Thursday, October 30, 2008

Complimentary Food

It's a happy day for this teacher. Talk about going back to school after a wonderful holiday!

I was late this morning to (the deserted) school......My only class today was with 5A where I met 13 lovely students who did inject that sort of fresh feelings in me. I encouraged them to select one favourite essay from their reading or from their own essay writing book and by all means , give it to me for marking and correction purposes.

I also brought the tips on Summary Writing (Sunday Star) to let them know about the 'grids' issue...

I must have got carried away until the next period when I noticed the time. Phew! I should be in the meeting room. To cut the story short, that was where I spent the next three hours before I left the meeting for another one involving all the teachers in the Language Department. Well, when I chair a meeting, I expect punctuality to be observed .......

Apart from the meetings, there was free food the whole morning....Pn Khalidah brought (yummy) mee bandung, the form 3 students made lemang and served it with delicious rendang, and finally Pn Norizam served us a true nasi dagang from Kelantan!

All's well that ends well!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Misconception (?) About Attendance

I received a message from a student who apologised about his/her inability to submit his/her work tomorrow. But the student promised to submit the work to me, by hook or by crook , this week (Well, as I told you earlier, I receive more unexpected messages lately).

When I asked the student about his/her absence, and also what would happen to his/her record of attendance....the student made a surprising statement , which was : "Attendance for this year is closed already, teacher"

Oh, oh, where did you get the idea from?

I was told personally by Pn Norzida , my boss, (on Sunday, 26 October, 2008) at her house, that attendance for the form five students was to be recorded as usual......She added ," Sayanglah mereka kalau kedatangan menunjukkan mereka kerap tak hadir".

Certainly there are reasons why students opt to stay home but sadly, the misconception about attendance must be clarified..........

Monday, October 27, 2008

Grids or No Grids?

Enjoying the holiday while it lasts

As soon as I left my bed and my sejadah (praying mat), my mind was totally focused on completing last night's task. It was slightly after 6.30 in the morning.

Last night, while my family members were watching 'Harry Potter' and playing 'Monopoly', I was left on my own, at my desk, sorting out a few documents , planning my girls' study area (that was identifying the paper/books to be recycled) and wiping the cabinets and shelves.

At midnight, my daughter invited me to watch 'Midsomer Murder' as my hands were too weary to proceed with the cleaning up (during the day- folding clothes and then at night- my desk) , but I declined the invitation, knowing that a good night's sleep would allow me to resume my spring cleaning the next morning...

So, five hours of gruelling task proved to be fruitful when all my daughters (who must have felt pangs of guilt), also took part in this marathon of spring cleaning. By noon, the study area was transformed and I gladly changed course by preparing lunch.

What followed suit after that was attending an open house and shopping for a pair of basketball shoes for Mukhlis. Should I mention that we came home empty-handed? Yes, it wasn't easy finding a most 'cool' pair of shoes for him.

My next task was answering calls from students who wished to get clarification from me. That started at 8pm (Oh, yesterday was from morning to 11pm). My son too asked me about summary writing, whether to draw grids or not? (Yes, what a coincidence, I know). According to his friend, grids should not be the practice when answering the summary section, his friend was reminded by his tuition teacher and the tips in the newspaper.

My instinct told me that I had better ask my senior teacher who had marked SPM paper for many years. Her reply was simple, " The grids should benefit both parties, the candidate as well as the examiner. Hence, candidates are encouraged to draw the grids for the summary section."

May I add that the grids should be drawn in pencil, neatly and lightly , so as not to disrupt the overall neatness of the summary writing.

To the student who cares to ask me the same question raised by my son, thank you very much for doing so, I always respect your dogged determination. I guess now we know what has propelled me to change to a better person.................

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Starting Life Anew

Other than worrying over the minutes of meeting, my speech before the meeting of 7 panels in the Language Department, the proposal for 2009, 2008 report, stock checking, form 4 school-based oral assessment, form 4 answer scripts to be marked ..........etc etc; I actually lead quite a sedentary life, especially since that 15 August operation.

Now, more than two months have passed and my health is restored at least 90 per cent. Coincidentally, it is a long weekend, hence when my little girls begged me to spend this Sunday morning at the Taman Bersatu lake, I didn't have any objection at all.

My hubby too felt the need to be sporty again. You can see him here doing some simple workouts. Well, too bad, I ain't the one in the snap....but believe me, I too did a fair share of exercising. This holiday shall see a more active me, as I wish to start anew.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another 17 Days - With My Students

This is what we call "Sharing Is Caring"

Together we strive for success...

Chai Xchin and her classmates had to deal with a 'moody' teacher after recess today.

But the teacher's mood changed as soon as she saw her students filling up the APD room. She was touched by KMing's , BYoong's and Phuna's (and the gang) cheerful greetings.....

The students of 5A who came to school today should be lauded for their efforts to learn and keep on learning!

As you can see each of them went home with a booklet in their bag. The November babies and December babies too left the APD room with a little something from this teacher.

They might come back next week, or they might not....but I reminded them to keep in touch with me. My handset and my e-mail should make me easily accessible to all. You can ask me , I'll make myself available 24 hours until the SPM English paper is over, or perhaps forever!

Another 17 Days - With My Son

In the afternoon, having lunch at KFC

Earlier, meeting my boy's teacher regarding his SPM trial exam results

Another 17 days to SPM.

Today, my boy's school opened its door to the parents of the form 5 students. As my boy ushered me to his class, he seemed quite nervous even though he knew very well that he had our support, no matter what.....

The teacher encouraged him to study hard to ensure good results in SPM. I listened to her attentively , as she seriously gave my son the tips and lecture which should be useful to him.

As a mother and a teacher, I did not wish to sound so knowledgeable , therefore, I decided to listen to the teacher's comments.

My boy was calm and he too, voiced his views on his results. He must have realised his mistakes and he seemed determined to change.

I could only smile, perhaps I was proud of his confidence. Before I got up from my seat, I squeezed his hand gently, to indicate that I would always stand by him and I had faith in him. To the teacher, I assured her that Hasif's attitude certainly proved his determination to succeed. Let him persevere, this is part of character building..........and there's no better way of doing it other than by making mistakes now..............

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You Are Special

Yesterday (21 October 2008), I was invited to sit with LChew Wei and LChoong Hon during their 'toilet' break or more commonly known as 'take 5'.

"Oh , what could be the reason?"

"We would like to tell you about our problems", LChew Wei started the conversation politely.

What transpired after that should not be disclosed in this blog (it was just the normal stuff) but the moral of the story is :

Students (and teenagers, in general) do have something to tell you, if you are willing to STOP and LISTEN. And this is what we call communication.

A few 'little' things are only made known to us at the 11th hour, but what has kept them from telling us earlier is a point to ponder.

Strangely, since 18 October 2008, I have received a number of messages from students whom I would have never expected to send me any messages at all. Some are bolder and they either confront me with the unsolved problems or they wish to pour their hearts out say how grateful they are....(I am referring to those who seldom talk to me before).

Why there is a surge of 'kind gestures' remains a mystery , even though a simple explanation would be the SPM which is fast approaching. It is a 'lovable nuisance' which every student in Malaysia is proud to reflect on, when they have left it behind them before they march into adulthood via colleges and universities.

I have no qualms about this whole confessions because I was a student too....only that I was rather secretive and my teachers hardly knew what was in my mind, only my English Language and BM teachers had the honour of knowing it, through my essays.........just like what you are experiencing now. Consider yourself special!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Double Trouble

Hz on 18 October 2008

The 43-year-old me was surprised by the thoughtful act of my other half today. Yes, I know, it could be the wrong day, and at the wrong time, but anyhow, I really appreciate it.

I went home late as usual but as soon as I reached my humble abode , the atmosphere was cheery , as though my husband had been enthusiastically waiting for my return. Oh Oh ! There's lunch on the table! Wrong day.....

I was overcome by curiosity....wanting to know what was served and whether he had not lost touch with his superb culinary skills. The last time he was seen in the kitchen was many, many, many years ago. Hmm, oh yes, I couldn't be wrong about this. The taste was simply indescribable!

I had to put aside my 'size zero' target.....perhaps a real workout would be able to compensate for today's heavy lunch. A real heavy, double lunch....

Monday, October 20, 2008

No, They Wouldn't Know....

Shao Hong, Aisyah, Anita, LChai Meh, myself and Wai Hon in the library discussing the Sabah SPM Trial exam paper.

It's Monday again. The school normally buzzes with activites on Mondays.

This time, there wasn't any formal assembly. My focus today was to assume an active role in preparing the Language Department's planning for 2009. So I rechecked the calendar, in order to set deadlines for reports and proposals.

At 10.45 I went down to 5KJ but the classroom was hot, thus the five students who were present were taken to the Resource Centre for a discussion of the Sabah SPM Trial Paper. Wai Hon laughed when I had difficulties in explaining the meaning of words to him. (Luckily, Chai Meh was around to translate the words). It was fun to teach such a small group of innocent students..... They are determined to get better results even though it is an uphill task - it's tough but I respect their determination.

My work at school ended with a meeting with the Heads of the different panels - for BM, English Language, Malay Literature, EST, Tamil, Chinese and Arabic panels.

At 4 pm, when I took my things to my car, I realised that the load of documents and books I wanted to take home showed how my homework was worse than my students'.....if only they knew!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Unexpected

Nobody knows for sure what their fate is....

Nobody can guarantee that the food he has so well selected from the buffet table will end up in his mouth.

In fact, nobody is sure that he could see his child through phases of growing up, for reasons best remained unknown...........

My colleague's invitation to her open house was received without any prejudice , and it was already slotted in my Sunday's schedule. Zainab was one little girl who could not be more excited about the prospect of meeting her favourite auntie. Everything was supposed to fall into place until the unexpected happened and it was simply unavoidable.

My plan had to be rescheduled but I just hope that her house is still open to guests like me......and I hope she would accept my apologies too!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


With Dr Johdi Mohd Salleh from UIA
Aaron delivering his speech.
Who's hot?
LChai Meh, Amira, Kasturi and Naqiyuddin (back row,2nd from left) from 5KJ, eagerly waiting for their turn.

On a bright and sunny day, the whole academic staff and all the form 5 students of SEMEKAR took an important ride to the International Islamic University Malaysia.... The ride was smooth and the event, which was The Graduation Day for all our SPM candidates who would be sitting for their exams next month (what! Next month?) ; was indeed a very important event of the year.

Wow! How time flies!

It was yesterday when I first entered my form 2 class in 2005. The students were really cute and innocent (baby-face,ma!). Well, that was in 2005.

I was ONLY 39 plus at that time, still energetic and fierce. I remember screaming(?? shy only) in class, apart from whacking them when they failed to submit their assignments. (None of them would complain or argue with me).These are the things I stopped doing in 2007, much to the relief of the students.

Anyway, don't try to do the same again now, the situation is reversed. Most of them are much taller than I am , and they really know how to debate an issue. Don't try lay a finger on them, nor should you raise your voice just because you have nothing else to do AND don't enter class unless you are well-prepared.

But, business is business, I shall still guide them and test them and reprimand them (tactfully), 'coz it is my duty....(as mentioned before, who am I without you?) and most importantly it is because I care , ........and caring means loving.

So, girls , no more make-up, and boys, no more flirting; there is a very important battle ahead after the graduation. Stay focused, move on with life, OUR priority is SPM now.

But today , at the graduation ceremony, I was speechless.....

Friday, October 17, 2008

Appreciation Dinner 2008

KLCC at night
H and M
With Jamie and Frankie

The heavy rain raised our doubts about attending the special dinner hosted by Petronas.

As soon as I reached home after acting as a Critical Friend in the school Buddy Support System meeting, my husband suggested that I had my lunch immediately 'coz my form 4 boy would like us to fetch him from school. Oh! It would mean that we were going to make two trips to KL today.

The double trip would also spoil my plan to shop for a new handset!

"Aisyah, may I borrow your handset?"

"Oh, sure! But what's wrong with yours?"

Fortunately, as she was 'repairing' my handset, it burped the normal sound.........oh, ok, now I could use my phone. There was a message I urgently had to send to my student.

We had to brave the stormy rain in our first trip. When we reached home, my eyes could not tolerate it anymore, but my disciplined husband instructed me to get ready for our second trip while he went to fetch our little girls from their Agama school.

Later, the second trip proved to be not much a hassle but the situation changed when we entered KL as the closer we got to KL Convention Centre, suddenly the traffic almost came to a halt. Wow, nevertheless, I took a few pictures (but they did not turn out good).

The dinner itself was held on the ground floor of the KLCC. The emcee was quite versatile and the entertainers were really talented. They were Sarah, Anuar Zain and Adibah Noor (in order of appearance), each entertaining us with a rendition of Raya songs, Sway, Getaran Jiwa, Mungkin, Moon Dance, Ketulusan Hati, Lelaki Ini and a few other numbers which were too enticing to ignore (but I wonder whether the songs would thrill my children and my students).

The food was delectable, the best in fact compared with the previous years' dinner(s), but to maintain my "Size Zero", I decided to have just a little bit of everything.

We met our 'orang kampong' from Rawang- Frankie and Jamie and with the help of one 'adik' fom the catering staff, we had our photo taken.
Can you see how sweet the ladies' smiles are? It was taken while Adibah Noor, who was wearing a pink gown, was singing a melodious song. Jamie, as demure as she could be, looked feminine in her white dress, unlike her usual appearance when working during the day.

This night would remain a memorable one - sharing the joy with the big family of Petronas and its commercial partners.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What's Happening?

Due to some unavoidable circumstances, my has been neglected by its administrator for more than a week now.

The site may have to be revamped , thus visitors and the would-be visitors may have to keep their emotions in!

Anyway, this blogspot is still available for 'Sharing'....

I'll be back!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

And You'll Take The High Road and I'll Take The Low Road

With Pn Norasmah near the Cactus Valley

It is not every day you get to spend the whole day with your friends, leaving your beloved family behind. Having said that, I wish to add that it is also not a thing I wish to do more than once in my life time.

Our staff development course was held at a hotel , after spending many hours on the winding road and another two hours shopping for strawberries, strawberry chocolates, vegetables, some rare fruits and perhaps some souvenir?

The sight of the Rawang toll plaza really made my day. Home at last....It was past 10 pm and we were again 'enjoying' the traffic jam from the toll plaza to Rawang town.

Who says life is easy in Rawang? Nonetheless, this is where my heart I glad to be home!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Teacher, How Sad!

This very year is my first year teaching EST.

Thursday, 9 Oct 2008 saw me in 4 Melor teaching the last topic which was the 3Rs- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

"If you are not taking this subject next year, today is our last day together", the teacher tried to provoke the 4 Melor students.

"Oh, yes, that's right teacher", someone replied.

"Then, let's take a group photo, so that we can capture this sad moment..."

"Alright, let's do it". (Still no hints of sadness)

And so photos were snapped, with a reminder to everyone to show a solemn face 'coz it was supposed to be a sad moment, as shown in the pictures below.

Or, was it not?

And It's Called Drama

"Oh, poor Wilson, he died at last......"
"Klausner, what are you doing?"
"Mathilde, I'm back!"
"What are we going to do now?"
They started ploughing the land, in mid-September, when the rain started to fall.

Drama, drama and more drama!

Nothing could be more exciting than having to (or forced to, by your cruel teacher) perform a drama based on the form 4 literature component of the English Language curriculum.

My form 4 Mawar students started this drama project in September by setting up their respective team and writing down the script before practising a few times prior to the real performance this week.

I can't be too certain about how these young boys and girls perceive this project. All I know is that, after being given the instructions, this assignment SHALL be carried out, be it rain or shine; by hook or by crook.....

The efforts put in by these 7 groups of students should be emulated by the other students of Semekar. Each group came up with their own unique version of the stories, whereby the actors/actresses were seemingly shaky in the first 1 minute, but slowly their fears subsided and presto! a star was born!

In 2007, the inter-class drama competition was won by the 4 Kemuning and the 1 Rafflesia students. Hmm, will there be another similar competition next year? We shall see........

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Who Am I Without You?

We won!

Winning is about thinking one step ahead.....

These are the words which you can find at the canteen (teachers' dining area). Well, don't get me wrong, I already thought of putting up the words of wisdom when I was on my way back from Melaka last Saturday. Thus, it has nothing to do with winning the school level ICT competition (teacher category).

The results were announced at the school assembly two days ago.As I waited for the announcement, I could see HCChoon grinning at me from the crowd of students. Later, he mentioned about 'teacher looking so calm during assembly this morning'.......

Ironically, since Monday, my involvement in the cyber world had to make way for my tiring 'unfinished business' (if you could guess what it is).

Anyway, tonight I wish to write a line or two, just to share with you the exciting news of winning the competition via this MAHERANHZ.BLOGSPOT.COM.

Thank you to all, especially my 'comrades' and my students... Always remember: Sharing Is Caring.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Bad Server, The Cute Cat, The Happy Birthday and Our Raya Photos

Happy Birthday S Hawa N M
The cute cat with the cute guys

First, I'd like to mention about my daughter's birthday 'party' that we hosted in Melaka. My daughter was all smiles because she didn't have to struggle for the exams anymore. She's so lucky!

On that night, we went to my auntie's house where we met a very cute and responsible cat. Since 'talking-to-cats' is my middle name, I had a fun time with this cat....

Oh, one bad news is that now I encounter a problem with the server, thus affecting my site '" . The updated version may not be accessed tonight... sad, very sad.

Please be patient......

To my students who came for Raya visit, thank you for coming. Our photos MAY be posted somewhere, some day......

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Aidil Fitri

At my Mak Long's house (she is also my mum's neighbour)

It's already the fourth day of Hari Raya. As a Muslim, I celebrate Aidil Fitri as a sign of victory...that I have fulfilled my duty as a devout Muslim to fast in the whole of Ramadhan. It is a requirement which could only be assessed by Allah.

My absence from this blogspot was not intended in any way! It seems that Melaka is not really the best place for me to blog in this blogspot. There were a number of technical hitches that really took up my time....

But today I am already back..... mmm, I met the crossroads again. But this time, another good Samaritan had removed the flower pot a few feet away, making it possible to see the oncoming cars, without much hassle!

My balik kampong started with doing the much needed spring cleaning in my Tampin house. Wah, it is spick and span now. It is a real bless to have six children! The word to describe that house was 'Dusty' (when we first stepped in) but within 18 hours everything was changed-----inside and out. Thus, I breathed a sigh of relief and the whole family quickly packed up again to add the camaraderie at my mum's house in Alor Gajah.

My mum whom I consider a woman of grit, was unwell but her Aidil Fitri spirit was nonetheless unaffected. She prepared a fresh rendang for us (and for my sister and her family, and my brother and his family, who were scheduled to come back later that evening).

My Aidil Fitri schedule was packed with attending open houses. In the picture above , we were at my Mak Long's house. Well, she seemed unwell too... but this could be because two of her family members were down with the Chikugunya disease! (pardon the spelling mistake, if any).

I guess I can sum up my diary of my stay in Alor Gajah as full of visits and makan-makan.....and my children became richer than their mother at the end of the balik kampong!