Saturday, November 28, 2009

hari raya potluck feast

it is well-known that my family is a boisterous family who has one great passion - food. so it is not a surprise that we had a potluck feast at kak sham's house in PJ yesterday.

kak sham told me that she's going to cook nasi tomato, but yesterday there was not only nasi tomato, but also nasi dagang! i brought my lemon cake with homemade strawberry jam and lemon cream, and no sooner had i tucked into my food, abg mi arrived and kak madihah made lasagna!! wah this is really a feast. i was the first one to scoop the goodies. (which of course, led to the others making comments about watching my weight. it's useless making comments when i'm in front of delicious food, so i ignored them) her lasagna was superb, the sauce that she made was flavourful. and when i was se'eh, and groaning that i had too much to eat, abg halim came with nasi lemak and kak dah came with spaghetti and laksa johor. i surrendered then. no more food!

while the adults were talking about everything under the sun, the youngsters were playing games. kak sham is also addicted to playing computer games and she's a grandmother of 3! so it's not surprising that ayi is already a doctor doing his Masters and yet he still watches Powerpuff Girls. no, i'm not joking.

the others went back early because of Friday prayers but i was too full and too sleepy (couldn't really sleep the night before because i was angauing over Robert Pattinson) to drive so i caught some 40 winks (probably it s 80 winks). and then it was another round of feasting again. and i groaned again. god it's a vicious but irresistable cycle.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

crazy about the handsome vampire

i didn't realise the twilight mania could be this big - because i'm drawn to it myself, much to my surprise.

last year, SS's best student, khairina, who studied literature, was always promoting the movie to me. so consumed was she with the book and the movie that during one discussion she was confused between Edward and Bella in Twilight and Edward and Bella in the short story The Cinderella Girl which they had to study. "Best teacher, teacher kena tengok. Edward tu handsome teacher" how many times i heard that last year. and this was before the movie came out.

well, the movie came and went. but 2 nights ago, star movies showed it on tv, and i was determined not to sleep at my usual bedtime hour just to watch the movie. and i was hooked! Robert Pattinson is irresistable. not in the usual sense of handsome, but the character is mysterious (duh, everyone says that ) and gothic and look, most of us are attracted to dark (or in this case, pale) handsome men. it reminds me of the mania the girls had in the 80s when Ralph Macchio donned that karate uniform, tied a bandana over his head and "saved" his girl. or the craze over Brad Pitt (still there is) especially in Legends of the Fall or the craze over Viggo Mortensen as the rugged ranger / King and Orlando Bloom as the Elf archer when LOTR trilogy came out. yep, it's the same thing now.

no, it's not about the handsomeness. as i said, it's about how he portrays his character. he had me when he told Bella "I don't have the strength to be apart from you" uwaaa!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

thank god it's the long school hols!

2 weeks ago, i couldn't wait for the holidays to be here. i even had a countdown on my facebook. but this week, with all the things happening, my holiday mood just disappeared. gone with a smoke. na da. kaput.

besides being told that i'll be transferred to the afternoon session, i had to finish off the stupid clerical work. yes, i hate the clerical work. i'm disorganised and proud of it. for me, clerical work reminds me of old accountants at work, with pince-nez on their noses, meticulously writing down numbers, and not making mistakes. i'm not like that. i'm like a fiery chef who devotes his life to the perfection of culinary art. or an artist who is passionate in his strokes creating masterpieces.

one afternoon session teacher who likes to sit at my place after i go home (because her chum's cubicle is next to mine) decided to do me a favour and tidied up my cubicle. really. the problem is, when i tried to find some particular documents, i couldn't find it. and there i went rambling like a mother scolding the children, because i couldn't find the papers.

any hoarder will tell you that in chaos, there is order. the teacher meant well, i know. but she upset the order on my chaotic table.

anyhow, though i'm disorganised, i'm good at teaching.especially when i teach literature (the LiE paper, not lit component) no, i'm not being smug. i may be a real-life but a mini version of Dr House, minus the quirks and the insanity.

there was too much work to be done. some of it was a waste of time, but i had to do it. i mean, what's the point of repeating the same phrase 33 times for a whole class? or what's the point of every teacher producing the headcount analysis, when in SS the Exam Unit does it for the teachers?(considering that it's a cluster school, and has 140 teachers).

okay i'm rambling again. but as you can see, because of the amount of work to be done, i lay awake at night feeling stressed. i could feel the nerves on my head turning sore, especially when i sujud during solat. anyway, i did the best that i could. and that's not saying much. because as i said earlier i hate, no, i a-b-h-o-r clerical work.

and even though the holiday officially started at 12.30pm for me yesterday, i didn't feel the joy. hopefully after this the party animal in me will come out.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

the bad news

it's 1.25am. what am i doing up so late? actually i woke up when i heard the neighbour's car engine. then instantly, i remember the bad news that i had 3 days ago.

my head of panel told me that because there's an excess of english teachers in the morning, i'll be teaching the afternoon session next year.

when she told me this, i was trying to finish off marking the exam scripts, and as soon as the words hit me, i was devastated.

the thing that i hate most is teaching in the afternoon. i spent 12 years teaching in the morning session. in SS i was lucky because it's a single session the first 2 months in the current school, i had to teach the afternoon session. i don't like it at all.

i hate coming back so late. and by the time i return home, i've no strength to muster. and besides, ever since in SS, i always taught either form 3 or the upper forms. my friend and colleague used to tell me that if any of the Old Block teachers slack in their work, they are "banished" to the New Block teaching the lower forms.

the afternoon session is like that. i feel upset, and used. i feel like i'm a ball being tossed around. never mind that i'm a senior teacher by service and holds a masters degree. never mind that i've literature students who i have to teach after school. in the end , i lost to a quite junior teacher who gets to stay in the morning session because she stays far away and can teach Geography (as they lack in teachers in the subject for the form 3 students) and that because i stay nearby and i'm single. it's back to the same reason. i hate it. and the best thing is that she doesn't know that the upstairs people considered her as a candidate as well.

i feel kecik hati. i don't mind if i'm a junior. but i'm not. so i go from being a form 4 and 5 teacher to being form 1 and 2 teacher next year. a lot of routines have to be changed next year, and i don't like it at all.

because of that, i think i may have to do something. now i understand how my Professor felt and why he resigned from the university.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

the hi tea at KDE

on saturday, the kelab guru of my school held the annual hi-tea at KDE which is practically "belakang rumah". no la i was exaggerating. it takes me 5 mins to reach KDE. the theme was "mesmerising blue". initially i thought of wearing the only blue blouse that i have but after the gym workout in the morning (to compensate the feasting done the previous day), my feet sort of led me to isetan (yeah yeah blame it on my feet. just like i blamed my feet for walking into Habib when i accidentally bought some bling bling) and i bought a new blouse.

since i've taught at 3 schools so far, i can honestly say that the annual gathering is conducted in much the same manner everywhere. but then although it is considered routine, one can't help feeling amused. for instance, despite my visits to the gym and despite my "piousness" in controlling my temptation at the school canteen, i was the first one at the buffet table (yep. the first one. go ahead and gawk). i can't remember how much i ate. i just knew that the cheese from the lasagna just sat snugly in my tummy. had to do salsa after that.

and at every annual gathering, we love lucky draws. despite the fact that everybody gets to bring something home, we still groan and wait in agony for our numbers to get lucky. and, i also notice that we love to compare which table has the most gifts - the only difference is that last Saturday the teachers stacked their gifts on the table until they nearly collapsed.

oh well.

i got to bring a blender back. the 3rd blender that i have.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Calorie restriction diet

last night, Dr Oz appeared on Oprah show, talking about extreme life extension. one that really intrigued me is about the people who undergo calorie restriction diet, thought to help in lengthening one's lifespan. this is backed up by research in the labs using mice.

anyway, it doesn't sound interesting, does it? especially when you have the words "restriction" there. they featured 4 people who practice this diet - a couple, a lawyer in his 60s (whose biological age or stamina of a 20 year old) and an 85 year old tycoon. they all eat a lot of fibre - the lawyer takes 3 apples for breakfast (he peels the skin and eat it, not the flesh though) and a bowl of mixed berries with 2 oz of walnuts. his lunch is a big bowl of salad greens (he said this amount can normally feed a whole family) and his dinner also consists of vegetables and fish.

i'm not interested in extending my lifespan - who wants to hang on to old age when your peers are all dead? i'm only interested in healthy eating and being healthy...unfortunately, my tummy and palate can't really digest the idea of digesting so much fibre...

Saturday, November 07, 2009

let's salsa! (click on this to view a snippet of what salsa dance is)

much much earlier this year, my curiosity led me to a dance studio in sri hartamas. they had an open day, and to attract more clients, they held a free 10 minute session of dances which included bellydancing, salsa, cha cha and more.

i wasnt interested in bellydancing, because much as exotic and as obscene as it can be, it's too vigorous and i can't imagine my whole body jiggling (or wobbling, for that matter). besides, i've a bellydancing vcd featuring rania who, when performing the dance look more like Plastic Man than a mere mortal.

so anyway, i discovered that i love salsa! i enjoy its lazy, easy and sensual dance. it's not obscene like bellydancing, mind you, it's a dance that everyone can enjoy. unfortunately though, although i signed up for the class, the place is just too far for me to go every single weekend.

on thursday, as i was telling them of my gym visits, a male teacher at school who loves to ride on his easy rider suggested that i enroll for salsa class at a dance studio somewhere in uk utama? uk perdana? i'm not really sure. and that reminded me of the joy i felt once. but i thought, well may be they sell latin dance dvds. i was right. i purchased Kathy Smith's Latin Rhythm workout.

why all this, all of a sudden?

because i was disappointed that they changed the time slot for my favourite group cardio fitness workout BodyVive. i figured that i need to have cardio fitness workout that i enjoy.

i've several other workout vcds of Kathy SMith and i wasn't disappointed when i bought the dvd yesterday. they have not only salsa but also merengue and cha cha. i don't really like merengue. i prefer salsa more. so much so that i downloaded some salsa songs for me to dance on my own.

so what are the health benefits?

salsa dancing helps to build endurance and stamina. it helps with weight loss (yippee!!!), relieve stress, helps to relieve toxin, may help lower the cholesterol levels and lead to a reduced heart rate as well as reducing the risk of Alzheimer disease.

how many calories can one burn in an hour of salsa dancing? for a 150lb person, expect to burn 420 calories - for me that means around 45 mins of jogging on the treadmill at 6kmph.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Hooligans' Antics

need i say more? *sigh*

it's final exam week. so what do you usually expect to see in class? students giving their full attention to the exam questions right? and you don't even hear any sounds?


not in the hooligans class.

it's just like any other day for them. but for once, i get to see all of the hooligans together even those who like to play truants. but even then, one didnt turn up for the exams since monday. so they were busy in their "merry making", laughing out loud, and talking to the rest. the boys asked to go to the toilet. that means "wandering around" instead of answering nature's call. like i said, it's like any other day for them.

so scold them, you will say.

you think i didn't do that?

i gave them the look that would have silenced all my students in SS. that didn't work. i had to resort to hitting their arms with my fan because they're too noisy (my fan broke). still that didn't work. i was on the verge of cursing them, really cursing them - but i still had my iman and patience. god only knows how i felt. i wonder how they're like at home, and i wonder if their parents know.

i was in their class to invigilate my paper. some sent in blank papers, some didn't even send in at all.

as i entered the staffroom, a teacher looked up. and i told her "this is the look of someone who just came out from 4 Taat".

really, the class affected me so badly. obviously i didnt feel happy, i felt angry, and i would have become the female version of hulk.

there's no other way to change the hooligans unless something (by chance) happens to them. until then, they'll continue being how they're.