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Me the late bloomer – school version

November 2, 2011

In my life, I am thankful for a lot of things. Stable job, people who love me and the list goes on. But I’m a late bloomer of sorts. I eventually got the things I wanted, but a little bit later in life. Oh, and this entry may be filled with some statements you may thing of as gloating (masuk bakul angkat sendiri) but I’m just relating my experience. If for some reason you thought so, my apologies.

When I was in school, for some odd reason I joined the Cadet Corps in Form 1. Which was weird. I am not interested in army-related stuff. Not really looking forward to discharge any firearm, marching or things of the sort. So I got the urge to pull out really early. You see, when I was in school they say that once you join the uniformed society (of which the Cadet Corps was one), you can’t get yourself sacked. If you do, it appears you’ll be blacklisted (from what I don’t know) and your life at school will be over. The thought of having my secondary school life being over in Form 1 scared the hell out of me.I realise that if I skipped cadet training, I’ll eventually get myself sacked which equals to game over in school (or so I thought).

I went to Victoria Institution, which to my mind is the best school in the world (it’s even a National Heritage now). But I was in a quandary. Could I afford to be blacklisted? To be honest, I cannot really recall how I managed to escape the Cadet Corps but in the end I did. And I later found out that the blacklisting was crap. Nobody ever got blacklisted for refusing to partake in any extra curricular activity. But the scare tactics worked alright. In between, I dabbled in a few other things. I joined the Junior Science Society (although science was never my forte. Just look at my chosen profession. Couldn’t be further from having an inkling of science) and became a junior librarian. Now, the junior librarian gig I enjoyed. Somehow I just love to be surrounded by books. Gives me the impression of being smart (although most probably I’m not).

In Form 3, a friend (you know who you are) talked me into joining the school band. It’s called the Victoria Institution Cadet Corps Band. I managed to fall for that. You see, in the band the first thing you are asked to do is to chose an instrument. Apparently everybody loved the drums. I was asked to play the trumpet which I detested wholeheartedly. Not getting near those things. In the end I chose the bagpipes. Seems weird as everyone I know associated the bagpipes with guys in skirts (they’re called kilts by the way). Thankfully we had proper pants for bagpipers in the band. Dark blue pants with a light blue stripe on each pant leg. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the band. There was one problem though. Most students joined the band in Form 1. I joined in Form 3. March during my Form 3 year to be exact. So I was immediately put on the back foot.

Somehow my rezeki was good. I was promoted to the rank of Private within 5 months which was no mean feat then. So I became better with my instrument then (that didn’t sound right did it?). I participated in many functions (called ceremonial parades or CP in short) amongst others the school tattoo, the National Day celebrations and others which I enjoyed immensely. I made a few really good friends too. Chief of all, Wira and Zaime. We’re still friends now. I was then promoted to become a non-commissioned officer in late Form 4, which was great. Circumstances conspired for me and I later became the Bagpipe Section Commander. Goodie.

Due to my undying ambition of studying law in UM, I entered Form 6. Also in VI. There were not many guys from my batch who continued to Form 6. So I was lucky. I became the Drum Major of the band. You know, the guy in the front who wields his stick, giving instructions to the band members (somehow the reference to “wielding his stick” didn’t sound right either. By the way, it’s called a “mace”). When I was in Form 6, I was approached to become a school prefect. Which was a tad unusual as people are usually offered the chance to become prefects in Form 5. Gives you the feeling that you’re second choice isn’t it? Nevertheless, I grabbed the chance with both hands. Not without a condition though. I told the then School Captain (Head Prefect elsewhere) that I will accept their offer to become a prefect with the condition that I am appointed School Captain in Upper Six which coincided with VI’s centenary celebrations. Which was agreed. The thing is, none of the guys who were prefects since Form 5 stayed back in Form 6. So my path was clear.

So I became the School Captain in Upper Six, had a good time and as they say, the rest is history. See, the two most important events happen to me a little bit later in life (or my school life). Better late than never, eh? There are other things as well but I’d rather not tell too much at the risk of being labelled as an egomaniac. As I said, the contents of this entry may sound like a guy going on an ego trip. Probably it is. So I hope there was no offence taken.

The Non-Commissioned Officers' Board 1993 *photo credit to Shazlan


My beloved VI * photo credit to the VI Web Page


That's me with my bagpipes during a CP err...20 years ago?


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