04 May 2013

“Everyone Is A Genius, Including The Fish That Tries to Climb A Tree.

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” – Albert Einstein.

climb tree


During in my childhood, I often think that I am stupid. One of the reasons is because I hardly understood what was taught by the teachers in all subjects except Art, Music and Science. Often, I received low grades and as a result, I was streamed into back classes which were known as the C, D, E, F, G or H class.


There were 10 classes all together and I am glad that I was located somewhere between the 3rd – 5th class. Well, I was the only one who is grateful with my academic performance back then because, often academic results were being compared with my other relatives whom at similar age.


It was not a good experience to share because after each conversation that involved academic achievement, I will end up feeling stupid, sad and disappointed with myself. Sometimes, I will even feel hopeless with myself because I know I have been trying very hard yet, the result was not promising enough to reach the community’s expectation, especially my parents’.


I remembered those days when I became very desperate to succeed and asked my parents to send me to tuition classes, just like my other ‘bright’ friends. I observed and interviewed their success stories with the hope that the same story can apply on me. I hate to be left behind because that kind of feeling is really torturing and unbearable.


I know I wasn’t as bright as my friends, but I also know that I am not stupid because I could actually understood the content of any subject taught by my teachers. However, I had an extremely hard time to express my understanding into words during exam. This frustrated me the most.


I still remember how I excelled in creating the best mind-map in Kajian Tempatan subject. I still remember my ‘Mini Botanic’ project (herbs and mini plants are planted in a used plastic bottle) won the first place during school’s Science week.


I still remember my team members and I won the best English scrapbook because of the creative content. I still remember, my artwork was selected in a local magazine competition and won a consolation prize with my school name on the magazine page. My name was being called by the teacher in duty during school assembly to receive the rewards and being complimented for making the school proud. I still remember the name of the magazine – Tunas Sains and Rakan Sains!


Despite of my other achievement, I still feel that I was not bright enough to belong in the ‘smart group’ because according to the school’s test score, I was just an average person. I guess, God heard my desperation and grant me a chance to excel in studies. The year following that, I was sent to Penang to continue my standard 6.


My lifestyle had changed and I received more attention and opportunity at school because the number of student throughout standard 6 was only 32. Besides, I had learnt study skills from various resources such as books, role models, teachers, friends and etc. Here is my turning point where everything changed from worse to good, good to better.


I began to excel in examination from UPSR, PMR, SPM to STPM. Although the result was not as impressive as other top scholars, still I am thankful and grateful with what I have today because seriously, it’s not easy. For someone who is a visual and audio learner, it is challenging to express ourselves through the typical school test and examination.


The only way to succeed is through memorization, repetition and constant practices. These are my secret to succeed which then, granted me a chance to enter University of Malaya for Bachelor of Counseling. Since then, I am happy to call myself a passionate life-long learner because finally, I have understood the meaning and joy of learning after being a typical student for more than 20 years.


I do not have to memorize anymore because I have found a way to understand and connecting facts.

I do not have to bore myself to death repeating the standard answer given by people from other century (sounds like alien here uh?)

I do not have to force myself to be what I am not to please people who do not understand the principal of ‘no one size fits all’ pedagogy – just like what Albert Einstein says:



“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” – Albert Einstein.



Well, I lie. I am still doing it right now (though in minimal quantity). If you have been reading this whole post till here, you should know that this is actually a quarter of my assignment on Assessment and Technology Pedagogy Integration course with UUM. I could do what I like (which is to draw my thoughts and make them into video clip with special sound effect!). I am doing my assignment and that is why I have not updated my blog for few days. Well, I am applying the 4th Habit from Stephen Covey – First Thing First. Assignment is more important than blogging because it will take 25% of my coursework.


So, is it true that everyone is a genius?
If a fish is being forced to climb a tree or there is no possibility for survival, will it at least try? If it succeeds, will the same cycle happen to other fishes? 


I am the fish.