Saturday, February 28, 2009

I miss them too

Those wonderful girls I have been working with (and working on) for several years ... I miss them too. Some of them have been coming to me lamenting that I am no longer their advisor. Esp now that it is sports season and they are worked to the limit. They have been getting the brunt of some people's anger and it is tough on them. For the last few years, they have been getting very positive impression from other people and everyone expects them to know what they're doing, and to do them well. Unfortunately, the change in leadership has not been something very good for them and they are facing difficult times in the work they do. Some have been complaining to me and some have expressed their sadness and disappontment at how things are going. All I can say is ... be patient, try to work things out as A TEAM. That is the only way to get the group going in unison.
And I feel sad. The group I have grown to love and respect seems to be falling apart. I don't want that to happen. I cannot bear to see it happen. Is there anything I can to do prevent it from falling apart? I hope so. And I hope someone else will also intervene so that I do not have to butt in.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Too much ....

There is simply too much to do. Too many things occupy my mind these days. Though I am out of the sports unit, I am still bogged down with too many things.
One of my main headaches now has to do with Cheer Club. On one hand it is wonderful that my girls are getting lots of gigs. On the other hand I seem to have so many dealings with outside people. First it is the Squash Association people. Then it's TV3. And I can see that this is not going to just end there. I still need to talk to the coach, Marcus. Mag is incapacitated now. We have to have rehearsal at BTS this weekend, and then the performance next weekend. And I will not be around for them on 7 March because I'll be in Kota Bharu. So ... yes, it is a headache. Then with TV3 I still have to fax a letter to them, then organise the club girls to prepare for the Kids' Parade at Sri Pentas. Sigh. Then I have to prepare a 2 page thing for documentation about Cheer's involvement with outside organizetions last year and early this year. Aargh!
Then there is the English Dept work. Firstly the dealing wit Lorna Whiston. Letters to peruse and phone calls to make. Then the Literature training with Dr Edwin. I've been having correspondence with him and will help to organize things. And of course, the Buddy Support System thing which is undergoing some changes and I have to redo the schedule and pairings. I honestly don't know if I can do all that, with the drama/musical production later in the year also lingering around in my head. I'm glad I'm not involved in the performance committee but being in charge of stage managing is scary. And all these on top of teaching. I have just barely finished doing the Form 2 test paper and the stupid computer has been acting up, probably due to virus attack, no thanks to the school computers and my thumb drives.
Yes I really feel bogged down. Plus the fact that I am not at my usual working capacity. I still cannot read or write too long. I still feel nauseous when I tilt my head or watch people running in front of me or when I look at someone too near. Even staring at the computer for too long does that to me, like NOW! So I'm off now. Ciao.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

KL Open Squash

WE GOT THE GIG!!!! D*starz will be performing during the semi-final and final days of the KL Open Squash at Berjaya Times Square. It will be a great opportunity for them to perform in front of MANY people esp VIPs and VVIPs. Royalty is expected to be among the spectators. ESPN is expected to cover the matches LIVE!!!! So .... yippeeeeeeeeeeeeee *jumping for joy*!
If the girls do well for this, there is a BIG chance they will be asked to cheer for Malaysian Open Squash!!! BUT one thing at a time. Must focus on the KL Open first and it's happening at BTS on 6-7 March. That's 2 weeks from now!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The value of education

There are days when I wonder ... am I where I should be? Am I doing what I should be doing and will I look back and regret about things I should have or shouldn't have done, or people I should have got to know better and all that. I have been a teacher for over 15 years, out of which over 12 years have been in SA. I look back and I think I have not done too bad a job. I might not have been the best teacher, or the best staff. But I think I have done what I am supposed to do (not as required by the boss / ministry) but what I am truly supposed to do.
Having experienced teaching in a rural setting and in such an urban school as SA, I can compare. In a rural school, my most important duty was to motivate my students to strive for a better future. This they had to do by working extra hard to achieve better exam results, and by learning to take responsibility over their future. It was a tough job motivating them because they often did not see beyond their little town, and their Form 5 years. To them, the value of education is only to pass their SPM. Perhaps that would give them a chance to work in a better place with better pay. Nothing more. Not many of them had high ambitions. Most just wanted to quickly finish their Form 5 and start earning money. Some of the parents were also of the same opinion, get the schooling years over and start earning money to support the family. Did I fault them for that? NO. I couldn't blame them for thinking like that. Situation was such for them that they just couldn't wait to earn money to support their families. In fact some were already working as they were in school. And so, when some of my former students there made it to college and university, or NOT, but still made it into the workforce, I was proud of them. I was proud of those who have gone into areas that not many have chosen and succeeded in their chosen fields. They might not have got a string of As for SPM, but they have truly succeeded. Not to undermine the worth of an excellent result in SPM, I am also proud of those who made it into uni and college and have since come out and work in various fields. I still keep in touch with many of them. They still call me "Miss Chan".
In comparison, SA is almost a total opposite of that first school I was in. Motivation to excel is NOT a problem. And yet, SA posed a different challenge to me. My girls are needy in different ways. Getting a string of As is not that big a deal anymore and most aim to score straight As. So my challenge is to maintain that kind of performance. Some might think this is an easy thing to do, but NO. It is not. Not when everyone else thinks that we are an elite school that gets to choose our students. Meaning we can pick only those with 5As in UPSR and get rid of those who are below par. Unfortunately, that is a wrong assumption. But maybe not unfortunately. I have had MANY students who did not do too well in their UPSR but have bloomed under the guidance and care of the SA staff. And I have a number of students who thought they were VERY smart and had fallen flat on their faces the moment they sat for their first exam in SA. And so, the value of education to my SA students, I think, is not so much the number of As that they are going to get. (They will still score well) It is in character building. I realise that one of the most important tasks I have in SA is in building the characters of my students. It is not as easy a job as some may think. In striving to build positive character traits in them, I too, have to show those traits. In trying to get them to not pick up undesirable traits, I have to make sure I do not display them. On top of that, I have to concentrate more on the people work, rather than the paper work. (Not too much of a paper work person anyway)
It makes me sad to think that some people on focus on the string of As. Unfortunately, our ed system is such that those said As are given a lot of attention. And because of that, the school itself, and parents too, look upon the success of the kids (and the school) measured by the As they get. If only they .... we .... can all learn to reemphasize the importance of strength in character instead of paper chase.
Where O thou, is the value of education in this day and age? Will we ever go back to basics and look at its value further than what is stated in the exam certificate?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Certified BPPV sufferer

Yes, Dr Anura from the UMMC has pretty much certified that I have BPPV. Refer to a previous post on what it is. Basically what it does to me is that I get the SPINS when I lie down certain positions. What happened at the UMMC was that the doc gave me a few tests. She made me close my eyes, with hands in front, walk / march on the spot. Instead I walked a few steps without realizing it. Then I was given a goggle-like device and the nurse placed it on my eyes as the doc lowered me to a horizontal position, on my right. The spinning was horrible. I felt nauseous and wanted to throw up but it got a bit better after a while. I was turned to my left after that and the spinning and nausea came back. Ugh it was BAD! After some time with the doc, I was allowed to go out to the waiting area. While waiting, I threw up. Good thing I had my air sickness bag with me!!!! I couldn't walk, so my friend collected my medication for me. Thank God for such a good friend. I am indeed grateful that she was with me through out my time at the UMMC yesterday.
In the meantime, I can only take my medicine and hope for the best. Maybe next week or so I will have to start my physical therapy called the The Epley Maneuver and its variations or perhaps the Brandt-Daroff exercises. Whichever and whatever the name, this is NOT going to be fun! Looks like this is going to be a case of the treatment being worse than the problem. I am praying for strength to undergo the exercises and to keep my head straight.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The last few days ...

I have been BLUR person in school the last few days. Things are generally not too bad but neither is very good. Here's a roundup :
  • I move like a robot, because I cannot turn my head without my turning my body. Or else I go dizzy.
  • I move a lot slower, for fear of getting dizzy.
  • I tilted my head during warming down session with 4SC and almost made myself dizzy.
  • I can't read my students' work much or my eyes for blur.
  • I can't write much (like doing the record book) or my eyes go blur.
  • I can't look at the computer screen too long or .... yeah, my eyes go blur.
  • I feel guilty because I CAN'T DO THE THINGS I USUALLY DO!

BUT I am thankful indeed, for caring friends and colleagues, and understanding students. I am thankful especially for a wonderful husband who has taken over a lot of my usual tasks. I know it is taxing for him, but he hasn't been complaining. At times like this, I know ... I have chosen well! He is indeed the man for me. Okay, getting too mushy .... ;)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It has a name

What I am having ... it has a name. It is called BPPV or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. For further info, just click on the link. It is no fun and it is terrible because you become a helpless person when you get the dizziness. I have had it for about12 days now. It was bad on the first 2 days, then again yesterday and early this morning. Just so that everyone knows I am not on extended CNY holidays ....! I can't go out. I sometimes had to hold on to the wall to get somewhere. Yesterday I was in UMMC (UH) in the emergency until almost 5pm. I was put on a drip for almost 3 hours. Certainly NO fun. And let me repeat ....I AM NOT PREGGIE! Grrrr! So, well, I hope to be in school tomorrow and teach as well as I can. I can't even write the record book lesson plan because I cannot read and write much. Can't look down much. Can't even read the newspaper much. Only headlines. Sigh! Pray for me yeah .... all you who do want me back in school.