First and foremost, let's talk about me! Greetings, fellow Malaysians and the occasional Martian, my name is Angelina and my surname is Tan but my last name is Kim. But, since I find it difficult to fill out the "last name" column of most forms, I am sometimes known as Angelina Tan and sometimes as Angelina Kim. But you gotta agree, the latter sounds better, right? RIGHT?
Ahem, enough of confusing you guys. Let's get to the questions!
What's the best thing about being a youth today? Do you think the future is bright for your generation or do you think the future is something to worry about?
Why is it good to be a youth today? Definitely the technology. The fact that we can do so many things that we cannot do before is enough reason for anyone to want to be a youth. I mean, with the click of a button you can find out what your friend did last summer? Within a flash you can know how your brother's secret girlfriend looks like? With the click of the 'publish' button you can get yourself into trouble with the IS-... okay, let's not go there. But you get my point. Today's technology is such a wonderful thing. With iPods, iPhones, iPads... The next thing you know, they'd come up with an iPizza. It might even be virtually edible. You never know.
Now let's talk about the future. Yes, I think the future is something we should worry about. We all might live in some happy-go-lucky world, "Que Sera, Sera; whatever will be, will be." But one day, when we do wake up and realise, we'd see that the world is not as perfect as it seems. Overpopulation, global warming (and no, it's not a hoax), neverending tsunamis, earthquakes, an economy collapsing on itself... the list never ends. I mean, don't you see what the adults are doing? They're putting it all on our shoulders! Ever heard of the phrase "the future is in your hands"? Or "the future will depend on you"? Do these phrases sound ever so familiar? Do you not see the global insinuation that is going on today?!
Then again, we can worry about those tomorrow, right? The iPhone is ringing, the TV is booming and Call of Duty is, well, calling. Besides, why today's youth? Tomorrow's youth can do it... *wink*
Do you think “youth” (people like you) are rebellious in nature? Do you think youth today rebel like they used to before? Explain. Do you/have you rebelled against anything or anyone in the past? Explain.
Hmm, rebellion. Interesting question. I guess it depends how the said youth was brought up. My friends were not rebellious, though I have witnessed some at my college who are. But, I have my own interesting story to tell, of how I rebelled against the Malaysian education system.
I came from a Chinese primary school and anyone who came from one will tell you of how much they were tortured there. "One error, one stroke; if it's a careless one, then you get two". This was the general rule of caning we get there. We get caned for practically every single mistake we make, no matter how minor it was and no matter how absurb it was to cane. Fed up of such treatment, I asked my mum to write me a letter to all my teachers asking them to not cane me, in which I personally handed to them. My class teacher responded most unusually. She shouted in Chinese, "If you don't like it, I won't even cane or care about you. If you don't want to come for my lessons, you can get out of my class and that's fine with me too!" Those words weren't directed at me, but the class knew better and all eyes were on me.
The years went fine without as much caning as the others and I finally got a 'B' for my kelakuan, which according to my class teacher, only the worst of the worst of students will get, as she said she had awarded an 'A' to most of her students. I was barely moved by her words. At least I got my A's academically.
Then came secondary school. One day, I had borrowed some science notes from my friend from another class right before an exam for some last minute run through. I thought her notes looked strange and incomplete, but according to her, her teacher said that these notes were 'sufficient to allow students to score'. They didn't look sufficient to me, but I didn't pursue the matter further. During the exam, to my horror, the answers to the questions were exactly the same as the 'notes' my friend's teacher gave! I felt disgusted as I think it is really unfair to spoon feed students knowing they will suffer in national exams. I reborrowed my friend's notes and together with a copy of the exam paper, I went to the Head of Student Affairs in my school (Penolong Kanan Hal Ehwal Murid). I showed her those, and she said, 'enough proof'. I felt relieved that action will be taken, but at the same time worried. I told her to protect my identity for fear of being victimised in the future. She agreed to do so.
But one fine day, I realised my cover was broken as the said teacher sent a student for me, asking me to meet her. I was terrified that she would skin me alive. I confronted the Head of Student Affairs but she told me not to be afraid and to go ahead and see her. I was furious. Yet, I faced my fears and went up to her. The teacher started telling me off by describing the 'problems I had caused her'. I told her that it was unfair that she did that and she asked me, 'Are you jealous that my students got higher marks than you? What did you get for that exam anyway?' I told her my marks and she was stunned. Let's just say I did quite well. She continued defending herself and saying that she only did 'what was best for them'. The conversation ended with her saying that she'll forget that this ever happened.
Two years later, a nightmare came true. She was my science teacher. Some problems arose and she screamed, 'I still remember what you did to me in the year 2004!'. This reminded me of a horror movie I had watched. I confronted her after class but she ignored me. I walked out of the classroom and went home, asking my mum to meet the Head of Student Affairs with me as it seems that I cannot win this battle as a minor. The Head promised to investigate on this. Two weeks later, she summoned me to her office for an interrogation. If I didn't know better, I'd think that I was detained by the police. The conversation went somewhat like this:
Her: The teacher said you screamed at her in class.
Me: That never happened.
Her: But she said you did. I asked the whole class and they ALL said you did.
Me: Well, they must be lying then.
Her: The whole class? Lying? You must be kidding me. Besides, a teacher never lies.
Me: Well, this teacher sure did.
Her: You were disrespectful to her. I want you to apologise to her, but I'm not going to force you to.
Me: Good, because I won't apologise for something I never did.
Her: ... You have a high ego.
I lived up to my words. I did not apologise to her, even though some of my friend suggested I should, just to 'get this matter over with'. I stand by what I believe in, and I believe our education system needs all the help it can get.
These are just some of the major 'rebellious' acts I've ever done. But we must all note that healthy rebellion exists as well.
Do you think youth today have an easier or harder life than our parents' generation? Please explain your answer.
Well, it depends what is 'easier' or 'harder'. Back then, education wasn't of utmost importance. Money was. Most of them dropped out of school early and started working. Many could not even afford to go to school.
As for us youth, we substitute the hardship of life with the hardship of our horrible education system. We are forced to memorise hard facts with the holy existence of Wikipedia. I still don't get why. I believe we should be allowed to choose what we want to do. Why force those who are incapable of studying to continue? Professionals aren't the only ones who can survive. Why not give these poor kids some vocational skills since they're probably better at them?
I guess, overall, we have an easier life. But I guess when I say 'we', I mean youths belonging to families in stable financial situations. What about the millions of struggling youths around the world? If you compare them as well, I guess 'our' struggles will seem equal.
What is your biggest fear in the world... other than death?
The fear of the non-ability to recover from failure. I've met people whose main aim in life is just to relax and have fun, but I want to succeed. I have a lot of dreams I want to fulfill, but I will leave those for another related post. I know we always hear of the phrase 'we must fail in order to succeed'.
But what if? What if we failed and we could never get up? What if our dreams become a mere fantasy? With all the optimism, we have to give ourselves some room for fear as well, and wake up to the reality that the phrase 'nothing is impossible' is but a big, fat hoax.
What makes you happy?
Money of course! I'm an extremely materialistic. My mum is pretty frugal and we almost never buy things we don't need. But there are some things which are absolutely vital to
What has been the most difficult hurdle you have overcome so far in your life? What did this experience teach you?
My most difficult hurdle was my battle with the Malaysian education system. As my story above, you can see that this battle is still on-going and that it is quite impossible that I can win this single-handedly. This experience taught me that many people live for themselves. They, or at least from what I have observed, do not care if others live or die, so as long as they can put food on their table, they are willing to do harm upon others.
Which has more importance today in your life - family or friends? Why? In your experience, did you ever have to make a choice between your friends and family? If ‘yes’ please explain your answer and why did you do so?
I believe that almost everyone will put their family first, as the saying goes, 'blood is thicker than water'. I'm the kind of person that is very picky about friends. I don't mix with 'just anybody'. I guess that's just the way I was brought up. Or maybe it was because of the environment, and therefore I am such. In today's world, most people are for themselves, and the only people you can really rely on are your immediate families.
Besides, I can totally ransack my room looking for my favorite shirt and still have my parents accept me for the pig I am, but if I were to ever let my friends into my room... well, let's just say I won't have any after that.
Tell us more about yourself!
Since I am usually tongue-tied during introductions, let me just write a short biography about myself.
I am 19 this year and I will be sitting for my A-level finals in less than a week. After which, I will pursue a Law degree in UK. I am the only child in the family. My favorite past time is reading, web coding and gaming, making me a geek.
And... I prefer filling in 'About Me' questionnaires than talk about myself like this. Therefore the abrupt stop.
That's all for today's topics, I guess. I will continue my next topic when Streamyx reincarnates from the dead. Till then, take care and adieu!