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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"The one with understanding your past (I)..."

As you guys would've known by now - yes I recently attended the BTN course at Ulu Sepri N9 which lasted about approximately 5-days. Well, I've promised to pen my experience regarding the course which I think would benefit those who're planning (or forced) on going in the future.

To aid in me sharing, I decided that I'll be putting up a few more posts from time to time describing the advents of events that preceed my BTN experience. This'll be my first post.


Now, the BTN course I went to was intended solely for those going abroad for either their MSc, PhD, or sub-expertise studies. Although our numbers were small this time around (there were 68 of us) we came from distinct parts of Malaysia, united under one roof for at least the few days to come. I was lucky to hitch a ride with Dr. Kudos to the camp, which was situated a mere-hour journey from UPM. The camp was no resort, and it was built up for the sole purpose of national education.

One thing that caught my attention right away was how clean the camp was. In my mind I had this inclination of a (really, really) stripped-down version of my La Salle school; only a-tenth its size - complete with outdoor toilets and the scary thought of having to cater the nearest stream for your daily baths. Ok, fine. Maybe it wasn't that bad la. It was a cosy place at first glance, and adding to my suprise was how we were treated to during registration.

"Ya tuan, selamat pagi. Apa khabar tuan?". I was quickly greeted by a warm voice coming from one of the course instructors.

"Tuan datang dari mana, tuan? Boleh saya lihat surat panggilan tuan?"

"Terima kasih tuan, sila daftar di sana ya, Tuan."

What's with all the formality, I was puzzled. I was touched by how humble all the instructors were, catering to us like high-ranking officers that we aren't. Maybe it's because we're not schoolkids like those they'd usually have. Maybe. But still that amazed me, for their gesture came as a suprise. They had no requirement to be nice, and all the liberty to be fierce but then again they decided against. I felt welcomed straight away, but also a tad shy, for receiving such an honor I knew I didn't deserve.

Both Dr. Kudos and I (who arrived early) was instructed to our beds in Camp 5A which was a short ascend uphill from the registration desk. There were about eight, already attending to their beds in the dorm-like hall. Unfamiliar faces known only to us as strangers. Common only by our sheer desire to finish this as quickly as possible, and return to our normal operation and lives. Unpacked our stuffs, and found ourselves on our beds with nothing pertaining to do. At the back of my mind I realised that this is going to be a LONG, LONG 5 days.

Luckily our dorm was filled quickly with warm faces, offering small talks here and there. We rather had a brief ice-breaking session and I finally resound to the fact that thing's would pick up along the line.

The first day went by as slow as forever, each minute felt like a drag. By all means, luckily a few of the talks were not too dry and offered a basic insights of our country's past. But still I was eager to get it over with so that I can go home. I already miss my dearest Fifah so much by then.

Suddenly, what came next had definitely caught me off guard. The committee had decided on their next Penghulu, N.Penghulu etc.

Guess who they elected as their second-in-command?

Me.

Dr. Kudos burst into a huge laugh as soon as my name was announced. I was shocked. Nothing prepared me for this. Nope. Nil. Zip. What on earth did I exude which gave them the idea of me being a good leader?

There was one thing I learned that morning - never, ever, be celupar once you've gone into camp. Believe me, I had my fair share of celupar-ness and I've received them in full during the camp. More on BTN's substance in my next post.

-JeP

2 comments:

Mokrish said...

typical you...melodramatic narrator...can i say it, can i say it hehehe...

pengirankudos said...

hahaha... dr kudos la..... huhuuh mcm budak jahat jer dlm pic tu!