Saturday, January 05, 2008

Angkasawan Visits USM

Today, Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, Malaysia’s oh-so-yummy angkasawan came to USM as it was part of the government’s plan to encourage the younger generation to have passion for science. I can say that he is tall really tall and seriously seriously hot. I mean really, really yummy.

After singing negaraku & USM song, there was a forum and the MC asked him questions. He also talked about his experiences in space. A couple of videos were shown of him going through his training and his trip to space. It was interesting. But something much more interesting than the event happened. I'll tell you the story of a crazed fan later. First I'd like to say that:

Dr. Sheikh said that he came to USM to encourage interest in science and I think that's a bit ridiculous really because USM is after all a science university. If he had said, he'd come to meet the students and share his experiences then it wouldn't be as silly. Because many of us already have an interest in science.

I did some research on him as well as the ‘research’ that he did on the ISS (International Space Station) yesterday. I am after all a researcher at heart. I wanted to make sure that I knew all that was available online about him and his research in space so that I could ask intelligent questions befitting a postgraduate student. I did all this because I knew the ‘budak-budak mentah’ a.k.a undergraduate students; especially the girls would go to the event just because they wanted to see him and maybe get a chance to reel him in (cause he’s still single) or just wanted to be able to get his autograph like a fan would want from his/her favourite Hollywood star. They wouldn’t go there to actually learn something or be encouraged or whatever.

I was right!! It was more like a Hollywood red carpet event, where screaming fans got to see & touch their favourite stars. I knew this would happen because he IS that good looking. So thank god I decided the night before yesterday to search the net to do some homework on him. At least I was able to let him see that there are some university students who are already passionate & knowledgeable on the subject of science.

One undergraduate student from the School of Educational Studies, particularly made embarrassed on behalf of my fellow students. Why was I so embarrassed you ask? I’m sure you’ve seen on TV, one of those crazed fans at red carpet events that break away from the rest of the group to run crazily to hug or shake the hands of Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise. In the case of the somewhat "crazed fan" from the school of educational studies, as soon as Dr Sheikh reached the place where he was supposed to sit, she ran quickly (like a crazed fan), touched his arm and when he turned around to look at her, she shook his hand. Thank god she didn’t hug him. I’m sure if that wasn’t frowned upon in our society she would have. The hand shaking was not the embarrassing part. What was embarrassing was how she behaved when she returned to her seat. She was running and jumping like a crazy fan at the Oscars. She did this right under the nose of USM's TNC. I caught her on video doing this. I didn’t catch her shaking hands with him but I caught her on video doing the running & screaming thing. The jumping was when she got back to her seat and it is unfortunately off-screen so you won't see it. You can see her running & screaming at the beginning of the video below. Sorry it's not of better quality. There were a lot of people and they were all pushing and shoving so the video is not very steady.

This was not the most embarrassing thing she did. There was a Q&A session. That’s where the gem of all embarrassing events happened. When the Q&A session started, I along with some students including of course the “crazed fan”, lined-up to ask questions. I was a few feet her. Instead of asking questions, she started giving a speech. It went something like this (not word for word):

Crazed fan: Saya bla bla binti bla bla, seorang pelajar ilmu pendidikan. Of course saya nak tujukan soalan kepada angkasawan kita, Dr Sheikh Muzasphar (Yeah, right, soalan, it wasn’t a soalan okay it was a monologue).

Crazed fan Continued: Saya ingin mengatakan bahawa saya sebagai bakal guru akan mendidik anak-anak bangsa sehingga berjaya menjadi angkasawan kelak dan mengikuti contoh Dr. Sheikh

Me (starting to get embarrassed): I looked at my friend who was sitting down and each of us rolled our eyes while silently communicating to each other….. Oh, pleeeasee!

Crazed fan continued on: Saya akan pastikan mereka akan meminati sains dan akan menjadi orang-orang yang berguna. Saya mewakili semua mahasiswi-mahasiswi di sini …….

Me: Whoaaaa! Just wait a minute there missy. Just what the hell do you think you’re doing? Who the bloody hell made you my representative???? (unfortunately all said in my head)

Crazed fan blabbed on: Saya mewakili semua mahasiswi-mahasiswi di sini ingin mengatakan kami berbangga dengan Dr. Sheikh dan just want to say ……… (drum roll please)….. I LOVE YOU!!!!

Me: WHAAATTT!!! What the hell are you saying (All of course in my head). I just really wanted to strangle her.

She continued talking and talking but the pengerusi majlis put a stop to her incessant nonsense by saying that there isn’t much time so she should give way to others

The crazed fan is a university student but she didn’t behave like one. There was a kid who behaved more like a university student than her. The kid showed that he was smart and observant. His question was,

"Masa Dr. Sheikh berada di dalam roket soyuz sebelum berlepas, saya nampak Dr. ada pakai 2 jam tangan. Kenapa pakai 2 jam tangan?"

(Now, this question was absolutely brilliant. Dr. Sheikh answered that he was in fact wearing 3 watches. I watched the life coverage of the blast-off off the Soyuz shuttle and I didn’t even notice that he was wearing a watch let alone 3).

Now, after the kid asked this question, I was determined to show that university students, in particular USM students were not so flaky and silly. Many people asked questions about his (Dr. Sheikh) feelings or questions that lacked depth. An example of questions they asked: Apa perasaan Dr. Sheikh semasa menunggu untuk berlepas ke angkasa lepas?

There was one student who was a member of the astronomy club, whom I thought would ask an intelligent question about astronomy or something that you can only learn by going to space. But he asked nothing of the sort, all he asked was how the good doctor answered the call of nature on the space station. Something like that can be answered by just looking it up. It’s the 21st century. There’s something called the internet now. Go look it up yourself for heaven’s sake or go read a book or simply watch Apollo 13 (the movie starring Tom Hanks). You can find the answers to such questions yourself. You are a university student for god’s sake.

All the questions they asked were in Bahasa Malaysia even though Dr. Sheikh was speaking English throughout the forum. There were only two who asked totally in English, the 1st was I myself and another was an engineering student. But there were a few who made the effort to try to speak english but it was rather rojak-like as in half english & half bahasa malaysia.

This is what I asked: “Assalamualaikum & good morning. I’m a Ph.D student from the school of biological sciences (I specifically said Ph.D student because it was very important to me to distance myself from the 'crazed fan' undergraduate student as much as possible. Especially after what the ‘crazed fan’ had said. I actually just planned to say I was a postgraduate student). I continued with…… Dr. Sheikh, you mentioned that in the space station you studied cancer cells as well as a few other things. I’ve been reading up on zero-gravity research and I read that a Dr. Jeanne Becker from the University of Florida, College of Medicine has studied the effects of zero-gravity on the growth of cancer cells. Her study was on ovarian cancer cells. My question is what cancer cells did you study? (Do you see, just how a little research can at least make you sound intelligent as opposed to seeming like a shallow crazed fan)

I actually wanted to ask more but they allowed only one question per person. I wanted to ask how his study is different from the study by Dr. Jeanne Becker. But never mind. I’d done my duty. I at least represented my age group and my fellow postgraduate students in a more positive way. I think I did a way better job of representing my fellow students than the “crazed fan” did. My way was more subtle and should at least represent the intelligence that a university student should have.


At 7/1/08 12:40 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salam :) I was browsing through stories on Dr Sheikh in USM and I found yours. OMG, the girl in that video disgust me! ish ish..
and kakak yg ckp ILOVEYOU to Dr Sheikh tu gile daring kay! haha I knew it that she's going to say something 'mengasyikkan' to Dr Sheikh and yeah dia tak tanya soalan pun but she did ask Dr Sheikh to speak Russian. Lagi happy la kakak tu bila Dr Sheikh ckp Ya Lublyu Tebya. Hahaha. I didnt expect something like that happen you know. but then I was kind off frustrated when the sesi beramah mesra dibatalkan. Its canceled becos keadaan tak dapat dikawal? okayy.. overall, the talk was very MENGASYIKKAN indeed :)


At 7/1/08 9:38 am, Anonymous muzem said...

yaa.. aku pun ada dalam dewan tu.. sgt memaulkan bile that girl shout I LOVE YOU!. **WTF!.

At 7/1/08 10:19 am, Blogger papamikael said...

Hehe.. check my submission to Youtube at:-

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

At 7/1/08 3:45 pm, Blogger Kancilzilla said...

Yes, seriously embrassing. But i hv to admit that was really daring and in front of the TNC some more. I wonder what the TNC must hv thought of her.

The sesi ramah mesra was cancelled? I didn't even hang around long enough to know that. It was just too chaotic. Didn't see any benefit in pushing & shoving people around.

At 7/1/08 4:48 pm, Anonymous masduta said...

thank god i missed the event, otherwise i'll definitely will be throwing mineral bottles to her..what we should call her actually???well, "gedikz girl" suits her well...

At 10/1/08 8:44 pm, Anonymous maria j. micheal said...

i've watched d embedded vid and hear me this... go back to ur kampung lass!! (yea i know she'll never heard of my cries or perhaps... she might stumble across dis entry, who knows). sincerely i'd say it was stupid and obnoxious. so kindergarden level she is. even they don't act like that *shakes head*. nyway, thx 4 da head up ^__^

At 12/1/08 5:07 pm, Blogger Kancilzilla said...

Thanx maria J micheal for the comment. Yeah shocking isn't it. I wonder if she felt embarrassed at her own behaviour when she got back home. Anyways thank god there was only one of her kind there that day.

At 12/1/08 5:41 pm, Blogger Kancilzilla said...

To masduta

yes, gedikz girl is another suitable name for her. Memang tersangat ler gedik. I'm sure there many people there who wanted to throw things at her. At one point i felt like taking of my shoes and throwing it at her or as joey from the TV series 'Friends' would say "I felt like ripping my arm off just so I had something to throw at her". Heh heh.

At 13/1/08 11:22 am, Blogger nlyzluiz said...

haha hehe..klako giler membaca pasal kanak2 tua x cukup segi ituh.
nasib aku tiada disitu. kalau tidak sure panjang je kaki aku menyepak buntutsnya. p/s pesanan utk mok cik itu kalo dia bc komen ini: hello...kawal2le neuron tu skt. org lain pn minat Dr SMS gak..

At 13/1/08 1:50 pm, Blogger Kancilzilla said...

wakakakka, kawal neuron! That's so right. Kalu orang lain dalam dewan tu yg meluats tgk perangai dia tak kawal neuron, mesti ramai yg dh terajang dia :-D


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