Saturday, April 28, 2007

the football match

last thursday, when our beloved sultan mizan was installed as the 13th agong, my top lcds committee came for a meeting at my house (the president's idea, since his house is near to mine). when the children arrived (i'm very fond of calling them children, although obviously they are teenagers, i feel that there's a certain charm to it that i just cant resist), the smell of chocolate muffins greeted them, and they stayed for 3 hours for a meeting regarding our summer camp which will be held at one of the pulaus.

and just today, we had our annual football tournament, amidst the soft patter of a drizzle. i was there with another lcds teacher, and we stayed until 10 matches were played. everytime we began to walk down the stairs of the astaka, one of the boys would ask "teacher, where are you going?" obviously, we had to stay and we kept ourselves busy chatting (as all women do).

the final match finally ended at nearly 3pm, with the underground fc winning the title...amidst the sweat, lots of mud and empty mineral bottles (which i told them to pick up before the admin makes noise).

hopefully after this the next activity will be a blast.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Climb

i hate climbing anything that is vertical. the last time i had a climb was in 95 when i was forced to climb a mountain in kluang. that was a torture. nowadays i spend most of the days walking on flat land where it seems more stable and i've no fear of falling.

then, a few days ago, my neighbour, a neurosurgeon, asked me to be her buddy for the hill climb. in KT, that only means Big Hill (direct translation, please). for a lesser mortal like me, the hill is precipitous. she already told me not to talk too much while climbing or i'd lose my energy. she's right. i couldnt even talk because my breathing was so laboured... i already told her if i couldnt go to school because of jelly legs, she's supposed to issue me an MC.

my neighbour takes the climb as a challenge because "the heart rate accelerates" and it's a good workout. so i was huff and puffing and we stopped a few times, watching some of the other locals with envy. while we were struggling, some men in their 50s were jogging and talking leisurely the whole way up.

when we reached the top, we could see a marvellous view of KT. nice. the descent was much easier, but it still took us half an hour. today is my 2nd day, and hopefully i'll do better.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

This Thing We Call Love

since time immemorial, both men and women have been plagued with this incurable sickness/madness/euphoria (choose whichever is applicable).

i dont know why it wasnt that complicated for my siblings - for my eldest brother, it was an arranged marrige; for the rest of siblings, well it was easy. but for me, as the youngest, living in a totally different era, it is a hurdle that is hard to cross. and my nieces agreed.

one of my nieces is back in KT, to recuperate. we went for walks on the beach...more walks on the beach...staring into the aquamarine sea hoping that the tranquility will heal the wound. and all the while, we talked about relationships and men, about temptations, expectations and the brutal reality.

of course, love is not THAT BAD. it's like chocolate. it tastes heavenly and you'll be on cloud 9 or 12 or 15. you ll be smiling for no reason, the earth seems a better place for you and you just want everybody to be happy for you.

but when something goes wrong, and i'm not talking about a minor glitch, but a major one that forces you to rethink; love, like chocolate, leaves its scar. only then you feel the pain of the fall because you ve fallen so deep that you cant possibly get up. you think that the world is unfair because some !@@#^& broke your heart, and while to some, crying is all they can do, for some others, stabbing that person or ram into his new beloved car seems a very sensible and justified action. he's hurt you, so why shouldnt you hurt him?

yes, and so the heart bleeds....but hell hath no fury like a woman scorned either.

i've had my fair share of heartbreaks. and from each breakup, although i was hurt, i learned. the process of healing is always long and arduous and there are times when i feel that life is unfair. i wish i can just let go of the pain, but it's not that easy. healing IS long, and can be trying but it is through this process that we know ourselves better, that we become wiser. which is why we make mistakes. people dont listen to advice when they're in love. they learn from mistakes.

and hopefully, the next time i'm in love i'll be wiser.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Wish and the Disillusionment of A Teacher

a true teacher is satisfied when her students have succeeded in life. she doesnt ask to be repaid in money (though a pay raise by the ministry is eagerly welcomed) nor does she ask the students to paint her name in the sky or be printed in papers.

thus, i always get a warm and fuzzy feeling when my students and ex students succeed. it doesnt matter if they're straight A students, so long as they're doing well, and they turn out to be decent people. because i believe not only in teaching them english or literature, but to mould them to become a good person. and that's the hardest task.

i'm reminded of a movie entitled "The Emperor's Club" starring Kevin Kline - a History teacher who teaches the History of Roman Empire to his students, and how he trusts and tries to "tame" a wild rich boy by giving him a chance in their annual Caesar's Quiz. the boy cheats in the quiz. he grows up to become a corrupted politician. and in his old age, the teacher becomes disillusioned, wondering if he can trust his judgment of people.

i feel the same way as that teacher feels today, when i saw an ex student requested that i add him in the list. i was shocked when i saw his pictures. not exactly what i thought my student would behave, and that really disappoints me. because i feel like i've failed as a teacher. i sent him a message asking who he was, but his answer was arrogant. it's not what i had expected from a student of mine either. especially a religious school student.

it makes me wonder.

Monday, April 09, 2007

soreness n frizzy hair

last 2 weeks,i was told by my head of panel to replace him for a course in KL.

"why me?"

"because, after the head of panel, the next person who should go is the secretary"

thought of LCDS badminton tournament.... the LCDS high comm first Cycle 6 Literature in English class... *sigh*

in accusing tone
"you should have told me earlier"

"hey sorry la, i would have been there myself, but i'm stuck here"

yeah right.

so on sunday morning, i made my way to JPN and boarded the JPN bus with the other KT teachers. i saw familiar faces, my SPM marking teammates, and my longtime tesl friend maizah. the journey was full of chatter, but in the end, after 9 hours on the road, we just wanted a good stretch and a proper bed to lie on. we reached the hotel. looked at it, and sighed a big sigh. (read between the lines please)

later that night we met the ELO, DELOs, the GC and vicky. i was looking at vicky's hair, and thought "that's really a frizzy hair". from time to time she would twirl her fingers around her hair. later on, when i was in my group, i wasnt alone in my thoughts. one male teacher joked of buying her a metal comb.

during her session, we were amused with her american accent, especially when she pronounced "modules", which we thought at first was "mahjong". when we did catch what she said, we, the english teachers, became just like our students, and imitated her american accented "modules". now i know how my students feel like whenever i teach them phonetics in class.

it was another long journey on the road, and the bus driver did not see the humour when i was the last one to board the bus at a stopover - you see, i saw a teacher bought a cornetto, and i just had to get one. grinning at him didnt help either. thank god for the cuti perjalanan that we got the next day....too tired to even move.

well anyway, despite the soreness, i learnt something and am inspired to work wonders in class. and despite her hair, vicky did teach me something (or reminded me of what my lecturers taught)- to vary the teaching methods. which i did, and the debate in my form 4 class was a roaring success, with the students actively participating in the heated discussion.

well... at the end of the day, i smiled.