Thursday, May 21, 2009

Shamroz - My Student, My Friend

Shamroz is finally leaving us – to return to Pakistan – having finished his American degree program. Yesterday, eleven of us – colleagues and students – organized a farewell dinner at Tarbush Restaurant, Sunway Pyramid: Katherine, Eugene, Martin, Owais, Lynda, Edrickson Duane, Francis Siah, Grace Gan, Sufiyan, Mizan, and myself were there, enjoying each other’s company, having dinner (I ordered Dawood Basha - meatballs cooked in tomato gravy) and indulging in smoking the shisha (or hookah) - a water-pipe, in case, there are those who still didn't know.

Shamroz is a humble and thoroughly nice person – and yes, I am going to miss him dearly – his last class with me was last semester when he took OL421 Strategic Management & Policy. It's a great feeling to have when you know that he started as your student, but ends up as a friend - surely a reward that is immeasurable.
KLIA farewell, but I was not able to be there. Shamroz is 4th from left.

The Student Council Presidential elections at HICT yesterday was interesting insofar as it drew good response from the student body, amidst intense lobbying for support (and votes) for the 3 candidates. All of them are my students, but what cheers me up is that even at HICT, we are privileged to witness student democracy at work. Congratulations to Zechariah Kent who won handsomely, leaving Grace and Aaron to bite the dust. Well, now that the elections are over, the real work begins. Let’s see if the president and his team, and the newly-minted SSD know how to reach out to students, particularly my students. ADP students will carry on as usual unless it serves our interest to work with these new "groups". Faith and trust are rare commodities at HICT these days

Today, a band of us decided to visit Alan Tan at home, when we heard he had “crashed’ (not my words!). Besides yours truly, another 9 concerned friends – all of us are associated with ADP, save 2 – braved the evening Klang traffic, just so that we can spend some time with Alan. I could see Alan was speechless (well, at least for 6 seconds anyway) when he met us at his front gate. As always he is a very direct person, and in his own words, he told us he had “bipolar syndrome”. Now, as I understand from those who have studied psychology, it is not exactly an uncommon ailment. Essentially, it is “a psychiatric aberration that is a group of mood disorders in which an individual afflicted with it undergoes extreme emotional states from being clinically depressed to an elevated mood state (or vice versa), and/or a combination of these mood states” (Webpage
http://www.phobias-help.com/bipolar_disorder/Bipolar_Syndrome.html, accessed May 21, 2009). I am glad we all came, but I am also especially happy for ourselves that all of us cared enough to want to come and give support to one of ours! These nine caring people were Eugene, Martin, Owais, Lynda, Mike, Aaron, Edrickson Duane, Francis Siah and Grace Gan. Hopefully, we (and even others) can continue to show understanding and even reach out to Alan when he resumes his studies. If we do really care, we should be his pillars of strength. Let's be there for him, yarh?

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