Friday, January 30, 2009

thank you, my friends

in my hour of need, my friends are the ones who give their support. there have been smses, calls, visits, and because i cant bear to be alone, As invited me to sleep at her place last night. and today, Shidah came to fetch me and talked, and later i met Mozie and Kak Nan. thank you to all.

i really appreciate it, and i don't think i could have done it by myself, cooped in the house alone. at this time communicating with other people is really what i need, lest i plunge into great bereavement.

i'm thankful for the empathy that we're capable of - care, sympathy, concern, as they are the ones that help to cement our relationships with other people.

there is a lesson here. this is no time to be selfish nor time to be proud, because there will be a time when you need help from the others. this is the time to be a kind person, because we will be rewarded tenfold.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Life without my mother

most of you already know that after my last entry, my mother had passed away, at 6.29pm 25th january, to be exact.

i had psyched myself that my mother wouldnt be around much longer, especially after i saw her suffering, gasping for air. i was surprised at myself too, because i was calm, and not like when i was 18 and i lost my father.

my frens commented that i sounded strong on the phone. probably because i felt satisfied i had spent time taking care of her during her last few days. i had asked for her forgiveness, although i didnt know whether she heard or understood amidst her halucination after scores of morphin patches were put and after she had the minor stroke. i had, as some of my frens put it, redha her passing on.

we went back to KT on that night itself, and everybody was tired since we didnt sleep the whole night waiting at the ICU waiting hall. but we arrived safely in the wee hours. i had told my neighbour to tell the neighbourhood, but it was still a pleasant surprise to see neighbours and my SS colleagues turning up.

in times of need, my friends are around to lend me their shoulder, even ina who is far away in Sudan. ina, thanks for the call. i really appreciate it.

today i went to visit my parents grave before returning to KL. i cried, the cry of a child so loved by the parents, and who finally, in adulthood, began to realise the love she has, and the love and the sacrifice the parents made for her.

islam teaches us to accept qada and qadar. and that's what i'm doing.

i do feel lonely though, but my frens are here to cheer me up.

may allah bless your soul, mother.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Losing My Mother

as i'm writing this, my family members are huddled together, as my mother has gone into comma since 4am.

i miss my mother so much now. it's hard to see her laboured breathing, knowing full well she's suffering. i spent the last 3 days with my mother at the hospital, and although i got a scolding from a sibling for wasting my precious 7 day leave (i took 2 days), i considered that as my filial duty to my mother, something that is natural, to show my love for her.

i must say that before i was a selfish brat. i admit that. being the youngest, i always thought about myself, and not about others. my parents love me so much, they catered to my every need. but after my mother was diagnosed with cancer, after going through some life-changing experiences such as going for umrah, i 've become a better person and muslim. i appreciate my mother now, and regret my selfish past actions and words. i didnt mean to hurt her feelings, and that's why i wanted to atone my mistakes by being with her in her last few days.

it's painful to see her suffer. she has to undergo a lot of examinations and treatments. but my mother is a fighter, right even before she lapsed into comma, she was still fighting, trying to pull off the oxygen mask as she hated it.

we have a family joke that if my mother scolds people (eg. me, the maid or the nurses) that means she's ok. we would sigh in relief and laugh if she does that, because we know she's ok. she's still with us.

but we're not laughing anymore, she's not talking, and i hate seeing my mother suffer. i miss her so much now - her soothing touch when i had dengue fever, her willingness to cook my favourite dishes, and her patience for enduring my selfishness.

i love you, mother. so much. and i miss you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Losing It

i thought that everything would be well once i figured out why God has put me in this school. but i was wrong. the teachers in the school must have been amused with my enthusiasm, because i was very emotional when i told my head of panel that 7 of my form 1 students are barely literate. i promised to have intensive grammar class with my form 2 students. yes, it's a noble job and i felt good.

but yesterday i was given 4 periods in a row from 1.40-3.40pm. when i was in SS, i complained to the master timetable maker when i had 3 periods in a row! that paled in comparison to what i had to go through yesterday. 4 periods in a row, teaching the 2 form 2 classes, and i was actually screaming, yes, screaming! even that didnt guarrantee the students' attention. i pity them actually. i pity them because, because of their ignorance, they don't know that without education they'll be reduced to being blue-collar workers. that ignorance and idleness is their enemy and not their friend. and so i screamed to compete with their voices, and in the end i had chest pains (i was wondering if this is the start of a heart attack)

i had another set of double periods at 5.20 - my form 1 class. being form 1 students, all came to me like little children, complaining about everything from not having a copy of a timetable to having their correction fluid broken by a classmate. *sigh* i'm not used to being a form 1 form teacher, having taught the upper forms for years.

come 6.45, i was drained emotionally and physically.

i honestly don't know what to do now.

the invasion of the ants

i ve a big problem in the kitchen - the big army of ants that seem to invade and infest every single edible thing. in the past, i resorted to keeping my food in the oven. but that didnt seem to work with these verocious small pests. oh no, they climbed my oven and successfully ravaged my homemade white bread! arghh!! i feel like a madwoman now, i've been reading some articles on how to destroy the ants. just pray that i can demolish the whole colony because they're really driving me up the wall!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

the pink and the roses

those who know me know that i love pink. and those who know me also know that i love floral prints. so my love for these two are incorporated in my blouses, my bedsheets, my comforters, my bags, and god knows what else.

yesterday, after the cross country race at school, i stopped to have lunch at ampang point, and returned home with a new set of bedsheet and comforter - yes, you guess it, in pink and and in floral prints, which is a typical english country design.

while i was excitedly showing it off to my sister, my bro in law grinned and made a remark

"sama je dengan baju".
to my dismay, the shirt i was wearing was also in pink, and has floral prints!

this pic on the left is taken from my shirt.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Mission

i believe that in life, everything happens to us for a reason.

when i was first posted to tok jiring, my sister in-law poked fun at me "haa you're going to be an ustazah!". back then i was young, and with all my rebellion (because i had to turn down the offer of being a journalist) i didn't see what i was supposed to have learned until much later. but now i know that a religious school was what i needed for my first posting, so that some of the islamic culture would be ingrained in me.

when i was in SS, i was exposed to a new set of students, and a very different atmosphere. tok jiring was quite relaxed in the sense that they only focused on academic achievement, but in SS, extra curricular activities and academic excellence are equally important. i was overwhelmed during my first year there, because there were so many activities and i just couldn't keep up. but after my 1st year, it went smoothly, and i embraced the "business" of being an SS teacher. SS taught me to be confident, especially being confident in teaching good students. and i'm proud of being an SS teacher, despite my incessant "when i was in Seri Puteri..." lecture.

now, being at the new school, i'm beginning to feel relaxed, although i know that i can't expect life there to be a bed of roses. as i blogged earlier, the students are weak, that i can't help but feel pity for them - for their ignorance, that i feel a moral obligation towards them to teach them so that they can break free from the chains and feel liberated. seven students from my own form 1 class are almost illiterate. it's painful for me to see a boy struggling to spell his father's name or my form 2 girl who doesnt know the word "kick" or simple present tense and simple past tense.

yes, i realised that God has put me in this school so that i can help to change these students' lives. this is the toughest task for me so far. believe me, it's easier to teach good students, just because they're already good and you're there just to polish them; it's the weak students who really test your capability as a teacher.

i don't know if i can help to improve their literacy, but i'll try my best to do so. a just cause.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

longing for the familiar

every one finds it hard to adapt. unless of course, if you live a nomadic life all your life that it has become a routine to re-adjust.

it was horrible at first to be at my new school. the first meeting of the year lasted for 2 days, something that is an alien concept in SS.

the school is small, although the number of student enrollment is as big as SS. i miss the 'leisurely' walk to class, greeted by the warm sea breeze all year round. in the new school, where there's no space, you go up. so there are many stairs to be climbed, one of my form 2 classes is on the 4th floor!

ok grumble, grumble, grumble. in truth, i hate being a nobody. nobody likes being a nobody. i like routine because there's something so comforting and established about it. you belong to a society, and you have a say in everything. being a nobody means a loss of identity. of course, i keep remembering my literature fraternity's lecture "you must be humble at the new school." yes, it's hard when people see you as a newbie - they don't know your achievements or triumphs - they know you as "cikgu baru". i resent that. and though inside i feel like bursting, i keep telling myself that arrogance will lead to nowhere, and humility is a ticket to every where. well, it's easier said than done.

(okay, i know that what i'm going through is the process of dislocation or displacement, something Homi Bhabha and Salman Rushdie love to talk in their books).

but it's getting easier every day, the students are weak academically, but they are a nice bunch. i had a talk with one of the math teachers there, and when i told him i'm "slowly adapting" to the environment, he said "of course they are different from your students, they are different because they need your love since they are neglected at home, and some rely solely on our teaching in school." that gave me a new perspective. a new set of students. they might not be as rich and priviledged or as bright as my SS students, but they appeal to me because of their candour and naivete'. i've only been in their class probably once or twice, but they keep calling me "teacher" or "miss nora" whenever i walk past. if there's one thing that can melt my grouchiness, it's camaraderie and friendliness.

well, that's a start.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Flu

one of the negative effects of being cooped up in a hotel for so long is that you have a weak immune system. my teammates told me to take a walk, but i didnt want to venture out as there were too many unsavoury foreigners lurking around. i first suspected i was going to have flu when, after celebrating at a teh tarik stall past midnight, i felt the first signs of a sore throat. didnt go to the doctor, but i just bought OTC med. worked for awhile, until after i returned from JB. and still i didnt go to the clinic.

and so, after a long arduous fight with flu, my weak immune system finally succumbed to its conqueror. i normally didnt get fever when i'm down with flu, so much so that i had to ask As how it feels like to have a fever. i knew immediately i had fever when i was feeling so cold and i was shivering. then i felt too warm. when i walked it felt like there's a tonne of bricks on my head, and felt like i was going to fall down any minute.

finally this morning i was issued with an MC for the first time of the year, on the 1st day of school. great, huh?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

life isnt peachy, and it aint a bed of roses

it's been a few weeks since i last blogged. unlike some people who love their lives because it's a mundane life, mine is everything that is not mundane.

i was happy to come out of seclusion of the hotel. i celebrated my freedom by going to JB for my , where we seri puteri 5 ilmu gathering - in a train! we arrived in kluang first, in the wee hours, and slept at shidah's sister's house. in the morning, after listening to ella screaming on the phone, we finally got on the road with my chocolate cake and anne's satay. it was a happy affair - imagine, we still see each other even though it's been 19 years since we left seri puteri. there's much pregnant zana, ever gracious hostess ella, boisterous ina, gayah, shidah, anne and me. the feasting started amidst all the gaiety and the children's screaming and laughter. until, suddenly...when i checked my hp and saw there's been 13 missed calls from kak sham. it seems that my mother has developed an ovarian cyst (caused by the cancer cells) and the cyst broke. my mother was bleeding profusely. of course i thought of the worst case scenario. the friends saw my glum look and some offered a lift back to KL with them. i cut my vacation short and the next day returned to KL, dreading the worst after talking to my doctor friends As and Mas. but my mother was okay, because she could still be angry with me. she was sulking that i left her, although the day before i already came to see her to tell her that i was going to JB. i try to spend time with my mother whenever i have the time.

next, i attended the first meeting at the new school. okay, granted, it's totally different from SS, but i cant complain. the other bummer is that i've to teach in the afternoon session. the worst? they gave me 2 classes of sejarah for form 2!!!!! geez.....

yes, i was furious. because when i was in SS they gave me form 3 english classes. i remember the joy i felt when i was about to enter the class...i remember the lecture i gave them...i remember the short, i miss SS.

kak sham said that the whole family is a family of complainers, and i'm the worst whiner. well... probably i am. but then, i'm being myself.