Monday, December 28, 2009

BLOGGING FROM AIR HITAM

informal meeting at KFC

Pn. Siti Zubaidah of TIGS Batu Pahat
with Mr. Arif, the generous one

I was back in Air Hitam for the continuation of the meeting. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy - so, there were social gatherings held in the evening after the formal meeting. The first one was held in KFC Parit Raja, a meeting with a group of teachers whom I used to meet from another formal event. Thanks to Mr. Arif for the treat.

another teh tarik session with Dr. Md. Som, again

Then later in the evening, I had another teh tarik session at a "mamak" restaurant with an ex-classmate, Dr. Md. Som, again. This is an achievement for me to see him twice in about two weeks time after all the years.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

MY NIECE'S WEDDING

My niece got married today. Unfortunately, I could not be there to join the joyous occasion as I had to attend a meeting the whole day in Air Hitam. Luckily, the meeting ended earlier so I rushed back to JB to see the bride and groom. And may they live happily ever after.


MR. AND MRS. ISMAZ IN THE HOUSE

Mr. and Mrs. Ismaz

with Irfan
just like old time

Two old friends, Mr. Ismaznizam and Puan Hazlina, as well as their son, were in JB so I had the chance to meet up. He brought us to Banafee Restaurant somewhere near New York Hotel. I guess it is a new eating place in town which is a bit classy from my point of observation. The food was good. The food that I would recommend: Oxtail Asam Pedas (Ismaz's choice) which had the authentic taste and Banana Cheese for dessert (my choice), boiled banana with cheese and chocolate, the banana flesh was very tender that it melted in my mouth. Heaven! Banana has never tasted so good.

Since the hotel they were staying is just nearby so I took them home for a short visit. You will never know when you will get the chance like this again.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

THE PMR 2009 RESULT WAS OUT

with Meerashini, Yamunaa and Afifah

with Thivya and Harisha
with Asyhrafuddin

The Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) 2009 examination result was announced today. I arrived late so many students had already taken their result slips and left but still managed to see a few around with their parents. The result is better if compared to the previous year's. This time 50 students were straight A's students (43 in 2008) and the passing percentage is 72% (69% in 2008). Congratulations to everybody, especially those with excellent results. You have made the school proud.


PMR 2009 Straight A's Students
3KP1
Asyrafuddin Mohd Kamal
Khalil Afif Jamiran
Kishyen Suparmaniam
Liew Zhen Jie
Lim Hon Chun
Muhamad Nur Asyraf Mohd Isa
Muhammad Amirul Aiman Mohd Razif
Muhammad Hafiz Mokhtar
Muhammad Hafizu Jusni
Muhammad Izzuddin Hairuddin
Muhammad Shafiq Mohd Rozainee
Ngui Ka Chong
Athirah Nur Zawani Azmy
Atiqah Mohammad Nasir
Lim Cia Hue
Meerashini Hari Daas
Nadiah Ebi Shahrin
Nazatul Zahiah Mohd Mustafa
Ng Su Fen
Nur Afifah Mohd Rosli
Nur Amirah Abdul Aziz
Nurul Ain Abdul Rahman
Nurul Sirin Zailani
Ooi Huie Theng
Tan Hui Xuan
Tan Lay Xin
Thivya Maran
Vithya Manibelen
Yamunaa Sithamparan
3KP2
Auni Nabihah Mohd Azmi
Nurul Husna Mohd Nasir
Rozida Hanim Baharuddin
3EK1
Luqman Hakim Hashim
Mohamad Syazwan Kamaruddin
Muhamad Syafiq Abd Rahim
Ainul Fatimah Yob Saed
Eng Lee Lee
Fatim Nur Syuhada
Harisha Mohanadas
Hor Khai Shin
Kuan Shin Nee
Lim Hui Li
Liyana Mohd Sulaiman Ng
Normurni Ithnin
Shazliyana Suzali
Tan Fei Keng
Tong Yee Chien
Zahirah Ali Hassan
3ES1
Muhamad Azim Azman
Wong Leng Sey


[note: I copied down the list myself from the overall result pages. So if I have mistakenly put in or left out anyone's name, please do inform.]

So this might be set as a challenge for the form 3 students next year. Are you ready for it?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

EX-STUDENTS VISITING 2

from the right: Tasha, Zulfadzelie and Fatihah

A group of ex-students came visiting today. Fatihah has not come to my house for many years during Hari Raya . So thanks to Zulfadzelie for driving her and Tasha. Fatihah is now doing her nursing course in KL, Tasha going to study in UiTM Melaka while Zul is in Raja Melewar Teaching Institute in Seremban. It was quite a short visit but we sure did catch up bits and pieces of lost time.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

SINGAPORE SCIENCE CENTRE

[NOTE: Thanks to Mr. Razib for taking all the photos as well as for the company, again]

At last, it was a real outing for the school holidays. This time, Mr. Razib and I made our way to another interesting educational spot in Singapore that was the Singapore Science Centre. This time, we took a bus from Sultan Iskandar Immigration Complex to Kranji MRT Station (RM0.90) then the MRT to Jurong East Station (S$2.60) and lastly hailed a cab to the Singapore Science Centre (S$3.60). One of the attractions was to see the Body Worlds Exhibition but since we were there, we had a tour around the place which could be divided into a few sections and we had to pay S$29.00 for a package which enabled us to enter these venues.


VENUE 1: SINGAPORE SCIENCE CENTRE



This place is similar to Petrosains in KLCC Kuala Lumpur. A very big place which was separated into a few halls according to different themes like Microbes, Sounds, Mathematics, Space etc. All the displays are meant to be touched, so school children as well as adults come here for hands-on sessions. You will need a lot of time to try all the exhibits and a good place to bring students to appreciate Science and relate it to real life. If only I was here much earlier, I believe I am already a doctor now.

My dream came true at last
Oh, what a big tongue you have...
being a real nosy guy
My dream house
Lost in space

VENUE 2: BODY WORLDS EXHIBITION


Two things to describe the exhibition: real dead bodies and plastic. They had put bodies of dead people on display after the process of plastination to preserve them. It was a magnificent exhibition, how arts and science had been put together so we could, not only admire the inner parts of our bodies, but also think of many more other things beyond that. And there were also animals like real horse, reindeer and giraffe.

Too bad camera was not allowed. So this is one example of the exhibit that was put on display. One interesting thing, it was mentioned all the bodies that were on display came from donors, people who believed that they could contribute more to the enrichment of humans' knowledge even after they have died. Another interesting thing is that there were many quotations that were put on the walls for you to ponder upon which I would love to share with you.

"Years wrinkle the skin
To give up enthusiasm, wrinkles the soul"
(Samuel Ullman)

"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that counts,
it's the life in your years"
(Abraham Lincoln)

"Age is an issue of mind over matter.
If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
(Mark Twain)


VENUE 3: OMNI THEATRE

The last stop was the Omni Theatre. Basically what happened was you would be seated in a dome-shaped cinema. In other words, you were watching a movie not on a flat screen in front, but the pictures were all around you so you felt as if you were in the movie. It was a great experience to watch "Under The Sea" and you would go out of the hall feeling like you yourself had just gone snorkeling.

I went back home, feeling mentally stimulated which would be one of the ways to live a longer and healthy life. Thanks again for Mr. Razib who had acted as the tour guide cum the photographer. Until the next trip...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

WELCOMING ANOTHER NEW HIJRI YEAR 1431

I made my way to the surau near my house because we were welcoming another new Hijri year, the new year according to the Islamic calendar. The Hijri calendar was actually used to mark the migration of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to Madina from Mecca, which should be one of the significant events in the development of Islam in the Arab land. So, unlike the usual new year celebration, the coming of yet another year was celebrated with religious activities such as reciting the end of year and the beginning of new year prayers. We thanked Allah for all the good things that had been given and hoping for a good life for the year to come. I got to see many familiar faces and I was greeted with similar expressions of "long time no see" - either they had missed me so much or I had been missing for quite some time. The moral of the story: go to surau when you have the time.

after everything had been cleared

As usual, after all the rituals had been carried out, the jemaah (people who come to perform the prayer together) were served with overflowing variety of food that was brought in by everybody. As usual, we had more than enough food for everybody and each and everyone was forced to bring home some.

Let's welcome the new year and pray that we will always be a better person that what we were the year before.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

EX-STUDENTS VISITING

with Hilmi
with Nadia

Two students came visiting today. Hilmi, accompanied by Nadia, came to send the invitation card for his sister's wedding. Both of them were two of my students from SMK Kempas whom I taught tuition when they were in form 3. I still remember at that time, the class was held in their school at night and I had to tutor about 30 students. But they were a bunch of excited students and I had a lot of fun teaching them. A few continued to attend my form 5 tuition classes. Hilmi is the one who has regular contact with me, at least once a year during Hari Raya, if not frequently. He is now studying in USM while Nadia in UTM. I wonder what has happened to the rest but I know many of them will turn out to be good people.

I AM NO FARMVILLE'S FARMER - EP. 1

it looks small but it required a lot of sweat and toil

The last time I played ping pong was one year ago. While waiting for the right time and people to continue with my favourite pastime, I had to find another alternative to get some sweat out. Facebooking and playing games on your computer all day long are not good for your health. So I started hoeing a small plot of land behind my house and turned myself into a part-time farmer and part-time blogger. That was really a hard work done. It is definitely not the same with Farmville where you can simply plant everyting at the click of a mouse. If I continue on with this work, sooner or later I will very muscular like Conan the Barbarian.

trees successfully planted

So let's see whether the small scale project will bear any fruits. Pray hard that I can reap what I have sown and pray that no one else will reap the harvest for me.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A MEETING DURING A SCHOOL HOLIDAY - MY 100th POSTING

Selesa Hotel, Pasir Gudang

Bad news: having to attend a meeting, representing the Principal, during the school holiday. Good news: it was held in a hotel. There was only one person whom I knew there so there was no socializing activity. It was a half-day event but I really think the whole session could be cut short into a quarter-day event. The food was good so there was not much to complain.

This is my 100th posting for my blog so I am trying to add some colours in. All this while, I just write and post pictures. After all, people are more interested in the content and the photos; I just don't have the time to explore more to make my blog's layout more attractive. I do envy some people with beautiful layouts but to do that will require quite some time.

Anyway, how do you like the new look of my blog? Any comments?

HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY NAN MARAN

I was invited by Nan Maran to attend his 21st birthday party. Nan is an ex-student who was always polite and courteous throughout the years he was in school, and I believe he still is and that is the reason why I could not say no.

with the birthday boy

I thought it was just a usual birthday party in the house with a few guests but I was wrong. It was a feast with many people filling in the tent, specially prepared food and with loud music in the air. There were special decorations and bunting - to put it in a nutshell, it was a joyous occasion.

with Nan Maran's friends

these are all my ex-students at the party

I met a few ex-students there as well like Christopher, Sanjeev, Parthiban, Thiban and Sasi. They have all grown into young handsome men (and beautiful ladies too) after a few years leaving school. Well, thanks Nan for inviting me and wish you all the best in the future undertakings.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

ON ANOTHER SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT

busy at work, as usual

I have been away for three days for another official assignment which has become an annual event. Other than working, it is a pleasure to have the chance to meet the people that I can only see during these sessions.

I had to bunk down in D'Idaman Inn in Parit Raja because there was no vacancy at the hotel I used to stay in Kluang. As the place was nearer to the meeting venue and quite new, it was not that bad except for a few things like there were limited TV channels and no telephone line so I couldn't get the receptionist to give me a morning wake-up call. But the room is very spacious, it is more like an apartment - with a bedroom and a hall so you have the whole space to yourself.

sitting beside a doctor

I had the chance to meet another old classmate from school. This is Dr. Md. Som who happens to be staying near my lodging. He has his own clinic now, Klinik Sejahtera, which is situated opposite of Universiti Tun Hussin Malaysia (UTHM). When you go there, if you mention my name, may be you will get a special discount. Remember, I said "MAY BE". Thanks to Dr. Md. Som for the supper as well as the breakfast the next morning.

And I will have to be there again in about two weeks time from now...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

BOOK REVIEW 7 - KHALLED HOSSEINI'S "A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUN"

My second read of Hosseini's book, right after The Kite Runner. Another story of the lives of Aghanistan's people, mostly about their sufferings of the oppressed people, women to be exact. The novel centralizes on two characters, Laila and Mariam. Mariam is given away to be married to a man older than her at the age of 15. Laila, is in a way forced to marry an old man at a young age too when both her parents are killed by a bomb. As their fate crosses, these two unlucky characters start to have conflicts between them when Laila is actually marrying Mariam's husband as the second wife. Initially, they become enemies but in the end, when they both try to confront the brutal and heartless husband, they become closer and start to protect each other.

It would be unfair for me to disclose the ending of the story. You MUST read this novel yourself because you will soon realize that we rarely are thankful with the lives we live, the air we breathe and the freedom we have. Kudos to Hosseini for making me see lives from a different perspective.

AN AQIQAH AND A WEDDING

Mr. Bohari, Cik Ain, Pn. Anum. Pn. Saidah (PK1), Pn. Nilam (Principal) and Pn. Yusidah

Aqiqah is a ritual where an animal is slaughtered when a baby's hair is shaved for the first time, and after that, most frequently, people will be called for a feast, and in a way the guests will offer prayers to the baby's health and well-being. We were invited to the Principal's house for this event and since her house is only a stone's throw away, I guess I had not much choice. Met other people from school as I had promised to be there at the same time.

at the wedding feast

Then we made our way to the second place which was a wedding invitation of an ex-staff in Bandar Baru Uda. There are many people holding wedding ceremonies during the school holidays and that is not good because you tend to eat a lot in just one day.
By the way, this is Mr. Bohari, an ex-student who has now become one of our school staff. And there are two more similar invitations to attend tomorrow.

Friday, December 4, 2009

EXTREME MAKEOVER - PART 1

It is not really a makeover, and it is not extreme. It is just a spring cleaning session that should have been done a long time ago. There were always reasons, for being too busy, especially towards the end of the schools holidays. Work piling up and there were deadlines that were waiting one after another so I guess I had valid excuses. So I had to pull up my sleeves to clear my room cum workstation cum entertainment station. Make hay while the sun shines, especially by next week I will be very busy again.

before - while waiting for my new cabinet to arrive

It is not easy to clean up. First, you have to decide between things which are good and which are not needed anymore. Second, you have to decide whether to throw or not to throw. I guess we always keep some things which we feel we like but actually we don't need them and in the end, these things are accumulating dust. It is amazing that no matter how frequent we clean up, there will still be rubbish and unwanted items. We humans do produce rubbish, and a lot of it.

while - the cabinet is here and the boxes are gone

The best way to get rid of things you want to throw away is by recycling. Remember to reduce, reuse and recycle. And do not be surprised that you can earn some amount of money by sending these items to a recycling centre, and that is the money that you will easily throw away if you don't recylce. The best way is send them straight to a recycling factory rather than to the old newspapers lorry because the person will offer a cheaper price.

after - hardwork that pays off

I spent quite some time to finish this extreme makeover (to exaggerate again). The question now is, how long will this room be in this condition? There are other extreme makeover projects for me, just hope I have the strength and the will to carry out this task.