I woke up at the same time as yesterday: 7:15 am. Energy rushed into me almost instantaneously, knowing today would be one of the best days. Hearing from Ms. Connie and Kurniati yesterday, they mentioned a surprise in store for all of us during the end of the day. Quickly, I got dressed for the day and got my things. This time, I didn't want to wait for my other housemates since I was going to run late, so I excused myself by telling them I'm going off and went off alone. Well, not really, because I bumped into Kalai, Kayal, and Khirtanaa, three girls who came along during the camp. Arriving there 5 minutes late, I ate my breakfast then went up into the lecture hall.
Once everyone was assembled in the hall, the first lecturer of the day came inside. I was more acquainted with the rest of my peers now and was able to greet them more casually, and also recognize them. (Yep, that icebreaker really worked.) Looking at the agenda, I found that today, there were two lectures. Cool, I thought. The first one began momentarily and it talked about computing and IT by Dr. Lau Sian Lun. Out of all the sessions so far, this one was less... exciting. Mostly because the slides were just text and had no pictures or videos or anything—completely text. First time I felt sleepy in any session (lol). But nearing the end, a cursed stomachache had to trigger in my bowels and I had to rush to the toilet. Spent a good ten to fifteen minutes there I think. Wasn't pleasant; my stomach hurt.
So after that toilet break, I returned and found that the next session had begun. It was about Biological Sciences, by Dr. Gopalasamy Reuben Clements. Out of all the lectures, this one was really creative—too creative. The professor made a parody of Jungle Book, called Jungle Book II, where Mowgli travels to the Malaysian jungles for us to get to know the wildlife in our country's jungles. At first, it was cringy. But we did get to know what a "Conservative Scientist" was (which is a pretty cool job, I must say) and how people live in the jungles. We also learned that panthers could be found in the jungle, and so do elephants and wild dogs native to Southeast Asia called "dholes". All in all, even though the presentation was cringeworthy, it was still a cool one. Oh yeah, and another group photo before the session ended.
The next session marked the return of the Trainsition team. For this session, the Peacock Guy told us the basics of interviews and also companies providing several types of scholarships. He also showed us several questions coined "Curve-ball questions" designed to use our critical thinking skills to answer. After that, he showed us two scenarios. The first one required some of us in a group to discuss among ourselves as ministries to reach a consensus while also going below the 1 billion ringgit budget. Two different groups will be playing the first scenario. The second scenario required seven of us, as survivors, to decide who to be on the boat since it could only support three people to reach an island some kilometers away. I knew this wasn't going to go well since a large group of us had to decide and solve a single yet huge problem. After discussing, we were tasked to present our results too.
I ended up being in the first team, which my ministry was Science, Technology, and Innovation (I thought was pretty nice to have). The rest of my group was Kalaiarasan, Foreign Affairs; Kurniati, Women, Family, and Community; Shelly, Roadworks; Kalai, Human Resources; Phoebe, Higher Education; and finally Jun Wei, Trade, Cooperation, and Consumerism. Our ministries' proposed budget was 1.8 billion, which was over the 1 billion budget. My ministry started out with a proposed budget of 100 million, which I didn't think sufficed since STI would require a whole lot more. And I didn't think this group would work since we had the only two Eagles in the same group. Two power freaks—oh, the humanity! Well, just because I felt that way didn't mean I would give up on the group so easily.
So upon starting, we tried to lower each other's budget while not defending ours because we didn't know what we were doing. Until one of the Trainsition members told us what we should be doing: defending our rights while also attacking other's rights to reach a point where both or more ministries could agree with one another. So, all of us got into our characters as ministers and introduced ourselves as well as our projects one by one. Then came the point where we proposed how much money we needed and then opposing the said propositions while also giving points. All of us worked together to lay out points. I requested more budget since STI would obviously need more to cover up the rest of the ministries' lowered budgets. In the end, we did manage to reach 1 billion (800 million cut!) but we used up a lot of extra time.
When it was our turn to present, we agreed that Phoebe should be the representative speaker of all of us. She told everyone in the hall of our plans. The Peacock Guy then pointed out how only STI got an increase in budget whereas everything else was lowered, which I had to speak about. I explained that our group decided that STI was the key in the discussion whereby the project was STI could be used to overcome the other problems faced by the other six ministries, along with examples, to secure my point. It ended up our group being praised by the Peacock Guy for giving a concrete point to support the result of our discussion. What I thought wouldn't work since larger groups equal more problems in a discussion ended up becoming a grand success. What an awesome group! (By the way, this session also finished very late.)
After that session, we took a group photo with the Trainsition team after filling up our feedback forms. Gonna miss that Peacock Guy—he was an awesome person. Then, we had our lunch. I sat with the Tropicana trio and hung out with them for a short while before returning to the hall. Once everyone was in, we were greeted by several foreigners who came from Bain & Co. Yep, those were the people we had to speak to for a few hours. We got into our reflection groups. Our group went to join Mr. Robert Oushoorn, the partner we picked, and the second partner happened to be Mrs. Kenzie Kwong, one of the founders of Leaders' Quest. We took them to the grassy sky platform on the next floor for our talk.
As a group, we introduced ourselves as they did too then we delivered our elevator pitches that we rehearsed the night before. It went well. We also asked them to give us their elevator pitches. After that, we began asking them questions while I recorded all their words on my notepad (journalist-in-the-making!). We continued the conversation which was indeed interesting—so interesting that time had to be in the way and we had to go back to the hall soon. That was when Mrs. Kenzie told us that we had forgotten to let them give feedback on our elevator pitches. Simply, we had to do it again so we could receive the feedback. Mine, according to them, was great as it showed passion except it lacked elaboration on why I had these passions. I resolved to improve my elevator pitch. I really wanted to have them ask questions for us too, to balance the conversation, but we ran out of time, unfortunately, and so we all returned to the hall.
As the groups returned one by one, the session with Bain & Co. ended with our thoughts and their thoughts on the conversation we all had. I managed to get Mr. Robert's and Mrs. Kenzie's contacts. Sometime during our time away, my classmate's mentor arrived. We took a group photo in our reflection group with the two partners before they left. Honestly, it felt a little bit awkward to speak with such influential people, knowing that I felt a bit inferior to their status. However, it went better as I expected.
Well, the next on the agenda was actually Rest & Free Time, but we had to stay in our reflection groups for the third day's reflection. After that, with an hour left on the clock before dinner and the surprise coming up next, I traveled with Phoebe and Crystal back to our accommodation. I put my things there, hung around for a while and played Osu! before deciding to go back to the university for dinner. Extra walking was totally worth for what's coming up later even though I loathed it. I ate dinner alone as everyone wasn't there yet, save for some mentors and the CtG team. When I finished, everyone had arrived by then, but Ms. Ida came to give me the evaluation of the group's and my performance on the group discussion earlier.
After that, I went to sit with the Tropicana trio, where Phoebe's and Crystal's mentors had had already arrived. Wei Pin's mentor, however, hadn't arrived yet. I chatted with all of them until it was time to depart for Sunway Pyramid. I was then told that we were going to an Escape Room, which thrilled me since I'd always wanted to try it out once. The walk to Sunway Pyramid was tiring, especially with the uphill walking, but we eventually reached our destination. The Escape Room studio (not sure of the proper name) was called Mission-Q.
All of us, mentors and CtG team included, went inside. We had to group each other with at least 7 people and pick a room to play. There were 5 rooms: The Harvest, Knock Knock Who's There, Saving King Arthur, The Tomb of Life and Death, and The Imperial Mausoleum. I wasn't a fan of horror, but I managed to find other people who weren't fans of horror and groups up together. Kurniati wasn't up to horror either and neither was my classmate's mentor. We ended up choosing Saving King Arthur since it was fantasy-themed. After choosing, we had to keep all of our accessories and belongings in a locker before entering the room. Then, we went to our room and were briefed for a moment. And then, we were all alone. Oh, goodies!
Well, I would tell you what happened in the escape room throughout our time there, but I think I'd rather keep the experience a secret in case some of you readers go to Sunway Pyramid and play that room while knowing everything, which would be unfair. However, what I can tell you is that Kurniati has a dead eye's accuracy, everyone used their brains to solve weird yet creative puzzles, and that we managed to escape our room in time. After escaping, we took a group photo. Our group managed to achieve the 3rd fastest (woo!) of that room and were placed on the leaderboard. Finally, we took one last group photo of everyone once they returned (wow, that's a lot of group photos) saying Connie! before taking our things and returning to the Sunway-Monash Residence. None picked the 5th room apparently. That walk home was also an extra long walk if you're wondering.
While I was preparing to sleep, the door somehow had to freaking close on me with the keycard inside the room. I facepalmed and facewalled and also facedoored. Asking my housemate Rhyshie for help, we went to the control room to help open up the door. Thankfully, I didn't have to pay anything as a summon. After that, I dressed for the night, packed my laptop since the Wi-Fi would never work for me and other things for tomorrow, and slept.
And then the dreadful final day. I woke up later than usual since I had already packed everything prior. I arose from my bed and grabbed my duffel bag and my laptop backpack then left the unit. I reached there for breakfast, but nobody was there, so I ate alone. The rest of my peers eventually came. After breakfast, I joined the Tropicana trio and went with them to the hall.
Once everyone gathered, we listened to talk by Soon Teck, who had a Sunway University scholarship. I met him earlier during the first day and learned that he learned from zero English to really fine English—in the span of 6 months. Wow, if I could learn Japanese at that pace, it would be great. Next, we had to be in our reflection group and had to reflect on the past 3 days and what we'd learned throughout our experiences. Then, one of us had to tell everyone else about the summary of our group's reflections. Imran agreed to do it, so when it was our turn, Imran spoke about our reflections as a whole. After everyone reflected on their parts, Kurniati went up front and explained about her background and her pathway to getting an A-Levels Scholarship followed by Shamirah. The talks were all inspiring and admirable. I even managed to write a bit on their details on my notepad (hooray journalism).
Finally, the very last session of the camp: the pledges. We were tasked by the CtG team to make a specific promise on something we'd do for the following months. I wrote mine after a very long period of thinking. Once I was finished, I got a call from my mother than she had already arrived. Which meant that I, unfortunately, had to go. The session picked up the pace and we had a final group photo before I had to rush out. Honestly, I really didn't want to go that fast and personally say my goodbyes to every single one of my peers. But I couldn't—so Ms. Connie had them say goodbye to me as a choir of voices instead. It was a bittersweet farewell.
The experience I had from this camp was something I would never forget in my life. "Great" isn't enough to explain how much I truly felt. Everyone was so supportive of each other and I've met some people I admired, inspiring me. I think most of my friends would end up as a character in my book (in a good way, I mean!). It was definitely a wonderful time spending my four days for the camp.
Oh, and lemme attach a video by Closing the Gap on the camp. Enjoy!
And thank you guys for reading my whole experience on the camp! I had a fun time retelling the story of what happened and I hope you guys had a fun time reading it. Thanks again and leave me a comment if you have anything to talk about—I'll be sure to reply!
See you guys in the next post!