Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kena Jumpa Dekan

Assalammualaikum. Here comes the hangat post. I've been wondering if I should write this post in Bahasa so that some unwanted ppl will not be able to understand what I wrote. Who knows, I might get into trouble for expressing what I really feel.
So I've decided, let's do it the Malaysian style; a total rojak!

Okay, summer break is known to be the longest break any student can get, 3 whole months at least. This is the time where Malaysian students start to fill their fb albums with pics of them in various parts of the world. But that does not apply to medical students doing their clinical years, that is year 3 to year 5 and perhaps some other courses. We get only 5 weeks off. And the worst part is, my year 4 starts on the second day of Raya. Raya hari Ahad, if I want to go back to attend the first day of year 4, I would have to depart from Malaysia latest by Saturday, that is on the malam raya. Gler x? Sape nk tinggalkan family and terbang beribu batu sehari seblm raya weyh? Nangis2 kt KLIA instead of main bunga api "Yeay yeay, esok raya!". Ok, imaginasi je tu. My malam raya was full of rendang, ketupat and domestic cleaning, xde smell of fireworks langsung. But that's my point. I'm not going to spend £500+ on airfare and NOT BE ABLE to spend raya with family.

Well before year 3 ends, I wrote an email requesting for leave approval from the Dean. She turned it down. Tapi sebenarnye, saya dah beli tiket dah pun. Wahahaha.. Nakal gler. And then, I scored quite badly in my OSCE that I needed to see the Dean. Haish... Don't worry, I am doing good in OSCE now. So, during the meeting, again I verbally requested the leave. This is a different dean from last time. And he turned it down too. He said he tried to do his best to ask from the University but the University is strict and won't let us take our leaves. UK is a Christian country, and there are some religious festivals observed by the country, but not Eid. How ridiculous is that? I don't know how many Jewish are here, since I can't differentiate them from Christians but I can clearly see many many many Muslims around. Why not give a day or two off?
Malaysia dok gaduh nak Chinese Malay and Indian dapat treatment yang adil bagai...

But anyway, since he said the University does not allow it, although he would very much like to help us get the leave, I cant really say anything. To my surprise, my Malaysian friends from other teaching hospitals (but still under Univ of Manchester) got one week off, provided they replace the hours that they missed. Mind you, even non Muslim friend got a week off. So I was outraged. Then it all fall back to place, Preston is known to be a bit more strict with its students bcos it is a smaller hospital in a much smaller town. The other 3 hospitals are in Manchester thus they are very busy that they do not manage their students well. Words are, Preston has the lowest failure rates. Well, smething to be proud of but it comes with a big price. So if I said in my last post that Blackburn is even more efficient in managing the stdnts tmetable cmpared to Preston, imagine what it will be like in another hospital.

Kwn2 lain pun tau abt stdnts from other hospitals dapat cuti seminggu. So anyway, walsupun kitorg xde la discuss and plan btul2 but we roughly know sape balik bila, sape balik lmbt and sape blk awal etc.
And senior 5th year pun ckp yg diorg ponteng seminggu and diorg kna jumpa dekan, and talk like 10mins dgn dia. So, di saat sy beli tiket tu, sy dh ready to face whatever might come.

Then, 2 weeks before the term starts, I emailed the dean's secretary informing them of my one week absence. Masuk2 4th year kt Blackburn mmg la ssh, with no internet and missed the whole week and moving to a new house, and being ill (since I was still in Msia). I started to hate it here because they kept track of us and I felt they are keeping track of me even more so, treating me like a criminal, like an immature girl whose aim is just to identify any possible session that I can skip. Maybe it's my personal feeling, or it may be my guilt for missing one week, but I felt so bad about the place that I hated it. Things were so bad that I anticipated weekends and dreaded weekdays like nvr before.

2 weeks later, comes the appointment with the deanS. Mind you, yes the deanS. I'm meeting both the Academic and the Professional Conduct deans. Ridiculously, my appointment was set at 10 in the morning in Preston, and I have to travel from Blackburn. After the appt, I was supposed to return to Blackburn, and travel to Burnley for my GP posting. And later in the afternoon, travel back to Blackburn because a taxi provided by the school will be fetching us at 4.30pm to go to Preston for another compulsory briefing. What a "funny" arrangement! So I swapped my GP day with my ward day and decided to stay in Preston the whole day. And then.....the meeting came around. I'll talk abt the meeting later but, after the meeting I got a bit intimidated that I decided to return to Blackburn to attend the ward. Imagine the rush and travel and anxiety and exhaustion. A journey by public transports between Preston and Blackburn takes 1.5hrs on a good day. The earliest I'll be able to reach Blackburn will be 2pm and the taxi that's gonna fetch us will be at 4.30 so ineffect, I'll be spending less than 2.5 hrs in a quiet Paeds ward. A total waste of my time. I was even comparing myself to a local. Will a local British student follow the rule and come back to the quiet ward for 2 hrs? There is nothing much that we can do. The benefit we'll get is much less than the effor we're gonna hv to out in to travel back there. Since westerners are known to be more aware of their "rights", I am quite positive that they will not make the futile journey. But having just seen the deanS for absences in the morning, lowered my threshold.

The meeting with the deans itself was not smthing pleasent, tp blh la bangga jgk. Haha... I think I was very tenang and santai throughout. Sy dh ready utk kna marah. Diorg tnya knp sy x dtg, sy ckp sbb raya. Then diorg t ya how will this affect my professional life later. Most of the talk went about being a doctor is not equal to being a hairdresser. Will I be missing for a whole week when I started working later on. I said no, and when asked why, I told them that by that time I am resposnsible for people's lives. No one is going to die when medical students esp me do not turn up. But ppl may die if doctors do not turn up. Agree? So diorg marah. And they went on abt the difference btw a med school and any other school. Then diorg kata knp x minta kebenaran, then I said I did, and when they knew my request was turned down yet sy masih x dtg, lagi kna marah. Haha... Tp siyesly, marah la mcm mana pun, sy dh ready nk face. At last diorg kata they will send me down to Manchester for a meeeting with the people there. Takut la jgk but then, byk je lagi org lain yg kna hantar. Bukan sy sorg yg skip. Before I left the room, my last question to them was "So now I just have to wait for an appointment in Manchester?" - "YES"
But oh no, sy x gaduh ngn diorg or bt mcm x ckup di ajar. Sy tenang and santai and snyum je byk2... Btul ni.... :)

So, it is a lesson to me but, also a lesson to them.
First day of the term on 2nd day of Eid, with us students having to fly across the ocean for 13 hrs, mesti la u'll get bad attendance. Apparently 17 of us Msian stdnts were missing on the induction day. In a way, padan muka diorg. Degil sgt xnk bg some allowance for us. Klo lah diorg took this into account, these wont hv happened. Lenkali if the sem starts coincides with Eid again, sy maybe x skip 5 hari, most prob 3 hari je kot? Oh jahat...

But anyway, I am doing fine now. Doing lots of hours to make up my absences.
Xpe la, rasa la mcm doctor skit, weekends pun kna masuk keje, shift evening hari2 smpai 9pm.
Padan la muka sy dpt raya! Anda bagaimana? :p

-Because life is a test-



  1. Huh? He said "UK is a Christian country, and there are some religious festivals observed by the country" - oh dear. That is so challengeable on many, many fronts, so many that in fact, it wound render the claim as ridiculous. I could be very wrong here, but I suspect the thought that pre-punctuated his statement was 'let's buy the foreign girl off with some stonewall excuse she won't be able to challenge'

    Although, it must be said, he has absolutely no compulsion (even I believe in Islam there would be no compulsion) to give you the day/s off :( or even to give you a reason why.

    Actually, It also has to be said they are 100% in the right, even tho the parameters by which they operate are in sore need of more flexibility. Afterall, it was the second most important festival in the Islamic calendar and doubtless Muslim docs and Muslim med students are prepared to cover the traditional Christian based holidays. Alternative arrangements could quite easily have been offered by them, if there was a will to do so - and that's probably just it; There was no will to be flexible about an Islamic festival.

  2. At last sir! U're able to comment on my blog! Haha.. Did u change any setting?

    Yes, he could have arrange an alternative arrangement. I dont think they expect such a huge number of absences. Hope they take these things into consideration nxt time. Historically, seniors been doing it but they were only small number of them, There are at least 10 pf us Malaysian Muslims so what we did was quite a big scale (and it came as a big blow to them).