Saturday, January 30, 2010

LUNCHING OUT

This was a treat long overdue. They were brought to lunch out at Burger King, Skudai, because when they were in form two, they had helped me to lock all the door grills of the school's staircases throughout the year. And the second reason, Khalil is going off to a boarding school by next week. Just a small effort to show my appreciation for their willingness to help me which was actually priceless. Actually I still owe one more student the same kind of thing but I will try to make it in the future.

Zharfan in the red shirt

and this is Khalil

And I bumped into two ex-students who are now working part-time at the Petronas Kiosk which the fast food outlet is attached to. They are waiting for their SPM result which is not yet released. From faraway I could spot Muadzakiy at the petrol pump. And right after that, I met one more, Akmal, who is one of the restaurant staff. One of the advantages (or disadvantages) of teaching is you have very high probability of meeting students and ex-students alike just anywhere and everywhere. That is one of the reasons why until now I have never stepped foot into Jusco Taman Universiti and also the pasar malam because I know they are lurking around. The real truth, it is always a pleasure to see people I know (or perhaps I have forgotten), to be greeted or when they introduce themselves and telling me that once they were my students.


with Akmal in the restaurant

with Muadzakiy at the kiosk

FOUR POLICEMEN CAME TO SCHOOL

Four policemen came to school today; actually there were three policemen and a policewoman - the ones who came to take photographs of the scene were not counted. Had something serious happened in school? Of course there was something going on - but they were here for a good cause. We were having a series of talks given by the officers of PDRM. We invited the officers to deliver their talks in three different languages to the three main groups of students in the mother tongue with just one objective - effective communication. Not only to brief the students about discipline and general regulations that have to be obeyed, hopefully the kids had been motivated from this session. Congratulations to the Counselling Unit for their effort.

the officers of PDRM, Pn. Nilam (Principal), Mr. Punithan and Pn. Rafidah (counsellors)

the more the merrier: Mr. Faisal. Mr. Zahidi, Mr. Ng (the latest addition),
Mr. Rifqi, Mr. Shahrir, Mr. Nasir, Mr. Hisham and Mr. Masrizal



These photographs were taken after all the students had left. They were significant because we all had planned to wear Baju Melayu (Malay traditional attire) today. I always feel a bit uncomfortable in that shirt but it was not that bad actually. Other than that, today was the last day for the mourning period so we do not have to wear songkok with the white cloth again next week. The missing male teachers were Mr. Punithan who was busy in the Counselling Room after the event was over, Mr. Sin and Mr. Narasimman who were on duty at the gate and Mr. Reynullah who was not around the place. Now we have 13 males, outnumbered by the 58 female teachers. But united we will stand!

Monday, January 25, 2010

WEARING SONGKOK IN SCHOOL

with the 2KAA students
with Mr. Masrizal and Mr. Nasir

School today was not like any other days. Can you find any difference? It is something rare to see me and other Malay male teachers wearing songkok (some sort of a headgear) during school days. And there was a piece of white cloth, which should be about 2 inches in width, around the songkok. That was actually to mourn for the death of the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Iskandar Ibnu Almarhum Sultan Ismail who passed away on 22nd January 2010. The last time I was wearing the same style was when I was in primary school, back in 1981. The mourning period will go on for the whole week, until Friday. As for the non-Muslims, they have to wear a piece of black cloth (supposedly 3 inches in width) around the arms' sleeves. I just wonder whether the boys will be less active when they are wearing songkok. I am going to observe and if it is true, then I want to propose it to be compulsory throughout the year. That will make every teacher's life easier.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

MARKS FOR PUBLIC SPEAKING SECT. 9 UHB1412

I successfully pasted the table in the blog. So my dearest students, here are the marks for your public speaking session. Thanks to the internet, now my life (and yours) will be easier.

If you think you want to present again to improve your marks, another session will be held before the final exam. Please remember to be prepared - marks awarded are based on confidence (which means no reading), language (grammar) and delivery (clarity and pronunciation). You just have 5 minutes. Just choose a topic that you can relate to your real life experience because it is easier to deliver rather than memorizing articles which have difficult words for you.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

MY UTM CLASS 2010

Lucky enough, I am given the chance to teach in UTM again this semester. I heard only three part-timers are taken. This time I am teaching students from Fakulti Alam Bina (Built Environment Faculty) and only two people from another faculty. For the first time I have international students, three girls from Indonesia, and they speak English quite well. And I am quite happy because there are only 27 students in my class.

with Razman and Puteri, the girl from Padang Sumatera
And the guy in black is Iziq, the class monitor

We had a replacement class today, to replace a class in the forthcoming week. As I need a few pics for my blog, so I asked the few remaining to pose and they promptly agreed.

The people in the photo:
Iziq, Puteri, Razman, Hazwan, Rika, Husna, Saiful,
Farid, Dila, and the other one I think is Diana. See,
I remember people's names.


As I thought the rest had left, a handful of them were outside waiting (for what or whom, I did not know) but they seemed excited when asked to get into the limelight. So, a replacement class was not that bad after all, just by looking at the smiles on their faces and that guy giving a special pose at the back.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW 10 - SHERLOCK HOLMES

David Downey Jr. looked more like Barry Manilow in the movie poster

Many friends from my FB recommended this movie. At first, I had a dilemma whether to watch or not, but after checking the schedule on the internet, I had no choice. Today was the last day so it was now or never, and furthermore the ticket was cheaper on a Wednesday.

So the movie is about Sherlock Holmes, the master of all detectives, old school style. Something like CSI, but there are no hi-tech gadgets to help him solve any problems. So what he needs are his amazing senses and deduction skills, as well as his strong knowledge of science. The movie looked quite serious to me but it was actually a comedy, and you could only laugh if you listened to the Britsh-accented speaking characters' dialogues real carefully. By the way, Robert Downey Jr., who played Sherlock Holmes, just won a Golden Globe award for his role in this film.

Great acting and entertaining in its own way but not many people will appreciate this kind of story. What more, too much science makes me a bit delusional. So you better go watch Avatar.

And I guess this could be the last movie for now. There are other things to do, and I have stopped reading for quite some time. But, you will never know.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

PLAYING CHESS AT A MAMAK RESTAURANT AFTER 10 PM

The chess fever is back! My friend, Mr. Aziz, asked me to join him and his students for a chess practice at a nearby mamak restaurant. They are from SMK Tun Syed Nasir Ismail, formerly known as SMK Majidi Baru. They are working very hard for the coming chess competiton at district level this Saturday. When I thought my students come to school on Sunday mornings to play chess is already a big sacrifice, some people even go another extra mile. It was a short session but I think this was better than chit-chatting over teh tarik and roti canai.

So my students, our next chess team meeting will be at KFC Taman Universiti, 8:00 p.m. until midnight. Can?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

KICKING OFF ON A SUNDAY MORNING

As usual, we have to sacrifice our Sundays for school activities. This is due to the fact that there is no free Saturday for all the students to meet. A school with two sessions and very limited space and time to gather people at the same time, so we are left with not much choice actually. Nevertheless, I am very happy that the students willingly come to school even the practice is held at the moment when everybody else is still soundly sleeping at home or watching television.


two ex-students who came: Mutalib and Haziq
the teachers: Mr. Hisham and Mr. Masrizal

The first group which was in school were the Kadet Bomba (Fire Brigade Cadets) boys and girls. The marching practice started last Sunday and today many more people turned up; there were about 74 participants. I just wonder if the number will increase next week, or will it be the other way around. We teachers have already some ideas in our minds for the upcoming activities and hope we can have camping again this year.


The other group who was staying at the school canteen was the school chess team. They also made their opening moves on the chess boards last week. They were preparing for the coming MSSD tournament which is scheduled to be by the end of this week. We emerged as the district champion last year but we are not that sure whether we can bring back the trophy this year, but we will try very hard.

I AM NO FARMVILLE'S FARMER - EP. 2


Not actually a farmer - basically the things I do are buying plants, moving the (heavy) flower pots here and there, and watering the plants regularly. The other necessary work is done by my sister. But still, I do hard work than those so-called farmville's farmers who do the farming work by a click of a mouse. It is always a pleasure to see the multi-coloured bougainvillea blooming constantly and the flowers will last for quite some time. Not that difficult to tend to, just make sure they get enough sunshine and water, and perhaps a bit of fertilizer once in a while. The utmost important thing would be tender loving care. In the Malay language, the flower is literally called paper flower because the structure and the thickness is just like a piece of paper.

I will try to get more plants for my house. Plants are supposed to be good. More photosynthesis means more oxygen. Now, this sounds more like a biology class.

[NOTE: I was just experimenting with my Olympus FE-5010 digital camera and the pics turned out quite okay, and I spent more time editing, cutting and pasting, the original photos. Perhaps I should start taking up photography. Now everybody wants to be a photographer.]

Thursday, January 14, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW 9 - AVATAR

Yes, I know I am a bit behind time. But, better late than never. Recently it was announced that Avatar was ranked third in the box office tickets collection, behind Titanic and Pirates of Caribbean. So this was one strong reason not to miss this film.


The story line is quite simple: an ex-marine, Jake Sully, goes on a mission. He is being transferred into the body of a half monkey, half human kind of blue creature. So the creature (known as Na'vi) acts as an avatar to him while he navigates himself in other form in a different, exotic and mystical world. He tries to learn new things and in the end, he falls in love with a girl of the native and becomes one of them.

Intriguing story-telling, with magnificent pictures on the screen, you will soon find yourself being transported into a beautiful world where you can see things glow in the dark at night and you can ride birds and fly in the sky. DEFINITELY a must watch. Those who have not, you better hurry or else you must have missed a great movie in the history of mankind.

BOYS' NIGHT OUT

with Mr. Hisham and Mr. Faisal

with Mr. Zahidi and Mr. Faisal

We have been working very hard these first two weeks of school term so I guess everyone deserves a break. So it was a short night out; first at the cinema and then, a dipper (dinner+supper?) at a nearby restaurant.

There are suddenly too many interesting movies at the theatre. To watch or not to watch, that is the question.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

THE DARKEST HOUR IS JUST BEFORE THE DAWN


patiently waiting for the food to arrive
delicious prawn noodles

lemon grass iced-tea

Officially, I can go back to my normal life now. Today, everybody was happy as we all had successfully completed our seasonal duties. It was not an easy job, but it was somewhat fun especially when I had the chance to some familiar faces once in a blue moon.

As usual, we went for lunch before we went our separate ways. So this time we chose D'Idaman Cafe, a restaurant which is actually the one managed by the hotel where I had been staying for the last few weeks. Most of us ordered the cafe's specialty which was called Mi Udang Kuala (prawn noodles) and Teh Serai (tea with lemon grass). Surprisingly, the noodles were good and the tea was refreshing, something new to my taste buds. My comment: highly recommended, something worth trying. By the way, if you follow my blog, most of the events written here are related to eating activities. No wonder people are complaining that I am getting fat. Help!

That's it about my new discovery of the quaint town of Parit Raja, Batu Pahat. I wonder when the next time will be.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

MEETING MY SENIOR FROM COLLEGE

with Mr. Kamaruzali in front of M-Suite Hotel

I had the opportunity to meet one of the seniors from college when he was here attending a seminar. When I first registered in Fourth College in UPM back in 1997, Mr. Kamaruzali's room was just one floor under mine. So his room was one of the favourite places for me to hang out when there was nothing much to do. And his roommate was the late Mr. Rahiman Hassan Basri. Other than chit-chatting or sharing snacks, instant noodles or drinks, one of the favourite things that I remember we used to do was listening to this one radio programme which was aired late on Sunday night. In that programme, people would write in telling their real lives experience, mostly about falling in and out of love, and then it would be followed by songs which were related to the theme of the story being read. Life was much simpler during those days, we could just depend on transistor radios.

It is always a pleasure to see old friends, either from school or university. The reasons could be how life was much more fun back then and how we have missed the good old days...

Thanks Mr. Kamaruzali, for the time as well as the treat. Hope to see you again some other time.

THE FIRST POTLUCK FOR 2010

with Mr. Punithan, our counsellor

So the potluck for this year was done real early, during the first week of school. Actually Puan Jainah wanted to prepare tea for the teachers in the staff room and then a few teachers contributed some delicacies as well. This time we had fried banana, green beans porridge, talam sagu, bakar jagung and popia. Looking forward to many more potlucks to come in the year of 2010.

MOVIE REVIEW 8 - THE CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKUEL

Zainal and the Chipmunks


As soon as I had completed with this one particular task, I quickly made my way to meet my beloved little friends, the chipmunks. I regard this as a reward for my success in finishing my work just before the deadline.

What else can you expect when you put together cartoon characters with real human beings? Hilarious! If you are stressed with your work, or with your studies; or if you are feeling down, or you are dumped by someone and think that this is the end of the world, go and watch this movie. What more, other than Alvin, Simon and Theodore, you will meet the female version of chipmunks (called chipettes) named Britney, Jeanette and Eleanor. They have good songs too, of course sung in chipmunk voices. Now I cannot get the sound of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" out of my head.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

EX-STUDENTS VISITING SCHOOL

Two ex-students came visiting the school - they must have missed school life after all these years. I will definitely not forget Anas Malik Omar, even after his long stay in Scotland and as forShahima, she has not changed a bit, and they were both from the SPM 2003 batch. Too bad, they came at the wrong time so there was no chance to get them to eat the canteen food again

As for the other ex-students, if you think you want to have a look around at the school you have left behind for many years, you are most welcome for a visit without a guide, though. If you come in the afternoon, you can just say you come to see me but you might have to fill in a form, if the security guard insists. Thanks to Anas and Shima for dropping by.

ADVERTISEMENT - If you think you are interested to buy imported European cars at reasonable prices, you can contact Anas. [hint: This is not a paid advertisement but the commission can be collected later]

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

WELCOMING A NEW BATCH OF STUDENTS

an international singing sensation in the making

meet the fans session

The new session for 2010 started on Monday, 4th January. We welcomed both the new and old students back to school. The first day of school went well and not many parents turned up for late registration for form one and Remove which was actually a relief. The number of students is never decreasing, there are approximately about 1250 students in the afternoon. The more the merrier. Let's just pray that I can live a happy life in school with that many students around.

[NOTE: Thanks to Pn. Rafidah Abd. Samat for emailing me the photographs]

Friday, January 1, 2010

CELEBRATING NEW YEAR

with Mr. Nasir and Mr. Hisham

with Mr. Zahidi and Mr. Masrizal

I celebrated New Year but not like other people, no fireworks or people doing countdown. I had to finish my work in school for the event the next morning. My heartfelt gratitude to my friends who were willing to lend their hands and burn the midnight oil to make sure everything was completed at the eleventh hour. We even managed to go to a nearby McD for a light snack at about 12:30 a.m. Pray that I can wake up in three hours time from now.