Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jitters and Shivers

Less than 7 hours to go. 2012 will arrive in a little over 6 hours. I am afraid. I am feeling more than jitters. The fear of what will come is almost overwhelming me. I honestly don't know how I am going to face 2012 other than by HIS strength. After the staff meeting, I am told my duty in 2012 will be heavy duty. I am really afraid that I cannot handle the work. I don't know if I can manage. I hope I can and will .... Help me, LORD!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Just because I usually play computer games, it doesn't mean that when I switch on the computer, it is to PLAY! I do LOTS of serious things on the computer. Please respect that.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The countdown begins

In less than 4 days really, the year 2012 will be upon us. As usual, I am not one for resolutions much. I just aspire to be better. No specifics. No point having those specifics when I know I will eventually disregard them.
2012 is going to be another challenging year. Many changes in my life are in the works. I am not sure I am prepared for all the changes. All I know is that, ready or not, I will come to the bridge and I will have to cross it.
In the work front, I have lost the best ever panel head to work for and work with. We were not just colleagues, but we were genuinely friends, partners in crime and also a sister to the other, the sister neither of us ever had. Much as I mourn losing her in the workplace, she is not lost to me as we are still friends and will continue to be buddies. But it will be tough working without her.
In a sense, because she has left, a domino effect will be seen in the workplace. I will walk in her shoes sometimes. Big shoes those. I have more responsibilities in any area that she used to work in. And people assume that, because I am with her often, I know what she does / has done, and therefore, can just fill in the blanks ... the void she has left. I already know some of the things I will end up doing. Not happy but .... work is work. And I will treat it as such - work.
In the home front - Joel is going to school soon. He will join his brothers in primary school. I am worried and nervous for him. I don't know if he will manage. I hope he does. I hope he will not be overly affected by the difference between kindy and primary school.
On top of that, another big change seems to be in the offing. Not sure if it will work out. If it does, I will have extra headaches. One person's decision and change affects the rest of us. I'm just waiting to see how things work out. Taking it one day at a time. If I think too much, I may go crazy with worry.
Am I looking forward to 2012? I am not sure. Perhaps I am. But like everything in life, it is the fear of the unknown that seems to spoil it for me.
So I will walk with my head up high tomorrow when I attend the first staff meeting. I will do my very best because I know it's what I'm supposed to do. But I will have to prepare. Prepare for the possibilities in the future. Bring it on, 2012!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This is what she will do

I will not make this into a "remember her" thing as if I will never see her again.
Instead, I want to think of all the good she will bring to her new place.
She will bring a dynamism that they will need. They will soon realise how work can be more than just work when you do something with passion and love. They will see how she exudes dynamics among people and especially the students she will come into contact with.
She will bring a work culture that puts many to shame. Although she keeps saying she wants to stay under the radar, she will not be able to do so. She is a salt and light of the earth although she either doesn't know it or denies it. She will be a beacon of light to those students and she will bring them to greater heights.
She will have a close relationship with people around her, she will make people laugh with her and cry with her. She will cause others to look at themselves and ask if they have done the best they could. She will ask people to think about things outside of their comfort zone, think out of the box, think and weigh the issues and make wise choices.
She will care for the new students she will teach, she will ask them to lay bare their souls as they explore many things together. In the process, she will also open up herself to them.
She will do the best she can to convince those she teaches that they are better than they can ever imagine. She will allow them to go much farther than anyone has ever ventured. She will keep a close eye on them in the meantime.
She will prove that a teacher makes a difference in whatever she is thrown in. She will bring up the group she will be associated with. She will encourage them to grow and to always improve.
All these and more, she will do. And for that, I wish her all the best and I envy those whose lives she will touch. Thanks for doing all those and more in the 7 years you have been here. Yes, it is time for you to touch more lives. Continue to be the salt and light that many need. Just remember us once in a while, and make time to meet up. I am honoured to have been and always will be your friend.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Just being sad, and I know I am allowed to be sad

My dearest friend ... I might be or not be the closest friend to you. But you know, the effect you have in my life is not something I can just sum up in a sentence or even a short essay. I am not even going to try. When you came in mid 2004, who knew we would strike up a friendship like ours? We will still be friends. But knowing that I will go to work every day and not see you next to me, turning around to look for you and you're not there, trying to figure out something and you're not there to discuss or even argue with me ... is more than I can bear at this moment. We are so different and yet so alike. We are so alike and yet so different.
The few years of just being colleagues and friends were wonderful ones. And the last few years of working with you as my "boss" have been wonderful years. I have enjoyed doing my work because you were there to guide me. Somehow you brought out the best in me. It's a strange phenomenon. I hope I have been there for you in some ways too.
We were like a pair of Siamese twins which are NOT conjoined. I shall remember how our colleagues used to call me by your name and you by my name. It was funny and yet it was a sign. LOL.
Yes I am sad. I am allowed to be sad. I will miss being your sidekick. I will miss the sister I never had.
But I also know the friendship we have formed is not so easily broken. I know you will still be my wonderful friend. And I know that where you will be, you will also do a great job and you will be a blessing to those you teach and work with. In that manner, I am happy for you. But I am sad for me. For those of us who have been happily working under you and with you. Allow us to feel the sadness because of the void you will leave.
My friend, it just won't be the same.

Monday, December 5, 2011

It is over

My Lit in English girls have sat for their SPM paper for the subject. It is over. Now, I wait and see what results they have. And whether I have done a sufficient job with them. Just as they were nervous, I was too. I was worried that I had not done enough for them, that I had not guided them in the right direction. I was thinking to myself over the weekend that if they don't do well, I might not want to teach Lit anymore. I wouldn't be able to live with myself. But I know my girls are good students. They will do quite well, most of them.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Busy first week

The first week of the holidays is over. It has been a rather full and busy week. I started by going to school and cleaning up my table and finishing up some editing work for a school project. Those two tasks took up 2 days. Much as I dislike going back to school or doing school work during holidays, I am glad I took time to do the necessary.
Then another day was spent at UMMC trying to get an appointment to do a mammogram, which turned into a rather exasperating effort. I didn't get a mammogram done but had an appointment made for March NEXT YEAR!
Then I took my kids out for a movie, Happy Feet 2, and a nice lunch. We bumped into Jeremy, the radio DJ from That was a thrill for my boys, especially Jeremy.
On another day, I drove Jonathan to church to meet up with other campers who were going to Broga for a camp. Then I took my two other boys for grocery shopping, and bumped into Aznil Nawawi, who hosts a children's educational show. My boys were beyond thrilled to have met "Abang Aznil".
On Saturday, my family, minus Jonathan, went to Kuala Pilah. We had a picnic at the Ulu Bendul Recreation Park, then we went to Shemariah Home and spent time with the children there. On the way back, we had dinner in Seremban.
Today, I welcomed Jonathan home from camp. He had a great time and I'm sure he was really glad to have gone for the trip. Cousin Su Ming came by and we went out for tea, and we chatted a lot. It was good to see her.
So that was pretty much how I spent the first week. Next week will be as busy, if not busier.

Friday, November 18, 2011

One more day

It is only one more day before the school holiday officially begins. And yet, there is so much more work I need to complete. In part it is due to the fact that I have been dragging my feet when some work had to be done. In part it is also due to the fact that I have more work to do and one project basically needs to be completed by end of the month if possible.
There are numerous tasks which I need done during this holiday and I need to refocus on my family now. I have to make appointments for Joel's re-evaluation. I have to buy books for my boys. I have to go and have my own medical check-up. I have to clean up my house, especially my room.
So many things to do. I don't even know where to start. Help!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Feeling the jitters

Just as my Lit girls are preparing for their SPM soon, I am feeling jitters. I am experiencing self-doubt. I am not confident I have done sufficient to help them ace the Lit paper. I am afraid for them, and I am afraid for me. I am not sure what else I can do for now. All I know is this : just as they are nervous, so am I. And I don't like this feeling. It is scary. I hope and I pray I have done the necessary, and whatever else I do, the girls will benefit greatly.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Our ego

This is not so much about ego. But about how, due to it (my ego), I do feel hurt by things that go on around me. There have been times when I rejoiced over good things that have happened to good people, to people who deserved to receive praises, gifts, rewards, well, good things. Yes, how can one not be happy for them. I know I was.
But I also know that behind the gladness, I have also been envious or upset even. Much as I know it is wrong, much as I try to deny it, I know I felt it. That tinge of sadness. That sharp pain somewhere in my heart. So I shall not deny it any longer. I, the picture of happiness outwardly (and I was genuinely happy), died a little inside when good things happened to good people, and that good person was not me.
I cannot deny my humanity. I cannot deny that much as I am happy for others, I sometimes wish it was me on the receiving end.
I am not jealous in the sense that some people received good things, especially the deserving ones. It's just that my ego is bruised knowing it was not me. It is nice when people are appreciated. I have been on the receiving end, yes. I have probably been the object of envy myself.
I know I am over-analysing, but I am just saying .... I do have that ego bruised from time to time. It is wrong of me to feel this way, perhaps. But I also know I cannot deny it. Some who read this might misinterpret this, I hope not. No one needs to be hurt by this, as I am not wishing bad things on anyone, just acknowledging my weakness and my ego.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The thing that has got most people riled up at the moment

Perhaps it is not so much the thing rather than the person who has got many people all riled up and ready to stone someone to death. Well, maybe not death.
The issue has been a long standing one, an issue being discussed, protested and debated for the last 2-3 years. The problem is when some people only choose to look at mediocrity and hope that the weak become mediocre. They have forgotten about the advanced group of people who need more than what is being offered. On top of that, they have forgotten about why it was implemented in the first place. Now, after 9 years, it is all going to naught. And the people most affected aren't even old enough to vote. They have no voice in this. The rest of US ... are simply being "gagged" or be regarded as troublemakers or traitors.
But what was most insulting was how the big boss himself used words that insulted everyone's intelligence. As if other people's voices and opinions do not matter. Only his decision is final and worth talking about. This person who has a disease called foot-in-mouthitis really need to get the right advisors and proper image consultants. His popularity and others' respect for him is getting lower by the minute. Good luck for the next few months.

Destroyer of relationships

Some people just find joy in creating tension and causing relationships/friendships to crumble. My guess is they envy the friendships others have and they themselves can never hope to have the same kind of friendship. It is sad when a person envies and then goes on to destroy.
I just hope that the person/s who have been smiling inwardly with glee will learn that he/she/they cannot win by causing others to lose. What value is it when one wins when in the process one causes others to stumble rather than winning with pride due to personal ability?
In the meantime, a friend needs a hug. Being bombarded with many negative things in one day, starting from early morning was not an easy thing to swallow.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I am being a sloth. The pictures above are of sloths, the real ones. I am being the proverbial sloth. Slow to move, slow to react, slow to do anything. I am perpetually tired and sleepy. I feel like being a koala too. This is partially due to the fact that I have been under the weather. But I am really dragging my feet. If I could sleep 10-12 hours a day, I would. My back aches, my chest hurts, my head feels heavy, my heart is not where it should be. I need something / someone to change me back.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I can feel myself slipping. In more than one ways.
As a wife and mother, I think I am slipping in my sense of responsibility. I think I neglect my loved ones more than I can afford to.
As a teacher, I feel myself becoming less passionate about what I do. Especially in class. I do enjoy teaching still, but the passion is just not as strong anymore. Too much work, perhaps?
As a Christian, my passion for my Lord and Saviour leaves a lot to be desired. I pray He forgives me and bring back that first love to my heart.
I think I am just letting a lot of less important things crowd out parts of my life. It is time I trim some of them away. Problem is am I up to it?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Puteri Gunung Ledang - A Sri Aman Production

We are fast approaching the day this musical will be staged in the school hall. Although this is a BM production, although I am in no way involved, I am proud to say the presentation will be wonderful. I watched the full dress rehearsal today and I am proud to say that everyone did a splendid job. I am extremely proud of my friends/colleagues who are involved, and I am also very proud of the students who have spent the last 3-4 months practising and working out all the details they are supposed to do.
To the cast and crew, break a leg. You will do splendidly. You will make Sri Aman very proud to have staged this production.

p/s Mr Saw Tiong Hin, the director of PGL the movie as well as a consultant in PGL the musical also attended the full dress rehearsal today, albeit only till half way. He was impressed by what he saw and I felt really proud to hear him say that it was a good job by all.

p/p/s Datin Tiara Jacquelina, who played the legendary princess in both the movie and the musical, was informed about our production. Though she could not come, she was very supportive by posting our poster on her FB page and inviting our cast and crew to Istana Budaya to see how her company produces a musical drama.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tiga - < 3 ... ???

Wondering what that was? That's the title of the drama that was put up by Production Club last Thursday. No, I am not part of the club. No, the play was not in English. No, I did not offer to help. But I was involved, nevertheless.
How did that happen? Hmmm, kinda a long story ... well, not that long, but I am not about to blog about it. Bottom line is I was involved as the stage manager. Officially I was the stage manager.
In reality, I think I went beyond the duty of a stage manager. Those who know me will know that I cannot stand by and watch something just fall flat, and not do anything about it. I saw how the whole project seemed ready to collapse. I could not stand it, and I took over, partially. Instead of "just" being the stage manager, I assisted in directing, in making sure props were ready, costume and makeup were complete, made some decisions which I should not have made, but I made them. I screamed at the cast and crew when they did not listen. I scolded people left, right and centre. In short, I almost took over. Why? I could not let it fail. I had to do something. I did what I could with the little time left.
I don't know if some people minded that I bulldozed my way through, but it's too late to mind. The production went .... relatively well. Considering that we had so little time, and having so many issues to solve, we did quite well.
I hope that I never ever have to take over like that again. In 5 days' time, it'll be Puteri Gunung Ledang. I am not involved at all, thankfully. But I know and have faith that it'll be great.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Been over a month

I have been slacking off. Lazy to update my blog. Too tired after the cheer season was over. August, for me, was a relatively boring month, not so busy but also a change in focus of my work.
The one week break over Hari Raya was a really good time to rest and spend time with my boys. I am very unfair to them most of the time. I'm glad I had the 1 week with them. I did no work, just spend time doing the things I liked and taking my boys out.
Hari Raya visits were aplenty this year. I spent the first day of HR visiting 2 families. The first is my buddy, Puteri's family. It was a good time of yakking with friends there. Then we went to Pn Alainal's house. It was good meeting up with her again after so long. I have missed her so. In the evening we went to Hayani's house. I only took Joel with me, and he had a good time wandering all over the house.
The second day of HR, hubby took Jon and Jeremy to Putrajaya. I took Joel to TM with the maid to visit HER cousin and employer. What a surprise it was! The house is sooooo English. And soooooo big.
Now I am back to work. It will be a busy month for me. Starting with finalising the editorial work, then the drama next week, and Eco Music Fest, and Cheer competition for the houses, and then flying off to Penang for the perkembangan staf.
October will be another busy month. That, I will reserve for the next post.

Monday, August 1, 2011

All about the spirit

*This is something I wrote in my FB notes last night, well, Saturday night. This is dedicated to team Blitzers from SMK Bandar Utama 4. *

I learned something today. Something about the fighting spirit, the spirit of sportsmanship. Last Sunday, I did not get to watch Blitzers perform as they were just before Baby Starz. I managed to see them start. I didn't know what happened after that. I was told that someone in the team was badly injured during the performance. I left it at that. Then I saw that their position in the final standing was way below expectations. I did not think too much about it. Tonight, I found out why. But instead of feeling sad and sorry for them, I salute this team that has shown such grit and determination. It was in the face of total failure that the team members continued what they had set out to do, to the best of their abilities given the injury mid-way through their routine. They went on with the performance as their injured team member was taken out and later, stretchered out. A team with less determination would have stopped and looked in horror at the incident, and probably cried their eyes out. The result? An incomplete routine which would have placed them last, perhaps? Instead, they did what nobody else had expected. They continued. They did without the injured member. They were shaken but they went on. And they finished their routine. If I had watched then, I would have given them a standing ovation. Instead, I only watched their videos today. I watched the routine which they had planned and practised for months. Then I watched the video of the actual performance during competition. And I cried. My heart went out to the team. But I applauded the team for keeping the faith of the entire school and completed their mission. It must have been so hard for them to just go on. But they did. Everyone else was looking at the injured girl. They just kept on. I have found a new respect for those girls. Kudos! You may not have won the championship, but you have won many hearts!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Target achieved

Cheer 2011 is over. We competed yesterday and achieved our target. D*starz managed to hold on to top 10 position - we were number 8. Baby starz was able to be 25th and beat a few teams along the way, including Gemz. I have no complaints. At least where their achievements are concerned. Will be taking a break from Cheer for a while. Next to occupy my time will be helping out with the drama by production club.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

3 days to go - 2011

In less than 72 hours, we will know who have done their teams proud and win various prizes in Cheer 2011. In less than 72 hours, my girls will find themselves lost, without a competition to look forward to anymore. In less than 72 hours, I will regain my life, and my children regain their mother. In less than 72 hours, I will suddenly miss those divas who have been occupying so much of my time and energy.
In less than 72 hours, I will find myself ... missing the action.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

When is a No not a disobedience?

When we are told to do something, go somewhere or just plain be something we are not, are we allowed to say NO and not be branded negative or disobedient? Or are we to become the ultimate YES-man / YES-woman before we are considered good or effective? Are we NOT teaching our young to THINK and be CRITICAL about things they see/hear/learn? Are we walking the talk then, if we teach our young to master critical and creative thinking skills but we ourselves do not show that WE have those skills? Is it so wrong to say NO when we know we are not up to it?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Not allowed

As a civil servant, I am not allowed to utter words of criticism towards the government of the moment. That was what I was told, what we were all told. That caused me more anger and resentment than I could have imagined. I felt like a fool who needed to be reminded to be loyal to my boss.
As a civil servant, I am not allowed to be involved in politics. I have no interest in politics, truth be told. I am not interested in having a hand in the governance of this state and country. But to be told to the face that I am not allowed to do it - that pushed me a little further from what I used to believe in.
As a civil servant, I am not allowed to appear anywhere near public rallies and demonstrations. My boss was told to monitor her staff members and make sure none attended any rallies. As if SHE was allowed to go. What are we being told, honestly?
The whole "not allowed" issue is leaving a very bad taste in my mouth. I am no historian but ...
weren't the forefathers of this country, the ones who fought for independence and the right to govern this country to be returned to the people ... weren't they civil servants? Weren't many of them teachers and academicians?
Misunderstand not. I was not about to attend any rallies. I was not about to try and wrestle people for power. But I hate being told I am not allowed to do this and that and most of all, I hate being told I have no right to wear a certain colour, or use certain words. Have I suddenly lost the basic right to choose my clothing all of a sudden?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Out of blindness you caused me to see

I felt sad today. Well, not entirely true. I was proud but at the same time, sad.
I was proud to see how some people have let the scales fall from their eyes and see things as they are. I was proud of some people who have shown solidarity amidst tough times. I was proud that some people have restored my faith in what the future might hold.
But I was sad. I was saddened by the lies that are spread around so easily. I was sad that some people do not bat an eye when they lie. And I was sad that many people believe those lies.
To tell the truth, I never did like bringing a cause to the masses. I was never one to go to the streets. I still don't condone it. But that does not mean I do not appreciate what happened today. I shall not say more. Suffice to say that I, too, had scales fall from my eyes.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Commitment Issues

Seems like it is an annual thing for me to complain about commitment issues among my students. Specifically the cheer leaders. Sometimes it's not about them, but their guardians. But the root of the problem is they themselves. Every year it is a struggle to get this group of girls to understand what commitment means, what it entails and why it is important.
Every year, I have a few girls who just exasperate me to no end. If it is not lack of attendance, it is being tardy, or needing to leave early. Other than that it has to do with finances. Payment of money for coaching, for uniform, tshirts, this and that. It never ends.
It saddens me when I see these girls, who, initially show such potential, slip into the category of people who cannot commit themselves to what they want to do. The saddest thing, of course, is that it affects the entire team. The morale of the team dips. The annoyance among those who DO commit, is apparent. And this breaks up the team.
The other thing that truly annoys me is guardians who cannot understand why their charges' lack of commitment affects other people. Time and again, I have had to stress the importance of team work. I would rather have 12 people who truly commit, than 16 people consisting of 4 dead woods. I have less of a headache.
It is sad. I can see this trend continuing for a long time to come. This boils down to the ME culture. It's all about me, myself and I. This is the culture that is being passed down from those who should know better to those who are impressionable. The other problem is the focus on all things academics. Other types of learning no longer seem to be important. This is SAD.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Belated but better late than never

21 June 2011 – A friend and I attended “The Sound of Music” held in the KL Convention Centre. Here is my take on the performance :

Actors/Actresses (based on characters) :

Maria : The leading actress did a good job. It was a breath of fresh air to hear her singing the well-known songs that we all seem to know. She was convincing as Maria, a young lady who is finding her way in the convent and was asked to be a governess to 7 children. Her rapport with the 7 children was good. I enjoyed her voice. I enjoyed her seeming lack of confidence with her heart when she realized she was in love.

Captain Von Trapp : Christopher Plummer spoilt it for me. I cannot imagine a Capt VT who is any less severe and serious than Plummer’s version. Not that he did a lousy job. He actually did a good job. I enjoyed his singing, and I thought he looked handsome. But I just could not help thinking that his character lacks the oomph.

Elsa : She was beautiful and sang well. She looked a lot more pleasant than the character in the movie. Unfortunately I feel that her character was underdeveloped.

Max : Max is the family friend of the Von Trapps and Elsa. I do not particularly care for his acting and singing. I don’t know if it is the accent he was trying to fake or his voice that is almost growling. It was not very clear, especially during the first scene he appeared in. It got better along the way.

The children : I cannot have one commentary for every child. But I think the children did a great job overall. I still marvel at how a little child like Gretl (the actress, I mean) was taught and trained to perform in a musical that lasts 3 hours. Their acting and singing were wonderful. I do think, though, that Liesl is a little miscast. Perhaps it has to do with her being very tall and she looked a little gawky. But her singing was good. Everyone was generally good and did a marvelous job.

The stage / props :

The main backdrop is a very high, about 3 storey high backdrop which is used to depict the convent as well as the Von Trapps’ house. I like the fact that they were able to multi-use the backdrop, although at times it looked awkward.

As the convent or abbey, the focus was on the lowest level where the nuns would sing and chant, partially covered. The tree outside worked well as a place Maria would ‘hang out’. The elaborate staircase was used to run up to upper levels of the abbey when the nuns when looking for Maria.

As the Von Trapps’ house, the backdrop worked well as a 3 storey house. The ground level is where they changed the stage into a lounge area, Maria’s room, as well as outside the house. It was a little awkward that the tree was not moved as it was still there when it’s supposed to be inside the house, or even inside the abbey. The staircase was used as the main route to the upstairs rooms, etc.

The stage is actually not very big, hence, the problem of moving things about. I mean, compared to PGL which was held at Istana Budaya, this musical seems to be a little stagnant in terms of movement of props and even the cast members. The stage, though not wide, is very high. So the crew made full use of the height by constructing the 3-storey backdrop. Since they could not move much to the left and right, they moved UP.

The crew members who moved things about, I felt, was a little careless. There was quite a fair amount of noise when they dragged in some of the props in the dark. This could have been minimized with some oiling of the things, especially the heavier ones. That distracted the audience a fair bit.

For this opportunity to attend the opening night of the musical, I thank my dear friend, Rozida. Your misfortune became a blessing and a gift for me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Anti-semitism, anyone?

I am not promoting any anti-anything. Just a catchy title in the light of what I saw and heard in school today. To say I was angry would be an understatement. I was ready to start verbal diarrhoea with someone today.
I have never been one to have a very high opinion of all those penceramahs from somewhere else who come in to school to give talks to students or even teachers. All those fellows brought in by the counselling units - I have not had many good experiences listening to them. Most of them, I fear, were just there to earn some money off the school. They were there, wasting time because they had to justify how much they charged the school.
Well, today was no different. Well, maybe a bit different. The speaker today caused me to personally walk over to him and interrupt him and tick him off. That's a first, surely.
Many people wonder where our young children learn to be racist, to make racist comments, to over-generalise that people of a certain heritage are so-and-so. I tell you where. In school. Yes, in school. These people, so-called motivation speakers, so-called people-in-the-know, make untold comments about people of some races / religions / beliefs and say it is true. And they make our young kids think what they say is true.
How a speaker could come to our school hall and claim that all the GEJALA SOSIAL come from the BARAT & ORANG-ORANG YAHUDI is beyond me. How he can claim that KITA ORANG ASIA KAN ADA AGAMA DAN BUDAYA and insinuate that the western world did not, is something I wish I could personally ask him to explain. To claim TAU TAK, ORANG-ORANG YAHUDI NI BENCIKAN ORANG ISLAM, KRISTIAN, HINDU, BUDDHA DAN ADA SATU KONVENSYEN YAHUDI NAK MENGHAPUSKAN SEMUA ORANG NI is just plain unbelievable! I wish I could just call in someone and arrest him for making that kind of comments in front of 400-500 school children. Poisoning the minds of the young. Something that is so obviously biased and reek of racism and anti-semitism should NEVER be allowed in the school grounds.
Those who know me will know how I could not withstand that kind of people and comments. There was only one thing I knew I had to do. I had to undo the damage in one way or another. I marched to the front of the hall, interrupted him and asked him to not make untrue comments like that. He was probably shocked at the audacity of this woman. He insisted that it was not about religion since he said the same thing in a Chinese school the previous day. I told him it was not religion I was talking about. I told him what he said about the Jews were not true (should have said it was a LIE and he was propagating anti-semitic views) and therefore he should refrain from making those comments. All done in front of over 400 students and some colleagues. His response was, YOU RASA ITU TAK BETUL KE? OK TAKPE. I walked off after that. I could not take the smugness (I was told I had a smug look on my face too) from him. Just because he has spoken to many people in many halls and FELDA settlements, SO WHAT?
So I walked off. I refuse to have my blood pressure boil over this kind of people. I called my superior and told her what had happened. She was shocked and said she would go and speak to the man later. Told another superior too after that. She commented I had done the right thing. Most will not bother as we are all so CULTURED and do not like to make comments even when some people are so clearly wrong. Do I feel good about it? No. I wish that kind of comments on the Jews and the West had not come out instead.
It is so easy to blame one kind of people for all the sins and troubles of the world. I hope I don't ever meet this man again, especially if he is speaking to school children.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I am blessed

In many ways, I am blessed. Even when I complain and murmur about various things, I know that I am blessed. Although I often seem ungrateful when I whinge and whine, I actually am grateful. I have gone through too much to recognise the blessings amidst the tough times.
I am blessed with a family I love. I do not always enjoy them ... especially when I disagree with some of them, or when the kids fight and cause a ruckus, or when everyone takes me for granted (which happens quite frequently). But these people are the ones I will protect with my life.
I am blessed with a home. I am not a house proud person. My house is often in a mess. But it is not so much the house that makes it a home. It is the atmosphere, the feeling of being lived in that makes it a home.
I am blessed with a job, which is often not just a job. It is not a career, yet it is something much more. I am constantly reminded of my role in the lives of many people, of what it means to fulfill that role. I have not done all too well at times, but I don't think I have failed either.
I am blessed with friends and acquaintances who have, at one time or another, given me much joy. I hope they can say the same of me too.
There is much more for which I thank the Lord. And I do not thank Him enough. I need to remind myself daily how blessed I am. And learn to reduce the whinging and whining.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I am seriously tired. Physically tired as well as mentally and occasionally emotionally tired. Most of the tiredness is due to work, well, not the usual WORK work, but just all the things that need to be done.
For most of the week, starting from after my Chiang Mai trip, it was playing catch up with marking exam papers. Many wondered why I didn't try to finish marking before the trip. Well the answer is simple : I was too busy recovering from the tiredness from the period of preparing exam papers to all sorts of other WORK, and having D*starz compete in the NYD competition in Putrajaya (which we didn't win or get any prizes), then making sure they are okay for the cheer camp they eventually attended, and trying to spend time with my own children. All at the same time I was trying to complete marking my Literature paper.
It was tiring and the trip was something I wanted very much, just so I could GET AWAY from everything : work, responsibilities, and yes, even kids. Just for a few days. I know I sound like a terrible mother, but I needed the trip to get back the ME I seem to be losing. And once I came back, it was almost non-stop work, trying to complete the marking of papers in the fairest of manner. Some people mark really fast. I don't, well, not as fast anymore. I get tired easily. My eyes get watery really fast. And I try not to rush through the marking process so that I am fair to my students. Of course, my children who were on holiday also demanded my attention. How was I to neglect them when I neglect them enough during the school semester itself?
So school has started for a week and I scrambled like a mad woman trying to do everything and complete everything FAST! It didn't help that I now have to work out paper work for Cheer Club / the cheer teams and manage their finances now that cheer season is here.
Tshirts, CHARM membership forms, C3 forms, C3 fees, coaching fees owing, uniform money, claims, transportation issues, being with the girls during practices and competitions .... the list goes on. I have just come back from the SOX competition. I am disappointed that the junior team did not get a better placing. I can only see us ahead of the two new teams from the south. I thought we did better. But then, what do I know? I chose not to know. On one hand I was annoyed the coach did not help to prepare them for this competition. I know he wanted to focus on another competition, but they needed something of a smaller scale as a preparation for bigger competitions. If he had helped with a few things, I know the girls would have had a better placing. (Kayna, if you are reading this, I do not want you to repeat it to you-know-who) Well, it is too late to regret or be upset, so we just have to move on and look forward to the next competitions.
There is so much more of work ... WORK that is coming my way. So much of it is actually paper WORK and I am not looking forward to any of the paper WORK! Least of all is the one that is absolutely unnecessary but some people just want it done.
I am tired. Yes .... and I feel guilty. Because I often place WORK above my family. Not good. Not by choice most of the time but ... it happens.
I am tired. I shall try to rest now.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chiang Mai

Thailand is known as a land of beautiful girls and lots of smiles. It is a beautiful country. I have not seen much of it but at least this is the third time I am in Thailand. From 5th to 8th June, I was in Chiang mai with 3 other ladies from my Cell Group. We basically went to have a holiday away from the family. It was a holiday to relax and rejuvenate.
I find Chiang mai different from Bangkok which I visited in 2008. It is also different from Haadyai which I visited in 1993.
Chiang mai, I find, is simpler. The traffic is not as heavy. The place is just different. The people, however, are just as beautiful and as friendly as ever. I encountered some really nice Thai people during those few days.

The photo above is taken from my room window. I was on the 22nd floor. Looking out of this window, we could see the hill that separates Thailand and Myanmar. The mist can be seen surrounding the hill sometimes.
This is Le Meridien Hotel. It is opposite the hotel I was staying in. But it is right outside my other window. Thought I'd take a picture of it.

This is my room. Rather nice actually.

Thought I'd add this photo. It is taken at a quaint cafe called Love at First Bite. Lots of cakes that look simply delicious. Tasted delicious too.
Thailand is a lot about food. This was not the main thing we all ate. We had lots of food. Just no time to upload the appropriate photos. However, I had time to upload these of me and some elephants though.

The naughty elephants (and their mahouts, actually), disturbed me when taking photos. It was a little scary when three elephants used their trunks to "pat" me.

Something impressed me. Their very clean toilets almost everywhere I went. This toilet is at the Elephant Camp. It is sooooooo very clean. Smelled wonderful too, as they used lemon grass aroma oil in the burner. I wonder when Malaysians will have that kind of mentality to keep the public toilets really clean.

I will try to blog about the 3 days we were there. Too tired to recall and blog now. Will update soon.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The long-awaited holiday

I have been looking forward to this holiday for months. Literally! I am not doing well, with all the work that I have in school, and duties as wife, mother and daughter. It never ends, this sense of responsibility. At least, with the holidays, I don't have to be in school. I can spend a bit more time with the family and also to catch up on the marking of exam papers. And to top that off, God willing, I will go on a holiday with some friends soon.
I think I have been waiting to go away for a holiday, minus the family, for almost 2 years. Last year, we were supposed to go to Cherating. But the plan was cancelled when my maid ran away. Hubby was not going to be able to manage. This year, we decided to plan early and commit to the trip. The last few weeks, especially, I have been thinking of nothing else that I truly looked forward to than this trip. Yes, I will blog about it when I have gone there and returned safely. I hope and pray that the trip will be relaxing and enjoyable.
In the meantime, I still have to go back to school. There is cheer practice. I have to mark my exam papers. This is really taking a long time. I am trying to be thorough but it is time-consuming. And having 5 classes' papers to mark is no joke.
Tomorrow, I am taking my boys for skating and a movie. I am looking forward to it, not as much as they are, but still ... it will be a good break for me. More reason to work hard and mark tonight.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Teacher's Day 2011

I am writing about this the day before SA actually has its celebration. Tomorrow, we will be having the usual : speeches, games, mini concert. Throw in a fair amount of eating and the usual gift-giving, and that is about what we will have. If I do not sound like I am eagerly waiting for it, well, I am not. This year's celebration just doesn't feel like something I am thrilled to have. I don't really know why. Maybe it's because I have so much to do, and my mind is just not focused on any celebration.
Too many things to do : marking exam papers, planning lessons, website for the English panel, cheer season stuff. On top of that, I have been unwell. Nothing big but I have been coughing badly for over a week. Joel, who started coughing first, recovered, but is now getting it back. The maid, too, has the same problem. Jon and Jeremy both are having exams. Well, Jeremy's have finished. Jon has one more subject to go.
So it is probably not surprising that I have not been in the mood to celebrate. I just want to finish marking my papers, and then enjoy my trip with the ladies in about 10 days.
I just hope that I do not get too moody tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


While we are still recovering from the royal wedding, I would like to remember a few weddings. Firstly is the wedding I recently attended, Michael and Vivienne. Michael is my former student from the first school I taught in. Well, what I attended was their wedding dinner, thrown by Viv's family. Their actual wedding is this coming Sunday and I will not be attending as it will be in MN. Thankfully hubby went with me for their dinner 2 Sundays ago. I am reminded of the time when I was a young teacher and Michael and his friends were still teenagers. How time has flown by and he is now a married man.
Another quite recent wedding I attended was Winnie's wedding. She is hubby's cousin and her wedding was spectacular to say the least. The wedding ceremonies were semi-traditional. The customs were somewhat observed. The dinner reception was an event to remember, thanks to Winnie's brother, Kevin. It was a good time of meeting up with relatives. Even my in laws were back for the wedding.
Another wedding hubby and I attended was just 2 days ago in Melaka. His friend's wedding. The journey there took 2 hours. We stayed about 45 minutes for the lunch and short chat with the bride. And then we left. Another almost 2 hours travelling home.
Probably more weddings to attend some time this year. But I do enjoy attending weddings.

Friday, April 29, 2011


What is a wedding? The act of going through the process to become married. Today is an important day for one very high profile couple. Their wedding has been anticipated for years. Everything about their wedding was kept secret until today when all the world would see.

The invitees include royalty, leaders of countries and, most importantly, their family and friends. Everyone who watched the live telecast spotted many dignitaries and also celebrities.

The whole event was a big party and also an event to unite many people. Watchers outside the church and palace came from far and wide. Some even turned up a few days before the wedding to book the most suitable spot to watch for the wedded couple.

The wedding was planned by a battalion of people, guarding every single detail and ensuring safety for the couple, their family and friends, and also all the dignitaries.

Everyone awaited for the event to begin. Everyone wanted a look at the wedding gown. Everyone wanted to look at the bride and groom. Everyone wanted to have a piece of them if possible.

The wedding was held at the Westminster Abbey. The building was majestic. The whole place was made for a wedding to remember. The choir boys were angelic. The music made one feel like floating on air.

They were married. They became man and wife - or in this case, prince and princess and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
They represented a bridge between the "old" royals, and the young generation. They were a beautiful and handsome couple. Life will never be the same for the bride ever again, not only because she is now married, but because of whom she married and therefore, whom she became.
As the whole world (almost) watched the wedding, many remembered another wedding which happened in 1981 which ended in a divorce and then death. And so everyone wishes this couple something much better and everlasting for this new couple.

And so, the fairy tale became a reality. A wedding, a marriage. We wish you both a wonderful start to a wonderful life together. May your love for each other and the faith you have for each other bring you to a life that is fulfilling for you and your family. May you remember the vow you made and the blessings you received.

There is no "happily ever after" in real life. What has happened does not denote the end of a story, but the beginning of one. May this beautiful beginning be reflective of the years to come.

I hope all who attend your wedding will be able to wish you both a happy anniversary 10 20 30 40 years from now. Your royal highnesses Prince William and Princess Catherine ... have a happy married life.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


This year seems to be a lot about CHANGE. Change in a lot of things. Change where it is difficult to accept and adapt to. Change that scares me a lot. Change - the only thing that is constant. Change - making life unpredictable and scary.
How am I adapting to some of the changes? Not well at all.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Of team work and selfishness

Team work and selfishness or self-centredness do not belong in the same sentence, well, except in this sentence. These two terms do not belong together, as they are as different as white and black.
What has brought about this little post is the way some students have been behaving in preparation for competitions that require team work. As usual, I have the ever difficult cheer teams to work on, but I'll write about them later. Now the focus is on the choral speaking competition.
This competition is being held in school for the Form 1, 2 and 4 classes. I have been doing very little in class as the students need to practise for the competition which will be held tomorrow. I have been observing the students. I can identify those who just do not know how to work in a team. These students just do things as and how they wish. This only shows how selfish they are. If things do not benefit them personally, they do not bother much with whatever they have been instructed to do. This causes the entire class to get annoyed and irritated with these people.
  • Example 1 : All students were told to borrow baju kurung so that everyone looks uniformed as a team. There just has to be one, or even two, who are not bothered. Trust me, they just don't care, not because they cannot borrow.
  • Example 2 : Because some classes are way behind in practices, they need to stay back to practise together. BUT there just have to be a few who refuse to stay back, not because they can't but because they DO NOT WANT TO!
  • Example 3 : Memorising the script is not an option, it is a requirement. And yet, many still cannot be bothered to memorise. They just mouth the words, albeit wrongly.
It is so irritating to see these students not giving their cooperation to the rest of the class. It kills the team spirit

Okay, cheer. After having handled my cheerleaders for 3 years (this is my 4th year), I still see a lot of selfishness in some of the team members. I have groused over this several times. I still see it. Some people just never change. In any sport that is a team event, there is no room for individualism. In cheer leading, this can lead to accidents. And yet, some of them just do not see the need to work as a team. Their own selfish wants seem to be more important that the team's needs.

Well, we'll see how things transpire.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dealing with incompetent people

The weekend that has gone by was a frustrating one. It was a lot of things, but frustration ruled the 2 days that I had to work.
Firstly was on Saturday, when I attended a session on teaching the literature component in English. It was held in a hotel in Shah Alam that I shall not mention.
Everything was fine until we were supposed to leave. We went down to the basement where we parked our car and found the entire basement smoky. Actually it was foggy as we could smell the anti-aedes fogging chemicals. We tried to drive out of there. It was impossible. The visibility was only about 2-3 metres. We could NOT find the exit point. I was worried about banging into a pillar or a wall. Or another car. What were we to do? I finally called my buddy who was still in the lobby, and asked her to inform the hotel security the problem we were having. One very young security guard made an appearance (he looked like he was 18-19 yrs old) and pointed to the exit. STUPID BOY!!!! Visibility was so low it was not safe or possible to drive to wherever he had pointed at. I told him that and in the end he walked to the exit and we all drove slowly behind him. All these while I was wondering what in the world made the hotel management agree to have fogging done at that time of day in a basement that does not have good ventilation. By the time I got outside, I was almost nauseated by the fumes of the chemicals. From there I drove to Bkt Kiara for the SOX event. There began my next frustration.
The cheerleaders were there on that day for a day of cheer clinic as well as other activities. I got there at 5pm. And when I got there, what I saw made my blood boil. The children were all being made to do either hip-hop, capoeira, stomping or body combat. These were all physically demanding activities. And they were all going to be in competition the next day. I duly marched to the event organisers and told them off. They argued that it was just a short session. I fought back and told them to stop. And I pulled my girls out of the activities. And I asked the girls if they had had their tea break and it was NO. I argued with those people and told them the kids were all tired out. Some were already feeling sick and dehydrated. It was frustrating arguing with those people. One of the guys leading the activities argued that it was fun and good to build up their fitness. I got mad and raised my voice and said this : If you want to build up fitness, do it weeks before, not the day before the competition! He argued that he took care of Floor Fever and Wakaka (two dance teams) and it was no problem. I told him off. His dance teams are fit, but not my girls and they were not going to join the activities and perform that night. He gave me the dirtiest look possible. Not like I cared.
Then later that night, after I had left, I found out that they only had the drawing of lots at 11pm! So ridiculous! So angry!
The next day was competition day. I got there before 8am. Then I found out more things that made me angry. Dinner the previous night was bad. There was no briefing about the competition. Breakfast was still not ready at 8am. Then when they finally started competition, it started more than one hour later than scheduled. Then I found out there was going to be a dance-off to narrow down to 4 teams. I was really upset. Why were we not told earlier?
By then I was ready to either pull out or just give up. The whole event was extremely badly organised.
What was important was not the result. We were not in the top 4. It doesn't matter. What was also frustrating was the girls. The uniform issue was not settled until Sunday morning itself. The teams did not have the drive to win. Some members were not displaying the ability they actually have.
Yes it was a frustrating weekend. I was drained physically and emotionally. When I got home last night, I could barely keep my eyes open anymore. This morning, getting up for work was tough. I wished I could just continue sleeping. I had a lingering headache. My whole body was aching. I just wanted to crawl back into bed and sleep off the tiredness of the 2 days. But I made it to work. I was zombified half the day but I managed to do my work.
Well, that was my frustrating and tiring weekend. I am glad I don't have to face those incompetent people again for now. I have to decide though, if I want to try the wildcard thing. That .... is another story and will take another blog post.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Updating a bit

It has been maddening, as usual. Work, family, friends. Not necessarily in that order. I do feel like I have lost my grip on my life. It is crazy sometimes. At times I also feel like I want to throw in the towel and just QUIT. Leave. Close both eyes and ears. I don't know. Not like I can.
  • I struggled with the March test papers. It took me a fair bit of time to grade them, and settle the marks. Self-discipline is severely lacking these days, where marking test papers is concerned. I am fine with creating those test papers. But I simply detest marking.
  • Post-SHORTS withdrawal symptom was bad. At times I still wanted to get into the hall and get the girls to rehearse again. I know. Silly!
  • Getting back to the mundane is tough. Enough said.
  • D*starz is back in action. Well, almost. The team is extremely new and young. I feel very insecure vibes. The team is struggling to live up to expectations. The new captain is struggling to maintain the team's spirit. The coach can't believe his eyes and ears - with all 4 flyers out, and form 5s out, the team is just not what he had envisioned it to be. The club is going on well, though. Perhaps we have to aim far, not for this year. But this is no reason to give up on the team for this year. On a positive note, I am grateful for a new helper, a new advisor to help PD and me. She has been very positive. I hope we work well together.
  • On the family front, my in-laws are back from Sydney. I managed to spend some time with them when we were in Penang for a few days, just them and me and the boys.
  • Wedding - Winnie is all grown up and married. The whole rigmarole of the wedding - pre, during and post - was just unbelievable. Lots of relatives came for the wedding.
  • Birthdays - We started with my mum's birthday. We had a small little do at a SHABU SHABU place in Puchong. It was nice and cosy. Then we went for an aunt's birthday at Eastin Hotel. It was a big do. Japanese food. Would have been fun and all except I had to cater to the needs of 4 people! It was frustrating to have to serve the oldest of the lot as she was so negative about everything. Enough said.
  • Children - They are keeping me busy. Jon has started attending co-curricular activities and I have to pick him up from school in the afternoon. Jeremy has homework I have to supervise at night. Joel is doing better but I still have to make an appointment to have him re-evaluated. Then continue with the speech therapy. I feel bad as I often forget his speech therapy work.
  • ME - I don't know. I am feeling the effect of neglecting my own health and welfare. I am weaker. My eyesight is getting bad - sometimes my eyes feel some sharp pain even. I need to take care of myself.
In a nutshell, whether almond or hazel nut .... whatever ... this has been it for a while.

On another note, though, I am very proud of my former students who received their SPM results recently. Although I did not teach them last year, although I did not teach them in form 5, I know I have a hand in moulding them and building them up.
That being said, I am feeling the pressure of living up to the mark that is left by them. Well, the pressure is to help the current batch to meet that mark. How not to go mad?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Even March is coming to an end now

I have been keeping so busy that time has just flown by. Suddenly it is the end of March. I just could not bring myself to blog. There was so much to do.
The March test kept me busy, from constructing test paper to marking to adding all the marks together. There was much to do to get the cheer girls together. They are still groping in the dark. I have not done much of a good job with them yet. On a positive note, though, there is a new teacher assisting me with cheer.
Paper work and more things to do .... yes, it is never-ending. I don't feel like blogging about it much. No mood. Too tired.
And tomorrow ... well, today, since it is after 1am now ... there is Road Run, followed by lunch with the drama girls, and also Jeremy's piano performance, then the boys' swimming lesson, and then dinner at Eastin. It's going to be a long day. Time to sleep.

Monday, February 28, 2011

My self evaluation

I have been pondering over what I have been doing and how I have handled myself over the drama period, and also longer. I have been trying to put into words the things I feel and the impressions I have. It is a struggle even now, to actually put them into words. I have been busy and just cannot find the time to think of appropriate words. I have also been unfocused on the task at hand, hence the struggle. Anyhow, I shall attempt ....
I think that over the 6-7 weeks preceding SHORTS!, I have been focused on too many things and was unable to actually do a good job monitoring the girls. I was everywhere doing multiple tasks. I was trying to do too many things and I was not able to delegate. I was afraid to get my girls to do some things because I did not trust them, or it was something I had to do myself. In addition, I was also a little slow at monitoring certain things which should have been monitored earlier.
Take for example, the scripts : I should have made all the necessary changes earlier, overruled the girls if necessary. I should have read through all the scripts WITH the girls and made all the changes with allowance for improvisation way beforehand. Instead we saw many things we could not do only during the final week and it was a struggle for the girls to change their lines and reorganise themselves. I mean, I did look and I did ask for changes to be made. In fact Naukar's script was changed several times. Perhaps I should have made those changes myself, and that would have saved us a lot of time. BUT THEN, I thought, this was THEIR production. I could ask for changes to be made and all, but THEY had to make those changes themselves. And so I took a back seat for a while, where the scripts were concerned. But I should have intervened earlier. I realise that now.
The designs of graphics for tickets and posters and banners : I should have got that settled earlier. Work started very early. Thanks to Anna and Hayani actually. But the designs were not to my satisfaction and they had to rework on that. And we finally got the designs out only end of January. That was unnecessary stress for me and for the both of them. Perhaps we should have had more "meetings" to finalise the designs. I am not an artsy kind of person and I could not tell them what I wanted. But we could have done this earlier.
Practices : I was extremely upset with the girls' attitude towards practices. Many of them only turned up about 70% or less. That's before the week of intensive practices. I was disappointed but I thought I could let the director and her assistant handle that. I realise now I could not. If I had intervened, perhaps practices would have been better. Perhaps. But I know for sure I would not have been so worried 3 days before performance.
Basically what I have learned is just this : I took a slightly laid-back attitude when handling the girls. That was a major shortcoming. I usually am a control freak. But this time, I did not try to control, and paid the price with so much worrying going on, and lots of tasks to do that took me away from the practices. I did not have as much time to watch them practising, and I did not have much time to enjoy the performances as I was still multi-tasking. I should have asked for help, earlier. I did not, not wanting to trouble some friends. But I should have known better. These friends would not have minded. They would have lent their helping hands and allowed me to pick their brains as well.
Yes, I have lots of shortcomings. I will not be ashamed to admit it. I will learn from it and I will do a better job next time, if there is a next time.
On a high note, I am glad I have such wonderful friends. THANKS A BILLION KAZILLION, SIB & PUT! They have helped with so many things. They enabled the production to succeed. These friends are not just my buddies, they are my extra hands, extra feet, extra eyes and ears, extra brains. I am eternally grateful for them. I also wish to thank Sara, my "temporary PA" for availing herself to me, to the project. She kept me sane for a bit and accompanied me here and there.
In short, I am not satisfied with what I have done. I could have done a lot better. I also function better backstage, and in the background, not so much on the stage, or directing. But I can learn. I have got good teachers.

No inspiration yet

I know someone is waiting for me to do the Part 2 ... my self evaluation. Be patient my dear. I am waiting for the inspiration to write a proper one. Trying to find the words and the expressions. I am just not ready. I promise, it'll be worth the wait.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Naukar clips on youtube

These are the two clips I managed to upload on youtube :

Clip 1
Clip 2

Self-evaluation coming up next.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I have discovered about my girls from SHORTS!

I asked my girls to think about what they have learned - from the production of SHORTS as well as about themselves. Verbally they have told me quite a few things. They are now putting words onto paper slowly. But what HAVE I learned about myself and about them? I'll start with them. In no particular order :

  • Anna - She is a very pretty girl who has managed to transform into a rather handsome-looking man. She is committed to her work. She is responsible and orderly. She has a wicked sense of humour. She is talented but unfortunately, she doesn't see that. She has passion for the things she does. She is very grounded .... realistic. She follows instructions well but she can also be a leader, given the chance. On a personal note, I think she made a fantastic Nilkant. She did what I would have had trouble doing - look into Julia's eyes and see her as a wife.
  • Nadiah - She is a quietly capable person. No one thought she could really do it, but she was just the right person to be Julia. She brought a quiet dignity to the character and she is serious about the tasks at hand. I can see that she puts in a lot of heart into the things she does. I am glad to say she more than lived up to expectations. She is someone we can count on, even if she does not believe it herself.
  • Shuhadah - This is one very likeable girl. She is a jack of all trades and ends up doing multiple tasks a lot of the times. I am glad she has been so reliable. I did not think she was stage acting material but she has proven me wrong. She did a fantastic job as Ramli. She struggled with various things along the way. But she did not disappoint. I have known her since she was in Form 1. I have never had a bad thing to say about her. Perhaps she is too nice. Very accommodating most of the time. She does not project an image of being someone exceptional, but she is that, in a way. No one else is like her in that sense.
  • Eva - This is another reliable girl. She is a late bloomer. She takes on a lot of responsibilities and she doesn't even know it. I am pleased to see her taking charge of certain responsibilities. I only wish she had known how to get help from others. She was swamped with lots of work. Working off stage is something she can do very well. But she can also act, in spite of what she says about stage fright. When she stood in for some people who were absent, she did exceptionally well. Except for the way she talks. But then that is something she just has to work on for herself.
  • Noddy - She is very talented. She surprised me. I wish she had shown her talent earlier and let us cast her as someone else. But she played her role to a T. She was the perfect person for that role. She learned fast and followed instructions well, and she could improvise. She is naturally talented, even if no one else sees it, esp her family members. She is also someone who has got her head very tightly screwed on.
  • Emma - She is a level-headed person. Most of the time. She does the things she needs to do. She has focus. She takes rejection well too, doesn't throw a tantrum over things. Reliable and generally disciplined. She has talent but needs some guidance. She can improvise too, as long as she sees the opportunity to do so.
  • Ruth - She surprised me. I did not see her as an actress but she was the perfect Mrs Koh. She played her role very well and took a lot of liberty to reinterpret the character. She is also someone I relied on very much as she is meticulous about things. She is one person I am pleased to see blooming into someone other than what I see every day.
  • Hayani - She was always the one chosen to be the landlady. She has that creepy, sinister look about her when she chooses to show it. But deep down she is a sweet girl who just has a lot in her cup. She seems like a playful person - which she is - but she is also very conscientious when it comes to work that she is passionate about. She bugged me countless times about hanging up posters, and she went with me to get the wigs, etc. She has a good sense of judgement when necessary. She has a maturity that is borne out of necessity. She played her role exceptionally well and is probably the favourite actress and character in the entire production.
  • Mandy - She is Mandy, someone who is in a world of her own very often. She seems oblivious to the happenings around her most of the time. Give her tasks and she will snap out of her own world. She shows focus when needed. She is a late bloomer too. Perhaps her personal life is too confusing for her. As Mr Koh, she was all right. The role is not a demanding one and she happily played second fiddle to Mrs Koh.
  • Phoenix - She is a girly girl. No two ways about it. But she has to be Billy Weaver. That was a challenge. I had problems with her pertaining to practices. But that ironed out eventually, though not as well as I had hoped. Still, she is a talented girl. She is keen on the tasks at hand. She sometimes lacks focus but she can be brought back to the immediate task. I have known her for over 3 years. I am still learning about her. As Billy, she did a good job. She could improvise and she could play the role with less girliness.
  • Izzy - My issues with her for a while was practices. But this is a talented girl. She did a good job as Nathan. Getting her to use Indian accent was easier than thought. She is a natural on stage. To me, she is someone who has a lot of talents. Problem is she is doing so many things at one time she sometimes loses focus. But then she is not the only one.
  • Elisha - She is good with backstage work. She can be orderly but it took her quite a while to get there. She has a system when doing things but she needs a bit of push. Here general attitude towards work and being given tasks is very positive. She does not take thing personally when ticked off. She needs to learn to delegate too as she ended up doing quite a fair bit by herself.
  • Ghythri - I was very upset with her as she was the Asst Director and she was NOT pulling her weight at all during the early part of practices. She was constantly absent because of Interact. On one hand I understood that, but on the other hand, I was disappointed and upset. Deep inside I knew she could do a good job. But she was not giving much of herself. She was being spread too thin doing all sorts of things. She did do a good job when it mattered.
  • Ain - She was initially slotted to be the rickshaw wallah. But she was away when we needed her and she was replaced. So she became the person in charge of the lights. Things were rather messy at times but she managed to keep cool. I have learned that she is generally not the excitable kind, so a job which requires a cool head might just be right.
  • Emily - She went on a journey with us, dropped out and came back on track. She was not allowed to be with us during the night show. I was immensely annoyed. But there was nothing we could do. Her mother has to learn that this daughter needs to be released to do work when called. One day she will see that. I sympathised with Emily but things just did not work out as hoped. And because she was not there, things got rather messy with the lights at one point.
  • Azalea - She is a much-loved daughter. She is also very protected and sheltered. Having said that, she is also a very smart person and she has a very wide world-view on things. In the production, she did not come forth as someone who could contribute much, to my disappointment. She should have taken a more active role in the production. It was unfortunate that she was not around a lot.
  • Kalpana - As director, she did not pull her weight enough. She was just cool about anything and everything. I blasted her. She pulled up her socks somewhat. It was only during the last 3 days that we saw her actually doing directing work seriously. Before that, she just watched and commented, and that was not helpful. To me, she has not reached her full potential. She needs to get over that "superior" feeling she seems to exude around others. If she is to be taken seriously, she has to buck up and take control of the things she has to do. Saying "But what am I supposed to do" does not cut it if she is to be taken seriously as a leader. She has plenty of room to grow and learn. I had hoped last year's incident had woken her, but apparently it had not affected her that much. I am afraid that it might take something more drastic to shake her up and make her sit up and take stock of where she is going.
  • Nik - She was a replacement for the rickshaw wallah. She did a good job although she did not believe she could do it. She tried hard and she listened to instructions. She eventually slipped into the role more easily. Kudos to her for taking up the challenge.
  • Farah - She is another one who lacked focus. She knew how upset I was with her for not being there when she was supposed to be there. I think she is dropping Lit. Sad.
  • Shahirah - Another one dropping Lit. And she disappointed me too. But she did eventually do a relatively good job with sound.
  • Helinna - Dropped Lit. She did a good job as Ms Chee. She started out like a puppet, doing only what was told. But she eventually slipped into the role quite well.
I think I have covered all of them. Briefly, that was what I observed, what I felt. I stand corrected if I am wrong. My next post will be about what I have learned about myself. Give me time.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Since school started in January, it has been non-stop work and activities. I really thought I was going to collapse with exhaustion, mainly mentally and emotionally, and of course, physically. The one thing that had been occupying my time and my brain, really, was the production of SHORTS! My Lit students and I had planned from last year that we would put up a performance consisting of adaptations of 3 short stories. It was not going to be easy nor was it going to be a smooth-sailing process.
We had to change our date for the performance several times. We also had to look at other factors like the school calendar, and the CNY season. It was tough. But last Saturday, 19th Feb 2011, we managed to put up a relatively good show. I am proud of the effort put in, and the result of the effort. Am I happy with EVERYTHING? No, but then, I could not expect something perfect when we had so many problems and obstacles that we had to go through. So, I am pleased that we were able to still do a good job. I don't know about my students, if they learned something other than the stories. I hope they learned something more valuable than that - working together towards one common aim, being patient with one another, helping one another, listening to instructions, improvising, all of which are life lessons.
The play is over. We have to carry on with life, and with other lessons to come. There will be new"adventures" and experiences to go through. A friend asked if I;d do it all again (in spite of the screamings and scoldings and pressure etc). I hardly hesitated. It was a resounding YES. Am I a glutton for punishment? Maybe. But another buddy actually said, if I were to do it all again, I should ask her to help, again. So ... what reason do I have for not doing it again?

The cast and crew and helpers. Even Caleb and Vong!!!

The cast and crew after the matinee

(Photos courtesy of Catherine Yee)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

3 days to go

I am fast approaching the day the Lit girls will be putting up SHORTS! I am nervous and I am living in fear and trepidation about what will or might happen on that day. I am worried for the whole production. I am nervous about things which might go wrong. I am worried about practices. I am honestly so worried that I am not sleeping well. I feel the weight of the whole production on my shoulders. A few more minutes to midnight and Wednesday. Then Thursday and Friday. The Saturday morning will quickly approach.
Lord, please give me strength and will power to go on till then.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I have been extremely lazy to blog. Too many things occupying my mind and time. I have been busy with :
  • organising my drama production for the Literature group. This is a mega project for me as it was with my friend last year. Practices are on-going. Finances are being organised and allocated. Publicity is ok, going to be putting up posters and flyers. Banners too.
  • getting a new team for D*starz. Although I have not been showing my face that much at practices and audition, I have been working on the background, getting things organised for the setting up of the new team. This has also been time and energy sapping as the club will be more active and play a more important role.
  • getting used to a new administration at work. Lots of things to get used to. More expectations on the staff and it is stressful. I will have to learn to put in more time for work and to be more disciplined.
  • CNY. It doesn't feel very much like the CNY as I have been so distracted by work and everything else. Thankfully I have managed to buy CNY clothes as well as the usual things that we end up bringing to visit relatives. Very often I have put myself last in buying things and this year has not been any different. I bought my things 2 days before CNY and I am glad I managed to get the clothes.
  • trying to see how to manage time for Jonathan. Now that he is in Year 4, he will be expected to attend co-curricular activities and I have to find a way to make sure he has transport.
It's only February and I am already feeling out of sorts. Too many things happening in the last 5 weeks. I am going to need all the strength I need to go through the next 2 weeks, especially. I am just thankful that I have very helpful and wonderful friends who are assisting me in some of the work I need done. Love you gals.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Just a short one tonight. Been a while since I updated and I think I should update tonight. I just wanted to write about friends and friendship. I am blessed to have friends who are on the same wavelength as me. They are a boon and never a bane. They have helped me to grow in many ways. They have even sometimes told me things about myself I never knew about. For these friends, I am really thankful.
I have friends from childhood days, from university days, from church and also from work. Each group is different but one thing that they have in common is their friendship which I cherish.
Here is to more time spent together and more laughter together.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


There are lots of bees buzzing everywhere around me at work. Everyone is is turning into bees. Everyone is busy with paper work in addition to teaching work. Furthermore, activities have started and everyone is involved in one activity or another. I have not had time to formally welcome 2011. I don't think I want to anymore. I just want to do my work, try and finish all I am supposed to do on time, and to be the best that I can.
Some people might think that my responsibility is on the lighter side this year. I agree, it is true, in terms of the number of posts I have. But my work is far from being light as I am in charge of the busiest club with the most number of "meetings" and "outings"; and with the most "money in and out". Just look at my accounts and you will agree.
Next is my involvement with the editorial board. I have not done a very good job in the two years prior to this. I intend to do a much better job this year. And I will start earlier too. And I hope to be more systematic and organised.
Teaching is still my core business. I will try very hard to do a better job. I will try to complete my work faster and be more organised. I really would like to focus better on teaching. And the drama that my girls and I are putting up next week will be the biggest project for me this year. I hope.
Does this count as a resolution? Perhaps. But I need to stop being a bee and become a human again.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Goodbye to 2010

It has taken me over a week to actually say goodbye to 2010. And it has been over a month since I last posted anything. I have been lazy and also busy. I was basically protesting over the lack of holiday because of SPM invigilation.
The year that was ... 2010 .... time for a reflection.
For the most part, 2010 can only be described as havoc. Havoc because of what was going on at home when the domestic help ran away. Havoc because the master of the house refused to hire part-timers to help with the cleaning of the house. Havoc because the children still needed to have a care-giver most of the time. Havoc because I was inundated with work. Havoc because the school's cheer club got involved in many activities and programmes. Havoc because I refused to participate half-heartedly. Havoc because the school had so many things happening. Havoc because the principal retired and was almost immediately replaced by someone new.

On the other hand, I can also describe 2010 as a year of blessings. Blessings come in many forms, and I have been blessed because of some people. I am thankful for friends and colleagues who understood when I was less than what they had hoped for. I am thankful for the aunty who came down from Penang for almost half a year because I needed someone to help with the children. I am thankful for the children themselves, as they learned to be more independent. I am blessed with a husband who eventually rose to the occasion and learned to do a lot more house work than he had ever done in his entire life. Love you, dearest! I am blessed with my cell group brothers and sisters who have been ever so understanding and allowed us to not host any meetings in our house for the duration we did not have a helper.
Most of all, I am blessed because God has shown me that I can manage, and that I need to spend more time with my family and pay them more attention.

Emotions went up and down a lot throughout 2010. I was angry when, in April, the domestic help ran away, leaving us all in a lurch and causing us so much trouble. I was, however, relieved at the same time. I had never liked her. But having her disappear on us made me really mad. The inconvenience and all .... oh well. I was exhausted a lot, during the first month or so after that. I lost weight, lost appetite, and was not myself sometimes.
Eventually I learned to cope. I had to. Work does not wait for us. And there was A LOT OF WORK in school.

Cheer Club. D*starz. Cheerleaders. Competitions. This area of work was a major part of my life. We (the team and I) went further than ever before. We achieved more success in this one year than all the years put together. It was just simply, our year. Looking back, it was almost as if it was a parting gift for Pn Alainal from Cheer Club. We won the SOX All Stars Dance. Plus a few other categories. We were 5th in Cheer 2010. Plus a few subsidiary categories as well. The emotions ran high for us all. The amount of time and effort put in by all of us, the girls and me, was tremendous. Worth it, yes, but taxing for the family life. I felt a lot of guilt for spending more time with the girls than with my own children and husband. Thankfully, after the season was over, I was able to be more of a mother and wife. Then of course, came the Koperasi competition, and Cheer Club won for the state level competition, and that qualified us for the national competition ... more work. But it was a good experience, nevertheless. We didn't win anything, but it was a good learning experience for me, especially.

The school work. SBT. HPS. So much of paper work. So much of time spent planning for the school activities involving lots of money. 2010 marked the year the Lit students sat for SPM. And the year they put up "An Inspector Calls". I didn't have a lot to do with this, but it was something for me to learn from for 2011. Oh yes, Literature. My first year teaching Literature. It was difficult at first, as I had never taught it for real. I had only done micro-teaching of it, and done lesson plans which were never carried out. It was a challenge. But then I asked for it. I actually volunteered to teach it. Why? I guess it's because it was a challenge that I thought I could manage. And I have managed. My girls have managed.

I spent 2010 doing all sorts, experiencing all sorts, and learning all sorts. Looking back, I don't have a lot of regrets. I have been blessed. Though I look forward to 2011 with fear and trepidation, I also look forward to it with boldness, knowing that my Father will carry me through.

Next post for 2011....