Monday, December 29, 2008

Just A Costly Split Second and Bang!

It was a family outing day yesterday even though both parents were quite unwell.

I was taken aback by my own carelessness which had cost me at least RM580. That was what I had to do in order to get back a flawless Avanza, and to correct a wrong. The amount will escalate in a few days time, but that shall wait.

Only Hasif tried to be a 'father' by giving me a piece of advice but later retracted his words because the others seemed to be indifferent to his genuinely well intended advice.

Nobody else wanted to talk about it anymore, yeah, why spoil such a wonderful day?

As for today, Monday 1st Muharram, I am thankful that I'm still here (and still breathing) with my family members who are very supportive.

Just need some panadols and later Actifast before I sleep. To my colleagues, enjoy your marathon of staff meetings (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday)....Thank God for giving us a holiday on Thursday!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

National Service: They Were My Students

CMing Yeet is the youngest of them all (24 Dec)

"My friend would like to know how you have lost weight", asked my sister.

"You should have asked me a few weeks ago, now after heating my chair for almost 4 weeks, I've put on weight!", I quipped.

"How is that possible?", she burst into laughter.

Well, that's the conversation we had over the phone before she came to my house, all the way from Seremban to have breakfast with me on a Saturday morning. Later, she continued her journey to Taiping.

Let me proudly announce that I made nasi lemak for breakfast. (Ironically, for dinner just now we had to settle with KFC).

I remember certain conversation quite well. Some people are also able to mesmerise you with their seemingly sincere, convincing and intelligent way of speaking.

The art of communications is simply amazing. Remember Obama? Martin Luther King? DS Anwar Ibrahim? Tun Mahathir? Or simply your cousin or friend (whom you envy for his gift of the gab?)

Anyway, I also love to communicate with younger people (children and students , and ex-students) who always show their development in thinking.

Yesterday my phone displayed a message from an ex-student who was scheduled to be at one of the National Service camps today. Part of the message was "I hope you'll be happy and healthy all the time, and don't cry".

Imagine what it means? By the way, I appreciate it!

(Good luck to FPui Kim, Evon, LChew Wei, Mahesan, Ng ZS......and others who are starting an adventure today)

Friday, December 26, 2008

We ARE Civilised and Advanced, If We Choose To Be...

One thing I respect about our Asian culture is that we take great care of the health of mothers during their confinement period. At least for the first 44 days after delivering a child, a mother is given the best care and attention by her civilised family members.

Don't think lowly of this culture even though obviously it doesn't stem from the west (mat salehs).

I have a book in my possession, written by an American about 'Massage' and she claims that Asians are advanced when it comes to caring for a new mother during her convalescence.

I'm of the opinion that we have to check back our heritage in the deep jungle (I'm referring to the plants and herbs). As I was once a student of Property Valuation (some twenty years ago), I can still recall the criteria and the determinants of value of a property. What is it you are saying? They could be outdated? No, knowledge is power, but I can't claim that I know it all, my knowledge may be lagging behind because it's not within my practice. On the other hand, my interest in it has kept me wide-eyed (about property values, indiscriminate logging and excessive development).

Aren't our forests our true heritage?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Clear and Focused

"If one does not know which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable".

Life is more meaningful when we can afford to achieve something new.

For example, getting our driving licence. Later, getting our first taste of driving on the main road...alone.

Oh, it's simply invigorating to be able to tell ourselves that we have achieved it!

After hours of sitting and heating my chair, I have to have some kind of a dream to spur my interest in reading and flipping through some paper. Yes, no doubt READING is my life and WRITING is my soul, but please my nerves are wrecking and I need a doctor to inject some kind words to my wounds...My hands are weary and my eyes are saying ,"Shall we call it a day?"

Nevertheless, I decide to write. Anyway, actually I'm in in high spirits now because I'm aware of my directions. I'd like to get my work done as soon as possible , as I wish to start my 2009 school work before the 5th of January.

Come on, let's check our directions!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Inner Man

For one reason or another, have you ever felt ashamed of yourself?

Similarly, if you meet someone (a stranger) and he has a good impression of you, and being a sincere and an extrovert person, he explicitly says so about you, would you feel good or bad?

I expect a positive answer from you, that is you would feel good about it, even though the situation is rather awkward. Tell me if I am wrong.....

It's normal, really, to want to feel good about ourselves; provided you are raised in a normal environment and your parents or teachers are not sadists or child-abusers (but I believe teachers are never sadists).

Oh, that reminds me-
Last week, someone asked me about "how I felt about a certain incident".

My reply was: "Oops, my apologies, I don't talk much about my feelings"......[I was smiling sheepishly 'coz I didn't complete the sentence with 'but I do WRITE about it']

To be fair, let me just go back to the main story:

To have a balanced character, one has to DO a good deed in order to POSSESS a good heart. Do something good, man. Then, test yourself. Have you become proud of your good deed? After helping a friend, do you yearn for some rewards?
Justify Full
What is the moral of the story? Should you then stop doing something good because it causes you to boast about it? The answer is "Rubbish" (a bit rude here). That is no excuse for reverting your good intentions and deeds to something useless. Keep on being good and DOING good, evaluate yourself and who knows one day you will reach 'altruism' - even then the tests go's worse than SPM.

Having said that, I feel calm tonight, sensing the joys of the X'mas celebrations that many of my friends are experiencing. It's 10 minutes to midnight, may hearts of gold make this celebration meaningful and lasting.

Positive thinking, apart from leading a healthy lifestyle is certainly good for the inner man.....

p/s Due to unforeseen circumstances, this post could only be posted a few hours after midnight.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Torn Between Two .......

Oh O, don't get me wrong. I'm not torn between two lovers.

There's always only one at a time, since I ain't good at juggling pieces of my heart...with an exception that I'm able to share 'coz sharing is caring. But again, it's not about sharing him with someone else.

What am I saying?

Anyway, I just came home from the first SEMEKAR academic staff meeting. (I think lately it's all about meetings..)

Don't worry, instead of describing some ????? meeting, I wish to highlight certain things which I have learnt lately.

1. Don't buy the STAR newspaper late, normally it's sold out by afternoon.
2. Always open up your mind, don't believe (blindly) comments from former colleagues of the new staff in my school. In other words, don't be gullible.
3. Never underestimate others, they are special in their own ways.
4. Some people want to contribute more than what is expected of them.
5. Always share your problems with someone who cares about you. Again, you know why.
6. Some people are difficult because they have terrible inferiority complex.
7. When I have a number of tasks which need to be handled simultaneously, I begin to feel torn...and I need to re-assess the whole situation.

I need a break now, and I wish to go out and get a copy of the STAR...just hope that people remember to leave one for me.

Monday, December 22, 2008

If (Only)....

Little Snow White's last dream

They are stray dogs, must they be bad?

I think I'd have to thank Rudyard Kipling for producing a wonderful poem 'If' which now occupies my life. I'm saying that I'm reading his poem every day lately. Yes, I find it very fascinating and very TRUE, indeed.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good,nor talk too wise;

This is only an excerpt of the wonderful poem that I'm beginning to become obsessed with....

Today I attended my first meeting with my new principal. Too early for me to start praising her......, (anyway, I don't do boot licking). Furthermore, if you can remember, my praises are quite a rarity and I take a loooooong time before accepting a new acquaintance to be a buddy. My lukewarm responses can be changed after a convincing close encounter.

May I add two more of my favourite lines:-

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

I just met with these two impostors today (No, I DON'T mean my new principal, I beg to differ....).

By the way, my cat-loving daughters were eager to break the news when I reached home:...

"Ma, our little kitten was found dead under your car this morning". which I responded understandingly, with much sympathy to the other cats that just lost their brother (also to my children who have been the saviours of stray cats, dogs, bees and monkeys which 'roam' my neighbourhood). They have definitely emulated my husband.

Stray dogs do know how to reciprocate, if you wish to know. There's a a photo of this gang taken yesterday morning (see above),

and also a photo of "Snow White" in the company of his brother "Flora" on the last night it was seen alive (Sunday night).

Sunday, December 21, 2008


After the Friday mass prayers, we went to Shah Alam to accompany my husband who had to run some errands . Apart from that I felt like eating at Mr Kaya Kopitiam....(excuses).

Anyway, by chance there was also an expo of some local agricultural products in Shah Alam. Hence, we spent quite a while shopping for some herbs and produce. It was interesting to see eye-catching landscapes consisting of vegetable plants instead of flowers or the usual leafy garden plants.

Later, at home, my children began to show symptoms of fever...oh, no.

Saturday became my spring cleaning day. You could guess the size of the mountain of clothes which needed my attention. It had to be done today, otherwise, my guests would be greeted with these unfolded clothes as soon as they enter our living room. What a sight it would be!

I slept at midnight after folding every single piece of clothes that I could find. At one minute to 1 am I was awakened by the sound of my handset. I knew that it was a message for me. It read "Merry Christmas!" . I smiled before going back to the dreamland...zzzzzzzz
.The message was really eye-catching!

Friday, December 19, 2008


"You have to come too"

That's the message I received just as soon as I reached Kuala Lumpur.

What! The first meeting with my new principal and I failed to be present!

Actually I did contact 2 other people who were the key people regarding the meeting. The ambiguous replies were misunderstood and now it was too late to turn back to Rawang. I looked at the time, 9.40am.

My first instinct was to contact Kak L.

She sounded regretful. "Oh, I forgot all about it. Just now Pn N called but I couldn't make it because I'm still on holiday. Actually LC also not there".

Safety in numbers? No, that was not what it was all about. It's about proper communications, apart from being responsible.

A short while later, I received another message from someone else. Unfortunately, I was in a basement car park area and communications were slightly difficult. I had to explain the situation and I supposed I would contact him next time when communication was 'clearer', with due respect to his responsible and respectful manner.....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Road Not Taken

The right lane is for drivers who are going to Sg Choh

Once I reach this junction, I'm always tempted to go to Parkson Ria

At the meeting, my mind went 'astray' at 1.00pm. I guess the 7th day is already a bit too much for my body and mind (should I say 'my soul'?). The chairperson had hinted that we would be released earlier today, thus this promise had overtaken my rational mind.

Yup! We were dismissed earlier and I got to share the road with a different group of users, with less congestion but still I need to be alert 'coz the road was tricky.

You need to be certain whether to cruise the right or left lane, otherwise you would get stuck behind other wheels which are turning to the right.

Of course, by now I am no longer a novice to this road. My journey now takes only half the time of my first trip, hence that alone is an indicator of how I've become quite familiar with the road to (and from) Serendah.

Probably, that is also how I learn about people. After some time, you get the message of how people wish to be treated by you.

My new acquaintance at the meeting would first have an impression of me, then from the spoken to the unspoken message, you gauge them (and vice versa), later difficulties come in-and you are forced to make decisions and work as a team, congeniality creeps in, and what happens after that depends on your honesty, sincerity and charm?perhaps...

However, just like the road from Serendah to Rawang, you have to have your wits about you, otherwise you might end up being left on the shelf....too bad, if it happens by mistake, especially if it is not your mistake!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Goes Around, Comes Around

As planned, my day started earlier this morning.

I did cook before leaving the house, with a free and rejuvenated mind. So much had happened this month that I felt ready for more. I could anticipate a more challenging week ahead especially during the teething period with my new principal.

In retrospect, my cautious evaluation of the whole situation has eased some of the difficulties that I am facing. Having said that , undeniably, problems come and go. Just like principals (who come and go too....).

Better Days Ahead

I'm looking forward to meet my new neighbours.

When I reached home yesterday, the first thing that I saw was a man completing the construction work at my neighbour's house. That was a relief after driving from Serendah amidst the heavy and slow traffic resulting from a car accident at the traffic-lights near Taman Bersatu and Kampung Kenanga. Furthermore, there was Pasar Tani at Taman Bersatu , beside the lake.

My little girls wanted to have some fun , so as soon as my energy was restored, I took them to the King's Bakery to get some doughnuts for them, as well as some swiss-rolls for my sixth meeting the next day (today).

To my surprise, I even went to the wet market at Taman Tun Teja to get some prawns, chicken and anchovies so that my family could enjoy home-cooked food on Wednesday.

That spoke volumes about my resolution!

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's A Beautiful Butterfly, Indeed

"There's nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly"- Quote:Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983)

I was driving safely back from the end-of-round-one meeting at 5.15 pm when an idea struck me --- I had been thinking about it lately but now I felt as though there was an urgency.

Judging from the never-ending work, I dare not set out my strategies yet. However, as quoted above, you can never tell whether your vision is achievable, but I dare say that it is going to be. Give me some time to figure out how it is going to work....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Believe in What You Have, Someone Might Need It

A new pencil case, perhaps?

Taking a break.
Mum is free tonight....the children are likely to "catch" that happy feeling.

I must admit that my routine of reading newspaper has been inevitably disrupted by my 'heavy' paperwork. Fortunately, my Saturday night was spent wisely at my table- yes, I did take a nap after coming back from the wedding but I became very focused after that- so, at my table, I sat for 6 long hours (with an hour break), completing my work.

It was until this morning, at 5am, I realised that I had had enough and I had to look fresh at Pn Merdiyanah's daughter's wedding reception, thus I went to bed gracefully and started dreaming in no time. I wish I could share my dream with you but now is not the time to do so, in fact, I am quite secretive......

I did get up for my Suboh prayers and then I resumed my dream until about 10.30 am.

A quick check on the Sunday Star showed news on the landslide at Bukit Antarabangsa. My attention was diverted to the Education section, though. I couldn't agree more with Nithya Sidhhu when she wrote about 'Season for cheer'. About what constitutes a good teacher. She talked about ... 'teachers who smile more, project sincere warmth, and are more accepting and tolerant'.

I may sound too predictable when I talk about education, teaching, about being a teacher and perhaps about raising children; but THAT is what I do, perhaps that is also what I can do best. I am not a youngster who is very high-tech, I can't do high jump anymore, I can't be highly energetic (especially after the operation), I can't sing, I can't dance, I can't accept any blatant rudeness, I can't, I can't....this list can be long if I want to talk about what I can't deliver to others at this age.

However, I have another list of what I and what I can....offer.

On top of that, after years of being in this profession, I am also an experienced mother who can just hope that my children will be in good hands when they are in school. My plea to all teachers : children may spend only 11 years in both primary and secondary schools, but in these two places, we, teachers groom the children to become good citizens ....and so our warm, friendly demeanour is highly expected by the children, at least when they are facing hardships; to help boost their self-esteem.

I may be an old teacher but I was once a student too , and I could recall what my expectations were of my teachers.

On a lighter note, tonight, after completing round one of my paperwork, my husband and I took all the children to Parkson Ria to get some stationery for the new school year... (Hasif was there with us even though he would still enjoy his break until he gets a place at a college or university).

That is what I can offer as a mother.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Romance of Belfast

If you had not known, Belfast is in Northern Ireland.

Today I attended two wedding receptions. The first one was in Sungai Buloh and the second one was in Shah Alam, and this was where I had to endure moments of truth with a number of my husband's old buddies.

After 20 years, they met again , bringing their family, reminiscing about Belfast, the place they were completing their tertiary studies.

I sat beside my husband, listening attentively to their stories, nodding politely if necessary, determined to let my husband enjoy this beautiful moment. The camaraderie of these old friends should not be ruined.....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Every Venture Bears A Risk

The deserted school
Hasif helping abah to pack orders

This is the maxim I put up in July 2004

So long, farewell, it's time to say good bye.....

After sending off my mum with the three beautiful young ladies and a smart boy at the commuter station, I decided to take a peek at the shop, to see my two gentlemen doing their work diligently and systematically.

Hasif and his father were seriously doing their work, hence I just entered the office to do my unfinished business. Before long, my eyes caught sight of a maxim on the wall. When I looked closely, I noticed that it was dated July 2004.

I put it up to motivate myself to take up the challenge of being the new Head of the Subject Panel just after a few weeks being in SEMEKAR. Oh! Those were the days! I was promoted (if it could be called a promotion) because Pn Mazlah and Mr Chin had to leave school after their promotion to be the Principal of two different schools.

Yes, actually I still believe in that maxim.

The first photo above showed the 'serenity' of the school when I was there in my office. It was very, very quiet......However, I was not perturbed by the still of the deserted school because I knew in 24 days, I would see many happy faces of my students and also my new set of students, namely the new Form One Rafflesia students of 2009. I shall wait for that moment.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy Birthday

It is my turn this week to oversee the school or rather the staff in the school office.

The beauty of carrying out this duty this week is that I only need to work on two days- exactly only yesterday and tomorrow. As for today, I am allowed to finish my paperwork at home because it is a public holiday.

My new boss however decided to come to school on 10 December 2008, on the very day I was on duty. She shook hands with me while reading my name on my name tag. (Oh God! She might come for her second visit tomorrow!)

The good news was that my mum, my nieces and my nephew (Nazmi) had come to pay us a visit. Today all the girls and my boys had had a wonderful time in Kuala Lumpur- playing like little children at the Times Square. As for me, I became the dutiful housewife, chatting with my mum before doing some shopping....and of course, doing my paperwork. (I am beginning to become obsessed with this work....)

By the way, thank God it was a public holiday! Happy Birthday to the Sultan of Selangor.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Can't Believe It

Wow! I have not written in this blog for a week!

Guess where I had been and what had kept me busy: anyway, just enjoy the photos below:-)

The real A Famosa was discovered by accident and now it is being reconstructed by the state government.

Hi Datuk SRK!

The crowd waiting for Datuk SRK

A memorable pose before we went back to our house in T

Our first stop was the World of Bbbbbb

A trishaw ride

Mukhlis found a friend on the Flor De Lama ship

More photos next time.......................................

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Adidas Oh Adidas!

My little girls killing time creatively

Be patient!

It was 7 pm, an hour before the closing time...but look at the queue.

Hopefully Adidas had something for each of these people.

It was almost 5pm, my husband insisted that everyone go and join the crowd first while he went to find the parking space for our car.

To our surprise the winding line seemed to be endless. In fact, we only reached the door after standing and moving at a snail's pace for 70 minutes.

One of the security guards politely requested me to show my bag as he had to wrap it up in a plastic bag. "Oh? ", I responded. Actually I found it quite amusing because I would not need to open my handbag, implying that I need not use my money to pay for the Adidas items which were on crazy (really crazy) sale, hence somebody else had to do it for me!

When we were done with our purchases, it was 6.50pm. People were still shoving in but they were quite disappointed having to line up first. The staff of Adidas tried to calm them down by assuring them that there would be 3 more days before the sale ended.

Meanwhile, all 8 of us were a happier lot when leaving Bangunan Bakti Siti Hasmah in Taman Tun Dr Ismail because each of us had our own 'ole-ole' to take home!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Someone Did Remember!

"Teacher! It's good to see you again!", a girl who was queuing behind me excitedly exclaimed.

I turned to face her, trying to recall her name, ( Which school? When did I teach her? ....) but to no avail.

Anyhow, she was really, really talkative that I had no choice but to listen to and to believe her stories about how she appreciated my lessons, my scolding etc etc.

She could also remember that I didn't drive to school when I was a teacher at SEGAR. "Every time we saw you come with your husband , teacher, that's why we knew you didn't drive". She added, " You also taught my elder brother who is now a doctor in Perak".

"Teacher, we were really afraid of you because you were fierce and we knew that you would scold us when we didn't do our work". (Really??)

Thank God before every body in the bank got to know my history (her voice was available to every eavesdropper), it was my turn to do transaction with the ATM machine.

Finally, I thought, someone did remember me after leaving school.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Even The Moon Was Smiling!

This photo was taken 3 hours before this shirt became a wall of graffiti....

Hasif with his future business partner.

My son, Hasif was trying hard to look serious at 1.30 pm but his attempts were futile.

He was all smiles!

I took a break from the tedious task (which had to be performed meticulously) at 12.55pm, driving like a retired (but still young) experienced speed-racer; all in the cause of being with Hasif, to share his important moments before sitting for his last (SPM) paper, which was Pengajian Syariah Islam - due to start at 2pm.

Tell me if I was wrong, but he was grinning all the time that I had to remind him that it was not over yet!

I was back with Pn Saadiah and Cik Rahimah shortly after that to complete our project, too bad we had to come again after Raya Haji . Nevertheless, as the head of the team, I declared holidays!!! We would work again, don't worry. The short break would allow me to handle my other paperwork at home, to which, my children said ,"It's OK mum, so long as you are with us".

No wonder later that night the moon was smiling !

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'd Better Declare!

Home sweet home!

After doing my regular workout at Taman Bersatu, I paid my mum-in-law my daily visit. I wish my 'daughter-in-law' will visit me every day too, but I guess I don't have to think about it yet.

The whole day was spent wisely with my family. I carried on doing my work , intermittently interrupted by my daily chores; or rather my daily household chores were interrupted by my paper work. While having lunch, I had the opportunity to watch a funny movie, erm...I had hardly watched anything lately.

At this moment, it is 9.39pm and I plan to proceed with my work, something I have learnt to accept but the prospect of working again in (my own) school tomorrow is giving me nightmares. I think I had better declare a total , meaningful holiday starting on... one fine day next week, before I resume my duties after the Raya Haji. I love holidays!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Compare To versus Compare With

As my duty of late requires a great precision in my observation and assessing of students' work, quite often I need to refer to one of my best friends - which happens to be a book, or more specifically a DICTIONARY.

Of course, it has been used every day, but some things are still in the grey area. I am still in a quandary over certain matters involving pronunciation , spelling and usage.

Take for example, the expressions 'compare to' and 'compare with' , which are interpreted rather differently in different dictionaries, eg. the BBC versus LONGMAN.

Does it make me a bad teacher? No way! I shall continue my crusade for a life-long learning of nuances of the English Language and the pedagogical aspects of it.

By the way, my third meeting today was a success. The meeting was adjourned at 4pm as usual, but my journey home was interesting as I got 'lost' in an attempt to take another route. Nevertheless, I was accompanied by some old numbers from a collection of 'Classic Hindustani Songs' (just for a change).......The traffic was rather slow, forcing me to find an alternative route... see it for yourself (below). How does it compare to the usual traffic flow in Rawang? Hmm, food for thought!

Friday, November 28, 2008

More Time

For the past two days I had been busy, burying myself in a new duty, performing a task which had never been my passion. However, something or rather someone, had helped me see it from a fresh perspective. Thanks to him!

The upside of this new duty is that I have more time to listen to some of the songs over the radio. The journey takes about 30 minutes especially when I am driving carefully within the speed limit.

I get to listen to the song "Fall For You" and I shall remember part of the lyrics such as .......Because a girl like you is impossible to find.......(I like this part!)

Or another one sung by Britney ......Womaniser! Womaniser! You are a womaniser! Ar Ar Ar!..... (Reminds me of something/one)

Or my little girls' favourite which is Jason Miraz's I'm Yours ......Look into your heart and you'll find love, love, love, love... (His voice is ...erm..)

On the other hand, if you think I am enjoying myself, oh, the answer is no! But it is too much to expect doing only things which give rise to some ecstatic feelings in us, 'coz sometimes the fruit of our labour is only known later in life, (this same rule applies to the SPM candidates who are still struggling to prepare themselves for the major exam).

Tonight, I plan to get on with my work and get my baju kurung ready so that I need not rush to SMK Serendah for my third meeting. The songs had better be good tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Help Me

'Mak, get up. Would you like to have a slice of apple-pie?'

The distant voice became clearer once I was fully awake. Oh, my children were presenting me the first apple-pie that Aisyah made on her own. It was already 6.10 pm.

I wasn't smiling, a worried frown creased my forehead, but the apple-pie changed it .....

Proudly, Aisyah cut a slice of the crispy apple-pie for me. She understood how exhausted her mom was, after working two-and-a-half hours non-stop behind the computer at school.

I slowly chewed the delectable pie, counting my blessings , as there I was, very much alive, despite the harshness of 'cruelty' which I had to bear every day, lately.

I am determined to face it.... God , please help!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Taking It In Your Stride

'Value is a word of many meanings'

That was the phrase I was forced to swallow when I was in Adelaide, South Australia , doing 'Property Valuation' degree course. I had (and still have) no objection to this teaching because I really, really liked studying in Australia. I liked the Aussies I befriended, my lecturers (John Cooper, Geoff Page, Peter, Donna, Paul Kershaw,Trevor Mills) who had good sense of humour, the Aussies I harassed during my field studies, my neighbours, the beautiful friends from Malaysia (wonder where you people are now), the shopping complexes and also the hotels and motels I stayed in during my field trips. In fact, the list is longer, actually.

Today, as soon as I flicked through our school magazine, I realised that something was missing. I was expecting an article but it was not there.....Well, not wanting to equate this with failure, I accepted it as it was and I became more determined to take up the challenge of producing good writers and speakers of English in the future.

I would not want to wait for miracles of achieving the status of a perfect teacher before I embark on my project (shall describe this in more detail next time). Nevertheless, my disappointment was somehow consoled with the fact that I had submitted that article....

In short, this incident may give rise to different perceptions and reactions, but nothing is actually more valuable than facing it positively,.....Phew, life is certainly not meant for the faint-hearted!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Sister and I

Kak Gee and I on 151108
With my husband's young auntie 231108

Last Saturday, just after breakfast, the whole family (except for Hasif) went to the Kelana Jaya Complex to send off my sister and brother-in-law to Mecca. She looked quite exhausted, most probably by the preparation and careful planning of the little things which needed attention at her home before they left for the Holy Land to perform Haj.

My nieces: Geronimo, Jepun and Yah , and my nephews: Afifi and Nazmi must be having quite a lonely time at home without the presence of their parents. Nevertheless, grandma and Pak Utih are keeping an eye on them , hence their safety is guaranteed, at least they won't die out of hunger. To Jepun: "Hi, good luck for your Biology paper tomorrow!"

Today my hubby and I attended a kenduri held by his auntie (but she's only 43) , who was also going to Mecca with her husband, in a week's time. She was as cheerful as always, as seen in the picture above. My mind raced back to my beloved sister, wondering how she was doing in Mecca. She might not contact me, I would be least surprised at that , but I could bet that she had me too in her mind.

We grew up together only for the first 10 years of my life, before she went to MRSM Seremban. The two-year gap between us was a hurdle to our relationship. She was always the mature, big-sized girl and I was the skinny, quiet but mischievous girl (at least to her). As soon as I went to TKC, my growth rate was suddenly upsurged to the extent that people thought I was the elder sister. We studied at two different secondary schools which had different school systems. At that time, MRSM followed the American semester system, so both of us hardly met, 'coz she had her school holidays in different months.

Even my first 10 years together were not a bed of roses either, 'coz we were not easily recognised as sisters. Don't ask me why....unless you figure it out yourself, by looking at our colour(s). Anyway, we , or rather, I, survived the ordeal and now I look forward to a wonderful life ahead because I have discovered my strengths, and I have my own family, my own passion for life and most importantly, I am mature enough to understand the value of our relationship. Sis, do take care!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Short of One A

Siti Hawa Naimah with her HM- Pn Marsilah
Naimah is the Tokoh Pelajar SK Bandar Baru Rawang 2008

It was nonetheless a happy ending to an agonising wait for the UPSR results to be released nationwide.

On the morning of Thursday, 13 November 2008, I went to get my daughter's results at about 10am. Too bad I missed the part where my daughter, Naimah was named the recipient of the Tokoh Pelajar award 2008. Her UPSR results were not the best she would have expected. She was in tears when I approached her. The straight As students were all smiles but my little princess was having a nightmare of her life.

You can guess what I decided to do. It took me a few minutes to convince her that no tears should be shed, because it was a lesson she learnt, the hard way.

I could have mentioned about the people I knew , who had had their share of a bitter medicine, before reaping the joys of success in an unmistakenly 'blessings in disguise'.

I did not mention any of my stories to her as it was deemed unnecessary, but you might want to know about the people I knew who kept on failing despite the rigorous revision work that they had done. Owing to their 'failure' to conform to the standards set by the university, they had to find another institution of higher learning. But, hey, presto, one of them got 'hooked up' (innocently) with her lecturer, (and now they live happily ever after) whereas the other one found her love of her life, a Master's degree student, who was also pursuing his studies at the same university.

The moral of the story: there is a reason for such a 'failure', all we have to do is to think positively about the mishap; and find ways to turn it into success. I guess, I need to be reminded about this.....'coz to be in the trough is a real pain, and to return to the peak takes real guts in me.

Why She Fell In Love

The town at 9.30 pm, 221108
One of her favourite places, the Taman Bersatu Lake (can you spot Alvin, 4ML?)
Her little girls' favourite playground
Ika (her niece) with Zainab and Sarah

Note that the word is 'fell' not 'falls'. The latter would imply that she always falls in love, but this blog entry is about why she fell in love. Oh yeah, not with her husband, this is going to be written, some time when her mood is better. At this juncture, I suggest we focus on her love for Rawang.

There was a woman who hailed from a village in Alor Gajah, Melaka. By a twist of fate, she ended up settling down in a quiet town, called Rawang, Selangor. In 1991, the school holidays started in October and the school new term started in December. Hence, she came here in late October 1991, when her first child was 5 months old.

If you asked her about one thing she found intolerable , it was the 'serenity' of this developing town. Her workplace was SMK Seri Garing, which had a composition of 90 per cent non-Malays. Would that have intimidated her? No! Because she never saw the colour of other people. But she missed her 5 Science 2 students of SM Dato' Haji Talib Karim, she could remember Low Sheau Fang , Hadi, Norhaliza and the faces, if not the names of the other students, oops , ex-students of hers.

Her first six months were spent at her mother-in-law's house, until they moved in to Taman Mawar house , about two months before Mukhlis (her second child) was born. In the following 8 years, she had 4 more additions to her family, and they were all girls, four beautiful girls who inherited their mother's good looks.

Similarly, Rawang had also grown to be a bustling new town, but still without a proper bus-station, neither did it have enough parking space. But supermarkets had mushroomed in Rawang and not very far from Rawang, she could easily 'shop till she drops' at hypermarkets like Tesco, Mydin and Carrefourre in Selayang or Melawati. Maybe this shopping part is the most exciting one, maybe.

Fast food outlets seemed to understand her craving for the heavily-tainted fast food. If she did not care about the health of her family and the health of her purse, she would have settled herself in these outlets 7-day-week, just name it, Pizza, McDonald's, KFC, Secret Recipe, once there was the Chicken Rice Shop, and another one, Deli? what?

OK, to be fair, she loved or rather she loves the people of Rawang too.
And guess who is the person she loves the most? Don't worry , she will tell it all some time, some day, when her mood clicks.

Human Resource Management

What! It's Sunday tomorrow!

Judging from my mood, it has not been a boring week. Far from has been an intriguing one since a number of unexpected events have taken place, though whether I liked them remains a secret.

It started out with my frequent visits to the bank, yeah, this is something I fancy doing, reasons are vague, though. Then I keep on receiving calls from my boss and my colleagues....better not comment on this. In the midst of these, I made an unexpected trip to Pahang, and I met my mother, brother and relatives in the process.

Before I could finally settle down, more and more calls were received. No, no, I don't mean calls from my students (their calls remain as precious as ever, but I am just their ex-teacher....), anyhow I attended to every call and I myself had to make a call from the school office to clarify a matter. The word (to decribe it) is 'challenging'...'coz I simply hate rumours and gossips, so that call I made should have closed the case.

I never doubted the advice given by someone I love dearly, that is to use my head more than my heart. The skills in managing people are very delicate but I need to remember that I am responsible to others , not for others...

Why do I feel that I am still working? The teaching part is gone, but the paperwork is still bugging me....not to mention , the human resource management. However, on a lighter note, next week, is payday! This is the part I don't have to elaborate, sorry, though sharing is caring.....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pekan, Pahang

Mak Ngah and the little kids in Pekan, Pahang

Hi, Mr Goat!

It was 8.15 pm and I had not reached my house when the familiar beep beep was heard. 'There is a problem with our time-table. We can't proceed', read the message. 'I just reached Rawang, shall see to it', was my reply.

Phew! I could not be with my team of Time-table Committee today even though it had been properly planned and I had called almost every body to come.

Earlier that morning, while preparing breakfast for Hasif (and the whole family, of course), my daughter came, bringing with her my handset. 'Ma, phone call'

It was from my brother who informed me that my sister-in-law's parents were killed in an accident , early this morning. She is the only sister-in-law I have , and her parents had always treated me and my children with kindness. So, it was impossible for me to ignore such an important news.

My original plan was to go to school, work with the Time-table committee and to give Furqaan some materials which he needed, but everything had to to be adjusted. My team went ahead with their work and I went to Pekan, Pahang.

The journey seemed endless, even my little girls noticed it , but they had an experience of touching a goat (left by the couple), which appeared to be quite friendly and lost...

My mum was there, so were my aunties, uncle and cousins. My sister-in-law was of course in tears but her 4 children seemed oblivious of the fact that their grandparents were gone. Children are children, they will remember this day, anyhow, just as much as they will remember that their Mak Ngah had kissed them goodbye (affectionately) before she left for Rawang that very afternoon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Am I Grateful!

This morning saw me heading to my former school - SEGAR as I had promised my friend to give a briefing to their team of Time-Table Committee. The difference between us was that I had done the time-table using the software for two years....After the briefing, Madam Ho (HM) came out of her room to thank me (this was an act which certainly won my heart as it proved her humility- a commendable act for a HM....).

It's good to be in SEGAR, really. I guess I am still part of this school, though my love for SEMEKAR shall not fade, I'm sure!

On my way home, I stopped at the Bt 16 Xerox shop to get some materials ready for my students (those who wish to have it). In my car, I was preoccupied with selecting the topics which could be important to my students when I received a message from a busy person. Well, who wouldn't be busy now when SPM is looming large in their minds? (Anyway, I'd better get used to it.....).

If you hadn't noticed, I'm back in this blogspot corner of mine. My modem is still needing repairs but a kind soul has lent his as a temporary measure. I am certainly grateful , may God bless him. Shall write more, soon!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cyber Cafes

I am in a cc, trying to send and receive e-mails. For your info, my telephone connection has been cut off since Tuesday 4 November owing to the lightning which struck my phone line.

So, today alone I had to 'pay a visit' to Alibaba and now I 'm in another CC, trying to blend in the crowd of youngsters can imagine....

By the way, good luck to all the SPM candidates who are struggling hard for excellence. I believe that you will reap success!!!!! I pray for your success....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The 'Pengantin' In Me

The bride and bridegroom of the day.

Yes, I mean this couple here...

It's the first day of November, again! For my 43rd time!

In the morning , the first event was makan-makan at the school canteen, followed by THE staff meeting in Bilik Sri Bakawali. I was determined not to be a pest at this meeting, hence, I sat at my place, looking calm with a well-mannered demenour (I was wearing the light brown baju kurung which was worn on 16 May 2007), did I mention that someone thought I was wearing my baju Raya?

By 11.50 am, I started to glance at the big clock (above HM's place) agitatedly. My mind was clouded by the next plan to attend two wedding receptions with my other half!

HM too would like to keep her word by adjourning the meeting at 12 noon....Thank God!

Hurriedly, while the other teachers resumed their makan-makan, I left school and within minutes I was already wearing another baju kurung to attend the two functions. This was when the moment of truth prevailed.....I took longer time to get into this baju kurung. Something was wrong somewhere, I guessed. The solution should be simple, eat wisely!

To the newly-weds, Selamat Pengantin Baru! Today is definitely an important and a memorable day to you, and I simply love sharing this joy!

It's Easier Said......

'I was complaining I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet'

That is one thing I tend to forget from time to time. What a confession!

Anyway, Mukhlis's search for an ideal pair of basketball shoes was a success (last Tuesday) after dad and mum took him to the Sungai Wang Plaza. The shoes seemed to be his priority as the only paper that he had to worry about was the EST, a subject which he definitely could forget about , soon.....

Speaking about gratefulness, yeah...sometimes I'm simply not grateful for what I have. No wonder God needs to 'remind' me by giving me some kind of illness or mishap.

When we expect to be rewarded according to our good deeds, it can become a fallacy. It's certainly not as simple as '1+1=2', no no! It doesn't always work out that way...

So, you think you are good? You have done so much to help others? You have guided your students to the very end? You have sacrificed so much ? You are praised by almost everyone for your outstanding performance? You are loved and adored? You are trusted?

Let me share this with you...Whenever I'm being rational and wise, I remind myself that 'all that glitters is not gold', I can't expect good things will automatically emerge as a result of my 'good deeds', similarly I should not be pessimistic about the mishaps that I might have to face, 'coz sometimes these mishaps will lead me to something much better, more satisfying and most importantly, they might change my course of direction, and I will be led to the right path. (Sounds like The Road Not Taken!)

So, being a teacher has taught me to anticipate changes when I encounter a new set of students. Thank God I came to SEMEKAR in 2004 , only to meet with a wonderful set of students who have helped shape me into someone more mature .... I don't mean older, I will age anyhow (no need to remind me, I have many mirrors in my house). But as usual, I cannot expect anything more than that...instead I should 'count my blessings' now........while it lasts.

Triple Trouble!

With Pn Nora after eating the soto....umph!

Shall remember Ustazah Rahimah's laksam

My daughter thought the sushi at Pn Norakmar's house was imported from Japan!

Pn Khalidah remembered to pack some roti jala for Aisyah, thanks...

Guess what happened on Wednesday 29 October 2008? That was just a 'sequel' to the previous makan-makan...........

After completing the exhausting spring cleaning of the girls' study area, I allowed myself a good break by going to my friends' houses at Rawang Perdana and Bukit Rawang Jaya. Initially my hubby was supposed to accompany me but at the very last minute, something cropped up. My two little girls were excited anyhow to go only with mum. Too bad Aisyah and Naimah had to stay home.

The first attack was Pn Khalidah's house, followed by Pn Norakmar's, Ustazah Rahimah's, Pn Nora's and finally , Pn Mazliana's house. I tried to reserve some space in my tummy (as in accordance to the Islamic teaching), the food was really tempting though, and reluctantly, I gave in to my desire....

The results? Of course you will only know the results when you have difficulties getting into the same baju kurung that you wore 10 days ago.....

I'd better do something before my next appointment with the Selayang Hospital surgeon...oh oh, I'm in trouble!