Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Far fetched, yet so normal...

A guy who seems so innocent.
Hopes only to make the world a better place.
Through his music and art.
Yet surrounded by people mostly different from him.
We seem similar, yet in so different circumstances.

 Am I a fan, or an admirer?
I'm sure I'm not the first nor the last to think so.

Well... He is only human.
But, would it be cuckoo of me to actually think he might be the one?

*smitten, yet seriously contemplating*

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nothing like accidental entertainment and coincidental encounters

from a nursey kid's imagination into an artist's rendition of it.

a working postman

into beautiful letter-posting angels
Doodle for Unity.
By Selangor FM
Venue: University of Malaya, KL
Date: 2 - 28 September 2013

International Jazz Festival at UM, KL, 14 Sept 2013

Saturday, 14 Sept 13'

A long weekend here. With approximately 8 hours to spend.
A shortcut route to go for a movie by myself.
An advertisement at an entrance.
A gallery walk.
A familiar name in a guestbook.
A spontaneous lunch with a friend who insisted he drives this time
An outdoor stage.
A coincidental encounter with a tutor-friend and a course junior, and add-on compliments!
2 free access tickets into a jazz show.

Sunday, 15 Sept 13'
A nearly-empty parking lot
Breakfast with an ex-roommate, with a beautiful photo taken together
A new mall to explore with a coursemate
A roadside stall selling lala porridge.
An indecisive message to send.

Monday, 16 Sept 13'
A finger-licking breakfast with a graduating aunt.
A debate on religion philosophy
A lunch meet-up with a friend, relived the debate with this more pious friend.
An overloaded brain.
Another unexpected encounter with a couple.
A drive home with a 40 min jam.
Hobbits: An unexpected journey
A weekend experience exchanged.

Monday, July 22, 2013

How much do you know about...

brainzzz... not only food for zombies, come find out more!

Did-You-Know section in the room

Share all you know about anything or everything!!!
This is the Room of Creativity project in the high school that I'm currently teaching.
Whatcha think?

Hopscotch in a classroom? Why not?!

Teng-teng, as we call it in Malaysia.
We have one in school! In class!!
A new way to explore the classroom floor, eh?

Graffiti in school? Permitted!

A public school where you can "vandalize" the wall with graffiti.
In Malaysia? Yup!

When great minds think alike...

(cont) they need another mind to actually execute their ideas...

My housemate, Sharon, and I frequently had great ideas and chat about it in the living room.
Sometimes in the car while driving (causing a few miss turns and unplanned road-trips).
The ideas always grows and grows until we end our conversation knowing it is not going to executed anytime soon.
Today we had another great one and I'm jotting it down here before I forget.

Start a sharing blog together! On educational fillers!
Got some mixed feedback from a few other parties, but yeah, we can still afford to fail.
Plus it won't start off as a permanent career whatsoever.
So yeah!

To be continued...

Monday, May 13, 2013

dreams... hard to comprehend...

people from my past...
woke up...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

To continue or not to continue... That's the question.

Like many of my friends, I am thinking of upgrading myself in terms of knowledge.
I miss life as a student.
Thinking of doing my Masters in Ed.

However, comes the dilemma of leaving my current post as a teacher.
I will miss all these people I interact with, especially my kids.
I will miss all the things I can do and learn and share.

Life, how easy you may be if there weren't forks on my roads.
Yet, it is the forks that makes life worth living.

 Anyone out there can help me decide? *Sigh*

Friday, May 10, 2013

Amidst the "Ini Kali Lah" and "Lain Kali Lah"

Blue or Green, Red or Yellow?
There are more urgent matters to attend to than to argue about who runs the country.
Whoever that is running it, is not nurturing future leaders at ground level!
Policies, Transformation Plans, Programmes; come what may.
There are educators in schools defying rules and orders, just so their students can be educated first before their higher authorities be "appeased" with documents and files, and now online data...

Have you met a 13 year old who can't read "name"? What more, know its meaning.
Have you met a 15 year old, shrugging when you asked for what is 2 x 3?
Have you read to a 16 year old, asking them to repeat what you read and only met with silence?
Have you even seen a high school kid swaying in silence when others sing the national anthem because he has trouble reading in his national language?

And here we are,  feeling so united in a certain coloured shirt, singing the national anthem together.
While this kid here can't even read the lyrics...
These are the future citizens who will vote, perhaps even contest in coming elections!
UBAH, save our future!
Educate our future!

I am, will you?

Just had to share this in all my social network.

So here’s a public confession: After 4 months into teaching, I came back from a class this morning, put my books on my desk, coolly walked to the ladies, and broke down; with tears, sobs, frantically fanned myself with my hands thinking that could help calm me down, the whole enchilada. Something I have not done for a very long time. 

In the last four months, I could have cried when I had kids calling me a prostitute in mandarin, or that time when a kid told me I should not mess with him because his dad is part of the notorious along gangster crew (which I have never heard of and the phrase “ignorance is bliss” could not have rung truer), or that time when I was wolf whistled at for weeks wherever I went, or when a disruptive boy decided get up in the middle of my lesson, ran around the room and banged every table before he ran out of the class despite me calling after him and then having him come back and literally went on the floor, hugging my feet and begged for my forgiveness the same day, or when I was locked in the school building and then had to come out through the roof (long story) or when a big fat rat, literally, decided to chill right in front of my front door. Those were legit reasons to cry if I wanted to cry. But I didn’t. Not a single tear rolled down my cheeks. I stood up to my boys, I had sleepless nights thinking of strategies to get my kids to just sit down for a single lesson, told every kid who threatened me to bring it on, went to every boy who wolf whistled and threw inappropriate remarks at me, looked them straight in the eyes and said, “how dare you”. I have got nothing to lose and I am sure, as hell is not scared of anybody, no matter who your daddy is. 

This morning however, was different. In fact, I wasn’t teaching at all this morning. I was in a form 4 class, of which I only teach PJK to the six of the girls every week. So what was I doing with the entire class? I was invigilating their mid year exam, Sejarah Kertas 3 to be exact; An open book test where students are required to write an essay on a topic given. Just as I finished handing out the exam papers to all 35 students, one boy put his hand up and asked, “ujian apa hari ni, cikgu?” and I went, “HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW WHAT PAPER YOU ARE SITTING FOR ON THE DAY OF THE EXAM AND EVEN AFTER I HAVE HANDED OUT THE EXAM PAPER” silently in my head. Out loud, I said, “ujian Sejarah, kertas 3. Ujian ni boleh tengok buku, so keluarkan lah buku”. Half of the classroom started to rummage through their bags and looked under their tables for books while the other half put their heads down and went to sleep. Ten minutes into the exam, they were all just staring at their books, opened to the first page. I went to a boy and asked if he knew what he was supposed to do. He shook his head and continued staring at his book. Another boy looked at me pleadingly, and asked, “cikgu, macam mana nak buat ni?” No one was writing anything. No one. 

I went to one of the girls and asked her to read the question and then looked for the answer in the book. The first question she asked after I told her that was, “bab berapa tu?” and I could sense the whole class was waiting for me to tell her which chapter to open to. I knew then, that they have never read a single thing from their textbook nor have they learned anything in the past four months of school. Heck, I wouldn’t be going too far if I said they barely learned anything in the last 10 years of school. At that moment, I saw their future flashed through my eyes and I wanted to cry. 

I wanted to cry because it was unfair for them to be sitting for an exam that they are clearly not ready for. I wanted to cry because someone allowed this to happen. I wanted to cry because as I was explaining to some of the students on how to do the exam and they were eagerly listening, while I was quietly panicking because I am no way near being a Sejarah Form 4 teacher. I wanted to cry because I felt incompetent, wishing I remembered what I learned back in From 4 so that I can teach them something at that moment. I wanted to cry because it is not their fault. But most of all, I wanted to cry because I have 200 students and I have classes back to back from 7.30 AM up to 10.00PM every day that it would be completely impossible to take on new students. All I could think of was how if only all the educated people in the country would spend their time teaching these kids, then maybe, maybe I’d be writing a different story. 

I have never actually done this before; asking people to consider teaching. I believe that entering into the profession should come out of your own will. I have never recommended Teach for Malaysia to anyone. In fact, I’d be all-skeptical to anyone who are actually considering to join TFM. What are you in for? To have connections with top corporate partners? To meet CEOs of this and that? To be featured in newspapers, radio, magazines, online blogs? What are you in for? Is it the tagline? Is it really for the kids? I’ve been asked these questions before and I personally used to think that it was a fair concern. It needs to be out there that being a teacher, through TFM or not, is not even a tad bit glamorous. You don’t get paid on time, you’d be missing best friends’ weddings, family gatherings, birthdays etc., you have crazy deadlines and you’ll feel like crap because you don’t know how you’re doing. Nobody sends you a “good job” email on that awesome class you just had, or though you had. Are you sure you want to be a teacher? If you think it is a walk in the park, be rest assured that it’ll be the ghettoest, most messed up park you have ever walked in. I used to think that only the strong should be a teacher. Only those who know that they won’t quit should be a teacher. Today, I don’t care anymore. Today, I realized how desperate the country is and beggars, can’t be choosers. If you have gone through the education system and came out alive, teach. If you have no idea what to teach, trust me you’ll learn. You’d be surprised to meet kids who have never been told that cleanliness is a virtue, that rempit is not a legit career path, that you don’t have to give up at 16. 

Listen to me, drop everything you’re doing and come back to school. Teach them to be human beings because they need to know that screaming at a lady is not the way to speak, that not knowing how to read at 13 is not cool, that cursing at your teachers is rude and to talk back to your mother in front of everybody at school would get you to every hell of every single religion in the world. Teach. If you think it’s too hard and teaching isn’t your thing, then quit. But you can’t quit teaching if you have not actually tried teaching. My point is, every one should teach. Decide later if it is something you want to do in the long run. Just teach. Join TFM, do it the normal route, stop a kid in the middle of the road and ask him/her to tell you the multiplication table, tell him/her a random fact about Egypt or aeroplanes, teach them the right intonation after seeing a question mark, teach. 

If you think, all this doesn’t make sense and it’s just some really long facebook status/note by a crazy lady who just cried in a high school toilet, then darling, my dear, you have not taught in a classroom where half of them can barely read and write and the other half is just lost by this immense language barrier that no logical inspiring words can get through them. So teach. I am on my facebook knees.

Credits to
Alina Amir

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Of Big Sis Small Sis and Life Philosophies

I am at the phase in life whereby I can afford to buy expensive gifts for my sisters already.
Chinese New Year clothes, shoes, and the most recent and currently most expensive gift bought, a digital camera.
Shern is leaving soon for Korea. May my little gift remind you of home and be a bridge to connect what you see there, to us back here.

And spending more than an hour talking on life values with my students.
EPIC. I am now able to talk about life experiences to my juniors.
I am old-er.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

10 quotable proudest moment to go, now 8.

1. Being able to push myself to school when my body screams for an MC, and on top of that, conduct a 3-period lesson with Form 1 excitement-overboard kids, which turned out quite well actually. Then staying on to do my duty at a checkpoint that gives out the "barang amanah" to kids during the school jogathon.

2. Having about 3 or 5 kids, pleading me not to leave after knowing that our contracts ends this year. Quoting they are becoming good kids because I taught them. *melts*

Monday, January 28, 2013

Of 3-hr meals and Fellow friends

It had been heck of a long time since I had meals that lasted for hours with amazing friends and even more amazing stories.
Also had been a while since my last visit to a beach! And also seems like decades since my last visit to a museum. Nothing like having great friends to do all these with you.

Also, did all that by travelling up and down across 3 states, 4 if you include KL as a state, in 5 days.
Thursday - Juasseh, Negeri Sembilan (NS) - Melaka - NS
Fri : NS - KL
Sat : KL - NS
Sat : NS - KL - Selangor
Sun: Selangor - NS

Teach For Malaysia, an organization I'd never regret joining.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Slight surprise!

Week 2 of school term year 2012 is ending.
Next Monday is a holiday for Negeri Sembilan.
However, being caught up with chasing the goals, I nearly forgotten that it is a long weekend!

I can't quote this as one of the 10 "surprise myself" moments, but it is a slight surprise worth mentioning.
I managed to get nearly 100% of the class to participate in answering verbal questions, even those cool ones who thought themselves to be the "taiko" and actually being considered one of the "dangerous" students.
Also, managed to plan ahead, although no lesson plan sent to my LDO (sorry), all in the mind, and everywhere on my table, lessons for classes to come. Hence allowing me to have quite proper of a closing in class, knowing there will be a continuation to the lesson in the coming one.
And and and~ for tomorrow's class, I picked questions out of a few PMR trial papers to use as an assessment for the kids. At least let them see what they need to be expecting in their I-am-the-last-batch-to-sit-for-PMR paper in October.
Keep telling myself that I should totally keep this up!
The kids can sense hope and investment, and if it is helping, I should not give up.
For I have told them once, they are not allowed to give up on themselves if I haven't given up on them!
And I shall tell them again, and again~

taken in PPD KP
We shall keep pushing and make this year's PMR result an end-with-a-Bang as SMKJ's last batch of PMR students!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

3 JAN 2013

One year ago, this date, I had high hopes, high expectations, high pressure, even higher level of jitters.
One year ago, this date, I was thinking of how to introduce myself and my culture plans to the kids I have never met before but fated to teach.
One year ago, this date, I was thinking of bringing so many new things to school; attention grabbers learnt from Institute, colourful and interactive charts in class, creative ways of teaching in class, and what not.

One year later, today, I have higher hopes, higher expectations, higher pressure, but lower jitters.
One year later, today, I am more steady and determined to bring as much impact as I can to these kids I came to know.
One year later, today, I will use the "new" culture they got to know to bring out their best potentials and surprise myself along the way.

Consistency is key. Planning is the lock.