended up reading about giant, deep sea dwelling squid. What's even creepier is that a picture of the largest specimen of colossal squid captured made me think of someone. And I promptly wrote an email to that person.

The picture that triggered an email.

Yup, that picture did trigger an email. And I need to find some way to get things done more promptly! Perhaps reprogramming the way my mind perceives procrastination would be the way to go. When I recently read about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup and trans fats which are abundant in processed food, that mental reimaging of processed food made it so much easier for me to say no to processed food like luncheon meat (even though it tastes so good). I now see it as an evil artery blocker which would screw up my body (but I still do take minimal quantities of processed food).

Maybe I should view procrastinatory habits like going on wikipedia every 5 minutes as a obstacle to success in life and just get rid of them (but then wouldn't I have less interesting reasons to write an email then?). Guess moderation (kesederhanaan's the nilai here, my moral students! Hoping you're studying for your moral paper and not reading this now!) always seems to be the key when it comes to living life well.

Sorry Wikipedia, but if I see you too often I'll end up like this.

Now, for the main reason I wanted to write this post, our very own disquieting headmistress - the Datin. Well, she IS my current boss, considering that I'm working in SMKDJ right now, but in lieu of all that I'm hearing from all around these days, I guess it would just be a cardinal sin to stay silent anymore. Thanks John, for making me see that a 'tidak apa' (heck care) attitude wouldn't help anyone and it would only further undermine all our previous efforts in making DJ the prestigious school that it now is - our spirit of meritocracy and high standards.

Well, for the benefit of all DJ alumni and current students in DJ, these are the changes that Datin has implemented (or at least tried to implement) so far (this is by no means a comprehensive list, just some of the things that I remember):

1. Attempted to shut down the cheerleading squad.
2. Attempted to shut down our school's strong Christian Fellowship (CF).
3. Made it mandatory that co-curricular clubs must have a certain number of Malays in their executive committee.
4. Took in a large number of Malay students into the prefectorial board without an interview. Note that other non-Malay students have to go through a rigorous selection and interview process before they are accepted as probationary prefects.
5. Reduced the number of periods a week for additional mathematics and increased the number of periods used to teach modern mathematics (which is largely regarded as an easier subject, unless you happen to come from a different planet), resulting in teachers making students stay back for extra classes. Didn't we also use to stay back for extra classes back in the time where we had more add math periods?

Let me make this clear that this is by no means a puerile attempt at defamation, but genuine concern for the future of SMKDJ. I am in no way anti-Malay; my dear Hamlet is very much Malay and she can so testify to that, but the injustice in my alma mater these days just fills me and quite a few other concerned DJ alumni with indignation.

I believe that DJ has always stood out in so many things ranging from sports, debates, cheerleading to our overall school culture because we were fair.

We put in so much effort selecting our prefect successors!

We believed in meritocracy, let the most capable hold the senior positions; only select the very best and most committed individuals to wear badges of service.

My juniors who I was so proud to have served with.

We didn't have any form of racial discrimination back then, if you were selected for something, it was because you were good at something, or at least committed in serving that cause. What was the rationale for such racial bias in our school lately? Were things not good the way they were? Things were pretty good when I left school. School really was great and as hard as I try, I can't seem to see any good rationale for the different decisions the Datin has made recently.

Mr. Kevin and Mr. Tysern. Don't we keep telling you guys that we loved our time in DJ?

I feel strongly about these changes made by Datin not just because I am appalled by the drop of quality in my dear prefectorial board, but also because I really had amazing memories back in a fair and just DJ, and I really want my students to grow up in such an environment.

I also believe that schools are where young minds are shaped into the citizens of tomorrow. What would the result be if even our young students feel cheated and unjustly treated by such racial policies in school? What would they grow up to become? What would then become of our country which I so love (I really do! It's just that our dear country has a real management problem most of the time and all the propaganda and patriotic music in the world would not change that fact, my dear politicians!)?

More demonstrations?

All I'm asking for is that the students of SMK Damansara Jaya be treated fairly. Why must we discriminate on racial grounds on even things like this? When it comes to things like this, it really saddens me that often people in power, our headmistresses and our politicians alike, come up with "smart" ideas like this that are the real threat to racial harmony.

I'm quite sure that any intelligent person out there would agree with me when I say that a racial policy like the one the Datin implemented is more of a threat to racial harmony than a peaceful, multiracial rally to demand for cleaner and fairer elections. It just puzzles me why the government just allows things like this to keep happening (not!).

Every journey begins with a single step. Lets make the first step to a better Malaysia through improving the situation in DJ. If you feel as I feel, I implore you to comment to show your support and pass the word around. Blog about it if you can. Maybe a petition or letter to the PIBG (PTA in Malay) could make a difference.

It may be a small step, but it is a definite on towards a better tomorrow for all Malaysians. Away, discrimination!

Note: This is my 100th post! Keep supporting hamletshero readers!


Anonymous said...

lol damn nice weih your drawings, u use mouse or tablet wan?

Anonymous said...

i'm showing my support..

Edhuan said...

There is a movie too about parkour called Yamakasi.
You look different from the person I remember from school(without the specs). :P

zillieman said...

hey kev. remember me?

i did hear about the current situation(datin) back in smkdj but i not in detail until I stumbled across your post.

it really just ticks me off whenever i hear things like this, although i'm never on the receiving end for obvious reasons (heh).

however i believe i do have a special point of view, coming from a mixed parentage and all.

it's just sad, hearing all the actions that she took. mandatory for clubs to have malay committee members? why is that so familiar? isn't that what our government is doing? or has been doing for the past(few) decade? bank loans for businesses owned majority by only bumiputera citizens, scholarships being rejected by more capable non bumi students. I could go on.. but I think you and the readers get the point.

electing leaders based on racial grounds, instead of their capabilities is always bullshit. in my opinion.

anyway i would love to continue, but i gotta run, dinner time. haha.
at least i got to get a few things out of my chest. bye.

Kevin Chan said...

Yeah, I do remember a certain Fazil Fuad who was my schoolmate (:

Just hope that we can do something about DJ and bring her back to her former glory ya?

Edhuan: cause i can spike my hair now (:

nakedwriter said...

It's quite hopeful to see SMK DJ having such a meritocratic system, despite your Datin headmistress' recent efforts to change things. From where I come from, we lack a student body which is committed enough to even see beyond provisional policies for Malays.

What is your plan of action since you have the power of sitting on staff meetings and such?

yiming said...

SMK DJ was one of the best things that ever happened to me and it breaks my heart to hear that our school is just flushing itself down the drain due to the actions of Datin.

It is blatantly obvious that Datin is merely trying to mimic SMK DU's situation. The only reason that she failed to do so is because of the majority of non-Malay students in school who DEFINITELY would've protested if such actions were taken.

Datin should not be playing a racial game as it would merely undermine the status of our school. As a headmistress, she should be promoting racial integration instead of trying to make other races feel as though they're less superior than the Malay's.

We do not need this sort of incompetency running rampant within the halls of SMKDJ. She may be a Datin and a HM, but she does not have the qualities and the capabilities of one.

As an alumni of the school, I believe that we should enlist the help of parents who still have children studying in the school to bring up the issue and take action before this imbecility destroys the very foundation of this school.

Oh, and my mother would like to add that she does not mind spearheading this committee, in her words, "to *CRACK* the Datin'.


raquel :) said...

hi! im not sure if you know who I am but thought that its interesting you posted about the Datin. How long has she been in DJ for? I'm from the same batch as Andrew Loh, 5 Kempas 2004! I really do not like the sound of it, especially with trying to close down CF. Sigh. Anyway, I couldn't recognise your profile picture... Then I SAW your other pictures and went "AHA, IT'S HIM!" :p LOL.
ANYWAY, good luck with working in DJ. God bless :D

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