Tuesday, February 24, 2009


The limping me had regained her strength after taking some drugs given by the doctor.

I slept and slept and slept in the morning. The phone rang from time to time but I was adamantly not getting up from my wonderful sleep.

However, at 3 pm, Pn R contacted me about one of the debaters who failed to show up for the last meeting. Oh, poor girl. My heart went to her for the heart-ache and headache that she had to endure.

Later, I decided to go to school to pick up my daughter and to check the work to be done on Wednesday. When we left school at 6pm, my sudden renewed energy made me help my husband run some errands.

Tomorrow the debaters are going to SMK Tuanku Abdul Rahman....they are good and they will prove their worth, I'm sure!

Monday, February 23, 2009

But You Are!

It was quite dark and I was awakened to the sound of television. "What time is it?", "Am I late for school?". I looked at the clock. "God! 6 o'clock!"

I tried to figure out where I was. Slowly, everything came back to my mind. I had slept for one and a half hours, starting from 4.30 pm, the time I reached home from the debate practice.

This time my head was spinning and I felt knocked-out! I almost had to drag my feet to the bathroom! Oh no, this was disaster. My body was telling me to rest and rest and rest.

With a thick skin, I went to the clinic to get the drugs and to ask for a 'medical chit' for tomorrow. I knew that it would be quite the same when I was at home (because I would still contact a few teachers regarding work that had to be completed but this time round I surrendered to the demands of my body (and my soul) , which was to get a good sleep in the morning of Tuesday 24 February, instead of stubbornly entering the classes to teach. I ain't that young anymore.....

Debate 09

Even though I usually have to teach the 3 Yasmeen until 4pm on Mondays, I don't feel burdened by it. This is because the students are always ready to learn at this unfavourable hours!

Today, by chance Puan N had to go to the hospital at 10 am, hence I voluntered myself to teach the 3Y during her class. That gave me an opportunity to be with Pn R and our debaters for our final preparation before the competition this Wednesday.

The motion for the first round is "Women make better bosses".

Frankly, I am not sure whether I am personally in favour of this motion. What do you think? I am a woman myself and my leadership style is greatly influenced by my belief that we must work hard without giving monetary gains as our priority. With this belief, many men wouldn't like to work under me. On the other hand, I believe in being just and indiscriminating, hence, any man or woman of a sound mind would agree with me that it is definitely what should happen in our daily lives.

But I don't really fancy taking up a high post, sad, is it not? Whatever it is, I truly want to do my best without bothering to back-stab a colleague in order to climb the ladder of 'ranking' in an organisation. If I deserve it, so shall I be given a post, that is so important that people are envious of me...

Back to the debate, the debaters are one happy lot of youngsters, I don't wish to dampen their spirits by giving any negative comments. On Wednesday, they will fight the battle, good luck guys!

The Wedding

Yesterday my brother-in-law started a new life with his new and young bride. His first wife didn't live long enough to see their son grow into a young man.

Perhaps I'm not very good at dealing with anything formal as my body began to feel uneasy and I wished I could take over the tok khadi's duty and finish off everything in 10 minutes!

Nevertheless, everything went smoothly and with a charming humility he mentioned that I 'could take their photo (above) but please don't feel disheartened if it doesn't turn out well'. Of course there was nothing wrong with it.

Next, in the afternoon, we attended a house-warming party at my neighbour's house. By then, I was not hungry anymore but since M (from 5SJ) was one of the 'waiters', (and he took pride in serving me), I obliged myself to taste some of the delicious dishes served. Not bad, really.

My body began to feel 'funny' at night. Maybe ...hmmm......too much eating.....

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Doing It Slowly

Oops! It's been a wonderful day to have a Road Run (or better known as Cross-country). My duty was co-ordinating the Teachers at the Stations. I didn't have much energy after working non-stop for more than seven hours yesterday. The winner was Blue House (of course!).

At home I had to sit until 6.30 pm, folding the clothes (my arms and fingers were numb by the time it was over). Luckily, my husband and my second daughter managed to prepare lunch for us once I reached home from school.

There was a kenduri at a friend's house at 9 pm. I was already half asleep when they read the doa.I shouldn't be rude, I thought. The host was one of my husband's close friends , furthermore it's not every day I get to attend such functions.

Bedtime was early again, after I checked the tudung to be worn for tomorrow's wedding. Sigh....

Friday, February 20, 2009

One Day In Your Life (Part 2)

If there is ever one day in which I wish to rejoice ( in these two months), then the day is Friday 20th February 2009.

Firstly, my old buddy exchanged messages with me on Wednesday night. Her messages were treated as 'warm' as possible, even though I was trying to enjoy a movie (remember I don't watch tv often). But the last one sounded rather sad when she mentioned that I was not the same Haslina she knew in 2003. Surprised? Of course, at least slightly.

I began to re-evaluate my personality. Sure, I am now not the same person I used to be even a year ago! But I believe that my changes are positive and I have a list of names of people who have helped me 'metamorphose' into a more beautiful person. Sorry , if I sounded a bit vain.

Secondly, on our 'journey' to school, Aisyah asked whether I knew that LCT had sent me a comment in my blog. (I am very happy for him).

In school, I was challenged to solve a number of problems, in fact, there was an urgent meeting which I reluctantly attended because I could not teach my 1RF and 5SJ and they were left to work independently.

I could not even help Pn NW and Pn R coach the debaters immediately after school.

Apart from a brief meeting with the charming and confident young lady, Evon (thank you, thank you and thank you to Evon and her childhood friend, who is now quite busy 'focusing'), who came with her mother ; I was glued to my table until 4.30pm! What a brilliant way of spending this important day!

Back to the metamorphosis, NO, I am not a butterfly. I am the same Haslina Zainal who is now a Puan with a number of children, whose weight is more reasonable than what it was in 2001, whose traits are still the same- secretive and prefers a peaceful world compared with a world full of PhD (pingat hasad dengki) and whose tastes remain the same towards food, decoration etc etc and she is determined to start saving some money (well, that's her 2009 resolution).

One day in your life, you'll remember this 20th February and perhaps you'll remember sharing this day with me..............

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The High Jumper

High jump is one event I love so much!

Unfortunately, nobody has ever offered me to coach the student high jumpers. Of course I can't coach our national high jumpers,... come on!

My daughter came to my room as usual after her preparatory class, beaming with pride. Well, I casually mentioned that she must have won the high jump event this morning.

She looked at me, rather undecided about breaking the news. Then, slowly she nodded and between giggles, she said, "Yes, Mum! It's true! How did you know?"

Can you guess how this former state high jumper felt?

Hot... Is A Word Of Many Meanings

"Be careful, it's hot", gently your mum reminded you when we were small. Be it a hot cup of milo or the dish was hot sambal. Ah, anything! Mum would try to protect us from anything hot.

Lately, the sweltering afternoons are not helping me recover from my 'minor headaches' or bouts of 'uneasy tummy'. Come to think of it, the weather is not to be blamed, it's all in the mind.

My attempts to avoid any hot news are in vain. I particularly dislike believing stories narrated / created by some people whose intention is dubious (or misleading). At one point in time, I felt like throwing 'something' at his/her face to show just how tired I was of listening to his/her less than truthful story/claims. (Pardon me for sounding rude).

Well, all's well that ends well. The truth always prevails......sooner or later. To those who are liars out there, please do us a favour by putting a stop to all the lies, check back your facts! It could be you are the problem here when your anger has clouded your mind.

Anyway, on another note: those who have just started to get the first taste of real life, remember - hot things may hurt you, ...still.

Monday, February 16, 2009

One Day In Your Life

That was the last time he came to school before his flight tonight.

Co-incidentally, Pn M and I were free during the second period that Friday and so we headed to the canteen for some breakfast.

LCT insisted on only fried noodles, because he had brought his own plain water.

We found out that he was to fly to the Kiwi land, to further his studies.

All the best, we trust that you'll come back again to this school, one day in your life!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Wrath of A Child

A sunny disposition can easily ease the social needs of the owner.

As a result of years mingling with my students, I have been able to do a little bit of observation. The findings may deem to be nothing unusual. On the contrary, the findings may be quite important for us to understand the predicament which some of the students are facing.

Some are naturally accepted by the rest of the school community, whereas some are actually struggling to fit in this society.

The type of upbringing these 'misfits' receive may make it impossible for them to smile spontaneously. They shun any active group discussion and they shy away from speaking up their minds. Sometimes, the situation is made worse by the discriminating style of teachers who are too eager to label their students as 'the cute ones', 'the talkative ones' or 'the boring and slow ones'.

It hurts the child. Thank God the effects may not last very long, once the child outgrows the intriguing period of 'schooling' years.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Read, Read and Read, and Digest It

If there is one extraordinary step I take this year, then it must be my refusal to subscribe to the STAR newspaper that is being sold at my school. It is strange though, because I do encourage the students and teachers to get a copy of this paper for themselves. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with it, just that now since my eldest child wants to read the paper in the morning, I'd rather he buys the paper himself from the nearest shop / 7-E.

But today, for a change , when I stopped by Pustaka Rawang, I decided to pick up the NST instead. What captured my attention was not the headline- about 'The Credit Card Relief' (though I fancy the idea), it was more on a short report on 'Ungku Aziz's Secrets To Success' on page 24 (Nation).

To begin with, one of his secrets is to read nine books. To him, the books provide an insight on how to be good and successful leaders. To him a good leader would have intelligence, credibility, humility, courage and discipline. Furthermore, a good leader would be able to spot opportunities during crisis. Successful people are also those who have resolve because their minds are strong and resolute in reaching their goals.

Hmm, food for thought!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Lazy Ones

Some like it hot, some like it cold. A man's meat may be another man's poison.

We are simply spoilt for choice. With a basic salary of as much as RM4000, a man may settle all the house bills, buy decent food and clothes for his family, go for a special Sunday outing once a month, stock up the reading materials for his children, provide pocket money for the school-going children and perhaps splash out on something romantic for his wife, especially if both of them duly recognise days like the coming V-day. The most important thing is he must remember to keep his instalments in check.

On the other hand, a man must also appraise his own work performance, does his level of commitment match his salary? Does he keep on avoiding work so that others will have to share out his 'unwanted' tasks?

I find it amusing to listen to excuses made up by some people, to justify their disinterest in their work. It becomes really, really amusing when their complaints are never-ending........ Think twice before taking them seriously, you might be wasting your energy trying to snap this type of people out of their 'disillusioned' minds. Save it for your own sanity.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Return 10 Feb 2009

At 11 am, he came to give me a book which was supposed to be a gift from me to him.

Reluctantly, I contacted M to ask him about a form 5 literature textbook, ......well, a novel by KS Maniam but this novel is not used by the students of SEMEKAR. The book was supposed to be a 'starter' or an 'appetizer' , to encourage him to read novels as a preparation for the SPM last year.

However, after a futile search for another copy of the book, I had to try my luck by asking him whether I could use the book this year.

Then he came as planned , with a face as 'sweet' as ever, telling me about the National Service which he's attending now. "It is not very tough", said he. Before he left, wittily he mentioned that the book must be returned to me because the title was "The Return". He's got a point there and I couldn't agree more.

3 Is Enough

How many wives does a man need?

Correct. The answer varies , depending on the different individuals. Oh, perhaps it depends on a man's tastes and preference. Furthermore, it is influenced by a man's belief and principles.

Anyway, I'm not a man, and even if I were a man, I may not forego my loyalty for something which is trivial and controversial. Having said that, I am not against this legal act, when it is done for a good cause.

Last night, my eyes were almost glued when I was driving back home from Taman Bersatu. As I reached home, not a single minute was wasted. The second thing I did was to answer the nature's call at about 10.15 pm. In fact, I was actually awakened by the urge to the toilet and also there was a 'business' message for me.

Even tonight, after 24 hours, the situation has not improved much. I can smile but my yawns are overtaking the true joys of the warm smiles which crease my face. The best remedy is to SLEEP.... My only sin was sleeping very late two nights ago. Maybe, 3 hours were not enough, hence this lack of sleep demands a compensation from me....good night!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Lesson On Holidays

Monday is never the same when it is a public holiday.

The scorching sun didn't deter me from enjoying my outing. Frankly, my mind was buzzing with ideas on what and how to teach my students. What are the activities that would ensure their sustained interests in improving their language acquisition? Intermittently, I would be mulling over my new interest............yes, it is still at the preliminary stage, hence I should not disclose it yet.

As though unaware of my own movements, I found it quite shocking to be away from home 90 per cent of my waking hours today! Of course I should be here, at my desk because I should be doing a lot of paperwork...

A holiday is always just another day for me since I was small. I remember doing sample exam questions when I was in primary school. Then during my teenage years, I had to do my revision because the other students were doing exactly that at my secondary school hostel. When I was doing my matriculation, I wasn't spared the never-ending assignments and revision work. This went on when I was at the varsity level when I really, really spent my Sundays studying at the library and at the computer lab. Well, habits die hard, right?

But thank God, wisdom has got the better of me, hence my holidays have been more meaningful lately. That is why I bend the 'rule' a bit, to enable my body and my soul to find some purpose in getting a holiday.

Anyway, I'd better get back to work, as getting my work done today will determine my 'happiness' for the rest of this month.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Scalding Steamboats

I am not sure why it's called steamboat. Once I swore that I wouldn't have steamboat for dinner because I hated 'cooking' the food myself in the restaurant.

But, nevertheless we ordered steamboat besides the main dish- nasi goreng ayam, which none of us was able to finish - well, we shouldn't have let our eyes be bigger than our stomach(s).

Almost the whole day was spent in Kuala Lumpur, at the PWTC, enjoying the exhibition organised by the Ministry of Entrepreneur. My husband had to hold my hand firmly when we crossed the streets as I was and am not good at doing that. Too bad Hasif had to find his way by following us closely. It was the day the Hindus celebrated Thaipusam, but unexpectedly there wasn't any visible signs of a chaotic traffic jam near Batu Caves, or perhaps we had missed it either on our way to KL or after that when we came back.

Among the hundreds of people I met in the crowd today, I was greeted with "Hi, teacher" . The boy's father was there, smiling at me. Oh, yes, he was the one who came to school when I was doing my work at the school office in December. He was steaming hot at that time, asking to see my bosses but unfortunately, it was during school holidays , hence I had to think up an explanation which could soothe his anger. Luck was certainly on my side as he became more sober after that......

I think my role as a mother was closely intertwining with my duty as a teacher. That would be a good reason why I could understand his dissatisfaction with the school.

Well, back to the steamboat, it came as hot as ever; and I had to start cooking it, my vigilance helped ease my worries over the danger of my children scalding themselves with the hot water. Next time, strictly, no steamboats, please!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Why are there many different shades of colours? Why is the world colourful?

A few days ago my blog was designed in pastels but yesterday I decided to add bright colours to it. Hope you like it.

After the PTA meeting at my school today I decided to take a nap. In the cool of my bedroom and the seemingly quiet house, I began to doze off.

About 30 minutes after that I was already at Taman Bersatu with my two little girls. No, I could not enjoy my nap because there was something else I had to do.

Later this evening I had the opportunity to be at the Taman Bersatu Lake, while my daughters were running around in the playground. In fact, my legs could not keep pace with them who excitedly dashed to the swings , leaving the mother to stroll the lane , enjoying the 'colours' of the evening.

I saw a man, sitting on the bench, looking rather deep in thoughts, .......perhaps he was ruminating on the cruel acts in Gaza. Along the way, at least three times I found a young man who was engrossed in an animated conversation with his girl. That reminded me of what the late Prof. Atan Long used to tell us, which was -
'If you see a man and a woman eating in a restaurant and they are hardly looking at each other, most likely they are married. In a car, a man and his woman partner tend to be cheerful and talkative if they are not married yet!'

A few mothers , still in their office attire, tried to spend quality time with their children. An Indonesian maid seemed relieved to find her friend, who was also taking her employer's children out, to exchange notes, perhaps?

The ice-cream man was waiting patiently for his bait to be taken by the 'little fish', just like the anglers who were practising their skills at the lake for an upcoming fishing competition.

My thoughts were focused on my children, though from time to time I was also enjoying my observation of the wonderful colours that make up the world and its entirety.

I know, somewhere, from afar, I could be observed by a watchful eye because I , too , am part of this intriguing world.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Stay Away From The Teaching Profession

Almost every body claims that they have been to school and they know what a school looks like. Then they start condemning the education system, plus the teachers.

Once I went to a bookshop in Kuala Lumpur to find a literature textbook for my son. Since nobody knew who I was, my movements were free, knowing fairly well that the cashier would not be a student of mine who could be doing a part-time job (shy only when I am purchasing some lingerie).

What I overheard was embarrassingly clear- what a mother said to her daughter about the daughter's teacher. What was she trying to do? The seeds of disrespect were implanted in the young girl in such a way that only a teacher could be sure that it was not true.

I was a few feet away from them in the crowded shop, hence I did not want to create a scene there....She was not talking to me and she was muttering other complaints (unrelated to school) in a rather inappropriate manner.

Having said that, teachers too must remember not to behave in a similarly despicable manner. Teachers must be friends with books (exercise books and other books) and teachers must remember to GUIDE the students. Teachers must also possess the wisdom in facts and in their judgment, instead of being judgmental. Otherwise, stay away from this noble profession....


The sounds of restless feet, the rustles of open books and the smell of 5th day school uniform seemed to spark a flicker of doubt in my mind.

"Are these students ready for today's lesson?" , "What's bugging them?" were two questions waiting for an answer.

Two boys came in late but they seemed determined to break a piece of news to me. Oh, it was in fact, good news to them as they had received an offer to go to MRSM, Kuala Kubu Baru and another to Perlis.

Our paths crossed here at SEMEKAR but my role as their teacher had come to a halt. Their classmates were affected too, knowing that they had to stay in 1 Rafflesia....plus the prep, the heat and the stairs that they were forced to climb......

To console the rest of the class, I assured them that God knows where we should be placed.

In my mind, I am very convinced that God knows best. If we are destined to face hardships in a hostel so that later on we would become stronger, then so be it. If God wants us to help someone in the hostel in 2010, then He would place us there now so that when the time comes, we are readily available to fulfil our duties as destined by Him.

To these two boys - a bid you farewell.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Feminine Intuition

I am not conservative. Neither am I a fortune teller.

But God has given me something extra, just like some , or perhaps many other people who have discovered about their supernatural ability. (Did I watch too much "The Girl With Something Extra?" in the 70's?)

In retrospect, I wonder if I had really learnt how to do it, or had I acquired the skills from ???? ........my ancestors? It's really not very important now since I guess it is only some power that only women can master.

I feel more energetic today after being back in the classes for four days. I have a hunch that something sad is going to happen to a friend of another friend of mine...but there is nothing more foolish than phoning this person to caution him about it. Anyway, foretelling the future is not my speciality.

Once I met a teacher who was able to read other people's mind. God, imagine whenever I was with her .....I had to 'double my strength' to stay calm. A few months later I met another teacher who had quite a similar gift of reading a person's mind. Imagine myself having breakfast and lunch with her for eight days.....

Well, the upside of all this encounter of the 'rare kind' leaves me more experienced and open-minded. The lesson I have learnt is never, never underestimate a teacher!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

News Near and Far

Once I asked my students: "How do you think the word 'news' was derived?"

Do you know? Well I don't. But I like the possibility that the word is actually an abbreviation of four words.....(will tell you later)

This morning, as I glanced at my handset, I noticed that there was a message for me. I hoped it was not another, "Hai cik adik.... etc etc" like the one I received recently.

It tickled me to be called 'Cik Adik' (I wonder how old the sender is).

Anyway, this message I received this morning was meant to be a 'doa' for me from someone who says that she and her friend kinda missing me. Oh!

At noon I saw TWS who came to school with two young ladies. He was more cheerful than before and obviously the air in KL has done him some good! Rather vague?

Oh yes, the 4 words are North, East, West and South. What do you think?

Dropped Half-Dead!

Yesterday, Monday the 2nd of February was definitely one, exhausting day.

For one, it was not because of that so-called Monday blues............I don't mind going to school.

Instead, after taking my late breakfast at about 10.20 am, gulping down the rice plus fried chicken, I felt the urge to go to the wash-room......and there I went again and again after every 60 minutes.

Since I had a class until 4 pm, I did not have much choice but to stay on....

You can guess how many kg I lost in the process! I finally managed to get a good sleep after taking the traditional herbs last night.

No wonder I was rudely awakened by a cramp in my right leg at 4.30 am...(I wonder why my biological clock is programmed that way- to be awake at this very hour?) I might have lost a lot of water and minerals?, causing me to suffer the cramp.....Since I wanted to restore my energy, I decided to 'extend' my sleep to another hour.

Lethargically, I got up, prepared the drinks and left home for my beautiful school. There's no school exactly like mine!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Yes, I Do

Some people keep thinking as the clock is ticking.....

This healthy habit will thrive despite the effects it may have on the thinker's beauty...in other words, a person who thinks a lot may end up having more wrinkles on the forehead, unless this person is able to think positively.

Is it not true that the aim of education is to teach us how to think, and not what to think?

Furthermore, the aim of education is to improve our minds so as to enable us to think for ourselves rather than to load the memory with thoughts of other men. (Don't aim for AAAAAAAAAAAAAs only.........)

The limitation is that we must have a basis to our thinking, otherwise we would legalise the misconduct of man.

A bit too philosophical? Maybe, this is the usual mood when I foresee another week ahead after enjoying a wonderful one-week holidays!