Thursday, May 6, 2010

REVISITING THE CEREBRUM : COLLEGE LIFE - MINGGU SUAIKENAL


Shah Alam, January 1988.

I remember the day where I joined those people before me who had the privilege to further their studies in higher learning institutions. I was accepted by Institut Teknologi MARA (ITM), in January 1988. (Note: ITM has since changed its name to University Technology MARA (UiTM).

ITM practice semester system, and the academic year consists of two academic semesters. Semester I runs from July to December and Semester II from December to June. I was accepted to study there in Semester II, the January intake, 1988-1989. ITM is the only higher learning institutions which accepts new students in the middle of an academic year. I am not too sure, but I think ITM's January intake is to cater for those students who missed the boat in the July placement at higher learning institutions.

Registration was one week earlier for the new intake before all the other senior students returned to campus. The venue for me was at Dewan Sri Budiman (DSB), ITM main branch campus, Shah Alam. I went there alone, with no family members accompanying. With years of experiences doing everything myself at the boarding school, I guess its not a big deal for me.

There were long queues, nervous and confused faces all around me, obviously wondering what the hell to do, while the parents looked proud and excited. I went in the huge DSB hall and just followed the instruction given at the registration counter. After signing of what seems to be a lot of documents, we were ushered to pose for a picture for the student ITM ID card (Kad Matriks). I couldn't care less for my appearance, since I just wanted to get the registration over with. Of course its not a surprise when the photo turned out to be awful. The shit thing about that was, this is the photo that will be on my ID card for the rest of my life in ITM. Paid the college fee, bought the compulsory hodoh giler batik shirt, and was told to head out to Kolej Perindu, where all the male freshies will stay for the Orientation Week.

I heard a lot of stories about the dreaded reputation of Minggu Suaikenal for new students. I heard legendary bullying myth like that one student who's family jewel was tied to a rotating ceiling fan and how he had to keep running to ensure his valuable thing remained attached to its base. I heard stories where juniors was instructed to perform equally weird humiliating tasks and demoralizing stuff. Honestly, these stories did not bother me at all, considering I survived worse fate than that in my five years in an all boys boarding school. I remember thinking, the Orientation Week program should be nothing compared to what I experienced during my schooldays. This should be just like a walk in the park for me.

The Orientation Week was packed with motivational, induction program and religious lectures. Wearing songkok, the baju batik hodoh, with dark pants and shiny black shoes, we started at the crack of dawn and finished our day only around midnight. We were shown lecture halls, places and buildings that will become our hunting grounds for the next 3 years or so. It was really exhausting.

And then, theres the damn running. Pestered by the facilicators (OC) and at their constant urging, we ran to go to the library, ran to Menara, ran to the surau, ran to go everywhere. And if we were late, the OC did their very best to humiliate the unlucky students. Some of the girls could not control their tears and emotions cried openly after being yelled at in front of hundreds of other students.

"Oi budak, pekak ke apa,? Lari cepat! Lari cepat".
"Ni lambat ni pasal apa? Masuk ITM ni tak de nak malas-malas".
"Engko ingat ada driver nak hantar?".
"Manja cam ni tak yah masuk ITM la!".

After a week of non stop regimented activities and the repeated assault of college manifesto and policies, drummed into our brains, naturally we felt a little bit stressed out and tired. On the last day, after the usual running, I cursed the OC's under my short, gasping breath, "Sial betul, last day pun kena lari gak", giler ke apa?" One skinny, loudmouth OC overheard me cursing their species and proceeded to single me out giving me a long, almost one hour lecture in front of all others. I just stood there, blankly absorbing all the abusive words. When he's done, I looked him in the face and told him point blank, "Minggu Suaikenal ni power la, tengok power ke tak power lepas habis ni". At that time I really had enough of their abuses and was ready to pick up a fight, and couldnt care less about the would be consequences. Luckily (for me and for him) he understood my intention and mellowed down a bit after that, perhaps suddenly realizing that after the Orientation Week was over, he would be nothing more than another mere mortal student himself. (The OC did come to see me to offer his apology after Minggu Suaikenal, blaming the system to justify for his action, which prompted me to reject his explanation and appropriately told him to f**k off).

(Of the facilitators. Seriously, I really could not understand why some of them felt the need to yell and scream in our ears. We knew who was in charge. Why the need to exert and show off the authority? We were new and of course we did not have the slightest idea what to do and where to go, but we were definately not stupid or brain dead. We were not prisoners of war either and that was, definitely not a POW camp).

At the end of the Orientation Week, we were assigned to the dormitories where we would stay for the rest of the semesters. I got to be in Block B, Kolej Jati, in Seksyen 2, Shah Alam, outside the campus ground.

3 years of this. Peanuts. No problem.

Or so I thought.

8 comments:

  1. hehehhee...garangnyaaaa..hang ada ayat sesapa dak masa orientasi?;p

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  2. hey bro! at that age, darah mmg panas. curah lg minyak.. terus jadik la. hahaha... same here.. nasib baik aku cuma terserempak ngan AC Mizal, azhar sulaiman & ahmad idham jer.. kalo dgn ko, tah la.. tak tau pe nak jadi :)

    masa tu berat aku abt 50kg jer.. kena tiup angin pun terbang. tp apa pun, memory kat ITM mmg xleh lupa.. post some old ITM pics bro! if you still keep them.

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  3. Hek ele bro, aku dok tengah syok baca, hang stop buat apa?Potong stim betul.Hehehe!

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  4. Lagi satu hari ini 5 Mei lah bro. June bulan depan.

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  5. May 6.Kekeke! (Aku pun dah konfius!)

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  6. NQR: Heheh, mana ada, culture shock adalah. sebab sebelum tu tak pernah ada rakan kelas pompuan.

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  7. TT: Tulah. Aku ada jumpa gak depa tu, peh tu Ellina of Anuar Elina kain plekat lalalala, Aziz M osman, etc, banyak gak la artis or bakal artis. ITM nyer gambor tak banyak sangat. Tengokla kalau ada yg sesuai nanti aku post.

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  8. Iskandar : Watch this space bro. To be continued. hehhee.

    Aku pun tak perasan date tu. Thanks.

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