Friday, September 16, 2005

I’ve finally won something!

I was feeling quite low recently due to a big hit in my financial status. For the past few months while waiting for my scholarship to be processed my bank account has been draining like an open wound, and I’ve asked dad not to send any cash because of the fact that finances at home is having a rough time as well, including the fact that my dad finally made the decision to stop teaching art tuition. This month my balance finally dropped below RM 1 thousand a level which I never really thought would ever come to. So I’ve been restraining from going excessively on anything these past few weeks except for meals and the necessities, yet still it is a net loss every month.

The very fact that the stupid Bendahari (treasury) of the university is dragging their feet is another bone of contention. After 3 months of not seeing a cent of scholarship money several of us finally decided to take matters up with the upper levels. We found out that the money was there but the bottleneck lay in the treasury itself. Thus after various meandering from every imaginable department I was finally given the number of a Cik Muhajirah who was supposedly the person in charge of it all. My colleague Audrey called first and was quite put of when the person not only acted unhelpful but in the end was quite rude by ending the conversation by slamming the phone down on her. My call to her to try to get an explanation of the holdup and to elicit what procedural matter still needed resolution before we see our cash was again explained in vague and non-transparent terms, stating that they’re on it and cash would be released in a few weeks time.

It’s a bit appalling that my other colleague Chen Fong who got the same deal albeit different payee (hers was given by the Ministry of Science while mine was by the UMS Foundation), got hers in a lump sum of over RM 10 K 2 months ago while we’re still stuck in limbo. Today at least was the first ray of good news when I was told the money was banked into my account already. A quick check online soon verified this though only payment for the month of August was received (RM 1,300 is still something), yet that means they still owe me well over RM10k for the past year, including a return of the fees already paid since it's covered under the scholarship. With this infusion at least I’m staving off poverty and starvation for a while, God knows if anyone without any other income and totally dependent on scholarship payment would already have dropped dead with no cash to support them.

The other piece of good news that I received lately came from Jeremy, who contacted me via email and told me that my article which was disqualified the past month had won the monthly prize of RM200! I couldn’t believe it at first and was sure it was a figment of my imagination but he soon confirmed it. That was enough to just make my day, just when I was going over the brink of despair. I really got to thank him personally one day for his help. Haha this must surely be the first contest that I’ve won that paid in cash. I’m touched really, not only because of the cash prize but for the fact that it feels good to know that my writing could even come close to netting something. I always envied people who could write and maybe I’m my own harshest critic since I’ve always doubt whether I could be equal to many of the other writers out there better off than me. Maybe this is just a small victory but it’s sweet nonetheless. So those two events made my week really. Well the money won’t last long though, I’ve already decided to use it to get Laura her graduation gift though I was hoping to have some extra cash to get myself a new DVD burner but that can wait.


mmulibra said...

Hey congratulations!!

I know the feeling of winning something :-)

Kervin said...

mmulibra: Thanks yeah its a great feeling.

Jason said...

Eh, the RM200 article prize money I too won before. ;) Mine is the July winner though, about food. After that, never win already. Somemore no time to compose new articles.