I recall a cartoon in my younger days.
The first caption showed a happy boy jumping up and down.
He couldn't believe he 'scored' two As in the MCE (Malaysian Certificate of Education, the forerunner to the SPM).
The next caption showed a sobbing girl, whispering sadly, 'I only got seven As'.
I was that boy with the two As.
And, both were A2s, not A1s. Even that was on the second try.
In the first try, I missed one exam.
I was studying for the Geography exam when my buddies cycled up to my house and yelled 'hey, why you never wait for us one ah?'
'Uh? Wait for you? For what?'
'After the exam finish time ah, why you go home so fast? Aiyoh... you...'
I dashed inside my house and grabbed the exam schedule.
Dei... dei... dei... I slapped my forehead... how can I miss today's exam?
Turned out that I misread the calendar.
But I was so happy I flung my Bahasa that year.
And even more happy to see so many of my buddies failing Bahasa too. Yeah!!
The whole bunch of us retained for one year.
I was never good in school. And also in sports.
Used to go green when other boys go up on stage to collect their trophies for winning essays and the 100-meter dash.
When I got my PhD in business administration from Nagoya University, my college (Sultan Abdul Hamid College, Alor Star) mates were appalled.
When I landed the job in the university, they went berserk.
My former colleagues at the airline were exasperated, saying, 'now, even monkeys can get PhDs and become university lecturers'.