Monday, January 30, 2006

A Productive Day

i think eversince i studied abt how a national identity is created, i began to have this conscious thought abt our own national identity, n how to actually practise this spirit of togetherness, which is the central of our national identity - to unify the 3 major races. most ppl take it for granted, that just bcoz we live in a multi-racial country, we're tolerant ppl. not really. we have to actively involve ourselves in the process of enunciating the culture of togetherness (sorry, i'm talking literature stuff again, stuff that i write in my dissertation).

well anyway, wat i'm trying to say is that since this is CNY, we should do our bit in being true malaysians n celebrate the other celebrations with our frens. i went to some open houses yesterday n today. i went to my former literature student's house yesterday, which is near to my house. wat is interesting is that her father is an indian while her mother is a chinese, n therefore my student has the best of both cultures. i had a nice time talking to her parents, n seeing the former students congregating at the house. her mother n i hit if off so well that i stayed for 2 n a half hours, talking everything from recipes to her son's exchange programme to italy.

today i made 2 visits. one to a teacher who just returned fr performing haj, n who is close to me in school. we talked abt her experience n wat has been going on in school while she's gone. the other teacher is ah chooi, my partner in the staffroom. when i arrived at ah chooi's apartment, i met 2 other spm examiners who r in my team, n another SS teacher arrived.
so to sum it all, i ate a lot.

n right after coming back fr ah chooi's house, i started to walk in the house. then kak dah started asking wat would we want to have for tea. suddenly i had this idea of making either scones or muffins, but nana preferred scones, probably she remembered the one we had in the cafe of the cattle farm in australia. so i made some apple cinnamon scones, with syahirah trying to help, n kak dah making cucur bawang. as we're cooking, my 2 nephews, helmi n joe came. langkah kaki kanan, i told them. so it was a sumptious spread of tea, a mixture of eastern n western dishes - japanese cheesecake, scones with butter n jams, strawberries, cucur bawang, keropok lekor goreng n hot tea n cold lemonade.

yes i felt guilty. i didnt eat a lot tho'. so to make me feel better, i thot of washing n waxing my car, which i hadnt done in almost 2 years. so there i was, in my long caftan, trying to sponge the roof of my car (n barely made it). at the same time fluffy went missing again, n like kak dah said that's y we have a peribahasa alim2 kucing.

finally, i finished waxing n vacuuming, n caught fluffy. had a productive day today. but still havent finished marking the TOV papers

Sunday, January 29, 2006

'Tis the season for tying knots

the whole family has been talking abt nothing else but ayi's wedding which is going to be held on the 2nd weekend of Feb. everyone has been told to wear something lilac, n my lilac ensemble should be ready on the 8th. i'm one of the tray bearers, which is reserved for the anak dara only... just now kak sham called, she sounded distressed, since ayi has been transferred to kemaman clinic n did i know anything abt it? eh? he comes back home...he leaves for work... that's all. he didnt tell me anything.

n while all this happened, i received an sms fr the eldest sis in law last nite - surprise of all surprise, yaya, the quiet n laid back yaya, is getting engaged to a dietitian he met during the courses...hmm this is really a shocker...they're going to meminang n at the same time for bertunang at the girl's aunt's house in shah alam... kak mah asked the siblings to join the entourage...which kak sham n abg mi responded positively.

well let's hope there'll be another news, which i think will also shock the whole family. i'll say no more.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Another Chapter... n Passion in Life

today we had cross-country race at school. i was one of the pencatat masa (the task given from day 1 i'm in SS until the day i m transferred... like all SS teachers wrily put it, to quote SS's song, "tradisi kekal abadi"). some students, esp. the athletes, who r mostly the big boys in form 5, were still strong after the 5km run... some just collapsed at the lanes provided. most decided to do some sight seeing, and arrived much much later. we the teachers had jamuan (the first for 2006, to be followed by another jamuan on 1st Feb in my staffroom) of nasi minyak n sate, n i told myself i have to walk for at least 1 hour today...

sazi's email (sazi, i dont know if i can reveal ur new show, so to be on the safe side, i'm not going to reveal anything) made me think of my late eldest bro, of everything he presented, n the life he led. this again, makes me think of wat life means to each of us.

life is short n precious, we heard this often enough, but do we know wat it really entails? we go thru life like zombies, waking up, going to work, beat the rush hour, eat, coming back fr work, rush hour again, spending a few hours with loved ones, then sleep. n we go thru this again n again...until we ask ourselves "is this all there is to life???".

Life is how we make it. it is we who shape our lives. that means we have the power to choose to be who we r. to be the best that we can be, to be a human with good conscience n a good heart - which is the very basis of our National Education Philosophy (hey, give me a break, i'm a teacher after all).

My eldest brother was the product of Malaysian Dream, of a newly-independent nation struggling to find its own niche n identity, still in its infancy. he was the proof that we could achieve greatness. he was born during Japanese Occupation n spent his infant years during the British bombing n was already in MCKK when Tunku Abdul Rahman uttered the famous cry. my late father was very very young when he had my brother, still in his teens. he was a man with visions, he knew that my late brother could succeed, n so he tutored my brother mathematics at home after work, often with a cane in hand. at 10 years old, my brother sat for a special exam that would enable him to enter MCKK, n he passed. thus, the boy who would later change a lot of doctors' lives went to malaysia's oldest n prestigious boarding school.
my brother loved to read. even when he became the senior physician, he still read medical journals, n kept abreast with the latest medical breakthroughs. this scholarly habit of his helped him through his studies n career.

after becoming a medical specialist, he lectured at UKM, n one of his students now is a successful n rich doctor here in KTrg. as a lecturer, he's torn between upholding the high standard of medicine in tertiary level n passing the students. his insistence in maintaining the highest standard could be seen throughout his career. he then moved to Klang hospital... n later to Kelantan, where he was affectionately known to all doctors n nurses alike as "Bos Aziz". when i asked my nephew yaya y is it that my late bro never turned to private sectors where he could become very rich, yaya answered that my brother felt it's his duty to stay in government hospital to educate the young doctors on wat he knows.

my late brother, datuk dr sidek@ abdul aziz b muhammad, was laid to rest on 30th april 2000. he died in his office after a heart failure, with his close medical attendant beside him, who later met me during the funeral n said "he's a good man".

my brother lived his life according to wat he believed in. he could have chosen fame n glory, but he chose the less glamourous life, to render his service to the society.

initially, i said that life is abt making choices. some may choose to have a life of luxury, some strive to have such a life, but to wat ends? it's not fulfilling just to have all those BMWs n Mercedes or that penthouse...wat will be more satisfying is when u've done something out of your own good heart, for the benefit of the mankind, without dreaming of fortune, fame n glory. wat is important is that inner peace inside u. that is wat u called a rich n meaningful life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Politics n Food of Love

sazi smsed me asking me to update my blog. so here i am, past my bedtime, having just read tria's n my niece gina's's been a crappy couple of days for me. on sunday, i was publicly humiliated by my hm in the staffroom for something i didnt do (which, he found out minutes later that it wasnt MY fault, n still, he never bothered to apologise to me). yesterday, i asked my pen kanan to sign a time-out slip that will enable me to bring Mother to the hospital for her eye check up. the pen. kanan, who is more humane, told me to take the day off. the bad news? i had to get the hm's signature. n in the torture chamber, i was asked y is it that i cant just leave Mother at the hospital n just fetch her when she's done? is he crazy??? leaving my half-paralysed mother at the hospital with a maid who can be clueless at times? anyway, in the end i got the hm 's signature. but i knew that his favourites could get away easily (literally speaking). funny, isnt it? when men dont use their brains to decide.i was fuming when i returned, n called shaggy bear straight away. his sympathetic words just made me sebak, but i held on to my tears.

in a few minutes time, it'll be shaggy bear's birthday, n i had baked him a chocolate cake, which he had requested. as i thought of wat to write in his birthday card, i reflected on all the things that we've been thru - he's been my backbone, my rock, my pillar. yes, there r times when he drives me crazy, (n vice versa...he says i'm a strong character hehe) but most of the time (except when he's in his soccer mood), he is there for me.

so this is love.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

welcome to the real world of couplehood

everybody always dreams of meeting that Prince Charming, n envies when someone they know meets hers. n when they finally meet that someone, the fun begins. this is the Cloud 9 stage, when he'll call u non-stop n sweep u off ur feet. which woman doesnt enjoy the attention? at this stage too, he's not the only one who's dashing n debonair... u urself will take great pains to be the perfect u, bcoz, let's face it.... when it comes to courtship, u want to market urself like u're the best product available in the market. ever wonder y the peacock opens its beautiful feathers n struts? we the homosapiens r the same.flaunt, n flaunt away....

then when the 2 of u become an item, things begin to settle down. both of u will still be on ur guard, but u'll lessen ur grip, n therefore r a bit relaxed. when more months pass by, both of u begin to see the true colours - the ugly bits n pieces in all of us. this is also when the men just end the chase, n...that's it! the prize is won, the chase is no more. truth comes crashing: welcome to the reality.

it's the same with me n my shaggy bear. we share certain goals n values. but we also have our differences. i've always been a hopeless romantic, n he is a practical man. so practical that sometimes i dont know whether to laugh or cry.n that's when learning to compromise becomes a skill that one must master. bcoz it takes 2 to tango, a relationship is a dance with 2 ppl learning to compromise to create a beautiful dance.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Teary Eyed

on the eve of raya haji, one of my favourite n closest students called me up to say that she received an offer to study in TKC. i'm very happy for her. she's a bubbly girl with an interesting personality. she belongs in a boarding school. a lot of other students in my best class received offers, 1 boy got MCKK. later, thinking that i'm going to miss this noisy bunch, tears began to well up in my eyes. now i understand y my mother cried when i was away in SSP. i've grown to be very attached to them, these bright students, who made my day whenever i entered the class.they're like my sunshines.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Return of the Teacher

it's new year again.which means, a whole new year at school with new sets of responsibilities, n new sets of students to teach. wish i had more time to rest, after 3 weeks of solid marking n answering ptk exam (which i didnt study for).

my ex students, now considered as the seniors as they entered form 4, r cheerful n keep calling my name whenever they see me near...some of them even said they want to return to form 3.hmmm...

i'm given a heavy burden this year - the school admin gave me 5 classes of form 3 to teach - which means more marking, more work, more migraines... surprisingly, they still gave me the best class to teach, tho' the students r quieter than their predecessors who were a lively bunch of smart kids. so far the students r ok, tho' this is just the beginning of the year, n students r always on their best behaviour the 1st few weeks n later will show their "stripes" (direct translation).

hopefully i can be a better teacher this year. a good teacher inspires, n that's wat i intend to do.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

A New Year, A New Perspective

i spent the last few minutes of 2005 with shaggy bear on the phone, n it was a far cry than last year's new year. he later went off to watch his beloved soccer team play. men!
2006. i never even made any new year resolutions. i think resolutions r overrated really. i hate ppl asking others if there's nothing else to ask when the new year is approaching.
if there's one aspect i wish to improve myself in, it's my heart n soul. last week i had a chat with As, my specialist fren. we hadnt talked in months, but we have something in common (which i cant mention yet). she said she's tired of the rat race, earning money just to maintain the roof for shelter n to make sure there's food in her belly. she told me of how our fren, anne, who's a chemical engineer, met them (the seri puteri girls) in sempoi clothes, not bothering abt her unmade face hence not conforming to the patriarchal society's unwritten rules abt women . but anne looked serene. her secret? she doesnt let the problems bother her.

wat good will it do us if we live in a mansion n drive a mercedes if we dont feel at peace? wat good will it do us if we have to go that extra mile just to maintain the lifestyle? y keep a lifestyle we cant afford?

y do we fight n find faults with others? y do we judge ppl when we're not perfect ourselves? n if we know that we're not perfect, y do we punish n label that person? n y do we spread our dissatisfaction of the person to other ppl? for all u know, that person isnt even aware that he makes a mistake. for all u know, ppl end up not only having a bad perception of the person u just
!@#$% abt, they also will judge u. this, i talk fr experience. somebody close to me (not shaggy bear of course) has misjudged me for some crime i didnt know i commit n punished me by not speaking to me. may be she forgot our relationship, n who's supposed to respect who. watever wrong i did, i'm sorry. if it's abt money, i tried to rectify it, but may be she didnt see it. n although i can feel the unwelcome air, i still come to her house, hoping that somehow bcoz of the ties that bind us, everything will be as right as snow again. n each time, despite my optimism, i can still read the silent language.

as my fren told me, u cant please everybody. yes, that's true. wat u think is the best might not be so to another person. u have to learn to respect other person's choices (tho in 2005 i was very outspoken on religious issues, n i will continue to do so...sorry, no compromise on that) that u cant be too proud until u lose friendship or the admiration of a closed person. bcoz we live in a society, n there will come a time when we need help from the others."no man is an island" so says John Donne.

the best way to live a happy, simple life... is to forgive n forget. but in order to do so, we must remind ourselves that we r not judges to determine whether the other person is guilty or innocent, that that person is just a human, just as we r humans who're not perfect. after all, anger n pride aside, there's no one but us....