Wichita & The Wheat shockers

The Wichita State University; I was still skinny so it must be during my first year there (with Halim)

I was in Wichita during the golden years of my adolescence. It was the time I learnt to pick up my life from the shattered memories back home. I really wanted to change and be someone. The years in Wichita had really seen me grow up to face the world. I owe it to my friends at Wichita during that time for supporting me in every way. Well, there were about 500 Malaysian students in and around Wichita during that time , so it was really at home.

International Day at WSU
Wichita had become home for the next four years or so. I lived in an apartment at the Wheatshocker Apartments.It was a nice place but not a type of accommodation that we
used to back home in Malaysia…..it was like living in a hostel that I hated so much. But you have to service the contract so I was stuck there for another year I think.

My favorite place in Wichita(North Roosevelt) where I spent most of my time living in one of these houses

at 1747 North Roosevelt with Yahya and Rosli

At the WSU,  learning computers and programming was primitive. Back then we used punch card machines to type in the programs, and then we brought that stack of cards to the machine reader that would read the program , compiled and executed it. Sometimes it took two or three days to get the run back, just compare it to what we have today. I learnt Pascal, PL/1 and Cobol that way. By the second year we had a terminal ( a monochrome with IBM blue console) and that was a relief as the execution of the program had gotten much easier.

at The Wichita Airport

Summer time in the Midwest was hot and dry. Most Americans would escape the hot summer in Wichita by holidaying at the coasts; but most of us would take that opportunity to catch up with the summer school. So most of the summers I would be hanging around Wichita for classes and lab sessions. It was really hot sometime, I tell you. We would spent time playing a lot in the afternoon; basketball, American football, tennis etc. There were so many of us, so finding team members to play with would not be a problem. We did go traveling after the summer school finished; about a month or so before the new semester began.

on the way back from LA

America is a big country so traveling by car will take you across an endless plain field of the Midwest. Usually we would hire a car and went around the country visiting friends at the big cities like LA, New York or Florida. The drive was long and seemed endless but we always had company as everybody was into traveling in the summer. The rest areas would be packed with people and it was like a “funfair atmosphere” sometimes.

having picnic at the lake in Wichita

my favorite past time

with the trophy we were fighting for that summer.

The fall season was short as we spent at the lecture rooms most of the time. Otherwise watching NFL or NBA on the telly. Before you knew it the cold season had arrived. Cold wind blew you off at minus degrees most of the time. And the rain just spoilt your day; could not go out and play like we used to in the summer. Towards the end of my stay; WSU had just opened up a new gymnasium, so we spent playing basketball and what not over there in the big gym. By Christmas, the snow would arrive making the roads and the fields white. Winter season was nasty in Wichita; sometime there was an ankle-high snow on the road. It was beautiful, no doubt, as the snowflakes covered the leaves and branches; but after a while when the sun took a peek for a few hours, the snow turned icy , dirty, and slippery and that would be mighty dangerous. Days were short in the winter and most of the time the atmosphere was cold, dark and gloomy. Utterly depressing. So most of us would escape the long cold winter in Wichita to join other Malaysians at a convention somewhere. It will be quite sometime to see the snow before the spring arrived in Feb/March.

at a Malaysian Students Convention in Houston

relaxing in between the lectures
The cycle began again for us there, with the school and all, but every time the new season began I would feel like growing up into a whole new world. In fact Wichita had taught me a lot and will remain as part of my life for a long long time.

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