It all began when I was offered a place in a degree course after obtaining a quite decent result in the first year of Diploma Fisheries.
At first I turned down the offer and instead continued the second year programme.
The trauma brought about my HSC results was still there. Physics and additional mathematics were subjects that I dreaded most. May be some of you knew that I missed almost the entire Form four thus did not get any intro to both subjects.
After about two weeks in the second year Dip. Fisheries, many things jolted me from dream to real world.
First the behaviour of some students who had accepted the offer. They acted as if they were the oly ones with good results. They looked at me with only one eye whenever we passed each other.
Second there was this TKC girl. We knew one another when we were in Form six. She point-blankly told me that doing a degree course was my goal when I joined sixth form and declined UPM's offer back then.
Third the Registrar gave me a whopping lecture on why I should accept the challenge, blah blah...
SO, finally I registered for the DVM course!
The first year was a real torture. I just managed to scrape through the mathematics and physics while others did very well. Till now I still wonder why we should take the two subjects in the first place!
Came second year, gone was the fright and I began liking most subjects and began scoring.
After graduating, Prof. Sheikh Omar offered or rather begged me to join the faculty. He sent two telegrams for me to reconsider. Even my mom, she advised me to take the offer.
I was adamant of working. Fourteen years on nasi kawah was just too much for me. And the lure of good post in the department was too great that I lied to myself.
Actually it was my ambition to go for a higher degree overseas. Forgetting momentarily (a long one at that) my ambition, I grabbed the departments offer and off I went to Kluang to report duty at Institut Haiwan Kluang.
With that began my work in DVS, moving from one state to another. Then suddenly I realized that I just had to go for my ambition - to go overseas for a MSc or Phd.
My application failed after a few tries. Finally, in the nick of time, that was when I was fourty (the age limit for a MSc student) I got it.
I was offered a PSD scholarship to do a MSc in Veterinary Pathology in the States.
When I went back to my alma mater, UPM, to get a referral letter, Prof. Sheikh Omar told me: "If only you have taken my offer then, you'll be a Professor by now!"
I just laughed at him and replied: "Well sir, that's what life is all about."
I was accepted by Dept. of Vet. Path, UGA to do my MSc there, much to the surprise of many, even by the then Director of Training, Dr Hawari.
Yes, it was not that easy to secure a place in the highly competitive course.
Life as a MSC student was full of joy and happiness for my family and me. I am not exaggerating if I say that the two-year period was the best part of my working life!
I came back with pathology prowess a few people in the department had. Besides that my children were exposed to US way of education. And also we were blessed with another child, a daughter by the name of Amalia.
Fourteen years later now, I am very close to my retirement day. My boss asked me why I wanted to opt out. I said I just want to do what I liked, with as little stress as possible.
I wanted to pass on whatever I have collected all these 29 years to the younger generation. What better option to do that other than to be a lecturer.
Friends asked me whether I wanted to do business. I said no. Business was never in my blood.
So, finally I chose UDM as my post-retirement career. I hope I can still contribute significantly to the society through my lectures.
And also I want to write.