Sunday, June 27, 2010

Terima Kasih Cikgu

Yesterday, 26th June 2010, the state Education Department organized a dinner to celebrate Teacher's Day. It was a massive affair which brought together teachers from the whole state of Negeri Sembilan. Tents filled the MPS field and the atmosphere was like a big kenduri.

From rumours I heard that at least a million was spent on this event. I'm not surprised. The tents would have come up to thousands. There were singers like Mawi who may cost a lot too. Printing of invitation cards; not once but twice to remind teachers of the big do. And of course ... the FOOD.

Attendance was taken and the namelist was handed to a 'monitor' from the state department I believe. I suppose for teachers who did not turn up for the dinner; they will be blacklisted?


This was how it looked like under the tents. Big screens up front and back so we could see what was going on at the stage.

Door gift....a mug with the picture of our beloved Menteri Besar.

The food....gulai daging. It was beef and the Indian teachers were very upset. Five teachers from my table don't eat beef. Now if some other offensive meat was served; what would happen? This is how sensitive people are towards themselves but not towards others.

Fish...mostly head and tail. Oily and hardly any taste.

Some vegetables and sambal belacan at the side. Cabbage and cauliflowers don't cost much. For a million plus budget; can't they give better vegetables like brocolli? We teachers are only worth the value of cabbages...sob sob.

Of course, rice. It smelt a little burnt to me.

Drinks and dessert. None of us touched the syrup after Chan told us she saw at a kenduri she attended, the people put their hands in to stir. Vimala saw somebody at a kenduri stirring with a stick! The container of dessert, supposed to be bubur chacha or whatever. It's like just 3 or 4 spoons. What a waste of plastic container. Could have used the smallest container and saved a few hundred here. It tasted awful after our unofficial taster tasted it. Nobody touched it after that. All of us went for the mineral water and some of us brought our own water.
Oh dear....some missing pictures. There salted fish and 5 pieces of quartered salted eggs to be shared amongst ten teachers. Salted eggs are so expensive that they can't afford to let a teacher have half an egg but share a quarter of an egg.
Do I feel more appreciated after this big grand dinner? How then can a teacher be appreciated if not through a grand and glorious celebration like this?
Will the organizers have a post mortem to brainstorm on the relevance and success of this event, I wonder.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Appreciating Dad

Last Saturday, the kids did some art work in MYF to give to their father for Father's Day. This is their masterpieces.
This is one piece which is so reflective of the person who created it. I think he's trying to tell the dad he is a 5 Star father.....really good father. At this age and he still can't remember to use his apostrophe correctly. How I cringe looking at it and being an English teacher! We have a sticker at the door that says, Jesus' Beloved on Board. One day, I found an 's added to it. I knew straightaway who was the culprit who did it. Asked him why he added the 's. He replied there is a mistake.....there should be an 's to Jesus'. So I had to tell him that if the word ends with an s, the apostrophe comes after the s. A few days later, I saw the 's was removed.

The poet of the family. She used to write lovely poems for us. Quite rare nowadays. Whatever she pens; though simple; carries much depth. As the father says; she gives thought to what she wants to communicate and he appreciates it a lot.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

agonized driving

I had to send two girls to Juasseh today (which is about 115km to and fro). Left about 1045am and returned about 120pm (after registering them and making sure they are fine).

It was a struggle to stay awake as I drove back. Going wasn't so bad as the girls were in the car. Returning was an agony....I had to pinch, slap and talk aloud to keep awake. Did all kinds of things...unwind the window, pray aloud, sing aloud etc etc. Driving long distance has never been easy for me as I tend to fall asleep once I'm in the car.

On Sunday, I have to bring them back (unless a kind teacher is willing to go in my place). I think I will have to ask KC to help me. I dread the thought of driving to and fro Juasseh. If they are selected for the national level camp, I may have to send them on Monday to the same place and bring them back on Friday. This is too much!!! I am a teacher, not a driver!!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

football fever

It's the season where football fans go crazy over a group of men/hunks chasing after a miserable ball on the field. I followed the game four years ago but unfortunately somebody made us get the News channel from Astro; so now we are without the Sports channel. Getting another body to call up Astro to resubscribe to Sports is taking a long time.

Used to be able to discuss football with my students four years ago but I seem to be at a loss now. Quite unable to name the players and I don't even know who is winning or who is losing. This is really bad as I think of myself being able to follow hot and current issues like this so that I can keep the students interested in class especially in a vigorous discussion of the football hunks. I remembered Pam and Llewelyn's class four years ago and how heated we got into discussions on such matter.

Today we called Dominoes for pizza and to our surprise it came along with this cute little shot glass. We have Argentina! (Hmmm....who are the players???) It's so cute that I'm thinking of eating pizza for the next few days.

I've filled it with Bailey...relaxing after dinner (it had been a long day at work and I deserve a shot).

Friday, June 18, 2010

I miss jie jie....

..that was what Dan kept whining yesterday. His sister is attending the Southern District Retreat. It is easier for me to let her go this time compared to a year ago. I just dropped her outside the church and drove off. Don't even know where she is staying and if she needs to pay for the retreat or not. (She needed to pay and I asked Katherine to help out first as I didn't give her much money!)

Dan missed her real bad. Tried to cheer him up by letting him play his NDS but he wasn't so thrilled because he couldn't tell jie jie if he did anything new.

Then he came and said he missed jie jie nagging him.

Later he set the table for dinner and set jie jie's place as usual. When I reminded him that jie jie wasn't at home he said it's ok...let's pretend that she is here.

He sent an sms to jie jie to tell her about his pokemon game. After he sent it off, he exclaimed...I forgot to tell her I miss her!

When bed time came, he complained that he can't sleep without jie jie. There's no one to talk to before sleeping. The two of them will talk and talk till they fall asleep. For a person who is an extreme introvert, jie jie has much to talk to Dan esp during bed time. They talk about the games they play, they make their own stories and put characters to their pets (their soft toys that crowd their beds). Each soft toy has a name and some tale to it.

He is waiting eagerly for jie jie to return today.

Monday, June 14, 2010


One more week left ... I was taking a nap just now and felt something is just not right. Suddenly I bolted up and remembered I have not finished marking my exam papers yet!!!!

This holiday is just too short and here I am lamenting that it is over when there is still a week left. No wonder Lyn gets so emo whenver the hol comes to an end. She has inherited my trait.

Such an anticlimax after spending four days away. Yesterday came home to a house with no water supply and the computer went cuckoo. Sigh.

Today I had to handwash loads and loads of clothes. Imagine four days clothes worn by four persons plus clothes not washed before we left plus clothes left by a niece and a sister....and there is still a basketful upstairs. Indeed it is an anticlimax.

Anyway....the four days away was really good. I need to be away from home to relax. Otherwise I will be thinking of housework, school work, meals to cook, kids' tuition, music class etc etc.

Besides the awesome islands that we visited; I saw something for the first time in my life! A topless sunbather. I had to look at her twice to make sure that she is a she and she is topless. Quickly nudged at Lyn to look (hehehe). How shameless!!! Not an angmoh as one would expect but a local who was escorting an angmoh.

When I was running through the photos yesterday, I discovered that I took a picture of her (not on purpose). I was relaxing in the shade and camwhoring away. I took one at her direction. When I told Lyn about the photo; she was horrified. She asked if I would delete it. I was can I delete it? It's once in a lifetime chance to have such a picture! Anyway the picture is in my facebook under the album Frolicking Under The Sun. (KC said he saw somebody purposely taking a picture of her and the boyfriend appeared and the photographer disappeared.)

Well, that was last week and now I have to face this week. A few things to do on top of my marking. My hair badly needs attention. Lyn needs a haircut too. All of us need to visit the dentist (keeping my fingers cross that one of the kid will be a dentist but I have my doubt they are interested at all).

Back to the grind now!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

in memory of EE

Last night at 10.27, my aunt, Mrs Ling Soon Min nee Yu Yong Huong went home to the Lord. She is mum's youngest sibling. She had been very ill for quite a while and finally her whole system shut down.

She was a teacher in Convent and I was most terrified of her. As a kid, I would go to her house in Bintang Estate after school (as there was no one free to pick me up). Later when she moved to Ayer Tawar, I also followed her (she took the longer route via Kampung Sitiawan) so that she could drop me off the lane before SMAB. When she shifted to Taman Guru, ma would send me to her house in so that she could help me in my school work. How I feared those times. She would hit me with the back of the ruler on my knuckles for every mistake I made. My grades improved by leaps and bounds! She was also my English teacher when I was in Standard 4 and having your aunt as your teacher is almost a nightmare. She never show favoratism and I felt she was even stricter with me compared to the rest of the class. I never grudge the strictness that she showed me because those had been my foundation years and she played an important role to lay the principles right for me especially in my academics.

When I grew to a teenager, my relationship with was more relaxed. I used to park my motorbike in her compound and walked to school via Herbert's house. That was when we started talking a lot. She was mother's mouthpiece to me I think. I was never good in relating to ma even till today as I can't express myself well in Foochow. So it was to Ee that I poured all my feelings on growing up. I would spend time talking to her as she cooked her meal and she would just listen to me and give me quiet advice. When I went through some crisis which must have frightened ma out of her wits, it was Ee who listened to me and understood me without judging me. She didn't tell what was right or wrong but she just guided me tactfully through.

The night before I left for varsity, she phoned and prayed for me. She told me that her prayers would be with me all the time. When I returned home to work, she reminded me to continue serving God in church. I was in a transitional period of being neither here nor there but I took her word and helped in the MYF for a while.

She and her family were with me throughout my wedding both here and back home. They gave me the support which I needed. She was definitely almost like a second mum to me.

Before CNY, I phoned her in Singapore. She told me to visit her when I was home. I never made it to her house. I know what she would tell me : a. be kind to ma b. forget and forgive what is past c. never stop serving God

Yesterday about 7pm, I was overwhelmed by grief for her. It was like she was telling me that she was leaving. Then there was peace and I know she understood what I am going through. I will not be going home to pay my last respects. She is with me in spirit and we have communed. She knows I have much respect and love for her who had been my mentor from my childhood to adulthood.

She was my favourite and closest aunt. Thank you Ee for touching my life and shaping me to be who I am.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

more celebrations

Another round of celebration this weekend. What a party!!

We combined Ing's belated birthday and Dan's pre-birthday celebrations and had a double celebration. Two different generations but with much similarity.

Both are extroverts and can get pretty loud if they want attention. Of course the older is louder than the younger. When Ing was young, we hear her before we see her. I remembered when Dan was a toddler, he would sit with Ing to tell her stories or whatever he saw on tv. He either talk into her ears (filling it with his saliva) or will turn her head to face him.

Physically, he looks more like hers than mine. Same body shape!!!! The hands when they hold the knife to cut the cake.....same same!

Affectionate and manja....both also manja with their respective mothers. Ing has her way with ma which I lack. She has the patience, kindness and shows her affection openly to her. Dan is very demonstrative in his affections to me unlike the sis who is more reserved.

Great talkers....both of them love to talk non stop. I just don't know how one can have so much to say....give them a chance, they will just talk and talk swing their arms and legs.

So to the two babies of the family...God bless you with a good year and many more years ahead.

And....both love to have people around them. So it was a party with their favourite people around.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tips on how to score in exam

It's exam season again. You can't possibly finish all your revision especially memorizing History facts. It's crazy. Here are some methods to help you score. Pretty effective as only fellow students can see but not the teachers invigilating.

1. When you see your friend from the next door going to the toilet, count till twenty; then raise your hand and ask for permission to go toilet. Most of the time the teacher allows especially when you wear a pitiful face. Then quickly exchange notes with your friend in the toilet.

2. Keep notes in the toilet. It is a pretty convenient place to look up facts. If you are brave, put the notes in your pocket. You can be sure it will not be stolen. But of course if you have cruel teachers like Pn Ting (who will make you empty your pockets) invigilating you; think twice before doing it.

3. Scribble some stuff on the desk; somewhere not noticeable. After the exam when no one is looking, just rub off the evidence.

4. If you wear baju kurung, scribble the notes on your arm. Be extra careful when you pull up your sleeve to check on the notes. Make sure no one is looking.

5. Make a pact with your friends. Change seats so that you are close to them. Don't worry, the teachers won't notice. They are half blind most of the time. Then you can always signal to each other and help each other out.

6. Borrowing stuff during exam is so common. Everybody is doing it. So slip your query into your pencil lead box and pass it to your friend. Pretend that she needs to borrow some leads from you.

7. Of course if your teacher is busy marking, or reading or dozing off; you can just make signs to each other and the teacher wouldn't know what on earth is going on. With your fingers, A B C and D can be easily formed.

8. Make some codes with your friends like tapping the table once, twice or thrice for A B C. Since only smart people cheat; am sure you can come up with fantastic codes which the teacher will not notice as attempts to cheat.

9. If you are seated next to a generous brainy; this would be heaven!!! You are seated so close, you don't even have to stretch your neck to see answers.

10. I know of some friends who are real friends....they are willing to pass their answers to you. If you have such a friend, treasure her forever. It's hard to come by true friends.

11. If at all you are caught cheating, blame it on the teacher. The teacher is not looking, the teacher is sleeping, the teacher did not inform the students that cheating is wrong.....Soon the principal will be so appalled by the teacher's attitude that you will be forgotten.

Wow....what a list. I must be the silliest person on earth not to know all these when I was in school. I spent 12 years in school and 4 years in varsity and I HAVE NEVER CHEATED IN EXAM BEFORE. Can you believe it? Had I cheated I would not be a teacher but maybe .... hmmmmm.

Anyway...all the best in scoring in the exam.

her favourite food

Finally there's some peace and quiet in the house and am sitting on my favourite throne. So here is to blogging again after staying away for a while.

Last weekend Lyn officially turned 14. So I decided to make it special by preparing all her favourite food.

In the morning, prepared her a special breakfast. I hardly do this nowadays.....she just takes milk and cereal.

This is maggi cheese which I prepared on Friday. It's a new recipe. Tried it out because it has cheese in it.

This is how it looks like after frying it (rolled in biscuit crumbs). Very crispy and nice but can't really taste the cheese. Mum loves it. A lot of work and not easy to get it in good shape. It will be my last time doing it. Too oily.

This is everybody's favourite except Dan. MIL's recipe for yam cake. But I was too greedy....threw in a whole yam. Not enough flour to bind it so it was kind of mushy. The taste was fantastic (a lot liao inside). I baked it in the oven later and it helped to make it drier.

Ing made her all-famous Vietnamese popiah. Lyn loves popiah of any kind. Good dish as it has lots of vegetables after taking so much fried stuff. The sauce is the best part of the popiah...chillies and garlic with lots of lime juice in fish sauce. is a must...Lyn's all time favourite. This keropok is not home made. Bought it when we were at Gambang, Kuantan. Very very good. Must get supply the next time we visit Kuantan.

This is her birthday cake. May not look impressive but I was begged not to make it anymore because it is too delicious and sinfully fattening. I had not the time to get a picture of it after it is sliced. It is chilled cheese cake with digestive biscuit crumbs at the bottom. The only thing lacking is peach to decorate it. This cake must be eaten slowly, to savor the saltiness of the biscuit combined with the rich creamy cheese plus evaporated milk topping.
It's such a pleasure to make all these and see the glee on her face to be able to eat all her favourite food at one go.