"Hang batch mana?"
"Saya batch 45."
"Huh? Sekolah kita mana ujud lagi tahun 1945. Hang budak MC ke?" "
'Tak. Batch ke-45, STAR"
(I scratch my head while trying to do some quick mental arithmetics.)
"SPM tahun 2004?"
"Tak, tahun 2005."
I was about to argue that if you take into account people who started life in STAR in remove class then they would be the 46th batch (or is it the 44th?). But then, life is short. So I just made a mental note that junior Starians take a sequential numbering approach to naming their batches.
I think it is already a STAROBA convention that batches should be referred to according to the year they were in Form 5. This way, there is an immediate appreciation of how junior or senior someone is rather than put us old folks through the trouble of calculating where we are on the seniority timeline. Of course, exceptions have to be made for the 1st and 2nd batches.
Then there is the other issue of how to use the year in question to refer to the batch. My batchmates often refer to ourselves as ‘Batch 86’. I'm not sure whether we are using this in the English or Malay sense. It seems to me that it's Malay since the adjective comes after the noun. Or perhaps we are using it in the English sense not unlike how vintage wine is referred to by the year the grapes are grown. Sauvignon Blanc 1986, sir? Perhaps not, considering our lack of finesse.
The other way to refer to batches is by using the preceding coinage 'Fivers'. For example, the boys who organised this year's OBW call themselves ‘Fivers 1987’. I think this is a cool way to describe batches as it immediately denotes that it is the year one was in Form 5 that is relevant (in case people think that it refers to the year we joined Form 1). I’m not sure my batchmates would want to call themselves ‘Fivers 1986’, though. Resistance to change and all that.
There are other variations. ‘Star959’ (boys who were in STAR from 1995 to 1999) comes to mind. Marks should be given for creativity here but this gives rise to confusion (for us old fogeys), unfortunately. Besides, how would the year 2005 5th Formers call themselves? Star015? Another one is ‘Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Ipoh: 33rd Edition’ (again using the sequential approach). Quite catchy I must say although it’s a mouthful.
I must say that some of the methods of batch referencing are just awkward. For example, some batches call themselves ‘Batch of [Form 5 year]’. I think they must be taking their cue from the American ‘Class of [graduating year]’. I’m not sure it's even grammatically right.
But there are undoubtedly wrong ways to call batches. ‘Batch of 46’ or ‘Batch of 46th’ is just bad English, boys. I’m already confused enough with the sequential referencing so don’t irritate me further with grammatical errors. Don’t let me get started on people who think ‘batch’ is spelled ‘badge’.
So what’s the best way to call our batches? I wish I had picked Mr. Louis Rozario Doss’ brains before I left STAR. Feel free to suggest.
Note: I'm not Czar! Somebody has linked me thinking this is his blog. (Although if I were Czar, I could get away with writing about lots of stuff.)
My post on "The Perfect OBW" has been followed up in other blogs:
Hope to generate more discussions on STAR issues in blogosphere. Watch this space.
Also, your comments are needed for next year's OBW. Go to the OBW 2008 blog to comment.