Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Let’s Get Physical

I sat through a presentation on a new proposal for ‘bahan bantuan mengajar’ for Form 4 Physics yesterday.

The kit was invented to help reduce the many D(s) of the subject – Dull, Dry, Difficult, Drag, Dogol, Dung, Drats, Dreary, Die-die, Doomed, etc. Studies have shown that the kit helps improve student’s understanding of the subject by 40%. Fourty-blooming-percent! Never mind the statistics, but there I was in the room, feeling that the kit was my prayers answered. It must have been invented for me, except it is twenty-no-joke years too late.

I didn’t just hate Physics with intensity of infinite measure. I was convinced that the subject hated me. With vengeance.

In school, Cikgu Norliya for example, for reasons unknown to me, I could swear, absolutely hated my guts. She was always giving me the sweeping head-to-toe look, you know .. THAT look. I hated the ‘pita detik, belauan, troboskop, halaju, pegun, newton halo,’ all – especially the pita detik. I could not relate it to daily life, I could not see the importance. Even if I could, I couldn’t care less! I could relate to chemistry and biology. I cared immensely how my heart pump blood and circulate it all around. I cared how detergets and the bleach help whiten my shirt. But physics? I was not governed by the rules of physics, no sir. Contrary to established facts. Not in my life it didnt, not physics.

This mutual hatred thing happened throughout my university days too. Whoever taught physics would hate me. Everytime. Every semester. Each one of them hated me with every pita-detik of their life – or so I thought.

After uni, being much older and able to think slightly better, I developed theories to explain the strange phenomena. What was once unfathomable could maybe be explained:-
  1. I must have given the teachers/lecturers (cikgu Norliya included) obvious tell-tale signs on how much I dreaded the subject. They must have thought that I hated them thus why they reacted towards me that way; and/or
  2. It was all in my head. I lulled myself into thinking that the reason why I never did well in physics was because THEY hated me.

For my master degree, sort of to proof a point, I did a project in physics. Yep, talk about being brazen and foolhardy! Wanna talk about facing fear bellybutton to bellybutton? I did exactly that! Crazy, I know. I was possessed by the demons of physics, must be!

Oh the endless torture.

For what felt like forever, I trudged wearily day in and day out to the Physics Faculty of UM. For hours on end, I would be working with wires, metal clips, metal plates and blinking machines and then plotted charts after charts after charts of bintik-bintik that I never cared about. This all happened at night and weekends as I was a miskin student – therefore I had to work to earn my keeps plus pay the school fees. I bled through the nose and ears and from all orifice you could think of. I spent many nights slogging through books and journals on ACDC, corrosion, electrical etc. I then wrote one whole thick thesis about impedance and what it meant. Yep, my project was so physics I bled throughout. Many times I questioned my motives, many times I wondered whether the wires and clips would provide me easy escape if I were to plug them to myself. Sizzle my brain in the process? It was half sizzled already.

Then it was over. Viva. And you know what, it was well worth it. I got grades good enough to earn a place for the thesis in one of the shelves in the library. I got an A. Can you absolutely believe it? I couldn’t believe it myself too. Not bad for a Physics-hater, don’t you think? An A. In my entire life, it was always a C6. And then an A.

My point, if I do have one, is this - it is all in the mind. It is all about what one decided. It was my decision that physics would be a horror-subject, just as much as it was my decision to not do well in it. I decided to hate it and then decided that the teachers would hate me too. My decision. My own doing.

And then i set myself to do it and doi it well, and i did.

You think you can, therefore you can.

You think sure-die, you will surely die --faster than you could say the word ‘die’.

I tried it for chemistry too. Never did well in the subject in my school days. But my degree is in chemical engineering. Did awfully bad in additional maths too, but scored in the subject in uni. If you will yourself into it enough, you will be able to conquer the fear/subject. Applicable for any venture at all.

Except driving.

Yes, shamefully, I still haven’t gotten myself a driver’s licence. This one betul susah punya. Cikgu memandu all hate me.


Anonymous hana said...

saya Hannah Schumacher *eksyen*

7:20 PM  
Blogger OOD said...


lesen agong boleh lah cakapppppp...


11:33 PM  
Blogger Queen Of The House said...

Hehehe ....

I liked physics but hated doing the experiments. The theoretical parts okaylah. Same as I hated doing chemistry experiments (owh the noxious fumes!) and biology experiments (nak kena bedah APA?) ....

So in uni, where we had to choose a science subject to be taken during freshman and sophomore years (despite doing a BUSINESS course, apalah punya syllabus) I was faced with a predicament. Physics experiments were like the lesser of all dreadful experiments, and by the elimination method, I ended up doing 2 years of physics in university. Sekarang ada guna ke? Hmmmm ....

Anyway, why suddenly I find you have many entries which I have yet to catch up on? Selepas lama cuti blogging .... rajin dah ek?

1:41 AM  
Anonymous aku said...

hahaha.. now cekgu memandu plak hate you..huhuhu..

masa i nak pegi amik test, cekgu memandu i kata, bawak sekali keberanian huhuhu..

5:04 AM  
Anonymous kna said...

I was not good in math or physics in Sekolah Menengah too :-(. However, I loved physics in Form Four because the teacher, a certain Mrs CPK always wore above knee skirt and revealing blouse and the teacher table in the lab is open at the front. How all the guys loved physics then. Jokontan can verify the truth of this information. Hahahahaha!!! To my amazement, I got C3 in SPM.

As for add maths, to my amazement I got A for calculus in the University when the best result I obtained was C6 in SPM.

That goes to show it boils down how the subject is taught and if students like the teacher.


2:37 AM  
Anonymous kna said...


Lupa nak mention pasal license. To get driving license, one must drive with confidence la. Do not hesitate when driving.

Pstttt!!I read in Malay Mail some days back that for RM450.00, one can get a P driving license.

2:39 AM  
Blogger JoKontan said...


Get Yamtuan to be your cekgu memandu.

Better still, get him to buy you a new car. And let you drive him to work.

I think That'll work.

And please,. hands on steering wheel yaa..

Ya Ampun Oody,.Tumpang lalu., Buat macam blog seniri pulak.


My class did not get Ms CPK as our Physics teacher. What we got was Mr C Fah Seng... , I didn't get much distracted then.


5:24 PM  
Blogger OOD said...

physics experiments the lesser of all dreadful experiments? Aiyohh... which part of the world you came from you say? In my world, physics is the most horrible one! Over dead bulb, i swear!
Rajin blogging? Ahah! That can only mean i am no more rajin at work!

(rasa macam bercakap dengan diri sendiri)
bawak keberanian? Sape takut? tak takut! Tak takut! takde takde..

are you suggesting that kit bantuan mengajar should contain short skirts and low-necked blouses? For all girls school pulak? Spandex materials? Hehehe... bio boleh lah beb, physics tak relevan.

it isnt the absence of courage, its:-
1)the lack of coordination
2)left-right confusion and
3) errr.. the lack of courage.

Yamtuan mengajar taknaklah, garang yahurapp! Ada orang kena tidur depan tv nanti.

Kereta baru tu, however, suatu idea menarik. Tapi tak boleh kereta sebarang-sebarang, nanti gatal, naik ruam.

KORANG berdua,
kalau Ms CFC baca what you wrote ni, habislah.. F9 confirm!

12:56 AM  
Blogger OOD said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:57 AM  
Blogger drbubbles said...


I hate physics all my life.

I slept during my Razak Fizik'z class in STAR.

I couldn't differentiate between litar siri and selari.

I went "blank" during my A-Level (Physics) practical test.

No surprise if I got "E" for my Physics and "D" for my Chemistry.

And quite dumb enough to go through 3 years of Hell for my chemical engineering degree.

No surprise that I become a clown after that.

But I was surprised when Razak Fizik noticed me one day after almost 15 years I left his class.

Thank you for your posting.It's really therapeutic!

6:54 AM  

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