Home team send off

The Emptying of Nest Begins

And it came to pass that Irfan was accepted into a course at the nearby Polytechnic. For many weeks, we prepared for his going. Before long, we discovered that it was time for him to go. We drove him to the Polytechnic where he registered for his 2-week quarantine period. During this time, he would be living alone in a room with neither official activities not classes. Because entry protocols were strict, we had to follow the directions laid out by the security officers and the student facilitators. Even at the main gate, there were personnel in PPE taking our temperature from both sides of the car. The officers placed a green sticker on Irfan’s entry form which presumably meant that he was from the green zone. At his block, Ain had to ensure the facilitators that despite Irfan’s Kuala Lumpur identity card, we live in Perlis. The facilitators assigned […]

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At the return table

Last Day of Secondary School Ever

It felt as if it was yesterday when Ain and I were looking for a preschool to send Irfan for his early education. Today, it would be the last day of Irfan in secondary school. While I was at work, Irfan taking his last SPM paper which was Science. After the examination, he returned his text books back to the school. Ain was there to take pictures for posterity’s sake as she brought the pack of books by car. Here are photos from his final day as a secondary school student. Five years ago seemed like five days ago. It is now time for Irfan to venture into tertiary education and such.

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All done

The Parliament of Dreams

Once upon a time, I sent Irfan to school for the first time. It was more than a decade ago and hundreds of kilometres away from here. He had had two years of kindergarten experience beforehand. How trivial that day seem to be now. He is now a young man with his own interests and opinions. After years in both primary and secondary schools, he has learned a lot from the curriculum. Additionally, he has also learned things not in the curriculum that could help him such as human behaviour, etiquette and social patterns. The SPM examination has yet to arrive, but Irfan has underwent his school’s graduation ceremony today at the nearby Hotel Seri Malaysia. Ain and I dropped him off early for him to prepare at the hotel’s ballroom while we headed off for breakfast. We returned an hour later and sat through the rehearsal. Soon it was […]

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Irfan takes a hike

Photos from Irfan’s MFLS Week

Irfan was chosen to go to Malaysian Future Leaders School, a 10-day programme that was not unlike my own Outward Bound School programme back when I was his age. There were team-building events, kayaking (at Timah Tasoh), hillwalking (which is basically hiking through the jungle for a day up a hill), abseiling at the Kangar fire and rescue station (no pictures of that here), morning drills and a whole lot of other events. Here is a selection of photos that we received from his organisers after the MFLS programme on their Facebook page.

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Team Perlis

Irfan Camps Out at Timah Tasoh

From last Friday to last Sunday, Irfan attended a uniformed bodies co-curricular camp at the Timah Tasoh camp. Each uniformed body from his school sent 10 personnel to take part in the programme. He was one of ten Scouts from his troop to attend. After the camp, Irfan told me there were physical and mental activities that he enjoyed participating in. Furthermore, he got to sleep in a tent with his buddies. Here are pictures of us sending him to the camp, and then picking him up after. However there was no photos of his activities as phones were not allowed during camp.

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The PIBG committee

Marching Orders for Irfan

This might be Irfan’s final year at Semsira, his secondary school, and mine as the vice president of the PIBG (Parents Teachers Association). I was invited to attend the school’s Sports Day and I took some time to head there before a class. I was invited to sit up on in the gazebo with other members of the executive committee. Later, I even bestowed medals to winners of some events. The parade marched by and Irfan was with his scout group at the back of the column. Ain moved closer to snap a photo. The effects of dry season is apparent from the brown grass on the school field. There were five Sports Houses in his school, namely Bendahara, Laksamana, Temenggung, Penghulu Bendahari and Syahbandar. Each were named after titles in historic administrative titles of the region. Addendum (March 9): During an annual general meeting, the PIBG was dissolved and […]

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Second day of Form Five

A Long Way Since Year One

The new year begins with a new form for Irfan. The fifth form! Irfan has come a long way since his first day of Primary School, nay, from the first day of kindergarten! He has been through ups and downs. He has had many unforgettable experiences in school, both in Kuala Lumpur and here in Perlis. I pray for nothing but the best of futures for Irfan. May he have sufficient foresight and wisdom to weather the times ahead!

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First day of school

Fourth Form Kid

I am amazed at how far this boy has come, from when he had difficulty in learning at primary school to being able to be liked by teachers at his new school here. Now passing the end of year school holidays into the fourth form, he has been accepted as a library assistant at his school, as I was at his age. I doa for the best of opportunities and in the good and honourable execution of his endeavours in the years to come.

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Irfan and the rollerbot

Irfan’s Jaunt into Robotics

Some time last month I received an email notification of an Introduction to micro:bit Workshop for schoolchildren to be held at the Mechatronic school at the university, and so we enrolled Irfan. It was a full day’s programme. Ain and I decided to save our transport fuel by hanging around at the expansive computer lab. Because of that I got to play around with micro:bit as well. To my surprise all the desktop computers in the lab were installed with Linux Mint. The micro:bit is a small but multi-functional system with a processor, sensors, output jacks, LEDs and USB port. It can be used in conjunction with other hardware to create amazing tools. It can be programmed using a Javascript Blocks Editor online. The online editor has a handy virtual micro:bit for you to test out your program live. You can experiment with the micro:bit code yourself here. And then […]

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The lobby crowd

Boy Spells More Words

It has been more than a month since it last rained. The skies have been blue all day for weeks. I would gladly enjoy the view of the blue sky if it were not for the soaring heat. And it came to pass Irfan was selected to attend another Spell-It-Right competition in Kangar. He was apprehensive in joining company of English spellers for his school, but in the end he decided to jump in feet first. We braved the searing solar radiation to drive toward the hotel where the event was being held. And sear us it did. We thought we could take refuge in the hotel lobby, but for some reason it was still stifling hot within. Either the air conditioning was unable to overcome the heat radiating from hundreds of schoolchildren or the air conditioning was borked. There were three sessions: one for the primary students and the […]

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Bike repairer

Lighting the Bike

Once upon a time, I marvelled at Irfan’s then-newfound abilities to reach a light switch. These days he’s repairing the bicycle Atok bought for him last year all on his own. Here we see him attempting to remove his bike’s forward and rear lights which he had purchased and installed himself during the weekend. He even bought and installed the batteries for his lights himself. He even went to the bike shop alone to replace his seat, as 14-year-olds normally do. Maybe someday he’ll even repair communication satellites! I think he’s getting older by the second. Snif.

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International Irfan at the beach

Irfan Goes To An Exhibition

Irfan was selected to attend a school exhibition at a prestigious school in Satun, Thailand. With a group of 12 other students (all of which are fifth formers), he set out with his convoy from school early Wednesday morning. He participated in a spelling bee and helped man his school’s exhibition booth where they demonstrated various science experiments. Before he returned on Friday, the group also visited Pak Bara. Irfan returned home at the end of the day where he had stories of his adventures to tell.

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Irfan with Mom, redux

Boy Spells Words

Irfan told informed us that he was invited by a teacher to attend some spelling bee. Later he told us the event was to be held at a local hotel: the biggest hotel in town. He didn’t even tell is it was this prestigious contest: You can read about the contest here. We arrived and I took some photos before Irfan joined his school contingent for registration. There were 150 attendees from his school. After registration, the teacher in charge briefed his contingent. It looks like there were representatives from every Form. Irfan and the other First Formers take a photo together. He was the only one from his class. This appeared to be the qualifying round. There was only a preliminary written test for the attendees. If Irfan makes it past the preliminaries, the next event would be the State Challenge which according to the website would be held […]

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He would get better with the necktie

First Weekend of the Year

Our first weekend of the year was an eventful one. Irfan registered at his new secondary school, which was not far from the house. He would be able to ride a bicycle to it, once we buy one for him. He might be the tallest one in his class, but I might yet be surprised. He was not the only tall one in his class last year, and neither was I at his age, despite both our above average heights at our respective ages. Here, Irfan and his Ummi pose for a photo before we all drive out to school. The is quite nice. It looks very well kept. We shall soon discover how he would fare in this school. After the registration, we all went upstairs to get exercise books, badges, ties, school t-shirts and other such items. After trying out the tie for the first time which I […]

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Food consumption

Iftar at Irfan’s School

Irfan’s school raised enough money to build a dedicated surau not just for the students and staff, but is open for the public. We attended its opening ceremony which also had Maghrib, Isha’ and Tarawikh prayers. The school principle was on hand with the PTA president to commemorate the event with a plaque. There was a tazkirah by an uztadh from Al Hijrah TV station. For iftar, we broke fast with some dates, then we performed Maghrib prayers before having a meal. After that it was time for Isha’, Tarawikh and Witr prayers. The surau is a comfortable sanctuary, which Irfan has used for Zuhur prayers before coming home after school during Ramadhan. Hope he uses it a lot more before the end of the school year.

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