As I submitted my thesis aka Academic Exercise (AE) this morning, it strike me into the feeling of 'THIS IS IT'. 4 years of dwelling in the Faculty of Education to get a Bachelor's Degree. Specifically, to get a Bachelor in Education (Honors) Teaching English as Second Language, otherwise known as B.Ed. (Hons) TESL.
Me and TESL...what is the relationship between us? What's with all the fuss about WA and TESL, you ask? Allow me to reminisce in this blogosphere of mine.
I know, and a lot of my friends know, that I am the one they call as 'Ratu REPEAT'. Not repeat as in repeating subjects that I fail or so, but repeating what I had been through over and over again, and with regard to TESL, this is no exception :D
It all started back in 2003, when I first enrolled in the varsity in UiTM Lendu, Alor Gajah, Melaka. During MMS, I couldn't help but to notice this one group of 'active' and 'interesting' people on one side of the hall, always seemed to be entertaining themselves and enjoyed every moment of them there.
Needless to say, I soon discovered that they were the ones whom people fancy calling them as TESLIANS. Qilah Wahi, Anas Abd Manaf, Sheena Shaha, JijieWijie, Nuffy Mahdi, I could NEVER forget one of the first times that I tried to associate myself with the Pre-TESLian. It was Karnival Camelia and I gotta be honest, I was more than excited to have the integrative motivation to take on TESL first thing the following semester.
So what did I do?
I wasted no time applying to change courses to Pre TESL, even to extend to which I cannot mention here, that I became so excited and confident, more like self-fulfilling prophecy it was, that I announced to the whole class of my then DBS colleagues that I was going to take TESL the following semester, that I would be missing them much, that they wished me luck, and not to mention, many expressed confusion as to my 'hasty' decision. Did you still remember it, Wan Nur Hidayah? What I remembered vividly was the scene where myself and my classmates were in the IMK class, IMK stands for Insan dan Manhaj Ketuhanan, the place was the HEP building, the class was one of the AD's students' classes available in the building. I said it casually, I said it excitedly, I said it abashedly, unabashedly, all the emotion were running wild at that time.
So what happened? Did I get it?
No. I did not get it. To my surprise (and not), I failed to realize that to change courses, I also needed to make a formal application to the PTPTN for that matter, and my failing to do so required no more justification. T__T What made it even worse was that not only that I was waiting like FOREVER for the response, the letter actually arrived at the wrong Pejabat Kolej, you know, the one situated near the lake, surrounded by Blok B and C.
So I withstood the 'humiliation' of not getting to take Pre TESL for the next 5 semesters of my study in UiTM Lendu, all the while mustering the patience into wanting to make it for my Bachelor's Degree. To curb my longing, I started befriending the Pre TESLian from my own batch up to my sixth and final semester in Lendu that I usually knew a few of them from each batch, even up until now. I know of Anep, Hazel, Falliq, Aainaa, Bear, Sufi, Tajul, Nadiah, and many more, long before I could consider myself a TESLian as well. I remembered this one occasion where myself and Falliq and a few others went to Segamat for poetry recitation and I remembered vividly that was when I started befriending Falliq, so to speak.
Many were skeptical that I was still going to further in TESL for my Bachelor's Degree. A lot were of the opinion that my interest would wane, wither and die away just like a bonfire which loses its prickly heat and its color and intensity as time passed by. I realized, even while I was learning the subjects of Management, Business Math, Cost Accounting, Business Law, Human Resource, Introduction to Marketing, International Business, Finance, Business Development and Principles and Practices of Selling, I did not want to lose focus on the VERY ONE thing that I had targeted, aimed at and eyed for for the last 3 years. I remembered that one of the criteria to change courses was to get a minimum of 2.0 GPA and seeing the clause, I could not help but to think that had I scored more than was minimumly set at, it would be quite an easy breezy (Cover Girl, LOL) path for me. But no, the road was not all clear, the pavement was not quite paved for me. I remembered having difficulties in Business Accounting, on doing the Debit and Credit, balancing the ledger and all, that I almost gave up. But, seeing that the clause to change courses require that I PASSED all the subjects, I persevered and I MUST say that without the wonderful tutelage of the then lecturer, Puan Sharifah Zarina (Langit Ketujuh sangat, hihi) I COULD NOT make it to the next stage, much less on 'graduating' from Part 1 of Diploma in Business Studies (DBS).
I must say that I still have and I still hold tight to the letter which mentioned that my application to change to Pre TESL, P1020 (correct me if I'm wrong, I do not have it with me now, hihi) was rejected, and with that in my hand, I went to the interview of B. Ed (Hons) TESL in May, 2006. I remembered going to Shah Alam FOR THE FIRST TIME and felt totally alien. I remembered staying in Kolej Meranti where my friends were at and went to the first Degree interview that was Bachelor in Mass Communication (Journalism) at the faculty in the main campus and was quite delighted to see one or a few other of my friends from DBS to sit for the same exam and interview. Needless to say, I was turned down for the interview as I mentioned that TESL was my first choice and not this.
I remembered being interviewed by Madam Norsiah and one other free-haired lecturer, I just couldn't remember whether it was Mdm Marina or Mdm Adzura. It must be Mdm Marina then.
Needless to say, I was accepted into B. Ed (Hons) TESL not long after that and from then began my 'reign' as Diva, Ratu, whatever you name it. Mode: Vain. haha.
So as I sit in front of this lappy, reminiscing on today's episode where I submitted my AE to my supervisor whom I had broke down in tears the other week (huhu), exchanging greetings with my UBER WONDERFUL lecturer of Methodologies in Teaching Reading who then became my Program Coordinator and later, Vice Dean of Student Affairs (woot2!), it saddens me to think that all the lethargic, drama-ish journey for the last 4 years had finally come to the end. No more of going to UiTM Dungun in 2007 for Training of Trainers (TOT) to get certified to become a UiTM facilitator, no more of going to Teratai for the meeting of facilitators at night, waiting for the bus from Sec16, and waiting from Mawar to catch the last bus.
No more of going to PTAR to borrow books, alone or with Wan Nurul Fyda, or Rebecca Chin, or Hazmil my housemate. No more of going to HEP to get the free wifi till I realized that it was one helluva trekking to climb to get to the HEP while carrying the heavy notebook that I decided to subscribe to Maxis Broadband. No more of riding the Rapid KL bus with Wan Nurul Fyda, mostly when it was first introduced, when the route was one way from Hentian Pusat Bandar to Seksyen 15 to Seksyen 17 and not passing through Seksyen 2.
No more of craving for Nasi Lemak Jati and 'gigih' went buying for the scrumptious delicacies at a very reasonable price (read: MURAH). No more of 'catwalking' around Seksyen 2. No more of taking Rapid T602 from Seksyen 8 to Seksyen 2, then take T529 to Seksyen 17 where the faculty is at.
No more of being teased and ridiculed at (LOL) for being myself and being proud of it, for I have shown my worth, and my professionalism through and through, particularly during my practicum.
No more of reminiscing the first day of induction at the Dewan MBSA in Seksyen 17, alone before meeting and knowing Ella and Syara and became bestest bud ever since, sharing much in common from all were from diploma and all stay in Gombak. No more of being name-called as this and that, though I had not enjoyed the experience, they were still...MEMORABLE.
No more of going to and fro the faculty to the Language Academy (APB) back in Part 4 when the result was out and all of us in one class received an 'F' for our Report Writing.
No more of ENJOYING EVERY SECOND of being in the Nihongo (Japanese) class with the UBER WONDERFUL CHEERFUL BUBBLY Sensei Habibah. No more of enjoying the nerve-wrecking experience of assembling outside the Dewan Raja Muda in Seksyen 7, waiting for the moment to enter and answer our 3rd language paper.
No more confiding of 'dirty little secrets' with trusted friends and BFFs. No more throwing tantrums and getting tantrums from lovers and haters equally.
No more of wearing wiggielicious (hihi) after buying it back in 2007 with Sufi in Pandan Jaya and been wearing it since. Wiggielicious, it has been a WONDERFUL 3 years anniversary, has it not?
No more of TESL Day Out and met and greeted the WONDERFUL Waniey, Mean, Shella, Eugenia and others.
No more of going to Bukit Cerakah with Waniey and Mean. Ironically, now that I live very near to Bukit Cerakah now, I had never once set my foot on that place again.
No more of the WONDERFUL sessions with the WONDERFUL and the BEST lecturer of TESL ever to me, Puan Rohaya Abd Wahab, who is more than just a lecturer and a practicum supervisor to me. She was like a mother, a sister and a friend everyone wishes to have.
One question remains, what does it feel for WA to be enrolled in TESL after 3 years of waiting? Did it make Wa a proud teslian? Did the association between Wa and TESL was established? Was Wa a WA Tesl?
Frankly speaking, I had never bogged myself down to the label of TESLian or DBS-ian or anything. As far I am concern, there was never once that I took pride and felt might of me being a WA TESL nor that I had the conviction to say that I was a TESLian in the first place. TESL is a program for me to explore my interest in, and such, is my prized trophy, but was not so much of a part of me that needs bragging or succumbing to the danger of self-fulfilling prophecy.
As much as Semester 8 aka the final semester (Insya-Allah) is concerned, despite the seminar, the bakings, the learning to do research and SPSS, the highs and lows, the ups and downs, the MELTDOWNS (huhu) and all, I'd like to express here how BLESSED I am to have taken TESL.
Sure, had I taken BBA in the first place, I would have graduated and probably be working for almost 2 years now and not getting a Bachelor's Degree at the age of 25 (during the convocation *hint hint*). But I felt EMPOWERED by the decision that I made on my own, of not having qualms and regret later on in life. I often told myself, TESL is what I had wanted to do ever since day one (or two or three, hihi) and I never wanted to live a life where, at the age of late 20s or 30s (kalau umur panjang, hihi) that I regret not taking TESL while I was still young and more focused and have more attention span (I hope, hihi).
In the final analysis, sure I had made great friends, rivals, enemies, frenemies and so on during the 'painstakingly' long duration of 4 years of study. But did I regret a single day of living my life for the last 4 years? NEVER. (cewah). To not regret may seem less of a human, but to dwell on the feeling of regret is just a crybaby.
I promise you, this is not goodbye. Those dearly to me, I shall forget you not. I shall never forget those who made me a WA TESL. Despised, adorned, scorned, scoffed, praised, name-called, labelled, hated, LOVED, all the experience had made my last 4 years of life so much more meaningful.
In the end,
I shall be telling this with a sigh,
Somewhere ages and ages hence,
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I,
I took the one less travelled by,
AND THAT HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
My all-time favorite poem ever. Signing off.