Wednesday, December 31

31 Dec

hehe~~
Judging my the many brithday greetings I got on facebook...
I dont need to announce it to the whole world...
But then again, why not?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!

Monday, December 29

Malaysians & Time

If a Malaysian were to agree to a meeting/appointment/date at a certain time, you can almost always expect them to be late...
Thus the well-known term 'Malaysian Time' which is +1/+2 hours from the predetermined meeting time.

But the most important question in the whole wide world is...
How late will the person be?

I don't mind that people are late.
We are all human & sometimes we cant help it.
But I cannot accept someone giving you the idea that he/she will be there soon when that someone knows that he/she will not be able to honour the agreed meeting time for a long duration.
Even 30 mins qualifies as a long duration.

Besides appointments, some Malaysians also lie about being late when it comes to deadlines.
Even an office where you would expect efficiency & accountability can make you wait week after week with great expectations for more than a month.

All I need is a realistic assessment of the duration that I will have to wait.
Be it 2 hours or 1 month, I would appreciate an honest approximation.
With this knowledge of truth, I can find some other ways to entertain myself so that my wait would not be as long & torturous.
I will also be less offended by your lateness too.

But then again...
The ideal would be for all of us to be punctual...
Be it Malaysian or not.
=)

Wednesday, December 24

Merry 2008 Christmas

I'd like to wish all my avid readers, casual readers, occasional readers, stumblers & those who may never visit again a...
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

I have only one thing to say today...
Christmas is a time to give thanks & remember one man...

taken from associatedcontent.com

Not this guy...


taken from tomatecru.net

But this cool dude!
in case you dont know, his name is Jesus or Isa.

Love as you would want to be loved this new year!
Have a good one!
=)

Monday, December 22

Rethink: Christmas


Watch this video FIRST.

Ever since I accepted Jesus & followed his teachings, I have often pondered the significance of all these "Christian" holidays.
They seem to be all about buying something for someone & spending money!

Thinking about it...
Instead of an item, let's give something that someone really needs.
Something simple that it is usually forgot.
Something that is somehow significant surprisingly.

Merry Christmas!
=)

Thursday, December 18

Google Maps Extensively Covers Malaysia

I was looking for directions to an unfamiliar place...
So I went on Google Maps like I have always done in New Zealand.

It was reliable to me in the white man's country & I expected it to provide me with a basic map of the general area.
Boy did I get a shock when I discovered that the map I received for a secluded location in Kuching was just as accurate & detailed as a map I would get for a street in New Zealand!

It was so accurate that all names are actual names & not English translations.
Lorong this, Jalan that, Taman this, Lebuhraya that & etc.
It is also so detailed that small lorongs, landmarks, LRT stations, schools & hospitals are even on the map!

And the best part is...
I could even get directions from one place to another!
Google Maps rocks!

To all Malaysians out there...
Now you got a reliable easy-to-use map free on the net!

Sunday, December 14

Back Where It All Started

taken from blogs.chron.com

After completing my tertiary education, here I am back where it all started.
Kuching, Sarawak my hometown & where I have spent the past 3 quarters of my life.
In the process of becoming a graduate, I have been taken to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia & Wellington, New Zealand.
Within that 5.5 year process, I made holiday forays into New Zealand, Australia, Thailand & West Malaysia.
I have also made some lasting friends who will be comrades in the struggle to educate a reluctant generation.
In summary, I have had a very fulfilling time at the institute & at university.

Now, I am home and having a breather after a tough tough time back in Kuala Lumpur.
Where will I be working at next year?
I don't know. I don't even have a clue. It is not my decision.
I have nothing to do but wait for a letter from the government that contains the location of my teaching service.

I can try to pull cables... but why bother my parents even more?
I want to be independent of everything but God.
I want to be a man of my own making.
I want to look back after another 6 years & be able to say, I made it even when the odds were against me.

I want to live.
I want to thrive.
But not necessarily the easy way.
Life is not easy, why cheat myself?

Maybe when I'm older & ready to settle down...
I will choose a place to grow my roots.
I will choose a lady to love & seed.
I will choose to nurture & grow a tree.

Tuesday, December 9

Today Is Not The Same

Today I woke up to a wonderful cool Wednesday morning
One where I hear the birds sing and the crickets chirp
I wake from the same bed in the same room, but I know
Today is not the same

I leave my room and walk towards the kitchen
Passing the empty rooms which were full of laughter
I'm used to being left behind, but I know
Today is not the same

My friends leave me for home because home is near
Every holiday I spend here, I spend alone
They are usually back in a week or two, but I know
Today is not the same

Intuition guides me to the balcony & the spectacle beyond
A panorama: the brightening sky, the yellow glow of the college, the green of the grounds
It has always been there for me to enjoy, but I know
Today is not the same

I have been shaped by the individuals & personalities here
And like Si Tenggang I have emerged with a strange knowledge
I have been very comfortable as a student, but I know
Today is not the same

I pack the same old belongings in the same old bags
The trophies, the gifts, the pictures... they move me
I walk out a well-worn door and feel a deep deep loss because I know
It will never be the same again.

taken from johnlund.com

Thursday, December 4

I Just Quit Friendster

Last night, I deleted my friendster account.

Dont get me wrong, I like friendster.
I loved how open it was & I used it as a primary means of sharing details about myself.
It is kind of like my personal online profile equipped with all sorts of useful or interesting details about me. My current location, my current thoughts, my latest pictures, my birthday, my education background & all sorts of other details about me.
It was also a good place for me to keep in touch with my friends. The comprehensive friendster groups, the birthday reminders, the smiles, the messaging & the testimonials all work well to help me keep in touch with friends who are near & far.
But I couldn't take the many stranger friend requests, the constant bulletin board spamming, the picture stealing & the impersonal testimonial images.

A good service has been legally abused.
Lonely people started adding strangers at random without first getting to know the person...
Naive people started reposting or forwarding baseless messages of warning...
Self-esteem deficient people use pictures from other people or from celebrities as their own pictures...
And I'm encountering it more & more with each passing day.

These shortcomings soon got to me & I had to say that enough was enough.
The time has come to put it to a stop.
Either the rubbish goes or I go...
So there you have it...
I'm left frienster.

Then, how will I keep in touch with my friends?
Well... I have another more 'mature' social networking site.
And besides... I got a blog!
=)

Tuesday, December 2

Cohort 2 Farewell BBQ

Only a week before, we were...
short of money...
running out of time...
jaded from 4 years of patience & sub-par treatment...
exhausted from a ineffective but veeery long course...
And with 2 failed attempts at organising a farewell dinner...
the cohort settled to not doing it completely.

As our time at this cream of the cream Malaysian institute moves into its twilight...
There was bitter bickering from several professional corners of the institute...
People who had no direct contact with us were criticising us for not having an annual dinner...
Saying that we were useless & not united...
Saying that we never contributed anything to the institute...
Saying that we should have one to appreciate our lecturers (who respected our decision not to)...
Saying that our juniors had a grand dinner every year with ball dancing & all that glitter...
It was getting out of hand.

That was when a few individuals of the Cohort gathered the leaders in the Cohort for a serious consideration...
of an annual dinner.
This is what we came up with & of which the Cohort agreed to...

On Sunday, 3 Dec...
We had the Cohort 2 Farewell BBQ!
Our last event in IPBA.
Our final farewell.

It was relaxed...
It was economical...
It was personal...
Perfect.

It was held at IPBA's very own Quadrangle!
Even without the use of spotlights or candles, the place lights up really nicely when the lights in the corridors of the adjacent buildings are turned on.

What did I do that night?
Besides helping out a bit with the preparations, I was also the host.
In the picture, I hosted a fun & simple game where everyone had the chance to be on stage.
After my game, ShiYing & JuLi twisted everyone's brains with a game of trivia.

We had a generous helping of food that night.
From the lychee & pineapple punch to the fried spring rolls to the savoury sandwiches to the seafood kebabs to the BBQ chicken to the dessert, everything was made from scratch!
Everything tasted so good too!

The entertainment for the night was a go at the newly released Guitar Hero: World Tour!
Everyone who wanted had the chance to sing or play the guitar on this music instrument simulation.
The guys really went crazy with this new toy but the real rocker was Adel who looked really comfortable with the mic.

Besides that, Azhar "Ali G" produced this entertaining video for the BBQ, "Cohort 2 Boys Merapek".
Check it out!
It's really funny!

As a parting gift, everyone had a copy of this picture.
Included in the picture are all the 124 members of B.Ed.TESL Cohort 2.
Nothing like a picture to go with the memories, eh?

After this event, I started to appreciate everyone in Cohort 2 even more.
We've been together through thick & thin.
Thanks for joining hands & working together when push comes to shove...
We did more than the haters thought we could...
Besides, we didnt have to prove anything to them!
We did this for ourselves!
Cohort 2 for Cohort 2!
~~~

Acknowledgement:
I'd like to especially compliment & highlight the contribution of certain individuals who have made a difference for this event.

WanLynn, KaiChia & ShiYing for being sensitive to current events & promoting the idea to the cohort leaders.
Shawn Shim, our cohort leader, for agreeing to the idea from the beginning & staying in IPBA for 2 days to help preparations.
Nasrul, our head chef, for working so hard during the whole weekend: shopping, preparing, cooking & cleaning up after.
The Cohort 2 men who gave this event all they've got.
The Cohort 2 ladies who also worked hard for this event.
You guys made it happen!

Wednesday, November 26

A Warning To All Malaysian Bloggers

To all you Malaysian bloggers with blogs that are available for public viewing, I have a grave warning for you.
Keep this in mind every time you want to write about something related to an organisation that is in a position to cause harm or inconvenience to you or your connections.

I have recently had to write a letter of apology for a post I wrote about my visit to a local award-winning school. It was a simple post to share my experience with my readers.
In that blog post, there was a very brief critique of their teaching techniques. I said that the teaching methods in this school was not that much different from other schools.

Several months after being published, the principal of the school got to read the critique & apparently became really angry about it.
Although she was not in a position to harm me, I visited the school as a student of my institute. If I do not take remedial action, my institute & the person who arranged the visit would receive a bad reputation.

Here is what I have learned...
I realised that a majority of the people with authority in my great nation are not ready for free thought & public critique. They get really emotional & react according to that emotion.
Sometimes they use their authority or power for ‘pay back’.

Therefore, I have got two tips for my fellow bloggers…
#1 Keep Things Anonymous. If you do not have something favourable or nice to say, do not state any names directly. Hints may be employed to reveal the identity of the party to be mentioned.
#2 Symbols are a blogger's best friend. Even the noobest of noobs can google. My post was discovered with google. If you absolutely have to state the name, be smart about it. Do it so search engines cant find it. Use spaces or any other symbols. Exp: “Putrajaya” = “Putra-jaya” = “Put+ra+ja+ya” = “Put^raja^ya” = “Putr@j@y@”

I hope that the principal’s passion & determination in calling up my lecturers to make an angry complaint about me, is also reflected in her desire to improve her institution. I hope that she is equally as focused on preserving pedagogic quality as she is on preserving reputation.

If anyone has any grievances or complaints to make regarding what I have written here on my blog, please bring it up with me so the problem can be dealt with directly.
My email is clearly displayed on my blog. USE IT. I will respond accordingly & appreciatively.

Friday, November 21

The Grades for My Degree

Today, the grades of my cohort were posted up on the notice boards.

Here are mine:
Victoria University of Wellington
Bachelor of Education TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages)
Level: 2.1 (Second Class Upper)
Practicum: Merit (Cemerlang)

I'm happy with what I got!
And I know I didn't do it all by myself so...

taken from blog.nasscom.in

Firstly, I'd like to thank my God who has granted me favour & turned various circumstances around to grant me an advantage.
My success is a testimony of your love.
I'd like to thank my father who made me sign up for this "go-overseas-for-free" course.
I'd like to thank my mother who supported me all the way.

I'd like to thank the men of Cohort 2.
We helped each other through many tough times & had many one-night stands together rushing to complete assignments.
You are my family not in blood but in spirit.
Esp you, the monkeys!

I'd like to thank the ladies of Cohort 2.
Thanks for giving me so much love & support throughout the 5.5 years.
Thanks for being the ones to give your 100 & 1 percent during events I took charge of.
The countless dances, performances, the 2005 Yearbook, the 2008 Teachers Day & the 2008 Post-Practicum Seminars.

I'd like to thank my lecturers.
Both IPBA & VUW.
Some of you have set a great example for me.
Especially Dr Lawrence, Dr Norasiah, Mr Manoharan, Dr Jon Newton, Laila Faisal, Dr Zahedah & Dr Chong.
Many lecturers who have or haven't taught me have encouraged me & supported me. Thank you.
Several of you have shown me what not to become. I thank you too.

I'd like to thank the Cohort 1.
As seniors, many of you have walked me through a lonely yellow road that you have trodden before me.
Some of you have even become my friends.
Your relationship & kindness is greatly appreciated.
One of you has been giving me tremendous support on the emotional & affection side. Thanks, babe.

I'd like to also thank all the other people who have contributed but have not been included in this list.
Leave a comment!
Make yourself known!

Yooohooo!!
My first degree is guaranteed!
=D

Tuesday, November 11

Carnal Limits of an Honourable Man

After going through 5 strenuous days of a pre-service patriotism camp for government servants, I have to say that I am quite impressed!
I have gained a good understanding of the constitution & foundation of our country.
I hate history but I am glad that I learned a bit of it because those who do not know history are prone to letting history repeat itself.
I dont want to let bad history repeat itself...
However, I am not here to comment on the content or implementation of the camp.

I am here to comment on something I observed in a man.
I have observed a shameless display of carnal desire in one of the camp facilitators.
This caused me to look into myself & wonder...
Will I be like him in the future?

I dont know about other men but I am a man with needs...
This need surfaced during puberty & grew significantly as a developed into a man.
At this moment, I am a humble uncorrupted individual.
Therefore, I carry myself with honour & self-control.
But a few years down the road, once I have some wealth, influence & power, will I still be so honourable?
Or will I start collecting public titles of respect to mask my inner corruption?

I witnessed this facilitator who is well-decorated with titles make a mockery of them.
I witnessed someone entrusted with the responsibility of enlightening us shift our focus from patriotism to sexual tension.
I watched this married man with 2 children profess to the whole student population that he is a "lover of women".
I watched as he left the small group under his care to walk around the camp & interfere with other groups.
I saw his creepy eyes scouting for eye candy every time he walked by my group.
I watched with great anger the smirk of pleasure on his face every time he got the student population to go along with one of his many cunning dirty jokes.

He is a facilitator at a camp essential to building national unity & harmony.
He is an Ustaz & a Muslim who has completed the Hajj.
He can quote the Quran without much effort.
He maintains the image of a knowledgable & rich man.

Is someone like this supposed to:
- shamelessly use words with sexual connotations?
- ask for the phone numbers of attractive female students?
- walk around with an air of pride & aloofness?
- blatantly show off expensive possessions?

I dont think so.

If I were a woman, I wouldn't find him desirable at all...
One, he is not good looking. (Rules out a one-night-stand.)
Two, he is too full of himself. (Rules out a romantic relationship.)
Three, I cannot trust him with my heart. (Rules out marriage.)

I really do hope the pressure & difficulty in life does not push me to become a sleazy old man.
This sleazy facilitator gave me the shock of my life.
I never knew such a man would exist in this world.
Now I know what not to become...
Now I know which path not to take lest I end up like him.

There is only one such facilitator in the whole team.
I have met most of the other facilitators & they all seem to be normal law-abiding citizens doing their part for their beloved country.
And one of them had a personality so awesome it's exemplary.

I will choose to walk on a path similar to theirs, if not better...
I will not let a few bad apples cloud my judgement.
The camp was great & the lessons planned out for us were great too.
And from this post, you can see that the horny facilitator taught me a lesson that is even greater.

Friday, October 31

Fleas At Home

I have been offline for most of last week and have not been updating my blog because I have been trying to avoid certain areas of my house.
Why?
Because there is a flea infestation that I am still trying to adapt to.
Best part is... the most badly affected area is the carpeted area where my internet connection is.

Bring chair to aforementioned carpeted area.
Sit down for 60 seconds with both feet firmly planted on ground.
Look away from computer monitor & focus on the veiny areas of foot.
Look for suspicious tiny black dots on yellow skin.
Open eyes wide in surprise & horror.
Use fingers to, one by one, pluck the 5 or 6 black dots discovered.
Kill each flea by rolling between fingers HARD, stabbing with nails HARD or swallowing HARD.

Best way to kill fleas with your hands is by rolling them between two fingernails.
That is... if you get to hold those little jumpy b*****ds long enough to roll over them.
Fueled by the itch for knowledge on how to end my scratching sprees...
Here is what I have learned regarding cat fleas from the internet, a vet & a doctor.

Where did the fleas come from?
My house has been infected with cat fleas.
This type of flea is the most common of all fleas & they can be found on both cats & dogs.
I suspect that one of them (or maybe even a colony) got onto one of our 3 cats & hitched a ride into our apartment.
Once they got here, they started to reproduce & soon infested the whole area.
As their population increased they started feeding on the larger creatures... humans... ME!

I thought that cat fleas only bite cats?
My housemates & I are living proof that they DO but HUMANS!
Basically fleas are like heat-seeking missiles.
Cat & dogs have a higher body temperature than humans.
Therefore, when there are cats or dogs around, the fleas will go after them.

In our case, we inhabit two apartments on the top floor of our building.
The cats hangout in both apartments but they are usually at the apartment where there is no internet connection.
Therefore, the fleas at the latter location will have to make do with another source of blood... human blood.

The good news is cat fleas cannot reproduce with human blood.
Therefore, the whole colony will die off without any descendants, if they rely solely on human blood for nourishment.

What happens when a flea bites a human being?
Excessive flea bites on cats, dogs or humans can cause flea allergy dermatitis.
Although rare, it will happen if flea infestations are left untreated.

We should also worry about the special ability of fleas to spread parasites & infections.
The main worry is tapeworm infestation.
Flea bites may infect mammals with tapeworms which feast on our insides while their bouncy comrades feast on our outsides.

The main problem with flea bites is the itchy red lump it leaves behind.
oh & believe me... IT IS SOOOOOO ITCHY!!!!
and it feels SOOOOO GOOOOD to scratch.
It would be just fine if only one flea bites you.
That would be comparable to a mosquito bite that many have grown accustomed to.
But I have a theory that all fleas originated from Malaysia...
Because once one of them comes for makan, it will invite all its family & friends to this open house!
An open house on YOUR BLOOD!

What did I do to deal with the fleas?
The first thing I decided to do was get the fleas off the cats.
Then, the fleas will die off without a source of reproductive nourishment.
Fleas can exist at a given location for up to 365 days because of the eggs that are waiting to hatch & the larvae that are waiting to grow up & start sucking blood.
Thankfully, I wont have to wait that long.
I'm leaving the hostel in 2 months.

How do I get the fleas off the cats?
My vet says that a flea spray is the best treatment against fleas.
So I use a flea spray on the cat's body & flea powder on the face.
Any brand will do but bear in mind that the costs are quite high.
My large 250ml bottle of Frontline costs RM64 from a government vet.
A bottle of flea power will cost around RM20 from your local pet shop.
Bear in mind that these items can be used over 1 or 2 years.

How do I cope with flea bites?
My problem was with cat fleas.
If you have a different kind of flea affecting you, look for the specific treatment for that specific flea.
It is important to consult your physician about your problem.
I am not certified to give you advice on this.
But I can share with you my experience & how I coped with my problem.
It worked for me but may or may not work for you.

My main treatments was to avoid the apartment where the fleas are biting humans.
This has helped my existing bite wounds to heal & also effectively prevent more lumps to surface.
Also antihistamines & soothing ointments, like Minyak Gamat (Sea Cucumber Oil) & Zambuk, worked to relieve the itchiness.

Realising that the carpet is their favourite hiding spot.
Both apartments were vacuumed & had generous amounts of flea power spread in it.

Also I noticed that they are not very active at night.
Few of them jump onto my feet for a feast during the night.
Fleas are very sensitive to temperature so I guess they are dormant when temperatures are low.
Therefore, you will only see me online at night.

A doctor was consulted on the bites & cat fleas were the confirmed culprits of the bites.
This was determined through the pattern of the bites being mainly around the feet & only moving higher when ointments or pesticides were used on the feet.
We were advised to keep our feet 'open-air'.
Enclosing our feet in socks or shoes will only give the fleas an easier time at sucking our blood.
These bites are not serious nor fatal & will heal.

taken from sjpwt.com

Now you know most of what I know about cat fleas & how to cope with them.
If you have anything to share or corrections to make, do contribute with a comment.
I risked tapeworms, allergies & itchiness to write this...
So that's the least you could do...

Now, I'm gonna escape from them blood suckers!

Tuesday, October 21

Must Haves In My Future House

At the end of this year, I will finish my studies & move out of the hostel.
Next year, I will be teaching in a secondary school somewhere in Malaysia.
(Where exactly? I wont be informed until the end of December. This is will definitely cause logistic & emotional anxiety because school starts on the first week of January.)

I really cant wait to get a place to call home.
A place that I know I will be at for at least the next few years.
And I dont mind flatting or moving in with close trustworthy friends.
But what will I have in my house?

Dreaming about the fridge got me thinking about what else I must have in my house...
Well... Here is my wishlist!
=)

1. Fridge


Picture taken from theratandmouse.co.uk

As mentioned in the previous post, I will never be without a fridge...
It opens the door to too many sinful culinary pleasures to give up!
I dont mind sharing a fridge with the other occupants as long as I have one to use!

2. Xbox 360

Electronic entertainment is not something new.
Some people listen to the radio, some watch movies, some watch tv shows, some surf the internet while others, like me, play electronic games.
Therefore, amongst all other gaming devices, I want an Xbox 360 in my future adobe. (In a future post, I will justify my choice of gaming device.)

3. A Good Bed


taken from macys.com

Some people think that the most important part of a home is the aesthetics & the mood.
As for me, I can do without everything except a goooooood bed.
A good night's sleep can go a long way to enhancing your health, mood & performance at work.
After living for about 22 years, I realise that I MUST have good quality sleep.
If not, my day will... let's say... take a lot of extra effort to get through.
So I'll be aiming for a bed that is not too expensive but still comfortable & sleep inducing.

4. Internet Connection



The next thing that must have is an internet connection.
Nowadays, everything & everyone is online & connected in the world wide web.
There are few limits to what can be done online.
Instead of going all over the city, so much more can be done sitting in front of a shiny piece of plastic & going *tap *tap *tap!
I do my banking, shopping, movie booking, flight booking, hotel booking, communicating, writing, research & some money-making online!
Therefore, to me, a connection to the internet is a must.

Sunday, October 19

The Something Missing In My Life

Dont get me wrong...
I'm happy with my life...
I'm happy with my love life...
I'm happy with my studies...
I am generally a very satisfied person...

But when I think about it...
My life is far from perfect...
There is always that something missing...
It bugs me when I wake up in the morning...
It bugs me when I have my coffee in the afternoons...
It bugs me when I make my bed at night...

I miss making myself breakfast with all the bacon, sausages & eggs...
I miss the raw & wet taste of fresh lettuce cleaned, cut & stuffed into a ham sandwich...
I miss the lazy weekends when I just grabbed any leftover produce in the fridge & put it all into a pot of yummy steamy broth or stew...
I miss the feeling of cold full cream milk massaging its way down my throat...

All these dreams & desires can never be satiated where I live at now... It is not allowed...
But if only I had that one thing required to materialise my great gastronomic fantasy...
Oh, how happily fat I would be!
Oh, If only I had... a fridge.


Picture taken from theratandmouse.co.uk

God, I cant wait to get my own place with a fridge!
I cant wait to be released from this freaky fridgeless prison!

Thursday, October 16

I Am 'Selebriti Kesayangan' Someone

For the past few days my blog has been receiving a lot of traffic from a Malaysian online forum, Cari Forum.
This is very peculiar because traffic was quite substantial for a website that I have no connections with.
So I checked it out.

This is what I found:
On Friday, 7 October 2008 (last week) at 05:02PM, someone posted a picture from my blog onto Cari Forum.
I published the picture on my blog in 2006 under 'My First Raya In Wellington'.
The picture was taken in 2006 during the Hari Raya open-house of the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand.
The title of the thread on Cari Forum is 'Foto Difoto Terfoto Memoto' with the subtitile 'Thread Foto Selebriti Kesayangan Anda'.

This is the picture:

With me in this picture is Liz.
Apparently someone out in cyberspace thinks that either Liz or me or both of us are celebrities.
hahahaha~~
This is hilarious!
Thanks for the compliment, dude!

Tuesday, October 14

To Girls Who Want To 'Make Friends' With Men

Just last week I experienced the shameful attempt of ah beng in pursuing a 'lady'.
Today, I saw a reversal of roles.
My Indian housemate, Guna, has been harassed by the sister of an Indian student from the school he did his practicum at.
She has been sending him loads of sms, making loads of intentional missed calls & actual calls.
This has been going on for quite some time already.
Guna has been able to ignoring her even though she is persistent in her demand for affection.
I admire his patience.

Today, her actions got on my nerves.
I was trying to relax & watch a really good movie in my quiet room with my friends.
Everything was good until it was rudely interrupted by the ringing of a phone. Guna's.
It was her. Another one of her intentional missed calls.
The silence after that was a welcome one which was gratefully used to enjoy the movie.
But she miss called again.
And again. And again. And again.
I was pissed.

Soon her rude interruptions turned into an actual call.
Which I gladly answered for Guna.
I never thought that I would ever have my dialogue with a lady inspired by ah bengs...
Yet that was exactly how I fashioned my speech when I answered the phone.


Picture taken from ckchiam.blogspot.com

The following is the exact dialogue:
(Me in red; Sister in brown)
*in a rough ah beng style* Hahloh!
*confused* Healo?
Who is this?
*a very surprised Indian* HAH??
*realising my English was too standard for an ah beng* Who dis?
*silence* .....
Wai yooooo kip calling my fon? HA?


She hung up after that...

And never called ever since!
Peace at last!
For Guna... & for me!
=)
~~~~

To girls who want to 'make friends' with men.
Forcing your way & harassing will not win any hearts.
Leave this horrendous feat to men who have got no taste (exp: ah bengs).
You should be more graceful, refined & demure than men are.
That is what we will love you for!
Never bring yourself down to our level.
If you act like a guy, we will treat you like a guy!

To win a man's heart, you have to do it without him realising it.
You have to wrap him around your fingers but make him think that he was the one who wants to do so.
Make him think that he is in control.
Always remember this law.
Cleverly feed his pride & he will like you.

The next step is a tougher one.
Do not use your body as bait because the fire that consumes both of you will die out as quickly as it has risen.
But in other ways, concede to his wills & his desires.
Listen carefully when he speaks to you for his words can be used to win his heart.

Listen to his dreams. Support him.
Listen to what he likes in a woman. Show him that you can be such a woman.
Listen to his interests. Do what he likes to do.
Listen to his activities. Follow him to some of it.
But always give him the option of saying no to you.
And even though he cancels at the last minute, smile & say its ok.

It is more difficult to pursue a guy because once he gets a little hint of your intentions, he will be immune to all your subtle advances.
Remember that men are men & they like women to be women.
Try your best to be the best woman you can be & you will find that getting a guy to like you will not be too hard.
Stay positive & do not be afraid of heartbreak!

Friday, October 10

To All The Little Boys Wanting To 'Make Friends' With Girls

This is a hand phone.
Man's best & worst tool.

To all the little boys (or even some men) out there who want to make friends with girls or women:
DON'T DO IT THROUGH SMS!!
It is utter disrespect to the lady!!
SMS is such a cheap sleazy way to make a first impression!
If you want to make a friend & cannot do it face to face, at least have the courtesy or balls to call the lady & be your honest self.

When you do call, you dont need any smart or clever lines to impress the girl...
Just prepare a few topics that could be of mutual interest.
A good conversation or honest discussion is more than good enough!
The girl evaluates you through the honesty you put into the conversation...
She needs to know that she can trust you before she gives you anything!

If she says that she doesnt want to talk, remember to be POLITE.
If she says no to a date with you, remember to also be POLITE.
Say that you understand & you appreciate her answering the call.
Then, say thank you & wish her a good life.
Finally, hang up, reflect & get a move on with your life.

Last night, I was watching a movie & chilling at home after a long busy week.
Just when the movie got interesting, I received an sms.
I was 'ah beng' & he was attempting to hit on me. SERIOUSLY.
I replied of course. I revealed that I also possessed a penis & I was not interested in befriending another sausage.
However, this young man (who was convinced that I was female) was relentless in pushing the idea of making 'friends' with me!

Here are the EXACT sms sent & received:
(ah beng in brown; ah kam in red)
Hello..
Who is this?
Z.. What's ur name.. Just want 2 n0e whose num is ths.. N i don't where did i get ur num.. Tht's why i'm asking.. :)
I'm a freaking guy, dude.
You're barking up the wrong tree.
Really? Juz want 2 get 2 n0e u.. Tht's all.. Btw, hw freak? Juz kddn'..
You want to make a friend?
Give me a call.
SMS is so high school dude.
Call? I'm n0t int0 makn' a call.. I'm an sms-type pers0n..
Bro. This will be my last sms.
So let me give u a free tip.
You want to impress a girl, give her a call n be honest.
Good night n take care!

Just when I thought that was the last I'd hear from him...
This morning a friend of his called my phone & asked for an 'ah kuang' in a really rough ah beng manner.
I guess they needed to confirm my sausageness.

How did I know that they were associates?
They both had Sarawak numbers.
sigh~~~
**shakes head in disgust & embarassment**

Thursday, October 9

The Impartial Writer: Fact or Myth?

A Well-Known Kazak Reporter

Today you will find many news agencies claiming to be fair & impartial in their presentation of news.
There are also many bloggers who claim to be pragmatic & impartial.
I consider myself one of those so called "impartial" writers but, upon honest inspection, I find that my writing eventually pushes my ideals...
How unimpartial!

So is it possible for a writer to be impartial?
I spent some time on the toilet bowl considering the possibility of an impartial writer...
This is what came out...

Consider this situation.
Side A is in conflict with Side B.
In this situation, the writer has several choices to make in his portrayal of this conflict.
He can either choose to side with A or side with B.
He can even side with both or condemn both!
Alternatively, he can choose to be neutral and narrate the situation as it is.

Let us now consider how neutral a writer can be when narrating a situation.
Covering of the strengths of A, no matter now neutrally presented, will give an advantage to A. Vice versa in the coverage of B.
Covering the weaknesses or flaws of A, no matter now neutrally presented, will give an advantage to B. Vice versa in the coverage of B.
Therefore, in order to be the neutral writer, he has to be fair & present the strengths of both sides. Vice versa in presenting weaknesses.

However, no strengths are the same nor are any two weaknesses the same.
Therefore, in order to come out as neutral or fair, the neutral writer will have to apply balance.
And balancing is NOT impartial.
It weakens the stronger & strengthens the weaker!

Therefore, I dare say any self-proclaimed impartial writer is in fact a liar.
However, writers do not dictate how readers respond to their writing.
Every reader has a response to every piece of writing he/she reads!
Come on, admit it, you are responding to my masterpiece even right now!
Reading the work of a writer that sides with A does not automatically convert the reader into siding with A...
(If you haven't realised already...) The reader has a choice!

So here is something for you, my readers, to consider...
As you were reading, examine your own thoughts/opinions/criticisms/appraisals...
Which side is it on?
How did you come up with those opinions?
What is your justification for those opinions?
What are your references?

Therefore readers, I urge you...
Be a perceptive reader...
Dont be fools merely regurgitating what you see...
Be media literate...
Reflect on what is read & examine the points discussed before you accept it as fact...

Tuesday, October 7

Farewell Goodies From SMK Puteri Titiwangsa

During my last days in SMK Putri Titiwangsa, both the students & teachers expressed their appreciation towards my colleagues & I.
They blessed us with gifts & entertained us with farewell parties!
I would like to acknowledge these kind people here on my blog.

My class, 1 Maju, threw me & my colleagues an awesome party with water balloons and lots of junk food.
I have been entertaining them for 12 weeks so it is fair for them to entertain me at least once...

Aimi's class, 1 Jaya, also threw a party for us the next day...
they wanted to compete with 1 Maju...
hahaha~~
It was good, but I preferred the party by 1 Maju.
The party by 1 Maju was better organised & the students were really sporting.

I received cards from May Wan, Chin LiYing, Sarah Aiysha & The Lower 6 Students.
Thanks for your encouraging words!
It has brought a smile to my face!
=)

I received gifts from SinYan (1 Maju), Vanessa (1 Maju) & Nur Najuah (4ERT).
Thanks for your gifts!
I love them & will definitely be bringing it to my future school!

I received choc raya cookies from Nur Amirah.
I don’t know which class you are from because you surprised me at the car.
Thank you for the cookies!
They were delicious!

The teachers also showed their appreciation:
Many encouraged us with kind words & jokes.
Pn Mary gave me a mini-stapler which will come in handy.
Cik Faridah gave me a stamp which says 'improved'. It will be put to good use with my future students.
A few teachers joined together to give me a brand new shiny ball-point pen!
They are: Tamil Selvi, G. Selvi, Aliza, Suzieany, Azita, Lee MuiYoke, Lim GuatBee, Koh PeakKee, ChinSien, Yap ChiewLan, Cheng KimLin, Goh BoonKiat, Ng GeokLeong, Lim SiewKoon & Add.


The Most Creative Gift

The most creative gift is a letter that came in the form of a really frustrating puzzle.

click on picture to read

Here is my response...


The Most Useful Gift
The most useful gift is a nail clipper from the farewell party organised by 1 Jaya.
I have been looking for the perfect nail clipper and I have always been disappointed with what I could find in Malaysia.
Thanks 1 Jaya! You completed my search!
This nail clipper will be my best grooming tool in the years to come!


Thank You, SMK Putri Titiwangsa!
I will really miss you!
The memories we share, I will cherish too!

Take care! Do your best!
GBU!!!

Monday, September 29

Post-Mortem: 1 Maju Group Blog Project

picture taken from picasaweb.google.com

As many of you would know, I have just finished my practicum at a Malaysian Secondary School.
In this school, I had the opportunity to teach a highly motivated & good proficiency class.
With this class, I have experimented with a writing activity.
This writing activity involves getting the students to work in groups to practice their writing skills on blogs.
I called this experiment: 1 Maju Group Blog Project
I mentioned this in a previous post: My Students Blog Too!

Yesterday, I completed a post-mortem on the experiment.
In this report, I evaluated the advantages and limitations of implementing a group blog writing activity in a Malaysian Secondary School classroom.
The full report can be found at the 1 Maju Group Blog Project Website
I will put up a summary here.

The advantages I observed were:
- Positive Group Work
- Motivating
- Language Enrichment

The disadvantages I observed were:
- Individual Focus Lacking
- Sleeping Partners & Partners Left Out
- Deadlines Not Honoured

I found the group blogs to be an excellent on-going enrichment activity with the advantages mentioned above.
However, I warned that the disadvantages have to be taken into account or the whole activity would lose a lot of its relevance.
At the end, I promised to evaluate the setting of my future school & employ a similar activity.

I would like to acknowledge the willingness of 1 Maju to be volunteered in this experiment.
You have made it a successful one!
I learned a lot about Malaysian student attitudes, Malaysian school infrastructure & the internet in Malaysian classrooms.
Thank you, 1 Maju!

Sunday, September 28

I've Grown Acustomed To Her Face

It has finally come to an end.
My 12-week practicum at SMK Puteri Titiwangsa.
The overall experience has been really good & this school has given me the extra drive to do my best in my future teaching profession.
hmmm~~~ Which gets me thinking...
should I start praying to be posted at a girls' school next year?

Anyway, SMK PT is a wonderful school to begin your teaching journey in.
The students do not have any major discipline issues & the general population is very welcoming towards outsiders like myself.
Furthermore, the admin staff has a very good working relationship with the teaching staff.
This means that anything a teacher needs for his students will always be provided for swiftly.
I guess one of the main factors for the excellence in this school is the humble, friendly & shrewd principal, Datin Rokiah.
Just as I have begun to settle in, I am forced to leave this school...
And this, with a heavy heart...

taken from en.wikipedia.org

Just like Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, I have grown accustomed to the face of my Eliza, this school.
I was not able to see how wonderful she was at the beginning because I was too distracted by how uncivilised she seemed.
Yet as I got to know her, as I taught her, as I watched her develop, as she refined her habits, as she showcased her many hidden talents, as she displayed gentle womanly strength...
I felt a strange tugging on my heart...
I can't possibly let her go...
I've grown accustomed to her face...

ahh~~ 1 Maju...
This is the class who I rarely have a headache teaching.
The only headache I have is that they demand a lot of attention & they want to play all the time!
Then again, they are still the ideal class to take your lecturer to for observation!
All sorts of activities that I dreamed up were all carried out successfully with this class.
A highly motivated, active & unrestrained class indeed!

With this class, I also experimented with student blogging or the Group Blog Project.
My main purpose was to actually write an action research on the effects of internet writing on the students of this class.
However, as responsibilities started piling up, I realised that I did not have the time.
So I decided to let it be a low-pressure pilot project for me to experiment and not be tied down by protocol & research red-tape.

sigh~~ 4ERT...
Life has not been easy on you...
You do not have what many others have and you will continue to be neglected unless you start stepping up and showing that you want to and are able to take on more!
You have been greatly neglected by the school and many teachers...
If I stayed, I would have done you some good...
lots of good...
If only you would come to school regularly & work harder academically...

Even though we struggle, I am glad to have taught your class.
It is from you that I learned to think on-my-toes and seek different approaches for the explanation of seemingly simple concepts or definitions.
You have also taught me a lot on working with low motivation students.
I appreciate your efforts in pushing yourselves harder with me.
I wish you all the best as you prepare for SPM & life after...

Thank you SMK Puteri Titiwangsa for accommodating the needs of my college, my colleagues and myself.
It has been great!
Wishing you all the best of success!

p/s: I would be more than glad to come back next year & teach at your school as a full-fledged teacher!

Tuesday, September 23

What I Know About Relationships

taken from inmagine.com

A few months ago, I was given a task by a friend to write for an online magazine.
The topic was a letter written to a younger me.
At that moment of life, I was pondering upon what it really means to be with a woman & what is she in a man's life.
Here is my letter to a younger me...
~~~~

Dear Younger Me,

I know exactly how you feel. I understand your needs. I was curious like you were. I watched the same movies and read the same novels. I know that you like girls, keep it that way. They require a lot of work but everything you put into her comes back multiple folds. She is the perfect investment. Invest in her and you will never end up with a loss!

But how do you choose? Remember to choose only one. I know you are curious about other women but honestly speaking, one woman is more fulfilling than many women. When one woman decides to give you her all, it is better than any gift you can ever imagine. Definitely better than what the many women can give you. Besides, it is not in your nature to have multiple women. I know. However, do not go with just any woman. Time your time to discover her. Intuition will lead you to the right one. The one that keeps you up at night and wakes you up in the morning. The one that you feel most alive, natural and yourself with. She is the one.

When you find her, remember not to rush into things. Believe it or not, you need time as well to figure out whether she is someone you are willing to spend your time with. Consider your needs, her needs, your family, her family and your futures. I know there are many things you want to try out but women are different. They have more to lose. So be the man, tell her it is ok to take her time. Let her open up to you slowly. Be true to her and she will be true to you. Be honest with her and she will learn to trust you. Respect her and she will be comfortable with you. They know when you lie. So don’t even try. If you do, do apologise.

Once you earn her trust, she will automatically want to draw closer to you. Do not neglect her. Love her. Listen to her. Empathise. Adore her. Spend time with her. Make her laugh. Surprise her. Tease her. Care for her. Wipe her tears off her face. Encourage her. Let her know that you are thinking of her. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Always keep in mind that neither of you are perfect. There is no such thing as the perfect couple. One day you will disagree on something. On that day, be a real man. Learn to humble yourself and let her win arguments. When she is more emotionally stable, bring up the issue again – gently. Respect her views. Stay. Don’t run away from your problems. Two heads are better than one. Solve them together.

However, remember that you are the man and she should respect your decisions. Choose your faith, principles and priorities wisely and stick to them. As long as they are reasonable, there is no reason for a woman to want you to change this basis of your character. She should accept, understand and honour them. So should you, even when honouring them forces you to wait for something good. It is more rewarding to wait for something good. I know.

God is your Lord and she is your helper. Do not make her your God or make her your mother. She should be your partner working hand in hand towards a common goal. Man and woman: the perfect team. Complementing. Your weaknesses strengthened by her and vice versa. Understand that when two become one flesh. It’s not all about sex. It is equally about emotional, mental & spiritual union as well. No matter what age, race, background or personality, as long as the both of you are willing to cooperate in such a manner, there is a large chance that this relationship will go far. Very far.

If your relationship does not work out, do not be discouraged. Mourn. Reflect. Let go. Let good experiences and mistakes teach you valuable lessons. Do not go out deliberately on a desperate search for a replacement. Never treat a woman as a rebound. It is a shameful act for a man. You are ready to love again when you have accepted and are walking in a single life. Confusing I know. The best women are discovered by accident. God has a way of putting wonderful woman in your way when you are ready. After all, he does knows what’s best for you.

I have spent much of my life pondering and suffering to receive these insights. My wish is you will not. However, if it is God’s will for you, so be it. But if you feel stuck and are in need of a little insight to shed light on your relationship, unfold this letter again and let my heart speak to you.
I love you.

Yours sincerely,
The future you.

Thursday, September 18

The High Competency Award

taken from nywcc.org

As many of you will already know, I am a teacher trainee currently undergoing practicum.
Every teacher trainee in practicum will have to be supervised by a lecturer.
These supervisors will surprise teacher trainees once in a while with visits to check on the trainee & observe his/her lessons.
Near the end of practicum, supervisors can nominate any teacher trainee they think deserves recognition for being outstanding in their teaching.

Soon, a team of secondary observers will be assembled & appointed by the practicum committee of the university.
They will be given the task of scrutinising every nominated trainee to determine whether he/she deserves the 'high-competency' grade.
They meet the trainee, talk to him/her about his/her thoughts on teaching, read his/her lesson plans+reflection+portfolio & they will also observe one of his/her lessons.
If trainees are able to impress during the tough reevaluation, their names will be recorded in the exclusive 'High-Competency' list.
They will also receive a certificate of recognition by the institute.

I was nominated for this award this week.
It came as a complete surprise.
I do not believe in creating a 'beautiful' lesson just for observations so I never went the extra mile when my supervisor told me that he would visit me soon.
I did just what I would do on normal days.
I'm glad my supervisor liked it & saw it as worthy of recognition.

I was scrutinised today.
A team of 2 observers observed my lesson with 1 Maju.
1 Maju was awesome as usual.
They were very sporting & accomodating with the extra observers & they also put in extra effort to be at their best for my sake.
Thank you, 1 Maju!

After the observation, the team & I had a post-mortem.
The feedback I received was very positive.
They did not have much to object of in the lesson.
And they expressed pleasure at what I did today.
They even encouraged me to stay in the teaching profession & move on to teacher training.
My favourite line from one of the observers, "you're an easy one."

Everything looks good for me but I will not put my hopes too high.
Their impressions of me will still have to be put through another round of consideration with the practicum committee.
However, it is a great boost to my confidence to be nominated & so positively commented on by some of the most tedious people in my institute.
I will continue to improve myself in this profession.

To all those who encouraged me & said a prayer for me...
Thank You!
=D

Tuesday, September 16

End of 2 Week Fast


After breaking fast at 7.14pm yesterday, I could proudly say that I have completed 14 days of solid food fasting.
However, I shamefully regret that I have to end the fast.
I have been losing body mass since I started the fast.
Even though I think the majority of what was lost consisted of fat, I should stop before I lose more than I can gain back.
I will be taking part in a pageant in November & casting for some TVCs soon so I will need to look & feel my best.

This 14 day fast is the longest time I have ever fasted in succession & also my first fast in 3-4 years!
After completing 14 days, I have found the fast to be very beneficial to my lifestyle & wellbeing.
I think I will continue to enjoy the benefits long after my fast.

Being hungry for the whole day has helped me appreciate food more.
I started savouring each bite & enjoying my food more.
Even the most tasteless & plain of foods can provide great satisfaction.

I have also begun to consciously make more healthy food choices.
I knew that I was going to have limited food intake every day so I decided to make my meals as nutritious as possible.
I significantly reduced my intake of rice & refined carbs.
I made up for the loss of tummy filling with extra vege, meat & fruits.

Having a large group of good friends enjoying a meal with you is a rare joy indeed.
We share laughs & day's experiences before, during & after the meal!
The company of my greatest buddies at the end of the day has been something that I look forward to every day.

Upon reflection, I think that this fasting month may be the only month of the year where some families have dinner together!
I also think that this month is probably the only month in a year when food is truly appreciated.

I had a wonderful fasting experience!
And I would like to thank my Malay buddies for being supportive & accommodating.

To all my Muslim friends,
Happy Fasting!
Sorry I cant accompany you all the way!
=D

Sunday, September 14

Online Social Networking: A Teacher's Bane

Children nowadays are more privileged & are very active online.
As some of you have noticed, many students from my school read my blog.
I have no qualms about students reading my blog, commenting on what I have written & creating a link on their blogs to mine.

However, I do have a problem with one thing that they do online...
Requesting to be added to their friends list on a social networking website.
This happens to me all the time on friendster.
I mentioned this issue in a previous post: The Professional Divide.
Since then, much has changed & the situation has now escalated!
I am amazed at the throng of requests that I have been receiving!

I am mainly displeased at the manner in which they make the request.
A rare few would send me a message with the request & ask me nicely.
These people make me really happy and they seem to honestly want to make a new friend.
However, too large a majority of students plainly send only the request.
These people are rejected immediately without any second thoughts.
Some even complain & pester if I do not accept their request!
One person has pushed me so far that I almost blocked her.

Even though I reject all requests, I am polite...
I send a message to explain why.
I have a polite rejection message pre-typed!
Every time I receive a request, I'll click 'reject' & then send this pre-typed explanation message:
Hello,

Thank you for sending me a friend request...
But I'm sorry to say that I cannot approve it while I am a teacher in your school.

All the best to you in your studies!
=)

Mr Yong

p/s: next time you want to make a new friend, send the person a message FIRST.
WHY WON'T YOU ADD YOUR STUDENTS?
I believe that a professional should separate work from social life.
There must be clear cut boundaries in the relationship between a teacher and his student.
This is to avoid any conflict of interest.
Once a teacher is added to a student's friends list, the status lines are blurred.
The teacher may lose his impression of authority & skill.
And these is also the issue of being too intimate with a student.
One day, I may need to discipline or evaluate the person. And this, without bias.

WHY DON'T YOU MAKE YOUR PROFILE PRIVATE?
The main purpose of my online profile is to meet old friends & make some new ones.
How can old friends identify you if they cannot find your profile?
How can interesting people find you interesting if they cannot read about you?
This is why I have continued to allow my profile to be public.
I am willing to pay the price of abuse from admirers & haters alike.

OTHER TEACHERS HAVE APROVED, WHY DON'T YOU?
A female teacher has been approving student friend requests & a student wonders why I wont.
Think about it. Our circumstances are totally different!
I am a male teacher teaching in a GIRLS school.
I HAVE TO keep my distance from the female students!
I wouldn't want to give any false hopes nor do I want them to be too comfortable with me.

I want to be friendly with my students.
But just like in any relationship, there must be limits.
This is my limit.
I will not approve your friend request so long as you are a student in the school that I am currently teaching in.
This is a principle on which I stand.
Please understand.
Live with it.

Thursday, September 11

Handling Vomit In A Classroom

A student puked in one of my relief classes today.
The best part is I had to teach the class how to clean it up.
Here's the story...
~~~

It happened when I was reliving a Form 1 Moral class.
I was busy with my work while a group of students were laughing & joking with each other.
One of them paused to talk a long drink of water.
But before she could finish, her friends told another joke!
She laughed with a chunk of water in her mouth & choked on the water.
The result was a gag effect & semi-digested lunch on the floor.

Initially, I ignored the sound of splashing fluids.
However, I grew curious when the fluids didn’t stop flowing!
I thought to myself, "that doesn’t sound like a mouth of water."
I looked up to find a red-faced girl with vomit all over the floor & especially on her pinafore.
All her friends were just staring at her. Unsure of what to do.
They were staring for a long... long time...

"Does anyone have tissue?" I asked.
Their eyes slowly moved from the vomit-covered girl to focus on me.
Then, they stared blankly for a while before, one by one, they started looking for tissue.
After giving away some tissue, they continued to stare quietly at the poor girl.

"Take her to the toilet," I told a girl.
Then, the monitor & two other girls took the afflicted girl to the toilet.
I went back to my work and waited for someone to take the initiative to clean the vomit up.

But no one did anything.
They just did what girls are best at… talking about problems.
I took a look at the puke. Not much of it.
So I decided to do what men are best at… solving problems.

I walked out of the classroom in search of dirt.
I found it & brought a dustpan to scoop it up.
As I was returning with the dirt, three very familiar girls ran out of the toilet with a bucket & a mop.
I smiled as I thought to myself, “what they want to do is so wrong!”

"STOP!" I yelled as I entered the room.
The girls were just about to start mopping the raw vomit.
I silently walked towards the puke and spread dirt on it.
I needed to dry it first as well as neutralise its stench.

I waited for a while before, with the help of one student, I used two dustpans to scoop up the dirt.
After the dirt was all scooped up, I told the student to take it outside and dump it.
Right after she left the classroom, the girl dropped the dustpan & gave out a loud squeal.
I looked & shook my head thinking, "大小姐 (city girls)..."
She had spilled some on the ground & was afraid to pick it up.

I wanted to wait for the dirt to dry up a bit before sweeping it & then moping the floor.
But my period was ending & another teacher will be coming so I told them to start mopping.
A student came up, dipped the mop into the bucket, took it out & was about to start mopping before I stopped her.

"Does anybody know how to use a mop?" I asked the class and got blank stares in return.
gosh~~ I forgot I was talking to Malaysian school girls.
I asked someone to translate to Mandarin.
Then, they understood and started pointing to a few of the students to their chagrin.

"What do you do when someone vomits?" I asked the class.
I wanted to teach these Chinese girls some English & this was a rare opportunity.
I got them to repeat certain phrases with me &, to check that they understood, I got them to reproduce the phrase in Mandarin.

In the end, these 小公主 (little Chinese princesses) not only learned how to clean vomit up...
They also learned how to use a mop!
Yahoo for their future husbands!

How to clean vomit?
1. Apply dirt on the vomit
2. Scoop the dirt up
3. Wait for the dirt to dry
4. Sweep the remaining dirt
5. Mop the affected area

How to use a mop?
1. Dip the mop into a pail of cleaning solution
2. Dry the mop by squeezing it or twisting it
3. Spread the strands of the mop out
4. Mop the affected area
5. Stop when the mop begins to smudge
6. Repeat from Step 1

Sunday, September 7

What Fasting Does To The Body

taken from visionmagazine.com

Fasting is not easy...
All through the day, you have an uncomfortable stomach ache & a constant desire for your favourite foods...

This pain & hunger was driving me nuts!
I HAD TO KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING TO MY BODY!!
So, I did some internet research.

I found these sites most useful:
Fasting - Wikipedia.org (2008)
The Health Benefits of Fasting - Carol, W. (2002)

And let me share what I have discovered from my research...
~~~

I found out that fasting technically begins when the body uses its stored energy reserves.
This is usually 12hrs after the last meal.
Your body will break down: first the food in stomach, glycogen in liver, glycogen in muscles, ketones in fat, protein in muscles and finally the protein in organs.
However, once the body starts using protein stores (from muscles & organs), a person is technically starving (BAD!!).

Cons of Fasting
I tried to look for the detrimental effects of fasting but there are none significant enough to justify mentioning.
Take note that each person responds differently to fasting depending on the levels of toxicity in his/her body. Some people may become sick (headaches, vomiting & faintness) while others feel energized and renewed.
There is also a warning that people should consult their physician before attempting any type of long-term fasting.

Pros of Fasting
Therefore, let me move on to the positive effects of fasting.
Mainly, the healing and rejuvenating effects on the body.

Pros: Healing
The healing effect of fasting is well known. From a scientific point of view, I will share a few reasons why fasting contributes to the health of an individual.

The healing during a fast is mainly motivated by the body's search for energy sources.
During a fast, the body starts to break down its energy reserves.
The body stores toxins/chemicals in fats as a natural defence mechanism. When the body breaks down its fat reserves for energy, these toxins are released and are often expelled from the body in the form of sweat, urine and faeces.

There will also be an increased efficiency in the way the body functions.
Regeneration is more efficient because the body will make fewer mistakes when producing new cells. This results in healthier cells, tissues and organs.
Hormone production is also more efficient during a fast which results in growth hormones (among others) being released more frequently.
The body will also prioritise its resource distribution. Therefore, abnormal growths (like tumours) will not receive full support. They may even be broken down for energy.

Pros: Rejuvination
Fasting also causes the feeling of rejuvenation and extends life expectancy. This is partly because of the healing benefits of fasting mentioned earlier as well as an anti-aging hormone that is produced more efficiently during fasting.

Studies have found that the only reliable way to extend the lifespan of a mammal is under-nutrition without malnutrition.
There was a study in the 1930s on earthworms where a worm was isolated and put on a cycle of fasting and feeding.
This isolated worm was found to outlast its relatives by 19 generations!
This is the same as keeping a man alive for 600 to 700 years!
Furthermore, it was also able to maintain its youthful physiological traits!
If the effect is the same on humans, which may be true due to the aforementioned healing and anti-aging benefits of fasting, fasting may not be too painful to endure.

Conclusion
Overall, I think a properly planned regulated fast is beneficial to a human being because of the healing, detox and rejuvenating effects it has on the body.
Personally, I have been fasting on soild foods during the day for almost a week now and I have yet to experience any detrimental effects.
After the Ramadan, I might plan to fast for a day or two every fortnight for the health benefits.
You may follow my plan but I suggest you consult your physician first if you have health complications (like obesity, high blood pressure & etc).

Tuesday, September 2

koko' Attempts the Ramadan!


picture taken from flickriver.com


The 1st of September marks the beginning of the month of Ramadan for this year.
Ramadan was the month during which Prophet Muhammad received the first of the Koran's revelations. Therefore, it has been ordained as the holy month of fasting for all adults of the Islamic faith to cultivate piety. (Al-Baqara 2:185)
The fast begins each day at the break of dawn and ends at sunset.
During the fast, Muslims are forbidden to eat, drink, or smoke.

During the month of Ramadan, koko' is also going to attempt a fast.
Just like my Muslim friends, I will have my fast from dawn until dusk which is around 6am - 7.30pm every day.
However, there is one element I will not go without: water.
Unlike the Muslims who fast both solids and fluids, I will only fast solids because my body is not accustomed to fasting.
I dont want my body to break down because I overdid my fasting.
The purpose of my fast: detox & spiritual awakening.

Let's see how long I can last!
=)

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