SPM 2008 was announced last week. Over the years, we become a lot closer to a bigger number of Form 5 each year through the programs we have with MCKK that we take more interest in the SPM results.
Most of the boys did well – the majority of the hockey boys scored 10As; either 9A1s or 8A1s. One of the debaters (Zulikhwan) scored 10A1s – while on average the rest of the debaters did much better than their peers (scoring 9A1s and such), there was also some disappointment along the way.
I take a personal responsibility that some of the boys did not achieve the results they deserve. I know them at the back of my hands and I know what intellectual level they were at – so it was quite a surprise to see some of the results.
As a student, I never had any problem in study throughout my life. I always managed to score top of the class when I want to – so naturally it’s very difficult for me to relate to students who have difficulty in their studies; especially a debater as they were trained to use their brain more than others at that age. I have always assumed that debaters do well in their studies.
Along the way, I noticed that some of the debaters spent too much time running around doing all sorts of things, even as late as one or two months before SPM. I grumbled here and there but more often than not, it was too late an intervention. It broke my heart that they had to lick the wounds on their own, which if the adults had intervened much earlier; it could have been avoided.
(Having written all this, it’s not that they did badly – it’s just that they didn’t get what we think they deserve given their intellectual capacity).
Going forward, we will have to change the manners we look at things. If I did not monitor their academic performance as closely and freakishly as I monitor their debating performance; that will have to change. The boys will have us the coaches breathing down their neck when they start slacking in their studies too. The same thing will apply to the hockey boys – afterwards not only they have to put up with our constant nagging about their littlest fault off the pitch, now they have to face us when they don’t do well in class room too!
(This sounds fun already!)
Anyway – to the boys who are reading this (immediate past and present MCKK boys) – SPM is meant to be a big deal, but it is not the be or end of everything.
SPM is a junction in life, it is a cross road. If you do well, it provides you a shorter route to success; but whether you reach the next cross road shall depend on how you travel the route (shorter as it maybe). If you begin to slack because the temporary success of SPM gets to your head, you will find the shorter route as arduous as any route and may not even complete the route. You then will be worse off than those people who did worse at SPM.
Likewise to those who don’t do as well at SPM, the immediate repercussion is you may not have the same opportunities as your other batchmates who receive scholarships to go overseas – which simply means a longer route for you. But if you change certain things, build in the right discipline and resilience; you will travel the longer route much better than your other batchmates that by the time you reach your next cross road, you may be better than them.
Everything in this life is temporal in nature, it is full of “pit stops” that should serve as a wake up call before we move on to the next stage of our life. SPM is one such pit stop.
The only common denominator that can guarantee the success in this life and thereafter is the qualities that we have as a person and servant of Allah.
As you progress in life, you will find that your degree or from where you graduate only counts when you are called for an interview. The moment you start working, it is your personal qualities that make all the difference – your humility, your agility to adapt to different situations, your eagerness for continuous learning and self-improvement, your resilient to withstand pressure or to stay long enough with a problem, your intellectual capacity to comprehend complex situation, your relationship with people around you, your ingenuity as a person, your charm that inspires people - in short; yourself.
If I were you, I will spend the pre-university and university life building these personal qualities. The years after MCKK are best spent building character, because compared to many other students you would have had a good foundation in MCKK. Your immediate target for your next cross road is to be more matured than your peers that by the time you start working, you stand out compared to your peers because of your maturity.
There are many ways that you can do this. Build in the right disciplines and traits e.g. discipline with time (if you don’t have the right discipline with time during your university years, you’ll have a huge difficulty coping with working life), obsession with putting the best in everything you do, the skill to prioritise (e.g. it’s a lot more important to be matured than to spend 75% of your time with your girlfriend at this stage), build mental capacity to understand adult issues (e.g. you need to be able to comprehend and have an opinion on adult issues such as the political issues, the economic and social issues), and sharpen your communication skill (e.g. being able to talk is not enough, you need to be articulate when you talk).
How do you do this? Well, you cannot be an 18-year old anymore because only adult can acquire the skills I mention before. The moment you decide to be successful in life, that’s when your life as a teenager officially ends.
You have to take part in activities that bring about the adult part of yourself. But then, I say this each year to MCKK’s top crop of SPM achievers. Whether they were adult enough to absorb and to take heed is a different question altogether ha ha.
In spite of what I write here, SPM is a big deal and people should take time to reflect if they did not get what they were supposed to get. I can understand perfectly the sadness, disappointment and the shame that boys go through at this age; because it was a road we too have travelled before.
My batch did well in our SPM trials – one of the best in SBPs – that many of us managed to get scholarships before our SPM results. Fadli, Allen, Jita and I were already in Scotland doing our accelerated A-Levels when the results were announced. Fadli and I had this small problem in our hands because kitorang pandai-pandai pi ambik 10 subjects (which were unheard of in MCKK before that) despite some teachers’ reservation. They thought we were better off concentrating on getting 9A1s, than taking on additional burden of learning an extra subject on our own (in the end it was not the additional subject that pulled us down, it was our own laziness and propensity to enjoy our last moments in MCKK during SPM week).
The school obviously expected both of us to get 10A1s and created a record –unfortunately both of us flunked big time ha ha. It was made worse because the scholars from other SPBs did a lot better than us, so they were very smug about the whole thing (that must have been the happiest moments of their life, having beaten MCKK ha ha).
I spent a good month writing letters to each individual teacher saying sorry for letting them down. My parents were cool about the whole thing (they pretty much treated me as an adult since I was 13) but I didn’t want to imagine the disappointment of the school.
Life was miserable for the few of us (it was a lot more miserable for Fadli because he could not get what he wanted, read here to know more).
Eventually we picked ourselves up, moved on and by the time we finished our A-Levels, Fadli was the best student for Mathematics and Further Mathematics, I for Physics and Chemistry for our graduating batch in 1996. So while life can take its ups and downs, it depends on how we pick up ourselves after each down so that things can only get better.
I am always grateful that my life journey was not smooth – I had many disappointments and failures in the first 3 years of leaving MCKK and a topsy-turvy life in my early 20s – because each of those “pit stops” taught me a lot of lessons in life. I wouldn’t have been who I am today if I had not taken those routes – longer or arduous as they may seem at that time.
Likewise, what may be considered as a failure at SPM is not at all an indication of how you will turn out to be when you grow up.
I end this post with a full disclosure of BETAPA BODOHNYA BAPAK2 ITIK WHEN THEY WERE IN SCHOOL – you judge yourself :-)
1) Bapak2 Itik dipaksa membuat declaration keputusan SPM masing-masing, ala2 asset declaration yg MPs tak buat2 lagi ni.
2) A yang hanya dapat 1 A1 (ha ha tu aku tak citer F9 for 1119 lagi tu) went on to qualify as a chartered accountant with ACCA and MICPA, subsequently promoted at Bank Negara quicker than some of the scholars who scored perfect As in SPM.
3) B and C went on to become accountants and are doing well in their careers, better or at least at par with people who scored higher in SPM.
4) D went overseas for degree, served his bond and had a stint with the biggest company in the world, before he decided to become a full time coach.
5) E went on to become a chartered accountant with ICAEW and often claimed that his interpretations of historical events and religious decree were not understood by the SPM markers.
6) F only wanted to record that he scored A1s for Pendidikan Islam and Sejarah unlike E, but admitted that his SPM results were perfect for the classic consolation remarks such as “this too shall pass”, “SPM is not the end of the world” etc. F is happily kissing ass to survive in the PTD politicking, having done his stint in the private sector.
7) Other Bapak Itiks did not want to disclose for fear of losing respect with the Anak2 Itik (that tells a lot about the results ha ha).
8) Candidates FF to JJ followed the footsteps of E ha ha ha, there’s hope after all for continuation!
SPM 2008: 10A1s 9 orang, 9A1 1A2 20 orang, 8A1 2A2 9 orang, 7A1 3A2 3 orang, 5A1 5A2 seorang, menjadikan jumlah 43 orang straight As.
Compare this with previous years:
SPM 2007: Not tracked, though worse than 2006 and 2005 in terms of straight As
SPM 2006: 10A1s - 6 10As - 27 Straight As - 33
SPM 2005: 10A1s - 16 10As - 34 Straights As - 50
2 people failed SPM 2008, so koleq didn't get 100% pass this year. Don't worry boys - you can be dysfunctional like us, our batch didn't get 100% pass either ha ha.