Monday, November 26, 2012

I am a graduate. A graduate of Journalism and minored in Political Science. Now, I work in a bank.

Conversation with my friends often revolve around a few things which helped me find my niche. It is definitely worth journaling it in this post, as I believe that I am not alone looking for my own niche without being a valedictorian.

"Why study journalism but work in bank la?". Believe me, there are thousands of people in the banks who did not do accounting, ACCA or finance. However, I had to admit that the learning curve is definitely steep jumping from one field to another. A colleague once said this, "What? You didn't study accountings? Sh*t. Why come to the bank?". That statement was made when he expected me to read and interpret balance sheet and income statement of a company. I had no idea whatsoever of what a balance sheet was or a P&L, a.k.a Income Statement. All I knew was, politics, politics, and politics.

I lived my 25 years believing that there's nothing that I cannot do or nothing that I cannot learn. It is the matter of whether I want to learn or to pick it up. I guess many disagree with this statement suggesting that one may be bad in certain things and excel in another. But think about this, why would someone that you know in high school is good in mathematics but weak in language studies? It boils down to the fact that he or she did not like language studies in the first place, therefore placing less time in it. I was terrible in mathematics since 1987. I had a hard time understanding matrix or differentiation or whatever they call 'logic'. To me, it's illogical to have alphabets in mathematics. Let's not go to additional mathematics. All that I see was, a lump of gibberish numbers and alphabets.

The perception of someone being weak in mathematics automatically disqualifies you to be an achiever in the schooling system of Malaysia. It also automatically disqualifies you from the field of science and also the field of accounting or finance studies. It was a fallacy. A fallacy that links up between being weak in working with numbers to understanding of how numbers work. Mathematics makes understand the concept by way of working with it. Accountings require you to understand before you work with the numbers, and ultimately, work backwards to understand the numbers behind it. Conceptual flaws govern the education system filtering and weeding out possible late bloomers, scoping down the alternatives that one could excel in.

Certainly, I'm not trying to say that I'm a late bloomer. In fact, I never had a chance to bloom. I was, in a sad way to put it, retarded in my academics at the notion of others, ultimately deciding my fate. Under such circumstance, I became a failure. Failures fight harder to achieve what they need, not what they want. What I needed was a concealment of my shame and doubt. I had to be a jack of all trades. I had to be slightly better than the others in many things in order to find my pride. I had to bring others to my level in order for me to defeat them. This was me. This is me.

'Jack of all trades but master of none' is a figure of speech carrying negative connotations in the 20th century but a well sought for master in the renaissance years. Again, I call it a fallacy. Many despised General Practitioners (GPs) calling them the lowest ranking medical doctors. I say, when you 'master' in something, you forget the basics. "Go to a heart specialist with MRCP or FRCP. Tell them you have headache and they will treat you for blockage and suggest that you do a bypass". Those are the words from a doctor who practiced 30 years of family medicine, branched out to weight loss studies as the natural cure to obesity related illnesses, then into myofascial therapy and now studying neuroscience to help children born with autism and adults which suffered brain damage. This is my dad. The jack of all trades whom I grew up looking up to.

A colleague who happens to be the one who interviewed me in the fourth round prior to the job offer said accountings "is not that hard and it's certainly not rocket science". I'm now doing cost accounting, working with accountants and statisticians who went through years studying numbers. Some say I learn fast, and I had to agree. But this is not because that I'm smart, but this is nature's gift to failures. If I don't learn fast enough, I'm weeded out. Game on.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Random Conversation on the LRT

On a usual working weekday where people flock the LRT stations in the morning rush hours, I met an Iranian woman today and started a short chat with her and she took me through an eye opening journey in a short 15 mins talk, from Taman Jaya station to Masjid Jamek and a short walk before I diverged to Menara Maybank. I can't help but to start writing again. No matter how I deny myself from thinking of international politics and politics at large, nature brings me back to my hidden self.

 I embarked the LRT coach at Kelana Jaya and an empty seat was the beginning of the 'trip to Iran pre-1979'. She was a mellow, dark brown haired woman in her 50s coupled with long eye lashes that lalas in Che*as would desire to have. Her greyish-light brown iris gave a natural life to her looks, standing out from the crowd, and of course, she was a foreigner after all. I pulled out my Malcolm Gladwell book and flipped it open. She saw the cover of the book and said to me, "I've read all of his books, he is a great writer". So the conversation started and a normal question you would ask a foreigner - so, how long have you been in Malaysia? - detoured to a historical overview of Iran in the 1970s.

"Mini skirts and hot pants in the summer", that's what she reminisced of her high school days. She described Tehran, the capital of Iran, as how I would imagine UK would be in the 1970s. Westernised as they were, unequal socio-economy created a rift in the socio-political balance with uprising led by the anti-monarchy factions leading to a fall of the modern and upbeat nation. As curious as I am, I asked whether it was whether the lifestyle which created the wave of reformation into an Islamic state, or whether it was the socioeconomic gap which served as the greatest push factor to the uprising. She replied, "Well, I guess they just don't like freedom".

She was 20 when she left Iran to the UK and well, she was lucky and her friends are not as lucky as her. Many stayed back in Iran, going through opression of post-1979. "One of my friend was gang raped by 9 men, committed suicide because the law did not favour her and another was raped and murdered, but the man got away scot-free pleading provocation as she wore tight jeans and a t-shirt". At that moment, articles which I thought were clad in bias and exaggeration, written by the westerners turns out a ditto of the real Iran.

Freedom, what amounts to the taboo word in conventional and orthodox religious teachings? I mentioned this quote, "freedom has a flavour the protected shall never know" and she rephrased it, "freedom has a flavor that the once free will never ever know". I smiled and gave her a nod as I walked up the slope to Menara Maybank while she crossed the street towards Puduraya with her 'tudung' end waving as the bus passes by. She was never upset with her religion. It was the freedom of choice that matters. It was the force which she despised.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Double Pain

No pain no gain?

I rather not gain.

A visit to the family dentist gave two blows.

D: Are you Dr.Shu's son?
I: Yea, hi uncle, it's been some time
D: I were this (puts is hand in the air wait level to indicate my height) short the last time I saw you.
I: Haha, and back with a toothache.
D: So what are you doing now?
I: I'm studying journalism.
D: Oh, still studying?
I: Yea,... *repeats my grandfather story* ... in UTAR, Kampar.
D: So you're studying here...
I: .... hmm, yea.

2nd blow, the ache is still here, hopefully the medicine will work and the infection will go away.

Sometimes, it's not about loving money, material driven, nor not being content.

When we're living in a materialistic world, we are driven like that. We work, get money, pay off bills and save for future. This is life.

Some who lives in comfortable houses, living off a fixed prudent salary, driving a reasonably good car, tells us to be content. How convincing.

I agree, I'm not that smart, not that hardworking. Smarter people scorn me, saying that public universities are ultimately better -- undoubtedly -- and saves thousands of dollar.

Richer people, look at me and say, "Impossible you can't go abroad for studies, your dad's a doctor", and eventually graduate with an MBBS or whatever high end degree you can find on the list.

Smart people whom are rich, yes, it's a blessing, I'll STFU.

Easier said that done, to stand up, buckle up and walk away from the past.

When people ask me where I am now-- expecting a company's name -- I feel very embarrassed, ashamed for my parents.

Who wants to stay in the dark forever? But, I just can't walk away. I just can't.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010







一样的想读什么master's degree。



但,现在, 我只能。。。

梦见, 我能像身边的朋友一样

梦见, 我能一样开心。

梦见, 我能一样成功。

梦见, 我能一样工作。

梦见, 我能一样买些想要的东西。

梦见, 我能一样的想读什么master's degree。

梦见, 我能一样让别人看的起。

梦见, 我能一样的带给家人骄傲。

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Clown from BTG

There was a friend who once told me, "It's a good training when I was a clown, I had to put down my ego and make people happy".

In Banting, it's not an easy life where every weekend is family day.

There's no going to the Zoo or family shopping day, or maybe just for me.

Maybe, lacking of a strong present father figure allows someone to look for other role models.

I don't know where I found it, but it sure wasn't a blessing.

Well, at least I had some confidence that brought me thus far. =D

But time to abandon myself, in search of a new me.

Reminding myself that sometimes, it's good to "put down my ego and make people happy".

What if I throw my current self and could never find a new me?

Probably a question that only limits for BTG people, identity crisis, at the age of 23.

Mid-life crisis striking early? or adolescent came late? Tatau...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Banting Tales III

This is the continuation of my life back in hometown.

"A story that depicts the defunct life of rural areas" - Washing Ton Post

"Unbelievably... real" - Old York Times

"Things that you don't believe. Here it is" - Shuzer Yeeh

Banting Tales III

"Raindrops keep falling on my head", sings a friend of mine while running in the ran towards the shaded porch of the university. It was a misty morning where clouds float pass the mountains of Kampar seen in the distance.

It was a beautiful song for the urban girl, dressed in MNG tops and Levi's Jeans matched with a designer duffel. Raindrops on her head seems fun.

Not for me.

Every time when it rains, I think about the windows of my home back in Banting could be soaked and wonders whether it could hold the rain water form flowing into the room.

Rain in Banting is no ordinary rain. Acidic rain might sound typical, but in Banting it rains phosphoric acid (H3PO4) rather than sulphuric acid (H2SO4). It has carved it's impression on the windows of my parents room, bit by bit, and the window could no longer withstand the wrath of mother nature.

On a bright Thursday morning, I woke up and heard some loud banging noises on the walls. I quickly walked out of my room and saw that the windows were being removed. I stood still by the doors. Looking at the rotten window panes, giving them honour of the good fight they had fought, without giving up on us.

It quickly struck my mind that it is not normal, windows were not meant to be removed. "Are we selling the windows to put food on the table?"
"Are the potatoes and vegetables not growing?"
I was in a shock.

With a gloomy feeling, started walking out of the house for some air, filled with the scent of crocodile dung, and stumbled upon a new set of windows, aluminium frame with tinted glass.

Seems like we have saved up enough for the new set of windows. Phosphoric rain is no longer a threat, for my parents' room.

What would you do when you wake up and find that your windows are missing? None thought about that question. In Banting, it is not a rare phenomenon. People sell their windows to feed themselves, for a day of two and prays that the rain doesn't come.

Banting tales - to be continued.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Philosophy ala Shu

Sometimes, life requires you to be still, sit down and think what's next.

Hmm, what's next?

Location:Jalan Batu Karang,Kampar,Malaysia