Friday, May 8, 2009

One day I'll fly away

Figuratively speaking for Arif, that is.

Not that I want him to leave home anytime soon, but to fulfill his dream of one day taking up the sky on his own, I wouldn't mind.

And with that, fulfill his dad's 35 year unfulfilled dream. Yes, I remember going in front of my class in Std 6 (in 1975 in King Edward), and declaring to all and sundry that I would one day be a pilot, only for the teacher (one Indian lady with glasses, methinks before Puan Kamariah) to douse the flame of desire, insisting that I can't be one with my thick glasses.

I was tongue-tied after that. Haha, so embarrassing one. Luckily KE is a boys' school (and I didn't die of embarrassment since there was no gals around) and we were as macho as we can be then, if at least in our minds! Yalah, rugby player mah.

Son, I hope I am not putting too much pressure on you.

The past 2 months since the SPM results has been an anxious time for us - going around looking for flying schools for him to attend to. It is tough deciding one - the DCA has warned us to choose our school carefully; apparently many did not make the right decision, so I was told in their office in Putrajaya.

But when I whispered to them to let me know which school that I should send Arif to, they declined to tell me. Cannot be biased, they said. Aiyah, cannot tell, ah? How to choose then?

It is easy to choose a university for him. If he were to go to a local Uni, it would have to be the main 5 universities in the country. As for foreign uni with campus in Malaysia, may be I would want him to attend to my alma mater which is a top 50 in THES. THES would be our criteria for him.

Easy choice. It is clear cut. You know the good one, and you can tell the bad ones.

DCA has about 10 approved flying schools, but no one can tell me exactly their quality. Pengkalan Chepas used to be the top one, but I am told it is quite bad now with backlog of students trying to complete their flying hours. Melaka used to be good too being the oldest, but at one time it did deteriorate. Now it has re-established itself.

You will get all kind of answers if you were to ask around. I even went to Bintulu to check out with one parents advocating the virtues there. I know it has Pizza Hut in Bintulu, so it could have been our reason to choose Bintulu. We can't be choosing a flying school just because there is a PIzza Hut in town so that Arif can get his daily meals! What kind of decision making that would be, hahaha.

But in the end, we decided Melaka. Oh by the way, I am sure Melaka has many Pizza Hut outlets.

Having decided on Melaka, we found out that he needs to sit for an entrance exam, and in the end, he was given 1 day to study the materials and sit for it. I was not too nervous about the physics and math exam - I am sure he could take it, but was reasonably nervous about the interview. Would he talk? That what was running in my mind.

But he flew through the interview effortlessly, getting full mark for confidence, enthusiasm and other criteria set for the interview. And of course he had to pass his math and physics exam to get to the interview stage.

And of course he had to pass Class 1 medical test before the school would offer him a seat. That they did on Wednesday, and he has accepted their offer today.

Well Arif, you would be living my dream in the next 18 months.

Here is the song One Day I'll Fly Away. I love the song - it is such a beautiful song, but beyond the title, the song has nothing to do with being a pilot.

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