Friday, August 15, 2008

(Old school) Bird-baiting 101

If you notice, I try to update the links on the right panel as often as I can. It’s always a pleasure to come across Starians on the web every now and then. But recently I stumbled upon the Starian community on Friendster and felt rather inundated. There appears to be already about 520 members who have signed up on the Friendster Star Ipoh Group which has, as I had discovered, a slightly wider reach compared to the Staroba Yahoogroup with 475 members.

Being ever the amateur anthropologist, I undertook a careful study of social networking practices of Starians on Friendster and I make this observation: the mating habits of Starians have certainly changed a lot from my days.

In particular, I zoomed into some profiles of the boys still in school. I must say I was impressed. It appears pretty normal for each of them to have 50 to 100 “friends”. One chap even had 366. And I can’t even find anybody to go to lunch with.

I can’t help comparing the ease at which this current e-generation make friends to the cumbersome socializing efforts of old school Starians. With a Friendster account, surreptitious handphone, fair determinaton and basic understanding of statistics I can’t see how any of our budding Don Juans could fail to score with chicks. As I understand it one only needs to click the “add as friend” button and voila! one could already give Giacomo Casanova a run for his money. As evidenced by the list of friends one thriving member of Fivers 2008 has:

When I was in STAR, I swear I could only count my female correpondents on one hand. Yes, one hand. And even if I had 2 fingers amputated, I could have still managed it quite well.

It was so different back then. For our boys during the 80s, the norm would be to get pen-friends from other SBPs, notably from STF, SSP and TKC through more protracted means. At this point I don’t want to go into details about the various schemes we hatched to get to know girls from other schools. But invariably, this would involve using the “bertukar-tukar kertas soalan” ruse. With only low-tech communication means at our disposal, namely snail-mail and public telephones, our reach did not go far and wide.

I remember that it would always be a source of excitement for the whole dorm or classroom when one of our numbers received a letter post-marked KL, Seremban or Johor Bahru. It would cause more excitement if the envelope was in a pastel shade and had a slight scent emanating. There would be a sense of trepidation those moments before the envelope was opened because who knows what it would contain? I would say that everybody in the dorm would have a vested interest in the contents because a group photo of the pen-friend and her friends would open further opportunities for other long-distance correspondences.

I say that it’s too easy now. I’m not sure how meaningful the cyber-friendships are. I suspect if you have 366 friends you don’t get very distraught if one of your hot cyber-girlfriends does not reply your email for 2 weeks (or vice versa).

So as a fairly experienced member of the old guard, I would like to offer our schoolboy romeos an alternative low-tech system to make you stand out from the crowd. Just follow the instructions below and I guarantee you will stand out from the other soulless profiles.
Step 1:

Take note of your “angka giliran” for SPM (or PMR of you want to start early). You need only be concerned with the last 3 digits, because there are only about 120 students in a batch. Let’s say yours is 013 (which happened to be mine), then you would want to also find a friend from one the girls’ boarding schools with the same number. Come to think of it, there’s no reason why you can’t try this with a number of different candidates to maximise your returns. Come to think of it further, there’s no reason why you can’t use this tactic even if you have taken your SPM already (in 1975).

If you are not risk averse, you might also want to try these tactics with a Sekolah Menengah Sains student – be warned: your penfriend might or might not turn out to be a girl, but to each his own.

Step 2:

Pick up a piece of paper and write a letter to the intended recipient along these lines:

Saudari,

Seperti saudari, saya adalah calon SPM No. 013 tahun 2008. Sukacita jika saudari ingin bertukar-tukar kertas soalan peperiksaan dengan saya.


You need to sign off with your name, not your number. Of course, don’t forget your return address (preferably snail mail for that retro old school effect).

Step 3:

Stuff the letter in an envelope and write down as follows (by way of an example):

Calon SPM No. 013 (Tingkatan 5)
Sekolah Tun Fatimah
Jalan Tun Abdul Razak,
80000 Johor Bahru, Johor Darul Ta'zim

Step 4:

Stick a 30 sen stamp on the envelope. If are born after 1990 and you don’t know what this is, it’s a small sticky piece of paper that you paste on an envelope indicating that you have paid Pos Malaysia for delivering your letter to the recipient on the envelope. You can get this from any post office.

Step 5:

Shove the letter into a red post box and see what happens. Assuming the mail distribution systems of these schools work like they did during my time, the kind prefect on duty will ask around during prep and deliver your letter to the lucky recipient.
I’m assuming that you would have enough sense to know what to do next in trying to woo your target. Well, taking this to its logical conclusion, at some point you would actually need to exchange exam papers (and compilation tapes CDs). But remember, the "old school bird bait" eschews the use of digital communication, so cross off scanning the papers from your to-do list. How real old school heroes do it is to photocopy the exam papers (yes, photocopy machines were already invented during my schooldays) roll them up in a thick cylindrical shape, write your intended’s name and address on it, stick the requisite stamp and send it off. I still don’t know why we packed them as chunky batons rather than use large envelopes –it was probably something to do with lower postage costs but I can’t be too sure.

Phew! That sounds like very hard work actually (no wonder my rate of success then was zero). All right then, if this is too much effort and Friendster’s not giving you any joy there’s always Facebook. (I really have to sell off my Pos Malaysia Bhd shares soon).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A cheerless future?

It’s easy to assume that my return to blogging after a long hiatus coincides with the recent OBW that we had last weekend. In a way it does although it’s not my intention to provide a review of OBW2008. In fact a review from me wouldn’t do justice as I wasn’t there for a sufficient duration. I really went for the STAROBA AGM, being an election year. I felt that I had to do my democratic duty to prevent lazy undeserving wankers from serving in the committee. Oh yes, since my batch (and my firm, in part) sponsored the rugby jerseys for the boys I was interested to see what value our advertising ringgit bought.

The rugger match that afternoon turned out to be between STAR and Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah (SSAS). It was the inaugural Arshad Ahmad Trophy annual match between STAR and SSAS. For those who don’t know, Arshad Ahmad is an old boy who taught and coached rugby in STAR and later went on to do the same for SSAS (he’s their current coach). It was the first time in my memory we played rugby against SSAS who I must say turned out quite impressively. It wasn’t just their smart Carisbrook kit (complete with matching socks) that proved that they meant business but it was obvious from their demeanour that these boys lived and breathed rugby. Of course, if these were MCKK boys in similar garb and mien, a thump on the head would prove to be quite necessary.

Our boys in contrast were quite a sight. The impact of their sleek new Cobratasha jerseys were significantly reduced by the shocking state of their …. socks.

It looked like they were undecided on whether to wear long or short socks and of what colour. Or in fact to wear any at all. But fashion sensibilities notwithstanding, I still had high hopes for them. After all, I was told that these boys were the Perak champs that year, demolishing MCKK 11 -5, in the process. There were moments when our boys seemed quite lost during the game but in true Starian spirit they rose to the occasion and delivered a 17-17 draw.

But during the game I was quite to disturbed to see a number of things.

Firstly, there was no “Cobratasha!!” battlecry by the rugger players. There were some noises made during the group huddle but not our familiar rallying call.

Secondly, while the match was going on, quite a number of boys were ignoring the match. Football games (which I’m sure were not part of the official OBW agenda) were going on with the players oblivious to an important rugby match underway.

Thirdly and most worryingly, the boys were not cheering. The old boys egged them on by hurling a barrage of old cheer songs (although some words slipped our minds) but we were met mostly with deadly silence. But encouragingly, there was one moment when SSAS was trying to convert and some noises were beginning to emerge. Were they going to chant “Push them back, push them back, way back!” like we used to do? But all the boys could manage was “Tak masuk, tak masuk!” like a bunch of unschooled fairies. At that point, I felt like just walking across the field to kick their sorry fairy asses.

I’ve heard this rumour that cheering is now banned in STAR but I refused to believe it. Why would anyone want to do away with a tradition that promotes self-esteem, camaraderie and self-identity? But apparently the school authorities do not see it that way: it should no longer be because it promotes the “bullying culture”. Like WTF?

I raised this issue in my batch’s yahoogroup discussion yesterday. Don commented very rightly, “Seriously, we are beginning to see the homogenization of the SBP. Traditions and individuality are being destroyed in the pursuit of churning out exam-scorers. In a decade, you won't be able to tell SDAR, SAS and STAR apart - might as well rename them SBP1, SBP2, SBP3.”

As I remember , the individuality of Starians were well-displayed during the 1986 PPM. We were in SMS Kelantan and at every basketball game we would be treating other (quiet) SBP denizens with our deafening renditions of “Ayak-ayak gantung”, “Dunlop”, “Rukun Tetangga” and other old favourites. So much so that the SMS Kelantan boys who got very pissed off (and by then were conscious of their nondescriptness) were planning to beat us up one night. The refreshing thing that came out of that was the boys from that other great cheering institution in KK felt it fit to put aside our usual rivalry and offer to lend a hand if it came to blows. Nothing happened and we quickly resumed our usual hostilities, much to everybody’s relief.

Anyway, in case cheering is reduced to an extinct anachronism in later years, I feel it to be my obligation to preserve at least a piece of our history in this blog. Show them how it's done, Pot and the lads …………


video

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Coaster stories

At 50 years old, STAR could not be considered as an old school. You could tell from the architecture of the buildings. We don’t have have any impressive edifices built in pseudo Greco-Roman style like those of our rival in Kuala Kangsar (though God only knows why they chose to repaint them pink) or any buildings having elements of Moorish and Gothic architecture like that of St. Michael's Institution, nearer us.

I joined STAR in 1982 when it was only 25 years old but I already felt that it was crumbling. One did not have to try hard to imagine how the 1st batch students lived in the hostels because we were still using their beds and lockers!

But today I’m not going to talk about old buildings and fixtures in STAR but rather about something else which is old but more mobile. I’m going to talk about that very venerable STAR institution – the school Coaster.

I must say that as I left school all thoughts of this nippy mode of transportation were flushed out of my mind but memories of the good times we had in this 21 seater vehicle (the reason I remember its capacity so well will be apparent later) came back when I saw a post in a blog called John’s Universe.

It was written by John, an English teacher in SERATAS, Taiping who put forward his observations during an English drama competition trip to Perlis. This is how he described his first encounter with our beloved Coaster:

“When we got up around the tollbooths near Butterworth, I put down my paper, and noticed a strange little vehicle between us and the bus from MCKK. We seemed to be in a convoy. It looked to be a van from another SBP school, but I couldn't really be sure. If it was, it was barely big enough to hold the fifteen students that would be taking part. There was absolutely no room for any props or backdrops. Hell, if they had any luggage, they would have to be holding it on their laps.

The paint was worn and faded, and the windows were open because there was no air conditioning. I was surprised that the back tires weren't wobbling like drunken belly dancers, or that there wasn't thick black smoke pouring out of the back.

In the back of the vehicle were a couple of signs: One saying, 'Go Pablo', and the other, 'Wowee' or something like that. One of the guys in the backseat was playing a guitar, and either had a big curly hairdo, or was wearing a wig. The others were dressed in colorful shirts. It gave the rather startling impression that we were following a destitute itinerant Mexican Mariachi band up to the Thai border.”

LOL! That sounds about right!

The ridiculousness of the situation was well summed up by this picture he posted:

Why is it called a “Coaster”? I only remember that the word “Coaster” forged in aluminium was affixed in plain view next to the passenger door. Only through googling I later found out that it was manufactured by Toyota. (See Wikipedia).

Anyway, it seemed like everybody loved the Coaster and if I’m not mistaken it was driven by one Pakcik Zain. It was the mode of transportation of choice for any outbound excursions: trips to the clinic, inter-school matches (only players had the privilege of riding in it) and visits to other schools. I remember that the most attractive feature of the Coaster was that it had an excellent sound system and anybody who boarded the Coaster did not forget to bring along their bootleg "footprint" brand cassettes or compilation tapes (courtesy of Melody Music Centre) to play at full blast, never mind that they were half conscious from fever and had to be given medical attention at the clinic immediately.

However, I suspect that the love for the Coaster was borne out of necessity as the other available mode of transport – the school bus - was deemed unreliable. I’m not so sure how old the school bus was when I was in STAR but frequent breakdowns and refusals to start only proved that it was past its prime.

The Mariachi Van syndrome was not a new phenomenon unfortunately. I’m sure I can claim that I (and 19 others) hold the record for the longest time spent on the Coaster at a stretch. This happened during the 1986 PPM tournament where it was held in Kota Bharu (obviously we couldn’t bring the bus and risk being stranded on the East-West Highway). With better roads today I’m sure no one could claim to have spent more than 8 hours straight on the Coaster. Due to the capacity of the Coaster our PPM contingent was decidedly small – 10 basketball players, 4 English debaters and 4 Malay debaters plus 2 hangers-on (which included Cikgu Sharifuddin). This was in marked comparison to other contingents who came in buses with whole teams of researchers complete with their groupies. But due to the spirit of camaraderie, the excitement of a road trip and the prospect of meeting women at the tournament (which really is the whole point of the PPM) we didn’t even realise that there was no air-conditioning. The crowdedness of the Coaster also afforded another excuse for one of our numbers (Long John, the basketballer from Green House) to ditch us and hitch a ride back to JB on the STF bus. I wonder what came out of that?

Apparently things have improved and the school has better modes of transport (although I’m not sure if the older bus in the photo is the same one we had in the 1980s).

Some of us have probably wondered about the fate of that trusty old Coaster but from John’s post I see that it is still in use and I could sense that our boys are still fond of the old beast even if the bigger SBP bus is “comfortable, with air conditioning, captain chair type seats, and a TV and dvd player,” as John describes. Just like many ancient STAR relics and traditions, this one can’t be discarded so easily.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Interviewing the interviewer

Do you remember ever getting good career advice in school? I don’t even remember getting any career advice, let alone good career advice. True, there was a Kelab Kerjaya but as I far I could remember the members were more preoccupied with turning their room into some sort of exclusive clubhouse and organising the next trip to SSP or TKC (STF was too far away). Whatever career inspiration we got was through the examples of seniors or advice from well-meaning teachers who invariably would like to see us become doctors, engineers, accountants, architects, bankers or lawyers.

But once in a while we do come across Starians who have embarked on unconventional careers. Look hard enough and you would find that we have pop stars, actors, novelists, musicians and film-makers amongst us (corrigendum: and clowns *smacks forehead for forgetting*). It made me think: Was there anything about their STAR education which inspired them, against normal expectations, to earn their livelihood in a creative way?

I couldn’t remember anything in school which could really could have provided such inspiration. OK, we had the marching band, but with sounds resembling imitations of strangled animals it could have hardly inspired future musicians. The ‘combo’ (where do they come up with these terms?) might have had a better chance at producing future rock stars but Mr. Ng Hee Sang, the intense band advisor could hardly be described as a creative influence. Kelab Wayang Gambar? Well, if you could count blurring the projector at timely moments as a kind of film editing technique.

It was with this question in mind that I set up a lunch appointment with Zan Azlee (Fivers 1995), an up and coming independent film maker whose latest work, a documentary called “Pandang Ke Timur” was seen recently on NTV7 a few Sundays ago. I first became aware that there existed a Starian film-maker when I noticed his blog being linked on some Starians’ blogs and have quietly followed his projects.

We met at the Dome at Suria KLCC and it was only natural that I turn lunch into a quasi-interview for a blog post. This fitted in with this blog’s mission in making Starians appear more cool than they actually are. I was already familiar with his work as he’s put up quite an extensive CV and his blog really tells it all. So I cut to the chase and asked him about whether there were any influences in STAR that caused him to take up film making.

Zan corrected me by saying that he’s not just a film-maker but also a writer. Film is just another medium to tell his stories (In fact if you pick up SURF! magazine, you would find that it’s full of his articles. I found out that he’s written a book too - A Guide to Effective Internet Use). It’s only recently that he’s becoming known as a film-maker with an edge due to an increased interest in independent documentaries (He was featured in the November 2007 issue of Off The Edge which covered documentary film-making).

So I guess the better question would be: What did he experience in STAR that inspired him to take up journalism (which led him to film-making)? Probably none as it turned out. He went through the same experiences as I did – Set S English class, PPM debates (well that didn't do it for me). He liked writing but he performed his filial obligation by going on to do a degree in accountancy from UiTM (how more uninspiring could that be for a creative career?). However upon graduation he followed his heart and joined the Sun as a journalist and then studied Broadcast Journalism for his Masters Degree in the UK before becoming an independent film-maker and freelance journalist.

I think he could sense that I was disappointed to learn that his experience in STAR was not inspirational in his career decision. “Aku belajar kencing kat STAR,” he suddenly volunteered.

Eh?

He went on to explain that he joined STAR in Form 4 and it was only in STAR that he learned how to live by his wits to survive (you would too if you want to prevent 5 other hungry mouths from taxing your midnight Maggi mee). When he left STAR, he said that he acquired a high degree of persuasive skills and that carried him through in his career as a journalist and film-maker.

I could see what he meant. I’ve seen his documentaries and what impresses me most is the way he manages to get his interview subjects to be candid and forthcoming on camera. I guess that counts for a lot in a job where interpersonal skill is at a premium. (Check out Zan's other films on Youtube)


From the the interview I conclude that STAR has not done much to nurture the creative talents of our boys. It’s a shame. It would have been the best time to polish those talents. It’s more likely that the entertainers and writers amongst us are doing what they are doing despite having studied in STAR. Perhaps the teachers could look into organising activities which bring out these talents or at least open the students’ eyes to non-mainstream careers.

Perhaps even I could have become a writer or a film-maker in different circumstances. Ah well, I’ve just got to make do with blogs and Youtube for the time being.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Fifteen Five minutes of fame?

A couple of days ago Kurtul from my batch sent me an SMS saying that I should check out a magazine called E@Siswa (I'm not sure how you are supposed to pronounce it). Apparently it covered the Golden Jubilee Celebrations and my photos were "all over the place".

Perhaps this was my shot at fame? Feeling curious I went to a newsagent to inquire about the latest issue but was told that they don't sell it. Five newsagents later, it was still the same story. Hmm, it didn't look like I was going to be famous at this rate.

Finally the E@Siswa crew turned up at the Staroba function last night (a thank you dinner for people who contributed in the Jubilee celebrations) and handed out free copies (since no newsagent wants to sell it). I was pleased to see that we were covered quite extensively.

Ahem, there were even some photos of yours truly although I had to share the limelight with my brethren Starians.

Segak dan tampan? How could I disagree with that?

Even the back page featured STAR students.

But wait a minute! Starians are not usually that ugly. Let's look at the photo more closely:

No wonder .......

I'm not so pleased now. Surely it's not on to put up photos of Really Ugly Mugs and say that they belong to Starians. I wonder if we could sue E@Siswa for defamation?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

STAR on Wikipedia

I remember during my schooldays, Blue House was nicknamed “Royal Blue” (probably inspired more by a shade of colour of writing ink, than any imagined pedigree) but I couldn’t remember the other houses having the following nicknames: Green Grinds, Black Kingdom, Red Rouser,White Vigour and Yellow Legion.

And where did I acquire this useful nugget of information? Where else but the collective font of human knowledge: Wikipedia. (The above information comes from the 18.09.2006 version of the article on STAR)

Try out this experiment. Google “Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Ipoh” and see what the search engine throws up. If my blog has not grown further in popularity, you will find that at the top of the list is the Wikipedia article on STAR. I dare say that Wikipedia would be the first port of call for anyone seeking to find information on STAR rather than, sadly, tigerlaneboy.blogspot.com.

Which begs the question: Who minds the STAR article in Wikipedia?

I raise this issue as our image and brand value depends on it. If the article is not properly edited, a stranger to the school could easily conclude that students of STAR are a bunch of near-illiterate hooligans with really bad grammar (even if we are, there is no need to publicise the fact). The problem lies in the fact that it is a “free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”, as it describes itself on its main page. Just to underline that point, I’ve taken the liberty to add this blog to the links at the bottom of the STAR article.

From the Wikipedia article on Wikipedia itself, a criticism of it is that “Wikipedia has been accused of exhibiting systemic bias and inconsistency; critics argue that Wikipedia's open nature and a lack of proper sources for much of the information makes it unreliable. Some commentators suggest that Wikipedia is usually reliable, but that it is not always clear how much.”

The current version of the article on STAR seems to be quite acceptable, though. There are no controversial facts stated and (thankfully!) no grammatical howlers. But only because the entry is rather short and thus lacks any usefulness.

But because the policy is that anyone could edit it, there have been instances when people who are rather lacking in factual knowledge and language skills have, if I could put it crudely, screwed it up for all of us.

Consider the 15.6.2006 version:
“STAR currently held students from form 1 to form 5. Previously there have been classes up to form 6, but later the ministry of education only allow up to form 5 for the boarding school. At hostel students are gathered via the sports house. There are 6 house color, which is Rumah Hijau (Green House), Rumah Biru (Blue House), Rumah Hitam (Black House), Rumah Merah (Red House), Rumah Putih (White House), Rumah Kuning (Yellow House). The houses were sorted by the one which is nearer to academic block, starting from Rumah Hijau, to Rumah Kuning.”
It’s just painful to see the numerous grammatical mistakes littered all over the article. If the same article goes on to tell that we won a number of PPM English Debate trophies, I’m sure the readers would think we cheated.

I notice that some versions are self serving. Take this one from 26.08.2006:
“The houses were sorted by the one which is nearer to academic block, starting from Rumah Hijau, to Rumah Kuning. Rumah Biru is the best!!!!(emphasis added)
While I do not disagree with that, statements like that only devalues the credibility of the article. The reference to Blue House was later edited out on the same day but the Blue House fanatic still refusing to be outdone, re-edited the article (yet on the same day) to still claim glory for his beloved house:
"The houses were sorted by the one which is nearer to academic block, starting from Rumah Hijau, to Rumah Kuning.Hidup Royal Blue!!!(Style Pudin)"
Now, the mystery of who "Pudin" is still needs to be solved (I wonder if it was the notorious Cikgu Sharifuddin?) but this serves to demonstrate how the article is open to vandalism.

It is not only limited to self-glorification of houses. This is taken from the 9.11.2005 version where the contributor attempted to enlighten us on STAR’s cricket triumphs:
“The turf in the middle of the school field is a place where the school's cricket team did their routine training. The team consists of highly-talented players which keen to win many matches. Proof to that, Faliq Azemi (Fivers 2005) had been selected to play for the state team in national tournaments.”
I say well done. STAR has produced many great sportsmen but to single out a particular individual would not be doing justice to the rest.

There are factual howlers too. The version dated 12.12.2005 states:
“Rugby is very synonymouos with STAR. The team is nicknamed Cobratasha.”
I’m sorry but our team is NOT nicknamed "Cobratasha", dude.

This was eventually corrected on 25.2.2006:
“Rugby is very synonymouos with STAR. The team battlecry is Cobratasha.”
That’s more like it but too bad you still can’t spell "synonymous".

But I must say that some of the entries have been more than enlightening. From the 31.10.2005 version:
“The school consists of The Great Hall (the school's hall), administration building, one academic block, a pavillion called Astaka, 7 hostel blocks including one matriculation block - named after the sport houses Yellow, White, Red, Black, Blue and Green. Uniqely, these hostel blocks were not arranged in geometry as they were stretched from the academic block till the worker's quarters. There are also Highway (the main road in the school), Airport (language lab), hang out place, Lot 10. And one of the best architecture feature available here is a one-of-its-kind songkok-shaped water tank. Recently built including a 100-feet high flag-post to commemorate the Golden Jubilee countdown.”
Highway, Airport, Lot 10 and Songkok? I consider myself informed now boys, thanks. I wonder if Lot 10 is what we used to call Pertama in our days? (An allusion to Pertama Complex, the hottest shopping complex in KL during our time).

So what do we do to protect the integrity of information on STAR in Wikipedia? It is obvious that an administrator needs to be appointed. This administrator should at least make sure that the information posted is accurate while monitoring the standard of language used. This would mean that Form 3 boys should not edit the STAR Wikipedia article to experiment with the latest vocabulary they picked up during English lessons.

On what we should include as content, there is no need to look far. We could use the articles on MCKK on SDAR as models. Regardless of how we feel about MCKK, I must say that their Wikipedia article is well maintained, accurate and informative. The SDAR article looks fine too although the previous version had our school’s name wrongly spelt, which I corrected of course, in true Wikipedia tradition. Our new article should have distinct and informative sections on our school’s history, crest, founding, academic achievements, co-curricular achievements, anthem, traditions, headmasters, alumni and external (Web) links. Just who the administrator is going to be remains to be seen but it should be someone who has a very strong commitment to the school’s brand management without any self-serving motives.

Phew, that was a long entry! Now if you would excuse me, I’ve to spend some time editing the section on traditions in the MCKK Wikipedia article. I’m sure some MCOBA wives would like to know why their husbands still keep gay porn under the mattress.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sisters are doin' it for themselves

You are probably wondering why news about a Srikandi event is being posted here. You might even think that I’m doing this just to get Srikandis to visit my blog. (Actually I am but let’s pretend I’m not). It is Staroba related. Honest.

This year, the STF Old Girls decided to hold their Rumah Terbuka gathering at my mother’s house (Mum is a first batch Srikandi). But it is not just because her son is a Starian that this event qualifies as STAR-related for the purpose of this blog. The more compelling reason is another Starian lives there permanently (my father, to be specific). So there I was assigned with general duties as a member of the tuan rumah team, for the gathering that took place on Saturday 17 November 2007.

In my opinion, having the party done pot luck was a good idea: not only did it allow for a variety of food to be served but it made the event financially sustainable. I’m not sure though whether it would be a good idea for Staroba to organise pot luck parties as I could imagine that we would only be inundated with delicacies from KFC and Pizza Hut. Organisers did well in sorting out who was to bring what as evidenced on their blog.

The party started off with Srikandis arriving with their goodies. With the alumni filled with so many enthusiastic cuisiniers, the cup definitely spilleth over.

As expected, there was a noticeable Staroba presence due to the many Starian-STFian mergers.

However there were other Starians who attended the event too. Staroba committee members were also invited (rent for using a Starian-provided venue?).

As you can see, the guests were all spoilt for choice. I could even hear grumblings of diets being spoilt – something you won’t hear in Staroba makan-makan events.

The party got into full swing very quickly, with cries of delight amongst reunited long lost friends and generally warm chatter.

There were even opportunities for a little bit of fund raising. Such an industrious alumni.

The Staroba representative looked to be enjoying himself very much. It’s not always that the male-female ratio at a party works in his favour.

In high spirits and seizing the moment, the girls even broke into song to wrap up the event. Their school song, of course.



Way to go sistahs! Already looking forward to next year’s event.

Related posts:

Of Pot luck and some tips

Srikandi belated Raya tea party