Thursday, May 22, 2014

while I was invigilating..

A Farewell Ode

The first day to me was really nerve-wracking,
My thoughts were like 'they're gonna be judging',
As expected, we all slowly got to talking,
After that history was in the making.

Like often before, there were times I got sad,
And maybe sometimes a little bit mad,
But surely there were moments I was ever so glad,
To have met you people who ain't all that bad.

My hope for everyone is succeess all the way,
May you find it in studying or on any given day,
Be sure to be good and of course always pray
That a time will come that we meet again someday.

You know where to find me, that is if you care to,
God willing I'll be here to receive a postcard or two,
But silence will not mean that all is forgotten,
From the bottom of my heart please accept this little token.

- Ms Shereen, 21st May 2014-
In memory of my mentees, M12B, M12C & E12D


Monday, March 31, 2014

take 5

Currently alone in the living room, listening to the radio, taking five, and pretty much enjoying this quiet time. Make sure you do this kind of thing once in a while dear. Do things that make you happy. Make you calm.. Gives you peace.. :)

I love you!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

there's something better, InsyaAllah

It was your Wan's birthday recently and I decided to give her a gift I think people don't give these days. An album filled with printed photos! It was given out of a sense of guilt too cuz I think we have owed her a lot of pictures in the past years which have been stored in a CD somewhere and forgotten.. This is clearly an era where snapping photos on your phone is so habitual you don't realise that you've already stored thousands of photos in the process. But most pictures we gave Wan was the one we took with a real camera :) It's a shame photos on your phone don't turn up nice when you print them. There's SOooo many photos of you on my phone dear ;) Anyway, I recommend people to do this. The gift actually makes a nice conversation starter and gets you going down memory lane.. A lane that you have also kept in one part of your memory or may even have unintentionally forgotten.

Bottom line is all the pictures were happy pictures. Don't we all take pictures when we're happy? Looking back at pictures dated 10 years ago remind you that at that time, days were sunny, smiles were bright, bonds were tight, everyone looked healthy, skinny (?).. etc. That last part may sting a little but it gives you hope perhaps that you can still look that way :D

But my dear, life isn't all that's contained in a happy picture. Life is a series of many moments, good, bad, happy, sad. When you're big enough to read this I'm sure you'd already have experienced those moments. As much as I don't want you to get hurt or feel sad, it will be something that you will have to feel. Everyone goes through it. I did too. And probably will again in the future.

I could rant about what kinds of sadness you could possibly feel but experience is the best teacher. Again, it's not that I'd wish this on you but suffice to say it's inevitable.

If you ever feel bad or sad, cry if you must but also remain strong.. One way is to know that Allah is the almighty God who if you keep in your heart, will always be there for you. So always remember Allah, pray and ask for good things. Ask to have a strong heart to endure all obstacles. Ask to be thankful for everything. Know that not everyone you meet will be nice to you, talk to you nicely, but be nice anyway and talk nice to them. Think good of people and of situations and always know that things happen for a reason.

My dear Khadeeja, I hope I'll be able to be by your side through your good times and your bad times. I want to be there. But I know you will have to face some of those times on your own and so may this post be something you can come back to if you need a little boost when something gets you down. Mama isn't really a master of words and so I'd like to quote a bit from a favourite writer of mine, Yasmin Mogahed:

`Sometimes Allah doesn't give you what you ask for when He wants to give you something more. Sometimes He doesn't give you right away because He knows there's something better. Or so you can keep asking. Because it is in the process of begging, the process of crying to Allah, that you are elevated and brought nearer. It is in the process of asking that you are brought to the foot of his throne.'

On that note, I don't just dedicate this post to you my dear, but also to everyone out there who is going through a rough time. I dedicate it to the families and friends of flight MH370 who I know are going through a difficult time unimaginable to me.. I pray Allah gives you strength and elevate you to be nearer to Him..

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

bon appetit!

At an early age, I was blessed to have an appreciation for food ;) Your Wan will always tell me the story of how one day I came back from school and proudly told her that `Today I had seconds Mummy'.. (meaning: I asked for a second round of food at the canteen) The school I attended at the time prepared food for their students and all we had to do was queue up and be served :) 

My favourite was the sweet stuff. That hasn't changed much. I still have a sweet tooth. I don't recall much of what exactly were my favourite food.. but all I know is I had an appetite and it led to several nicknames used fondly by my relatives that I choose not to mention here.. It's no fun that sometimes when they're reminiscing the `good ol'days' they remind me of it.. :p

At 2 and a half years going on 3, you love a number of healthy food. Thank you Allah. Carrots are your favourite vege; you love fruits especially apples, grapes and watermelon. You love my spaghetti and most recently, your Daddy's macaroni and cheese ;), anything soupy and also yogurt. I'm kinda glad the only chocolate you seem to eat these days is only the Kinder Joy choc you get with a toy. You can finish the whole thing on your own :)

I can talk all day about food but let us not forget to feel blessed we have the ability to taste our food with joy and that we get to eat enough everyday.. Be thankful for that, don't be wasteful and above all try to get to know the food you eat. Most people realize a little too late that what they've been eating all this while has affected their health. I may be in denial when I say that I'm not one of them.. but what I'm certain of is at this age I want to be more mindful of what I eat. It would've been great if I had taken more interest when I was much younger.

It's only when you feel age creeping up on you that you start to take notice.. I just hope it's not too late :)

Be healthy my love.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

thank you for reading

I've come to this page several times over this past month tyring to get something down but it has never come to anything. When I went off facebook early this month (sorry I'm no longer there), I thought of writing a long entry on how I felt saying goodbye to it.. haha.. Then I thought of writing about how much time I feel I'm losing this holiday cuz I haven't been able to finish a single book though I've started on so many.. :D  Point is, I think I stopped myself writing them because it was just so mundane. (Even if I think blogs sometimes can actually make the most boring stories become fascinating tales)

So I was thinking.. maybe it's time I moved on to greener pastures.. In other words, I think I need to do some changes to this blog..

It has long occured to me that my musings here mean only so much to the writer. Me. Of course I aim to please others too in the sense that I always hope that whatever is shared here can touch somebody else out there. After all, aren't those what blogs are for? To express thoughts, ideas, etc. To connect to others or at least to create some sort of response or afterthought for readers?

Friends ask me why I write and what I write. I try and give a convincing answer that makes them want to come and read it. But I don't think I have been successful :p Which leads me to conclude that I write for me mostly. How selfish can that be... haha..

Anyway, I've been thinking of dedicating my new blog to someone. From now on I'll be writing for someone.  A very special person. But I know that it can benefit others too, hopefully.. :) I sometimes think that at least when I'm no longer on this earth, my words can remain alive and bring meaning, as long as someone reads it..

I'd like to leave some part of me, buried in between words.

So, the new blog will be dedicated to my beloved Khadeeja Najwa. My daughter. May she find lessons in what I share and may it be a source of comfort when I'm gone..

Before I embark on the journey of the new blog, I'd like to say thank you for reading all this while.. Till the next entry.. happy new year!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

what you do to me

There's this joke I think you must have heard about students' excuses for not getting homework done - cuz the dog ate it :P.. Well I kinda was given a similar excuse like that because someone skipped class last week - because his cat died (and he was depressed). In a moment of anger, I quickly scoffed the excuse and said `you expect me to believe that?'.. only to regret it much much later because the student was telling the truth. In my defense, my anger had stemmed not only from that one incident but was an accumulation of frustration and anger I had felt but never quite expressed...

Moral of the story: it may have felt good to go into an anger spree moment (since at the end of the class I had taken extra time to scold the guilty ones at the expense of everyone else in the class -it wasn't just one student who had skipped class..).. but it just left a bitter taste in my mouth and in my heart after I recalled all the things I had said to them :(

And this is coming from the person who normally doesn't make angry look angry. But oh, what these kids do to me..

Yet, I believe there are always other ways to handle `sticky' situations in class and I vow to try and not get my emotions all tangled in a knot in the aftermath of such a situation.. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Dear XXX

I was once a student like you who when it came to studying, needed silence. It made me think better and also absorb more. I suppose I'm no different now than I was before - I work better when everyone else is asleep :) When do you think I have time to write here? Of course it's during these rare occasions of solitude.

Been harping about writing to my students for weeks now and rarely do I try to put myself in their shoes and think about the challenge of writing. Maybe because it has become second nature to me.. I keep telling them that in order to be good at writing you simply must write. Just write anything to start with. But later on what is needed is also a reason for writing, plus an audience, even if the audience is yourself.. ;)

So today, I'd like to write a letter. Something I haven't done in a really long time. Simply because facebook, twitter and instagram have all `taken over' in narrating the story of my life..(on some days).. In the spirit of written assignment (year 2 students should know what this is..) I will write an informal letter (such a cliche choice of students) to a long lost friend/ student/ relative who I have not seen for God knows how long. The purpose of this letter is to share things in my life right now. (so not a lame excuse because this is what people did before the invention of the internet.. )

Dear XXX,

I really cannot remember the last time we were in touch. Time seems to have edged its way into our life and forced us to go about our business without pause. Well, guess what, I'm pausing now :) How are you my dear friend? I sincerely hope that you are in the best of health and living a good life. I thank God that I'm in a good and happy place now.

I still teach and I still love what I'm doing. With age I guess I'm becoming a more `seasoned' teacher who is now less gullible. I can smell problematic students from afar and know pretty well when there are jewels to be polished. I also still believe that there are no loss causes and I try to be optimistic about students who constantly need scolding or reminding.. (though this part still breaks my heart all the time).

Besides teaching, what I treasure most is of course being a mother. After 11 years of `honeymooning' the center of our world is now our dearest daughter.. Motherhood is such a grand experience, one I praise Allah for letting me have. And so with all duties and roles you have to play, comes a lot of challenges too and to be honest, there are days when I feel having a pair of hands (plus hubby's) is really not enough.. :(   I could really go on ranting about this but suffice to say, I'm learning everyday!

What about you? How're your children? How's studies? Are you taking in all the experiences living abroad? Don't you miss Malaysia? When are you coming back? We miss you here. 

Mama and Papa are well. Of course they are aging but I always see them as strong beings who amaze me all the time with their ability to do so many things at their age. Mama may not be so strong in her knees now but she bounces back every time after one of her painful episodes and the next thing you know she's cooking rendang and nasi minyak.. :) Papa on the other hand is still working and now has a smart phone! :)) He'll be 68 next month. We have great parents Alhamdulillah. I hope that I am as strong willed as they are when I'm their age..

I don't know what else to update here. I could talk about a million other things but you'd be bored to death.. :p  But if you must know.. I'm currently reading Life of Pi and several other books I started but haven't finished. Also hubby and I are into homeopathy and medicating ourselves that way.. Alhamdulillah so far so good and it tastes like a sweet :) Plus I wish I could exercise more. Have not been on my bike for 2 years now and it's getting dusty in the store room. 

Well.. I have to go. Hope you've been entertained by this letter.. Have a long weekend ahead and I'm looking forward to some family time and maybe me time.. huhu.. If you're back in town we should catch up with a meal or coffee. Till then, do keep in touch! Take care.


ps/we now only have 3 cats left but also 3 fish - Wawa talks to them.. poor baby, I think she wants a sibling... :D