Friday, August 24

It's That Time Of The Month Again

When I get time off away from the mindless busy-ness of work, I get this funny feeling. This feeling brings me down & it cuts me deep. Feels like a thin sharp knife slowly pushing its way into where it hurts the most.
When I'm with the people I love, I feel somehow incomplete. This feeling is hard to shake when all of them are either attached or married. It doesn't help when friends tease me & especially when old ladies are asking dumb rhetorical questions or trying to matchmake me.
I'm nice to them & I entertain their good intentions but it doesn't help my self-esteem. What kind of a pathetic messed up dumbass needs the help of old grandmothers to get a girl?

Gone are the days when I can rely on my buds for all my social needs. My soul mate is married. My best friend has a girlfriend. My best bud has a second child on the way. I see people younger than me getting hitched while I... I start to wonder what the bloody is wrong with me? I'm 27 this year & I've been single for such an unbelievably long time. The flabbergasted way that aunties react to my answer to their relationship questions does not help at all.

My excuse is work & I'm really isolated. Time sure flies by when you're far away on some isolated island. Working hard to distract yourself. Getting exhausted so that at the end of the night, I won't have time to think too much or feel the cold darkness of the night. I love what I'm doing & I don't mind being where I am... but sometimes I just wish I had someone to share it with.

Don't ask me to pull a chick from the wilderness where I work. Please. You should know by now what kind of a guy I am. I haven't found a chick here who can connect with me on a deeper level. Perhaps it's the language barrier. Perhaps our backgrounds & values are too different. I don't know if I will be able to get it on with a girl from where the area I work. I want more than just physical attraction. Sex is great & important but it's not everything. I've never developed the taste for meaningless sex.

I'm doing a great job shooting myself in the foot by being extremely picky. I don't get into relationships for fun & break it off when I come across someone better. I find a great chick & I hang on to her. I'm not willing to settle because I want one woman to be all that I will ever need in a woman.
I'm not into second wives or extramarital relationships or divorces. Imbecilic bastardos & insecure nimrods do that. One woman is all I need. Then again, she has to be a great one. Someone who is my equal or maybe more. She's not just the bearer of my children. She fully complements me. I'll know her when I meet her. Then, I'll put a ring on it. Until then, there will be more of... this.

I'm aware that as time goes by the suitable women around my age are getting snapped up like hot cakes. I can't say I haven't tried. I've been that pathetic idiot who sends chicks messages on FB. I've been that random dude who walks up to you in the streets. I've been that dumbass who entertained a greying matchmaker. I've been that heartbroken man betrayed by the women he loved the most. All that shows up on my love report card is a big fat F.

I believe in God & I believe God will provide for me. I am terrified that it'll be years before I actually find her or maybe worse... What if it was never meant to be? Do I have to carry this burden for the rest of my life?
sigh... Let your will be done, oh Lord. You know what's best.
Have mercy on me.


Tuesday, August 21

My PMR & SPM Seminars @ SMK Katibas

Just touched down in Kuching a few hours ago for my well-deserved break at home. I've got 4 days to rest before I make my journey back into the jungle again.
"Why so little?" you ask as you stuff your face with mom's rendang? Well, it's because I gave up the first half of my break to stay with the students at school. I wanted the PMR & SPM students to stay back & do some self-study. Knowing them, it would be unlikely for them to study if they were home. The good ones will be helping the family at the farms while the spoilt ones will be lazing around.
I also took this opportunity to give BOTH the PMR & SPM students tips on how to excel in their respective English Language papers.

PMR Seminar
All through the 8 hour sessions for each of them, I reiterated the need for them to be disciplined, focus, work hard & work independently. Values that will serve them well after they finish school. However, I sometimes feel that I am alone in the struggle to lift these people. Then, I remember the handful of people in the school who have worked with me above & beyond the call of duty to make a difference in the lives of the students. I am grateful for them. I know that sometimes I don't appreciate them enough or support them when they need me. I'm working on that & learning as I go.

SPM Seminar
I told the students that it was compulsory for them to attend. 99% did attend. The other 1% will get a 'special' present from me after holidays. If I am able to sacrifice my holidays for your benefit, you should be able to stay back. Or else, you'll just piss me off & I'll make sure you know that. You have been warned countless times before. Yup, I'm tough like that. Don't you ever mess with me. I'm here to teach you & I'll make sure you learn something through that thick skull of yours.

For the seminars, I developed PowerPoint presentations. I developed the PMR slides myself from experience, discussions with examiners, reference book & online material. Since I did not have a lot of experience with the upper form, a veteran examiner was ever so generous to give me his old slides. I used his slides as the base & added some of my own research. This guy is a legend & he is bigger than life!
He's probably going to comment about this below. See if you can guess who he is.

From the feedback, it seems that what I've shared was helpful & some of the things I shared was never shared before. Good on those who attended & paid attention.

I apologise for not sharing the slides. I worked really hard on them so I have attachment issues. It's right what they say about you won't appreciate something you haven't worked for. Anyway, it's nothing earth-moving or overly genius. I'm sure you can come up with something even better.
I'll do the next best thing & give you a basic idea of what I shared with my students:
  • Past Year Questions Analysis
  • Tips to Score Better
  • Learning Strategies
  • Practice with Past Year Questions
  • Common Mistakes
There are more pictures here on my FB page. Check it!

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!
Maaf Zahir & Batin!

Monday, August 13


Posted on Monday, 6 August
Posted on Friday, 10 August
I often wonder if I should write about this. About a conspiracy against me & my organisation by someone within the organisation. Something wicked & malicious that has been allowed to fester & reign like a cancer. I guess everybody will have something to learn from this so I shall write about the issues without making identities known. This has been the primary reason for me to write 2 lengthy FB statuses in BM last week (as seen above) & the reason why my 2 years as Ketua Warden has been a complete nightmare & the worst years of my short career.

I want this person & his cronies to know that I know what he is up to & I am not afraid of him. I have always ignored his activities as long as they did not conflict with my work. I did not want a fight but he chose to pick one with me. All the time. The latest incident was the last straw. It was an act of war. A war that was forced upon me. Either I stand & fight or let his carnal desires & greed take over. I now have to fight against cunning & manipulation in a shadowy game unfamiliar to me. One thing I am familiar with is, in the end, good always triumphs.

From the bible, I learn that the devil comes dressed like an angel. Beautiful, clean, shining in glory, smiling & whispering sweet words. The more evil the demon, the more effort he puts into making his mask even more convincing. I remember not too long ago a person who gave me a lot of 'good' advice and he talked about all the 'good' things he wanted to do in the school. This person expressed a deep love for the students, constantly worried about them & wanted them to do well. Later I found out that he was just saying what I wanted to hear so he could use me or take something from me. If I did not let him, he would threaten me, disturb my work & eventually attack me.

Liars/manipulators often look harmless & they will maintain their innocence even after they have been compromised. Shout a lie loud enough, repeat it long enough & eventually people will think it is true.
The bible says that the devil is the father of all lies. When he wants something from you, he will tell you 101 of the noblest reasons why you should do it. He will make it seem that it will make the world a better place or something that will profit you. He knows how to push your buttons & he will sell the idea to you. Only after you actually do it, do you realise that you were tricked & he has profited in some way from your lack of foresight. In other words, he used me & I was ignorantly happy to be his bitch until I wisened up.

The bible also teaches me to judge a tree by its fruit. That is how you spot a false prophet. A good person will always do good things. He will do honest work, be generous & speak words that give life. A bad person will always do bad things no matter how hard he tries to justify it or dress it up or divert attention to another person's shortcomings. A bad person steals, lies, cheats, manipulates & colludes with birds of a feather. An evil person will sometimes do things that appear good when actually they are profiting from it in some twisted way!

You will definitely meet people like this in your service. They are masters of disguise who will appear to be on your side to you all the time. To your adversary, he will also appear on his side. He will make himself the hero of everyone by being two-faced with everyone. He will use your trivial disputes with each other against you while he profits from it. Divide & conquer. As long as you are fighting against each other, he can easily control all of you. Therefore, the ultimate question is how do you deal with people like this?

Initially, all good people will give him the benefit of the doubt. They will give in to his demands. As you give up more & more ground, eventually, he will demand something from you that is contrary to all that you believe in. This is when the devil stakes a claim for your soul.
You can give in again & again. Ending up lost, dejected & bitter.
You can join him & be his crony. You'll commit evil acts for him & recruit devils of your own.
You can egress. Give up all posts, wash your hands & watch powerlessly as he gets his way with your successor.
Or you can choose to hold your ground & fight for the supremacy of good and the freedom of your soul.

How do you fight without allowing this evil to corrupt your soul? Every day, I struggle with revenge clouding my judgement & anger demanding retaliation. Being exposed to evil = learning to be evil. I feel a dark hand creep into my heart. It is oh so tempting to satiate my desire for revenge & enjoy the satisfaction of sinking a knife into the flesh of my enemy as a 'fair' exchange. Is it right to return evil with evil? When has a war been beneficial to those who have taken part in it? When does a war actually end? War never ends. It just takes on different forms. After a few exchanges, we would have no idea why we were fighting in the first place.

I understand now that I am fighting a war of principles. I have to look beyond the obvious attempts at sabotage & realise that there is something higher going on here. If I give him a taste of his own medicine, he would have won. He would have succeeded in corrupting me & turning me into a more powerful version of him. No. I will not be of the devil. I must go beyond that. My actions must reflect a higher level of intellect. I must not bulge from my higher moral ground. My spirit will not be broken. Once I lose my spirit, he has won.

taken from
I will continue to do what I am doing now because, even though I have suffered everything from public humiliation to false accusations for the past 2 years, I have been victorious. I have climbed every brick wall he has placed in my way & climbed out of every pit he threw me in. I will continue to be victorious. I will continue to do what I do as long as I am in a position to do it. Good is already triumphing. I may never be able to win him to the side of good but my actions will reverberate throughout the world & I will win more & more people to the good fight. In the end, good will triumph.

Wednesday, August 8

Kem Jati Diri 2012 @ SMK Katibas

Last weekend, the Warden Board & I helped out at the Kem Jati Diri organised by the Guidance & Counselling Unit (UBK). This camp short-listed 60 at risk students & had the objective of injecting a new spirit & giving these students a new purpose at school.

Out of the 60, 39 students attended. The students were really reluctant at first & very apprehensive because they had the impression that this camp was for bad students. However, they warmed up as we used a warm, enthusiastic & friendly approach to reach out to them. I used a point system to get them to do what I wanted them to do. This works like a charm... Always. A different approach from the harsh day to day nagging & punishment they received from the Wardens almost every day.

One thing about the students from this school is, they are generally good. Even the worst student will respect the teacher & will be willing to do any kind of work. No hardcore gangsters or undertakers here. Those kinds of students would not have been able to withstand the pressure & attention the Warden Board lavishes on them every day. Unlike many Warden Boards out there, we really take care of our students.

The activities include: building your own tent, decorating it, maintaining it, cooking your own meals, self-realisation workshops, self-efficacy workshops, goal-setting workshops, late night torture, early morning physical activities & so on.
I'll let the pictures do most of the taking.

Setting up & decorating their tents.
To motivate them further, I made it a competition for points.
Participants & teachers cooked for themselves!
Some students were really good cooks!
The various activities of the weekend.
BBQ & sharing on the final night.
Some of the students were able to come up with really mature thoughts.
All in all, I think the camp achieved its objective in sowing in the students a realisation that they can actually do better & allowing them the chance to make their own decisions on the right way to go. Only time will tell if they follow through but already I can see attitude shifts in the students.

Kudos to the 2 counsellors, wardens & teachers who came down to help! You guys are really awesome! Sorry for the lost weekend though... God will reward you definitely! =)

That makes it 2 consecutive weekends at work. The weekend before, I was involved in Asrama Terbuka.
I really feel like taking a break this weekend & resupplying but we have a replacement day on Saturday. I will most likely take the day off.
What do you think? Should I?

You can check out even more pics on my FB Page.

Saturday, August 4

Asrama Terbuka 2012 @ SMK Katibas

     I am really proud of my students. Both the boys & the girls worked hard to make the Asrama Terbuka 2012 a huge success last weekend. Some of them started since the beginning of the year, some at the eleventh hour on the week itself. I'm still pleased because, in the end, all of them stepped up with their best. I did one last year as well. You can read about it here.

Male students building their bamboo megastructures in preparation.
The boys' enthusiasm really took me by surprise. Those who were cold to the idea warmed up after watching their peers  come up with awesome gardens.
     The Asrama Terbuka or Open Hostel Day is the biggest hostel event of the year where the hostel is open for visit. I wanted it to be an event from the students for the students so I did not involve any of the wardens in the AJK. I wanted to give the wardens a break.
     I appointed key students to form the AJK & they performed very well. All I did was tell them what they needed to do, set my expectations & gave them what they needed. I appointed a student to oversee the whole activity as the chairperson. They had to be resourceful & figure the rest of it out by themselves.
     My hope is that one day the students will not need any wardens to guide them. They can lead themselves & organise on their own. Although this event was not perfect, it was good enough & a promising stepping stone towards my eventual vision of student leadership at SMK Katibas.

Just a few of the many deco, gardens & structures the students created.
     Here's what happens during Asrama Terbuka. Firstly, the students gather for the opening ceremony. Then, the teachers & staff visit the hostels. They will act as judges for each hostel block & room according to the evaluation forms I printed for them. They judged cleanliness, decorations, gardens, toilets, notice boards & student hospitality. Hospitality is judged based on food, drinks, greetings & special performances. Many students either danced or sang for those points. Highly entertaining!
     After the teachers & staff have visited all the hostels, the students were allowed to visit each other for the rest of the afternoon.

Snippets of the day's activities.
Pictures of some key moments.
     Finally, no event is complete without an evening ceremony to wrap everything up with song, dance & prizes for the best hostel blocks or rooms. That night, I decided to pilot test a competition a number of students have requested from me: a Raja Lawak competition. The competition was so-so. Plenty of impromptu performances that were not funny at all. Only a handful were entertaining. Lots of slapstick or cold jokes. Some jokes were even harsh. Will not organise this competition on it's own in the future. I might use it as a sideshow to another event. I feel that the students were still not intelligent or mature enough to provide quality jokes.

Malam Kerlipan Bintang
     I will post up more pictures on my newly started FB page. You can check out more fun moments from Asrama Terbuka or Malam Kerlipan Bintang there.

     I know that hostel students are not the best. Most of the time, they will disappoint you but give them a great mission with a big enough incentive & they will surprise you. If you're a Ketua Warden, try this activity at your school!

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