Tuesday, November 30, 2010


SPM is here. Has been here over a week. I have been playing "baby-sitter" to 17 year olds while they attempt the questions. It has been tiring being an invigilator. Try doing almost nothing for hours, except walk about, check students' ICs and giving out question and answer booklets. I felt drained by the 2nd day. By the 3rd day, I needed foot reflexology to rid me of the pain in my calves. I am feeling like a useless woman who only knew how to be mean and insist on collecting students' answer scripts regardless of whether they have completed their answers.
Oh well, like it or not, another 2 and a half weeks to go.

Monday, November 15, 2010

God's timing

Many things have happened to me not according to MY timing. More often than not, these not-my-timing incidents have been a major inconvenience to me. But on hindsight, many of them have happened the way God would have wanted them to happen, and somehow, they happened to my benefit ultimately.
I am trusting that all that has been happening to me, the things that have occurred ... are all according to His timing, and ultimately will not disappoint.
My maid has not arrived. She was supposed to have arrived a week ago. But things just have to happen to delay her arrival. Call it divine intervention if you will. Because of Gunung Merapi's eruption, flights in and out of Solo were cancelled. So she has not been able to come. If her original flight had been even 3 days earlier ... she would have arrived. There would not have been flight cancelled on her. BUT as things went, her arrival has been delayed, again. She was supposed to have arrived in September, then early October, then end of October ... you get the picture. Makes me wonder, is she supposed to come? Is she meant to come?
The tiring year has not ended for me. Thought I would have 6 weeks or so to enjoy my freedom, and my kids. Not going to happen. I am going to invigilate. Of all years I am given this duty, it has to be this year, when I most need the holiday. I am tired. I was so hoping to get time to rest, to not worry about work, to spend time with my family, to go somewhere. Why, o why?
I can only trust that everything will work out well, according to His purpose. He has never failed me and I take heart that I can continue to trust, and obey.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Family is an institution, so goes the saying. But family is more than that. It is a relationship between human beings and putting importance to each other's welfare. On my side of the family, well, there isn't much to write about them, mainly because there are complicated matters. That, however, does not mean that my family, my relatives, are not important to me. They are.
Today I had one of the best days ever with my family. It is hard to write much about each of them. Suffice to say that, though we do not meet often, we more than made up for it with the laughter and meaningful chats we had this afternoon, all 6 hours of it. I am most grateful to have had the opportunity to meet up and to renew acquaintance with my cousins and their spouses, as well as their children. It was wonderful when we had so much fun talking and enjoying each other's company. We laughed the loudest when we had games - just playing Taboo and Pictionary. It was so wonderful that we got to bond as a family.
Although it was supposed to be a Diwali gathering, or a family gathering, it was indeed a good time that we had with one another. I appreciate the time and effort put into organising it. Thanks to my cousins, I got to talk to a very special someone for the very first time today. I have known of his existence for 27 years and seen him off and on occasionally. We have never spoken although we have been in the same place here and there. Blame it on sins of the previous generation. But I had longed to make peace ... not that there was war between us. I had longed to speak with him and get to know him, and let him get to know me. I had longed to have that sense of "family" with him. But it had never happened all these years. But it happened today. Although we did not have a long conversation, I spoke to him, and we had a short chat. I introduced him to my husband, my children. I could only feel that sense of "how I wish things were different" ... but this is good enough. A wonderful start. I hope he will continue to keep in touch. I hope he will not just keep to himself and not communicate. I am, afterall, his family, and he is my family.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The last six months

Being maidless for the last six months has played havoc in my life. A lot of things I used to take for granted became mysteries to me. All those personal times or ME times no longer existed. Most of my waking hours were either spent in school or attending to the children at home. By the time everyone went to sleep, I was too tired to achieve much. Forget marking books, forget looking after my own well-being, forget being a patient wife and mother. The house? It has not had a good mopping. We clean it as well as we can but .... nothing like having someone actually cleaning the house on a regular basis. As for the laundry ... everything went into the machine, well, almost everything. Clothes tore and the quality of cleaning is low. My temper has flared numerous times just because I wasn't able to juggle everyone's needs and having my own needs unfulfilled. It has been tough.
On the bright side, I see my children a lot more. I spend a bit more time with them. We talk, we play, we laugh. This has been good, especially for Joel, who seems to have started speaking a lot more. I take my children out a lot more. We go grocery shopping together. We go for meals outside together.
Well, my new maid, actually former maid, is supposed to come in the next few days. I am grateful that I will have an extra pair of hands and feet. I so desperately need some ME time, an opportunity to rest and relax and not have to bother about housework or even the children's needs. For a few days, I just want to be able to get back some sanity. I need to catch up with some work, and some other things that do matter. And yet I thank God for helping me through the last 6 months or so.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Big but not big enough

I know someone who is big. Physically big. Unfortunately that is where the "bigness" ends. Someone who does not understand how to separate the private life and the professional life. Someone who thinks so highly of the self that other people and their lives don't enter the equation at all. This person only knows how to say and do things to benefit the self but not considering how others might feel about those things. Most importantly, it shows how shallow this person is, how immature and how it is not pleasurable to have a friendship with this person. And I find this sad because I do not like to lose a friend, especially someone whom I didn't have a chance to even really call a friend yet.
Hey! I am sorry you do not think I could be a friend. Your loss.

Monday, November 1, 2010

World Hunger Relief 2010 at Putrajaya

It has been 2 days, and I am only blogging about this because it has been a busy weekend. What happened over the whole few days leading to the weekend pretty much gave me grey hair or else caused me to lose more hair. It has not been a very good period as it was a frustrating time.
So the event above was held on 30th October, a Saturday. D*starz was invited to perform and some other students were asked to help in the traditional games booths. The whole event ... well, lots of things went wrong before they went right.
The girls were supposed to perform around 3:30 -4:00. Any time then. But it rained at about 2:40. It poured and there were strong winds. That was a cause for concern. But eventually it tapered down into a drizzle after about half an hour. But it continued to drizzle for a while. The ground was wet and unsuitable for the performance.
Eventually it stopped raining and the girls performed on the slightly wet ground. It was a little worrying but everything went quite well. Notwithstanding the fact that one of the regulars could not turn up on time and thankfully, we had Mag to stand in and help. I am thankful for her, esp since she was not well.
The girls manning the games booths were a little shy and apprehensive initially. But after a while they warmed up to the games and the sporting public also caused them to enjoy the games a lot more.
The programme overall is a good one. But the lack of publicity is obvious because not many people outside Putrajaya knew about it. I am glad to be part of the event though not in the way I would have liked to be. Still it was a good event to bring the girls to.

The above was the safe, official opinion and write-up. What is unofficial and no holds barred is what follows. It is not the event itself but the whole preparation towards the event for me, and for the girls.

Though we were informed and invited way before the event, there was not a lot we could do as it was the exam season. It was tough getting the girls to agree, and getting their parents to agree to let them practise during the week before exams. ELeventh hour pulling out was expected. And it happened. Problems were anticipated, and that, too, happened.

On the side of the organisers, I honestly think they could have done a better job. Everything was so ad hoc, and disorganised. There was no Plan B if some things went wrong, like rain. The layout of the different booths could have been improved. That they wanted the girls to wear tights / leggings could have been decided earlier and told to us earlier. The time change could have been decided earlier too. So many things happened to actually make it less than a well-managed event.

Our girls - now that is a story on its own. One girl pulled out a week before. A replacement was found but not confirmed until 3 days before the event. Another girl pushed her luck too far and I told her to just shove it and stay home instead of attending the event. She was displaying such selfish and self-centred traits that I felt like hurling all sorts of things at her. Then the girls who were supposed to go for the event for the games booths ... most of them pulled out the last minute. I was so angry with them that I just wanted nothing to do with them ever again. It was irresponsible and totally ungrateful of them when they though that they did not want to go. Too much work. Too much time spent on it. They would rather go for parties or go out with friends. Selfish.

Though everything went on quite well in the end, it was, to me, a disappointing period. I was disappointed and disillusioned by the girls. I was hurt that some people could only think of themselves and have little regard for others. The hopes and promises I thought I saw, all broke into smithereens.

So I am now thinking, how do I motivate the girls to have the passion for what they do? I know most of them are only 14-15 years old. But I can see that they do not have the same kind of passion and desire to excel as much as those who have had to work very hard in the past, to be recognised. Maybe we should make life difficult for them so that they have to strive, work for their everything. But can they survive that? I don't know.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Where is the rainbow?

I am looking for the rainbow and the pot of gold at the end of it. Not in the material sense but the hope and the reward of hard work. I have been sighing too much.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Been a tough few days

Spending the few days in Shah Alam, holed up in the hotel during the competition was not my idea of work. But looking back, I have learned a few things.
  • You don't win just because you have put in a lot of effort. Effort does NOT equate success. It helps, but it is not guarantee success. So we did not win the competition. We came away empty handed. Was I disappointed? A little, especially after all the hard work and EFFORT! Other people worked hard too.
  • My kids are an extremely pampered lot. I had the most problem, not with anything else but with THEM. Firstly, they sleep like they're dead. All the alarm clocks in the world, and door bells could not wake them up. And to top it off, they can be extremely irresponsible and think only of themselves. This was a major disppointment to me and I think all of them need a smack on their bottoms for behaving the way they did, with me.
  • I missed going to the gym. I spent about half an hour in the hotel gym and it was refreshing for me. I was tired for a while but it was so good to sweat it out and to get back to exercising. I need to find a way to get back to exercising in the gym.

Coming back to school after the few days of being away, I am finding my pace. I am trying to get back to normal work. I am still struggling with my marking. I have left it for a few days and I just don't feel like getting back to that. But I will.

Honestly, I am seriously tired of managing the team. I don't think they (esp the younger ones) appreciate my role in the team. I don't think they understand how much I (and the seniors) have worked to get us to where we are, at least in the eyes of the school. They are getting too self-centred and only think about themselves. They don't see the bigger picture, the future plans. I am worried for them. But I am tired. I feel like hanging up my role and just let them be. Perhaps what I should do is not to take in anymore gigs after this. I have given up so many of my weekends and holidays for them. Not getting anything in return, not even a word of thanks, sometimes. It is frustrating.

Perhaps it is time to make them slog for what they want. That should build character in them. Nothing comes easy and they should work hard for the team if they want to progress. They should just learn that I cannot pamper them all the time. Nor will I nag them. They make a mistake, let them fall and pick themselves up again. Only problem is .... do I have the heart to let them be? Can I just be mean and close my eyes to them? Can I?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Being responsible

... means taking ownership of the things you do.
... involves spending time and effort on whatever you are supposed to do.
... does not mean you can claim that you have worked hard at something and therefore deserve to be rewarded for it, especially if you haven't worked very hard at it.
... means finding out where your weaknesses are if you have not been deemed worthy of a prize.
... has lots to do with attitude which eventually translates into action.
So to those of you who think you DESERVE something for the little you have done, think again.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Do I give up?

The busy-ness over the D*starz has got me thinking. I have been with them for 3 years. I don't know if I have done a lot of good but I have done my level best for them. I am seriously thinking of moving on. My life has been tied down to them these last 3 years and it is very tiring for me. I have had lots of fun with them, and I have learned a lot in the process of managing them. But ... perhaps it is time to make changes in my work profile. Everything else in has taken a back seat and it is time to focus on my other work. I don't know. Do they still need me? Have they ever needed me in the first place? Perhaps it is time for young blood to take over and bring them to greater heights. I am getting tired. But then, will I be like the other time when I let go off another group? I saw them descending into the depths once more, and I cannot bear for that to happen. So how?

Friday, October 22, 2010

I need to breathe

It feels like I have hardly any opportunity to breathe. There is a lot to do, and I just don't seem to be coping. I am being neglectful of a lot of things that matter. Like my family. My health. My sanity. I can literally feel my chest getting tighter. I can feel the stress in my whole being and I can safely say, I am NOT coping well.
Give me a 5 day weekend, please. I need to get away and learn to live again.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Extreme anxiety

I am extremely anxious. Too much to worry about. First one is the competition from Sunday to Tuesday. The competition that caused me to create a 36-page single spacing in BM business report. The one that took away a few years off my life. The second is the gig on 30th Oct. I am incapable of doing anything well now. Too worried and am about to explode with anxiety.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I am realising more and more how insecure I can be. To many, I look like a confident woman, someone who knows my mind and can thus make decisions without much of a problem. I guess the nature of my job makes me look confident, and it makes me feel like I am important sometimes. But underneath it all, I realise I have a lot of insecurities. I have lots of things from the past that still affect me. Most of those things are not my doing. Most of the things are just things that happened.
Talking to my buddy today, she shook me up when she asked me a question. Why am I going back to the past? Why do I want to dig back the things from the past? Answer : I have a lot of issues related to the past that have not seen closure. I did not tell her that. But I will.
I have had too many things happening to me in the past that make me who I am - a seemingly confident woman who is secure in who she is, but in actual fact, I am a woman with a lot of fear and insecurities. I have managed to overcome most of them. But not all. And I have swept a lot of those under the carpet in order to survive. But the issues have not disappeared and they affect me in ways I cannot explain. I thought I could bury some of the things, but apparently not.
I am thankful that I have people who look out for me. Keep looking out for me. I have so much that I have not worked out and don't know how to. And these things are making me do things I normally wouldn't do. I hope I can overcome the ghosts of the past, and let myself heal properly.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

There is a reason for everything

From a very young age, I have understood there is a reason why things happen, to me, at least. I have had my fair share of incidents and experiences that I would not want to happen to anyone I care about. I could write a little novella just based on the first 20 years of my life.
But I digress. There surely is a reason and a lesson to be learned. I do not begrudge the Almighty for allowing me to go through the many things I have gone through. But does everything (well, almost everything) have to come to me the HARD way? Or perhaps I am meant to go through them, experience them, feel what it is like so that I truly can say I KNOW what it means to go through them. Yes, many a times I have encountered situations where I could empathise with some people, because I had gone through something like what they had gone through. I mean, I understand, but .... DO I NEED TO GO THROUGH MORE OF THEM??? I don't know how much more I can take. Although I know "He will not make me bear more than what I can bear", sometimes I think HE overestimated me. In my moments of weakness, I wish I could bear less. I just feel so tired.
Lord, help me to find strength. I need rest.

Mixture of emotions

It is tough when one keeps having a mixture of emotions within a short period of time. It was a real rojak and it was tough because I got so mixed up, so confused over what I was feeling at any one time.
Firstly I was having such an anxiety over Pn A leaving us. I lost appetite, and I couldn't sleep well. I kept worrying over what would happen after she left. And I was really devastated that she would not be coming back and I would not get to say hello to her and report to her how D*starz is doing, etc. It seems irrational, but there, I felt all those emotions and was really down.
Then I was feeling anxiety about D*starz because we are in the process of "restructuring" the team. I am worried because the seniors are leaving, and some Form 4s are not going to be with us anymore. Some Form 2s also. How can I not worry and get anxious over this? I don't see next year's team in my mind's eye. And this is NOT good. So I have been worrying myself sick over this.
Next is the temptation mentioned yesterday. Being in that position is confusing. I couldn't think straight and was wondering what I was getting myself into. On one hand I was almost enjoying it because I didn't know better. But on the other hand, I knew it was trouble with a capital T. And I am thankful that the matter is sorting itself out, that sanity and sensibility prevail. A little related to it is the fact that some people were almost encouraging things although it was not their intention to. So I got all confused and everything bothered me to no end. But I have been praying so hard that I would be wise in what I do and so far, I think I am okay.
Then I have this person at home who keeps making me angry with all that she says. Her temperament certainly makes life very difficult for me, and for whoever is in my house. Almost every day, there is something that makes her fly off the handle and go on an emotional rampage. In the process, she makes me angry enough to be unkind in my words and actions to her. After which I feel a sense of extreme guilt.
Yes, a tirade of emotions that have managed to turn me into an almost emotional wreck. I don't want to give in so easily to all that I feel, but .... I am very emotional. Even when I don't believe it myself.


I have been teased to no end, lately. And I have to admit, it was fun to be teased but it was also like a fire waiting to singe and even burn me down. Although I am fine about it most of the time, I can just see and feel the power of temptation. It is so easy to fall, it is so easy to get trapped. I have just had a glance ... or a peek of how dangerous it can be.
For a long time, perhaps I was either naive or perhaps I have been very sheltered. I have never faced temptation as much as what I was almost trapped in. On one hand, it gives one a feeling of intoxication, and of power. I don't know how this comes about. On the other hand, one gets the feeling of immense danger.
There is a whole world out there which is a dangerous place to be in. The people have different values and different outlook on life. To someone as "naive" as me, it might look beautiful and glamorous, even desirable. But take another look, a closer look, and it really is not the way it seemed.
The Bible says "flee from evil" .... well, as much as it can be branded evil, it is not an easy thing to do. The desire to flee has to be there. And now I understand why so many people fall, it is because they do not desire to flee.
What am I going on about? Temptation.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I will miss you

Dear Pn Alainal,
I am writing to say that I will truly and earnestly miss you. The last 6-7 years you have been with us have been glorious years. We have had our fair share of ups and downs and through it all, you have been there for us. You have shown us what it is like to not confine ourselves to the boundaries of school. You have encouraged us to soar above the norm.
I have so much that I actually want to say to you. But I cannot word the things I want to say. My heart is so heavy and sad that you will no longer be my boss. I am fearful about how things will be in your absence. I worry about not getting the strong support you have been giving me, and the groups that I have been handling. I am filled with a sense of dread. But like what you said, life has to go on. I cried when you texted that to me. On one hand I cannot deny that life HAS to go on. On the other hand, I wanted to be selfish and say DON'T GO.
On Friday we shall be formally say our goodbyes. I am not ready for it. I don't think I ever will. As it is I feel as if I am losing a big part of my life. That is to your credit, that you have impacted my life so much that I don't just see you as a boss, but a mentor and someone I can turn to for guidance and understanding. I don't know how many people feel the way I do, but I suspect many do.
It is with great reluctance and a heavy heart that I bid you goodbye. I might not be able to say anything to you personally. But in my own way, I am saying goodbye now. Help me to let go. Do think of us all once in a while. You might not come and visit us due to some reasons. I hope we can go and visit you some day.
Goodbye, dear lady. I will miss you. I already do. *Tears*

Monday, October 11, 2010

A funny day - sort of

Why is it a funny day? Someone made me laugh a lot today. I did not laugh out loud much but I still had a lot of laughs. I was flattered and I was given a boost in my self-esteem. Yes I am fully aware of what was happening, but I was, nevertheless, flattered and had a good day of just basking in unnecessary flattery.
Most of all, the whole thing made me wonder. I am a middle-aged woman who has been happily married for close to 14 years. No, life has not been a total bliss. There have been problems and issues that we have had to sort out. There have been incidents which were less than desirable. In short we are a very normal family with our ups and downs. We are also a very "Asian" family most of the time. Outward affections are usually reserved for parent-child relationship. But we do show our love to one another. The only problem is that we hardly ever praise one another enough. I guess I am learning that when I don't praise my other half enough, it doesn't do any good for his self-esteem, just as not getting any praises from him does that to me. *Note to self : show him my appreciation more, and praise him from time to time.*
So ... when I was bombarded with attention by a certain someone, I was flattered. I know it is just playing with words and nothing more than that. But .... it made me realise how much I need the same kind of attention and, yes, flattery, from my other half. I was dragged out of the mundane life into a more "interesting" situation. This is something I have never thought I would experience and feel.
The feeling has pretty much subsided now. I am back to my usual self. And I am slowly theorizing about what it was all about. I think it is an Oedipus thing. I am convinced it is. For it cannot be anything else. I think I have that effect on people, esp younger people. Somehow. And I recall that years ago, I drew that kind of attention from some people. Perhaps they feel safe with me. Or they feel they can trust me, so they talk to me. They share with me things they don't feel comfortable sharing about with other people. Even when I was in my early teens, people used to confide in me very serious things.
Yes that is my theory. I will stick to that. Why? Just because it is a safe theory. And it satisfies my curiosity. And because I don't want it to be any other reason. I value my sanity too much.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka's "The Lion and the Jewel"

I am teaching the play "The Lion and the Jewel" by Wole Soyinka to my Form 4 students. So far we have had one 2 hour lesson. I enjoyed the play. The students are also enjoying it. They find it very different from the usual kind of stories that read about and watch on TV. The culture is different and everything else is different. The only similarity is human nature.
Although we are not going to stage the play proper, I hope to get the girls to act out scenes of the play and perhaps video-tape them doing that. It should be fun. The girls are also having fun with some of the word play and certain connotations in the play. It is very adult in nature and one has to be very mature in ordert to understand and appreciate the plot and themes.
One of the things I might want to do, if it is possible, is to make a trip with the girls to the Nigerian High Commissioners and see for ourselves all things Nigerian and try to understand the Nigerian way of life, etc.
Well, whatever happens, I am glad I chose this play, and that I was patient enough to wait for the book to arrive via post.

The book cover

Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 1986

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Glasses or spectacles

Just as a rose by any other name is still a rose, whether we call them glasses, or spectacles, or cermin mata, or just plain MATA, what it indicates to me is that I am in dire need of them. To read. I have a pair of reading glasses. I don't wear them very often but increasingly I find that I need them.
Not this kind of old-fashioned glasses, of course. Slightly better looking than the one above. I cannot afford to splurge on a nice beautiful pair of glasses, especially since I am only using them to read.
Of course it would be wonderful if I could buy a pair like the ones above. Nice .... but I bet they are expensive.
I have managed to lose my pair of reading glasses. Can't find it anywhere. I will give it another few days, to show grow legs and show up in front of me. If I still cannot find it, I have no choice but to get another pair done. And this time I will get a pair that is stylish and do a bifocal and wear it all the time! I think. If I can bear with it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Learning curve

I am 41 this year. Celebrated my birthday a little over a week ago. What I have discovered is truly that there is no end to learning. And there is no end to the work that I have to do.
I had 2 weeks to enjoy as we had a one week mid-semester break and another week for Hari Raya. The first week was rather relaxing, mainly resting and enjoying the family.
The second week was, however, a tiring week and it was filled with work. In June, I took a few girls to a state level competition for the entrepreneurship thing that was organised by the cooperative society people. We won first prize and are therefore, the representative for Selangor for the national level competition.
However, we were not told when the competition would be and I had been making calls to the organisers or people in the know about it and enquired, to no avail. All I got was ... we don't know the dates and venue yet ... you will receive a letter when the time comes. Typical of disorganised people. So we waited. And on 7th Sept, I got a call asking if I would be submitting the report and all on 9th. I almost fainted! I told them no I could not submit. Firstly, the report was not done, and there was no guide on what was to be done. Secondly, it was 3 days before Hari Raya and everyone was on holiday. So I asked for extension until the following week. So I rested those few days of Hari Raya and then I got down to work to do the report. I know, it's not my work per se. But what to do? The girls would never understand the work involved and it would be inpossible to get them to do it on time.
So I got down to work. Day time was near impossible to do anything with the report as the children would be taking up my time. So I would start doing work around midnight and get to sleep only at 5am. That went on a few days and eventually I thought I had finished about 90% of the work. I was stuck with some accounting details which I did not understand. So I called up some people and asked others who were online for ideas and help.
Thankfully, the twins, Boh & Kuan, offered to help. They turned up at my house and spent the whole Saturday afternoon doing the accounts section with me. I think we spent more than half the time arguing and thrashing about the details to include and leace out. But we managed to do most of it. By Sunday they emailed me a few more details they thought I should include, which I did.
Monday was a hectic day. School had reopened and that was the day I was going to hand deliver the report to the organisers, in KL. I spent the morning printing copies of the report, getting them bound and verified. Then PDing and I drove to KL and submitted the report.
The whole thing with this project report was a learning process for me. I am no accountant and I am no businesswoman. But I was compiling the report like one and writing the report like an accountant of sorts. It was not easy but I learned. It was a steep learning curve for me but ... I think I am grateful for the opportunity, although I complain about the work.
Well, the Lord never gives us more than what we can bear. I take comfort in that.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

One week down, another week to go

Time surely flies when you're having fun, or at least when you're not having a tough time. I have been enjoying myself, not doing anything in particular. I have been catching up on my sleep. I have almost forgotten what it is like to sleep in until I am ready to climb out of bed.
I have also been spending some quality time with my kids. It was good being able to take them out and just not be bothered about other things, like chores and whatever is waiting at home. Hubby and I spent a weekend in KL, staying in KL Plaza for 2 nights, and went round a fair bit in KL. No we didn't do a lot of the things I wanted to do, which was a disappointment. But the kids enjoyed themselves, and that was important. We managed to go to Lot 10 to eat, KL Convention Centre for the Book Fest and Yamaha Piano sale, KLCC for window shopping and to catch a movie, Cats and Dogs, walked through Pavillion a bit, drove around aimlessly and even ate at Soo Kee.
I also managed to meet up with an author, Robert Raymer, whose short story Neighbours we are studying in English Literature class. I took Jon and Jeremy to the Book Fest and met up with Sib and family, and also some of our Lit girls to meet Mr Raymer. We spent about half an hour or so with him, asking him questions and also getting to know this author and his works. Of course, the girls were going ga-ga over his son, Zaini. That is to be expected. Looks like our little meeting might be reported in a newspaper. We'll see. Read about it here.
At the Book Fest, Jon and Jeremy had a great time browsing through the books and reading some while waiting for me. We also bought quite a fair number of books, and bags, and stationery items too. They were going cheap, so, why not?
I have bought Mr Raymer's two books and have started reading one. Well, I am about two thirds done. What have I discovered is that I could probably write something like what he has done too. I have written before, albeit for examination purposed and workbooks. But I know, I can write. I guess I am just too lazy. I realise I am just too lazy to actually notice things and jot them down somewhere. Otherwise, I would probably have written a collection of short stories. I dare not say a novel, but who knows! Am I inspired to write? Well, I HAVE been writing, although only in my blog. Perhaps I will continue to write in my blog and be a bit more serious about it. Then perhaps, I can be like Marina Mahathir, and publish a collection of my thoughts and musings. Well, I can dream, can't I?
Yes, I have one more week to go. I cannot rest too much. I actually have work to do. And I cannot believe I have let the entire week slip by when I could have done some work. I know I will feel guilty ... tomorrow. Well, I am not going to feel guilty now as I just want to be able to rest and relax and not worry about work for another day.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My merdeka post

Today my country celebrates its 53rd birthday. Malaysia - land of opportunity and land of smiles. Malaysia - land of possibilities, and land of impossibilities. This is the land that these founding fathers worked so hard for, not necessarily the ones in this picture only. It was not an easy journey. I am sure there were sacrifices made which we have not learned about.

Land of -est. The tallest, the highest. The biggest, the most this and that. All these are things we are proud of. For a small country, we have a lot of superlatives. The vision of some of our leaders brought about these.

And yet, Malaysia is not about these superlatives. It is not about achievement in these matters. Even if we have the tallest / highest / biggest whatever, and yet we have not love for one another, if we have not respect for one another's differences and heritage, then we have NOTHING. A big ZERO. So what are we supposed to be about? This ....

learning to live together in perfect harmony with one another regardless of race, religion or creed.

We don't have to always agree with one another, that is to make us robots and yes-men. But it is perfectly fine to AGREE TO DISAGREE. We can be neighbours, friends, and even family.

Let us not forget what Merdeka is all about, what it meant to someone who was there when the Tunku shouted "MERDEKA" 7 times. Let us remember the sweat and tears ... who knows, and blood, that have been shed to get us that declaration of independence.

Even if we were not there 53 years ago, can we perhaps, learn to be colour blind when it comes to friendship? Does it matter who our friends are - when it comes to race? Aren't we of ONE race? We may have different cultural practices and religions, but, should that be a stumbling block to us?

As this country celebrates 53 years of independence, may we all grow up too. May we all behave like grown ups in a country that has gone through half a century of independence.

My wish list for this birthday celebration?
  • that the elected leaders rule the country with the FEAR OF GOD!

  • that these same leaders put the interest of the country ahead of their own interest.

  • that corruption will greatly reduce (among political leaders as well as those little Napoleons).

  • that the citizens of this country will learn to think logically and calmly before they act or speak (with knee jerk reaction)

  • that the citizens of this country will cease to have unfair and uneducated opinions of other races.

So, to Malaysia and all Malaysians .....

And now, I look forward to celebrating Malaysia Day for the first time in 16 days' time.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Being moody and difficult

I don't know how others see me but I tend to think I am (most of the time) quite amiable and easy to get along with, especially once you have got to know me well. I guess I can be wrong at times and prove to be less than friendly. A friend told me I have that killer stare ... "if looks could kill ... ", you get what I mean. Well, I do admit that I check out my face in the mirror occasionally and I agree, I have a look that can scare a lot of people, especially if I do not smile.
Well, lately, due to what, specifically, I do not know, I have been more moody and difficult than usual. I have been feeling anoyed and angry about nothing in particular, getting all worked up over the smallest things and raised my voice more often than usual. This is rather unsettling because it is so NOT the real me. And I feel terrible for the people who have been on the receiving end of my anger and what-nots.
My mum has been getting it from me a fair bit. Nothing serious really, but I have been ignoring her, and sometimes, just can't bring myself to smile at her. It feels terrible. My other half has often been on the receiving end, especially because I expect so much more from him that he is willing to give. So occasionally he gets the killer stare and that look that makes him wonder who he has married. My kids - ahhhh, yes, they too have been on the receiving end. Jon, being the eldest, gets it the most. My patience is limited and sometimes I end up screaming at him for even the tiniest of mistakes. Jeremy, my little drama king, gets it a fair bit too. Joel, well, I think I am most patient with him but .. he gets it too. When I cannot stand his lack of response anymore, I raise my voice (as if he would understand better), and threaten with the cane. Sigh! What is wrong with me? I don't like this ME. It is NOT me.
I am sorry, my family. I will try very hard to control the anger and annoyance. I will try very hard to not raise my voice or look nasty.
To the others, hmmm, well, I cannot promise I will be okay all the time. But I promise I will try my best to be more patient and to not make mountains out of mole hills.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My life is no longer my own indeed

When I first started this blog, I wrote "my life is no longer my own" as the title of my blog. How true it is turning out to be. My life seems to be divided into many portions.
One big portion is for my family, specifically my children. Being a mother to three boys is rather tiring. Don't get me wrong, the boys are relatively compliant. They do not cause too much trouble, generally. But they are an energetic bunch and catching up with them is tiring. Trying to fulfill their needs and being there for them in all they do is indeed challenging. When they were younger, they were needy. Physically they needed me almost all the time. As they grow up, they are needy in different ways. Much as I push them to their father, they still stick to me a lot, especially the youngest.
Another big portion of me goes to work. Of course at work, I am divided into several sub-portions. On occasions I have felt as if I needed to be cut into many pieces so that I can do all that is expected of me. Sometimes I feel as if I have sold my soul to the school - to the school admin, the ministry of education, and of course, the students.
Other portions include church and cell group, as well as other interests, though not much of my time is spent on those other things. It is sad. I should spend more time for the spiritual and emotional aspects of my life, and yet I don't have time for that. Physically I feel drained too as I do feel myself getting older and I am not as energetic as I used to be.
My temperament too has changed somewhat. I used to be a lot more patient with my children, and with SOME people. These days I find myself raising my voice a lot, and it is rather disconcerting because I don't like what I am turning into.
What is my point? Nothing in particular, really. I am just examining myself. I am just trying to put my life into perspective for myself to see. Perhaps I can still do something and regain my self. I need to get ME back.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's a relief but here comes work again

I am relieved that things are working out better, at least for now. I don't have to worry about the team being hijacked. I hope. But there is plenty of work waiting. For the team, there will be work in October for sure. And perhaps even in September. In addition, it will soon be time to regroup as we will be losing the Form 5s, and then some. It will be sad and it will take a lot of work to regroup. I can just see it.
In addition to that, there will be work with the English Lit girls. We need to get going with the plan to put up 3 skits by early next year. We haven't got ourselves going. And it is August already. I am worried.
Normal mundane school work. There is plenty of that. I am struggling as I just cannot seem to find the energy and drive to do them. I think, perhaps, having tasted work in other areas, I cannot bring myself to sit down and just do things like marking and other paper work.
I do wish to have a loooooong holiday of just not doing any school work. But I bet I will be bored sitting at home and just face my own kids for weeks. We'll see.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Why do these happen?
  • We work hard for something and we achieve success beyond imagination, and then something happens to sabotage the future of the group.
  • Teenage girls get all giddy headed just because some boys they like are in certain groups and then they too want to be there and leave the group which they are supposed to belong to.
  • Teenage girls squabble and go mad at one another for the tiniest of reasons and get all upset and refuse to make up with one another.
  • Adults have visions for the future and plan things with agenda that does not benefit the people they have worked so hard to groom and then just get these new agenda to destroy the very group they built up.
  • People take me for a fool who works hard and has passion for the things I do.
  • People take advantage of my sincerity.
  • People assume I am a push-over.
  • Many think I am not easily affected by failures and troubles.

The last few days have been difficult for me. These questions, among others, have caused me such pain and sorrow. It is a vicious repetition of the things I felt so strongly about just 2 years ago, and some years before that. It saps me emotionally and makes me feel like giving up on the things I work so hard to build up.

And I feel betrayed. It was a betrayal that cut me to the bone because it was by people I thought I could trust, people I cared about. I wonder if they even know what I am feeling. Probably a little. And I wonder if it affects them. Probably not. And this makes it worse for me, knowing that they know, and are not affected. So why am I crying? What am I crying for?

In a way, I am glad not many still follow me here. I feel that I can express these without having to consider too many people. I am just .... S A D!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Sometimes all it takes to get people moving is to show some appreciation for their efforts. It is not every day that the staff gets appreciated for the work they put in. Very often we end up with various grouses about how we have to work so hard and yet the time and energy put in goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Well, once in a while, somehow, a show of appreciation in the form of official recognition is given. That recognition is finally given to a buddy of mine. She has been so tired with all the work that lands on her lap, rightly or otherwise. The amount of work she does is unbelievable. I take my hat off to her for all that she has achieved as my "boss" the last two years. I am extremely proud of her and am glad that she has been given the award.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wholesome weekend

The weekend that has just passed was a wholesome one, something my family truly enjoyed. We didn't go anywhere in particular, but it was just a weekend that we spent together. My sons finally had me all to themselves.
For so many weekends they were not able to go anywhere, at least not with me. I have been working too hard and too long. I finally made the decision to come back to my family and give them the priority everyone deserves. And it was a good, nay, great decision.
Saturday started with an outing to One Utama with my boys. The last time I was there was in February. And that was also only to have dinner. And before that was ... last year. We only walked around and had lunch. Then the boys enjoyed themselves in a bookstore. That was all, but they had fun. Then we went home and got their things to go swimming. Hubby and I have enrolled Jon and Jeremy in swimming class and they had a great time. After we got home, and the boys had dinner, Joel fell asleep while having dinner. He didn't finish it, and I got him to sleep (until the next morning). The rest of us spent the evening watching video together.
On Sunday, after church, we went for lunch together. Nothing much to shout about but it was nice to be out together. After resting at home for a while, we went to the pool again. The classes are on Saturday and Sunday. So my weekends are going to be tied down from now on. Jon and Jeremy are reall enjoying the swimming classes although they were apprehensive about going into the water without their floats. It helps that the instructor is a sweet young thing who is very patient with children.
So that was my very wholesome weekend. Boring for some people, but I really cherish the time we had together. Much as I dread the fact that my weekends are tied down, I look forward to being with the children, and having family time together.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Latest happenings

I have been very lazy to blog. Mainly it is because I have been busy. My family ended up with chicken pox recently and it was one after another. From Jeremy to hubby to Joel. It was not really that bad for me but it was a bit stressful. Joel is finally going to school tomorrow. I have enjoyed having him around, though I have not been spending that much time with him.
Catching up with work after Cheer 2010 is also stressful. Not easy getting back to "normal mundane work". Just as the girls undergo withdawal from the lack of cheer goals, I also suffer from that. But then I still have lots of cheer related work to do.
I have yet to get the cheque from The Star for Best Showmanship. I have yet to get the cheque from a certain company. I had to make so many calls and text messages just to get their letter. So it has been stressful.
I have been avoiding going to school and doing any school related work on weekdends. Just too much to bear because I have been working most Saturdays. Too tired to work another Saturday again.
Now I am busy with planning or helping to plan the D*starz party. Sigh. I am such a sucker for work sometimes.
I am feeling a little lethargic. Too much to try to finish. Magazine work to complete. Money business. Too many things on my mind.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pictures of D*starz in action

The photos are in no particular order. Just random photos I found on the internet.

Like a mother's heart that was swelling with pride

Cheer 2010 has come and gone. The days, nay, weeks leading to it was maddening. There was so much to do, and there were dramas all around. Not only did my girls have to practise and perfect their routine, we all had to go round seeling tshirts and making sure we don't make a loss. I personally had plenty to do as well, coordinating various things and making sure the squad accounts is properly kept. Enough about me, it's not about me.
Much as I want to write about all that happened during the two days, I will not. What I will do is to state how proud I was with my girls. To have come to the championship and score 3 different awards, and just missing on another two awards, it was unbelievable. Getting Top 5 was something we only dared to hope. When it turned into a reality, we could only cry and be thankful that we had braved the storms on the way there. I don't know about them, but I am grateful for all the help and encouragement we have had. I am especially grateful for some friends who have been there to help me keep my sanity in the midst of the busy work schedule and deadlines. They are also the same ones who actually turned up during the competition with their children in tow. Love you lots, ladies. I am also grateful for some parents who have played a role in helping the team. They have done all that I could ever ask for. Thanks, ladies, and some gentelmen too. Thanks, to the coaches who have spent their time and energy to train the girls. Yes, we pay them, but they were instrumental in bringing the team's spirit up and their skills much improved. Thanks, to a group of people who are often not seen as important, but they really are. These are the reserves. They are part of the team. They were around to stand in every time some others were unable to be there. Personally, I'd like to thank my wonderful colleague who is my "partner-in-crime" as advisor. She may be quiet and not as gregarious as me, but she does a splendid job organizing things and doing all the necessary work that I am terrible at - like paper work!
Most of all, I thank ALL the girls themselves, for giving me the opportunity to be associated with a team of winners - national cheer dance champions, and 5th placing in Cheer 2010. All the tears and hard work have been worth it. I said I'd see you at the top, and we are there. Now, to prepare for the next year, that's another chapter of the story.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Laughter is the best medicine

We have heard of this often enough. Perhaps some may find this to be something hard to believe. For me, and for some of my friends, this saying is something very true. All of us are worked off our feet and we were feeling extremely knackered and a little down. Frustration abounds and problems are aplenty. Yet when we got together to chill, to watch each other make fools of ourselves, to have a simple meal together and just LAUGH, all that bothered us seemed to melt away, at least for the time we were busy laughing. It was indeed a balm for the tired soul that we just laughed away our blues. Thanks, my dear buddies, for the time together, for the laughters we had and just the wonderful previlege of one another's company.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Weighed down but not out

The phrase "down and out" for me is non-existent. I am down but NOT out. I am swamped with plenty to do. I have come to the stage where I need to hide so that people do not pile work on me and interrupt whatever work I am trying to complete. It has been tiring trying to do what I do and doing them well. I am still struggling. I do feel guilty that I am late in handing in some work. And I do feel bad that I am not up to expectations. But as I keep reminding myself, and those who care to listen, I AM NOT A MACHINE. I cannot work 24/7 and I cannot do without rest. I cannot always be expected to work on Saturdays when most civil servants don't, at all. So I am trying to chill and not be overly stressed.
The month of July is extremely busy for me. I hope and pray that I will be able to survive unscathed. I need help and I hope those who can, will help.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It is coming to an end

What is? The two week break, that's what. They say time flies when you're having fun. Well, time flies too when you're not having fun.
I thought it'd be a relaxing and interesting holiday. Didn't quite turn out to be so. I spent the 2 weeks really tired and also partly sick. So it has not been fun. It has not been very relaxing either.
The holiday started with the SOX Competition. It was a public holiday. I have forfeited 2 public holidays for the team and SOX Regional and Finals. I should be compensated for that. It took be a few days to really recover from the weekend due to all sorts of things I had to sort out. And then hubby had to go to England for work. So I was pretty much left alone to take care of the whole family and the house and the dog and the python. It was tiring for me, doing all sorts of house work and entertaining the boys. And it was lonely having to spend the evenings and nights on my own when the kids had gone to bed.
And I still went to school that first week. D*starz was in training Monday and Tuesday. I wasn't there for long, but I was there! Wednesday and Thursday, I looked in on the team when they went for Cheer Camp in Puchong. I had to see to their needs, making sure they had water, food, etc. I had to take my boys everywhere with me the few days because there was no one to take care of them. Imagine the havoc. Joel's finger got bitten by the school's tortoise. Sigh!
Friday to Sunday, I took my boys for the Cell Group Retreat in Melaka. It was nice for them but tiring for me as I had to see to all the packing, cleaning up after them, everything. I drove to Melaka. Thank God the CG members helped with the boys. I just did not have enough hands to hold all 3 boys, esp when going out walking along the Jonker Walk area. The streets were so narrow. The traffic was terrible. But the boys had a good time. They went swimming in the hotel pool. We went on the river cruise. We went to the Butterfly Park. We had Nyonya food. But I was really tired. And I drove home from Melaka. The amount of laundry to do after that was .... sigh!
Hubby came back a few days ago. With lots of laundry! SIGH! And I got sick just before he came home. I had low grade fever and lots of body aches. It felt like I was going to get the flu. That didn't happen, but just as the fever subsided, I got diarrhoea. Three days of diarrhoea was not fun. At least it wasn't overly serious.
Thursday I was in school for over 4 hours. D*starz was being filmed by 8TV. We used the hall and had to pick up after some of them before locking up. Grrr.
Friday was basically a day for me to just rest a bit and also catch up with a few more house work. It's Saturday now. I am in school again. D*starz again. Where did the time go? I haven't had a good break. I am tired. I haven't done most of the things I thought I could do. Just no energy. And no mood.
I know I sound like I am being evasive of work but, when school is in session, I am so drowned with work that I have little time for family and myself. So when it is holiday time, I just want to throw away work and focus on family, house and myself (not that I have managed to focus on myself). Probably if I had a helper it would be easier, but that is something I just have to work around. Oh well.
So, I have today, and tomorrow to catch up on some work, hopefully. I am honestly tired, and just want to crawl into bed and sleep for another week!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Some pictures of the SOX event

Just goofing around Doing what they do best : posing for cameras

Getting the award for Best Costume

Receiving the prize of a national champion

The trophy

Saturday, June 5, 2010


I seldom feel the kind of euphoria I felt today. Today has been such a roller coaster ride for me. Well, perhaps for others as well, but my emotions were going up and down, alternating between joy and pride with disappointments and annoyance. Come what may, the bottom line is that it was such a wonderful day.
Today was the day my cheer girls competed in the SOX All Stars Drum and Dance Finals at the Stadium Negara. The day did not start out too well as there were misunderstandings as well as miscommunications. I was super annoyed with some people but in the end things worked out in spite of everything.
Then they competed. The first round went okay with some infractions and problems. It wasn't bad but it could be lots better. But they made it to the top 7 for round 2. It was a tough time while waiting for that result. To top it off, the team was announced and straight away asked to prepare to perform. It was almost crazy for the girls but they performed almost flawlessly. We were going to be top three for sure.
During lunch hour, before round two, actually there was something I was really happy about. I got a Blackberry Curve 8520 for the I love my teacher contest on Facebook. The prize giving ceremony was then and I got it!!!
Then after all the teams had competed for Round 2, we were sure we would get at least 3rd, if not better. So the result time started with Best Dressed and WE WON!!!! I knew it would sound unfair as I was sure we would sweep a few prizes. Then we also won for the top SMS votes. Before long it was time to announce the top 3 winners. Third : Zodiac All Boys .... and I thought they were going to be first or second. Then second : Pirates. When they announced that, we were sure that we had won. No other team was better. And when they announced the winner as D*starz, I was crying like a baby, as were the girls and their mothers. It was extremely emotional but I was sooooooooo proud of them. So ... yes one event over. But the euphoria is going to linger for another few days.
Though that seems to be enough to feel what I feel now : a 4 in one win; something else came up and looks like we will have more work. What is it? I will disclose when the time is right. But it is all good.
Time to do my laundry and then go to sleep. VERY tired. Good night world, and WELL DONE, D*starz.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Reposting from KLEIO

We know to be appreciative of our teachers and our parents -for they are the ones who are not without fortitude and strength to provide us with the love and support one needs to grow up. They encourage and reprimand; continuously molding us into respectable people and lead an extraordinary life. Like the saying goes, they are the candles that burn themselves to show the light to others. Though I feel, appreciation is without meaning if one doesn't have true sincerity of a teacher and a parent's hard work.

One of my teachers -though only having taught me for a short period of time- has caught my attention. Its interesting to see many students go to her like they would their own mother; how she would so willingly sacrifice her time and effort for students; how her classes never just end when the last bell rings at the end of the day. I rather admire her dedication and love despite being a teacher for long -meaning that spark wasn't just a momentarily excitement of a new job.

And she is willing to share her side of her story -of what a teacher really means. Humble as she is, she requests to only be credited by her initials.


Being a teacher


Let me start by saying that being a woman is a tough role to play. As life goes, somehow, becoming a wife and later, a mother, seems to be the way to go. My role as a mother is something I cherish but at the same time, it is something I find challenging. It is the same when I look at my role as a teacher. I cherish it, but it is challenging and sometimes extremely difficult.

Being a teacher, and sometimes, mother, to several classes of students every year, is akin to baby-sitting the said students sometimes. Some of these students and I seem to have a love-hate relationship at times. They hate the amount of work I give them, and the expectations I pile on them. And I love them almost as much as I love my own children. Sometimes that love is reciprocated. Sometimes, it is not. Do I mind that it is not? Yes,I do, and it occasionally hurts, but I understand. And I let it pass because I am tasked to teach many students, usually different ones every year or so. To dwell on the disappointment would not help me move on with the new batches of students.

I have been asked what drives me in the pursuit of educating the youths of today. I guess I have never thought of it so much as a job but as a passion-filled mission. When I am standing in front of my students in class, or on the field, or anywhere else, I do not think of myself as just a school teacher who has to teach what is in the syllabus and make sure all my students score a string of As for their exams. Instead, I strive to be more than that – I want to be their friend, their sister, their mother, their confidante. It has been said that a great teacher INSPIRES! Most of the time, that is what I want to do, inspire my students, the youths of today, to excel in the things they do – be they academic or non-academic fields.

I realize I am not the best of teachers. I do not think that I am a “one in a million” kind of teacher. I do not always have information at the tip of my fingers. There are times when I might have failed in some tasks. I might have disappointed some of my students. At those times, I am wrecked by feelings of guilt and disappointment. But I remember that I am only human and I can only do so much at times. This is not an easy thing to do, but I too have had to learn to forgive myself.

In spite of it all, I do have my wonderful moments – many wonderful and unforgettable moments. My students are my trophies and when they come back and say hello to me, when they send me wedding invitation cards, when they call me up or text me or communicate with me online, those are the moments I truly cherish. Those are the times when I know that I have made a difference in some lives and those are my reward. The system and people higher up can dangle all sorts of monetary rewards and whatever deals in front of us. But the best reward, to me, is when I see my little boys and girls grow up and become men and women of substance. Then I will know that I have fulfilled my mission and whatever sweat and tears I have shed have not been in vain.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Just some updates

The last couple of weeks have been rather crazy and busy. I'm just going to blog about some of the happenings randomly, in no particular order or importance.
  • Langkawi trip - This was a trip I had been excited about for a while. It came upon me so quickly and so suddenly that I was almost unprepared for it. I had been so busy that I did not realise that I was days away from the trip. Then I was up to my neck scrambling to pack and to make sure my children's needs were all attended to in my absence. All in all, I had a good time. I felt bad as my apartment mates did not sleep well, but I slept so well that the who island could have shaken and I would still be asleep. I enjoyed the time we chilled, the shopping we did and the craziness we displayed the whole time we were there. It was wonderful to just throw caution to the wind and not be teachers for those few days. What I enjoyed the most was forgetting my role as somebody's someone. I was just ME and not someone whose identity depends on my relationship with someone else.
  • Preparation for Celcom SOX Drum and Dance - No I did not do anything actively because it is NOT me who have to perform and compete. But I have been busy stressing over the girls and also over the votes. I have been rather upset and annoyed (to put it mildly) with some people due to their lack of commitment and discipline. I understand exams are upon them. What I cannot understand is how they claim to be so involved and committed and yet not attend practices, and are not bothered to give reasons for their non-attendance. Supposedly they are busy with exams, but they are also so busy on Facebook and other social networks and other things. And that irritated me to no end. On top of that, they think that as long as other people send in SMSes to vote, they do not have to vote. So why do I bother? Sounds familiar as I have been through the same kind of thing before : the students taking things for granted and taking me for granted. They are so easily satisfied with mediocrity and do not strive for excellence. Perhaps they just cannot aim that high and do not foresee themselves achieving greatness. How sad it is!
  • Doing HOUSEWORK! Housework is NO fun. I don't like it but I have to do it due to the lack of a domestic helper. I have to learn to close one or even both eyes to things that are not high in the list of priorities. Seeing to the needs of the 3 kids and the BIG kid is no joke. Nevertheless, I am thankful for the help that I have been getting from some people. No longer do I have the luxury of just leaving chores to someone else. My time at home is no longer mine, except when the kids are not at home.
So these have been keeping me busy. More to come. Can't update more. Just too tired and my brain is not working well anymore.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thanks to Anas Zubedy, I am reposting this logo here. May 13 is approaching and it is time, after 41 years, to recolour the day, the people, the nation. I will not write anything on it, but I would like to encourage anyone reading to go to Anas Zubedy's blog. I have tagged his blog at the side.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Getting people to vote

It is crazy getting people to vote. D*starz needs votes from supporters. I don't hope to be right on top, just to be top 3. I really do hope that Sri Aman will rise to the occasion and vote for us.
If you're still following me, here is what you do :
Type : SOX DANCE01
and send to 33396.
Sigh ... I am all stressed for this, plus some other things. I need to relax. Not good for my blood pressure.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

SOX Celcom Drum and Dance

Today was supposed to be a rest day, one of those public holidays we have. But as things go, I was in Taylor's University College Lakeside Campus instead for the competition mentioned above.
Since it was the regional heats, we have to compete to qualify for the Finals on 5th June.
Baby Starz did quite well, although they had encountered numerous problems in the week or so leading to today. I shall refrain from ranting about some people and their attitudes but ... well, there were plenty of those. And to give credit when it is deserved, I think the girls did a good job and held their own against more experienced competitors. Kudos.
D*starz managed to qualify for the Finals. In the process, there were moments of panic and hair-pulling moments. I shall not elaborate, but suffice to say that in spite of the major infractions, we still made it. Of course, it would have been good to be without the problem that occurred but, no point looking back and pointing fingers to blame people. I am proud though, that Meetra went on with the routine in spite of the "malfunction". Very professional. Hmmm. I don't think the "malfunction" has ever happened in a competition before, not here anyway.
So that's my Labour Day ... tiring but ... I'm looking forward to 5th June.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My table is finally without work space

It has taken 4 months, but it has finally happened. My table is now devoid of work space. I only have space to put things. I am also now swamped with work. And this is the worst time for that to happen. I just wish for some understanding on the part of some people.
I am flattered that many think I am capable. But I am not THAT capable. I am only human and I can only do so much. I cannot create miracles and I cannot give more than what I have. A lot of I being mentioned but .... hey .... that is one thing I seldom do, focus on the I.
I am praying that some people will understand if I cannot produce wonderful work. I am losing focus, I am losing myself. Soon there might not be anymore ME. I cannot afford to have that happen. Especially when so many people, read : FAMILY, are depending on me. I cannot afford to get sick, and I cannot afford to go bonkers.
To those whom I come into contact with, I ask for some understanding and compassion. And I wish those NOT reading this but need to, PLEASE STOP PILING WORK ON ME!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

No maid again

For the second time in less than 1 1/2 years, I am maidless. Not that it is a BIG deal but it is a major inconvenience. I now have to work around my children's needs and schedules. Both hubby and I will have to be more involved as active parents instead of relying on the maid. The kids have to learn to be more independent. We will survive.
Oh for those who are curious, she ran away.
I am only thankful that she did not empty my house of valuables. She did take some cash, but she left behind more than she took. A police report has been made. I don't want her back. She can go home to Indonesia for all I care. I just don't fancy her working here using the permit I got for her.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Busy busy busy

This is turning out to be a busy month and it is not going to ease up next month either. Though the gigs for D*starz did not work out, now they are busy with so many other things. Currently we are busying over their costume and payments for them. They are also busy preparing for competitions soon.
1 May is the Celcom Central Region Cheer Competition
15 May is the National Youth Day Cheer Competition
Mid year exam starts 18th May for the Form 5s
29-30 May is C3 and SEA Cheer competition - which we are not taking part in
If we qualify -
6 June is the National Celcom Cheer Competition

In the meantime, we have also been busy with the Autism Walk sales. Thanks to all the girls who worked hard, we made quite a bundle. Also thanks to the parents who sponsored things. Their gifts are much appreciated.

Aside from cheer things, I am also being kept busy. Falling behind in some work does not help. I am going to be observed, my classes' books need to be checked, mid-year exam papers need to be done. In addition, I will be travelling quite a fair bit too. The Langkawi trip for the staff is in May. My Ladies' trip is also in May. Cell group retreat is in June. The literature conference is in June. So I am really not sure how much I can handle. As it is I have been naughty in rejecting to be on duty for the MSSS Olahraga. Just too much in my cup and I cannot do it.

Well, this is as much as I can update for now. I'm very distracted with the work I have to do.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

More and more

Life as a teacher these days is hard. More and more we hear about how much is piled on teachers. More and more we see expectations grow. More and more we see teachers becoming burned out due to increasing workload and unfair expectations.
For the last few years, I have had burn out periods almost every year. At those times, I felt like throwing in the towel and just quit being a school teacher. At those times, I wanted to just stay at home and crawl under my comforter. I would drag my feet to school. I would dread going to my table and see the mounting work there. I would feel tired just thinking of the work waiting for me. And I would wonder if I was doing a good job or perhaps I was just fooling myself into thinking I could be a good teacher.
Right now is not one of those times. I am swamped with work but I am still floating despite the burden placed on me. I have no idea when I will (if I will) feel the burn out this year. But looking at some of my colleagues, I can see the tiredness and stress in them. I see how some of them are falling sick. Others who have never felt burned out before are starting to feel it. They are dragging themselves to work daily. Their laughters have decreased. Their sense of job satisfaction is getting lower and lower.
Why is this happening? One reason is the amount of work piled up on us. From being teachers whose core business is teaching / educating, we are becoming admin staff with all sorts of paperwork to do - forms to fill, reports to write, minutes to complete, money to handle, accounts to create, plans to draw up and execute ... the list goes on. Not that in the past teachers did not have to do these. It's just that we are given more and more of these to do. Compared to 2 decades ago, when teachers still had a life apart from school, I find that we have so little time away from school. Our families see less and less of us. This is so not fair. We take care of other people's children, and we have hardly any time for our own.
The welfare of teachers is becoming so unimportant to the powers that be. Every year, they say they want to reduce paperwork for us. Every year they say they want to make teaching the true core business for us. Yet more and more non-teaching work is given to us. What is so sad about this is that all these unnecessary work affects our teaching. I just want to teach, educate and inspire my students, not having to worry about handling all sorts of admin work.
Just today, we were told we have to read, write synopses and present in order to increase our KPI. No problem since we do read. Problem is we have to write all sorts of things and fill in so many forms, spend time to prepare for presentations, etc. Already we are spending a lot of time online with work-related things, now we have to spend lots of time AT HOME doing school things. When do we get to do HOME AND FAMILY things? When do we get to truly rest and recuperate?
I really don't understand the people up there who came up with all these things for us to do. People who are not in school and not in classrooms should not make policies and assign all sorts of work to those of us who are. They have NO IDEA what we are doing and how much we are already doing. More often than not, we are doing work NOT in our job specifications. When is this going to stop? When some of us drop dead from work stress and exhaustion?
I really hope that we, teachers, do not end up dragging our feet to work every day because of this. It will be very sad indeed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I am reposting something written by Elza, sister of Benjy, sister of Ines, daughter of Azean Irdawaty, and most importantly to me, a former student.

On March 11th, he was arrested at his apartment's parking lot in Segambut. Police brought him to an apartment he rented in Kepong, and after entering, claimed that in that residence, he possessed 800grams of cocaine, and 140grams of methamphetamine, and accused him of processing and trafficking, putting him under the risk of being charged under Section 39B, which carries the death penalty.

On March 12th he was remanded for 7 days. When my parents inquired if we can engage a lawyer, the Investigation Officer told us "No need".

On March 17th, after our family waited more than an hour, we were allowed to see him for the very first time, under supervision.

Again my mother asked if we should get him a lawyer, again the I.O advised against it, claiming "Lawyer tak boleh buat apa-apa sekarang. Buang duit je. (Lawyer can't do anything now. It's simply a waste of money)."

On March 18th, his remand was extended another 7 days. The magistrate inquired why there was no lawyer present for him, and whether he was made aware he had the right to a counsel of his choice. He replied "No." Therefore, he requested for one, and only nine hours later, did the I.O call to inform my mother, who promptly engaged Amer Hamzah Arshad. But the very next day, the police used their Executive authority under Section 28A that vetoed his right to a counsel. All requests made by our lawyer to visit him was denied.

Only after we complained to SUHAKAM, did the police allow Amer to visit him.

On the last day of his remand. After the investigations were concluded. For only 15 minutes.

On March 25th, he was brought to court, and charged under Section 12(2) for possession of 0.24grams of metaphetamin in his Segambut residence. Nothing the police claimed they found in the Kepong residence, the cocaine and shabu that was "already packaged to be distributed" or the so called "cocaine processing mini-lab" was brought to court.

Because there WAS none.

He was released on bail. A trial date was set. He was so close to being free, and seeing his 4 year old son again.

But as he was signing the papers of his release, the Plainclothes were outside waiting.

Not two steps after he came out of the bail department, without any explanation, they re-arrested him. Amer was restrained from protecting him, and only after Amer repeatedly asked them to show their I.D, did they do so. Still, no explanation was given to the family. We were merely told to go to the Headquarters and speak to Inspector Kang. The same guy who claimed my brother possessed the cocaine they NEVER found.

He never saw us, he was "in a meeting." He wasn't too occupied to give the press a statement, but was unavailable to see us.

We were told by the new I.O for this case, and the DSP (the guy who signed the papers denying my brother the right to a counsel) that they are detaining him for 60 days under the Special Preventive Measures Act (LPK), after which, they could further detain him for 2 years if found guilty.

Guilty according to THEM. For under this act, it is a detention without trial, like the Internal Security Act. Any information gathered from "witnesses" and "investigations" will never be disclosed to him or his lawyer, or the court. He will also not be able to defend himself against any allegations. Under this act, he will never have his day in court.

On March 25th, my brother, Ben, was denied his Constitutional rights.

For 2 weeks, our family went through hell. Sleepless nights, press waiting outside our door, Ben had asthma attacks after the police delayed themselves in acquiring the requested medication for 3 days, Mama, who is a cancer patient herself, suffered chest pains and lost her voice.

We felt it was all worth it, for we would be able to have him back.

But now, a new nightmare has begun.

Whether or not Ben is guilty, should not be for the Police to decide. If they HAD the evidence to strengthen their warrant for re-arrest, why was it not brought to court? Why is Ben not given a chance to defend himself? How can we ever know the authenticity of these so called witnesses and their statements? If there were ANY to begin with?

Under this act, I could simply be caught for any crimes of drug offences the police accuse me of, because they can claim they have enough information (even if they have absolutely nothing) and detain me. For 60 days, for 2 years, and even EXTEND it after.

Acts like this and the ISA are licenses for ARBITRARY arrest and detention. Anytime. Anywhere. Anybody.

My family and Amer will not back down. We will fight for Ben's right. We will speak up for all of those who were silenced before us, who will be silenced hereafter.

But we seek your help. In any way at all, help us fight this. Re-post this, write on your blogs, write to your local representative, to our newspapers, and together we shall use our voice, our art, our space, to stand up not just for Ben, but for all our rights.

Liberty is a Constitutional right. It's time to get it back.