While I am studying in primary school, I took part in a mathematics camp known as the Kem Kecemerlangan Matematik. I took part five times, twice in year 2005 when I was Standard 4 and trice in year 2006 when I was Standard 5. Most of my friends thought that I was very lucky to be able to take part in it. However, I did not like to take part in the mathematics camp. You will know why if you continue reading this post.
When I entered Standard 4, my school made it compulsory for everyone to take part in at least one co-curricular activities. Of the three categories, I knew I could only take part in Clubs & Societies, because I was not active in Sports & Games or Uniformed Units. Finally, I chose to enter the Mathematics Society, as I had the interest in Maths.
At first, I faced some problems in the Mathematics Society. I was not able to answer many of the Maths questions, because those were secondary school questions. However, I was lucky that my grandfather is good at mathematics and he could teach me, and the teacher in charge never gave up on me. A few months later, there was a state level mathematics quiz. It was held in SRK Tunku Abdul Malik, Kulim. The teacher wanted three person to go but there were only two. The teacher decided to let me go and I accepted.
My grandparents were happy that I could go. My grandfather tought me a lot before I went. After the quiz, my grandfather checked my question paper and said I got 15 out of 21 questions right. On the second day, I could not believe when my teacher told me that I was the first in the whole district. The principal announced about it during the assembly. However, I did not get any prizes. Instead, I was asked to take part in the Kem Kecemerlangan Matematik for 4 days and 3 nights in Tanjung Bungah Beach Hotel, Penang.
My grandparents followed me there. There, I had to undergo training for mathematics for the first 3 days and take part in a competition at the last day. I did not like it there as I had no friend and the whole day Maths training made me boring. I usually could only sit at the back so I could not see the whiteboard clearly. The teachers usually taught in Malay but at that time I still could not understand Malay well. Before I went there, I thought that I had some time to swim in the hotel. It was almost a year earlier since I last swam. However, there were no time for me at all to swim. In the training room there was a glass window. The swimming pool was just outside the window. I admired the people swimming outside very much because they could swim and do not need to go for the boring training. One day during breaktime, I stood in front of the window to watch people swimming. I thought the training will continue after a while but I didn't know that it will continue only at night beacuse I did not bring along the timetable and I saw all the other students leaving their bags in the training room. I also did not notice that there were only a few students left in the training room so I continued to stand near the window and did not come out of the training room. My grandfather who was waiting outside came in to call me. My grandparents scolded me for that even though I told them I did not know the training was over.
Two months later, I was asked to go for another Kem Kecemerlangan Matematik held in Langkasuka Hotel, Langkawi for 4 days and 3 night. I did not want to go but my grandparents kept asking me to go. At that time my aunt and my cousin sisters from Australia came to visit us. I was very happy because I missed them a lot. I told my grandparents that I will go for the camp if they agree to my three conditions: my aunt and my cousin sisters must follow along, my cousin sister must undergo the mathematics training with me if the teacher there allows, and they must stay in Kulim for another one week after returning from Langkawi. My grandparents agreed with this, so we went there together. However, there were no vacant rooms in Langkasuka Hotel. My grandparents booked the Continental Hotel located next to Langkasuka Hotel but my aunt and her family booked the Langkawi Lagoon Hotel which was very far away. Also, my cousin sister did not undergo the training with me as promised. Then, my aunt and her family told me that they will go back to Australia on my 3rd day of training. I was very unhappy because they did not keep their promise. My grandfather told me that he lied because he wanted me to go for the camp since it could be helpful for my future. I wanted to go home but he refused to take me home.
In that competition, I did not answer well because I was unhappy, so I was knocked out. A few months later, I got a certificate for taking part in that camp. On the second year, when I was Standard 5, I did not want to take part in the Mathematics Society anymore. Instead, I took part in the Chinese Chess Society. However, soon the Chinese Chess Society was closed and I had no choice but to take part in the Mathematics Society. Again, I took part in the Kuiz Matematik. Two of my friends went with me. However, this time I did not perform as well as the previous year. Still, I and my friends had the chance to go for the Kem Kecemerlangan Matematik held in Cititel Hotel, Penang for 4 days and 3 nights.
There, again I was not happy. I stayed with my friend but my grandparents still followed. We need to insert the room card before we can use the lift. We also need to insert the room card to have electricity in our room. One day, I could not use the lift because I left the room card in the room so that the air-cond could remain turned on, while my friends had their card with them. My grandfather said that I was stupid to do so for my friends. One morning, my grandfather telephoned me and I told him that my friend is still sleeping. I did not know that my friend already went for breakfast. Later, my friend told my grandparents that he already had breakfast. My grandfather thought that I was lying. Due to the two incidents above, I was scolded badly by my grandfather.
After that, I and my friend were asked to go for another Mathematics camp in Berjaya Hotel, Penang and again for 4 days and 3 days. I did not want to go and I brought up the issue happened in the previous camp, saying that I should not be scolded. Instead, I was scolded again by my grandfather and was forced to go for this camp. However, this camp can be considered to be the happiest of all camps. I again stayed with my friend in the same room. For the first night, my parents followed along while for the rest of the nights, my grandparents followed along. Still, some small issues happened. My father was dissapointed with me because he felt that I was not independent enough. Besides that, my mother accidentally placed my wet towel in my bag, causing a few clothes to become wet. My grandmother was unhappy with that. Even though I explained to her that it was my mother who did that, she didn't completely believe me. However, compared to the other camps, this was the happiest one.
Later, my friend and I again were asked to go to a mathematics camp in Langkasuka Hotel, Langkawi for 5 days and 4 nights. My grandparents did not force me to go but I wanted to go just to avoid being scolded by my school teacher (I lost the book I borrowed from the school library). This is the last and the worst camp I have went. Many unhappy events happened there. My grandparents followed along again. This time, I stayed in my grandparents' room instead. When our ferry arrived at the jetty in Langkawi, I wanted to go to the toilet, so I followed my friend there. My grandfather came to look for us. He was unhappy because he thought that I was just wanting to accompany my friend. When we returned to where everyone was waiting, everyone had gone except my grandmother who was still standing there. My grandfather was asked me to follow him to look for the others. He did not see my grandmother and I was not quite sure what was happening so I just did so. My grandmother was angry as she had to carry all the bags by herself and she had to walk fast to catch up with us. When we arrived at the hotel, my grandparents scolded me. My grandfather said that I was stupid to accompany my friend while my grandmother said that we shouldn't have left her alone. They also brought up the issue where I complained about the food when I went to my mother-side grandfather's dinner 2 days earlier and scolded me about that.
One afternoon after a few days, I went to the training room but I found no one there. My grandparents asked the hotel worker about that and the hotel worker said that they had went on a tour around Langkawi. Luckily, the bus waited for me so I could go along. I did not know that there was a tour. I did pay attention to what the teacher said but I really did not know that the teacher told us about it. Maybe she told us when I went to the toilet. My grandparents scolded me because of that. They were also angry because one night I forgot to take my bag back to the hotel room. After we went back to Kulim and reached home, we left one of our bags in the taxi. They blamed me for not helping them to take the bag. I did not take any bag because my grandfather already took my bag.
After that, I did not want to go to any mathematics camp anymore. I thought I would be knocked out. However on the next year, my friend and I was called again. I did not want to go because it was held during Chinese New Year. My grandparents did not force me to go but they want me to write 'Yes' in the parents' permission letter before deciding. I did not want to do so so I wrote 'No' and stick a tape on it so that nothing could be changed. My grandparents again scolded me for doing so because they thought this is impolite to the education department. At last, I did not go.
Since then, I continued to take part in other competitions but I would never take part in a camp like that anymore. Now you know why I was not happy to take part in the camp. It is because I was not suitable to take part in such camps.