Tuesday, December 29

What Have I Been Up To?

~taken from teacherscollege.tumblr.com~
For the past 3 months, this was where I've been spending most of my time at, exercising my intellectual muscles, & will continue to do so for another 1.5 years!

More than 3 months ago, I promised you guys a lot of things on my blog. Then, there was complete silence on this blog until today! Lol!

I haven't been blogging but I've actually been really active on other forms of social media. I'm constantly sharing thoughts & content on my Facebook page, Twitter, & Instagram. I guess it's a faster way to share ideas & content. I've always thought of blogs as more meaty & for my deeper thoughts. I'll write as many  blog posts as I can until the Spring semester begins on 20 Jan.

So, what have I been up to for the past 3 months?
Well, I've been...



1. collecting experiences.


A photo posted by Jarod Yong (@jarodyjk) on



We went to the @NYhistory to join a tour of the "Superheroes of Gotham" exhibition. Thank you, @iieglobal for the enriching #Fulbright opportunity. Behind us is the No 3 Batmobile replica built in November 1966 of the original used in the 1965 Batman TV Series. This replica was used for exhibitions & touring. Now it's part of a private collection in New Jersey. You can actually drive this Ford V8 powered car. Founded in 1804, the New York Historical Society is the earliest museum in New York. At the tour, our docent was very knowledgable & informative despite her advanced age. I learned a lot about the context behind the creations of the superheroes which influenced & inspired me. It was unfortunate that the display was too short. However, there was plenty to see in other parts of the building. We viewed paintings & exhibits on the history of New York. A truly magnificent gallery.
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We caught the Navidad en Latino amรฉrica (Christmas in late 16th & 17th Century New Spain) performance by Early Music New York in the breathtaking @StJohnDivineNYC Cathedral. Honestly, being inside the cathedral has a humbling effect. The structure towering around me must have been built by giants! Remarkable! The performance resembled musical ensembles in Mรฉxican & Perรบvian churches in the 16th-18th century. There was an all male choir ranging from alto to bass who were able to capitalise on their range in beautiful harmony. Musicians played the bombo legรผero, stringed instruments of various kinds, & a bassoon. The melodies were delicious to the ears & soothing to my post-final soul. I felt like I was enjoying a performance for aristocrats during medieval times. Thanks cultural office at @iieglobal for the tickets!
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2. meeting new people & making new friends.






Attended a get together with Dato' Sri Haji @Najib_Razak for Malaysian students in New York when he was in town for the UNGA. This was as close as I got to taking a photograph with him because his bodyguards were physically keeping me away from him even though the ambassador himself tried to introduce us. It could be a racial thing because the Malay students who were there were allowed to approach him unhindered. So much for #1Malaysia. He gave a speech about how well the country performed under his leadership & his desires to continue leading the nation. He also spoke about how GST is good for the country & it was how they paid for the scholarships of the MARA students there. I had plenty of questions to ask him but he did not field any questions that day. I'm hoping for a #betterMalaysia.
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Had the opportunity to interact with the Malaysian Minister of Higher Education, DS Haji Idris Jusoh, at an event organised for Malaysian students in New York. He shared about the new Higher Education Blueprint & its slogan @SoaringUpwards. I learned a lot about what has been going on in the higher education scene & their aspirations. I had the opportunity to pose a question. I brought to his attention the rural-urban divide & asked for more outreach programs for rural schools especially those in Sabah & Sarawak. I also asked if there was affirmative action for students from Sabah & Sarawak. I got a promise from the Director General of the Department of Higher Education, YBhg Dato' Prof. Dr. Asma Bt Ismail that the education system is different now. They are increasing efforts to reach rural students & there is affirmative action for poor & rural students to enter Malaysian public universities. She asked for time for them to implement their initiatives. I hope that this new ministry will serve the people well. Malaysia needs to be competitive internationally &, if the claims of the blueprint are true, we're well on our way. I hope that there will be true meritocracy & also opportunities for rural or poor children to further their education. #IdrisJusoh #SoaringUpwards
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A few months ago, we had the privilege of meeting @Mariabersih Abdullah Chin of #Bersih. She was in town to pitch a programme she wants to run in Sarawak. We had dinner at... of all places๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„... a Malaysian restaurant. Malaysian restaurants here remind me of fancy restaurants in Malaysia. Looks good but tastes like bland. Oh my poor digestive acids. Also, they tarnish the ethereal memory of Malaysian food I have in my head. Learned a lot about current events in Malaysia & things are not looking up. Also found out that Bersih is nonpartisan. They've always invited both the government & opposition to their events & willing to work with both. I'm glad that there are people like her working hard to make Malaysia better. I wonder why she is the exception. I felt challenged. We need more young people to rise up & carry the banner. The future is ours anyway.
A photo posted by Jarod Yong (@jarodyjk) on




3. enjoying local delicacies.










4. getting fat on my wife's amazing cooking.









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Finally...

Wishing everyone reading this had a great year & may the next year be a better one!
Stay tuned for more updates as I've got loads of stories to tell! =)


A photo posted by Jarod Yong (@jarodyjk) on

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