UiTM Shah Alam Convocation, 2007 (Faculty of Law)
No, not mine, my cousin’s. I just happened to hover around sending homicidal telekinetic waves to people to see if I could kill them.
Alas, I need more practice.
So here’s the thing, there I was, full from being fed McD burgers and fries by my generous relatives. We just got off on UiTM and were prepared to enter the halls where they were going to project the ceremony on a huge-ass screen, since the hall where the actual ceremony was held couldn’t capacitate that much people.
I could hardly sleep the day before, imagining the excitement, the anticipation, the pride, the chaos that would entail such a momentous event. Of course, my excitement was gratifyingly rewarded. Imagine the thrill I got upon having to sit for four hours tapping my feet to the sound of my brain cells dying. Imagine my elation at being suffocated by the aroma of decaying corpses that emitted from the other similarly overjoyed spectators. Obviously, their hormones went into over-drive from brimming with such joyous anxiety that they decided to have me permanently brain damaged from having to smell such pleasant body odours. Imagine my joy at having to finally catch a glimpse of my beloved cousin getting on stage to get her scroll for a WHOLE 6.5 seconds! Out of the 14400 seconds that we waited until our asses got sore!
In fact, I was so trigger happy you could hardly pry my happy fingers from the happy imaginary gun that I happily fantasised about during the happy 14400 seconds out of the happy whole.
But then, it was in fact, worse for another person.
Do you notice the guy who has to plaster the fake smile every time he gives out the scroll? The same guy who shakes hands with all the recipients of these scrolls?
Since I have telekinetic abilities (It’s just not advanced enough to kill people… yet. I’m trying), I quickly focused my energy on him, to get a reading. I read his mind, and it was not pleasant. There were torture devices, bodies sprawled everywhere, mutilated heads of the students he had to, god forbid, have physical contact with, and also there were your occasional bunnies hopping about. Obviously, he’s bitter. And probably a bit insane.
I don’t blame the guy. If I had to shake hands with 600 students who had disgusting habits and dubious personal hygiene, I’d be thinking the same thing. I know some of them didn’t wash their hands after using the toilet. I know they picked their noses and scratched their asses. Those germ-infested, beacon of viral plagues, pathetic excuse for hands.
At the end of the day, after my lawyers advised me that it was not moral or legal of me to kill everyone I shook hands with under the excuse “But they’re filthy pigs! Ew~!”, I would go straight back home to disinfect my hands twenty-nine times with bleach before amputating my arm.
But I’m not him, so it was easy for me to forget about it and continue engaging my mind with the intellectual activity we call staring at the wall.
I thought the entertainment they provided was pretty tacky too. They had a choir group. They sang. First, they sang the national anthem. Then, the UiTM theme song. Then… they sang the Lion King theme song.
Yes, my friends. The Lion King theme song. The Disney movie. The one with those African (I’m assuming) lyrics we don’t understand. This unibrow choir guy, who looked as if he had a fat, unbelievably long and hairy caterpillar resting on his forehead sang the intro, and I immediately went, “What the fettuccini?”
On a day and event, where they commemorate the efforts of hundreds of students whom arduously finished their tertiary course, some with honours and all with pride; On a day where they were to receive their scroll, their iconology of excellence and completion, their baby steps into the real world and the beginnings of a new, mortifying phase in life, it’s apparently very appropriate to reflect the life-altering achievement with……….. The Lion King theme song.
To be honest though, these people were pretty good. They sang a few other songs in between the scroll-giving ceremony. They had harmony, rhythm, and most importantly, talent. Unfortunately, they still cannot compare to the local and international singers, albeit having the nicest voices I’ve heard in a long while. And you know why? Because popular singers are different. Popular singers have showmanship, entertaining skills, marketable packages, excellent networking, physical beauty. The UiTM choir not only lacked all that, they only have the ONE skill that’s probably the most useless, insignificant thing to have when you’re talking about the music industry; actual vocal talent.
There were some excellent students among the mass. They were honoured with “Anugerah Kecemerlangan Diraja” or something like that. Only, they were not separated from the group of students. The scroll-receiving order still followed the alphabetical orders of their names, so now and then there would be a suspenseful pause, and the announcer guy would raise his voice a few thousand decibels and exclaim “Adik xxx, pemegang anugerah kecemerlangan diraja!”
It was debasing. Imagine the announcer droning the list of names of the recipient of the scrolls, one-by-one listing them in the same tone of voice you’d use when you’re forced to read something by yourself In class. As if all your happiness and joy was sucked out of you. Then there was that pause. You could almost hear him drawing in his breath sharply, and then his voice boomed to proclaim to the whole world another winner of this limited award for academic excellence. After the thundering applause, all goes silent, and again he goes to using the same bored, listless tone, like his wife ran away with his mechanic, stray cats killed his children and he’s diagnosed with prostrate cancer; and life has nothing more to offer. Though, the cynic in me couldn’t help but snicker at those unfortunate students and the obvious distinction of their inferiority, their embarrassment, their loss of confidence and ultimately, monetary loss from years of psychiatric help. He-he.
I don’t really remember all that happened in the span of the four hours that I spent sitting and sharpening my ESP skills, but I do remember the highlight of the event.
Finally, it came the time when it was my cousin’s turn to go on stage. With bated breath and brimming pride, we waited. In fact, I clenched my fist from the intense anticipation, and then… Okay I’m lying. One millisecond after receiving her scroll, my other cousin turned to me and said “Okay thank god. Now we can get out of here.”
I love how we think alike. Almost as much as I love how the blood rushed back into my numb and partially paralysed ass the moment I stood from my seat. I could feel my ass again!
All in all, it was a good day. My relatives brought me to eat at this seafood restaurant in Shah Alam for dinner, and it was delicious. If it were not for me losing half my IQ points from all that wall staring, I would probably remember the name of the restaurant and tell you. For now, I’m going to call it “that restaurant beside that filthy man-made lake.”
Oh, and my cousin is one of those who graduated her degree in Law with Honours. She’s smart…