Hadiah Sastera Perdana Malaysia 2008/2009

Hadiah Sastera Perdana Malaysia 2008/2009
Penulis (Guru Cemerlang BM dan Munsyi Dewan) menerima Hadiah Sastera Perdana Malaysia 2008/2009 daripada YAB Tan Sri Dato' Hj. Muhyiddin Hj. Mohd Yassin, Timbalan Perdana Menteri Malaysia di Dewan Bankuet, Menara DBP, Kuala Lumpur pada 30 November 2010.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Johan Cerpen BI Kategori Murid Menengah Atas Hari Guru Kebangsaan 2012

You Raise Me Up

“You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.”

I like listening to the song ‘You Raise Me Up’ by Westlife because every time I hear it, I am reminded of my family, my friends and last but not least; my teachers. Let me introduce myself, my name is Mary Grace Fernandez and I am a fifth former. In the early years of my school life, I never really understood the role of a teacher in a student’s life. However, my perception changed when I stayed with my grandmother for a week in the mid – semester holidays.

I  can still clearly remember the day my parents dropped me off at my grandmother’s house in Cherating, Pahang. I was warmly welcomed by my Gramps who had a superb dinner ready for me. I have always called my grandmother ‘Gramps’ since I was young.  She is a Sarawakian Iban from the Sadong River north to Bintulu, Sibu and had married my Indian grandfather when he was working there.
The next morning, she woke me up and asked me to get started on some homework which I had brought along. I grumbled and reluctantly agreed. Noticing my unenthusiastic attitude, Gramps sat on my bed and told me a story.

“ My parents were farmers who grew paddy for a living,” she begun. “They didn’t know the importance of education and they prefer I helped in the paddy fields rather than going to school,” she said. “I used to skip school and play truant with my friends. We swam in rivers, climbed trees and explored the forest; seeking new adventures every day. Even at the age of ten, I could only recognise a few alphabets correctly.”

“One day, a new teacher came to our school. Her name was Miss Farah and she was a volunteer from the Peninsular. She had a magic box that produced music and she used it to play various songs for us. We learnt our ABC’s and numerals by singing along with the magic box. Later in life, I learnt that it was called a radio,” Gramps added.

“Miss Farah is one of the most patient and motherly person I had ever met. She never lost her temper and always wore a smile. She gave us sweets for completing our homework and brought us to watch a movie in Bintulu town when we managed to recite all the alphabets correctly. Since Miss Farah’s arrival in our school, I noticed most of my friends rarely skipped school any more. We were captivated with the idea of learning through fun activities such as writing, drawing and colouring. Soon, we also started on reading and spelling,” Gramps continued.

“For me, education was a whole new aspect in life. I remember Miss Farah saying I could be anyone I liked. I could be a pilot who circles the blue skies or a doctor who saves lives. I could be an architect designing the highest building in the world or a bank manager counting piles of money. I remember planning to buy a new house for my parents. All my life, I have watched my parents struggle to raise my three brothers and me in the best possible way. They work very hard, yet we were always poor.” At this point, Gramps eyes filled with tears.

“Miss Farah stayed with us for only a year. Then, she went back to the Peninsular to get married and live there. I frequently contacted her to share my thoughts, plans and problems. She is capable of illuminating even the darkest moments in my life with her genuine love, care and concern,” Gramps concluded.

“I studied hard and managed to get six credits in the Malaysian Certificate of Education (MCE) examinations. After that, I had to make one of the most important decisions in my life which is to choose my career. I spent hours pondering over nearly all the occupations in the world but still couldn’t make up my mind so I decided to call and ask Miss Farah’s opinion. However, at that precise moment a wonderful thought struck me. Suddenly, I was filled with zeal to educate others. What if I became a teacher ? I discussed with my family and all of them agreed that teaching is the best option. Therefore, I signed up at Sultan Idris Training College (SITC) which was situated in Tanjong Malim. After four years, I was a certified teacher ready to devote my knowledge to the world of teaching.”

“I struggled to become a teacher because of poverty. Now, you have every necessity to study so don’t lose this opportunity. Remember the famous Shakespeare quote, “To be, or not to be.” It means the right to make decisions is in your own hands, the ball is in your court. No one else can decide your future,” Gramps further explained.

I was deeply moved by Gramps’ story. Now, I am filled with determination to do my best and never give up. I also realised how important teachers are in raising a student. They never aim for personal aggrandisement. The teachers in my school are very dedicated and loving so I vowed to give them my full co-operation and  to never take them for granted.

I immediately started on my homework after breakfast, bearing in mind that idle hands are the devil’s tools.  Suddenly, deep in my heart, I felt an ambition tugging at my soul. I will keep my ambition a secret and strife towards it no matter what the circumstances are. I also understood that not only parents raise children up, teachers do the same too. Thank you Miss Farah and all the teachers out there. YOU RAISE ME UP !

Written by:
5 Science 1,
Methodist English School, Tg. Malim.

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