Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Homeroom Culture

The homeroom is one aspect of the MRSM life that I could not comprehend during those days.

It was supposed to, I believe, provide the support network for the youngsters and create a homely environment. I guess in an ideal situation, kids like us - mostly barely 13 years old and being away from home for the first time, many as far away as Sabah and Sarawak, (or as near as Kota Bharu!) - would need such support to take us through life at a boarding school at such a young and tender age.

But then again in 1976, we were a long long way from adopting this piece of American culture that is essentially Asian in spirit, but may be a bit foreign in implementation. Every time we would have a meeting, everybody would be stiff. We were just getting to know each other and there was no way we would be opening up to each other there and then, despite much cajoling from the homeroom advisor.

So silence was the name of the game then.

Pity Bapak Muljadi (definitely not the Muljadi of the Rindu's fame). He had a hard time trying to convince us that this was family and we should be treating each other as one. What do you expect when we would only meet sporadically; not sure whether it was weekly or fortnightly or even monthly while we meet our classmate every day. In the end, the homeroom meeting would almost always turned to be a Math revision class for us.

One thing I would remember of him and this revision class (we would use his Math's book, with some fancy design, but this is another entry) is he loved to compare us with Jenny and the fact that she was the only Chinese in our batch, but she was perhaps more diligent and hard working than many of us combined!

He would give us a stirring lecture of our responsibility to study to ensure that the Malays would not be left behind.

Yes, bapak and hence we studied really hard for our SRP in 1978.

Bless you bapak.
(Caption: Ni bukan bapak. Ni Zul my classmate with An and Gina and the other gals preparing the food for sale. I am sure whatever they were sure habih punya)

I can barely remember activities done under the homeroom concepts. One that I could remember would be the Minggu Solat organized by one homeroom with Ustaz Ridzwan (Allahyarham) as the advisor and Munawir as the 'president'(?). On many other occasions, we would be selling drinks or food. I vaguely remember those to be honest.

I guess quite a number of fairs were organized; I am not sure if that was the proper name of the event then. Apart from drinks and foods (what else we are good at then!), I guess there were many games too, like melempar tepung yang telah dibancuh dengan air ke muka orang. That person could be a teacher I guess, but it came with a fee. You would have to pay to have that privilege.

Tak ingat lah which teachers were sporting enough to be volunteering. It was a good feeling to see the slimy flour splattered on the teacher's face if it hit the bull's eye.

I do remember though that on that occasion, they later had to switch to throwing water instead to avoid being wasteful!

Another incident would be our homeroom selling something. Ntah apa minuman yang kiterorang jual that day; one senior buang je lepas dia beli. I remember it being the remnants, so can't blame us lah! Hehe, budak2 baru blaja buat air kut, hehehe.
(Caption: Ni the KB76 gals enjoying some foods other than dewan makan food during one of those fairs held along the walkway. Beyond that I don't have any other detail. Dok tanya yang empunya gambar pun kater dia dah blur, bad sector, or so she told me. Kalau orang dalam gambar blur, kiter ni lagi lah.)

But I guess the homeroom culture would pick up over the years and in 2008, Arif would tell me how he would feel closer to his homeroom members by the sheer number of activities they would do together. If I am not mistaken, they even had 'potong ayam' as one of their activities and of course barbecuing them during that year which he would not have learned at home and making and selling ice blended.

Good for him and I am glad the homeroom support network would have gone through a lot over the last 30 years.
This is Homeroom P1 (1976), nicknamed by Bapak Muljadi Homeroom Perintis. Of course then we had no idea of the meaning the word until he introduced it to us.

It must be Javanese!

This pix was taken on a different day from the class pix, so that explains the different dresses we were wearing. I also share this homeroom with 3 other classmates, who were all featured in this pix, four if you were to consider Budi. You can see us here.

PS Again, these were our uniforms then. Any decent dress will do.


  1. Yes I remembered Bapak Muljadi Natsir (he used to say his name means Mulia dimana mana). An above excellent maths teacher.

    Whats the latest about him? I mean, is he still here or went back to Indonesia etc.

    Your junior '78

  2. bad sector, bad sector, bad sector...i dun remember much about my homeroom activities either but guess it mainly involved in makan2 & trips(?). our homeroom advisors always bertukar ganti, the first if not mistaken was bapak maryoso but he left very early that saw our eyes teary during the farewell dinner when "dimanakan ku cari ganti" was played. he was nice & warm and have that fatherly charm. cikgu mahmood, the geog teacher yg groovy tu pun once my homeroom advisor.other than that nothing much i can recall, homeroom mates pun dah tak ingat semua...too bad!


  3. I dont have information about Bapak. After KB I think he went to Seremban and taught matriculation there.

    But beyond that I have no idea. Sorry.

    Anyway, saya tak ingat tentang nama dia yang mulia di mana mana. But it is good to know. Masa F1 asyik dok sebut Mul-jadi je kut.


    Ish ish terrible you!

    But at least you remember your homeroom adviser very well.

    And especially that Dimana kan ku cari ganti dinner.