Sunday, July 27, 2008

He's Sixteen!

Tomorrow 28 July 2008 is Mukhlis's birthday. Even though Dad was unwell, we all (except for big brother-who attended the SPM Seminar at Segaria) headed to the Times Square to meet up with him.

He was there with his basketball team mates , taking part in a match organised by the SEGI College. They lost but they had a good time, anyway. That's what matters most, actually.

Instead of going home after that, little Zainab had a brilliant idea. "Why not we go to the Cosmo's World Theme Park?" So, instead of spending the afternoon marking my students' scripts, I decided to join the roller coaster ride! Wow! It's awesome!

Mukhlis, big boy, you are sixteen..... Happy Birthday!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Special Date

Suddenly I was reminded of a magic date last year - which was 20.07. 2007.

One of my students once produced a beautiful essay about the magic date. It was magic to him as something special happened to him on that day and the rest was history.......

For various reasons, certain dates are special to us. I may be able to name a few special dates but then others may not be able to share this special date with me, thus making it an anti-climax.

One of the most special dates is the 24th of Ramadhan in 1984. Ehmm....

Another special date is 5 August 1990....the day I became a Mrs.

Last but not the least, (in fact, it is not the last date, really)........this year's 12 November.
If you ask me, I must say that I'm just as anxious as the other teachers and mothers with regard to that date. Perhaps the last person who worries about it is the SPM candidate himself.

I have done my calculation and I must stress here that SPM is just 8 learning weeks from today. But to a teacher who has been reminded by the doctor to see him again for the next appointment, I am torn between .......................

I may resort to an intensive class to compensate for the loss, but this may affect the students' schedule. I am determined to make things as normal as possible, may be the form 4 students are not greatly affected, but the 5A and 5KJ students may have to put up with a few extra 'meetings' with me. Too bad this has to happen this year, though postponing it may only have an undesirable effect on me and the people under my charge.

So, there is going to be a special date which will result in a transformation , but as I reflect on the special dates which I have encountered, even the worst among them has left me but with bitter-sweet memories. So, why worry?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

That Is Why.....

*Disclaimer : Whatever the effects of reading the poem below is totally not the liability of the writer. It is NOT my original piece of work, hence if you are very selective and you choose to read only an original piece, please do not read beyond this red full stop .

My colleague came in the class while I was invigilating a July test paper this morning.
"Hey! You are daydreaming, eh? Come, read this poem!", she quipped.
I did not really want my 'dream' to be disturbed, so I obliged myself to take a look at the said poem. But, hell o! I think it is worth sharing here.

Why ladies today are still single?
The nice men are ugly
The handsome men are not nice
The handsome and nice men are gay
The handsome, nice and heterosexual men are married.
The men who are not so handsome,
but nice men, have no money
The men who are not so handsome, but are nice men with money
think we are only after their money.

The handsome men, without money are after our money,
The handsome men, who are not so nice and somewhat heterosexual don't think we are beautiful enough
The men who think we are beautiful, that are heterosexual, somewhat nice and have money are cowards.
The men who are somewhat handsome, somewhat nice and have some money and thank God are heterosexual, are shy and NEVER MAKE THE FIRST MOVE!!
The men who never make the first move, automatically lose interest in us when we take the initiative.

Thank God my man dared to make the first move! Otherwise, Cik Haslina.......Now back to my disrupted 'dream'.......

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Face The Music! .....Facebook......

What you post on the internet matters a lot......

You may not like the sound of it, but as proven in a court case in the Providence (Rhode Island), a 20-year-old college junior is sentenced to two years in prison for a drink-driving crash.

All this is made possible with the pictures posted by his friends on the social networking site, Facebook.

It is quoted in the Sunday STAR that : Facebook or Myspace......" have offered crime-solving help to detectives and become a resource for employers vetting job applicants."

Undeniably, most people are not worried about the first one, regarding the crime but wait a second!.....what about your credibility as a job applicant? or at a lower level, as a scholarship applicant? or perhaps just to get approval from your future mother-in-law about your behaviour?

Mmmm....perhaps in this digital age, we must accept the fact that these sites are also under scrutiny from prosecuters as a resort to cast doubt on the character of the defendant.

But there is nothing to worry about if we are clean. Anyway, as the saying goes....
"Integrity is doing right when no one is looking".

Friday, July 18, 2008

Energy? After Aji?

What a strange day....

I was fortunate, or rather it was just sheer luck that I was invited by the Head of EST to join the trip to Aji.

The Aji company simply refused to allow the trip to their factory unless the ratio between teachers and students was 1:10. I did not decline the offer as I knew that there were only 3 EST teachers in the school and there was only a Chemistry teacher to go along. Furthermore, on Fridays I only teach a form 5 class (and most of them are at the Aji).

At the factory, I discovered that I was needed to go with my colleague to get something for the Aji (and we went on foot).

Immediately after the trip, I attended two meetings. Followed by, completing some work in my room/office.

But tonight, after re-doing the July test paper, I still cannot sleep. Gosh! What did these Aji people put in the food they served us today?


Thank you abah. It is never too late to thank my loving abah who had allowed me to be as rude as si tenggang in the form 4 literature component.

My abah passed away 10 years ago when I was expecting my fifth child, my little Sarah.

He was such a disciplinarian, hence moulding me into a rather 'disciplined' teenager. I always hoped to find friends who could appreciate the beauty of self-discipline (in the boarding school I was trapped in). Hey, I like my school, and I had always liked it.

On the other hand, abah always wanted me to think out-of-the-box. I know, it was strange to be serious, conventional but at the same time, being forward-looking and brave enough to speak my piece.

But, that was exactly what happened during my teenage years.

Yes, I made mistakes along the way, and I wasn't spared the scolding from him. However, most importantly, he was a very responsible father who had only the best intentions ........ and he did it with a sincere love in his heart.


One swallow doesn't make a summer.

I guess my students can give the meaning of the above proverb......

Proof, proof, proof and more proof.

This is what we need before we come to a conclusion.

Never deduce or perceive something without performing a series of tests... Don't be impressed easily. Neither should you expect something to happen in the future based on small or trivial signs.

At the very same time, when a person or your subordinate has taken the trouble to see you in order to bring up an issue, take some time to ponder upon her words. She must have something important, or at least , it is deemed important to her!

What I just learnt recently is that being a boss is not an easy matter, neither it is an uphill task, provided we take up the role, learn about leadership (fast! or asap!) and make mistakes, if necessary....but do it with sincerity, and not because you are not in your good mood.

I brought up an issue, in the hope that this issue would be digested accordingly.........However, to my surprise, (well, actually, why should I be surprised?), the issue or the situation was not digested properly. Instead it was thrown up with a pre-conceived idea, based on an observation which to me was half-digested or half-baked!

Firstly, I cannot accept a leader who does not like his territory. If you are the President of the United States, you MUST like your country and its citizens! Hence, never say that your country sucks!

Secondly, a leader must be broadminded.

Thirdly, a leader must never appear to be a partisan figure.

Lastly, a leader is able to motivate others.

A leader with a good stance will not swallow the bait. And should he make any mistake, he knows when to swallow his pride and correct his wrong............because nobody is perfect!

Monday, July 14, 2008

One Whole Week

"Wow, you'll be away the whole week?"

I say, what sort of teacher is away from school for many days?
My answer is : "That teacher must be a tired teacher".

Not a retired teacher, ok? If the teacher is retired, he/she should stay away from school as his/her visit to the school will not be entertained anymore.......since every body has to rush to the next class, or rushing to mark the students' books.

Back to the teacher who is committing a crime by working elsewhere but not in her/his own school.... this teacher has to sit and perform her/his duty exactly from 8 am to 1.30 pm. If she/he is less fortunate, she/he will work again after lunch and even after dinner.

At the very same time, this teacher is expected to have prepared enough work to be assigned to all the classes that he/she teaches. He/She must also come back and collect the exercise books to mark.

Furthermore, all letters/ directives that he/she receives within the time he/she is away from school must be attended/ handled by him/her as though he/she has never left the school.

Oh my! I would not want to leave my school!

A Natural Remedy

There is a lot of truth in the tips given by my friend (who has been very loyal in sending e-mails for the past 3 months). Luckily, all her tips have not been misconstrued, but instead filed carefully for future references.

Thus, so happen that one day, one of the tips is put to the test.

Even the doctor claims that there is no medicine which can cure the dengue fever.

When Aisyah's blood platelet count dropped to 90 or more accurately 90,000 ( a reading that's not very low, but still bad), I immediately remembered the effectiveness of the papaya leaf as claimed in the e-mail I received last month. It sure is true............Please read the e-mail yourself :-)

"I would like to share this interesting discovery from a classmate's son who

has just recovered from dengue fever. Apparently, his son was in the

critical stage at the ICU when his blood platelet count dropped to 15 after

15 liters of blood transfusion.

His father was so worried that he sought another friend's advice and his

son was saved. He confessed to me that he give his son raw juice of papaya

leaves. From a pallet count of 45 after 20 liters of blood transfusion,

after drinking the raw papaya leaf juice, his pallet count jumped instantly

to 135. Even the doctors and nurses were surprised. After the second day he

was discharged. He asked me to pass this good news around.

Accordingly it is raw papaya leaves, 2pcs just cleaned, pounded and

squeezed with filter cloth. You will only get one tablespoon per leaf. So

two tablespoons per serving once a day. Do not boil or cook or rinse with

hot water, it will lose its strength. Only the leafy part and no stem or

sap.. It is very bitter and you have to swallow it like Wong Low Kat. But

it works. "

Of course, it is extremely bitter but Aisyah was between the devil and the deep blue sea, therefore she did not put up any struggle when the 'juice' was fed into her mouth. Believe it? You'd better.......

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Beautiful Song

Sekolah Dato' Haji Talib Karim,
Sentiasa berada di jiwa kami,
Melambangkan hasrat cita murni,
Kepadamu kami berbakti.

Berusaha pasti jaya,
Menjadi amalan kami,
Agar tercapai kejayaan,
Dalam pendidikan dan tatasusila.

Berusaha pasti jaya,
Menjadi amalan kami,
Agar tercapai kejayaan,
Dalam pendidikan dan tatasusila.

Firstly, to the teachers and students of SM Dato' Haji Talib Karim in Melaka: please forgive me should there be any mistake in the above lyrics of the school song.

Ever since the radio in my car has been taken out for repairs, I always hum or sing in my car. Furthermore, this whole week I have to travel alone to school because Aisyah is ill.

Back to the school song above, nobody showed me the lyrics but I always sang the song during the school assembly, like I always do now...

It's anyone's guess of how melodious it is when yours truly start singing in her car. However, if you ask me , I think it is quite ok, hmm, no wonder it rains on most days lately!

By the way, I am just sharing this beautiful song (which has captivated me ever since I started working 18 years ago) with you. Enjoy it..........

Detention Class

Some of my students will join the detention class on Monday! That is definite!

It is all because they fail to reach a certain satisfactory standard of marks in today's quiz.

The purpose of the quiz is to make them aware of the idioms / list of vocabulary which they have studied. Students, being students (with all the imperfections and complacency), must be reminded every minute to fully utilize the handouts given to them.

It is already July 11th, hence I need to make them see the light.... SPM is just around the corner!

Hmm, I guess I must share with them my own experience of preparing myself for examinations. But, in the mean time, let them enjoy their weekend. Monday will await you, watch out.......

Mum and Her Career /s

Working every day in a week is pretty common among teachers. In fact, even though by 1.10 pm we might get the chance to leave the school, most of the time, teachers must go home very much later as there are a number of unfinished business to attend to.

It is either due to some official matter like conducting an extra class, a meeting with teachers or students, completing reports, completing a project, checking students' folios (because the Pentaksir Kawasan is coming) or perhaps as a Pentaksir Kawasan , the teacher must sit down to check the documents submitted to her; or something less official like cleaning some special room or going round the school to put up posters or decorating the notice boards.

Worse still, teachers might have to contact people from other places after school , using their own handsets, of course.

After serving for 18 years in this field (I started on the 10th of July, 1990 at SM Dato' Haji Talib Karim, Melaka), I do not mind all these provided I do not have a sick child/husband at home.

Therefore, when my little Sarah and my darling Aisyah are ill this week, I find it slightly difficult to work efficiently. Well, when your children do not eat and sleep well, you as a mother always get the lion's share of the doctor work at home. They always prefer MUM to DAD even when they are off-colour, so when they are really ill, their demands are greater!

The doctor contacted my husband a few hours ago asking Aisyah to come for another check-up tomorrow because according to the blood count, she might be susceptible to dengue......ok, A@ron, your guess should not be sidelined!

But, I have a commitment tomorrow, and also the day after. I will carry out my duties as usual , hoping that things will still get better.

I always believe that God helps those who remember Him. Anyway, Aisyah has started smiling and Sarah has started checking her blog again...... Uh! That's like music to my ears!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Lesson To Cherish

Waiting at the Selayang Hospital today was hardly felt by me. Even though I reached there at 8 am, my name was only called at 10.30 am. However, I breezed myself into the room without much thought. In fact, I was surprised that everything was over after 40 minutes.

The truth was that I did not realize how long I had spent at the hospital.

By the time I entered my class, I was welcomed by that 'very look' from the students. MN started off by presenting his interpretation of 'The Monsoon History'. This was already planned one day earlier so there was no problem. Obviously, he should not be underestimated as someone who was just off the boat. His definitions and arguments were acceptable.

After that warming up, I introduced the topic of the day to the students who were keen as mustard. I felt that the topic was important to them but I knew I should mind my P's and Q's when dealing with a delicate topic.....

I am hoping that the students find today's lesson to be enlightening.

Little Sarah

As you can see, my little Sarah looks awfully unwell. Well, that's not all. Since yesterday her elder sister began to show the same symptoms.

I am acting doctor again.... who says raising children is easy?

I Am Back!

At last! My son is back from Kelantan! It must be an exciting journey and he got to do some shopping with his friends at Rantau Panjang. Well, shopping is not his top priority, only the fun that accompanies it that matters. Yeah, shopping with friends instead of with mum.

It was good of him to remember sending his mum messages while he was there. At least he sent her the good night wishes, as usual as though he was at home.

In the mean time, mum was deprived of the privilege that she normally enjoyed. As she came back from work at about 3.30 pm last Saturday, she felt like cooking. So, off she went to the kitchen. After proudly serving lunch/early dinner to the whole family, she was disgusted to find that the Streamyx connection had become cranky again.

But tonight, she is back! She will spend some time writing in her blog.....while eating some keropok lekor from Kelantan.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Birthday & Hardworking People

What is going to transpire after a real hard work shall be known sooner or later.
Even then, the success that is reaped may not be as meaningful as the true success which can only be gauged at a much later date......even perhaps only after one has left this world.

Today is Puan Liew's 61st birthday. I would like to contact her via Yahoo e-mail but there is a technical glitch that prevents me from sending her a 'birthday gift'. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

She is my ex-boss who has helped open up opportunities for me to realise my potential. Well, she is an interesting character who is known to be very hardworking. I am sure some of my ex-colleagues will not hesitate to agree with me. I am sure you notice the word SOME in the previous sentence, it is true......only some of them. But I will give my unwavering support to her tireless effort to contribute to the society despite what people might say about her. Anyway, that SOME is actually most of us, who used to work under her. (I wish to clarify here that 'the majority' does not mean much to me).

Yes, I seriously think that you need to think hard and study a person from your own perspective. Sometimes, your colleague might be the grumpy who has nothing good to say or comment.....can you picture that?
So, as my scope of business involves dealing with my young clients (most of whom are underage, innocent and actually ready to learn), I need to use my head carefully and wisely. Never, ever, listen too much to the 'preview' given by your friends. Similarly, never ever let your judgement be clouded by your emotions, either.

I dedicate this blog entry to a young man who has had quite a difficult year, but nevertheless he is a fast learner who is striving to achieve excellent SPM results. He holds an important post , requiring him to juggle his time and I think he is heading in the right direction! He may be just one of the many students with the same predicament, but his ability to handle the demanding situations should be lauded!

Of course, we aren't perfect, what more a young , aspiring man. He does not shelve his talents, (something I am proud to see) despite criticisms which may be demeaning. AENO2, stay ambitious and I believe that the other teenagers should emulate your optimism! .......

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Thin Line

It was 7 pm, Thursday and in the following one hour, I could watch the news. It was filled with the sodomy case for at least the first quarter of the Buletin Utama. Funnily enough, that news was inter-related with the Altantuya case. What is this all about?

Never mind about that, my son and his friends were about to start their journey to an east-coast state. I reminded him to make the most of the trip......and to open his eyes wide enough to the cultures of the people there AND to RESPECT their practices. Most likely, and hopefully, he will find himself to be the new si tenggang like "si tenggang's homecoming".

In our peaceful country , we cannot but accept the customs of the other races. I guess we should not question much about the practices of cultures because there is a thin line between being disrespectful and being outspoken.

Of yes, I can be outspoken too, but mostly at meetings, whether I am chairing it or otherwise....but that's for the sake of performing my duty. In order to get things run properly and accordingly. But , nevertheless, yours truly's persona is not meant to be exaggerated like Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde as she is still quite predictable, I mean QUITE...

Just hope that the boys will enjoy a safe trip.

The Truth

"When you speak the truth, you don't have to remember what you said"

I like the above words of wisdom. At least this is also what my mother used to tell me.

How true!!!!!

But what if the truth hurts? Good question. But I always believe in being fair , I strive to provide the most accurate comments after reading my student's essay / answer. Who says that it is an easy thing to do? More often than not, the message is received quietly by the students without any signs of distress / thrill. But most importantly, they have submitted their work and I am providing them with my sincere comments.

But what about those who fail to hand in their work? Should I cane them? Should I let them free? There has to be a reason for their doing that. Please tell me the truth....