Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Fulfilling Week of Farewells

Dr Leong was talking about this book called How the News Makes Us Dumb (or something to that effect). Somewhere in it the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was discussed.

The writer pointed out that it should be no surprise if the crucifixion wasn't widely recorded by ancient historians. As far as history/journalism is concerned, the crucifixion was just another execution. Malcolm Muggeridge said that if he were a journalist in Jesus' time, he would have been more eager to interview Pilate than report the death of Jesus.

And so Dr Leong said that often what is so-called 'newsworthy' probably won't matter much 200 years down the road. His example was that of the Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (or any other PM for that matter). As soon as he became PM, his school days became important; his English teacher was transformed into an overnight celebrity; his scouting days put on a whole new significance.

We never really know what is truly important when it starts out. Only when it becomes important do we look back at its humble beginnings.

Back in school, especially in my Primary days, the newspaper was always cited as a treasure trove of information. We would be encouraged to baca akhbar to gain more knowledge about the world and also to improve our command of the language.

I now view that piece of advice with much skepticism, because the media is hardly the place for learning good language skills, and because it is often biased and sometimes totally misguided in its choice of article subjects. Truth be told, the media is about what's popular and what's current, not necessarily what's really important.

Today nobody talks about Pontius Pilate, and the name of Jesus Christ, a lowly carpenter who died a shameful death, outlives the names of both Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great put together.

* * * * *

After returning from Sabah last Wednesday, I was immediately hurled into a flurry of activity day after day. I started this week with a mild fever and sore throat but, thank God, I'm feeling much better now.

The work for the VIOBA is finally done; as a matter of fact, I thought some members of the committee would be at the Clubhouse to meet us today, but it was only me, Praba and Kian Ti. We'll keep in touch, nonetheless, as the journey's just begun.

University (finally) starts this Sunday, and it was a real blessing to be able to spend these last few days with close friends. Tee Ming's farewell last Saturday started off this 'final week' (which has been purposeful, as all final weeks tend to be; even Jesus'), and I met up with Form Six friends and classmates several times this week; in fact, Edmund, Alwyn and Lik Wen paid me a surprise visit on Monday!

Last night, I met up with these people:

The same ones I met on 25 August last year:

We're the official Association of Cherry Poppers a.k.a. debaters. ;-P

The usual place, the usual time, a.k.a. Chili's BSC at 8 p.m.

I'm glad to say that, despite the growing trend of shrinking dishes (and/or increasing prices) at several restaurants in the Klang Valley, Chili's still maintains its generous portions.

* * * * *

But above all I was very happy to be able to spend so much time with a certain girl who's bound for Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) all the way in the Land Below the Wind.

It's really going to be a new chapter in our lives, and, like Ofelia in the movie Pan's Labyrinth, we probably aren't prepared for what lies ahead. All we know is that God walks with us and that the next three years will be a time of breaking, humbling, revelation and learning.

Let us not fear any storms that may come our way, for with Christ in the vessel we can smile at the storm. ;-)

Lunch at Secret Recipe, KLCC, after the Choir Finals last Thursday. The Choir still owes us dinner for rushing back to school to get the namelist and piano scores.

I'm so proud of LS, who has been working hard on her swimming. Only three sessions ago she learnt the breaststroke, and today she swam non-stop from one end of the pool to the other! You're making tremendous progress!

Our last lunch (and most likely meal) together. Finally managed to try Pizza Hut's new Sensasi Sets.

I'm going to miss you so, so much.


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