Anyway, I digress. The first trip back was for convocation. How could I not miss convocation? Dad told me to save the $$$ spent to come back home and instead go for a good holiday cause it was my 4th convocation ceremony (2nd for the year!) and it would be nothing new to me. Instead, I told him I would not miss it for the world. Why???
1. Ever since my first convo in UPM (when it was still Universiti Pertanian Malaysia), I have always wanted to wear a tam. What??? A TAM. For your info, a tam's the round, slouchy hat you get to wear instead of the square mortarboard. Kononnya, will feel more perasan in it! I also discovered that UKM is the only local university that allows its Master of Medicine grads to wear one instead of the usual mortarboard. Ya, God knows the desires of my heart so it wasn't just tikam-tikam that I selected UKM as my uni choice instead of the other more prestigious unis.
2. 4 years of BLOOD (more of the mau muntah darah type), SWEAT (hyperhydrosis of exams, running around red tape & chasing certain government officers) and TEARS (frustration, disappointment & despair) and give up my 8 seconds of FAME & GLORY, basking under the spotlights of the Great Hall & smiling at royalty? No way Jose. An extra RM135 to attend the ceremony is a small price to pay after taking into account what I had to endure and sacrifice in those 4 years. My SANITY included!
3. Parents. In a way, this was a tribute to them. For their unceasing love, prayers & support. I am what I am today because of your inpoyring into my life. I recall Dad asking me why I subjected myself to all this academic torture when he knew I was happy with my simple lifestyle and career path in Slim River, Perak. I remember telling him I was made for more. I wanted to be better, be someone, do something with my life. His answer was simple - "All this is I, I, I! Are you doing this for God or for man? Is this God's will for your life?". Despite going into the Masters programme for my own selfish reasons, I am beginning to see God's marvelous plans unfolding in my life. Especially where I am today. I was especially touched during the convocation ceremony where we were made to bow towards the parents in the stands. It was a literal act of acknowledgement and gratitude.
So ya, back to convocation. Drove up with the folks to UKM's main campus in Bangi 2 days before the actual date to collect my robe and tam. Was really surprised the whole process only took 10 minutes. Thank you officers for your efficiency & making the whole process painless.
|The Dewan Canselor Tun Abdul Razak|
|The great hall - still empty!|
After that, dad wanted to have a look at the UKM golf club. So we took a drive there to look-see and have lunch. Must say, the Western is pretty good there and not to mention, affordable. I had lamb chops, Papi had the grilled chicken chop, mum the fish and chips (as expected!)
|My yummy nom nom|
The actual day itself was... YAWN. Had to wake up early and drove from Seremban to Bangi. Got misdirected by lots of directionally challenged security guards to the respective entrances and in the process argued with them. Listened to lots of boring speeches. Almost got blinded by rapid fire camera flashes. Listened to the band play the same melody over and over gain. Waited for hundreds of others to collect their scrolls before my actual turn.8 seconds of fame and.... IT WAS OVER! Seemed surreal, the whole day.
|The UKM mace followed by the Pro-Canselor UKM, Tunku Naquiyuddin|
If you asked me if I would go for it again... the whole rigmarole of exams, academic life, stress?
Without skipping a heartbeat my answer would be... YES!
|I decided that if I do write a medical textbook,|
this will be the pic on the back cover!
Hehehe ; )