03 May 2009


For those of you who have flown before, you probably have a good idea what it feels like. For those whom have and never felt it or basically never stepped on a plane before, let me describe for you. Its somewhat this small/big shaking feeling as if the plane's a huge mobile phone under vibration mode, shifting left to right and up to down, whereby if it goes on any longer, you start questioning yourself how much more you can take. At time when it gets very bad, the only thing you can't wait to see is that light at the end of the tunnel, up in the sky of course.

That was how my last 2 weeks were like. Of course I may have not updated this rusting dusty blog-hole for more than half a year already but been suffering short term memory as of late and sides, it'll just get too boring reading about 6 months anyway.

Anyway, this all starts from the 4th Swinburne World Schools Debating Championship 2009, with a (new) key figure in the likes of Dr Sucharit Pongprakyun aka Dr Sooch. The only times I've ever seen/met the man was during my annual February trips to Kota Kinabalu for the Borneo Cup for the past 3 years and throughout those times, he has always appeared to be the most approachable and (more than) capable adjudicator available. It made perfect sense to bring him over. OH yes, and also the likes of 36 participating teams this time around, a 50% increase from the already satisfying response we had last year.

Nevertheless, the 4-days competition and the 2 days of debate workshop trainings we had prior to that are a little too troublesome (and difficult considering how lazy I actually am) to describe so I'll discuss only on certain particular details of it.

Dr Sooch, you were wonderful at everything, being a good indirect yet compulsory wake up call, being good company in the car rides, awesome and friendly Chief Adjudicator, the funny man, diplomatic in anything and everything, always knowing what to do in every difficult situation we had and err, I'll stop there before your head gets as big as your tummy when we fed you with all that lovely KUCHING food.

As for the new batch of Swinburne Debaters' Club (SDC) committee, this comes from all sincerity when I say that the club is in good hands. You've all carried your duties with absolute class, dignity, tolerance and perseverence along with humility as well, never needing to go out there and profess to others what you have accomplished, unlike me. Your bunch of senior debaters have a lot to learn from you in that manner. I in truth no longer see the need to remain on as your Special Advisor, but that has always been my problem, not anyone else's.

The competition on the other hand, for the moment of truth, didn't go as well as desired. True enough we had more teams, the State's Education Department's support and a great CA. Nevertheless, the problems with debate adjudication, food and program-punctuality were telling. The lack thereof adjudicators this year for the necessary 18 debates per round were the most difficult of all, not only in terms of allocation, but of obtaining fair and just adjudication for all those debates. A wise man in the form of Loke Wing Fatt once said, the priority of every debate competition is good adjudication, which the competition could have much benefited from. However, it was more of a quantifiable problem and that of a qualitative one, and though there were issues with some at times, thank you all for assisting in adjudication if you did, but we still need more next year! Rest assured school debaters, Swinburne (Debaters' Club) have taken note of that crystal clear.

The food and schedule sticking problems were also evident and like the adjudication issue, was somewhat out of our control as well. When we don't get the proper funding for such events with high-expectations, then you cannot really expect food with high expectations either. Not that we didn't have Swinburne's backing but hey, when there aren't any registration fees, don't expect free food? =D Oh yes, about the timing, well, entirely tabulators' fault for not being supermen and superwomen to work out accurate and instant tabulation results to provide you with accurate and instant match-ups as well that you wouldn't complain of unfairness. Apart from the all Green Road debate in prelim 5 that is, but you have only yourselves to blame for being the only unbeaten teams left!

Nevertheless, SDC always aims to do better every year and amid all the talk of the disappointment it may have been, I urge and encourage all the schools and debaters who have and have not taken part before to be upbeat of next year's competition, which is still a little less than a year away. Sigh. Also, for schools, don't pile up high expectations over your students to do well and as for students/debaters, don't go pressure yourselves to the extreme okay? *points finger at someone* You know who you are!

Why was it turbulent? Well, for one matter, it was on our mid semester break and from what I can tell you, Swinburne mid semester breaks are more like Swinburne mid semester time-to-study-if-you-even-want-to-pass break. With all the assignments due and tests/exams to study for after it, spending 7 of the allocated 9 days organizing a debate competition that had no bearing over your final grade is never easy, especially when you're not good in studies like I am!

Now that I'm done bitching about that, let me continue about my week after! First up was the Taxation test. 30 freakin percent of final grade, so yes, it was no joke. Open book as it was, wasn't actually hard but the lack thereof time meant I am confirmed only a maximum of 62/80 for that test. If you're good at math, like me, (reaches quickly for calculator...) you'll see that it will only lead to a possible 23.25/30 for my actual grade. THE HORROR! Or like how some might put it the way I like it (disappointingly).... "mid sem tax test.... FAIL!"

That was on Wednesday. Had to deal with that in between rushing for e-marketing assignment and international business law test on Saturday too, which made last week one hell of a week. Who ever said taking only 3 subjects a semester was easy??? Actually, I did, but when you literally don't have a mid semester break, and you're the first person people turn to for debate stuff to handle just because you have less workload compared to others, then yes, it isn't easy.

Anyway, that was my not so little turbulence in life so far this year. It was a smooth sailing flight prior to that but come to think of it there are only 3 real moments you feel good during flights. First being when you receive free stuff by air stewards (!), where in life it is that of the love and care you get from the people that, well, love and care for you I suppose. The other of course would be when you've finally landed and touched down safely at the end of your flight finally reaching your destination, which in life might be when you have accomplished something that you were responsible yet determined to.

The last of which would be in that moment during the flight whereby the turbulent period had just ended, which might constitute the hardships we face in life that contained moments of darkness and doubt until we manage to get past it all fazed, bruised and burdened but yet, victorious. I recently encountered all these 3 things and somehow emerged on the brighter side of it all, with the help of others of course. However, I feel the thanks I owe to them are best reserved to be done in person rather than in blogs. Then again, blogs on the other hand can serve the purpose of...

Introducing someone who has reignited my debate and social spirit that got put out quite some time ago. Everyone, this is Dr Sooch! For those who were wondering, yes, he is indeed a medical doctor, one that saves lives. There were at times a number of comparisons were made and some said he looks as if an older brother to me but I quite believe it is the other way round!

Other than that, these are the only 2 pictures I can get off of Lance on the WSDC 09 so far that has me in them.

This is Jonathan and I blabbering on while the debaters went through their workshop and the other is of the practice round debate room where I adjudicated. -Thanks Lance!

Blogs are also to show how hardworking some people are, very much unlike me of course. These 2 are very much still in Kuching, quite sick of me and yes, like me, waiting for all you other Tralalas out there to come back to where you belong!

Speaking of Tralala, this is sample of the shirt from a hot model for those whom haven't gotten it yet! (picture courtesy of Gloria) Should be Line and Inn left, if not mistaken...

Speaking of her, she was also back for the very very short weekend just to have her hair designed cheaperly over here in Kuching. I don't think it was that cheap in the end and as of the style, it's something fresh and new (chuchumbier!) and she wants you all to see! Especially Daphne!

Last but not least, this blog and bloke would also like to congratulate a certain team whom are now the IIUM Interschool Debate Champions of MALAYSIA! Always remember that as much as Swinburne or WSDC has helped you in any good or bad way, as much advice and encouragement a bear has given you and the loads of amount of support you all had from different individuals, (with respect to them) it was all down to your own effort in the end! So have some pride! CONGRATULATIONS! =)

-picture courtesy of rawringbunny-