Almost a month had passed and I actually began to become more and more redha about the results. I already made an appeal, went to the interview and sent a thank you e-mail. I also prayed hard for it. Previously, I stubbornly pushed away the possibility that I might get into UKM because I wanted to go to Ireland friggin bad.
At 11.21 a.m, on the morning of 17th July 2011 *Happy Birthday Dear! (sempat jugak)*, I received an unexpected call. The call was from AUCMS. When I knew it was from AUCMS, you could imagine how crazy my heart was pumping blood. The woman who talked to me told me that I made it through the interview. She also informed me that I wouldn't have to come to the UKM interview on Tuesday and that I should wait for the offer letter. I'm thankful. Really thankful. I didn't expect the good news. I was already setting my mind towards UKM but Allah has given me this opportunity.
The reason why I'm writing all these is to share my journey into getting the placement. At Part One of my story, it seemed like there's not even a slight chance that I can get to study at my dream place. But Allah is the Al-mighty. He opened up doors from unexpected directions.
I hope with this miracle happening to me, I can become a much more better Muslim. I have learnt the power of redha, the power of perseverance, and the power of not giving up. InsyaAllah :)
After performing my subuh prayers, I continued my sleep. I was afraid I might get sleepy throughout the day haha. I woke up at 10, feeling fresh. I gathered with my Grandpa & Grandma at the kitchen and we had a hearty breakfast. Grandma made me eggs and baked beans. My favourite! :)
The breakfast was followed by my final preparations for the interview. I ironed my clothes and took my shower. I wore my black Ariani shawl that I wear everyday to class (haha), my favourite black skirt, my mum's grey blouse (I didn't have time to buy any for myself) and also my neighbour's black blazer (haha! I really don't have any blazers at home). I wore my black working shoes as well. What a combination *phew* :P I sat in front of the mirror reciting my points and making sure my speech goes on good. I packed my things up too, coz I have to catch a bus at 8.00 p.m on that very day. Before that, we planned to go to the airport to pick up my aunty-in-law. She was scheduled to arrive at 4.30 p.m.
Lunch was superb. My grandma cooked sweet and sour chicken, which is also one of my favourites! I didn't tell her that I like sweet and sour chicken, but she cooked it for me. Ain't that a bonus *wink wink*.
We left for the interview venue after Zohor. Before we left, I had the chance to stroll around the back of the house and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the serene village. I loved it. I have never went to a village for so long. It was perfect, the plants, the grass, the sky, the kodomo lizard (haiyakk!). It really calmed my mind :)
The journey took 15 minutes only, from Sg Petani to Kepala Batas. I waited at the lobby at Block C. Eventually I met Kak Ju, the Pre-Med coordinator and Encik Basir Elon, the college's registrar. I talked to them regarding a few things and waited for anything coming up next.
Before the interview, my friends and I were required to gather at the lobby first, before we were directed to a small room to meet up with Encik Basir Elon for a short briefing. We were reminded of the do's and don'ts throughout the interview. DON'T mention about sensitive issues unless they're mentioned. My tip is, try to think really really really well before you answer. You will NOT want to say anything offensive. Think, think & think okay? :) And yes, how you dress up plays an important role. You will NOT want them to think that you're about to attend a wedding reception, okies? :)
According to the list, I was the 2nd candidate to be interviewed. Prior to the interview, we were also given a briefing on how the interview goes. The interview was via skype, so we were informed of the possible technical problems that might arise. There will be delays in speech basically. The interview will go on for only 15 minutes per person and 2 minutes for evaluation.
At 3.20 p.m, the moment of truth awaited me. I stepped into the room, maintaining a positive posture and thought. I sat down and was greeted by two professors from National University of Ireland Galway. They're Professor Antony Wheatley & Professor Gerard Loftus.
At the beginning of the interview, I was asked to introduce myself, as usual. Here is the list of questions that I was asked on:
Tell me about yourself, your family & your perception towards life.
How far away is your house from your college?
With your appearance as a Muslim, do you think you will face any difficulties when studying abroad?
Smoking is a crucial issue nowadays. What are its effects?
What would you do to overcome this situation (smoking)?
What do you know about Ireland?
Do you know about the current issues about Ireland; the economical issues?
Do you read the newspaper? What have you read about recently? Do you take a physical copy of it or read it online?
Do you have any questions for us or is there anything you would like to add?
As far as I can remember, these were the questions I was asked on. I managed to answer them , though some of my answers were actually rather silly when I recall them :P I even told them that it would be a great loss if they don't take me as a student there! People do laugh when they hear me telling them this part of the interview lol :P
Before I knew it, the interview was already over. After picking up my aunty-in-law from the airport, I was sent to the bus station and I caught my bus to Kuala Lumpur. I arrived home safely that night. Alhamdulillah. All I had to do then was pray hard that Allah will give me the best :)
If I'm not mistaken, around 1 or 2 weeks after that, the results of the appeal was announced. Those who were initially kicked out can join the 2nd interview, based on two conditions. Firstly, you must pass a CGPA of 3.65. Secondly, you must pass an IELTS overall band of 6.5. Praise Allah, my results aren't denied and I can join the 2nd interview! That's the best news I heard after days of gloominess :)
I can freshly remember, the date of the 2nd interview was on the 22nd June 2011, which exactly fell on the same day as my 1901 supervisor's birthday. I had a few days to make preparations, plus minus eating, sleeping & working. I was excited & nervous at the same time.
I took a five hour bus trip all alone to Butterworth before I was brought to Sg Petani by my two lovely Granpa & Grandma-in-law. Thank you Tok Ami & Tok Mama :)
It was my second time going to their house. The first one was when I was 7 years old. I couldn't really remember how it looked like when I came there the other day. It's not surprising to recall that their house compound looked way bigger 10 years ago. That is called the law of relativity, isn't it Einstein? :)
I was given an air-conditioned room complete with a bathroom and a big mirror. That made my stay perfectly cozy :) After performing my Maghrib prayers, I decided to make a 12-rakaat solat hajat prayer. People say, if you do this, InsyaAllah, you'll get what you wish and aim for. I did it with all my heart and I know God knows how badly I want to ace the interview the next day and live my dreams.
Whenever I wanted to go online throughout my stay there, I had to go to the living room and use local connection. Well, that's better than nothing! :) I used my grandpa's laptop to surf the internet and search for as much info as I can to prepare myself for the next day. I searched for information regarding diseases, Malaysian & Irish culture and lots more. I went from discovering about the Celtic disease to why people kiss the Blarney stone! When I was finally satisfied with what I got, I closed the browser. I got really shocked when I noticed that the background was a galore of shamrocks. It represents Ireland. Crazy right? It's not even my own laptop! It gave me a good feeling somehow. Teehee! :P
I took out my clothes for the interview from my backpack and spread them out on the Sejadah rack. I just can't wait.
The anxiety of waiting for the results for the University placement was killing me, so I desperately asked any of my friends who possibly knows anybody who can help inform me my results. The day was dated more or less two months back and it was probably one of the most nerve-wrecking days I had ever encountered in my whole entire life. I finally got a number and I was told that I can call her up after 6.30 p.m. When I heard somebody at the other end of the line (finally), my heart skipped a few beats.
Me : Hello, ni Puan X ke?
Puan X : Hello, ya saya.
Me : Saya Amierah Nabillah, bekas pelajar pre-medic AUCMS. Saya ingin bertanya tentang keputusan
placement untuk ke Ireland.
Puan X : Sebentar ya.
Me : Ok.
Puan X : Maaf ya dik, adik tidak berjaya.
Me : Saya tak berjaya? 2nd interview pun tak ada?
Puan X : Tak. Adik tidak terpilih.
I carried on asking about my friend's result. I was in disbelief. My mind was partially numb. I called up my mother and told her my results. I couldn't forget how petrified her voice was. I asked her to come over to my workplace and help calm me down through my shock. In five minutes, she was already there. I left the 1901 stall and went to the Surau.
As I sat down on the floor of the Surau with my mother, I burst into tears. I can remember myself repeating, "Amierah tak dapat g Ireland, ma." I felt so weak. My mother patted me at the back and sat there silent. Suddenly she said to me, "Amierah, buat rayuan. Malam ni, tulis e-mail pada Dato'". Out of my instability, I replied with an OK. All of a sudden, my phone rang. A customer was at the stall, waiting for me to come and help him get through with his order. My cries lasted for less than 10 minutes. I had to. How could I cry while making hotdogs? That's way unprofessional.
My mum waited for me till I closed the stall at 10 p.m. I thank Allah for giving me such an understanding and loving mother. She tried so hard to put a smile on my face and she didn't show any signs of disappointment. I'm proud of her, really.
As I arrived home, I was near to the peak of my tiredness. A day at work mixed with hours of anxiety got me weak at my knees, but I was reminded to write an e-mail to Dato', the chairman of my previous college.
That night, I slept late. I tried to think of where I could find his e-mail address. Then I suddenly remembered that he did state his e-mail address at his Facebook profile. I did add him and he did approve me. I tried to check it again. It's still there! That's my first accomplishment in my journey of making an appeal.
At 1 a.m., I began writing a long e-mail to Dato', explaining why the appeal I was making should be approved and why I think I'm eligible for it. *I'll always keep that e-mail I sent in my account lol* :P I typed out Dato's e-mail into the recipient's box and clicked on "SEND" with a whole-hearted Bismillah, together with my mum. My task that night was complete.
The next day, I had my day off. I settled everything regarding my appeal and prayed for the best.
I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaack :D Haha. Does anyone notice I have been away for quite a long time? Hehe. A few days back, I have been checking my blog quite often but I didn't know what post to come up with. I have lots of stories to share and this is one of them.
I began working early June. I never had the experience of working, so this makes it my first time ever working. I'm very thankful until now that I was hired :D
My first week there was friggin scary. I could never forget scarring my finger at my left hand; that one was on the 2nd or 3rd day of work. At 1901 Hotdog, we steam the buns and sausages. I wasn't used to the art of taking out the steamed food from it yet, so my blur-ness led me to my almost-impossible-to-fade-away-scar. Beginning from that day, I became much more careful when I handle things *I am always very very careless* :P
Being a one-and-a-half-month employee there, I began to learn how to ACTUALLY become responsible. Working there requires employees to know how to handle the stall entirely; from unpacking stocks to understanding the cash register to recording daily sales. Before I applied for the job, I thought that the job was actually pretty easy, but it turned out the other way round *not entirely though; because it's still categorized as rather simple*.
There's responsibility in every second and every move. You wouldn't want the sausages to become over-cooked (because they'd get wrinkly like your skin when you sit in the shower too long), and you also wouldn't want the customers to stand there for over 15 minutes looking at you performing every single step of making hotdogs with their hands crossed, would you? Frankly speaking, I am still timid in some situations and being observed like that really does make me feel awkward. Time-wise, I don't really mind having to rush against the clock to get my job done, because I loooove challenges. I often race myself to the clock every night when it's closing time and succeeding the "challenge" often gave me a big grin on my face for at least 10 minutes lol :P
Working in a place like that without colleagues around is just isn't complete. The stall where I worked at was in the Mesra Minimart in Petronas Oil Station. In and around that place itself, there's Sub18, Guardian & Giant Supermarket. I got to know a few nice people there and most of them aren't 1901 employees *because there's only one 1901 other than me lol*. I can never forget them; Kak Azimah, Vivian, Najidah, Shahirah & Hasif. Based on what I experienced, all you gotta do first to get along with people there is just by initiating a "hello". Things can get pretty awkward, but it's better than saying nothing at all and making them think that you're just plain cocky.
Now, I have officially resigned. I got a more-than-satisfying amount of money as my salary for my first month of work and I'm very thankful till this moment. Frankly speaking, I can appreciate RM1 more than I could ever before! Alhamdulillah :) 1901 is indeed a good place to work at (referring also to the free meals we get everyday) and I'm glad that I was once an employee there :) Now I really do understand what every cent's worth :)
Btw, look down here :D These are the types of hotdogs we make at 1901. My favourite is Deutsch Doodle Dang :D