Monday, December 28, 2009

Back from Penang

We are all back from Penang. Kids and I were there from Wednesday to Sunday. It was a tiring and stressful holiday. Whole trip started on Tuesday with me driving the 3 kids up to Ipoh where we stayed overnight at my uncle's house. Hubby had left for work in Ipoh and then Penang on Monday. So I had to drive. Thankfully, kids were well-behaved.
On Wednesday we drove up to Penang. Once again, kids were good. They did not make any trouble other than the occasional "Are we there yet?". In Penang, we stayed at my in laws' house. Hubby was staying in a hotel until Christmas morning. I know. Ridiculous, right? Guess how upset I was .... But having spent money on a gift for myself and billing it to hubby almost made up for it.
Anyway, we managed to spend some time here and there. There was a Christmas party for children. Christmas service was a tiring and stressful one. It was hot and tiring because kids kept getting me to carry and entertain them. Food was, of course, the order of the day for the few days. We ate almost everything that Penang is famous for. Even Joel enjoyed the assam laksa. Oh well.
Nothing much to say about Penang. Key words were "TIRED" and "STRESSFUL". Well, we came back on Sunday. Hubby drove with Jon. I drove with Jeremy and Joel. 5 hours plus. Very tiring. And the traffic was also heavy so we had to drive slowly. Thankfully Jeremy slept about 2 hours. Joel was okay. He didn't sleep but had a bit of food here and there and just looked out the window for the scenery.
There is les than a week to go before we're back to school. I dread it, and welcome it. I know. Full of contradictions. Will post some more when I am in the mood for it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Less than 2 weeks to go

Time has surely flown by very fast. In less than 2 weeks, school will reopen. In the last one month or so, I have been kept busy with various duties, school and familial. Like mentioned in my last posts, I have attended some weddings. Other than that, let me examine what I have done.

I have gone to school a few times here and there - just to check on the cheer girls, as well as for SPM duty. I have also attended a 2 day course in the Selangor Education Department for the 2nd cycle of the literature component in Forms 1 & 4 starting next year. If you ask me, that was a total waste of time. So how are we (Mim & I) going to conduct an in-house? We're not. We're just going to pass the CD to the teachers and let them go through it. Everything is pretty much self-explanatory.

I have been writing. I have finished writing, rather. It was tiring having to come up with material for a workbook. I do enjoy making my brain work a fair bit but I was disappointed that I was given the wrong info on which level I was supposed to write for. So my material had to be rewritten or changed. Waste of time. Nevertheless, I am glad it is all finished.

I have attended Jeremy's music school's concert. He was in the choir and sang "Satu Suara" and "Heal the World". Poor dear, his performances were the first and last, so he had a looooooooooooong wait backstage.

I have attended a funeral. Mum-in-law's sister passed away after a long illness. In a sense, it was a good release for the family. It had been tough looking after her. But of course, she will be sorely missed.

I have been Christmas shopping. We have so many Christmas gifts to buy and it was tiring having to wrap them all up individually. But I do enjoy going to search for suitable gifts for others. I think I enjoyed buying MYSELF a Christmas present the most. After a whole month of not going anywhere for a holiday, I decided to reward myself. Of course, hubby is going to pay for it.

Holiday? My kids and I are finally going to have a holiday starting today. They are really looking forward to it. I am, kinda. Just don't fancy the driving I have to do. Am praying that the weather will hold so that the roads will be easy to drive on. Where is hubby? He'll meet us there. Not something I am happy about. But nothing can be done.

I will be back with updates and hopefully, pictures, when we get back. In the meantime, have a Blessed Christmas and meaningful New Year everyone.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Malim Nawar trip - photos

Here are a few photos taken courtesy of Yik Leong.

That's the newly weds and us

Kuin Sheong, his wife (also my ex-student) and their elder child

My ex-students, the newly weds and us

The newly weds and the "sisters"

The newly weds and "brothers"

Big group at the end of the wedding dinner

Monday, December 7, 2009

They are finally married

For years I have been like a mother hen telling them to get married. I wonder if their mothers were even as insistent as I was. Who am I talking about? They are actually former students of mine from way back when I taught in Perak. They have been together for donkey years, since 1996 or 1997. It is now 2009, so you can imagine how long they have been an item. To top it off, the guy has been working in the Middle East, still is, actually. So it has been a long distance relationship for them. Not an easy relationship to maintain.
Well, finally, last year they registered their marriage and last weekend they had their wedding ceremony and banquet. It was a pleasant trip that I made to attend their wedding. The bride was radiant in her strapless evening gown, and the groom looked extremely happy in his sporty-looking blazer.
For me, the event was not only about them, as I got to meet up with so many of my former students who were the bride's and groom's friends. It was amazing how some of them have grown and matured into husbands, wives and parents. It was strange seeing them carrying their little infants and toddlers. They have become parents! At that moment, I felt old, but not for long.
Well, it was a good reminder about the culture of small towns. The food was in abundance. Portions were large. Most people were punctual to the wedding dinner. By 9:15, dinner was over, unlike in most bigger towns and cities. There was never a moment of silence as people were singing karaoke throughout the dinner. A bit too loud, if you ask me.
Well, all in all, it was a good weekend. I enjoyed the food and the dinner. And most of all, I enjoyed the company, the love of my life with whom I am celebrating 13 years of marriage. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY dearest!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Photos as requested by Zainal

Practicum teachers and us

Had to sneak this in. A very old photo that resurfaced recently.

Sri Aman at "Two from Galilee"

Meeting up with an old friend ... Azian, and her family.

My few seconds of fame, with some "famous" people. Haha.
For Zainal, see the tall girl behind me? Faustina, Azlan's wife!
This has to be one of those unforgetables, for me anyway. Me dancing with Jeremy and a twisted ankle
Our pride, "I have a dream", the cast and crew.

Teachers Day 2009, with my good friends. Together we are really a force to reckon with.
At ICELT, with Dr Lee Su Kim (above), and Dr Alan Maley (below).

This man ... is one person who has often inspired me, Dr Malachi Edwin.

Ladies in blue at the Royal Gala Dinner

Staff and PTA of Sri Aman at the dinner

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dependence on technology

Much as I loathe to admit it, I am very dependant on all things technological. Perhaps not as dependant as some people, but I AM dependant. I guess this is a problem with most people of this generation. We get things and do things the "instant" way. Everything is expected to be done fast and proper.
When I am without my laptop and internet for a few days, I feel lost. If I have both, but they are not functioning up to expectations, I feel like I want to throw the laptop away, and make a formal complaint to the broadband service provider. I guess if I pay good money for things like that, I expect the quality to be up to standard. Speaking of broadband, someone renamed streamyx as screamyx due to its lack of speed. If you have time, go to youtube and search for Hitler and Streamyx and you get to watch how some people are just too angry with Streamyx. Have a good laugh.
I have never really baked a cake from scratch. I depend on premixes. I have never cooked pasta sauce from scratch. I use a lot of short cuts. I have never slaughtered a chicken to cook. I have never really cleaned up a fish just caught. I am sure many of you are like me in that.
Recently I have taken to watching a Chinese series made by Mediacorp, Singapore. It is about the lives of some nyonyas. I admire how the nyonyas of old used to make and cook everything from scratch. Not only that, they do it in less than desirable conditions (imagine stoves that use burning wood) and wearing their nyonya kebayas. I see them pounding chillies and what-nots, drawing water from wells, doing embroidery, making lots of kuihs and doing numerous other things, all from scratch, the hard way.
I guess I take for granted a lot of things that have only existed the last few decades. Perhaps it will be good to go back to basics once in a while if possible. Maybe in December, when I have finished some assigned work, I will try to not turn on the laptop for a week or so. I will try to bake a cake from scratch, even if it is just a simple butter cake. Let's see if I can do it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

What a waste of time and money!

Yesterday was a total waste of time for me, and for about 300 over people. On top of that, it was also a total waste of money ... tax payers' money.
Some people in a certain department had to finish spending money allocated to the said department. So, to finish it, they organised a trip for over 300 students and about 50 to 60 teachers. The trip was to Genting Highlands. I thought that we were going to have sessions of talks and then wander off to the theme park or something. I understiood that there would be facilitators.
Instead, what happened was that we were all given tshirts, track bottoms, name tags and caps. We were given drinks and food. Then we were brought to the theme park and Snow World. We were fed lunch at the First World Cafe. Good food! We were also taken to the Strawberry Farm. So, tell me, where is the objective of integration or lesson on whatever that the students were supposed to learn? I don't understand.
On top of that, the whole thing was such a shoddily organised programme (what programme?) that we spend a lot of time waiting for one another. So much time was wasted because the organisers were slow, or just plain ignorant. Being in Genting Highlands is generally an enjoyable time for most people. However, it was far from being enjoyable when the students (and teachers) were herded from place to place and made to wait for groups of people who were slow. So, wouldn't you agree that it was a waste of time and money? Grrrrrr.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yes I cleaned up my table

For those who long for me to do my annual gotong royong, it's done! I have started the cleaning up of my table, and my place, in general. I have thrown away LOTS of old books and handouts, some files and lots of paper. Okay, not exactly thrown into the garbage bin, but into the recycling bin. My colleague ... the one who sits right behind me, says HE is going to blog about it. He doesn't realise that he would not be the first to do so! Haha! I feel sad about having to part with some of the books, but they are old books which I have not touched for a long time. So ... there!

Friday, November 13, 2009

ICELT in Melaka

Spending 2 days in Melaka for the ICELT was a lot of things. It was boring (when certain people presented), it was hilarious (those workshops), it was enlightening (when we learned new things) and it was also affirming (when we found that we were heading in the right way after all). The 2 days spent there were not in vain, and I am glad I attended the conference.
The few people or presenters who did a real good job were people like A. Maley, S.J. Hall, C. Graham, M. Edwin, R. Tan, S. Menon. Some others had lots of content which were good but they were not dynamic presenters, so it was a little dry and boring.
Here are some snippets of funny observations :
A young lady teacher ran like a little girl to an elderly but rather popular presenter saying, "Oh Mr ??, I have been looking for you", and the presenter went "Oh, I have been looking for you too" like two love-struck teenagers.
In the melodrama workshop, one participant (a man) actually picked up another (a young lady) on his shoulder and carted her off. Then he picked up another young lady (who was supposed to be a chair) and threw her away. A young lady sat on a young man (supposed to be a table) as if fainted. A rather large woman "sat" on a small young lady (who was supposed to be a chair). Two women fought literally like cats and dogs.
A presenter made participants answer questions by throwing a ball at them. The ball got thrown numerous times at people sitting NOT in the front row. The said presenter also made a comment that people who say far away from the front would have to move because the back portion was going to blow up in 10 minutes! He also made us write down the last message we received in our handphones. Some were just plain hilarious.
A presenter got everyone to sing and clap to some nonsensical sentences. She was actually teaching us jazz chants and we had to participate actively. It was fun!
All in all, it was an enjoyable conference. Although things could have been better in some ways, I'm sure we could all look past that and just bask in the enjoyment that we had. My roommate had a lot of fun too .... didn't we?
I hope I get to attend more conferences and learn and get refreshed in my knowledge of ELT, and to be affirmed that I am doing things right.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What I am looking forward to

Like I wrote in my last post, there are two more weeks to go. In the meantime, I do look forward to some things. Tuesday and Wednesday, I will be in Malacca for a conference with my buddy. It is not a trip for pleasure, but it will not all be work. We will find time to roam the streets of Malacca for food and things to buy. We might even find time (and be thick skinned enough) to go for a swim. Or in my case, a dip in the pool. For sure it will be enjoyable because we will be learning, and hopefully improving on our knowledge. On top of that, being able to attend the conference with a good friend is indeed a bonus. And on top of that, with the two of us being the nutty people we are, sometimes, we are sure to make the best of the time there. After all, we don't travel to Malacca very often.
Besides that, I am also looking forward to writing again. Some of you might be aware that I write. I have co-written several workbooks and sample exam papers for publication. I have been asked to write again and I have agreed. Yes, there is a deadline, but I will just have to find time and get my creative juices to work. I have always enjoyed writing and improving on my writing skills. I am no Grace K for sure, but I am an English Language teacher after all.
Perhaps I will also be looking forward to learning some new things which I am not ready to share about yet. Some already know what new things I will be doing next year. I am fearful and I tremble with trepidation. But at the same time I am excited and I hope I do a good job.
As for the holidays, yes, I very much look forward to that. I have not planned anything yet. Perhaps I will do so soon. Ciao.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

2 more weeks

Another fortnight and we finally break for the holidays. It has been a tiring, stressful and frustrating year. Yet it has also been a fantastic, fun and enjoyable year. Hated it! Loved it! Wished it could have been different. Wouldn't trade it for the world!
Some of those things I didn't like doing turned out to be learning experience for me. Some of those wishes that didn't come true became wake-up calls for me. Someone I thought was all good turned out not to be so perfect after all. It has been an adventure, this school year. I shall blog more later. In a hurry to take Jon to his art class. More later ... hmmm that sounds like Millie O!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Her Majesty the Queen

Two nights ago marked a historical day for SA, and for most if not all of us, staff, students and parents of SA. We had dinner with her majesty, the Queen, otherwise known as the Permaisuri Agong.
The whole event was full of pomp and everyone turned up in their BEST outifts and all decked in fineries, bling blings and all. Everyone took extra care to look their best. Someone I know had her hair done, someone else had a make-up artist over to do up her makeuup. I had a manicure/pedicure. All because we wanted to look our best, and give ourselves a chance to pamper ourselves.
Looking at the outfits worn by most of us, I can safely say that this event will never be dwarfed by any other event we are all ever going to attend.
Although her majesty only spent about an hour with us, it was sufficient for us to experience the presence of ROYALTY in a very formal setting. It was scary and nerve-wrecking, but it was also something we will cherish. Pictures? Look for them in my facebook. I didn't bring my camera but some people are going to tag me there. Well, maybe I will post a few here later.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I will be the first to agree that SA is not a perfect school. As a member of its teaching staff, I have had to endure lots of work. Like me, many of the other staff members have had to spend countless hours doing work that is in addition to our core business, which is teaching. We have had to bring our students out for various activities and competitions. We have had to call up parents and deal with various issues related to their children. We have had to drive the students home because we got back late into the night from some activities. We have had to spend our own money, and more often than not, our time to make sure that everyone (else) is taken care of. Many a times, we have neglected some family activities to cater to the school's activities and to take care of our students. Often some of us had to lend our things to our students so that they don't get into trouble with whoever. We've played counsellor, nurse, nanny, friend, storekeeper, you name it, we've probably done it.
So what really irks me is how we are accused of many things. SA teachers are supposedly over ambitious. We supposedly care only for the name of the school and not the individual students. We kononnya do not have the interest of the students at hand and only make demands from their parents.
Coming back to why I am disappointed. Because of the charity dinner, I have opened my eyes to how everyone else sees us. The dinner was never meant to be a burden to parents. Someone asked if we wanted red carpet for the school. Meaning, we are over-ambitious and having a swimming pool or an air-conditioned hall is just pure luxury, not a need.
So I am feeling sad that we are surrounded by people with no vision for the future of SA. Much as I dread the amount of work we have to do in SA every time we are endowed with some titles, I AM proud of my role in this school. And I do want to be proud of the students and their parents for their roles in this school. I hope that the SA family will work together and this family includes not only the staff.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


There are some relationships that I truly cherish. In all these years that I have been around, I have come to realise that some relationships are just special and can stand the test of time, and distance.
Starting from my closest circle, I am glad I have some very special friends at work. We do not always agree on the same things. We do not have the same taste in things. We do not behave the same way all the time (though I am sure some people will disagree). But we do have quite a number of things in common and we have learned to agree to disagree, and to respect one another's principles and opinions. We get away with calling one another nick names we wouldn't call others. We get away with doing all sorts of funny things. Our bond is such that we sometimes fill in for one another, and we complement one another. Perhaps that is why we make such a formidable team.
Next is my group of friends from way back in university. We were the TESLians or TESLites, whichever one wants to call us. We were the noisy bunch, and we still are. In spite of going our separate ways after granduation, we have managed to keep in touch and meet. Not all of us, but most of us. We are still as crazy as ever when we do get together. It's almost as if we have never left UPM.
My family ... well, my inlaws anyway. I am thankful that I have a set of understanding and wonderful inlaws. My mother-in-law is someone I really wouldn't mind living with. She is a gem of a lady and I am sad that she will be leaving this coming Saturday. My father-in-law is also a good man. He likes to argue. Half the time, he probably argues to keep his mind alert. My husband's siblings and their family are all in Australia. I don't see much of them but I do miss them and hope to see them again soon.
Last week was Malam Graduasi for the Form 5s. I wasn't there. But as these girls prepare to leave high school for something better, I hope that they too have forged wonderful friendships that will stand the test of time and distance. And I pray that they will encounter other friends in the future whom they can bond with and start a new relationship with. As they grow into young ladies, I hope they will find a life partner with whom it is indeed "til death do us part", and find an inlaw family they will love and treasure.

Two from Galilee

Tonight I was at the Panggung Bandaraya with some colleagues and students. To say the performance was awesome would be stretching it. However, I would say that it was an enjoyable show, performed rather well by The Canticle Singers. The singing was generally good and more than made up for the acting that was not particularly convincing. Nevertheless, it was a good performance overall. I hope the students learned to appreciate some of the issues in the play. For example, relationship, love, expectations, traditions, faith. I hope the students were able to see beyond the names of the characters and the background of the story. Certain scenes were touching and they reflect some values that are universal, regardless of our faiths and beliefs. And one nice thing was I met with one of the cast members who was a student of mine some 12 years ago.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


It is strange. I don't need to be addicted to illegal things to truly understand what it means to be addicted to something. So what am I addicted to?
Some of you may have noticed me reading a very thick book during the exam season. I was so addicted to it that I could not put it down. I had to read on, keep at it until I finished it. I even spent one night until almost 4am to finish the book. That day was still a working day and it was tiring. But I probably was surviving on the adrenaline rush of having to get the Form 3 cheerleaders ready for a gig that night. The stress was great but, surprisingly, I got through the day and night. I only got home at 10:30 that night. When I got home, I still managed a few pages of the book! Surely that was asking for trouble. I kept at it until I finished the novel - all five hundred over pages of it. And when I finished it, what did I do? I started reading another book, by the same author. Yeah I have finished it as well.
What's the other thing I am addicted to? I have already mentioned it in passing in another post. It is the Facebook's Restaurant City. I know I am addicted when I woke up at 5am and went straight to check the restaurant. I know I am addicted when I asked a friend to take care of the restaurant for me while I am at work. I know I am addicted when I bug my students and ex-students to trade with me.
So how am I going to deal with it? I will just have to live with it, at least until I reach level 32!!!No, I am going to prioritise. I will play, but it will not take over my life, my time and my family.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Trying this out from handphone

I am just trying this out using mobile blogger. Nothing better to do while waiting to go to a colleague's house for last round of raya open house.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Busy busy busy

The lack of upates on my blog is probably going to be something some of you will complain about, unless you too have been busy with numerous things. It is exam season, so I have been busy with all things related to exams : setting question papers, marking, other paper works, doing the mantap minda programme for the form 3s, and now exam stuff for the form 2s and form 4s.
In addition, I have also been busy with my in laws who are back. And while they have been back, we have attended a funeral and visited other relatives. I can see that my in laws are a lot older now. I can see how much they have aged in the one and a half years I have not seen them. They have been inflicted with various health issues and I worry about them. Everyone their generation is "expiring" one by one. I can tell that they are also worried.
Just two nights ago I took the cheer girls from Form 3 to go for a gig in Crowne Plaza, KL for a gig. They had to dance and chant a bit about the hotel. It was very short notice and they had just finished their PMR the day before. So the gig was not as well-performed but it was ok. The girls were so tickled when they were asked to pose with many of the guests for photos. On top of that, the food, though cocktail style, was nice. We generally had a good time. But I was extremely tired as I had only had a 2 1/2 hour sleep the previous night and had been out of the house from 7am until 10:30pm. Nevertheless, I was glad for the break in routine.
Tonight, I will be going for a durian party of sorts! I am looking forward to it, but I'll miss hubby who is in Genting. Oh well.
I will update more when I have come back from Bukit Tinggi.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Calling all former Sri Aman students

Attention all former Sri Aman students!!!! The school has been asked to compile a list of what former Sri Aman students have achieved after leaving school. We need to know where you have gone since leaving Sri Aman, what did you study and where, if you have started working, what you are working as and where. Please spread the word around and get them to email me at Thanks, all.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Majlis Restu 2009

We had our Majlis Restu for this year yesterday. Last year, I expressed my thoughts about the one held last year for the PMR students. This year, the difference is that the session was held for both the PMR and the SPM students. Oh and for the STPM students as well. Unlike last year, this year the celebration time (makan time) was held for all the candidates regardless of race and religion. Although the Muslim students had their Majlis Restu in the Surau on their own, and the non-Muslim students had theirs in the hall, everyone came together after that at the gallery and had their meals together. It was nice to see everyone coming together then. This is one step towards perhaps having a combined Majlis Restu one day. I can hope, can't I?
I have photos but they are all in my phone still.
There are two people I must thank here. To Justin and Jessica, kudos to the both of you for rising to the challenge that I pretty much threw at you: to be the MCs during the MR, and also to conduct the whole session in BM. I could have done it in English, but you did not argue when I said to do it in BM. Both of you did a splendid job. And THANKS for agreeing to do it in the first place. You proved to us all that you had it in you!!!! My only regret was not being able to say farewell before you left.
Once again, thanks to the speakers for coming to SA to encourage our students and to pray for them. Thanks Pastor Aaron Tham, Mr Lim Teik Leong, Mr Lakhbir Singh and Mr Parthiban Ramachandran.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just not in the mood

This has been the longest hiatus for me. I am just not in the mood to blog right now. Tried blogging from the handphone last night but didn't load. If not for a certain someone who badgered me about updating, I'd probably be very happy leaving it alone. Well, maybe things will get more interesting soon and I'll have something to blog about. I don't want to just rant and rave here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cannot deny that I am getting old

Not that I want to deny it. But yes, I am getting older ... and as one crosses the bridge to the big four-oh ... a lot of things starts to happen. Of course, my hair has been greying. I used to be very bothered by that but now I just accept that it is part and parcel of getting older. In addition to that, my eyesight has been affected too. I am now short sighted and will soon go and get myself a pair of reading glasses. I cannot read too long as it is. And I get a massive headache from the straining to read.
My body too is now telling me to slow down and not push myself too much. I sprained my ankle on 5th July. It is now 17th September. More than two months have passed and my ankle is still slightly swollen and it is weak. I feel the pain when I flex and point my toes. I resprained my ankle a few weeks back when I stepped on uneven ground. So my ankle is giving me problems. I cannot wear high heels without feeling the strain on the ankle. I need afternoon naps more often now. When I get home from school, I am so tired that I just need to plonk down on my bed and take a nap. Sometimes the nap can last as long as 2 hours!!! But then I don't sleep very much at night. Not the recommended amount of sleep anyway. So ... yes, my body is telling me to really learn to slow down. Perhaps it is time for me to learn to relax and take things easy and try to not do everything by myself.
A resolution for myself for this 10 day Hari Raya break will be to really relax and spend time for myself, as well as for the family. Hmmmm a good time to go for a Thai massage ... there is that coupon I was given some weeks ago. Yeah, a good time to go for it. And a good time for a hiatus too. Perhaps.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The big four-oh

So I have joined the club. Puteri, you have some years to go. Well, I am there now. I have finished 4 decades of life. I'm now looking forward to maybe another four decades.
I had a pretty good day yesterday, with my buddies in celebrating the big day. We didn't go for a meal, since some of them were fasting. Instead we went to a fish spa! I think I enjoyed the laughters we had more that the fish cleaning our dead skin! The squeals and all were hilarious. If only our students saw/heard them ... no, not me ... they would have had a super duper time laughing. Well, four of us were there, dipping our feet in the pools and having tiny fishes nibbling on our feet. It was a luxury to be able to do that. Seldom do we find the time to relax like that. We then went for a demo of a therapy to smoothen our feet. After the demo treatment, we decided to just go ahead and had the full treatment. So now we have almost baby smooth skin on our legs and feet!!! Then I went on and bought myself some Estee Lauder lipsticks. Another treat for myself. Already got a new handphone from hubby, which I am happy about. And I got a nice purse from my buddies. And some other gifts. The best surprise was when I got home and was greeted by my son who told me I had a surprise from my sis-in-law and family, in Australia. Well, they sent me a super BIG basket of flowers and chocolates delivered by the florist. Wow. That really made my day. And later, hubby and I went for supper (his dinner). So it was a nice day for me indeed. All the more reason to look forward to many more years, God willing.

Save Yvonne's Sight

Okay, so I am going to be lazy. I don't have time to do what is necessary so I am just going to take the easy way out and post this link here. It is a link to someone else's blog on saving Yvonne's eyesight. Yvonne has neurofribromatosis (NF) and it has caused her to lose her hearing and she is now losing her sight. She needs to undergo a surgery (one of her many surgeries) soon. Click on the link here and do what you can. Spread the word.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Playing host

Today I played host to a Thai couple and their little son. They are not my friends. The Thai man is my husband's acquaintance. They are here to have a little holiday besides doing some work. How come I played host? My husband has gone to Penang. He has a pre-arranged plan with some friends to have a weekend in Penang, so I had to play host by myself.
Thank God it wasn't that bad. I took them to KLCC. I brought along Jonathan and Jeremy. We went to Aquaria, which was a good idea. They seemed impressed and truly enjoyed the marine life. My boys too enjoyed themselves of course. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the feeding of the ray fishes. One of the rays even swam up and we could actually touch it. Then the other thing they enjoyed was the tunnel where the fishes were swimming all around us and on top of us. We were fortunate as it was feeding time and we saw divers feeding the fishes, as well as catching the piranhas' eating frenzy when food was lowered into their tank. The last bit that they enjoyed was the theatre where we saw divers feeding the fishes literally right in front of us. I'm glad everyone had a good time.
Then we went for lunch at Kenny's Roasters. My kids, well, they are such pasta fans so I took them there so that they could have their mac and cheese. The Thai couple seemed to enjoy their lunch too. They commented that they do not have Kenny's in Thailand.
After lunch, we walked around and bought some things from Cold Storage. Then they decided to go shopping, so I took my boys for a walk and then we drove home. Frankly I don't usually drive out in KL. I got lost! Well, no big deal. We just went round and round a bit before I saw a signboard that says "Petaling Jaya". Soon we were home. I was just so tired I went straight for a nap!!! Getting old.
Well, tomorrow will be another day and I know it will be a good day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

.... and I thought we were a TEAM!

Today I felt a lot of anger. I was fuming mad at some people. Working as a team, we are supposed to communicate with one another. Not pushing and passing the buck here and there. It was super frustrating to have to do what is not MY job. It is even MORE frustrating when some people who were supposed to help did NOT do their jobs and the load gets passed to ME! I am one person doing HOW MANY PEOPLE'S JOB???? What was wrong with the whole picture anyway?
Firstly, the job passed to someone should have stayed passed to that particular person instead of being passed to someone else who had nothing to do with the work in the first place. People in the admin should have just stood their grounds and insist that the work be properly spread out.
Secondly, the person on whose lap the work fell on should have just said it very clearly that she would NOT do the work if she wasn't going to do it anyway. Say you can't / won't do it instead of letting the work rot, and wait for the deadline to appear. Then everyone goes scrambling because the work is not done. For goodnes' sake, I already offered to help if she could not handle the work. And she said nothing ... NOTHING until the deadline appeared today.
Thirdly, the original person who was supposed to do the work could at least have helped. I was going to help as well. Did she? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. It wasn't HER job. Like it was MY job??? Hey, I was doing her work for her, and she just uttered that it wasn't her job! Oh pardon me ... how did it become MY job? Just because I have a clearer conscience about work, and have slightly better work ethics, it has become MY job? Hello .... what kind of logic is this?
The anger and frustration left the school with me. I went grocery shopping and I was still fuming mad. I came home and I was still breathing hard and having very fast pulse. I checked my blood pressure and it was UP.
I don't think in the last 13 years or so I have been in this school, have I ever been so angry about something and some people.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Like a teenager again

The last few days have been really something I am contented with. Hubby and I have been going out on our own a fair bit, even if it is just to the bank to bank in some money. Walking with him by my side, hand in hand, I felt like a teenager again. I felt like I was going out with my boyfriend all over again. And I felt very protected and safe with him. Although we do not always have time to go out on our own, I cherish the little time we have together. I hope that I will always have this feeling, of our relationship being special, all the time. And I hope that many of my young students will find this special relationship in their lives.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Senior citizen Malaysia

At 52, most people will be considered a senior citizen. For a civil servant, it is an age whereby one can opt to leave the service and get a pension. For others, most will be achieving the height of their careers before leaving or retiring in another 5 to 10 years. For my beloved country, she is still crawling on all four, trying to find it's directions and meaning in life. Why is that? Is it because we are a relatively young country compared to many other countries? Is it because we have had a long history of having been colonised by several countries? Is it beccause we are a country that consists of many people from diverse cultures and beliefs? Is it because we still have not learned to accept that we are all different and we have to respect one another BECAUSE OF and IN SPITE OF our differences?

How many times have I encountered situations when there are parties and gatherings attended by various races and people from different faiths ... only to find that the food is not suitable for some people? How many times have I attended talks/speeches, etc. whereby the speakers have made fun of people who practise different cultures? How many times have I attended functions where everyone is seated according to the colours of their skin? How many times have I seen a lack of respect for, and an unwillingness to learn about people who do things differently? How many times have I heard some people who should know better prove to us that they do not know anything every time they open their mouths? How many times ...? TOO MANY TIMES!

So when is this going to end? Perhaps never. But as human beings who dwell in this country, calling ourselves Malaysians, it is time to :

  • make an effort to live WITH one another, not IN SPITE OF one another
  • try to understand why our friends have different practices and RESPECT them for what they believe in
  • not just tolerate one another (I hate that word), but to accept one another. We can always agree to disagree, but we don't have to fight one another for a single conclusion.
  • see one another not according to the colour of our skin, but as Malaysians who are different
  • love this country so much that we can disregard all the small matters that are petty
  • appreciate our individual heritage, our differences and our beliefs, BUT not let these cloud our eyes and hearts that we live in this country which is so blessed with such diversity

It is with pride that I say I am a Malaysian. I want to continue having that pride. Let me not, one day, give up on this beautiful country. Let me grow old with Malaysia, as a Malaysian.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

What kind of logic?

At this point in time I am just very disappointed and disgusted in some people who think they are so progressive. They think they are fighting for the rights of their own race. They think they can get away with insulting people of other faiths just because they have the number to do so. Perhaps they are right in thinking they can get away with it. Afterall, it was not reported in the papers exactly what they did - how they proudly claim that they are defending their rights to their place of residence and they would defend it to death. All because a place of worship (not their own) will be relocated near to them. They were not complaining. They marched and they brought along a symbol of holiness belonging to the other faith, and stepped on it. And with glee as well as pride, they claimed to champion their own rights. What utter nonsence! What utter disrespect for other people! And they want to say YEAH WE'RE FOR 1MALAYSIA! Utter rubbish! We shall wait and see if this will even make it to mainstream newspaper and news channel. Hypocrisy in its highest degree.
For those not in the know of what had happened, go to

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

No mood to blog

The last week or so, I have been sharing my laptop with hubby and he has been monopolizing it. Thus I was relegated to only having computer time late in the evening for a short while. Hence the lack of updates. In any case, I was not in the mood much.
So school is on a 10 day break. Nice to be able to rest a bit. A bit - because I still have to mark papers. And books. And entertain my little ones. And sit for a silly ole exam. So far, I have managed to not do anything significant. Just been reading, studying, watching TV, playing with my kids and the dog. Oh and visited an uncle who has just had a bypass. That's it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Someone commented today that English teachers' workload isn't as bad as BM teachers' workload. Reason being : BM has 4 hours each week and English has "only" 3 hours each week. So a BM teacher who teaches 4 classes of BM has 16 hours of BM to teach, whereas an English teacher who teaches 4 English classes only teach 12 hours. Tell me where the logic is when the BM teacher and the English teacher end up teaching the same number of hours if you count the number of hours they teach for other subjects? And since this is referring to Sri Aman in particular, tell me what BM teacher has to do RFP for niche area? What extra extra programmes do BM teachers have to run? What headache does a BM teacher have to have, planning how to spend the money that the govt gives to us? This is not to say that BM teachers do not work hard. What I am saying is "DO NOT INSULT ENGLISH TEACHERS WHO HAVE BEEN CARRYING THIS NICHE AREA BUSINESS AND DOING EVERYTHING TO MAKE SURE THAT THE SCHOOL REMAINS CLUSTER". It is demeaning to us to have to beg to be recognised. When it suits some people, we are praised and thanked for the good work we have done. When it doesn't suit them, our work is "not as heavy"! That comment really riled me up and made me wonder WHY we are doing so much work. Why are we working so hard to ensure that the school benefits as a whole although English is the niche area? Why do we worry about how the money is spent? We could have just as easily put our feet down and said that we would spend the money on ENGLISH and no one else! Where is the gratitude? Where is the team we have been talking about?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The weekend that has been

Yesterday was a school day. Instead of going to school, I made my way to Sunway University College instead to attend a symposium.
It was a FUN time that I had there. FUN? Symposiums can be FUN? Yes, very much so. I truly enjoyed the sessions there. It was good organisation by the people in SUC. The first session was by Dr Moses Samuel, a UM lecturer. His address was a little dry but still informative and certainly reminds me why I never want to study in UM! Then we had the first workshop and I went to one conducted by Timothy Wong on Teacher Profile. It was about how we need to recognise our strengths and weaknesses, as well as the type of persons we are. Most importantly, I am reminded that my students too are of different types and they have their different strengths and weaknesses. Therefore I have to adjust my teaching style and lessons accordingly.
Then it was lunch. We had a good lunch, nothing too fancy but much nicer than those lunches we get during our own staff development sessions.
Next was the second workshop. As assumed by my lovely friends, I chose the one on pronunciation conducted by Hugh Leburn. He was a good presenter. We had fun pronouncing words and sentences. I am reminded of the time I took a paper in one semester during my degree programme. We used to be ever so noisy with all the sounds we tried to make according to the phonetic symbols. I am so going to email Mr Leburn one of these days!!!
Then we finished up with the plenary address by Prof Alan Maley. He is THE authority on Reading when I was studying. We had books written by him as our texts. He was a wonderful presenter and his session of 1 hour ended just too quickly. He is a very funny man and was full of anecdotes. I know what I learned from him. WE HAVE TO MOVE WITH THE TIMES. Being a teacher is not about books and board anymore (though there is absolutely nothing wrong with using books and the board). We have to explore other possibilities and other newer text types and source of information. We have to try not to lag behind and become dinosaurs in the teaching profession. I shall strive to move along with technology and all, with whatever time I have.
Spending the Saturday in a symposium might not be everyone's idea of a good time, but it was a break from the routine. And it was a good learning experience. I certainly feel refreshed about my teaching job. Most of all, being there with my buddies made it all the more enjoyable.

Today I went for a brief visit to UPM for their Dogathon. Last year I was there too, but much longer. Today was just a quick HI and BYE visit. The crowd is much bigger this year. There were many people with many dogs and many stalls that sold doggie things as well as having exhibition. We took the kids there just for a look-see. Then we went for a quick lunch and came home.
Jonathan is unwell. He has had a fever since yesterday morning. He was still very active and all until tonight. I guess it's taking its toll on him and he looked weary by dinner time. Hopefully he is going to recover soon. He's not going to school tomorrow.

So tomorrow is a school day. I was going to sigh, but I told myself NO! Instead I am going to remember what Pastor Peter Tsukahira said today. Sunday is a day of rest. Monday is the beginning of what I am supposed to do. So I shall look forward to tomorrow and do the best that I can.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My new dog

Just got him half an hour or so ago. So this is HOT news. LOL. Well, he is a brown coloured golden retriever aged about 2 years. My son, Jeremy, says to name him Dusty. The kids have not seen him yet. Haha. Oh well, we shall see how things work out.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

TESL 93 reunion

Met up with my TESL coursemates today for Hi tea at Equatorial, Bangi. Here are the photos, courtesy of Shazreen. Sitting between Dr Fauziah and Aida. Notice the other table at the back?

Posing ....

More poses


The group that met up, minus those who left early.

No, I did not kick Azlan!

Concentrating on food and Dr Fauziah's words of wisdom

The early birds, actually.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


It is a dangerous thing, starting a rumour. You can cause panic or you can destroy someone's reputation. You can even change the course of history.
I heard a few rumours the last few days. one rumour has it that Sri Aman had 4 confirmed cases of H1N1. Now how the rumour started, I have absolutely no idea. All I know is suddenly someone called up to ask if that was true. Up until this very minute, there is still no confirmed case. Who started the rumour, I am very interested to know. It is sheer irresponsibility that causes someone to start kind of rumour and turn people panicky.
Another instance of a rumour having adverse effects is the one about someone in school having someone sleeping over at her house. This causes the said someone to lose her reputation, not to mention the reputation of the other party. Now what could cause a person to start that kind of rumour? Jealousy? Envy? Or just plain meanness?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Getting that break we have been craving!

For weeks, my buddies and I have been saying we needed a break and the end of August was kinda long to wait. I guess our wish has been granted, although not for the reason we hoped. Not that we have a reason proper. But, yeah, we have been granted a week off. School is closed for a week. No one has been confirmed to be a victim of AH1N1 yet. But many students have been having fever and flu and various other ailments. Perhaps it is just as well, and all of us get the bit of rest that we desperately need. Not that it is going to be that much of a rest but at least we get to sleep in a bit, and do some other work that have been pending.
I know I will get to spend more time with my boys. I will try to be a good mother and make them pancakes or cakes for breakfast / tea. I will prepare lunches of pasta too, if they like. I will try to take them for evening walks if the weather is good. Oh and I will complete my PMR Trial Exam paper.
On another note, the Chng is down with appendicitis and will have a surgery tomorrow. Get well soon, yeah!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I need to get out of this rut - and I will

The last few weeks I found myself in a rut. It was not something I could do much about. I just felt down and was probably wallowing in an almost self-pity pile of mud. Then I realised something. No one else can get me out of this except myself. So I am going to hold on to the rope that has been thrown to me and I am going to pull myself out of here. This is not the kind of place I want to be for a long time. I am going to shake off the mud and I am going to clean myself up and get going with all the things that need doing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just a morbid thought

With all the news of deaths, I was just thinking ... again ... about my own. If I were to die at this point in my life, what would I have achieved prior to my death. What would have been "my mark" in the world. Would I be remembered by anyone other than my immediate family? My 16 years of teaching .... would it amount to anything? The friendships I have forged ... would my friends miss me? What would they say of me if they were to deliver a eulogy? What would anyone say about me?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tears of sorrow

I just came home from a wake. Hubby's cousin whose death I mentioned yesterday. He was 42, happily married and had 3 beautiful little girls. Judging from the big crowd at the wake, he was well-liked and someone who had many friends.
One of the things that struck me the most at the wake was his father who is about 80. He was devastated. He is sickly and yet he has hung in there and is still alive, but his favoured son was lying there in a coffin, never to wake up. When he arrived at the wake, everyone thought he was going to be strong and show some emotion. Instead, he took one look at the coffin, and his granddaughters, and he broke down and cried like a child. It was heart-breaking and many people cried when they saw his tears of sorrow. He hugged one of the granddaughters and they cried together. It was a picture of deep sorrow and sense of loss.
As with any deaths, it is the family left behind who suffers. The wife never got to say goodbye to him as he took his last breath. The children were traumatised as they saw their father collapsing before their eyes. The elderly parents mourned the fact that their child died before them.
My heart breaks for them. I know they will all have to learn to move on, and they will. And I pray for them, that they will be strong. God bless his soul.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Life's brief candle!

Life is so short indeed. Today I was saddened by news of 2 people's passing. Yasmin Ahmad, whose work is well-respected and admired by many, died last night. She was only 51. A life that was snatched away at such a young age. 51 is not exactly young but she is a prolific producer of the arts that she would have had much more in store for us. She still had so many plans and movies to make. She had yet to see many things in this world. Her sudden stroke caught everyone by surprise and most Malaysians are shocked at her death.
Just minutes ago, my husband received a text message that his cousin just died from a heart attack. We have no other details about his death as yet. But I do know this : He is only in his early 40s, almost our age; he has three little girls who are around the same age as my children. He was in the prime of his life and he is now no more. He will never see his daughters grow up to be young ladies, go on their first date and get married. His aged father will have a tough time accepting that his youngest son has died before him.
Truly life is so fragile. Life is short, even if one were to live to 100. Life is so temporal. I feel sad. The last few weeks we have had so many news of people dying, from celebrities to a local political secretary to this cousin of my husband's. A little depressing. Doesn't help the fact that I have not been feeling very perky lately.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The lethargy that just won't disappear

The last month or so, I have been feeling lethargic. It is a terrible feeling that refuses to go away. It is eating into my life because it makes me less willing and less capable to work. By work, I don't just mean career work; I also mean doing things for my family and myself. It is a lethargy that is slowly making me a lesser person than I am supposed to be.
I don't really know what has brought about this feeling / situation. But I have a hunch it is a mental and emotional drain that I am feeling, and that has affected the whole of me. I feel drained of the will to do anything. I don't feel like working. I feel like running away from my current life. I don't want to have to do anything for anyone. I just want to find a place to hide. Somehow I feel as if what I'm doing is not worth doing. There is nothing that I truly look forward to - other than finding that peace and quiet which I so desire right now.
If possible I just want to stay home for the next week or so and just find back my energy and will. And yet there is so much to do. I honestly don't know if I am up to it to do everything I am tasked with. I feel overwhelmed with the many hats I am wearing. I know for sure that I am really struggling and honestly, I am sinking. I need a lifeline to stay afloat and I don't know where that lifeline is coming from, if it will appear at all.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Today ... a date with the OG, and a dinner with old friends

I was going to write about our date with the OG who is a good friend but dangerous enemy. But my dear friend has already blogged about it, so I decided not to. Suffice to say that if I were to mention only good things, I would have only 2 things to talk about : the singing and the props. End of story!
This evening I met up with some old friends, my formers classmates back in Kampar. One of them was in town for a few days with her husband and son. She is now based in HK so it was a rare occasion indeed, meeting up with her. What I found funny was that she really could not recognise me. She had no inkling who I was, for the first 10 minutes! Frankly, since we had not met since we left Form 5, I didn't blame her. We were not in the same class in secondary school, but we were together for 3 years in primary school. It was good catching up. We all had a good time updating one another and sharing news about other friends. Through it all, I realized that I did not know my friends that well. Maybe that was because I lived far away from school whereas they lived near school. I never did get to go out with them and get to know them apart from school-related matters.
So for those of you still studying, take time to know your friends while you're in school. Once you leave, you might not meet again for 10, 20 or 30 years!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

For the Choir Director

Hehehe. See what I found???? Recognise someone in this picture, other than Jaclyn Victor??? Hahahahaha!!!!! Well, if you do come by and visit, this is dedicated to YOU .... Mr Choir Director!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Making tough calls

We cannot go through life without making choices. From the simplest decision of what you want to eat, to what course you want to take up to which person is your life partner, to where you want to reside - all these involve choices. Sometimes your decisions are made for you, like when your parents make decisions without consulting you first. Sometimes your choices are left just as choices, no decision is made. Sometime you have to make those decisions ... yourself. Once in a while those choices placed before you are difficult ones to pick. Especially as you grow older and more mature, more and more situations will be placed before you. You decide what you want to do. Sometimes those situations well, you just can't win. Die if you do and die if you don't.
To me, we have to ask ourselves what motivations we have in making certain choices. Who benefits? Who does it affect? Are there alternatives and what are they? Am I being as fair as I can be? (Though we can have a debate on what is fair)
Life is tough. Growing up is tough. All the things that come with growing up are also tough. But not all things are so gloomy. Life is full of wonder. We make mistakes. So what? If we fall, get up and move on.
To the many people who think that being in a position of power or leadership is fun, think again. You will be required to make decisions that you don't like. You might even question your ability to lead. BUT if you are mature and strong enough ... you can look beyond that difficult phase and do the best you can and continue to lead.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Suckers for work

Sometimes we ( we know who WE are ) are such suckers for work. Not that we want to do more work, but our work ethics are such that we cannot stand by and let certain shoddy work be presented for the world to see. In the process of trying to not present those said shoddy work (which are sometimes, well, more often than not, NOT our work), we end up getting those work on our already very full and tired laps. If only we can sometimes SHUT UP and let things be!!! We try, but it doesn't work. We still get all uptight and upset because we feel ashamed to be associated with less than our standard kind of work. Not that we are perfect, but if we being less than perfect cannot stand the work, what more people who are perfectionists?
Example one : Someone given a task to complete sits on it and does not budge until others pretty much give the order to PLEASE GET IT DONE! She still pretty much moves at snail's pace, so what do we do? We go and do it ourselves!!! Thus adding unnecessary worry, stress and work to our already complicated lives.
Example two : We are told we have money to spend for the benefit of the school. So we go and do all the necessary planning so that taxpayers' money does not go to waste (hey I'm a taxpayer too). Then out comes some remarks and comments that the work we do, is so unnecessary, waste of money, and that we're being cheated!! All because someone does not want to attend some extra classes organised for some people who need help. Gosh! WE DIDN'T ASK TO DO THOSE CLASSES, OK!!! We are given extra work because some of THOSE people are not doing a good job and we were asked to help.
Well, I am just upset that when we make noise, we end up with extra work. But how can one keep quiet when it is obvous there is a void to fill, or improvements to make, etc? Shall I just blame it on Malaysian mentality whereby it is : YOU MAKE NOISE, YOU DO IT LAH!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

PPSMI? Yes? No?

I am not going to add any comments to the article below which I copied from Patrick Teoh's blog. Read and make your own conclusions.
Chaining The Children of the Poor
M. Bakri Musa
The ancient Chinese bound the feet of their baby daughters so they would grow up with deformed tiny feet, thus limiting their mobility and participation in life outside the little world of their homes. These women would then be totally dependent on their men.
In rescinding the policy of teaching science and mathematics in English, the government is likewise binding the intellectual development of our children. They and future generations of Malaysians would grow up with warped intellect. They would then be totally dependent on the government, just as ancient Chinese women with tiny feet were on their men.
My friend and fellow commentator Azly Rahman has a more apt and colorful local metaphor; we are condemning future generations to the Pekan Rabu economy, capable only of selling pirated versions of Michael Jackson albums. That would be the extent of their entrepreneurial prowess and creative flair. They are only subsistence entrepreneurs and ‘copy cat’ creators.
Make no mistake about it. The government’s professed concerns for the poor and those from rural areas notwithstanding, reversing the current policy would adversely and disproportionately impact them. The rich and those in the cities have a ready escape; the rich through private English classes, urban children from the already high levels of English in their community.
The most disadvantaged will be the poor kampong kids. That means Malay children. Thus we have the supreme irony if not perversity of the champions of Ketuanan Melayu actively pursuing a policy that would ensure Malay children be perpetually trapped economically and intellectually. I thank Allah that I grew up at a time when the likes of Muhyyuddin were not in charge of our education system. Otherwise I would have been trapped in my kampong.
The idiocy of the new move is best illustrated by this one startling example. In 2012 when the new plan will be implemented, students in Form IV will be taught science and mathematics in Malay, after learning the two subjects in English for the past nine years. Then two years later when they will be entering Sixth Form or the Matriculation stream, they will again have to revert to English.
Pupils in the vernacular schools would have it worse. They would learn the two subjects in their mother tongue during their primary school years, then switch to Malay for the next five while in secondary school, and then switch again, this time to English, in Sixth Form and university!
Had these policymakers done their homework and diligent downstream analysis, such idiocies would not crop up. Then again this is what we would expect from our civil servants. They have been brought up with their minds bound up; they cannot think. They have depended on others to do the thinking for them.
Najib Razak’s flip-flopping on this major national issue eerily reminds me of similar indecisiveness and lack of resolve of his immediate predecessor, Abdullah Badawi. No wonder he supports Najib in this policy shift. Najib should not take comfort in that, unless he expects a similar fate as Abdullah’s. Abdullah was kicked out by his party; with Najib, it would be the voters who would be kicking him out. Public sentiments are definitely against this policy switch.
Failure of Policy Versus Failure of Implementation
The cabinet reversed course because it deemed the policy did not produce the desired results. However, in arriving at this pivotal decision the cabinet failed to address the fundamental question on whether the original policy was flawed or its implementation ineffective.
It just assumed the policy to be flawed. Muhyyuddin and his senior officers relied heavily on the 2005 UNESCO Report which suggests that “‘mother tongue first’ bilingual education” may (my emphasis) be the solution to the dilemma of members of minority linguistic groups in acquiring knowledge.
Muhyyuddin and his advisers seriously misread the Report. It was concerned primarily with the dilemma at the societal level of members of a linguistic minority having to learn the language of the majority (“national language”) versus the need to maintain linguistic diversity generally and minority languages specifically. UNESCO was rightly concerned with the rapid disappearance of languages spoken by small minority groups. The report was not addressing specifically the learning of science and mathematics.
Malay language is not at risk of disappearing; it is the native tongue of literally hundreds of millions. To extrapolate the UNESCO recommendations for Malay language is a gross oversimplification and misreading of the report.
The UNESCO Report does not address the issue of when and how best to introduce children to bilingual education. Later studies that focused specifically on the pedagogical and psychological aspects instead of the sociological and political have shown that children are quite capable of learning multiple languages at the same time. Even more remarkable is that the earlier they are exposed to a second language the more facile they would be with that language. They would also learn that second language much faster; hence second language even at preschool.
The acquisition of bilingual ability at an early age confers other significant cognitive advantages. These have been documented by clinical studies with functional MRIs (imaging studies of the brain). Malaysia should learn from these more modern studies and the experiences of more advanced societies, not from the UNESCO studies of backward tribes of Asia.
The other basis for the cabinet’s decision was ‘research’ by local half-baked and politically-oriented pseudo academics. They should be embarrassed to append their names to such a sophomoric paper. The quality is such that it will never appear in reputable journals. As for the Ministry’s own internal ‘researchers,’ remember that they came out within months of the policy’s introduction in 2003 documenting the ‘impressive’ improvements in students’ achievements!
The one major entity that would be severely impacted by the cabinet’s decision is our universities. Yet our Vice-Chancellors have remained quiet and detached in this important national debate. They have not advised the cabinet nor lead the public discussions. Again that reflects the caliber of leadership of our major institutions.
Had the cabinet decided that the policy was essentially sound but that the flaws were with its implementations, then measures other than rescinding it would be the appropriate response. This would include recruiting and training more English-speaking teachers and devoting more hours to the subject.
What surprised me is that when Mahathir introduced the policy in 2003, he was supported by his cabinet that included Najib, Muhyyuddin, Hishamuddin, and over a dozen of current ministers who now collectively voted to reverse the policy. Likewise, the policy was fully endorsed too by UMNO’s Supreme Council then. Like the cabinet, many of those earlier members are still in that body today. Yet today the Council also voted to disband the policy. Muhyyuddin, Hishamuddin and the others have yet to share with us why they changed their minds. The conditions that prompted the introduction of the policy back then are still present today. This reversal will do not change that.
Najib, Muhyyuddin and Hishamuddin are “lallang leaders,” they bend with the slightest wind change. Unlike Margaret Thatcher’s famed resolve of “This lady is not for turning,” with Najib, Muhyyuddin, et al., all you have to do to make them undertake a U turn would be to blow slightly in their faces. Blow a bit harder and they would scoot off with their tails between their legs. These leaders will never lead us forward.
This reversal will not solve the widening achievement gap between urban and rural students. The cabinet has yet to put forth new ideas on ameliorating that problem. So, just as ancient Chinese women were physically handicapped because of their bound feet, rural or more specifically Malay children will continue to be intellectually handicapped by their warped and small minds, the consequence of this policy shift. Perhaps that is the real objective of this policy reversal, the shackling of the intellectual development of our young so they will forever be dependent on their ‘leaders


I am currently reading Chicken Soup for the Sister's Soul 2. I have got to about 1/3 of the book. One thing I must say, I have no idea what it means to have a sister. And I have no idea what it means to be a sister. Psedo-biologically speaking, that is.
You see I have no other sibling that I know of, biologically. If you have read one of my first blog entries in my old blog, you would know I am adopted. I do know that I have biological siblings. But I have never met them. I don't know who they are. So I do not know what it means to have biological siblings. On top of that I am adopted and I still have no adoptive siblings. So ... I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A SISTER! So why did I buy that book?
Answer : Because it only cost me rm5.90!!! LOL!
Well, back to the topic of sisterhood ... though I don't know what it means to be a sister and not having any sisters, I DO KNOW ABOUT SISTERHOOD!
I am very fortunate to have known many girls / ladies ... womenfolk who are like sisters to me. I have had friends from way back in primary school who were extremely close to me. We shared many things about ourselves, some very private matters included. Some of these friends who were like sisters to me, are still in my circle of friends. We keep in touch and show what it means to have a sisterhood that withstood the test of time.
I have some very close sisters who are my sisters-in-Christ. We are fellow Christians who share many aspects of our lives. We support one another, we pray for one another, we are physically there for one another. We are indeed like sisters.
At times I feel lonely, because I have known no sibling. I was never given the chance to be a real sister, not even to the one and only brother I could have had. But I give thanks that I have had many other sisters, and I have had the chance to be a sister to many others. Unfortunately, my boys will never have a sister.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Why my life is no longer my own ...

The last few months, that was how I felt - that my life was no longer my own; that I belonged to everyone else but me; that I was losing control over my life.
My family should be utmost in my list of priorities. In many ways, they are. Especially my children. I brought them into this world and they are very important to me. However, they are still young and are very needy. Very often their needs take precedence over mine and everyone else's. At home sometimes I have no time for myself, unless I hide myself in my room and lock everyone else out. Terrible, I know. But, to remain sane, I need time for myself and I need quiet time. My hubby, well, he IS my chosen life partner and I DO need to allocate time for him, for us. Unfortunately, I don't give him that much of my time. So sorry, mate!! My mother, who lives with me, also demands a lot from me sometimes. And there are times when I have chosen to ignore her, just so that I could stay quiet and rest.
My work is another time and energy sapping aspect of my life. The thing is I don't always view work as WORK! Sometimes work is personal. Sometimes work is interest. Sometimes work is caring and sharing. So work is never JUST WORK! Even my husband questions me about why my work takes up so much of my time and energy. Example, why I have to be at school almost daily for cheer practice, why I was busy with drama, why I had, still have, bags of tshirts in my car, why my car is like a store room, why I bring my kids along to school on weekends. The last few years, work seems to be intruding into a lot of my life, and even the lives of my family members. Sometimes this is of my own doing. Sometimes it's not. I am basically a people-work person, not a paper-work person. As long as it is people-work, I am more likely to let the work come into my life.
So this is why I have this feeling that I am losing myself in everything. I need some time off work and just go away for a while. It's only July and I am so ready for a 7 week break. I am tired, physically and mentally. Sometimes I also feel emotionally drained. NOW I am starting to feel a little sadder that I did not get the scholarship. That would have given me more opportunity to spend time with my family, as well as do things for myself. So my chance is gone since I am not eligible to apply for the next batch in December. Without the scholarship, I will not go for further studies. I cannot manage. I am barely managing now.
I will soon have to find time to just do some soul-searching and be still so that I can have some self-examination. I need to get back some control over my life.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Some hurts I have felt

The previous post was not about me. It wasn't about my pains, just reflecting how it would pain me. But here I'd like to share one of those incidents which indeed hurt me a lot, though it was probably not intentional.
Some time back, a few years, actually, it was Teacher's Day. I have never been much of a popular teacher. What to do? Always the tigress in class. Not that I desired to be a popular teacher. But then, I am human. So it was Teacher's Day. Someone ... some students I had been very close to actually passed by me. And said nothing to me. They went straight on to someone else, a temporary teacher, and in very loud voices, almost in front of me, gave HER a card, and said how much they liked her. Yeah, that was one of those times I felt like something had hit me really hard. I was hurt, not because they had given her a card, but because the whole scene almost seemed like it was done to spite me. And I thought they were my closest students, at that time anyway. That hurt stayed with me a long time. I never told them about it even though they detected some change in the way I dealt with them after that. Thinking back, it still hurts a little. Mainly because they seem to have forgotten me. I have not seen them for a long time, and I have not heard from them since the last time I met them. Yeah, they are busy. I know. I understand, I think.
So yeah ... this was one of those experiences that had hurt me a lot. And I know why I felt hurt. It's because I was stupid enough to let my heart be involved. To many, I am this very ferocious tigress of a woman who can really scream at some people. Or maybe I am this mother hen of a woman who just fusses over everything and everyone. Perhaps what many have forgotten is that inside this body is a heart.

Appreciation and recognition

It pains me to say this but yes, I occasionally feel the need for appreciation and recognition for what I have done. I might not have done a lot, but ... yeah, the little that I have done, sometimes needs approval and appreciation.
As a mother, it pains me when my boys go to the maid for comfort. It feels as if I have not done the job of a mother, and so they prefer to go to the maid.
As a wife, it pains me when my husband cannot find it in his heart to confide in me the troubles that he faces. As his mate and life partner, I should be the one he shares things with.
As a teacher, it pains me when I have students who have taken what I do for granted - as if I HAVE TO do the things I do.
As a civil servant, it pains me when I see deserving colleagues not given the recognition due to them.
As a friend, it pains me when I see someone hurt by words of other people, spoken without much thought.
Today I felt sad, that this pain was seen in the faces of some people.

Monday, July 6, 2009

D*starz #1

Cheer 09 is now over. The official results from CHARM are out. We didn't win, but I am very proud of the team. For those who need to understand why we still send a team even though we did not have that big a chance of winning (Sorry if this sounds bad), it's because we are proud to part of the NATIONAL level competition. No other teams or individuals in SA has gone to a national level competition and can say that she/they are among the top 20 in the country. So, yeah, we might be #17 overall in the competition, but hey, we're #17 in MALAYSIA! No one can take that away from us. The girls have worked hard, endured lots of pain (physical and mental) to get to where they are. Some of these pains were inflicted in practice, some were inflicted by others - when nasty comments and unjust treatments by some people are made/given. To those who have been nasty to them, let me say this : GET YOURSELVES INTO A NATIONAL LEVEL COMPETITION AND WIN! Then you can be nasty to others.
So there, to the members of D*starz, you have done well, so don't be sad. And it is now time to rest, focus on your studies and then later, prepare for Cheer 2010! I want those Form 3 girls who were forbidden to take part this year due to PMR to get ready! Don't be surprised if I crack a whip to get you off your bums to go for practices. Kudos to all of you, D*starz #1!!!!!