Browsed by
Author: bazil bolia

365 Days Of Failure (2): My Initial Failure In Getting A Scholarship

365 Days Of Failure (2): My Initial Failure In Getting A Scholarship


My maths teacher, Bidari – is an awesome teacher. During his classes, he usually tells us stories about his experience studying overseas. He studied chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was sponsored by Shell. That’s the top university that you should go if you want to pursue any courses in engineering. MIT has produced a lot of notable alumni. One of them is Salman Khan, creator of

So right after I got my SPM result, it’s scholarship hunting time. My top priority was getting a scholarship into Shell. I remembered that it took me quite an effort to apply for it. I didn’t have internet. I didn’t have a scanner. All I had was the big old CRT desktop which I’ve always used to edit my pictures.

Government scholarships require a compulsory 5A’s in these subjects; Bahasa Melayu, English, History, Mathematics and Islamic Studies / Moral. I didn’t get an A for Bahasa Melayu so government scholarship is out of the question. Shell is a private company so in their scholarship requirements they did not state that having an A for Bahasa Melayu was compulsory – this was my first scholarship application. I went to a cybercafé, surfed to Shell’s website and typed in my particulars. I didn’t have enough money for scanning so I brought my certificates to my math’s teacher office and told him that I needed his help. I need help for him to scan my certificates and upload it to Shell’s website. I asked Bidari about how was Shell’s interview process was like and went researching what were the type of questions that was usually asked. After applying, a few days later I’ve got an email and the email instructed me to choose a timeslot for me to undergo the interview.

There were 8.30AM. 9.30AM. 10.30AM and 11.30AM.

I chose 11.30AM.

So on Tuesday morning, April 28, 2009, I woke up early and went out for breakfast at 8.00AM. At 8.30AM an unknown number called me – I picked it up and it was from Shell. They were asking if I was ready and could they proceed with the interview now. I said I can’t and was still having breakfast. I mentioned that we agreed that I was to be interviewed at 11.30AM so the Shell interviewer obliged and hung up. I felt like this was a set-up.

During the interview the questions asked was what I’ve expected – school achievements, what activities I have done and what curriculum clubs that I was most active in. It was easy stuff. The hardest part was when they asked me the question – which one is good or bad; renewable energies or fossil fuels? The answer is obvious, but I didn’t prepare myself much for the question so I talked trashed for most of the part. I think I’ve flopped. I didn’t do my groundwork. I didn’t study enough about renewable energies and fossil fuels.

After the interview, the Shell interviewer told me that they will notify me through a call or an email if I passed the scholarship interview and to be considered for the next session.

I didn’t receive any follow-up, and the Shell scholarship pursuit ended there.


365 Days Of Failure (1) : My Failure In Getting Straight A’s In School

365 Days Of Failure (1) : My Failure In Getting Straight A’s In School


I’m not a straight-A student. I never was and I might never will be a straight A student. Ever since kindergarten, school and university I’ve never gotten a straight A.spm

Does getting straight A’s in your examination mean anything to you? When I was at a tender age of 7 my parents told me that I should be getting straight A’s and coming from an Asian family, when you don’t score straight A’s in your exams it means either you’re stupid or your parents are stupid – but mostly because you’re stupid.

I never understood the meaning of getting straight A’s. I thought it was meaningless. It’s true that parents usually brag about their kids if they got straight A’s and I’m not the kind of son that my parents usually brag about. I was rebellious, always gotten into trouble and I like to do things my own way; that’s probably one of the reasons why a teacher of mine hated me in school – I never listened to her. She talks, I slept; she talks, I interrupted  and when she talks, I skipped her class.

Though I never got any straight A’s but during my final year in secondary school, I was the number one student in my class. In my school, there were 8 classes in total and I was in the second science stream class (B) and there were a mixed bunch of Malays, Chinese, Ibans, Bidayuhs and an Indian. During that time most of the students had a common goal in class – and that was to score straight A’s. The whole year I was number one in every semester but still, there was never a straight A.

In Malaysia, the “Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia” (SPM) or the higher public school examination (like a SAT) is where scoring straight A’s is the real deal. Getting straight A’s means you get a higher chance in successfully applying for a scholarship, being admitted to top courses in universities and of course – your parents total bragging rights. One of the ridiculous things that I remembered was my school had a student result forecast. Like literally forecasting a student SPM result after a mock trial exam. I was forecasted to get straight A’s. I was jubilant. I finally thought that this may give me some confidence in doing well in the actual exam.

I never felt so confident in my entire life.

In the actual public exam, out of 10 subjects, I got 9A’s and a B. I’ve never gotten as many as 9A’s in my school exam; I got number one in class duly because I scored A in my additional mathematics. Most students either fail or the second highest was either 50 or 41. The rest were all below 40. 0 was normal and in some cases you may get a negative. No shit.

I was actually shocked that I got 9A’s. 9 out of a possible 10. When I knew that I got 9A’s I jumped in joy at school. I got 9A’s goddamnit! And it feels good. Some of the subjects like history and biology are the killer subject that I’ve known to be hard to get an A which I did! Never in my life I got an A for history. Since form 1.

However, I still haven’t managed to get straight A’s and one of the subjects that I got a B was Bahasa Melayu; a national language of Malaysia and a compulsory subject for you to get an A if you were to apply for a government scholarship. A “B” on Bahasa Melayu means getting a scholarship is out of reach. Did I fail on that too?

And oh, I’ve forgotten to mention that I also did go to college. I actually did get a straight A during college but I cheated in getting that straight A; so that doesn’t count. I’ll tell how I cheated in another post.

So when will I get a chance to score a straight A again? Should I continue my studies and do Ph.D. just to get a straight A?

I don’t know.

Like I said, I’m not a straight-A student.

In 2015, 9721 out of 440.682 candidates who sat for SPM scored straight A’s. Congratulations.

I’ve met a lot of people who were successful although they didn’t get straight A’s. Some are millionaires now.

Are you a straight A student?

If yes, what are doing now?

If no, are you successful?



Hi everyone! Welcome to my site – here, you; my readers will get information, stories and anecdotes that I will share about my past and present experiences which may help you in your future en devours.

I’ve started blogging since I was 16 years old, on a platform called It was for photography club where I’ve posted about pictures that I’ve took and talked about my clubs activities. Then came random-apples, which was created in 2010 and the last post I’ve written there was in 2013. Random-apples didn’t have a clear distinction on what my audiences was as all the things I’ve written was more about stuffs I’ve found in the net and unnecessary things that people don’t really bother about.

Now times have changed and I’ve finally found my mojo back and this would be the place where I’ll talk about the things that I’ve done, what went wrong, things I’ve did to overcome a situation and a place for me to share my knowledge about work, engineering, business, etc.

Enjoy reading!