Tuesday, October 09, 2012

2012 Nobel Laureate John Gurdon

"When he was 15, John Gurdon ranked last out of 250 students in the subject of Biology. His school teacher even wrote in his report that it would be "a sheer waste of time" for him to study science.
At 79, Sir John Gurdon, currently a Professor of Biology at Cambridge University, won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his groundbreaking stem cell research.

He still keeps his teacher's report nicely framed on his desk."
Kudos to our Cambridge professor! His story reminded me of mine... 

1) When I was in Junior College, I wanted to apply to Oxford but my civics tutor discouraged me saying that there was no way that Oxford would admit me who always failed Economics in my class tests.

2) When I was working in the ministry, I wanted to apply for the ministry's post-graduate scholarship but my director refused to support my application as I was deemed not intelligent enough to enter the Ivy League schools I had put on my application. Instead I was told to apply to "easier-to-get-in universities".


1) I scored an 'A' for Economics (in the French language) at the prestigious Sciences-Po Paris under the tutelage of former French Minister of Finance Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

2) I was awarded the esteemed Fulbright Scholarship (that I applied on my own with NO support from the ministry etc.) to pursue my Masters at Lehigh University.

3) I matriculated at world-renowned Cambridge University and graduated with the MPhil.

So, never let anyone belittle you or say you can't make it. Believe in yourself and remember, poetic justice is served best with that Nobel prize or any other achievements or awards :)

ps. Yes, you who said that I would be a nuisance to society when I return from Cambridge and all the jealous "Hidayah Haters", well... if John Gurdon gets his Nobel prize at 79, I still have lots of time and stamina to work towards that prize. And God willing when I get it, I will smile to the camera and tell you to "Remember this!"

Visit to Palestinian Refugee Camps

I had the opportunity to visit 6 Palestinian refugee camps & Haifa Hospital in Lebanon in September as well as to witness the destructions brought about by the war.
What struck me is how positive the Palestinians are in the face of devastation. Although their homes were taken away, their orange and olive trees were uprooted, their families killed... they smiled and said, "We are not afraid."
Like them too, I will say this, "You may uproot my mango tree, but you will never uproot my spirit."

The Demise of my Mango tree

It's has been some time since I last blogged. Things have been hectic as always. After Dr Ang's visit, my mango tree was ungraciously cut down by mean folks who didn't even have the courtesy to inform me about it before cutting it down. To learn more about the mango tree saga, pls visit www.gedungkuning.com/mangotree

I was traumatised and cried for 3 weeks. But as per Erwin Bovian who comforted me, "May its demise give birth to soothing words of poetry so that more can be sown for her community". Indeed, "The Mango Tree" will rise from the deepest earth, only to be reborn into immortality. So keep Saturday 16 March 2013 free for its rebirth. To all guilty parties, "Be Very Afraid" because my great-grandmother had cursed (and on many occasions, her words came true), "If one has bad intentions, one will not be happy and safe in Gedung Kuning". 

Yes, Gedung Kuning does not forget. And neither will I.