Thursday, July 31, 2008

WCN 2708 is finally home. After all the hoo hah's, The car is finally back in one piece. The only setback is that my car has deteriorated in its value, thanks to all the accidents. On the good side, the front part of my car has been repainted. Leslie and I had been having talks about repainting it some time ago but never got it done due to our lack in funds. Now we don't have to worry about it anymore for the panel workshop has repainted it for us.

Looks like things are getting better each day. Debate is over, I'm getting adjusted to my working environment and the car is back, what more can I ask? A little extra time and skill in marking assignments perhaps?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An evening with Mrs. Ko

Boon’s leaving for HK tomorrow. I don’t know when will she be back. Nevertheless, I’m glad that the few of us managed to meet up in Mrs. Ko’s home before she left. Boon was my classmate in Primary for six years and undeniably, she is present in my childhood memory. I guess I’m very privileged to be still in touch with these childhood friends, to be able to still see eye to eye even though our lifestyles have changed and our career paths are different.

Here's a picture of us at Mrs. Ko's place. We decided to have our gathering there so that we could also pay Mrs. Ko a visit and spend some time with her. I can't say that yesterday's gathering was oustanding but I was happy to be there, to spend time with old friends, getting together, updating each other on life's experiences. I enjoy such gatherings much more than meeting up in shopping complexes.

I’ve been silent for a few days due to my commitment towards the debating team. We were in KL for three days for an Inter-Branch Debating competition. Here’s a toast to our debating team, who made us proud even though we did not win the title.

There's so many things I would like to express but I just can't put my words together to express how I feel. I am glad I took the challenge to journey with these students for the experience was priceless.

To those who told me that I was being bullied by my department, I'd like to say that I never felt that way. I am grateful for their trust in my ability, I'm grateful for all the support and help from every one of my senior lecturers. If not for them, I would not be smiling in this picture.

Friday, July 25, 2008

There is an outstanding character in my campus. Unlike the other staffs, she tends to greet people differently. She goes beyond the ‘hi’ and ‘bye’, she asks questions which requires a respond whenever she greets you. Perhaps many of us are not really social beings. We like to mind our own business, therefore some people find it troublesome talking to her.
I am aware of how people see her but I have never had any encounters with her. Today, I went to her office for some official matters and she did not seem to be that bad after all. In fact, I was very happy with the short conversation that we had. I was at ease talking to her and interestingly, our perspective of life seems to be pretty much similar.
I’m happy that I did not stereotype her based on what I heard of her for if I did, I would not have found a friend in her.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I was at Alan's blog and I saw some pictures of the CSS UPM juniors' day. The chapel looks different. Yes, the last time I stepped into the chapel was when it was not repainted. I belong to the era where the St. Anne's Chapel was blue. Gosh, time really flies......

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Everyday, we face different challenges. Sometimes we laugh off our problems, sometimes we complain about it. When we laugh off our problems, it does not mean we are not concern about it. Likewise, when we complain about our problems, it does not mean that we do not have a solution to it. Sometimes we tend to behave the opposite of how we feel because we just feel like doing it.
I am a person who likes to share. Sometimes I share my problems with people because I have to let my feelings out. Sharing and consulting are two different things. I share my problems with people because I want them to know how I feel. On the other hand, I consult people because I would like to listen to their opinions.
The problem is that many people do not know the difference between sharing and consultation. Many people respond to sharings by advising instead of listening. They feel that they have to respond and they offer advice even though I did not ask for any. Sometimes I find it frustrating and stressful sharing with these kind of people because instead of having the space to voice out how I feel, I end up listening to advices which I did not ask for.
Today, I voiced out how I felt to someone who has been constantly advising me each time I responded to her ‘How are yous’. I told her that I was not seeking for her advice and that I was just sharing my experiences for the day. She lashed out at me saying that I was ungrateful. She made the effort to show care and concern towards me and I did not appreciate it. I felt bad, but then again, she was not even listening to what I had to say, how can I appreciate her goodwill in the midst of my frustrations talking to her?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

As I browsed through the Sunday Star this morning, an article on the front page of the paper caught my attention. An Australian family had pledged to provide a poor family with RM 350 per month for the next 18 years, until their triplets reached the age of eighteen. I was touched by what I saw.
A few days ago, the plight of the family was published in the newspaper. The poor family had difficulty coping with the unexpected birth of triplets in the family and they were struggling with the expenses. As donations started to pour in for the family, the Australian tourists decided to help the family on a long term basis, contributing RM 350 per month to the family until the triplets reached eighteen. I can imagine how grateful the parents of the triplets are to receive this kind of long term assistance. RM 350 may not be a lot to many but it is indeed a grate deal to many poor people. RM 350 can help to settle house rents (the rental for low lower middle cost flats in Penang ranges around RM 300 - 400), RM 350 can make sure that the babies will have cows milk instead of condensed milk to drink, RM 350 can help to nourish the family with reasonable meals….etc.
This article has brought happiness to me. I may not be the donor but I’m happy to know that someone has touched the lives of another. Why did the Australians do it?

“When Rose read the story in The Star, she felt very sad for the Woos as we were putting up at beautiful beach resort and eating good food while they had to struggle to make ends meet”
Lisa Kennedy

Friday, July 18, 2008

My brain is blank, I've got nothing to write. It's been raining everyday for one whole week yet I was not caught in the rain at all. I feel so blessed.

This week's been a dull week. I feel lazy and unmotivated the only thing that seems to excite me is preparing notes for next week's classes. It's really weired that I am able to take the initiative to do these things for I used to be a last minute person when it comes to homework. I don't do things at the last minute when I'm passionate about it. Perhaps I'm really enjoying what I do afterall. I don't know. Maybe I'm just lonely.....I don't know...everyday is a new day filled with self discoveries.

Anyway, I've fallen in love with 'Werther's Original' candies. I bought them for students but ended up pinching one of it and walla! I'm addicted to it already. Very fattening thought..

Thursday, July 17, 2008

This Article here is taken directly from 'My Island in The Sun' by Khor Cheang Kee. I found it very heartwarming and I thought I'd share it with you. Perhaps it's because I share the same sentiments with the writer, after all, I'm a Penang girl myself ('',) wink*wink*

Last Saturday, I wrote that Penangites have the best brains in the country. Today, I am going to stick out my neck further, and claim another ‘best’ for the island. I have always held-and I will say it again here- that Penang girls not only make the best laksa, the best poh piah and the best curry kapitan, they also make the best wives.
I am prompted to come to defence of the Penang girl by a letter which I received this week from a clans-woman, Miss Ritiana Khor, of Glugor Lane, who very indignant indeed. She has just come across a recent comment by my fellow columnist, SH Tan, comparing the ‘unmade-up’ girls of Penang, wearing pants in the street and stomping along like boys, to the oh-so-feminine girls of KL.
‘I am mad and speechless,’ Ritiana fumes. ‘So will you, on behalf of all Penangites, please write on the unspoilt beauty of our girls, just as you have written on the natural beauty of our islands?’ ‘Our girls have different moods-the mood for fun in pants, the mood for dancing in formal gown and evening wear. They do not put on make-up because they know there is more to beauty of the face than just a layer of paint.’
Well put, Ritiana, I agree unreservedly that there is no charm more wholesome than in being natural, looking natural and acting natural. Our girls, I would imagine, are especially blessed with the attractiveness of being themselves. They certainly know their priorities. They are first and foremost Penang girls, and that is something special. They may not have the most sophisticated taste in cosmetics, but they have more than cosmetic beauty. They are feminine because they are feminine, and not because they are made to look feminine. Their beauty does not have to rely heavily on laboratory and surgical aids. But being naturally sweet and wholesome does not make them country bumpkins either. They can also demonstrate the parry and thrust of sharp minds. And they have the native wit to hold their own, if need to be. All this, plus virtues that make good wives, thrifty home makers and gracious hostesses.
The Penang girl is interested in people as people. She enjoys your company for itself and does not expect too many frills. She would sooner eat by a roadside stall (if the food is better) than at an expensive restaurant. But she is equally at ease dining and wining at a posh hotel, if that is where you insist taking her. Hers is a sunny nature with the friendly smile that goes with it. She sees the bright side of life, and takes things with a laugh. Even when you take a Penang girl to dinner and find, at the crucial moment, that you left your wallet at home, do not worry: her sense of humour will see you through.
Yet with all this happy charm, the Penang girl does not lack the gifts of the intellect. What I said last week about Penang having the best brains in country applies to women as well as men. For didn’t we provide the country’s first woman lawyer in Mrs. BH Oon? And our first woman representative at the United Nations, and first Ambassadress abroad, in Miss PG Lim?
In the field of fashion, too, Penang girls have blazed a trendy trail. The modern Penang nyonya see-through kebaya, with its delicate embroidered cut-out lacework, has made the London scene in a big way. It is now quite the thing, so I am told, to wear this bra-less and Kerongson-less, with the front ends tied at midriff level. What, one may ask, would our old-world grandmother have to say about this?
Still, all said and done, the Penang girl, I feel, represents the happiest compromise between the old and the new. To the more zany she may be old-fashioned than not, but isn’t there a song that says:
‘There’s something about an old fashioned girl
That brings back the long, long ago.
My heart sings in praise of her lovely ways
And envies her old fashioned beau.
The modern miss I know would be glad
To have the charm her grandmother had’

While our modern miss (in Penang) does not lack the charm her grandmother had, she also does not lag behind in making her impact on the contemporary scene.
Speaking of women and fashion, I like what the experts say -that the French are the best dressed women in the world and the Swedes the best undressed women.
Saturday, February 22, 1975
Khor Cheang Kee

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It’s my second month at work and I’m slowly beginning to see and experience what the working world is like. I begin to see how people can be cold, heartless and mean to another. I am actually naive on many matters and am easily used by certain individuals to get what they want. The only sad thing is that I discover the reality a little too late. I am not streetwise when it comes to the corporate environment.
Last week, I made a mistake, I uttered the truth to someone I trusted only to discover that my truth was used as a weapon to destroy another. I am beginning to learn that it is safer to be less straightforward about things, being honest is not always the best policy. It is not easy for I have my principles in life and I have my own values to uphold. I made a mistake last week and I’m very regretful over it. I’m sorry that I contributed towards the emotional destruction of another person.
I also discovered that I’m no longer a nobody, somebody somewhere is watching me. My actions and performance is being watched by someone, somewhere. In time to come, I might receive calls from strangers who will offer me lucrative deals if I am impressive at what I do. Scary isn’t it? Especially when you thought you maintained a low profile.

Ps/ please do not assume that I am referring to my work place for I am not.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Every Monday, I drag myself out of bed, wishing that we had 48hours a day during the weekends. Weekends are never enough for me. They pass by too quickly and before you know it, black Monday is approaching.
Last weekend was most fulfilling for me. He paid me a surprise visit and we did all we could to spend precious moments together. I really missed him since coming home to live in Penang. I missed having someone to talk and share things with. I was not prepared for his arrival, and I had many other things to do but I’m glad he came. It was sad to say goodbye yesterday, sad to see my happy weekend coming to an end. But then again, I’m glad and grateful that I got to see him, glad that I at least had the opportunity to spend some time with him. I don’t know when will we meet again, I guess this is the disadvantage of having a distanced relationship. People often say it will never work. I don’t know but I trust God to guide us through.

(Monday mornings...sigh...picture from the net)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tell me if things can get any worst. I have only RM 200 left on myself and my car problem is not settled yet. I am definitely going to be without the car for another week for it takes at least a week to repair the car and for now nothing has been done as there are some paper works still pending. I am uncertain if the car will receive proper treatment for its injuries for I was told that panel mechanics tend to be sloppy with their workmanship. It is not easy to find an honest person in the industry. I would be grateful if God could prove me wrong in these negative thoughts of mine. Before I called the guy to check on the car, I actually prayed that I’ll make the right choice. I guess, I cannot predict anything yet for now until I see the outcome of the repair work. For now, the man has yet to show any signs in his service that is worthy of any compliment.
Getting myself involved in such a mess is enough a misery for me. I added some salt to my wound by loosing RM 50 today in a mysterious way. I don’t know how I lost that money. I withdrew RM 500 from the bank to help my sister settle some bills. When I reached home, I found RM 50 missing. I could not trace back to how I lost the money. RM 50 for me is a large sum and my heart really aches for the lost. I am upset at myself for being careless, for having overlooked simple things like keeping the money properly.
I am frustrated at myself. I know I am partially to be blamed for all that has happened and to be honest, I am very unhappy. It is not a delightful thing that my car is damaged and my money is lost. My heart and emotions aches each time I think or talk about it. I am grateful that people care and are concern but it does not help as well when I’m constantly bombarded with merely suggestions and not solutions. I have to repeat myself over and over again to people who ask and listen to their advices. I’m told that I ‘should’ do this and that.
Me: I lost RM 50
Concern person: What? Why so careless? You never check meh? You should check when you take your money.
My point is, hello? As if I don’t know I am careless? Here I am frustrated with myself over being careless and there you are reminding me that I’m hopeless. It does not help. It only increases my frustrations.
For now, I just don’t want to think and worry over matters that are not helpful. I just want to go on living my ordinary life, bear with the inconveniences until the car is repaired. Perhaps God has His ways of testing me. Teaching me how to be savvy in my expenses. I know if I pull through this difficult moment and turn out fine, I’m going to be a stronger and a wiser (perhaps) person.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ever since my poor car was hit, I’ve been neglecting some things. My routine has been disrupted thanks to the accident. It is interesting to discover the reality, to understand how corruption actually takes place. The idea of corruption or ‘under table money’ is not an unknown issue, it is not a hush, hush matter. Everybody knows about it and yet nothing has been done by our full of promises officers about this matter for they themselves are part of the game.
I was talking to someone who has been helping me to maintain my car. He was telling me how one of the panel mechanics of my insurance agent refused to do any work on my car. His reason was that WCN 2708 was an old car and that he will not get much profit out of repairing the car. The profit that he meant was not profit through workmanship but profit through the under table money. My reliable source also revealed to me how the industry worked. He shared with me about the differences in the quality of work by an ordinary mechanic and a panel mechanic. It’s interesting that people can actually openly cheat and not feel shy or guilty about it because everyone else is doing it. It has become a trend and a culture that the feeling of guilt towards such unethical acts no more exist.
Listening to all that was said got me annoyed. I wondered if I allowed that panel mechanic to have things his way, what’s the point then for me to pay for my motor insurance? Why do I have to pay for my motor insurance when I don’t get the kind of compensation I am qualified to get? It’s just not fair for me to be a victim of this gimmick. They discourage us from claiming from our motor insurance so that they can earn more. I called the insurance company and got the assurance from the claims department that all panel mechanics are obligated to repair the damage and if they refused to do so, I could report them to the company. Thank goodness for that. ………
………truthfully speaking…when you encounter with such situations, you just have to trust only yourself………

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Despite getting involved in unpleasant situations like the accident, I guess I ought to be grateful for the many things that surrounds me. I’m very fortunate that the weather has been fine since the day I took the bike to work. I’ve yet to be drenched on the bike while I’m on my way to work and I have not encountered with any difficulties using the bike. I am grateful too for the many people who are concern about me. Grateful that I have people who can offer me advice and help to ease my tension. I am grateful too that Patsy has allowed me to use her son’s bike for such a long period of time. How could I have managed if I did not have these form of assistance? Despite having experienced miserable moments in life, I still consider myself to be very fortunate for there has always been someone to pick me up each time I fall.

Monday, July 07, 2008

It's only Early July and sigh............

It's like an anniversary. My car was hit yesterday. This time, my car was badly damaged. Around the same time last year, my car was hit by a Mercedes, she was speeding and eating when she hit my car which was making a U-turn. Yesterday, on my way to print some notes for the students, a Kembara failed to stop at a junction and hit my car. The front part of my car was totally damaged and the estimated repair work costs almost RM 1300. The Kembara was not damaged at all. Only the edge of it's front bumper was slightly scratched. I am sad for now. RM 1300 is alot to pay for a damage which was not meant to be. An unnecessary expenditure it is. Here I am, awfully tight with my expenses and before I can even receive and enjoy my first pay check after six months, I already have bills waiting to be settled. I can't drive my car for the next two weeks. Thankfully, I have a bike to help me be mobile.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Remembering Xavier Hall

I wonder how are they? This picture was taken during my last visit to KL. Will I ever get to take this picture again? I think not but I guess taking a picture of this kind is possible if the new residents are sociable enough. There is no denying that I do miss that home. I wish all the remaining residents are living the very best out of their lives.

Hmmm....I'm very curious to know how my bunga rayas and chili plant is doing. I know my morning glory is no more glorifying but I do hope the bunga rayas have started to flower.

Today, before going to work, I harvested some vegetables from my little garden. The produce is not alot but I guess my parents have enough vegetable for their lunch. It's fresh and green, I'm motivated to plant more vegetables to the garden. I want it to be organic but.....hmmm.....I think I need to add on some extra effort looking for fertilizers. Fortunately no snails or other insects ate my plants this time.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Puteri my friend is a DJ. She’s been on the job for almost a month now. I heard her on air for the first time today. She is not as good as Patrick Teoh but I’m proud of her. When she first told me that she got the job, I was happy for her. I was happy that she was about to do something she had always wanted to do. She is not lucky, she just put in more effort to get what she wanted and she was accepted.
I’m proud of puteri though I never expressed it to her. As usual, I acted cool and pretended that everyday was just another ordinary day when she broke the news to me. I am not expressive, I don’t go running after people telling them how happy I am for them. You can say that I am stingy with my compliments. Perhaps I need to learn how to be more expressive for the future.
To puteri, I’m proud of you though. For a first time DJ, you are doing fine. Can you please introduce me to the teacher who taught you how to read so well? I want to learn from her.
I have a weakness of not knowing how to express my disappointment towards people who have caused me unhappiness. I can’t seem to find the right way to convey my message across to the other party that I am hurt and disappointed. Keeping quiet and not mentioning about it seems to be the safest for me for each time I express my feelings, the outcome is usually negative and eventually, I will feel bad about expressing myself, the thought of “I wish I had not said it” would usually overwhelm me.
I dislike this weakness of mine. I dislike it because I fail to do justice to my own emotional needs. I am unhappy tonight. Perhaps I expect too much of others. Perhaps the 100% that I expect is actually 150% in the other party’s eyes and that 150% is too much to ask for. I am dissatisfied, I want more and I expect more “TLC” if only you could be more sensitive. Material things are not all that I need. I need the personal touch. Maybe I’m depressed……but then again……I don’t think I’m being too demanding.
Today 2/7/08 is not a good day. I got summoned by the police on my way back from work. It was my fault and I did not argue with the police. I was careless and got caught. I did not negotiate with him. He told me my offence and I nodded my head to accept the summon. Before he handed me the summon, he told me that I should buy myself a 4D.
“You punya kereta bernombor plate 2708. Memang ngam, hari ini memang 2708. You ada beli number ekor? Kalau ada, baik kamu pergi beli, number itu sangat cantik” (your car number plate is 2708 and today’s date is 2708, it’s such a coincidence, you should buy this lucky number)
“Tak payah lah cik, you dah bagi I ang pow besar, tak payah ku pergi beli number 4 ekor tu” ( it’s ok sir, getting your summon is just as good as winning the lottery)
Five minutes after driving off from the scene, I nearly met with an accident. Right in front of my eyes, a motorcyclist skidded. It was a painful fall for him. I was so afraid that another vehicle would hit him. Suddenly, I saw a police with a gun in his hand chasing after the man. Goodness gracious, I was caught between a police chase. The motorcyclist was trying to run away from the police when he skidded. He abandoned his bike and ran into some buildings. The police gave chase. I who saw the whole drama was stunned for a while. Never had I expected myself to witness such a dramatic police chase. I did not stop to watch, I continued my journey and headed home.
What an eventful evening it was

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I am feeling a little miserable. My students are having a 15mark test this week and I am trying my best to cover all the grammars that will be tested. It is a lot to cover actually. I find it redundant if I were to rush through the syllabus, achieving my personal responsibility of having covered what is to be tested while many of them fail to understand fully and apply the correct use of grammar in the language.
As I sit in front of my computer, I am trying to work out notes on prepositions and pronouns. I’m trying to make it as straightforward and simple as possible but it does not seem to be that easy. I have checked out some reference books and found out that the explanations are complicated at times and sometimes I wonder if my students were to depend on those books for referencing, will they actually learn anything? I’m not trying to belittle my students but I find notes with too many words difficult to digest at times. They are not straight to the point. The more the explanation is, the more confusing it becomes.
Many students study English like how they study other subjects. They memorize the grammar rules but fail to apply them in their daily use of the language. Sometimes I feel like banging my head against the wall when I see them repeat the same mistake over and over again even though I constantly remind them of the tenses. Many of them tend to be much more concern about the formulas and stick rigidly to it. They are not stupid, many are just too scared to be adventurous in using the language. The rule has become their sense of security. Often they tell me that English is so difficult and complicating. When asked if they actually read anything in English, they nod their head to say of course, they read their text books. I may be sarcastic but I always tell my students that, even if they were to record my lessons and view them over and over again, their English may not improve much for the only way for them to improve in English is through reading and speaking it constantly.
I’m feeling anxious at the moment. I can actually use old notes to teach them like how some teachers do but I know if I do that, my own personal sense of satisfaction is not going to be there and I will always feel that the note is incomplete. My notes have to synchronize with my style of teaching but argh! I’m brain dead at the moment. Frustrated!
Each time I view through the syllabus, I wished that I was teaching in a school for it gives me ample time to teach and spend time with my students where else at tertiary level, I only have fourteen weeks with them and fourteen weeks are a very short time to actually improve one’s language skills. I know I am being emotional at the moment. These problems which seem to be big for now is not that big after all. All I need is a good sleep and hopefully when I wake up, I'll be inspired to finish up what I ought to complete.