04 October 2012

Too old to learn

Certain changes taking place around me are leaving me further and further behind. There is an obvious mass migration to face-book. A few, not just one or two, have suggested, recommended and even tried to persuade Pakcik to progress along with the masses. In defence, let this stubborn old man respond and say in simple words what I feel about all these.

A few years ago my children realised that it was time for their father to lay off the old typewriter in exchange for a laptop, not the massive desktop with all the messy wiring and connections. Seeing how easy it was to write, delete, copy and make all the changes to lines, paragraph and pages I was sold on the idea. So the old father took a giant step, not unlike Neil Armstrong’s 'One Small Step for Man’ on the moon. Then I was shown how to blog. That thrilled me to no end. Nevertheless I must confess I still have problems with anything beyond a simple posting. The recent lost of Almanar blog from the screen sent me into frenzy. Alhamdulillah my heart could take it and it did not take that long for my daughter had it restored.  

Seeing my giant step in IT my children started to coerce me to go Face-book. They made me open an f/b account. As if that was not enough a second account was opened for Almanar blog on f/b. No I have not got used to liking these f/b accounts. However, when I get requests from people to become my “friends” I simply agree. And now I am sure to have close to 200 so-called ‘friends’ on f/b. I suspect they are mainly my ex Almanar pupils, many of whom carry odd names. But I always warn them that I do not look at my f/b. I do not even know how to open and move around that strange language.

Believe me, I am not ashamed to say how tough it was for the old grey matter to absorb the rudimentary steps in blogging. But I made it somehow, and still a no, no to f/b.

Finally, about a year ago my children presented me an i-pad. As the icing on the cake I was asked to select the recital of the whole Quran I liked best. The idea of lazily lying down to listen to a choice Quranic recital by a favourite Qari sounded very exciting. Alas, I still have problems! For instance, I do not know how to stop and move a few lines forwards or backwards.  So the i-pad has been lying idle except when the grand children are around showing their grandfather what an i-pad can do, moving fingers deftly on the screen, taking own photographs, not forgetting music and games.    
In short, any one who tries to engage me on f/b will be sadly disappointed. I have grown an intense dislike for it. Here, I will say the reason in a few words.

 “ …. klu ak sekeh mg klu xmri …hehehe”

What the hell is this???? It comes from my f/b.  It sounds like someone giving me four-letter words! Same to you, hehehehehe, with knobs on!
If I am given something in writing I want to see a complete sentence with subject, predicate, finite verb and all. Disciplined life  of over 70 (repeat- over seventy) years is not likely to give way that easily to a change - full stop. Out of necessity I accept shortened expressions on sms, reminiscence of sending telegrams in the 1950’s.

On Sunday 30th September I was pleased to read in NST the

usual column by Wan a Hulaimi (aka Awang Goneng of the bestseller A Map of Trengganu). This time his subject was ‘A writer chooses words as a painter would colour’.  I enjoy reading about something I believe in. I am not saying “great minds ……”

In summary, dear readers, you see above how Pakcik could spin a simple message in so many words. The title said it all -  Too old to learn. In other words, or another lango , doh tuer gwana nok belajorr.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan


Cat-from-Sydney said...

Dear Pakcik,
My Mama, who is wayyyyy below 70, doens't have an f/b account, by choice. We also don't twit or whatsapp. If you wanna contact us, it's either via this blog or email or snail mail or phone.
Someone once said to my Mama, hey...if you're on f/b I can friend you. Mama's answer was: aren't we friends already? I think it's not that you or my Mama are too old to learn but that you'd rather be in a world you're comfortable in. purrr...meow!

kaykuala said...

Dear Pakcik,
I'm with you on this. I've my twitter and fb a/cs. I twittered with my buddy AHS a few times in the beginning. Suddenly so many followers appeared with #tags and funny messages. I'm no more there now! I would just text over with my h/phone with those that I know!
For fb I initially made my rounds with my nephews and nieces. It was fascinating. One gets updated on events and happenings. What puts me off which you rightly mentioned is the lingo used. I don't understand and it irritates me. Even Hepy Besday gets on my nerves. Besides that the round of comments are so petty and mere time wasters. I suppose the generation gap is showing most clearly. I resigned myself to accepting the young have fun their way and we the stubborn ones our way. I'm happy with that!


MamaTim said...

Alhamdulillah, a new post from you means you're Alhamdulillah in the pink, insyaAllah... You've been gone so long, I got a wee bit worried. We are different tau, PakCik.. kalau I disappear for weeks it's quite alright but NOT YOU.. We would all miss you, your chatters, your wise thoughts, your funny side, etc.. So it's important you take great care of your health, not just for yourself, PakCik! Most importantly for us, your selfish followers. You can forget about those mindless kids/teens on FB, delete them all if you like, just keep us happy here ya PakCik.. jgn marah tau, hari ni memang I ada sikit selfish virus swimming in my veins, LOL

PakCik if u must know, I have cut down my friends on FB from some 450ish now to only 282 - last check : 7.42 a.m. today. Ini pun I consider masih too many but can't slash down anymore. I exited those with foul mouths, dirty languages, too young ones but FB opened by moms who think an FB account for every child of hers is like a birth-right, those too taksub with politics, and the ex-colleagues, ex-dormmates, ex-facultymates, ex-schoolmates, etc who added me but prefer to keep silent in the bg, just watching my every post, silently, like a lazy stalker... all now gone, hehehe...

Sorry, my comment is now as long as your original post :(

pena said...

as salam pakcik, i wanted to be anonymous on blogging, it is by choice. readers itching to see how i look but i wanted readers to follow my blog because of the content and not how handsome i look with bulging muscles and tapered physique that i acquired as the result of crazy hours spent at the gym. i am not ashamed to confess that i don't have facebook account, i wanted to be faceless and that's by choice. when you are in the most difficult industry in the world - that is communications, more often than not being anti-social is a bless, not meeting people in a day or not answering a phone call could really make your day!. i mean in that particular business, how often could you go into recluse? i supposed i have "been there, done that" it's ok to be faceless than inviting social problems especially when you are really not that bad looking! hehehe......

No3 said...

Hi babah, here's some depressing statistics for you : There's about 17million internet users in Malaysia and 12 million of them have a Facebook account!
70% of them are between 17 to 34 year olds. Growth of usage is 5% (that's low, but only because penetration is so high already).

No3 said...

Hi babah, here's some depressing statistcis : There are 17million internet users in Malaysia currently and 12million of them have a facebook account. 70% of them are between 18 and 34 years old. Above 64 year olds are almost not accounted for.. so babah is in a select group !!

Temuk said...

doh tuer gwana nok belajorr! I disagree to disagree! I've burned down my FB account long ago. Susah guna, terlalu ramai "sahabat" (by our standard), + rencam gelagat mereka. Nak urus blog dengan elok + isi dengan kisah cantik-cantik pun masih amat rendah kemampuan saya. Rasanya, cukuplah dengan berblog saja buat sementara waktu ini.

Haslina said...

Pakcik, to have an FB account or not is simply a matter of choice. As for me, i am quite active on FB (if you care to sneak a peek on my wall, we're FRIENDS for your info)and i think almost 50% students of my school call me 'Teacher FB'. I snap pictures of every function and event and upload them to my FB account. Mind you, I have so many people on my Friend's list (my father, siblings, cousins, relatives, students, former students, colleagues, former colleagues, and my former MRSM and USM friends) and I don't have the time to 'talk' to them all the time. But once in a while they post something, and you respond. We have become closer than before. Most of the former students said that ever since I come to my current school, they know a lot about the latest happenings in school and which teachers have passed away/retired/transferred. Actually I prefer FB to Blogs since I am quite pressed for time to write about something (although I have lots to tell people about it). With FB i can just post pictures and i will respond when people ask something about the picture(s).

ahmad humairi said...

السلم عليكم ورحمة الله

Dah tua, tidak bermakna tidak boleh belajar. Tidak sukar apabila kita boleh menguasainya....cuma jangan sampai lalai sehingga meninggalkan perkara-perkara yang wajib.

....Kita masih diajar, walau kita dihantar ke liang lahad!!!!

Anonymous said...

Salam Pakcik,
Saya ni pangkat anak kpd Pakcik,dan ada beberapa perbezaan dgn Pak Cik
1. BLOG - Pakcik mendahului saya terlalu jauh. Ini adalah catatan saya dlm bolg saya : "Blog ni aku register sejak Sptember 2008 tapi tak pernah nak post apa2. Entah la...". Kalau Pakcik nak ketawa, memang patut pun saya kena ketawakan.
2. SMS - mula2 saya terima sms dari anak saya, saya balas dgn "Tak faham, tolong guna ejaan penuh". Sekarang baru saya tau - xder = tak der = tidak ada.
3. FB - Yang ni saya jauh tinggalkan Pakcik. Saya banyak menggunaka fb untuk berhubung dgn kawan2 dan saudara-mara. Saya 'creator' untuk beberapa fb group. NGO yang saya sertai juga menggunakan fb untuk berkomunikasi. Kalau Pakcik buka fb ni, rasanya Pakcik pun tak faham sebab guna bahasa jawa.

Apa-apa pun Pakcik, saya lebih suka melihat "persamaan" lebih dari "perbezaan"


Al-Manar said...


I am surprised a young one like you (wayyyy under 70) not being active in f/b, not even twit and scratch?

Al-Manar said...


You speak my mind. I wonder generation gap is also a factor. I am afraid to claim that as one for fear of offending some friends.

Al-Manar said...

Mama Tim,

You flattered me. Thank you. Have I made you work up on f/b? And you have slashed down to almost half the number of 'friends' especially the "foul mouths, dirty languages, too young ones". I wonder what you would if you happen to gert a notification like " Pakcik requests to be your friend"! Do I get a dirty response? Do not answer this question. I can guess it and it is not very nice.

Al-Manar said...


WAK Salaam.
I can understand your rationale for being 'faceless' so that what you communicate is what is important. Face/bk does not meet your criteria. Well done.It is a good reason for disliking f/b

Many blog owners feel the way you do. Of course some want to be friendly in blogging. To me I need to tell enough about myself to lend credibility, making sure the element of pride and egotism does not creep in inadvertently. So my email is there for everyone to write and privately ask all the silly questions without embarrassing either party.

You are being frank. Thank you.

Al-Manar said...


Meran, I am sure some readers like to know the statistics you quoted. !2 million Malaysians of 17 mil internet users operste F/b. And it is very revealing those above 64 are not accounted for. So the three of you can have the satisfaction of and can claim credits for having pushed your old man (of 70s!)this far - but no more!

Al-Manar said...


WAK Salaam.

I like your double negatives. Nukilan bukan calang calang blog. Kalau ada tentang pokok pokok, bunga dan bbuah buah tanya Temuk. Tangkap gambar pun pandai. Semua ini bukan tempat di f/b.

Al-Manar said...


Are we really and truly 'friends'? How did you manage to twist an old man's arm? From what you say I fully appreciate the usefulness of f/b, a very convenient means of communicating with the young ones. Well done my 'friend'.

Al-Manar said...

Cikgu Humairi,

Selalu saja cikgu bawa kata kata hikmat ksisni. Terima kasih. Memang kita akan terus diajar mahu atau tidak.

Al-Manar said...


Ada yang Pakcik tak faham. Mengapa guna bahasa Jawa?

Cuba bagi saya (email almanar@pd.jaring.my) Rassa nak tengok apa yuang dah dibuat kalau Pakcik boleh beri sepatah dua kata. Mishod ni dimana. Pernah dengar tapi tak jumpa cari address/email Mishop dalam list saya.

mekyam said...

salam rindu, pakcik!

this entry notwithstanding, i'm going to send your FB account a request to be your friend. i hope you will accept me into your list whenever you decide to give your FB wall a visit. *please, please, pretty please, with buoh ting mekoh setambung on it!* :D

i promise you that i do not, and will never, use those annoying sms-lingo and spelling [i don't think any of my friends do either]. the worst sin i commit when communicating on social media is this loth to type in uppercase, or as the brits call it, capital letters.

as i mentioned in our recent email, even awang goneng himself has relented to the FB call and can often be found graffitiing his own and other people's walls. hehehe!

i really hope to see you there someday, pakcik, plastering your wall with wit and wisdom. i don't share anything like that on my own wall, seeing that i have none, but i do repost gorgeous pictures which i repro from other ppl's walls. they are guaranteed to calm the most agitated nerves. ;D

ninotaziz said...

Dear Pakcik,

After a month of serious work trying to 'commercialise university researchers' and being best buddies with 3, 4 gov agencies - which I found to be a pleasant surprise - I have some time to blog and stuff.

I am with you here - If I am given something in writing I want to see a complete sentence with subject, predicate, finite verb and all.

However, I am on Facebook for a few reasons:
1. Keeps me in touch with my children's friends
2. Makes it easy to organize events
3. Helps me remember birthdays...
4. Allows me to promote my poetry

And it gives me the opportunity of brightening someone's day.

But I agree with Sir Hank. I cringe when I see
1. hepi besday
2. u r smwh o'er d rbow???
3. Bahasa pasar in written form

Cats won't FB, won't tweet, won't What'sApp - much to the disconcert of some.

Salam Pakcik.

Al-Manar said...


You are a naughty girl, taunting and begging. No, the Voice of Amewerica will not move me. I will say yes but I will not meet you on any street corners except decently clothed on email and blog. And I like my wall plain white. Even Makcik likes it that way too. She will be very jealous when I start roaming the streets and will get starved for nothing.

One notable up north is following your method. I have just seen his request to be friend. I know he is doing it on purpose and I will say yes. You two can swear like a troper for all I care and I will not be moved.

Al-Manar said...


Thank you. You speak my language. You have to go f/b for specific reasons. To me that is fine. But I hope your 4 I's will not paste on the wall invitation to their weddings. I have seen and feel very sad over such indicretion. Even a personal invitation by sms is acceptable to me.

Csats are well desiplined.

abdulhalimshah said...

I wondered at times whether to deactivate my account on FB because some of the comments are plain rubbish. Now I have pruned down my so-called "friends" to just slightly over a hundred. I need to keep in touch with members of the extended family who are mostly with FB accounts. The generation gap is inevitable,but it can be bridged by tolerating their 'bad spellings' and not to be influenced by such garbage.

ninotaziz said...

5 Is...

Al-Manar said...


It seems like an error, but on hind sight, having 4 one would naturally expect another!

Fadhil said...

Salam Pakcik, may you still be in the best of health.

I think Pakcik need not worry about not being on FB. Being a blogger is a great effort in itself. We are fortunate to be able to read and share your experiences and thoughts in cyberspace.

FB offers a different platform for connection. I am also quite active on FB but mostly to keep up-to-date with friends and family. Blogging is still the medium of choice for penning down stories.

With respect to your previous post about backing up your blog, I would go along with one of the commenters who suggested to save a copy to hard disk. We can never be certain if Blogger can remain active forever. Personally, I save my posts in word format on hard drive. It was a tedious process at first but after some time it becomes routine. There are other easier ways to back-up using online services like Dropbox or Evernote, but these still leave us dependent on a third party.

Anonymous said...

Looks like TWITTER is for you then. 140 words. Keep it short and simple :)

PS: good to see you are still healthy and writing

Al-Manar said...


The bad spelling is the worst feature to me as well. Well it is just that we belong to the no-count percentage mentioned by No3 above.

I have just dropped you an email.

Al-Manar said...


The hard drive option seems most practical. Of course I will need one of my kids to teach me how to go about, writing down step, clicking here, clicking there, clicking one, clicking twice and so on. But what I can do myself now is copy-and-paste posting by posting on thumb drive. Thank for your suggestion which adds certainty to what should be done.

Your blog is one of few that give me hard time to comment. The varification just keeps blank. Earlier I tried about ten times and failed to see what needs to be varified.

By the way, the mee recipe was tried. It's very good but it is not that other type I mentioned.

Al-Manar said...


To be honest I have heard of twit and twitter thing but honestly I haven't a clue what it is like.

No, please do not try to presribe me with that. I will take an aspirin and go to bed hoping for a sweet dream, blogging away.

And I think I am 'still healthy and writing' as you said, because I have stayed cleared of these modern IT things. Don't you sometimes advise your patients to keep away from something?

Thanks for your house call. I promise I will get to your clinics as well instead of making you call on me every time, knowing how busy you could be. In fact I have visited your clinics but stayed clear, scared to notice the operating table, x-rays, scapels and other deadly equipment.

Abdullah Sani b.Ismail said...

Are you still there ? Kalu sudah nampak Masjid, peta jalan tidak berguna lagi.

I tried to email you, but it asked me many questions I don't understand. So I gave up. I hope this short note reaches you alright.

Thank you, God Bless.

Al-Manar said...

Abdullah Sani Ismail,

I am very sorry you have failed to email me. I do receive emails daily without anyone being asked questions. I have just emailed you. Hope this will reach you.

How nice it would be if you care to post your personal experiences during the war. I am certain it is hard to find one truly senior blogger like you.

Hope all is well with you.

Anonymous said...

You spoke in pure wisdom. I hope you looked back at all the years that passed by with great pride and achievement you've given to your students. And with that announced to the world before you "Mission accomplished".

Al-Manar said...


No,not pure wisdom. We get a little wiser as we go on learning from what we go through in life. Pure wisdom belongs to HIM. And what I do is no greater than what you have been doing on the operating table. I cannot imagine handling a scalpel( I wrongly spelt scapel in my comment above - not being a doctor!) Let us be happy and grateful when things go our way and enjoy the feeling of satisfaction, without that pride which can spoil it all.

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Pak Cik,
Please see my reply to your email.

Cheqna said...

Assalamualaikum Pak Cik,

I prefer to read your updates here than in FB..hehe


GUiKP said...

Wink-wink, glad we are FB friends "oredi". Guess where I learnt such cool and awesome spelling? Believe it or not, I saw AG used it in FB, and as a faithful follower I followed suit here. He's such a bad influence, isn't he? Er, FB I mean.

Al-Manar said...


Thank you very much. I have found my long lost pen-friend. I promise a posting on this one day.

Al-Manar said...


I though a young and active girl like you prefer f/b! Don't think I do not know what you post and see the beautiful pictures you show.

Al-Manar said...


I wink wink in return. Indeed we are now FRIENDS. But by quoting famous names do not try to tempt me to do more than this. My poor heart may not take too much exhaustive funs cand games.

madame blossom said...

Pakcik, you don't have an FB account simply because you don't believe that it is necessary to have it. That's good. It's not because you are too old to learn. :)

InsyaAllah if it's something that you are truly interested in, and NEED to use, you will learn it.

I have an FB and Twitter account. These things actually do get to you. But for me, it's not because of short cut spellings - alhamdulillah most of my friends post normally. But it's true, a lot of petty things posted, because it doesn't take much time to post.

Sometimes I feel like I'm in a crowded place when on FB or Twitter. And then I go to my blog, and I feel like I'm back in my own room.

Al-Manar said...

Madame Blossom,

I like it whewn you said ' I feel like I'm back in my room'.

I think that is one way I feel about blogging, more privacy. F/b is too public like posting a note on the notice board. People who have no inteerest at all just glance at it and probably laugh. No I have no wish to use my f/b account.