Friday, March 30

How I Motivate My PMR Students

It's been a while since I wrote about anything school-ish.
So here's a little something that I do every week with ALL the PMR students at my school. Something I learned from my former principal, Mr Clement Chieng, who laboured to achieved 100% SPM pass during his time.

It officially known as Sesi Senaman, Motivasi & Penanda Aras Pelajar PMR.
I just call it weekly small kid ragging & forcing myself to burn some of that fat around my belly.
I have been doing this since the first week of January.
Believe me. It works wonders.

I believe in the psychological effect of looking the part.
For many young people, what they look like on the outside will seep its way inside.
I want them to exercise & work together to achieve their goals so I 'volunteered' them to buy personalised PMR t-shirts.
Every time they put on these shirts, they are reminded of their mission this year; ie give their best for PMR.

I schedule it for Monday afternoons at 5pm because I want it to be a PMR reminder to them for the remainder of the week.
Here's how a typical weekly session pans out:

First, I take them jogging for 2-4 rounds around the school (15-30mins).
Then, we warm down & do some stretching.
Finally, I deliver life-changing speeches.
Oh yes, I make it very clear who the boss is; ie the Maharaja.

I give them what most teenagers desire at that age: attention, love & direction.
I remind them of the importance of PMR, their duty to society, the needs of the impoverished Iban people, their suicidal mindsets, gems for future success, current events, sensitive issues, parenting, sex, & just about anything else I can come up with from thin air.
I dress it up, I sugar coat, I persuade, I reason, I seduce, I yell, I shout, I shove it where the sun don't shine, I pout, I joke, I probe, I poke, & I love it.
Some students teach what I've taught them to their parents & even to some other teachers. Who's your daddy?

I'm not saying that my way is the best way but it is one way.
You are an individual with unique interests & talents which means you have probably got something greater suited to your teaching situation. Find it. Use it. Improve it.
Instead of just talk & complain, do something. Anything.

Instead of just talking about how much you care about your students, you should spend time with them regularly doing whatever to remind them of what they need to achieve.
The classroom is a brain-dead place where many of them are absent in spirit. So don't bullshit me about classroom time is more than enough. It's not even enough to cover the syllabus or discipline students.
Take them somewhere. Do something special. Do it regularly. Like you would do with a pretty lady.

Even if your students do not achieve their targets, you will know that you've done your best & they will still feel that they are worth something to someone.
Like money, education is not everything. But it is something. Especially to your students.

Check out even more pics on my FB page!

Footnote: Something similar is done with the SPM students too. Except I delegate it to another teacher who is also more than willing to spend time enriching young lives.
This particular teacher & his partner are awesome. When I talked to him about this, he jumped at it & when I asked him which exam students he wanted, he picked SPM.
Hence, I was left will little kids to easily twist & bend at my every whim & fancy.

Tuesday, March 20

the.Dyak Restaurant

Ever since I tasted the wholly authentic native cooking in the interiors of Sarawak, I fell in love with their simple food made from unique combinations of herbs, vegetables, meat & everything natively Sarawak.
Long have I wanted & hoped for a restaurant serving such authentic Sarawakian fare.
A bastion of cultural maturity to be placed beside Malay, Chinese & Indian cuisine.
I may have stumbled upon just the establishment: the.Dyak Restaurant

taken from flickr.com/photos/celes2u
This is the.Dyak Restaurant between Jln Mendu & Jln Simpang Tiga.
It is currently deservingly the #1 restaurant in Kuching on Tripadvisor.
I went there with my family during lunchtime on a Saturday so we were able to order from the menu. You can only do this at night or on Saturdays.
If you come during lunchtime (12pm - 2pm) on a weekday, they serve a buffet.
The restaurant is closed on Sundays.

The Dishes
We had (counter clockwise from top):

Kari Jani - Three layered pork stewed in a thick spicy curry gravy.
This one was somewhat disappointing because I like my curry with a little burn. Must be the masochist in me! Anyway, the pork was fatty & it goes well with the curry. It will satisfy those of you who love it fatty.

Jani Tunu - BBQ pork with 2 different homemade sambal.
This dish is very authentic because this is how pork is actually served in the interiors. The sambals were great & the pork was well done.
However, this simple dish is no match for the Chinese Char Siew or Siew Yuk so don't go comparing.
I doubt if it is wild boar though. Wild boar meat is very expensive in Sarawak.

Manok Lulun - Commonly known as Pansoh: chicken cooked in bamboo with ginger, onions, lemongrass, onions & tapioca leaves.
This dish is the favourite dish of many. It is also my personal favourite Dayak dish too. It tasted very authentic with the tapioca leaves & herbs.

Steamed Talipia from Batang Ai - Prepared with local herbs, spices & that wonderful yellow citrusy local vegetable that goes great with curry & steamed dishes.
I like this dish. There was a whole fish in there & it tasted very fresh. The blend of herbs & spices made this dish very flavoursome & the soup savoury.
The fishes are worth a try.

Petai Gulai Bungai Kechala - Sliced bitter nuts stir-fried with onions & anchovies.
I love petai & you can't go wrong with anchovies & onions.
This dish is tasty but I bet it's nothing new to you. Something you might want to consider if on a budget.

Paku Kubok Gulai Bungai Kechala - Jungle ferns stir-fried with onions and chillies.
The paku was crunchy but the flavours could have been enhanced more. Somewhat disappointing considering the price.
If you've never had paku before, it's a must try only-in-Sarawak vegetable.

Ensabi Goreng - Stir-fried bitter jungle mustard leaves with garlic.
This dish was amazing. My mother loved it & she rarely compliments dishes. Compliments to the skill of the chef for masterfully transforming such a simple dish.
Another only-in-Sarawak vegetable. Worth a try but you won't find much difference between this vegetable & other leafy vegetables from China.

Native Rice - Our rice was a mixture of brown native rice & white rice.
It's different from basmati or Thai rice. It's more nutritious than white rice but it may not be as tasty.
Try it. You need rice for the mains anyway.

You can find the a list of their signature dishes here.We did not try their desserts.
Oh & let me mention that they are MSG-free. A plus point because MSG causes cancer & makes me thirsty all day!

I want to try this: the.Dyak Gourmet Pork Burger. Looks like a winner!
Will return one night & order it!

The Bill
8 of us had the 7 dishes above, 9 bowls of rice (RM3 each) & 8 drinks. The bill was about RM160. An average of RM20 per person.
They encourage tipping (as written on the menu) but the staff are not unhappy without.
The service was average so I did not have a reason to tip.

Conclusion
The price is a tad bit higher than the average restaurant in Kuching. Plus the portions are not as large as some similarly priced establishments.
However, it does make up for the price with quality in food preparation, drinks & upkeep of its premises. The deco & food are both authentically native-like & very tasty.

I may come back to try the burger or their lunch. Heck, I might even bring a hot chick there & impress her with my knowledge of the natives.
However, I don't see myself returning regularly on my own.

This restaurant is the perfect place to bring visitors & foreigners to sample the flavours of Sarawak.
You must visit this restaurant if you are a foreigner or visitor from other parts of Malaysia.
Check out my review on Tripadvisor for ratings.

Saturday, March 17

My Best Friend's Engagement

My Best Friend's Engagement
My best friend, Nesa, got engaged with the ever gorgeous Parvina on last Sunday, 11 March 2012.
I knew I had to attend & be part of the groom's entourage! So I booked all my flights & cleared my schedule to be in Penang for this milestone!
It was held at a local Hindu temple & it was mighty grand!
Here are the pictures!

It was my first Indian engagement so I was pretty overwhelmed at the scale of it. Friends & relatives from all over came to the ceremony. The temple was packed & it was noisy with the sound of grumpy children & chatty adults; kinda like a pasar malam.

When the groom arrived, he was accompanied by his family & entourage. The ladies in the groom's entourage carried platters with beautifully arranged desserts & fruits. The men were not allowed to handle them lest they be ridiculed as unmanly.

In the temple, the groom waited while his parents met the bride's parents before the bridal tent.
There the priest facilitated negotiations between the families. When all was agreed, the groom's parents presented the bride a saree & gold. Then, the bride excused herself to put on the saree & jewellery as a sign of acceptance.
The groom was not involved in any of this.

After the bride was ready, the groom was summoned.
Then, they exchanged rings. After that, they prayed & asked for blessings at the altar.
What followed were photographs after photographs after photographs.
Diren & I were pretty tired & absolutely starving by then so we moved on to the buffet.

It was a vegetarian buffet catered from Sri Ananda Bahwan Restaurant: the best Indian restaurant in town!
The vegetarian food was awesome! There were meat imitations of chicken & mutton curry.
There were also servers making freshly made tosai & my favourite of the night, Jalebi + Vanilla Ice Cream.
Oh, the cold ice cream went well with the warm freshly fried Jalebi. The ice cream was soft while the Jalebi was crispy.
It was nothing short of oh some! I had 3 servings.

My Best Friend's Marriage Registration
The next morning, they registered their marriage all dressed up!
Here are the pictures!

This was my first marriage registration so it was an eye opener for the future when I myself would be sitting in those chairs.

First, they made an appointment with a registrar. When everybody had arrived & both sides were seated in front of the registrar, he had to make sure that this marriage was mutually accepted. He asked several questions to the bride & groom.

When he was satisfied that nobody was forced into this marriage, he instructed the groom to sign the documents first; followed by the bride. Then, the groom's father & the bride's father.
Before the registrar signed the marriage documents, he gave a talk to the couple about being married, having children & their duty towards the greater Indian community.

Later on, they prayed at the altar & received blessings from both sides of the family.
And it's legally official!

Later on we headed to Sri Ananda Bahwan to have lunch & celebrate the joyous occasion.
That was when I had my first Dahi Vada (Indian spice donut in Indian yoghurt). It tasted very rich. Like a Tosai with extra yoghurt on top. It was not my cup of tea but it was worth a try. Very rare flavour.

Remembering the Ice Cream Jelibe from the night before, I wondered about ice cream with my favourite Indian dessert, the Gulab Jamun.
I gave it a go but I found that the Jelibe was better with ice cream because it was warm & crispy. Ice cream complemented it perfectly. Sadly, ice cream did not add much to the Gulab which was cold & soft like the ice cream.

I had a great experience in Penang & the best part was I got to spend time with great people.


Congrats, bro!
You got yourself a great woman there. She gorgeous, smart &, best of all, she doesn't stand between you & I. Oh yeah!

Friday, March 16

My Photo Migration Is Complete!

Previously I wrote about how imageshack tried to extort me with my pictures here.
I've been using their services for 6 years & their sudden change of policy will not force me to pay.
What a betrayal! I'll have none of that. Loyalty is a very big thing to me.

taken from girlonfire.co.uk
Therefore, I decided to hang the frog & move all my photos away from imageshack to Picasa Web Albums.
I spent 4 days working on this. I had to move all the pictures on my blog from this post in 2006 until my previous post about the hot nurse in 2012.
That's roughly 970 pictures that I used to host on imageshack.

Along the way, I read what I wrote in the past.
I relived many wonderful memories & remembered past lovers.
An old wound has reopened & made worse when my best friend got engaged a few days ago.
I'm happy for him but sad for myself. sigh~~~

After this, I'm going to delete all my photos on imageshack & never return again.
I don't make money from my blog so I'd like to keep my overheads low.

taken from rainydaypennies.com
Long Live FREEWARE!!!

Saturday, March 10

Finally, A Break!

taken from www.funbull.com
After making a strenuous and extremely lengthy journey home, I arrived at Kuching International Airport at 7.30pm last night. (I departed my school at 10am. Imagine that!)
It sure does feel good to be home.
It's great to be in a familiar place & have all sorts of options available.
It feels great to be no longer bound by geography, no cell reception & no Internet.
It also feels good to be able to sleep up until 9am every morning.
I haven't dipped myself in modern civilisation for 3 weeks & now that I'm back in a city, I feel like I'm back in my element. What's more, I'm back in my city. My home.
I've been waiting for today for a long long time.

Last night, I joined a futsal game at 9pm.
Then, I had a few drinks with some of the best buddies I have in town.
Nothing like a good team game of sweat, effort & spirit to create a genuine bond between men.

Today, I had a cup of my favourite coffee. A bing! Coffee latte (made from Illy arabica beans).
This 100% KUCHING outlet has trained it's baristas to do exactly what major hotel cafes & especially a particular major American coffee company have failed to do. I.e. serve a flavourful wholesome skilfully frothed latte.
Oh, it felt so good going down. It was warm, milky & smooth.
If you have discerning taste, you'll love the coffee from bing!.
You absolutely cannot find better coffee anywhere in Malaysia. Believe me, I've tried for many years.

There I met up with another one of my best buddies in the whole world.
We had a chat, reminisced & exchanged a whole lot of nonsense.
Relationships like these are the main reason I look forward to returning home.

Tomorrow, I'm headed to Penang to meet up with more of my bestest buddies in the whole world.
My best friend is finally getting engaged to the love of his life.
Dude, this engagement was waaaaaaaaaay overdue.
Now that your balls are going to be cut off, I wish you a blissful rush to complete the wedding in May.
Of which I will be going out of my way to attend. I.e. escaping from jungle tribes on boats over vast rivers, flying over a sea & a whole peninsula & paying through my nose for the journey.
There better be hot chicks at the reception.

Like I said. I've waited a long time for this holiday.
I've worked hard for the past 2 months & I bet you 50 bucks I'll be working hard for the next 10 months of the year as well.
Meanwhile though, I've got my buddies to keep things sweet.

I deserve my holidays & so do many of you in the service.
Make the best of this break.
Here's to us all.

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