Sunday, March 26, 2006

Rags to Riches?

I have been observing that most people that come from rich families more often than not tend to be rich themselves too later on. Or at least, they seem very promising to be successful based on their current achievements.

Take for example, a guy whose parents are both doctors is brought up in a nice family; with maids to handle the chores and to ensure he is well fed, lots of toys to play with when he is young, air-conditioned study rooms, home tutors, frequent overseas holidays, shelves full of books and nothing less than education at private institutions. The environment he lives in is perfect for character building. It is one that is conducive for learning, growing and covers all the necessities of nurturing a so-called role model kid. Of course with a little discipline and dinner table manners instilled to the child by the parents, the child would be a potential success; in scoring maximum As in his SPM, or in becoming a person his/her friends would admire and sing praises to. Furthermore, if I were to just say all these in the context of a family where both parents are doctors, you can very much expect the children to be easily, as intelligent and successful or exceeding that of their parents. When the parents are doctors, most of their children get pretty much influenced to become one too. They achieve the good results as a result of the conducive environment they live in, get the PSD scholarship, and get to go to England to study medicine. Never mind the fact that their parents could have easily been able to pay for their course in full.

And when the children pass out along with the other doctors, they seem to get a higher rating by the senior doctors. This is true due to recommendations given by their parents or by their parents' colleagues, or simply by their potentials seen during the days when they were doing attachments at private specialist hospitals. This is true even so in terms of applications for a post with limited vacancies. A doctor who comes from a family of doctors tend to find their way around EASIER than those whose entire clan doesn't even have a veterinarian.

Scholarships awarded based on sole merit compounds this fact, although I know many may argue with me against it. Scholarships given on sole merit WITHOUT taking into consideration the family's background and financial capabilities are really depriving the poorer/middle class people who most of the time, are not the highest achievers. Although the poorer/middle class people have put in efforts to the best of their abilities, it may just be inadequate in comparison to those who did better as a result of the better background and environment they were from. I do not discount the fact that top SPM scorers in recent years are not those from elite backgrounds, and I salute them for their achievements. But apart from them, controversies arise in many occasions that are not seen in the newspapers. What would you think when a 10 A1 scorer whose father is a Datuk of a public-listed company gets a full scholarship to UK for medicine while a son of a typist at a government Jabatan fails to get even a twinning medical programme just because he got 9A1s and 1A2? This happens in real life, believe me or not.

So in essence, it seems that the rich would just get richer, while the poor will get poorer. Or if they wanted to break loose from the so-called generational curse of poverty or mediocrity, they have to really work hard to turn their rags into riches. And to these people who are currently working hard in their bid to challenge this adversity and achieve their fair share of success, i truly respect you.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Simple vs. Profound

It hasn't been the first time today that I realised my posts in my blog are rather... simple. Or at least, not as profound as those found on Adeline, Grace or Sheena's blog. Is this supposed to be a good thing or not? Or is it just a matter of variety?

I admire Adeline's posts the most; not only because of the good grammar and vocabulary, but the profound nature of her delivery of thoughts and ideas into words. Sheena also never fails to be articulate in blogging/describing about any thing that comes into her mind, be it about Sarawak laksa or simply the process of pulling ticks out of armpit hair (joking). Grace on the other hand exudes a subtly gentle yet impactful energy in her writings, evident of the fact she is a well-read person. Also not to forget someone from the male species, Ken Jay joins the pact of profound and articulate writers/bloggers with his wits, sarcasm and other capabilities seen in his capacity as resident blogger of M203's blog.

Well at the end of the day, I suppose that apart from the fact that these serve as providing variety to the various types of personalities, more importantly it shows the extent of READING that they must have undertaken all the years. In fact, I must say that if there was only one thing that they had in common, it would be the fact that they all love reading.

I love Doraemon comics, but Stephen King, David Eddings or Clive Barker I don't think so. Never mind the fact they actually stimulate my creative thinking and sharpen my writing and descriptive skills.

But what exactly do I read?

As some of you may know, I am more of a factual person than one with much preferences for fictions, fantasies and novels. I read more real life stories than those genres, but since we do not discuss about Hamas or Warren Buffett's fortune story always, I guess posts which mainly revolve around my life and experiences will remain SIMPLE, free of any possible attempts at sarcasm or profoundness (such word?) .

I hereby rate my blog...

Sesuai untuk bacaan umum.
(Suitable for general reading)

To go or not to go...

Yee Pei told us that Sheena and her have pretty much decided to go to Manila for the 2nd Asian Universities Debating Competition in May yesterday, and was nice enough to tell Elena and I that she has arranged fundings for us to join in too. Now Elena is so enthusiastic about going to Phillipines for the competition, never mind the fact that she and I would most probably be in what we call a Bin Team. She has been bugging me to join her and the rest to Manila, but I have many doubts and worries about going for this. Firstly, we have not debated or practiced for a long, long time. Heck, I hardly even have time to read any news in the papers or in nowadays because I am just too busy with my course. So apart from practically putting to waste IMU's money on our registration fees for the competition, we are really going to be making a fool out of ourselves. Elena and I are not THAT popular like Sheena in the debating scene, but people still recognise us. It would be shameful if people would to say: "Aren't they the IMU debaters who have been around like for many years? They haven't progressed much, have they? Never did see any significant achievements by them". By the way, we were at the first AUDC in Singapore last year too.

Secondly, is The Philllipines safe at the moment? I am not too sure. Although it is not by anyway a huge target for bombings, I am more concerned of its internal problems ie. the People's Power to oust the stubborn headed and tak-tau-malu Madam President. What if coincidentally there was a big riot going on and Emergency Rule was declared again? What if we get mistaken for protesters while we go out to Makati for shopping and riots are happening? Maybe I am thinking too much.

Thirdly, we will be starting our sample collections for our research in April. It would require us to travel to Seremban and Bukit Jalil back and forth every Wednesday and Thursday to collect and analyse samples. If both of us were to go to Manila, no one will bring the blood samples back to the lab in IMU, let alone process and store them properly. Although it is just one week that we will be away, our act of irresponsibility may land us in the bad books of the Seremban doctors which may mean a lack of cooperation by them in future. Moreover, we may miss out on some good samples which are essential in producing good results for our paper. And Elena is thinking of winning the Nobel prize. Sheesh.

But the only incentive I see to this is, when else can I get a chance to be sponsored by Jewish IMU for an international event?It will be a nice holiday and exposure for me, as I have never been there before. And if I really can form a no-stress, no-expectations, anything goes Bin Team, I think it would be really fun. Unlike the last AUDC where my team was really stressed not only by the trainings but also by Sheena and co., I would love it if this time around things are more at our own pace. See how things go.

On another note, Adeline aka Gongster will be leaving soon. In fact, on April 1st. Debaters will be having a BBQ for her at Deborah's place tonight and there will also be another get together this coming Friday. Looks like one by one, they are all going off. I wish I have farewells by my friends before I go to Australia next January too... But they will be all gone by then. Oh well people gotta move on I suppose.

Convocation is on 27th May, for IMU people who do not know this yet. You guys should be getting the invitations soon. Really looking forward to it, though I I would be just another head amongst hundreds of other students graduating as Doctors. We have no square hats, but we do have gowns to put on though. Apart from the sole gold medal winner, I will be just another ordinary student making up the numbers. Haha. I wonder if there are any other special prizes for Dean's list students or for other categories. Really can't expect much from IMU's Jewishness.

Oh and hopefully if the convocation date falls within the dates when we are supposed to be in Manila, then it would be a definite no go.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Change of Strategy

I think I should stop trying to aim for long posts as the thought of blogging for hours to produce just one post is too time consuming, considering my current state of business. Therefore, from now on I will be posting in installments, ie. many SHORT posts. To start the ball rolling, this will be a short post indeed.

A quick update...

Today's presentation (Defence of Research Protocol) concludes the series of vetting by IMU for our research projects. Unlike the Research Committee and Ethics Committee meetings, today's presentation was done by ME, and I was GRADED for it. But I must say that I did well in it, at least by my own judgement of my own presentation. There were two examiners saying "EXCELLENT" work, and another saying that my work/presentation is at par with a Master's degree work. After the hard work and hours spent on my PowerPoint, I would still have been so relieved that it's over now, regardless of the comments I got. Oh and did I mention that I was the first presenter? It made me really sleepless yesterday night. Well now I am officially starting my research!

And to all the folks out there who have been missing my posts so badly, I assure you that I will try my best to keep my posts up as frequently as possible, albeit a little shorter from now on.

So stay tuned!

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Yet another week has passed and it's bout time I publish another once weekly post.

I'm back home in PJ after completing the 2nd week of my year long BMed Sci course. And I must say I really am worn by the whole research thing. But mind you, I have NOT even started any work on my research project as it has not passed thru the 3 vetting committees yet. Well the reason is that unlike MOST of my other friends (or in fact ALL of them), Elena and I have to do our own research proposals from scratch. Our supervisors (Dr. Vishna and Prof. JPJ) are not those who spoon-feed us; they think that by us doing the whole thing it will give us a better understanding of the entire project besides teaching us to be responsible over our own work. So both of us have been spending hours in the Post-Grad room in IMU typing and retyping our proposal so as to be acceptable to the supervisors in terms of grammar, language and usage of scientific terms. This is also not to mention the hours spent perusing various scientific journals to learn up more about our topics. We do all these while our friends spend their time at Fitness First centers trying to build muscles or walk around malls with their partners. Sigh...

But in times when I am free, especially on occasional night times, I get to indulge in mahjong sessions with Adrian and Yee Pei for hours. And I must say that this is the ONLY joy I get out of all my stress and it really is fun. Was looking forward to movies but since the petrol prices has gone up by 20% I guess I will be spending more time indoors than going out. And by the way, for those who did not know this, RAJINDER aka Techycardia has joined in the BMed Sci program to be the 9th student in this little fraternity! He was supposed to have started his Phase 2 at Seremban in Monday but he ditched it and instead appealed to join the BMed progam. Well I guess doing research sometime along our path as medical professionals is very essential as this field gets much more competitive in future asides from helping us being recognised as an outstanding doctor. Publish or Perish is what they say in the West, where old school medical personnel who do not get involved in any form of research will eventually find themselves left out in terms of recognition, promotion and competency. So blessing or not, I feel proud to be able to be in a real research with a hope of contributing to mankind and my country now. For now I just aspire to publish a good paper and have it in the Malaysian Medical Journal or at the international level hopefully.

The coming week is going to be a busier week, with presentations to be prepared, proposals to be defended and more mahjong! And sorry if my posts are all revolving around my course; it just shows how much time of my life I am spending on it and not doing anything much other than that. Have a great week ahead to all my fellow friends and readers and God bless all of you. Stay tuned guys.