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Friday, 8 March 2013

My 2012 Year-end School Holiday

Here, I am writing about how I spent my year-end school holiday for 2012. Actually, it is not appropriate to call it as my 2012 year-end school holiday, because 2012 was my last year of secondary school and I had to sit for the SPM exam during the beginning part of school holiday. The actual 2012 year-end school holiday was from 9 November 2012 to 1 January 2013. But for me, the holiday started on 28 November 2012 and ended on 17 February 2013.

My last day of SPM was on 27 November 2012 (Tuesday). The subject tested on that day was Biology. After that, I no longer had exam because I did not take the remaining subjects such as Prinsip Perakaunan and Chinese. The last paper was Biology 3 and it ended at 3:30PM. All SPM candidates were required to return their Form 5 textbooks after the exam either on 27 November or 28 November 2012. I chose to return it on 28 November 2012 because I wanted to go to school one more day after the SPM ended and I also wanted to meet my friends who would be taking Prinsip Perakaunan on that day. After the exam ended, I did not go home straight, instead I went to the store room of my school. There, many SPM candidates returned their Form 5 textbooks. I helped them to arrange the textbooks while talking to some of my friends.

Then, I went home at 4:30PM. On the way back home, my grandparents told me that my mother just phoned me while I was still in school. After I arrived home, I phoned my mother. My mother said that my father had booked plane ticket for our family to go to Hong Kong. I was not happy to know that because my parents had made the decision to go to Hong Kong without telling me. I also suspected that it was my brother who wanted to go there. I felt very angry about that. Actually, I did not want to go to Hong Kong because I had went there a few years ago. Instead, I wanted to visit somewhere in Malaysia that I had never visited before such as Kelantan or Terengganu. After that, I slept for a while. Then, at 6PM, I watched my favourite drama series. I missed a few episodes earlier because I did not watch it during the SPM.

After the show ended on 7PM, my father telephoned me. He explained to me that earlier he did not tell me his plan of taking our family to Hong Kong because I was taking my SPM and he did not want to distract me, and he did not wait until the SPM ended because the promotion for air tickets to Kong Kong was only available for a limited time. My father also promised me that in the future he would always tell me all his plans before making decisions. I was not so angry anymore after listening to what he said. Then, my grandparents took me to Loft 67, a newly-opened restaurant in Kulim, for dinner. That restaurant served only burgers, and the burgers were one of the best I have ever tasted. After returning home from dinner, I tidied up my study table first. After that, I relaxed myself by surfing the internet.

On the next day 28 November 2012 (Wednesday), I went to school in the afternoon to return my textbooks. I arrived at school around 4:30PM. The Prinsip Perakaunan exam which was held on that day was just about to end at that time. I waited in front of the school hall for the exam to end. After the exam ended, I met some of my friends taking Prinsip Perakaunan. They told me that the exam was not too difficult. Then, I went to the store room of my school. After returning my textbooks there, I helped other students to arrange the textbooks and talked to my friends. Later, I went home at 5:30PM.

During the week after my SPM, I stayed in Kulim. I spent my time relaxing myself. I often surfed the internet, played computer games, watched television and read story books & comics. I also followed my grandparents out to go eating and shopping. I was very free, but I was not happy. The reason was because I could no longer meet my secondary school friends. I could only keep in touch with them through Facebook, which I considered as less meaningful as face-to-face communication. I wrote about that in my Facebook status on 28 November 2012. The SPM Chinese was on 3 December 2012. Although I did not take Chinese in SPM 2012, I decided to help my friends who took it. I wrote some tips about answering SPM Chinese on this blog.

However, on 29 November 2012 (Thursday), an unhappy incident happened. While I was surfing the internet on that night, my mother phoned me. While talking, she said that she wanted to enrol me in a college in Subang Jaya. She also said that the college will start in January 2013. I did not want to enter college in January, instead I wanted to enter in February, because I wanted to relax longer after the SPM and spend more time in Kulim. I told my mother that there would be an intake every month for most colleges, so I wanted to register for the February intake. However, she said that most students would enter college in January and she insisted that I must also enter in January. I still insisted to enter college in February and she got angry. Then, she said that she wanted me to not return to Kulim after I go to Subang Jaya in December and then enter college in January. I insisted that I wanted to relax after the SPM and as a result she ended the call. After that, I told my grandparents about that. They agreed to help me talk to my mother when she comes back to Kulim a few days later.

On 30 November 2012 (Friday), I followed my grandparents to Penang in the morning. We had lunch at a restaurant in Penang and we also had some desserts after that. We went home in the afternoon. On that night, my mother phoned me again. She was not angry anymore. She told me that a few colleges in Subang Jaya would be organising an open day soon and she asked me to attend it. I agreed to attend the open day but I insisted that I would not change my decision to enter college in February. She did not argue with me but she said that after attending the open day I would understand that I must enter college in January.

On 3 December 2012 (Monday), I went to Penang with my grandparents again. My grandparents wanted to visit one of their friend in Penang. We had lunch in Penang again. On that night, my parents arrived at Kulim. They would take me to Kuala Lumpur on the next day. On 4 December 2012 (Thursday), early in the morning my parents took my grandparents to the Bayan Lepas airport in Penang. My grandparents would take a plane to Kuala Lumpur because earlier my aunt had booked a plane ticket for them. Then, they would fly to Australia on that night to visit my aunt. Later on that day, my parents drove me to Kuala Lumpur.

When I was in Kuala Lumpur, I stayed in my parents house in Subang Jaya. There, I went shopping in many shopping malls and I also went to several restaurants to eat. Because I agreed to go to Hong Kong, I told my mother that in exchange she had to buy me Windows 8. I only wanted to upgrade my Windows 7 laptop to Windows 8 but not buy a new computer. My mother bought me a Windows 8 installation DVD. I originally planned to dual-boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 on my computer but due to some installation problems I had to delete Windows 7 and replace it with Windows 8. At last, the Windows 8 installation was successful. In Kuala Lumpur, I also bought a few STPM revision books to read. Although I did not plan to enter Form 6, the STPM syllabus is similar to other pre-university programmes such as A-levels and Matriculation.

On 8 December 2012 (Saturday), it was the open day of Sunway College and Taylor's College. Since a few months earlier, I told myself that I would surely choose Sunway College instead of Taylor's College because the name 'Sunway' sounded nicer and 'Taylor's' sounded more like 'tailors'. One day before the open day of both colleges, my parents took me to see the location of Sunway College and Taylor's College. However, I preferred the location of Taylor's College much more than Sunway College. In fact, I thought that the location of Taylor's College (SS15) is ideal, moreover there are other colleges such as Inti College there. Also, I really disliked the location of Sunway College. Therefore, I changed my mind and decided to study at Taylor's College instead of Sunway College.

I attended the open day of Taylor's College on 8 December 2012 with my parents. During the open day, the teacher in charge introduced 4 pre-university programs, Cambridge A-levels (CAL), South Australian Matriculation (SAM), Canadian Pre-University (CPU) and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). I was not interested in CPU and IBDP, so I had to choose between A-levels and SAM. At last, I chose A-levels because it is mainly exam-based while SAM involves assignments and projects, therefore A-levels is more suitable for me. The teacher told us that there would be 3 intakes, January intake, April intake and July intake. He adviced me to choose January intake because for the April intake, all lessons would be accelerated and it is only intended for students who would be going for the PLKN (National Service). I chose to register for January intake, but I would skip the first few weeks of lessons because I wanted to enter A-levels only on February 2013.

I registered for A-levels on the spot and my parents also paid a part of the fees. I could get a RM1000 discount because I registered early and my mother formerly studied in Taylor's College. During registration, the teacher in charge obtained my SPM trial examination results through the SAPS website. I chose to take the subjects Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Physics in A-levels. I was also interested to take Further Mathematics and Computing but I could not because the maximum number of subjects allowed is 4. According to the teacher in charge, the A-levels course would start on 14 January 2013 and there would be an orientation on the first week. Because of that, I had to change my original plan. I decided that I would attend college on the first week for the orientation, then return to Kulim for 2 weeks until February, then attend college again in February. My parents had no choice but to agree to my plan.

On 11 December 2012 (Tuesday), I went to Hong Kong with my parents for holidays. We stayed there for 5 days and 4 nights. We flew there by Malaysian Airlines aeroplane and we stayed in Nikko Hotel located in Tsim Sha Tsui. On the first day, we justed walked around near the hotel. We had lunch and dinner in restaurants near the hotel. On the next day 12 December 2012 (Wednesday), in the morning we took a ferry to Macao. In Macao, a tour guide took us around Macao. We visited some nice places in Macao such as St Paul's Church. We had lunch in a Portugese Restaurant. At night, we took a ferry back to Hong Kong. However, we ended up in the wrong jetty, and as a result we had to walk for about 2 hours to get back to the hotel. On 13 December 2012 (Thursday), after lunch, we went to the city centre of Hong Kong. We went shopping there. After that, we visited the Victoria Peak. We took a tram up the Victoria Peak. There, we could view the skyline of Hong Kong. On 14 December 2012 (Friday), we went to Mongkok and had lunch there. After that, we visited the Wong Tai Sin temple. There, I asked the fortune teller about by studies and he told me 'No problem!'. Then, we returned to Tsim Sha Tsui. We visited the Gallery of Stars before returning to the hotel. On 15 December 2012 (Friday), we went to the Hong Kong airport early in the morning. We flew back to Malaysia at 9:45AM.

Earlier when I went to Kuala Lumpur on 4 December 2012, my grandparents went to Melbourne, Australia on the same day to visit my aunt's family. My grandparents came back to Malaysia on 15 December 2012, which was the same day my parents and I returned to Malaysia from Hong Kong. Originally, my grandparents planned to return to Kulim on 16 December 2012 and my parents agreed to take them back on that day. I also wanted to go back to Kulim as early as possible because I wanted to have more time in Kulim before I leave Kulim to further my studies. However, my grandparents later changed their mind and decided to stay a few more days in Kuala Lumpur. Therefore, I could not return to Kulim on 16 December 2012. I was unhappy about that but there was nothing I could do. At first, my grandparents decided to return to Kulim on 19 December but later they further delayed to 22 December 2012. So, I stayed in Kuala Lumpur for about a week more.

My grandparents decided to take a train back to Kulim on 22 December 2012 (Saturday). However, train tickets for 22 December had sold out and only train tickets for 23 December 2012 were available. So, my parents bought the 23 December train tickets for my grandparents. On 22 December 2012, my parents drove me back to Kulim at night. My grandparents were not at Kulim at that time because they would come back to Kulim in the morning on the next day. On the next day 23 December 2012 (Sunday), my parents and I went to the train station in Bukit Mertajam to fetch my grandparents back to Kulim. That night, my parents went back to Kuala Lumpur.

On 24 December 2012 (Monday), my grandfather took me to register in Boon Liang driving school. However, because soon I would be going to Kuala Lumpur on 14 January 2012 for my A-levels orientation, the driving school said that I had not enough time to complete the driving course in Kulim. I could only take the Highway code test in Kulim and continue the rest of the course in Kuala Lumpur. Then, they also said that my identification card was the old version so there was a risk that its chip might not function correctly. If the chip cannot function, I could not sit for the Highway code test and I would need to apply for a new identification card, which might require one month. They told me to check the chip of my IC with the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara. My grandfather immediately took me there to check and luckily my IC chip could function properly. Then, we went back to the driving school to complete the registration. The driving school told me that I had to attend a course first before taking the Highway code test.

On 26 December 2012 (Wednesday), I attended the Kursus Kurikulum Pendidikan Pemandu (KPP). Early in the morning, my grandfather took me to the office of Boon Liang driving school. Then, the Boon Liang Driving School took me to Institut Memandu Jimat Canggih, another major driving school in Lunas. A few other people were also involved. Before going there, they gave every one a book for the Highway code exam. There, I had to listen to a talk on the highway code and the theories of driving. I met one of my schoolmate there. The talk lasted for 6 hours. After 3 hours talk, at noon we were given a lunch break. After the break, the talk continued on for another 3 hours. Out of my expectation, the person who gave the talk was not fierce and he liked to joke with us so the talk was quite interesting. The talk ended in the afternoon. Then, Boon Liang Driving School took us back to their office. Then, they gave us some useful tips on the highway code test. After that, I went home.

Between 23 December 2012 and 12 January 2013, I stayed in Kulim. I spent most of my time relaxing myself. I surfed the internet, played computer games, watched television and read story books & comics. I often went out shopping and eating with my grandparents. My grandfather also thought me to drive. I drove around my residential area but I did not drive on the main road. In the beginning I could not drive well but later I could drive better although I often made some mistakes. However, my grandfather's car has automatic transmission which is much easier to drive. I also did some studying. Before taking the Highway code test, every day I would spend some time reading the Highway code book. After I finished taking the Highway code test, every day I read the STPM revision books that I bought in Kuala Lumpur earlier instead.

On 2 January 2013 (Wednesday), I sat for the Highway code test. My grandfather took me to the Boon Liang Driving School. Then, the driving school took me to MySpeed Kulim in Kelang Lama to take the test. There was  another person who also took the test at the same time. In MySpeed Kulim office, I had to wait for a while before I was called for the test. I faced a problem, my thumbprint could not be detected by the reader. After a few failed attempts, they had to issue me a smart card but luckily they did not charge me extra. Then, I took the test. The test was conducted suing computer and I could choose to answer either in English and Malay. I chose Malay because the book I read was in Malay. All questions were multiple-choice questions and they were quite easy. At last, I managed to score 50/50 for the test. I was given a certificate. Then, the Boon Liang Driving School took me back to their office and they gave me a receipt. After that, I went home.

On 12 January 2013 (Saturday), my parents came back to Kulim. On the next day 13 January 2013 (Sunday), they took me to Kuala Lumpur.  The college would start on the next day. On 14 January 2013 (Monday), I attended the first day of college. Then, I continued to attend college for 3 weeks. Although I was attending college, I still considered that 3 weeks to be part of my holiday because I relaxed and did not do any study. Earlier I had planned to return to Kulim after attending the first week of college. However, my mother suggested that I only go back to Kulim on 27 January 2013 because it would be more convenient since we had to go to Penang on that day to attend a wedding. I agreed to her suggestion. Later, my mother wanted to change the plan again. She suggested that I follow them back to Kuala Lumpur on 27 January 2013 after the wedding and go back to Kulim again on 2 February 2013. Then, I could stay in Kulim until after the Chinese New Year. The reason was because she did not want me to miss out 2 weeks of college. At first, I disagreed. But, later I had to agree because there would a program in college on 4 February 2013.

On 26 January 2013 (Saturday), I followed my parents back to Penang. My father's friend's daughter had a wedding in Penang and we attended it. On that night, we stayed at Sunway Hotel in Penang. On the next day 27 January 2013 (Sunday), after lunch we went to Kulim for a few hours. I talked to my grandparents about my experiences in college. Then after dinner, I followed my parents back to Kuala Lumpur. I stayed in Kuala Lumpur and attended college for another week. I had to submit a parents letter to the college office because I would be absent for the following week.

On 2 February 2013 (Saturday), my parents took me back to Kulim. Early morning on 3 February 2013 (Sunday), my parents returned to Kuala Lumpur. On that day, I went shopping with my grandparents in Pacific Hypermarket to buy some Chinese New Year products. For the following week, I spent my time in Kulim. I mostly followed my grandparents to go shopping. I also did some studying in order to compensate for what I missed out in college. I read the STPM revision books that I bought earlier because the STPM syllabus and A-levels syllabus are similar and I did not bring back my A-levels books to Kulim.

The Chinese New Year was on 10 February 2013 (Sunday). The college took a week of holidays for Chinese New Year so I could stay for another week in Kulim. My parents came back to Kulim on 9 February 2013. I celebrated the Chinese New Year in Kulim. On 13 February 2013 (Wednesday), my parents went back to Kuala Lumpur because my father had a meeting and my brother had co-curricular activities on the next day. I did not follow them back to Kuala Lumpur because I wanted to spend a few more days in Kulim. During the next few days, I followed my grandparents to go shopping. We also went to Penang to eat. My parents came back to Kulim again on 16 February 2013 (Saturday). On 17 February 2013 (Sunday), my parents took me back to Kuala Lumpur. The college reopened on the next day 18 February 2013 (Monday).

18 February 2013 marked the end of my 2012 year-end holiday, as well as my 'After SPM life'.

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