Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mr Allan

This post was originally created on December 24, 2008. As I had transferred my blog here, I decided to copy this post as well. Somebody suggested to me that this post "will have contributed to some degree to outlook on life".

Today, our last Chemistry cls with Mr Allan. After almost 1 year studying with him, undeniably Chemistry had nvr been more interesting (Mr Allan, im not trying to get more marks for my trial. But I really dun mind if u wanna show ur generosity ;p). I was transferred to his cls, the so-called “fast-track cls” somewhere in Jan this year. I heard abt him from other classes b4 that. And i was like, “Cool, they hv an English man teaching them”. But when i started in his cls, i was damn blurr. Chemistry had nvr been worse. I hadnt had the chance to hv a chem cls b4 that with my previous lecturer. And he taught his cls a few topics ahead “Hess’s Cycle” to be exact.

My 1st cls with him, was disastrous. He came into the cls, started scribbling on the whiteboard, talked English non-stop, with his accent, and I sat at the back of the cls trying to adapt to what’s going on. Abt 10mins after, I was handed a namelist, where I was supposed to sign, it was an attendance sheet. My name was no where in the list, so is Hui Fong’s. We didnt know what to do. We asked the student in frnt of us (i can remember who, i didnt know them back then) and they simply shook their head. They were just in total shock as i am.

Second, third and fourth classes didnt get any better. He scribbled his notes on the board, us trying to copy exactly what he wrote though we didnt understand, and he started talking abt weird and looked-complicated equations and i started scratching my head and i was almost certain i prefer Ms Shanti a lot more.

Practical sessions in the lab, were sessions i dreaded the most every week. I didnt even dare to look into his eyes. Was even trembling when he came anywhere near my table to see what am i doing with my samples and substances. Was even scared to take tissue papers on labels on his table in front of the lab. I was practically imitating whatever Hui Fong, Siew Huan and August were doing. I wondered, “how come they look so confident in doing the experiment?”

Towards the end of 2nd sem, which was somewhere in May 08, Pn Rita was discussing with us abt our Bio lecturer 4 d nxt semester. And suddenly it strucked me! Why don’t we discuss among ourselves and request 4 a change in Chem lecturer? We can request 4 Ms Shanti. I thought she is better than Mr Allan. At least she desnt teach out of syllabus. We sort of discussed abt it among ourselves but no one actually went to Mdm Rita and voice it out.

And that was exactly how we got Mr Allan again for our 3rd semester.

But, things started to turn the other way around. Were 3rd semester Chem topics are a lot easier, or I am beginning to understand Mr Allan’s way of teaching? Am I getting better in his cls because I had somehow been successful in tuning myself to be in the same frequency as his? Am i up to his lvl of teaching now? Am i used to him alrdy? Or had i been very motivated during the smester break that I can juz absorb anything he’s teaching? Whatever happened to me, happened to Hui Fong as well. She found it easier to understand Mr Allan’s cls this sem. She was d one who came out with the “same frequency” theory.

As time passes, we started to study more on organics and being an organic chemist, Mr A sure knows what he is talking abt. Although undeniably sometimes, he will get excited explaining abt a topic and started to use difficult and unknown terms and at the end of it, he’ll say “But of course, Edexcel doesnt require u to know all these” or “U r lucky this is not in A level” and I started to breath again. Fuh!

There is one stage, where I came to realise a very important way not to get confused in his cls. Listen to him well, and when he started to give really really really weird equations or facts or mechanism etc, take it lightly. There is 85% probability that is not in A level syllabus. And so far, I had got it all correct.

So, that is the end of my experience being in a foreigner’s class. Foreigner? Still considered foreigner? Hurm, maybe not… Rephrase.. So, that is the end of my experience being in an English man’s class. I would really miss his cls… But, life goes on…


  1. driz's scribblesMarch 20, 2009 at 11:49 PM

    u're definately rite dear akmar
    im one of his new students joining 8m4 for chemistry..two weeks rite before "written" trial exams...
    when he started his lecture with the red, blue and black marker pen, i was excited to listen to him..but as he went on and on,
    i went like...gosh...what is he talking about....
    how come i didnt know all this stuff on chemistry from my previous lecturer....

    but then again, i told myself im sure the problem was with me (unable to adapt to his teaching) coz the 'older 8m4' students seems to understand his lectures well...

    although i cant deny that i was lost in my own fantasy world during sum theories and concepts lecture, but suddenly, i got back on track, rite sumwhere when he started to explain about the recrystalisation method n why such procedures are carried out.

    his explaination was coherent n well presented (with sum nasi goreng analogies) eg. insoluble impurities : hair, soluble impurities : sneeze... etc... making me laugh along the way but absorbing the facts on that particular topic.

    mr allan stories and analogies in class makes learning fun n less stressful, but at the same time, i did learned my chemistry =)

    thank you, Mr. Allan :)

    CHEM LAB PRACTICALS with Mr. Allan
    i had my trial chem 3a n 6a exams with him...
    i do agree with u akmar :)
    but still,look at the bright side.
    he's training us for the real edexcel rules n regulations exam.. :)

    well, im sure lots of students would appreciate the early exposure, am i rite?

    ~diana 8m7~

  2. yup yup...
    exactly, with all the analogies, we definitely can remember better...

    how come u're listening his lecture in 8M4?
    means u went into 8M4 juz to listen for it?
    he's not actually teaching u ke?