Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wise up you all!!

::text below is not mine ..taken from n think bout it::

Thursday, March 4th, 2010 13:13:00

I was watching another episode of Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, and it reminded me of one particularly funny incident.
I was with a couple of teenagers and I was trying to gauge what the young ones were up to at that point.

After a few minutes with them, I rea lised that the two kids seemed to have some "communication problems".

They didn't talk much and they cer tainly did not seem to be interested in anything.

I tried all I could to make them open up and nothing seemed to work. My lengthy questions were mainly greeted with monosyllabic answers.

Since I was asked to take care of the two for a bit, I decided to play a quiz game with them. That was when every thing went all over the place...

"So, tell me what you know about the world?"

No response. (Were they on drugs or something?).

"I'll ask you some simple questions and anyone who can give me the answer just shoot," uncle Alam said enthusiasti­cally.

"What is the capital of the Philippines?"

The reply was painstakingly slow. After a couple of minutes one of them triumphantly said: "Myanmar!"

I was just shocked. There were several more questions on South East Asia, and none of them was answered correctly. I was, by then, getting a little more agitated.

"Let's simplify the quiz," I said. "Let's focus on our country".

"So, what's the capital of Kelantan?"

"KUANTAN!" was the confident answer.

I was just shocked. I tried other States, and both the teenagers did not get a single answer right!

It was certainly an eye opener for me. What were they doing in school? What were they taught? Who were their teachers?

Most importantly, were their parents aware that the kids seemed to not have a care about anything?!

That saddened me deeply. In fact, I felt defeated.

Imagine if the two entered the show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, they'd be creamed!

In another situation, I was with several college level youngsters and as usual, I'd try to get into their minds.

You see, that's one of the things about me that even I can't figure out. I am just too nosey (curious would sound a little snooty) and a great conversation would really get me high.

A great conversation, at times, would be just about nothing and well, every thing.

The subjects could move from basic history, science, art, entertainment and much more.

At times, people would ask me stuff and I'd try my best to answer them.

"So where are we going to this week end?" the young man asked.

"Pangkor, with the family", I said.

"That's in Pahang right?" was his response.

"Haven't you guys heard of Perjanjian Pangkor (Pangkor treaty)?"


"J.W.W Birch? British residents? Raja Abdullah? Seychelles?... err, the birth of Negaraku?"

Still blank.

So I asked his other friend, if he knew where Pangkor was, and the answer was "Pantai Timur (East coast)".

The problem was the one who said that Pangkor was in "Pantai Timur" was studying in Dungun, Terengganu.

I was dumbfounded.

Imagine me and my family going all the way to Terengganu to catch a flight back to Subang Airport to connect with another flight to Pangkor (it's in Perak, by the way).

Which reminds me of another incident when I told three young friends to meet me in Langkawi for an event.

Since I flew direct there, they decided to drive all the way north, catch a ferry and join me on the island.

Common sense would tell you that if you're not too sure about directions, you can a) ask around or b) buy a map.

If you're driving (which I don't), you have a choice of parking your car at Kuala Kedah or Kuala Perlis.

If you're not driving, and you're not flying, take a train to Arau and find your way to Kuala Perlis.

The difference is the ferry ride from Kuala Kedah is slightly longer than the one from Kuala Perlis.

However, you'd still save some time, because you'd reach Kuala Kedah faster by land.

Decisions, decisions... You know what? My three young friends arrived in Kuala Kedah at 3am, and decided to drive on to Kuala Perlis from there.

When they reached Langkawi the next morning, they were so exhausted that the entire stay on the island was a waste.

I just could not believe the logic behind the decisions...

Oh dear. We are really in deep trouble are we?

Well, I am not trying to say that I know everything (I am still learning a lot at this age), but I am beginning to worry about many things.

So, imagine if we have a programme like Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, I guess no one would pass even the first question.

What happened to our young gen eration?

However, if you asked them who the champions of Akademi Fantasia and One in A Million are, they could give you all the names in one breath.

They can point to you where to go on the net if you want to know how many people like or dislike Fasha Sanda and how many albums Datuk Siti Nurhaliza might have on her official website.

These same young people would even point out to you that you could just download the latest seasons of Heroes, Lost or Glee as well as the lat est movies.

When I was down with H1N1, one of the funniest questions I heard was, "were you allowed to call anyone when you're quarantined?"

I asked why.

"Mana la tau benda tu jangkit (who knows, you might infect the person you called").

Some of you might wonder by now if I've been surrounding myself with not-too-smart people all the time.

Well, if they're not smart, how can they even get their diploma or degree?

In fact, I am a dropout, if you should know. My highest level of education is Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).

The worst part for people like me is when I try to point out certain things to those who are smarter than me (on paper) and they'd look at me as this guy with a stick up my you-know-where.

At times, I would have to go through emails from many people and I'd scratch my head looking at the number of typos and spelling errors that you could detect in one paragraph.

I might not speak or write perfect English either, but I'd always try my best to make sure that the mistakes are minimal.

After all, the computers these days are equipped with all the tools to help anyone write well - spell-checkers, a thesaurus, dictionary and such.

Yet, when I was an editor I had to clear a copy by a journalism graduate who spelt wardrobe as "workrob".

When I pointed it out, the answer was "well, it's your job to clean it up, isn't it?" which left me flabbergasted.

Now that I am performing on stage more, a lot of my friends believed that all I had to do is leave the "brains depart ment" behind and go with the flow.

Well, to a certain degree, perhaps, but like anything else, if you come unprepared, there might just be more calamities than you can imagine.

You need to know where you are, who you're performing for, why you choose certain songs and how to carry yourself. You don't speak with a Kelantan accent in Kedah would you, and you might just have to leave Al Jarreau or Rickie Lee Jones behind if you're singing in Felda Redong in Segamat.

Still, those who refuse to listen and learn and be educated might just take what I said with a pinch of salt.

Well, at least I know where Pangkor is...