and you keep on wondering

There are times when I will be wondering what am I really doing. Things get really customary in school that I am bored rigid. I did a lot of things -- creative and fun stuff -- and I'm dying to do more, but students don't seem to appreciate much. Their hearts aren't into learning and it is obvious. I have so much to give yet I have to contain them. My creativity is totally out of practice because it is not even required. I can even say it's not appreciated. I take the blame because I am made accountable but I wonder is it always the teacher's fault.

And then there is the case of very poor maintenance. I put up a reward chart (which I devoted my time into it) only to find it torn down into pieces the next few days. A lot of beautiful things done by my students seemed to cause jealousy and outraged other students. So, things were never permanent on the board. It's beyond frustrating and you can't help but wonder why these hooligans ever bother coming to school at all.

Besides, my school has excellent language lab -- even better than the one in SMK Seksyen 24 where I did my practicum. But, the LCD projector cannot be used, and the the electricity 'comes' and go as it pleases. As the one in charge of that lab, I can't even take advantage of its wonderful equipments. And so every teacher in the school has to fight for the APD Room on a daily basis and I gotta tell you, it's not pleasant. You gotta wade through the impediment and as it turned out, not many would tolerate. In the end, you just don't bother anymore. And you wonder whatever happened to all the allocation given for maintenance and how do you expect to inculcate ICT and stimulate students' interest when you have such limited resources in school? And so it is back to the mundane chalk-and-talk -- which is not that apt today.

And so I keep on wondering how long do I have to be stuck in this whole teaching and learning disarray. Everyone gets tired at one point or the other, but maybe I get exhausted way earlier than I thought.

a prod of the mind

Lowering your expectations and underestimating are two poles apart -- with the latter always done unconsciously. I, of all people, should know better than not to miscalculate them although at times I can't help it. I think I need to stop worrying too much and be risky. Worrying is a misuse of the imagination, and I need to start holding on to that.

On a different note, my students are smart. They know how to win my heart at the right time. And when they do, I think I have the best damn job ever. Although that rarely happens. I need to keep on wishing because wishes do come true.

sweet escape

I have so many things to complain about but I rather not make them publicly. Dumb people do exist and some of them happen to be teachers. I guess that's enough to at least make me feel at ease and I can breathe easy.

Such headache and heartache I have to endure. But I guess I could give it a leeway.

********

I guess it was just last week when I secretly wished to be sent out for courses and my wish was granted on Tuesday morning when my PK HEM gave me a letter, requiring me to attend a course. My heart leaped -- a 3-day course meant 3 days out of school. That prospect was exhilarating enough.

I had loads of fun 3 days prior when attending a program by JPS for all English teachers in the state of Selangor. All of us convened at Goldcourse Hotel, Klang (my hometown). Little did I know that I would meet up with another 5 IPBArians whom I dearly missed. It turned out to be a mini reunion and the best part was when I stayed in the same room as Nina and Julli. Reminds me of the good old days when we were still the occupants of Pangsapuri Lembah Pantai. The other three ladies were Syada, Hanida and Sheila Sima and there was another lady from Cohort One, too. We were wondering whether Syahir would come but he was nowhere to be found. We were even excited when the coordinator announced that an IPBA lecturer would come on the last day to give out a talk (we later found out the person was Mr. Aslam), but he couldn't due to some reasons.

Since we are all in the line of teaching, we talked about the same things : our students, our duties as class teachers, our GKMP/KP, HEADCOUNTS (!), our burnt Saturdays, and some goss each brought with us haha I think most of us enjoyed being out of school so much we dreaded when Thursday came -- the last day of the program. Being back to school meant mounting workload and more. But as usual, good things must come to an end and happiness is always short-lived when we're having too much fun.

This program was especially memorable not only because I met up with some old friends, I also bumped into my school teachers!! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Pn. Sarah Spencer (my secondary school teacher) and Pn. Juliet (she taught me in Standard 6). They haven't changed much. And it is unbelievable to see them still in this field after almost 14 years! And one of their student is already a teacher. I guess I still have a long way to go -- if I decide to stay that long.

All in all, the program--Program Pemantapan Guru - The Teacher as a Practitioner, was great. The food was excellent and we nourished ourselves 5 times a day! As Jarod put it, if the food is good then the event is good too regardless of how bad it actually turned out. But in this case, both food and event were fantastic. New information and knowledge gained although most of the content presented was nothing new. To nicely put it, old things were presented in a new light which I see as a good method to be used in the classroom.

So there. The event which highlighted my week that today's happening could easily be forgotten.

flawed

Today could be a fine day if it wasn't for a blot which totally ruined it. I came home all excited knowing that my graduation photos were ready only to discover that they printed my university's name wrongly. It affected me so bad that I was in a foul mood, I didn't like how I behaved. I swore I wrote Macquarie University very clearly (in fact it was in the form they sent me which they should have a copy) that they must have been blind to print Victoria University of Wellington instead.

Of course compensation is guaranteed (in fact I'm getting it) but that's not the point. I'm so frustrated that they did not double-check and my happiness is short-lived because of that flawed picture.

How can I not be mad? Eurrgggghhhh....!!!

marriage

Looking at where I am today and especially my age, I think it is relevant to start talking about marriage. I know me and my close friends have been talking about marriage since forever!

Partly, it's the itch (come on, admit it!) but for the most part I think some of us have come to a stage where we are ready to take our relationship to the next level. I don't think 24 is too young an age to settle down although it is to some -- especially in today's scenario whereby most of us graduated at 24 and it is also an age which many of us start working. So yes, for that reason marriage sometimes has to be put on hold due to financial reasons.

When I was young, I vowed to get married at 23. When I was in college, I remembered telling my mom I will get married before I turn 25. Now, at the age of 24, I can safely say that I'm not too sure now. By right, I should be preparing for my engagement and my wedding if 25 is the year that I want to settle down.

True enough, marriage is not a chore that we can simply arrange or pull off. Looking at the bigger picture, yes, it can get very elating but like they say, there are many things in the pond. Especially today, when every slight thing counts, money is pertinent. You want good things, you need to have money. And because a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, of course you would want the best of things. So I understand why men shudder when we ladies start to talk about marriage because money instantly comes to mind.

Things have radically changed where marriage is concerned. It is so obvious. It seems everyone is competing who had the best wedding, who wore the prettiest outfits, who had the nicest hantaran, who made your make up, and even who was your photographer. And so everyone is pressured to have such wedding or the one equivalent. That is another reason why marriage can cause so much headache.

But to me, all of that is not important. Surely, I would want a great wedding but one which is grand to my eyes. Sure, I'd want to wear the nicest clothes but which I'm comfortable wearing and one which I can afford. And yes, I'd love to have a professional photographer who will capture the important moments on my big day for me to keep and I don't care who he is. Sometimes, simple things can turn out to be so beautiful and you don't have to forge that huge amount of money.

I like it when things were simpler back then. You go through the ritual of the nikah and that's it, you're legally married. But of course it won't be as nice today. Tak sedaplah orang kata. You should at least hold a majlis for both sides. In Islam, it's a means of informing people that you are married so that the next time people see you and a man walk hand-in-hand, it will not cause fitnah.

So, having said all that, am I ready to get married? I'd say yes. I think I'm all set to take my relationship to the next level but I'll have to wait until the right time comes. Rizal thinks that too. After all, we've been going out for the past 6 years. I think it's high time that we end it with a legal tie :) Until then, I will keep on praying.

a blissful first week

The first week of the second semester has ended. And it wasn't as bad and stressful as I thought it would be. I managed to get many things done, which is also beyond belief -- ultimately being updating the report cards, completing the tedious and daunting task of keying-in all the students' marks, and getting them all printed and all ready to be given to parents for the upcoming Report Card Day next Saturday. I can't help but feel so proud of myself as this is usually the most dreaded task a teacher has to face and I normally get it done by the 11th hour. You'd have to understand, a teacher doesn't have that much of a free time and to be able to have it all under the belt is pretty high of a personal achievement.

Besides, The classes I'm teaching behaved unexpectedly good which took me by surprise as 'goodly behaved' is not them by nature. I suppose it's still the first week of schooling and they are in the 'warming-up' stage. Their true colours will be unleashed come next week, I'm pretty sure.

Or maybe they're being nice to me after the misfortune I had. I gotta tell you, it received quite a rave in the school. When I came to school the next day, I felt like a celebrity. I had to stop every 5 steps to satisfy teachers' and students' inquiries and having to repeat the story wasn't fun. It was fun at first, being in the spotlight. In the end, it started to get very annoying and I tried to avoid contact from any beings. I was literally exhausted talking of the same thing the whole day. But I appreciate their concern and now I know that my students actually love me. Haha! You should see the worried look they wore on their faces. Quite amusing, I would say.

So yes, it's Friday but it hasn't end yet for me. I still have to go to school tomorow for we are having another (hopefully the last) Kursus Perkembangan Staf.

Nothing to be excited about but at least I had the most 'aggravating' task done. Major!

not as bad, but truly shaken

They say the road ahead is treacherous. Yes, it is.

I was caught in a misfortune today when I met with a car accident on my way to school. I'm still in shocked even as I'm typing away at this point of time. My car wasn't badly damaged as compared to the car which I crashed into, but I was truly shaken. My dear Kia suffered a few scratches, crashed plat number, and a dented front bonet which isn't a sight to behold -- at least to my eyes.



I had the car's plat number replaced already

How it happened? Well, everything happened pretty fast actually. I was turning into the junction when I realised the car in front of me wasn't moving and it was too late for me to make an emergency brake. And even if I pressed the emergency brake till I could feel the floor, it wouldn't change a thing. I would still hit the bumper--perhaps without as much force.

I felt sorry for the lady because her bumper was in a pretty bad shape. And because her car was in the middle, she got a fair hit on both front and back. Yikes! She was as badly shaken as I was but she was really nice. We didn't have any heated arguments and she was calmer than me. We then decided to make a police report and that's when we parted. But before we did, she asked, "Are you a teacher?" and I followed her eyes to my name tag. I smiled and said yes. I totally forgot about that. And we had a short friendly conversation.

At the police station, the officers were all very nice and helpful. Again, when they knew I was a teacher, they even became nicer and started to call me 'cikgu'. It gave me that warmth feeling. The funny part came when the Sargent incharge said "Mintak maaf ye cikgu. Saya terpaksa keluarkan saman walaupun bukan cikgu yang salah sebab cikgu langgar dari belakang. Mintak maaf ye". Oh well. What can I say? I was well-served and I am satisfied with the service. It calmed me a bit.


Isn't that a shot to the heart?

I was supposed to send four of my students for their Kem Latihan Pusat KPA today but after what happened, I had to ask that favor from another teacher. And of course, news travelled fast. I received many calls from concerned colleagues asking how I was doing. I was truly touched. I never thought they would even call, seriously. Thanks anyway. And if it wasn't for my parents, I wouldn't know how to deal with it. Thanks ma, ayah.

And my sister definitely will remember this day just as much as I will. It's her 17th birthday today. To Farah, Happy 17th birthday!! When we were young, you were 'just my sister'. But as we grow, I now truly understand what having you as a sister meant. Thank you for being a wonderful sister, who more often than not knocked some senses into my head, and thank you for the quarrels, the laughters and the cryings together. Hope you had a wonderful day and the brief blowing off candles session early this morning :) Love you lots!


And I hope I will be fine when tomorrow comes.

what you do count, so think

It's the new MTV now and I love it!

I love what they're showing on National Geographic. I love absolutely everything! I am totally hooked to all the brilliant and gripping documentaries. Even the short advertisements urging people to recycle. And that's the tagline up there.

There is always something to learn which enlightens me. It's like reading a 3D-encyclopedia on a daily basis. Makes me realize that there is so much that is happening on the other side of the world and so much to know. My sister thinks I've moved on to the next level (if you get what she means) but I think age is not the prerequisite for anyone to watch such channels--she thinks only old people watch National Geographic. I think she forgets that I am 24 years old -- so that makes me an adult (enough). Haha

The comical-like adverts about recycling knock some senses in me. I used to recycle--occasionally, that is. But at least I did. I don't see me doing it anymore. So yeah. What I do count and even if it's just a small noble step, it can change something.

So think, people. What we do count, and let's do it right! :)

life's a climb, but the view is great

If any of you really know where the title came from, you could have guessed the rest of this post's content. Oh yes.

Today, I decided to be extra nice to my sister by treating her to a movie -- a phenomenal movie, oh God -- that I have agreed to watch with her. And that movie being Hannah Montana, the movie. And my baby sister is 17 years old.

Forget about what I felt or that one time when I actually felt really enthralled with the whole thing. I do not regret watching it although I wouldn't do it all over again (obviously). I enjoyed the soundtracks and believe it or not, there were more than twice when I sniffed and I had something in my throat. Had to hold back my tears, too. Didn't expect that, though.

The twisted tale tells of Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana's popularity begins to take over her life. Miley Stewart, on the urging from her father takes a trip to her hometown of Crowley Corners, Tennessee to get some perspective on what matters in life the most (Taken from Wikipedia). A very straightforward and a cliched Disney movie, but I'd say give it a try. You'd be surprised on how exciting it can be. And I know you'll love the Hoedown Throwdown song and the cool moves they show. I know I love it!

And I bought three educational books from the MPH Jimat Sale! It's been awhile since I get my hnds on books which are worth buying so I can't wait to start!

So as you can see, I treated myself first before I came home to the mounting scripts which in all honesty I'm starting to resent. Forgive me for wanting to relax during the holidays and blame the school for scheduling the exam at a time so inappropriate. Geeeezz....

life's brief candle


Life's a walking shadow

I'm still in shock, just like everyone else is. It's like being told your own mother has a few months left to live. And that to me, is just too much to swallow.

I don't think I can say 'be strong' to them twins simply because I know it's not easy. It took me awhile to gather myself and contact them. I was afraid of saying the wrong things or maybe I do not know how to say the right things appropriately.

Who would have thought. It's just that, why does it have to be so soon? I know I shouldn't say this because it's all fated. I guess I'm still in denial and I have to be redha.

And cancer knows no nobody, it doesn't choose and it is still the number one killer among women.

mundane first week

The first week of holidays are nearing to an end. And I haven't quite savor the sweet taste of holidaying no matter how delighted I am on the prospect of not going to school for 2 weeks.

For one, I have loads of exam scripts waiting to be marked. They are left untouched, still. There seem to be no perfect timing for me to even start reading the essays. Subjective marking is totally agonizing. After only a few papers which I managed to mark in school, my head throbbed like crazy. These students can really come up with ridiculous answers and they sure do know how to crack me up, but too much of those prove to be life-threatening. And right now, I'm saving up the courage to face more of those kind. *sigh*

Secondly, I have my SPP interview coming up this Tuesday. The last time I felt this anxious was 6 years ago when I sat for my interview applying for the course which I have completed. I forgot what it's like to be interviewed, the whole decorum and etiquette. I guess I should stop worrying on how it would turn out and start reading the essentials. But the slothfulness in me is way greater than I thought so everyday is just another lazing around day but read. I think I need to feel more pressured but even just 2 days away, I am still not there yet.

It's probably because I have many great events lined up leading to the interview day. I have weddings to attend, date with friends, meeting a family friend whom we haven't met for quite some time and other things which are appealing to my liking. It helps to put the interview at the back of my head for a while.

Alright, time to boost my spirits up! Prison Break, here I come! It has ended for good, do you know that? No more Scoffield ;(

gym observation

I never thought that gym instructors have to be observed, too.

I went for the Body Attack class and found out that today's class was going to be observed via recording. It transported me back to the time when I used to have my classroom observations during practicum. Jason, the instructor, reminded me a lot of those times when we forewarned the students how to behave once the observer arrives, how to ask and answer questions, and most importantly to act normal. We were told similar things.

And I can't help but smile.

I could tell that he was nervous but he did great. He was enthusiatic, supportive, cheerful, and he provided options for the slow learners. Very much like what a teacher is but in a totally different environment. Of course, the class had to be conducted in a lock-stepped manner. After all, what do you expect? It's a cardio class--it should be that way kan?

For some reasons, he inspired me.

Now I have ideas swirling in my mind :)

mission failed

My mission today was to have Burger King for lunch. I was all ecstatic when I got to know Burger King has opened another branch here in Bukit Tinggi Klang--I don't have to go all the way to Shah Alam anymore to satisfy my cravings.

So, on the way back from school today I drove straight to BBT One where the supposedly new Burger King outlet is located. I was so sure of its location that I didn't realise I ended driving aimlessly searching for a nowhere-to-be-seen Shell -- the landmark -- for approximately half-an-hour. How could I have missed it?

I called mom, and she said there was no Shell in Bukit Tinggi. But does that mean the map in the flyer is wrong? So I decided to round the area again, but to no avail.

You can imagine how frustrated I was for not being able to have Mushroom Swiss for lunch.


Oh yum!!

I then made my way to the nearest A&W and ordered my all-time favourite Mozza Burger.

Better than nothing, right?

I am going to find out where exactly that Burger King is.

The Writer

The Writer
I am a wife, a mother, and a teacher by profession. At times a pessimist and one who is easily amused. I find comfort once entering the threshold of my bedroom. I write because I want to and it makes me feel good :)