The Trip Down to MRSM Terendak #1

Toad with the Visitors Pass arriving at Terendak Camp

I set off very early this morning in order to make it by 10 in Terendak. Got into the car at 7am. Tucked Toad in. Off we went. I stopped over for breakfast in Seremban R&R. There, I bumped into Dr Azahadi and Farizal Haryadi, my seniors who were the main organiser for the event. Azahadi is a Specialist in KKM while Farizal is an Army Officer. They were both clad in ANSARA (Anak Sains MARA - MRSM Alumni) shirt, with their name and MRSM emblem embroidered on them. Had some nasi lemak and teh tarik there before making my way further.

'Mutton' crossing the road near Masjid Tanah. Had to slow down.I took the Pedas/Linggi exit. Drove through Rembau district area, Khairy Jamaludin's constituency. Cutting through the countryside, I drove through Lubok China, Masjid Tanah then finally Sungai Udang. Got there in plenty of time, stopping at gas station on the way. Left my MyKad at the post, got into the MRSM campus at 9.30.

A few of the other participants already there. Most of them were my juniors that joined the college well after I left. A couple of lawyers, engineers, IT consultants. There was also a guy who is a university lecturer currently doing his Masters. Payut, my badminton partner arrived 10 minutes later. Cikgu Wan Aizah arrived just before 10 with her husband. Also met the school driver that has been there for 25 years, Abang Malek. Being a Saturday, not many of the teachers were around.

Payut at the monument marking the 25th Anniversary of MRSM Terendak erected last yearOrganised Careers Day such as this is rare in my old school. Dr Azahadi was the main driver behind it. Around 20 speakers turned up. From the medical fraternity, we had Dr Azahadi, Dr Azah, UKM lecturer who just returned from Nottingham after completing her PhD, and a couple of MOs. We were given a formal introduction at the beginning in the main hall, before small groups were assigned. We then moved into the classroom for a more focused talk.

We had a couple of sessions, before and after lunch. Dr Azahadi, Dr Azah and I talked about our experience and our route before becoming a specialist. We were very honest in listing out the high requirement and competitiveness before being accepted to study Medicine. The number of years needed to spend to get to our level. They were surprised as I think they were expecting us to just talk about the beauty of the profession. We didn't even touch the ugly aspect of high commitment and low monetary rewards of working as a doctor yet. Seeming eager at the beginning, the truth hit them hard, but they did not change their mind. I can only take that as a good thing. We then broke for lunch. Dr Azah had to leave as her husband, Dr Zaini, a Paediatrician had to leave early.

At the surau for Zohor PrayersWe had a whale of a time during lunch talking about the 'good old days', how the rebels at school now becoming lawyers and doctors, friends caught smoking in toilets, teachers, girlfriends. One of the student in the earlier session asked Dr Azah about family life while being a Doctor. She said, it will take a lot of sacrifice. She herself has a daughter and she is lucky to be married to a doctor who understands her line of work. She told them of the challenge of being a mother, juggling career and family commitments. They gasped when the other 2 MOs (both ladies) present said that they were not married yet. They were also surprised that I am not married to a doctor. I said, my wife married me before I become a doctor. She was also from MRSM Terendak and we started going in form 3 and now married for 12 years. You should see their faces!

After prayers, we continued for another session with a different set of students. By 4, they were taken for a motivational session, conducted by Farizal Haryadi. By that time, Payut and I decided to call it quits. They were planning a friendly game of volleyball with the students after that. I will write about my journey back on the second post ...

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