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!