Friday, March 30, 2007

HUMBLED, ONCE AGAIN...

Did anyone of you read Fong Po Kuan's blog entry on her friend becoming an American?

Such stories... pretty sad I'd say, come in truckloads as far as (non-Malay?) Malaysians are concerned... (Non-Malaysian friends may be scratching their heads, wondering why...)

Like Po Kuan's friend, I am no straight A student...

I obtained only two A2s for my G.C.E. exam... my grades were not solid like hers... and I was not particularly fond of studying... urrrggghh...

Of course, there was no place for a yellow man like me in the local universities in Malaysia...

While she had a relative to sponsor her to university, my saving grace was Singapore Airlines...

Go ahead, call me unpatriotic... and yes, I remain proud and forever thankful to Singapore Airlines for putting me on track that eventually leads to where I am now...

Today, 30th March 2007... 6 months after my promotion to professor... the Vice President of my university announced that the President is appointing me as Director of International Student Center, effective 1st April 2007, for a period of two years...

Frankly, I am just fine with being a plain, low profile professor... a workhorse toiling in the field, mingling with students, dirtying my hands with chalk, and sweating along with my colleagues...

I am just turning 49 this July and I think the university should appoint someone in the late fifties... I should be about ready in ten years' time...

Furthermore, the prospects of meetings upon meetings do not titillate my senses...

Still, it is too much of an honor for me...

I recall reading an article in an in-flight magazine on the way back from Melbourne...

A Japanese cook based in Sydney was just conferred some kind of medal by the Australian government...

Rather that considering it as another feather on his cap, he says something to the effect that he is humbled by the award... and that he owes it to the Australian people and government for giving him the opportunity to push the limits of his potential as a professional cook...

While I am nowhere compared to him (no medals for me...), my feelings concur with his...

Japan has, and continues to give me opportunities that I can only dream of if I were to remain in my beloved homeland, Malaysia...

Don't get me wrong here... you can call me a runaway if you like, but you can never take away the Malaysian in me...

Anyway, when the April rains come, I shall be wearing a new hat... and a darn heavy one too, I'd expect...

So my dear friends... wish me 'strength' as I would need lots of it...