Monday, 30 May 2011

Teacher's Day Revisited ...

Teacher's Day was celebrated with much pomp and grandeur throughout the nation on May 16.

Most of the kids would think of cards, little gifts and flowers coming every Teacher's Day. They wanted to present their favourite teachers with the chosen gift. They would try to outdo each other in presenting their teachers with teacher's day presents. Kids, like most adults do have their ego, too. They aimed to be the 'Number One' gift presenter of the year. Hence, more often than not, their parents, specifically their moms have to either chauffeur them around, hunting for gifts or rolling up their sleeves and got into action, making cards or handicrafts for the kids beloved teachers.
My girl painstakingly did this pens-formation 
I, for one, prefer hand-made cards to the commercial ones. Hand-made cards exudes more aesthetic values compared to their commercialized partners. The card maker was actually imprinting the little cards with her 'heart' as she was making them. She would fondly think of each teacher's, their characteristics, their likings and all those little 'things' concerning the recipient. With all the informations in hands, the cards would then be designed individually.

Those little cards would be better off if they were made together with the kids. Involving them in the process enhances  the values of the cards. Along the process, kids could be reminded of teachers' sacrifices and the need to respect and honour the individuals called teachers.

In short, it's an annual 'ritual' in my family to prepare cards and gifts on Teacher's Day eve. Many a time, we, my kids and I retired to bed shortly after midnight!

We have found joy in giving...
"If you have much, give of your wealth;
If you have little, give of your heart."
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Sunday, 29 May 2011

Reaching a Milestone ...

Fear of driving or its Latin term, Hodophobia, had bothred me for more than a decade.

I procured my driving license a decade ago, i.e. when I was residing in KL. Nonetheless, I only started driving very long after that.

Circumstances forced me to delay driving.
Weeks after obtaining the driving paper, I found out that I was with child, expecting my daughter.
My hubby, being the overly protective one, prohibited me from driving. Thus, for the whole nine months, and thereafter I did not drive.

The urge to get behind the wheel made its come back in 2001.
At that time, we were back in our hometown.
With two young kids in tow, plus my hubby being stationed miles away, commuting to workplace had become a great burden. Over-relying on others for a lift was not a sound solution to this problem. But, the fear of driving had found its way into my 'soft spot'. It has snuggled comfortably in my innermost!

Though the fear of driving can be conquered, but it is a powerful phobia. As there is real risk in driving a car, it's very difficult for me to dismiss the phobia completely. According to experts, people who suffer from fear of driving feel intense anxiety about controlling a large machine on public roadways. I felt exactly the same!
I simply do not feel that I was up to the challenge of driving on highways, in crowded cities, and even in quiet, rural areas like my hometown. So, the dream of maneuvering a machine called a 'car' was shelved indefinitely.

Thanks to the local car company, I could drive at last. The recently launch of the petite car model, Viva, made my dream come true. Since then, my life was never the same again. I progressed steadily. From commuting to workplace, I was able to travel to neighbouring towns. Three years later, I enrolled in a masters programme and that compelled me to commute to the varsity, which was a 100 km away twice a week.

Yesterday, May 28th, 2011, a milestone in driving was reached!
I drove to the heart of Penang Island, which is touted to have the heaviest traffics in the Northern Region!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Love is Sacrifice (2) ...

It's already four years since I graduated.
I obtained my first degree in 2007.
I enrolled in the degree programme in 2003.

With that, my husband was signed up in the programme too.
He's my full time chauffeur, my chaperon, as well as my private tutor.
For  four years he chauffeured me to and fro, i.e. from our house to the study centre, which was about 100 km away.

I'd to attend tutorials every other Saturday.
As the tutorials took up the whole day, he would come back for me in the evening, meaning that he'd to make two trips to the centre.

Whenever I sat for my exams, he'd diligently waited for me at the exam centres.
More often than not, he'd to wait up to four hours or longer.
Though filled with boredom and weariness, he'd never complained or uttered unpleasant words to me.

The thought of his innumerable sacrifices spurred me on.
I graduated with a first-class honours degree in teacher studies.
Truly, my degree is HIS!

Friday, 27 May 2011

At last...

Life was tough.
We worked under fire.
We're scrutinised and watched over closely.
It's been bothering me and my colleagues for the past three years...
Some were reduced to tears due to trivial matters.
We couldn't do anything to change the situation, so we just gritted our teeth and put up with it.

And today, this morning, to be precise...
God lifted the HUGE BURDEN off our shoulders.
All of us could put a smile back on our face once again.
Many have forgotten how to do so...

Though much hatred had been sown by the iron-fisted dictator,
I'm very sure most of us have chosen to sow love instead.

"In this world,
 Hate never yet dispelled hate,
 Only love dispels hate.
 This is the law,
 Ancient and inexhaustible."

And ...

"There's no fire like passion,
  No crime like hatred,
  No sorrow like separation,
  No sickness like hunger,
  And no joy like the joy of freedom."

Sadhu (X3)

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Love is Sacrifice (1) ...

We met.
We fell in love.
It's love at first sight ... for both of us.
He's  well-prepared and  yearned to settle down.
He had everything ...
He'd bought a house, he had a career, and he owned a car, too.
For a young man of his age, he's considered a very eligible candidate.

Alas, I was not.
Though I fell head over heels in love with him, I'd other thing in mind.
I wished to pursue my dream.
As I'd been overlooked by the lady luck (when I was in school),
I was denied a place in the varsity.

To keep both parties happy (my parents and his), we're engaged.
A gold engagement ring, signifying my commitment to him, stayed on my veina amoris,
the left index finger throughout the periods, before being joined by a wedding ring two and a half years later.

Interestingly, every good thing seemed
to fall into place when Mr Right appeared in my life.
I got a job in the city.
He was ecstatic as his fiancĂ©e could be closer to him.
Not long after that, I was offered a place in a college.
Unwaveringly, I grabbed the opportunity.

I asked him to postpone our nuptial plans.
He was reluctant, but after much persuasion...he complied.
He knew me all too well.

Thus, he made frequent journeys to Penang Island for the whole four-year course.
Many a time, he started his journey at the stroke of midnight, i.e. immediately after he finished working, and reached Penang at the crack of dawn.
He visited me religiously every other weekend.

Treasuring the great moments ...

Time is the most wonderful and greatest gift we can give to others aside from listening to them.

Many of us are so busy nowadays that we put aside the truly important things in life like spending quality time with our family and close friends. We all need this precious time together to cement our relationships and show our love for each other. Let’s not wait until it's too late... and then complain... there was never enough time.
When was the last time you had a quality time with your child? 

When was the last time you hugged your spouse and told them you love them and made them feel the most special person in the world?
When was the last time you talked to your parents or called them on the phone?

Do you still remember an old friend?

And, most importantly ... Do you have time for yourself?
What matters most to you?

Life is all about making priorities, what are your priorities?

Have a GREAT day and may EVERY DAY be special!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Happy Teacher's Day!

I'm back.
It's been three days since I last updated my blog.
Mr Blogger was not available for the past few days plus I was busy with exam papers which needed my immediate attention!

Today's Yahoo Horoscope made me think...and ponder upon ...and...

May 16, 2011...
Sometimes, when there's an emotional storm brewing in your life, it's better to accept it and just ride it out. Fighting nature is a losing proposition ... so why waste all of your precious energy shaking your hands at the sky? What really matters is staying true to what you believe. Face the fury of those who disagree -- in your heart, you know they're wrong. Chances are they know they're wrong, too. Give this tornado the respect it deserves, but don't let it shake your foundation.

How true...

I should unwind...while guarding my foundation!

Happy Teacher's Day...especially to all great teachers and educators throughout Malaysia!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

A New Book on the Shelf ...

As I was browsing through the Net for the fresh new ideas in tackling young minds, I stumbled upon this book, Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students by Their Brains. This indispensable book is authored by LouAnne Johnson, my favourite author who penned My Posse Don't Do Homework.

According to WILEY, Teaching Outside the Box offers practical strategies that will help both greenhorns and seasoned veterans create dynamic classroom environments where students enjoy learning and teachers enjoy teaching. This  book is said to be filled with no-nonsense advice, checklists, and handouts as well as practical suggestions for arranging classroom, talking to students, avoiding the misbehavior cycle, and making school a place where students learn and teachers teach. And also step-by-step instructions for introducing Shakespeare to reluctant readers.

I'm anticipating this book. Hoping that it'll be on the shelf in the neighbourhood bookstore soon.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Nelin, My Multi-talented Girl ...

My only daughter, Nelin Nisha is a gifted child (maybe only ... to me and my family).
She's a multi-talented sweet little girl.

With her multi-talented persona, Nelin loves singing, dancing, telling stories, playing the piano, acting, chatting and hosting an event. Most importantly, she's a girl with a flair for talking.

Her accomplishments were too varied to sum up easily, even at the tender young age of six. 

Coming up next ... Nelin at seven !

Monday, 9 May 2011

Line off, Stuff Done ...

We live in the 21st century. 
We live in distracting times.

We are living distracted and the worst thing about it is that we are always finding more and more things on the Internet to distract us from our goals instead of simplifying our lives. Thus, our tasks can easily get derailed. 

We surf the net, respond to friends' posting, check emails, answer emails, chat on SNS, juggle mobile phone calls… the list doesn't end there. I fall into this distraction trap as badly as anyone.

Getting rid of these distractions may sound far fetched . However, minimizing them is realizable.

When I embark on a task, say writing this blog post or doing my school SBOA reports, many a times I tried this technique. I turn off incoming email (work offline) and close my web browsers. My mobile phone is set to silent. When the task is over, I turn everything back on and resume the addictions!

It works.

Since it works with me, it might work with you, too!

Why not, give it a try! 

It's timely to bid Mr Distractions farewell...

Happy Mother's Day !

To all great mothers out there ...
Happy Mother's Day!
Since today is a busy day for a working mother like me...
hopes it's not too late for posting this wish.
Unbelievably, it's 12.00am!
I've made it in the nick of time!
Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, 6 May 2011

My Mom, My Goddess ...

Mother's Day usually falls on the second Sunday of May each year. This year, 2011, Mother's Day is on May 8th.

To all the mothers out there, this day is for you.  While every mother is equally important, I would like to make a tribute to the one mother that brought me into this world. 

In many languages, Mom is either Mama or Mamma. But, in Thai Mom is Mae. Hence, while everyone else calls her Niarn, I call her Mae.
My Mom, My Goddess

So Mae, this tribute is for you.  To honour the trials and hardships that you had and for you to celebrate your motherhood. This tribute is for you, Mae.
Mae and her youngest born, Chai

You took on the challenge from the very beginning, when you experienced the labor pains that resulted in three beautiful baby girls and three boys.  The pain must have been severe, but the love greatly overshadowed it.
Mae and her granddaughter, Lynn

As an infant, you fed us and nursed us.  You cleaned us and changed our diapers.  All this you did umpteen of times, since you had six children.  And despite the exhaustion and occasional frustration, your love and patience prevailed.
Mae at her son's wedding

As a child, you taught us the ABC’s.  You read us stories and tucked us in at night.  You disciplined us when we were out of line by giving us timeouts.  And despite our struggles in school, you never gave up on us.
Mae and Ny, my sis on her wedding

As a teenager, you gave us “the talk”.  And during the hard times, you never gave up.  You praised our successful achievements in high school and our good grades in college.
Mae and me at my convo

And to this day, your patience has endured.  In all these years, you have demonstrated unconditional love, devotion and patience in raising me, not to mention my younger brothers and sisters.  There are still many challenges ahead, but none that are too hard to face.  And what else can I say?  I love you, Mae.  Thank you for always being there for me and never giving up.
Mae and her first grandson, Korn

The job of a mother is not an easy one.  It’s full-time, and you don’t get paid.  But the efforts are so rewarding.  The love, the care and the respect that you get in return.  Thank you Mae for taking on the hardest job in the world.

.... and Happy Mother’s Day, Mae!

I Love You!

You're My Goddess!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Having my friend back..Part 2

We did numerous trainings together as both of us are from SJK. We completed the whole cycle of revised curriculum, from year 1 up to year 6. 

Tok Bali Resort where the Lit Coz took place
Later on, we're roped in for the training of contemporary literature for children. That very course took us to a seaside resort in Kelantan, and that course was the last we're together. 

Me at the resort after the course

In the hall during the course
Not long after that, her family moved to Penang Island. As usual, pastures always seem greener from this side of the sea. The same holds true with this friend of mine. She yearned for 'sparklers' which she believed could be granted by the metropolis of the north.
A bevy of teacher trainers ...the friend is one of these pretty ladies. Can you guess?

If you are like me, you can probably count your closest friends on one hand. So realizing that I'm almost have lost touch with most of my friends, or even this friend, is quite unsettling. But the fact is, time and distance have a way of putting dents in relationships that I once thought would never end. Life became busy and busier and workloads piled up. Without conscious effort, work, husbands, families,  and even hobbies began to take precedence over old friendships and became excuses as to why I don't keep in touch. But, my innermost screamed... "Let's face it, my lives would be fuller with friends!"

Winding down ...

Dear readers, whether you'd like to rekindle an old friendship or need creative and fun ways to keep in touch with current friends, the first step is to commit to keeping the friendship alive, forever!  Just remember, "friendships are not a chore, they are gifts to be cherished".

To be continued ...

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Ducks in a Row ...

It seems my ducks are lining up in a straight row.
The only thing that I need to do is getting them shot ... one at time, of course.
First thing first, my pupils' SBOA records which are in need of my immediate attention, need to be updated by this Sunday.
After that, a thorough discussion and revision would take place ... in time for the mid-year exam.
But, wait... I have to send the master copies of handouts to the officer-in-charge by May 5.
On May 18, I would be giving a course at a nearby PKG...the crash course is targeting Year 6 English teachers.
Most probably, I would be wrapping up this semester with a course on KSSR for the private school teachers.
Hopefully, every plan would take up its course well.

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