Saturday, February 26

I Have A Dream

Everybody who was ever serious & passionate about their work will dream dreams of it.
I've worked in the teaching profession for 3 years & I find a lot of satisfaction in it.
Probably because I work in the interiors & I'm contributing to the welfare of a neglected people.
I also see a lot of dividends from the time & effort I put into it.
I think to myself... this is how it should be.
Teachers should be enabled to focus fully on their school & give their best to their school to see it blossom into something beautiful.

My dream is to teach without the need to supplement my income with tuition or business.
My dream is the administration of the school care for the school & desire to build it up.
My dream is to be released to do even the unorthodox to reach out to the students.
My dream is the students understand that we care for them & accept even our punishments.
My dream is I make a positive difference in the lives of the students I teach.
My dream is to be the best teacher I can be.

Dreamers get disappointed & discouraged if they are not allowed or unable to pursue their dreams.
Sadly, teaching in Malaysia prevents me from achieving some of my dreams. I will share more in another post.

Right now, I want all teachers out there to learn to dream again.
To find a reason to stay up at night & to jump out of bed in the morning.
You are an important part of society & the world needs you to be even more passionate than ever.
Let's not forget the joy that we can bring to both ourselves & the little ones!!

Saturday, February 19

Valentines In The Jungle

How was your Valentine's Day?
This year I had 224 Valentines. All below 18. Some 13. hahaha~~
Before you pick up the phone & call the police about my supposed paedophilia, hear me out!

As some of you may know, I am the Chief Warden at my school.
For apparent reasons, I have been spending most of my time & resources on the guys.
Owing to their tendency towards absent mindedness & destroying every good thing bestowed upon them, I've bought new gardening tools, 'tikar' mats, decorations, beds, cabinets, mattresses, pillows et cetera for them this year.
The girls are still using stuff from last year because they've taken such good care of them!

Also, the boys here are literally monkeys.
They shriek like monkeys when they're excited & even small misunderstanding with their peers would incite a show of force to see who is the rightful alpha male.
Little do they know, the Alpha-est male is right here writing this blog! haha~~
It's true. I'm called to every small tussle or yell-fest & I am unreserved in teaching them proper manners.
Instead of monkey see, monkey do. I see monkey, I do monkey... HARDER!
Even though I have to knock some sense into them every once in a while & give them the blow-dryer treatment with my vocal training, they greet me happily every day & follow most of my orders esp when I'm there.

Anyway, you can see why I spend most of my time with the boys.
I am their father, mother, teacher, brother, devil, angel, ass-hole, friend, boss & much much more all at the same time!
I give them a lot of my attention by teaching them how to act civilised, maintain cleanliness, turn off the tap, hang their clothes at the right place, how to be useful in the future, etc.
Somehow I like doing that. Probably the paternal instinct in me & also because many of them are receptive.

So, naturally, I felt that I've neglected the girls somewhat.
I stay away from the girls to, of course, avoid scandalous accusations & also because they are perfectly fine on their own.
They are clean, neat, polite & they do not vandalise.
They are also totally obedient. Everything I tell them to do will be done immediately &, the best part is, it will be done so unexpectedly well! Unlike the boys. Bloody, monkeys! The girls would probably jump off a building if I told them to.
Can you see why this makes me feel even worse for not giving them anything this year?

Then, opportunity passed by & I grabbed it with both hands.
I noticed that many of them were giddy & dreamy about Valentine's Day so I decided it was the perfect time to show that I appreciate them. READ: Brainwash Wide-Eyed Love-Curious Girls.
I bought a bunch of Cadbury's Bournville Dark Chocolate that I love so much & costed so much & wrote a love letter to them.
It would be a complete surprise.
I gave the Hostel Head Girl instructions at the last possible minute to gather all the girls before bedtime, read them my letter & give each a piece of chocolate.

I figured that there would be a greater effect if I was not there to give it to them.
It would also add a teeny bit of romance due to the surprise, dim lights, chocolate, sweet words & the absence of my presence. The stuff of dream romances they read in those trashy novels.
In my letter, I praised them to the skies. I encouraged them to keep it up because they were literally perfect to me. Probably a sign that I've been spending too much time with the boys. I also highlighted some of their common discipline problems & also advised them against dating before 18.

I'm hoping that this gesture will keep these young girls on cloud 9 long enough for the next appreciation which might come very much later or never. haha~~
Hopefully, during that time, they will continue being clean, neat, diligent & they'd reduce their discipline problems.

Sometimes an opportunity to touch lives comes & then goes in a blink of an eye.
Stay diligent & keep your eyes wide open for them.
At minimal cost to my pocket & time, I've encouraged the whole female population in my school.
Perhaps you can do the same at your workplace?

Hope this encourages all teachers & esp Ketua Wadens out there who are struggling in the vocation!
Keep up the good work!

p/s: In case you're wondering, I didn't get any gifts from the girls or boys. Sad. I would have appreciated a kiss on the cheek from either. hohohohoho~~~

Sunday, February 13

Donate To... The Longhouses!

I should have shared about this before CNY. Before the spring cleaning & before the sudden surge of generosity.
Drive by any recycling centre before CNY & you'll find it packed with stuff!
Drive by housing estates & you'll find the bins packed with stuff!
Drive by orphanages or donation collection locations & you'll find it packed with stuff!

Not everything can be recycled. Our landfills are brimming.
Our orphanages are already getting a lot of aid from YBs, NGOs & the public.
The Chinese have got so much STUFF that the usual places are overwhelmed!
Let me point you in the right direction... Give it to the longhouses!

I work in Song, Kapit, where there are countless longhouses lining the river.
Every few months, I'd hear that a longhouse was burnt down & some students have lost all their stuff.
Since the Chinese have got to much stuff...
Why don't you give it to those who have lost all their stuff?

Let me rant about my mother. I bet many Chinese families can relate.
She'll keep everything from your baby clothes to your teenage underwear as well as those of your father's, herself, your brothers' & your sisters'.
Imagine the amount of stuff accumulated over the years & hoarded into our cabinets, cupboards & every nook & cranny!
She says that maybe someone in our extended family will need those & yet she never takes them out because our extended family will never want to wear stuff that been kept for so long!

Thankfully, she adopted another extended family... The longhouse family.
When I came back from my CNY break, I brought with me, on my flight, 2 boxes (20kg) of stuff to give to 2 longhouses nearby that burnt down.
Yes, my Chinese family has really got so much STUFF!!
Don't just laugh at me... YOURS DO TOO!!

Many of you would have seen longhouses in cultural villages or pictures.
You think they are like long desirable chalets made out of wood, rattan & all things green.
But just like pictures of food in a menu, these mental pictures that you have of longhouses are far from what a majority of them are like in real life.

They may have started out small, quaint & traditional but over the years, as the population increases & new technology is introduced, extension after extension, modification after modification, repairs, patching et cetera, many have morphed into something caught in between two worlds & existing in neither. Not as romantic as you might think.
Not as fire safe neither. Many of the older longhouses are a tinderbox waiting for a stray match.

Here are pictures of 2 longhouses that have burnt down early this year.

Soon, these 2 longhouses will collect enough to begin the construction of more organised modern cement longhouses.
They will have piped water & an electricity generator.
Their ruai will be tiled & each room will have a toilet.
Life goes on.

But before that, they need help.
Even the smallest of things will make a big difference for these people who are entrenched in poverty & need a lot of help to bloom.
Send me an email if you've got something to give & we'll work something out.

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