Thursday, 15 December 2011

A Reason For Everything

I was by chance having lunch at Hulu Bernam with my mum yesterday, a makan place we have not tried before. To my delight, ikan patin masak tempoyak was one of the dishes available. While enjoying my food, an elderly lady seated at the table next to ours started making small talks with my mum. Before long, both ladies were exchanging stories and the makcik took the lead when I asked who was the boy (about a year old) she was holding. Such a friendly boy, smiling and trying to get everyone's attention all the while. I felt a pang of sadness in me when it was unfolded that the little boy has just lost his father a few months ago. He died a mysterious death at the age of 31. Soon after, his mother left for her kampong in Kelantan due to unbearable sadness of the loss of her husband, leaving her son with his grandmother.

It's bewildering that a mother could just desert her year-old son for self-consolation. I couldn't help but think about him over and over again. When my sister passed away and left two children ages 7 and 9, I was wretched with the thought of them growing up without a mother. But this boy, he will grow up not knowing his parents at all. He will have no memories of them. Such overwhelming sadness indeed!

Nevertheless, keeping faith in Allah and believing in qada and qadar, I am sure everything happens for a reason. I extend my doa for this boy, asking for Allah to embrace him in His utmost care...Amin

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Follow the Heart?

When it comes to the matter of the heart, there are so many questions that cannot be answered...and if they could, the answers are more self- justifying rather than anything else.

Of late, a new trend is seen to be widely accepted by our society. Younger men are dating and marrying older women. I am still very much of a conservative person and I cannot seem to go with the flow whatever the reasons maybe. There are not too many reasons that I have heard of anyway. The most common one used by older women is, "eventhough he's young, he's mature". And the most common used by younger men is, "mature women make me feel more comfortable". Both parties are therefore looking for maturity in their partners but if we observe them closely, neither behave quite maturely. The older woman takes control of her man because she is the one financially stable and the younger man abides by her rules like a toy-boy seeking comfort and refuge. Where is respect in this so-called mature behaviour? Or perhaps respect has a different definition for this group of people.

Fundamentally, human beings seek pleasure. If that's the kind of pleasure this older women-younger men are seeking, be it then. Just hope that the pleasure sought is not ephemeral.

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Long-Awaited Break

It was a mad rush towards the end of this semester - the rush for finding suitable dates for moderation of exam papers, marking, entering marks, preparing reports - everything to ensure dead lines were met. Alas, it was over by 24th November 2011. I was glad I managed everything without a glitch, thanks to Allah who gave me the strength - physically, mentally and emotionally.

Now it's relaxing time. This break is much needed and being in my hometown without having to think about work for a while is simply blissful. Coinciding with the fruit season is indeed a bonus to be here. Eating the fruits fresh from the trees is indeed a privilege to me. I know many would envy this joy I am experiencing but if it is any consolation to all my friends, I do remember you everytime I have those juicy fruits in my mouth...hmm...yummy.

Most of the Kampong folks are involved in the seasonal business of selling durians by the roadside. Since my Kampong is along the old North-South main road, many passers-by do stop for fresh durians. With the Kalumpang Resort and Training Centre in the Kampong itself, the number of outsiders buying durians is doubled. For now, everywhere and everything is about durian here.

Drug addicts are also taking the opportunity to steal durians from other people's durian orchard, including my mum's. Without shame they shove a wheel barrow to collect durians from under the trees daily and open up a stall by the roadside to sell them. Unsuspecting passers-by will stop and purchase those durians which will definitely be sold at a much cheaper price. After all, no capital is involved. Shouldn't their activities be reported to the police? No matter what, it is theft. Yes it should but I guess the kampong folks have given up on the police. I should say no more.

Minus the drug addicts, I am pleased that the fruit season is here again. It's durians + mangosteens + durians + mangosteens until there are no more left one day or until the break is over...whichever comes first :)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Tanzil



Tanzil - Quran Navigator

Winner Vs Loser

I was at the Hulu bernam police station last Saturday to lodge a police report on some mishap and getting a little bored waiting for the Corporal drafting the report, I went to their so-called reading corner and found a magazine called Integrity. Though not the latest issue, I found something interesting and meaningful which describes well between a Winner and a Loser. This is something I must share...

The Winner is always part of the answer
The Loser is always part of the problem.
The Winner always has a program
The Loser always has an excuse.
The Winner says, "Let me do it for you"
The Loser says, "That is not my job."
The Winner sees an answer for every problem
The Losers sees a problem for every answer.
The Winner says, "It may be difficult but it is possible"
The Loser says, "It may be possible but it is too difficult."
When a Winner makes a mistake, he says, "I was wrong"
When a Loser makes a mistake, he says, "It wasn't me."
A Winner makes commitment
A Loser makes promises.
Winners have dreams
Losers have schemes.
Winners say, "I must do something"
Losers say, "Something must be done."
Winners are part of the team
Losers are apart from the team.
Winners see the gain
Losers see the pain.
Winners see possibilities
Losers see problems.
Winners believe in win-win
Losers believe for them to win someone has to lose.
Winners see the potential
Losers see the past.
Winners are like a thermostat
Losers are like  thermometers.
 Winners choose what they say
Losers say what they choose.
Winners use hard arguments but soft words
Losers use soft arguments but hard words.
Winners stand firm on values but compromise on petty things
Losers stand firm on petty things but compromise on values.
Winners follow the philosophy on empathy: 
"Don't do to others what you would not want them to do to you"
 Losers follow the philosophy, "Do it to others before they do it to you."
Winners make it happen
Losers let it happen.

Let us all work towards becoming a Winner. If you stop to think if you should or should not, you have just qualified yourself  as a plain Loser ... :)


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Missing My Sister

25 September - My sister would turned 58 if she was alive today. 31 years have passed and I still miss her dearly. The pain of losing her remains. Time does not heal the sorrow felt. It just taught us to gradually succumb to fate. There is not a day that goes by since her death that I don't miss her...my sister, my best friend. The poem below by Belinda Stotler says much of how I grieve for her.

One morning I found you in eternal sleep;
I tried to wake you as I began to weep,
But all my pleas you could not hear;
Oh if I could have only kept you near,
Away from the voices of those who went before,
Who beckoned you to come to that distant shore.

I find it so very hard to believe
That you have gone and I must grieve;
I call out your name -- you answer not,
And I look for you in every familiar spot.
Everything seems so strange and surreal,
I ask everyday is it a dream or real?

Where are the soft brown eyes of affection?
Where is the laughter and talk of childhood reflection?
Where is the loving care when I was sick or sad?
Where is the generous soul for which I was glad?
Where is the forgiving and understanding heart?
Where are the bonds that were there from the start?

I miss all the little ways you showed you cared,
For there were so many good moments we shared;
Looking back on my life’s assorted scenes,
I realized you taught me what love truly means;
You were my trusted confidante and best friend,
On whose loving support I could always depend.

I look at your smiling face in all my photos;
Memories flood my mind as I touch the mementos
From the happy times you and I have had,
But now these bring tears and make me sad;
For the time together went by in a wink,
Life was not as long as we’d like to think.

Sometimes memories bring comfort and make me smile,
But there are times when grief takes over for a while;
Friends offer gentle words and prayers to console,
And tell me what has happened to your loving soul;
Can it be true what they say of time healing grief?
Is it enough when they say death has given you relief?

Can we believe what others say of a better place,
Where our beloved ones rest in God’s warm embrace?
I should be happy you’re free of pain and sorrow,
And rejoice that you’ll always have tomorrow.
How can I then be so heartbroken and selfishly cry,
"Return to me from that peaceful place where you lie!”

Now I look down at your name on a cold hard stone
That says little of the loving light you have shone;
It tells nothing of the wonderful person you were,
And only serves to remind me of the painful loss I endure;
But I know your kind soul wants no tears or pain,
Instead you’d want warm memories and love to remain.

Although I cry and stand grief-stricken by your grave,
I promise not to forget the loving memories you gave;
But still I miss you so very much my sister dear,
And your caring words I once again long to hear;
My heart’s only solace is one day I will see you as before,
Beckoning me to come join you on that white distant shore.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Be A Hero In Our Own Story

Many times I see people who are stressed out, unhappy, overwhelmed, angry and afraid.  I have to ask myself "What isn't working?" Then I see people who are happy, self-aware, and enjoying their life. I have to ask myself again, "What is working?" The interesting thing is, from outward appearances, there is no reason really as to who is happy and who isn't. Lack of money is blamed for many ills; however, I have met a number of people who have no money and are full of life and love without stress. So money obviously is not the key. I meet people who blame the people they love for their woes; however, I have met people who are not in relationship who are happy and content. So whether you are in a relationship or not is not the key either.

The one common denominator that is shared by all of the happy people and lacking in the unhappy people is a sense of self, the acceptance of who they are. The happy ones do not want to be different; they do not want their life to be different. They are enjoying what they have and don't care about what they don't have. They understand that they are constantly growing and changing. They are doing the best they can and that is good enough. They do not look for validation outside of themselves.

Basically, our story is whatever we believe about ourselves to be true. We can be victims of our childhood suffering from emotional scars; or we can forget all of our baggage from the past and focus on who we are right now. Our story is whatever we want it to be. The biggest story of all is whether we are happy or not; whether we are the result of our past or the creation of what we believe to be true. Whenever someone asks "tell me about yourself" or "who are you?" The answer is "MY STORY." Our past is only the training ground to be the hero of our story. If we are happy, we are the heroes. When we suffer, we are not.

Where we are is the result of all our past decisions. Who we are is the result of the decision we make from one moment to the next. Probably the most valuable asset we have is our smile. When we can smile in the face of challenges and fear, we will always win and be happy. When we can smile through pain and despair, we are the hero.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Twigs


  
Twigs are amusing & adventurous stick creatures who live in knotholes of ancient trees. When climate change threatens their old forest, Twigs stick together to survive!


Prickly and stickly as they may be,
These branches rest in eternity,
Renewing the very, very soil they used to be,
To give inspiration,
To a brand new greenery...
Faces of Twigs...


                                                                                                 twig tiara


 




unusual & amazing
furniture made of twigs


halloween twig centrepiece







 
rustic twig ball bouquet







twig decorations for home

Dear students of J1.7,
 
Twig Scrapbook

Get yourself a twig. Observe, feel and smell your own twig. Imagine that the twig is your new pet. Give it a name. 
 
Paste the twig  on the front cover of the scrapbook with its name on it.

Have a 'birth certificate' page.

Then, write a short description of the twig, followed by a short story of your new pet twig in the scrapbook.

Please post comments in this blog on how you feel having a twig as a pet.



 

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Reminiscing

When my nephew suddenly said he wanted to write a book on his experiences meeting many taxi drivers, he thought it would be an endless story to tell. But when I told him that I should write on my students, we all had a good laugh when I said the story is not just endless but with many parts, chapters and volumes that it is going to beat even Harry Potter. Indeed how true that is.

My students have colourful characters and they have coloured my life throughout my teaching career which is almost coming to an end now. For 30 years in the profession, I have the privilege of meeting numerous students of whom some of them have already have their own grandchildren. From the first batch of students to the present one, they are just like holding the baton to stay on my path a litlle while before passing it to the next one in line.

I could still recall my first batch of students when I was posted to the SRJK(C) Rasa, Hulu Selangor, after completing my teacher training. In my attempt to teach my students English, I learned numerous words of Mandarin from them and could understand string of sentences in their mother tongue. Unfortunately, I was there only for a year and therefore I did not manage to grasp the language. What a loss on my part! But I carried with me some good memories of the batch I taught, especially the Standard 4 students who behaved very well and responded enthusiastically to my lesson when I was observed by a lecturer from the Sultan Idris Teacher Training College (now known as UPSI). And all that happened without me requesting them to do so, prior to the visit.

On the first day of Syawal that year, about 20 of my students came to my kampung house and at first I thought it would disastrous for me. However, they were well-behaved, enjoyed all the food and drinks I served and hung around for almost three hours in my house. I did not have to entertain them throughout their stay because after eating, they went down to the house compound and played among themselves. After having a second round of drinks, they finally excused themselves and as they shook my hand I offered each one of them a RM1 angpow. To my surprised, they unanimously refused to accept my angpow because I was not married. According to the Chinese, only married people can give angpows away. Even when I told them I am not Chinese and it's all right for me to give away angpows, they still would not accept my money. And they were all just between 10-12 years old. How different they were from the children today.

Another incident which I cannot forget till today is about a flasher who stalked and flashed at these young children during their Physical Education lesson. The school was located next to a road and anyone can come as close as possible to the school compound which was surrounded by a fence. After a few times witnessing the children screamed and scrambled towards the staff room because of the flasher, I decided to put a stop to the flasher's visit. I convinced the students to not run away the next time the flasher came. Instead, everyone should crowd together and stare at the flasher while chanting the word flasher. It worked and the flasher never did come again.

And these are just a few incidents with my students in my first year of teaching... 

Friday, 22 July 2011

Reading a Cause-Effect Article

To students of J 1.7 ... Click on the following link to see the complete text on how to identify and read a cause-effect article.

Cause-Effect Text

Have a good time digesting it and hope you will be able to identify and read cause-effect texts in the future without difficulty.

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go "

Monday, 4 July 2011

Learning To Know What You Really Mean

When you say, "Can't you do that for once?", you might actually mean:
  • I am tired of your irresponsibility
  • I resent telling you things
  • I don't like myself for having to remind you
When you say, "You don't really care much, do you?", you might actually mean:
  • It hurts me that you care so little
  • Please care more!
  • It hurts me that we communicate like strangers
When you say, "I'm so tired with life!", you might actually mean:
  • Our life has losts its real intensity
  • Please do something!
  • We have become what we did not want to become
  • Our life centers too much on working, eating and watching tv
When you say, "You always do that" or "You never do that", you might actually mean:
  • I am really frustrated that neither of us can really listen to the other
  • Please react...
  • I feel ignored and I want to communicate with you
Words are smoke screens and security builders
Words are bait to be swallowed by the unsuspecting
Words are arm-twisters and weakening agents
Words are mirrors of the soul
Words are cries for help
Words are words and so much more...

English Sound System

 

Dear students of J1.7...
Hope this will be of some help to you in understanding the English Sound System. Do post comments on what you think of it after watching the video.


Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Blind Loyalty

Loyalty is essential for genuine family solidarity. But blind loyalty can lead to family dysfunction.
A loyal family member is faithful to the family's traditions and honors its obligations and is emotionally present with support and encouragement during success or duress. These unwavering devotions are admirable and observable. For example helping out during an illness, a financial crisis, the breakup of a marriage or death.

I believe in family loyalty. However, blind family loyalty can bring about unhealthy implications.
A blindly loyal person follows lockstep and unquestioningly behind the family. Often, the marching is done unconsciously because one doesn't want to upset or anger another family member - a practice of "keep the peace mentality." Sometimes, the blindly loyal member will "go along" with something even when common sense and rationale plead with them to speak out.

Families operate on a continuum of being either open with their communication or closed. Families with high functioning open systems can address any topic even when extremely painful, difficult or sensitive: loss, divorces, mental illness, secrets, alcoholism, various abuses, feelings of shame, affairs, death of beloved members, etc. These high functioning families feel confident and secure enough individually and as a family unit to discuss these circumstances and call them what they are. Individual expressions are not only permitted, they are encouraged. It can be complicated and tricky at times where family confidences are concerned but it is not impossible to negotiate peaceful outcomes.

But, this isn't the case in the closed blindly loyal family. For example, in a blindly loyal family where the father was cold and dismissive to his children and now one member wants to let "the cat out of the bag" this member is often rejected by other family members. Blind family loyalty expects everyone to remember how terrific their celebrations were even when in reality they were not.

Blind loyalty is usually formed in early childhood to win parental approval and love because the worse thing for a child to feel is disapproved of, unloved and unwanted. We all want to believe we had the perfect family so we ignore the imperfections and transform family issues into virtues. The reality comes later when we see other people's families  who is a higher functioning emotionally than us. That is when we have a point-of-reference for comparison. But telling ourselves that something was perfectly wonderful when it was not is emotionally unhealthy and a form of denial or repression. Those feelings do not disappear; they go underground to get projected and played out later with coworkers, spouses, friendships and even with our own children. For example, the adult child who could never please their parents will unconsciously feel never good enough and becomes highly reactive when criticism comes his or her way.

But with acceptance of what really occurred in our family system, coupled with insight and introspection and sometimes help from another sibling, relative, friend, etc most of us can understand more fully the childhood we experienced and not turn around and misdirect that disappointment, anger or hurt onto others. We can become loyal "to our own experience" without feeling self-pity.

I think there is no shame in admitting that we have wounds from some family experiences and that we have wounded others, but let us not make a blind loyalty into a family affair. Instead, let us accept that no family is perfect and most do the best they can. When we are open to this conscious shift from being a blindly loyal family member to an authentically loyal family member our families will be true places of refuge. Places where we can always return to heal a hurt, to laugh and cry, and, yes, sometimes even exhale a bona fide sigh of those memorable words: home sweet home.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud


The poem 'Daffodils' is also known by the title 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud', a lyrical poem written by William Wordsworth in 1804. It was published in 1815 in 'Collected Poems' with four stanzas. William Wordsworth is a well-known romantic poet who believed in conveying simple and creative expressions through his poems. He had quoted, "Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility". Thus, Daffodils is one of the most popular poems of the Romantic Age, unfolding the poet's excitement, love and praise for a field blossoming with daffodils.



Daffodils
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.


The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Dear KPLI K1.1...  Please do the following:-
1. Give your personal response to the poem above. 
2. Determine the theme of the poem - the purpose the poet has in writing this poem, the idea he wants to express. 
3. The last lines of a poem are usually important as they either emphasize or change the meaning of the poem. Is this so in this poem?

Please post your comments before the 30th May 2011 ends. Thank You. 

Happy Holidays :)

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Our Past -- An Illusion

We often think of something that happened in the past and still carry some regrets about it. Perhaps it's a botched relationship, a business we failed to start or even an accident that we caused. We also often think back something pleasant that we experienced such as falling in love, having a wonderful vacation or getting a promotion. Be it a positive or a negative experience, when we get in touch with the event, we are actually time-travelling within our mind, searching through our bank of memories.

I used to be remorseful about something I have said or done, regretting something I feel or should have done. But I have learned with time and experiences that living with regrets and guilt will get me nowhere in the future. I have decided that the past is merely an illusion because my mind is only able to selectively remember. The longer something remains in my mind, the more it changes and the less it reflects what may actually occurred. My memories tend to change over time and therefore may not accurately reflect my original perception. Thus, I want to accept that everything that ultimately did occur was a necessary part of my soul's growth. Whenever I feel guilty of having hurt or disappoint someone in the past, I want to acknowledge my commitment to never repeat the behaviour again. It is utmost important to declare that I have actually learned from my mistakes.

From now on I want to ensure all moments, whether good or bad from my past to remain in the past. Suffice for me to experience them fully then, after that drop it and move on to the next moment, uninfluenced by any of the previous one. Otherwise, I will waste a great deal of my time in the "illusionary" world of the past, either feeling guilty, regretful, angry or reminiscing the good old days.

I have come to a realisation that my past has an impact on my present when I continue my thoughts and feelings on something that no longer exists. They are all just in my mind. Whatever that have happened are finished now.

So be it...

Sunday, 15 May 2011

A Teacher's Prayer

Ya Allah, let me be just what they need.
If they need someone to trust, let me be trustworthy.
If they need sympathy, let me sympathize.
If they need love, let me love, in full measure.
Let me not anger easily ya Allah, but let me be just.
Permit my justice to be tempered in Your mercy.
When I stand before them, Ya Allah, let me look strong and good and honest and loving.
And let me be as strong and good and honest and loving as I look to them.
Help me to counsel the anxious, crack the covering of the shy, calm the
rambunctious with a gentle attitude.
Permit me to teach only the truth.
Help me to inspire them so that learning will not cease at the classroom door.
Let the lessons they learn make their lives fruitful and happy.
And, Ya Allah, let me bring them to You,
Teach them through me to find and love You...

Happy Teacher's Day
16th May 2011