Mr Holland’s Opus–Starring Richard Dreyfuss –An Inspirational Movie

June 7, 2018

Mr Holland’s Opus–Starring Richard Dreyfuss



Image result for Din Merican and John Malott

My Friend, Ambassador John Malott (pic above) is passionate about Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia after retiring from a distinguished career as a diplomat with the State Department.

In my long distance conversation over to the Internet with my dear friend Ambassador John Malott in Alexandria, Virginia  today, we got into a discussion about what we would do with the remainder of  our years before we fade, hopefully gracefully, into the sunset. John is 71 and I am 79. I told him that I wanted to realise  my childhood dream of being a teacher. After a career in Malaysia’s Foreign Service, Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank) and the private sector since 1963, here I am in 2018 not as an ordinary school teacher, but as an academic and researcher at The University of Cambodia (UC).

It is without a doubt one of the best decisions I ever made, and that is to be in the company of some of the young and brightest students in Cambodia. Over the last 5 years in Phnom Penh, I am a student again,thanks to Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, UC President, because education is a two way process. I am able to share my life experiences with my students and also learn new skills, share books, exchange ideas with them, and reinvigorate myself. I am lucky, I guess.

Image result for Din Merican at The University of Cambodia

I am grateful for the opportunity to lead an enriching life of service at  UC, and learn from my students about their rich culture, music, history and moral philosophy.  Mr.  Holland’s Opus is a touching movie  about the trials and tribulations of a music teacher who was concerned  about his legacy.

I too am concerned about my legacy. My American buddy John told me that I should not worry as I have found my calling and passion; and my legacy will be that of a teacher who cares about educating and developing  the mind. So here I am a happy and simple man.

Image result for the george washington university

My liberal  business education at The George Washington University was demanding, challenging and morally transformational.  Terima kasih (Thanks) GWU for  Your Care.

Thanks, John, for your friendship. Thank you America and Americans for the quality education at The George Washington University. May God Bless you, my late Professor, academic advisor and intellectual mentor, Dr. Philip Donald Grub, for showing me the way.–Din Merican

4 thoughts on “Mr Holland’s Opus–Starring Richard Dreyfuss –An Inspirational Movie

  1. My dear Din….what a wonderful tribute to your mentors as well as to yourself. Very touching. I am more than 20 years your junior but I am proud to be your friend and fellow academic. I learn a lot from you. And it’s such a comfort knowing the optimism you have for the younger generation of students in our region. At 79 you’re still very much alive…and mentally vibrant…so please don’t write such a tribute like this for the next 20 years!!! It sounds too final….too morbid….as though you’re preparing for an exit somewhere. Thank you Din and keep the ‘rumble’!! 🙏🏻🤣
    Dr Alatas,
    There is finality about life. Prepare for it.–Din Merican

  2. An insightful existential piece, Dato’. Here is what I take from it: In order to be where you are right now, contextually and upon deep reflection, is asking what we can do to contribute, to give, while remaining true to ourselves, living our own authentic dreams. That said, I also think that one of many reasons you are able to be in such space is because of the courage to extend yourself beyond the narrow racial-based, religious-based, provincial-based, etc., which were/are dominant cultural milleau among us who were born in Malaysia. We still witness this phenomenon in our “tanahair” in the debates leading to Mr. Thomas being appointed as AG and LGE as Finance Minister. Why can’t non-Malay and non-Muslim be Vice Chancellor of Malaysian public universities, generals of armed forces, IGP, Ketua Setiausaha Negara, or even the Prime Minister, if they merit and so qualified for such positions?
    Anak Kelantan,

    I am touched, Bro. Cambodia is open to all. One’s color, race and religion are irrelevant to the leaders of Cambodia and Cambodians. To them, talent and humility matter. Come over and find out for yourself. The Kingdom is going places.–Din Merican

  3. “When a tiger dies, it leaves behind its skin. When a person dies, the person leaves behind a reputation” (Chinese saying)

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