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.