Thursday, April 30, 2009

Transformation of Sri Aman hall into a concert hall

It took many hours ... more than 12 hours. And the Sri Aman hall became a Hannah Montana concert hall of sorts. It was mind boggling how the crew transformed a hall like ours and turned it into something almost unrecognizable. The students were amazed. The teachers were even more amazed.
So how did it all start? Early March a letter was faxed to school about "Jadi Hannah Montana Rock Bersama Shila". Fast forward and the letter landed on my lap, meaning ... I had to take care of it. NOBODY wanted to take part initially. Everyone complained about it being Hannah Montana and how boring and childish it was going to be. Everyone complained about having to perform solo ... dance or song. I was thinking .... ok so if no one takes part, then I will have nothing to do. Easier for me. BUT ....
Sri Aman is such a famous school, so highly looked upon, that the organisers, the events people, called me up and pretty much begged me to make sure there is at least one entry, or two. So I had to go and find people to sing/dance. Eventually I found a few. But due to some techinical hiccups, their submissions online did not work. And I thought, never mind, let it be. Then I got the calls again. They were willing to shoot the videos in school. All I had to do was get the girls out of class and perform ... which I did.
Fast forward a few days later. I was told that Alyssa had won. They were going to come to the school to do the Shila school tour and prize-giving ceremony. What happened next was making sure the hall was available. We pushed all the hall events back or changed the venues just so that the hall was available.
On Tuesday, the workmen came. They were in school by 2pm and they started work immediately. They brought all sorts of equipment and paraphernalia. I kept an eye on them until about 5pm. I went home, then decided to check on them again at 8pm. So off I went to school with little Joel. I had to make sure they were not going to touch some things in the hall. I was amazed to see the hall almost fully transformed.
The next morning, at 7:15, I took the key to the hall and opened it. Everyone who peeked in gasped at the sight of the hall. Where was the old hall? It was all PURPLE! There were glittery props everywhere. Miley Cyrus and Shila were everywhere. The lights were the rotating type and gave the hall an atmosphere of a party about to start. The whole morning I was running from class to the hall and to various places to ensure that the event was not going to disrupt too many things. I also had to go and pre-select some students for some of the mini-contests.
At 2pm, most of the students rushed to the hall. The goody bag turned out to be a folder/envelope. But those who managed to play the game outside earlier had a good time winning Disney premium gifts like thumbdrives, webcams and note books. At about 2:30, everything started.
The emcee was Farish Aziz, a rather cute personality of a young man. He had a very good rapport with the audience of about 800-900 girls. Some girls were asked to on stage for some mini-contests and won ... more webcams and thumbdrives, and Hannah Montana bags. Alyssa won herself an IPod and a Nintendo thing. Don't ask me what kind. No idea. The school was given a Yamaha keyboard. Even Pn Ngau went on stage to sing. Of course, the star of the show was Shila, an upcoming singer. She was pretty good. We managed to get the Ed Board people to interview her and took pics of her. Thanks, Hass and Su Wei.
Alyssa gave a full performance of her dance near the end of the event. She did well, and she looked cool and composed. Not at all nervous. Her mum later said that she did better in her practices at home.
After the concert was over, the girls who stayed back took pictures of themselves with the Hannah Montana decor. Someone said the hall is never going to look that pretty ever again. True! I stayed back in the hal until after 5pm. I had to make sure the crew understood that they had to clean up everything. While back stage, I managed to have a chat with Farish. He is NICEEEEEE! He's a Sabahan and he misses his home state a lot. And YES, I have his handphone number. Anyone interested? Well, I thought having his number will be good in case we ever organise an event and need to find a "celebrity emcee". Just in case ....
Yes, I know, I have not included how I bolted out of the hall in the middle of everything. Haha. I was told beforehand by the crew that they wanted to put me on stage. I said NO. They insisted, and I said NO. So when Farish mentioned getting a teacher on stage, I hid behind someone, and the moved near a door and bolted! I was tired and not in the mood to make a fool of myself. What was hilarious was how Alias followed behind me!!! That was how Pn Ngau ended up on stage!!!
So it was an unforgettable event for the students, at least for the rest of the week. It certainly is a memorable one for me, having helped to organize things and making sure everything was in order. Just too bad Pn A was not around to see it. Am waiting for Su Wei's photos!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Not drowning but soon-to-be drowned

With all the fuss of the upcoming musical-drama, magazine work, and many other things to do, a lot of us are feeling the sensation of drowning. Some of us are pretty sure we are drowned already. It is tough juggling all the responsibilities. We feel stressed and pressured to do a good job .... no, A GREAT JOB in everything that we do. We want to do a great job. Who doesn't want the satisfaction of doing something exceptionally well and then get recognized for it? We all do, to a certain extent. But when we are loaded with too many tasks, too many deadlines and too many things that are unnecessary, we tend to let go of some other things. Something has got to give when we begin to feel that we need a few clones to help with all the tasks we have been given.
Yes, this is venting, but I am not the only one. Most of us in the panel feel the heat. We are tasked with doing everything that has to be done. It is tough, very tough. All these responsibilities eat into our private time with our families. We neglect our families, we neglect other necessary aspects of our lives. We forget to enjoy our work, our students. All we have time to care about is DO THIS, FINISH THAT, DON'T FORGET YOU HAVE TO DO THIS...... the list goes on. It is frustrating.
And at times, I no longer enjoy what I'm doing. I feel a certain need to escape to a place far, far away and just not bother. I honestly feel that a lot of us are experiencing health complications mainly because of our piled on work. I hope and pray that we will be strong enough to carry on and do our best. But honestly, the title of an article comes to mind sometimes. DON'T PUNISH YOUR BEST WORKERS. It was in one of the local dailies last year, I think. And somehow, this seems to ring true in a lot of places. How I wish that it weren't so.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


For those of you wondering why I am not in school tomorrow, I will be away in Putrajaya, attending an interview. I have applied for a scholarship and this interview is for that. If I do get the scholarship, I will apply to one of the local universities to study for a Masters degree. I don't know if I will get it, or when I will know if I get it. In the meantime, do say a little prayer for me. I have been kept so busy since school opened this year that I have not had much time to think about preparing for this interview or applying for uni. No matter what, I will be positive, and I will remember that, ultimately, God is in control. If I am meant to get it, then I will. If not, then I will continue to do what I have been doing .... teach, educate, nurture, encourage, and yes, SCOLD!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kuda Kepang

I know some people might want to kill me if I blog about this but .... it's too funny to not blog. Thinking back, it wasn't really funny, but somehow .... well, you be the judge of that.
This morning, some TV3 crew people came by to SA and set up numerous cameras around the gallery. Has the alarm bell started ringing yet? Well, they were filming the D*starz sqyad practice. The girls were obviously feeling strange as there were 4 or 5 cameras rolling while they were practising their stunts and what-nots.
Then entered their teacher advisor, ME, and I told them that there were visitors who were coming and they were covering the cheer practice as part of the programme. The girls went ... HUH? But they went on with their practice. Professionals these girls! Soon came 2 Indonesian men who are from an Indonesian TV channel. They wanted to see the girls practising and doing the things they do best.
Sooooooooooo they demonstrated some of their stunts and at the same time, looking confused about what these men wanted. Then, the men said that they would be taking the cheer girls on a tour to Indonesia (expenses fully paid) if they did a good job. They wanted to see how well the girls adapted to THEIR brand of dancing and cheering.
This is where the Kuda Kepang came in. They brought 8 horses. The Kuda Kepang horses! And then one of the men demonstrated how he wanted the girls to do steps with the horses. Supposedly he wanted cheer with a Msian feel. So .... being such professionals, the girls did as told. Pretty funny actually. But really, they did such a good job at the steps, and also not showing their irritation. They were actually getting irritated by the minute and it did not show! I am so proud of them.
Obviously by the time they continued with the steps, it was obvious things were getting ridiculous. The steps were ridiculous. The instructor was ridiculous. The men even tried to make the girls feel bad and said they should have gone to another school's cheer girls.
Then I confronted the men about making my girls look silly. That's when the girls' dam broke and my dear pitbull really let off steam. I don't know how to describe the scene then but it really got emotional. The men made them choose, to listen to me (because I was basically saying no need to follow their instructions) or to try out for the Indonesia tour thing.
Here's when I felt truly touched. They pointed to me ... ME! They didn't want to look silly, they just wanted to get on with their practice and to concentrate on Cheer 09. I was VERY proud of them. The pitbull said they would buy Air Asia tickets and go to Indonesia by themselves!!!!
So in the end, the men revealed that IT WAS A PRANK!!!!! They were not Indonesians. And they were playing a prank for the show BANG BANG BOOM of TV3. The girls screamed when they knew. And then entered the show's mascot, a gorilla!!! A man in a gorilla suit. Then when I took out my microphone, they screamed even more!!! I was in on the prank. Then came the best part, Pn Alainal was also in on it and she had told the whole staff during the staff meeting!
So .... well, I know it is not funny the way I am telling it but ... the girls really got pranked! I was so afraid the girls would kill me. Especially the pitbull!!!! But I am so proud of them. Even Marcus, who was also in on it, said the girls were so professional up till the time I voiced my displeasure to the men.
Well, people, watch out for us on the show BANG BANG BOOM on TV3 some time in June or July. It was probably a very stressful half hour or so for the girls, but they did a good job, and I have found a new respect for them. Yeah, I love them to bits!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

100th post in this new blog

This is the first time in almost as many years that I have been in SA, that I have had almost nothing to do with the Sports unit, or sports duty for sports day. For years, since 1998, I have been teaching PJK, and I have never been really let go of the sports duties. I was always ketua this or ketua that. Then, when there was no one else to handle the afternoon session sports unit, I became the Asst Sports Sec. Since then, it has been crazy. Of course, from 2005 until last year, it was pure madness. For those 4 years, I played a very major role in the running of sports activities in SA. Not that I have not enjoyed it, but life was so hectic during the first half of the year. 2005, especially was a tough year. That was the year I pretty much took over because someone went off somewhere, and I was heavily pregnant with my #3. It was a real challenge to me because I was never a sports major, nor was I ever a state or national player in any game. I never had that kind of abilities. But I loved sports. I loved being in the managing and organizing of sports events. And that was what helped me through all those years of sports unit duties.
Now, starting this year, I am no longer in the sports unit. I asked to be taken off the unit because we have more than enough people who are PJK majors or Sports Science majors. And it felt strange. I was not in charge of any sports events. I was not heading any of the sports duties. And I didn't have to attend any briefings. It felt VERY strange. I am getting used to it, but frankly, I missed it. After 11 years of sports unit, how can I not feel strange? How can I not feel a little left out? But it is for the best, I know. I started 2009 knowing that I would be venturing into new things and I have kept myself VERY busy with all the things I have had to do. Old habits die hard, though.

Monday, April 13, 2009

You people will be sorely missed

This post is dedicated to those of you I used to teach, and have since left Sri Aman for greener pastures. Meaning you have gone to boarding school. Well, I am of the opinion that Sri Aman girls should never have to go to boarding school. Sorry, but it is my personal opinion that you will all do better in Sri Aman. We have what it takes for you to excel and achieve the unbelievable. So it is unnecessary for you to leave, for indeed I do not believe that you're going to greener pastures. But that is your choice, or maybe your parents' choice. So you have to go, and I will miss you. There will be days when I wonder where you are, how you are doing and hope that you are back here with us. I look forward to seeing you again. Be good, hear? Continue to fly the Sri Aman flag in your hearts and give us good reason to be proud of you.

The talk today

This morning we had a talk, well, more like a few of us talked and the others listened. Perhaps it was just as well, that the little pitbull was not around or it would have turned into a very bad session of screaming and all. Sorry I am calling YOU a pitbull, but somehow, you remind me of one, especially the one I used to call my pet. (I miss her) Pitbulls are lovely dogs, fierce and loyal to those they are protective of.
So we had that session of honest and open talk. The prez had her say and spoke about why everyone has to be commited and dedicated to the club. The co-capt spoke a little, I think. I guess I spoke the most. Frankly I cannot remember everything I said. But I know I said everything that needed to be said. Practically everything that I blogged about last week. I surprised myself, really. I was a lot calmer than I had anticipated. Didn't even raise my voice towards them. But I think the content of my message was understood and absorbed.
After that session, I had a shorter session with the seniors. We talked about how true it was that we don't have to go hunting for gigs and beg for money anymore. Instead, we're head hunted. People are looking for us. And that is thanks to the current seniors who have done such a good job in competitions as well as in performances they have been involved in. The juniors have to learn to be thankful, to be ready to continue the tradition of excellence. I hope, and I pray that it will happen. Soon.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Long week

This is truly going to be a long week. No weekend proper, for me. Today, I went home a little earlier in order to take mum for her follow-up check on her eye. As usual, we had to wait. Then tomorrow, I'll be up real early to pick up some people and then go to Sri Pentas for the rehearsal. Yes, it's a school day and I will be missing school again. Only worse, I will be up and out so early and I have no idea when rehearsal will really end. On Sunday, the Kids Parade thing will be on, and it's also Easter Sunday. So I am in a dilemma. Do I give TV3 a miss? But I feel like I'm abandoning the girls if I don't go. And I'll be abandoning my family if I do. So what do I do? I'm thinking I might wake up real early to get to Sri Pentas, then leave by 8am or so to go for Easter service with family. Gosh, it will be such a rush but I might just have to do that. Help!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Fame has its consequences. It has its paybacks and drawbacks. Not that D*starz is exactly famous and all that. But the last 2 years have been kinda hectic for them, us. Starting from the Olympic Torch Run by Lenovo, we have been busy with several gigs and it has been exciting and rewarding. On the other hand it has been difficult because the girls have been kept so busy and they want to prepare for Cheer competition.
It is strange. People have been looking us up, actually googling our school to get our phone number to find us. Some didn't even call, they just fax a letter straight to the office to get us to be involved in some performances. And while on site for those gigs, some people have actually approached us to get our contact details to contact us in future. D*starz might not have won YET in Cheer, but our "fame" goes before us. It is funny, and yet, strange. Maybe we are known as a group that actually takes the gigs seriously and do a good job. So far, the people who have engaged us have been pleased with us. Things look promising that we'll be called again to perform. Just not now, not before Cheer 09. Or perhaps this is a good reason and chance to train up the juniors, so that they can be propped for performances. They might not stunt much but they can be trained to dance and do other things.
I don't know .... everything lies in the hands of the seniors who are not in the Cheer 09 squad, and the juniors. If only they realize that they can do great things with the right commitment and discipline.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lack of that important sense of belonging

Seems like this is turning out to be a disease. People taking for granted that things will fall from the sky for them and they don't need to do much to get to where they want to go. Frish blogged about it the other day. I think I blogged about it some time last year. And I still see it happening and it saddens me.
I have said it before and I will say it again. If you don't want something BADLY enough, you will never work hard for it. You will never have that sense of belonging and will therefore, not work hard to attain some of those goals that the group hopes to achieve.
Example, QM. It took years to bring up the name of QM. Look at how things have turned out in the last year or so. It was my constant complaint that the members did not BELONG and therefore had no PASSION to do the things that they should do. I have never ceased to thank the TWINS for their commitment during those years they were in Sri Aman's QM. Not only them but the few girls who were there with them. They know who they are. They gave me a reason to fight for them, to do things for them. Now all I can say is that QM is on the verge of collapse and if nobody does something radical and bring them together, all will be lost. And that saddens me because QM was once my baby. They were supposed to grow up, not walk and toddle unsteadily without this MOMMA!
Example number 2, is D*starz, or Cheer Club as a whole. Last year, when I stepped in as an advisor, I was full of fire to help build the club into something more organised and having some long term goals. Didn't quite happen. Partially it was because of the lack of commitment of the members. I complained about how some of the squad members of B*starz did not attend practices. I complained about the lack of discipline. I pushed and then I shoved. I threatened and I advised. In all the things that happened, I somehow managed to settle most of the immediate problems, if only to make sure the squad made it to Cheer 08. The fact that I spent a lot of my own money first in many situations was never truly appreciated by the girls. The fact that I had to personally call them and remind them EVERY DAY about practices and paying up coaching fees and supporters' shirts money, was, to put it mildly, FRUSTRATING. I was upset with most of them for just not behaving as a team. A TEAM!!!! That was last year.
This year, the disease is spreading. D*starz is seeing what I saw. Why? Because the juniors, young ones, are now becoming part of D*starz due to the fact that many have left D*starz because of SPM! So what do we do? I decided NO MORE B*STARZ. Concentrate on D*starz as a squad, and then train up new ones to EVENTUALLY become B*starz or straight to D*starz ... perhaps by end of this year. Honestly, I tell you, D*starz will have BIG PROBLEM next year if this is not realised. Look at how many attend practices. Among the juniors, especially. I was watching them today and I cannot help but to wonder how they are going to make the team proper. If they cannot be dedicated enough to attend at least 90% of the practices, we will have a problem.
So back to my point - perhaps they don't feel like part of the team yet. Or is it because they do not see yet how important it is to be part of the team. Is it just for glamour that they want to don the D*starz uniform? I assure each and every one of the juniors - YOU MUST DESERVE TO WEAR THE UNIFORM! I might be very hard on some people, but there is no choice. Even if I become VERY unpopular, so be it. It's not popularity I'm gunning for. It's to make the group a stronger group. To make the group an entity that can hold its head up high as say "I HAVE DONE THE BEST POSSIBLE".
And so, I salute the original B*starz. You know who you are. You made B*starz happen when no one else was there to help you and you wanted it badly enough to go through all you went through. I have yet to see people with the same passion and calibre in the young ones. Until that happens, there can be no B*starz. But we can still work towards that. We can hope and we can work it out. Won't we?

Monday, April 6, 2009


Today was a pretty crazy busy day. It was work work work all the way, with not only lessons but other things occupying my time and energy.
The Lorna Whiston programme started today for the Forms 5 and 6 students. Only 6 people turned up. Sad. Got a fax today from the kementerian about identifying gifted students! After the hassle of attending their course and doing assessments for all the Forms 1, 2, 3 students last year, and sending all the results, they asked us to NOMINATE 4 students to undergo a test. So very STUPID of some people.
In addition to that fax, I also received the fax for the D*starz gig for this Thursday. Gosh I feel bad. It's like we're working the girls to death with all sorts of assignments. They'll be busy with the practising, and planning for various movements and things. I promise, this gig will be the last paid gig we're accepting. In addition to this Thursday, they'll also be performing for TV3's programme this weekend. On top of that they're also performing for Sports Day. No wonder they are burning out. And poor Haylie only went home at almost 9pm today. She had to squat at my house waiting for her ride home.
On top of that, there is the Smartkids award thing which I am anxious about. I hope at least one of our girls will win an award. Am supposed to bring them to PWTC this Friday for a tour of their exhibition but just remembered that I have to bring mum to SJMC for a follow-up at the same time. How? I guess I will need to ask for a favour from a colleague to bring them to PWTC since I can't be asking someone else to bring mum to SJMC.
And now people are bugging me to start contacting sponsors for the magazine. Gosh, I haven't given magazine a single thought for a while now. I am really swamped with too many things which seem to demand my attention NOW! Sigh .... double sigh and triple sigh.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I tend to have very unrealistic expectations on people, especially people I love and care for. It is tough because most of the time, the expectations are not met and I get frustrated and upset. Sometimes it seems like I get all worked up for no reason, but the truth is that I am upset because my expectations are not met, and I get especially mad if the people CAN meet those expectations but choose not to. I know I am not making much sense, to some people. But that's how it is with me at times.
So what do I expect? Lots, I guess. I expect my other half to be more understanding and thoughtful in his actions. I expect my sons to have good manners and show some gratitude for being always on the receiving end. I expect my mum ... to be grateful for her daughter's willingness to give and give. I expect my domestic help ... to USE HER BRAIN! I expect my colleagues ... well, I don't need to say what I expect from them because they have always more than met my expectations. My students ... I expect them to feel a sense of responsibility over their learning and stop depending on external factors to give them the drive to learn or do anything for that matter. But more importantly, what do I expect from myself? Probably that is the key to my own happiness. Sometimes I expect myself to just be more than I can be. I have to acknowledge that I have lots of weaknesses that I need to work on. And I have a lot of things I need to sort out for myself.
So ... well, it has been a less than fantastic day. Mostly because of those expectations not being met. It was just basically a day of things going wrong. My son broke a plate in Secret Recipe, and refused to apologise. I slammed the car boot door into my nose and I have a mark to show for it. Just two things among the things that didn't go well. You get the picture. Hoping for a brighter tomorrow.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


My friend, the princess, is celebrating her birthday today. It has been almost 11 years since we got to know each other and she has always been a great friend. In a sense she is a total contrast from me. She finds fulfilment in her role as wife and mother. And yet she is also a wonderful teacher. I am the other way round. And for this very special lady, I'd like to wish her a wonderful, a joyous and memorable birthday. Love ya lots, friend!!!

Not cut out to be a home-maker

I am NOT cut out to be a home-maker. Otherwise known as housewife. I spent the last few days doing housewifey things, like cooking every meal (not just those kiddy meals), taking kids to school and back, taking my mum to SJMC and back and there again, and back. I had a bit of time to myself, but I missed my colleagues and students. I missed doing the work I do. I missed discussing things in class. I missed doing things for cheer. I missed ....being a teacher. I know, it is silly. I mean, I enjoyed my kids, and I enjoyed planning what to cook. But somehow, that was not enough. Sigh! I wonder why. Am I such a sucker for work, stress and tension? Am I burning myself out?
On a more positive note, I had a nice time this morning having the English Literature sessions with Dr Edwin. I missed attending his classes when I was an undergraduate. He was a very different kind of lecturer and I have always enjoyed his classes and how he helped me to see things from a different angle. I enjoyed all the assignments he threw our way, and I especially appeciated his passion for literature. He made me like literature.
As for another news, I have been called for an interview for the scholarship I applied back in January. I am nervous, even scared, nay, PETRIFIED. Now I have to plan what to focus on IF/WHEN I get a place in the university for a Masters programme. The last few months I have just swept all thoughts of this to the back of my head somewhere, not daring to actually think about it. Now, I have to.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

3 days of being away

These three days will be bliss ... amidst all the work I have to do at home. I have taken 3 days leave to settle my mother's things. She has to remove her cataract and I have to be the driver and nurse. And since she is not supposed to do anything after the surgery, I will be the cook as well. So, it will be a busy time for me, cooking, picking up kids, etc. But it will be bliss compared to all the school work.