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 !