Monday, March 28, 2011

silly billy

During my first year or was it my second year at University..(my memory fails me..), I had to complete a few weeks of teaching practice. To start with, I was placed at a primary school with a coursemate.. No `real' teaching was done at first since we basically had to observe the teachers in action and jot down all possible tips we could get from the classes we were in.. What the teacher did, how she did it.. was it a good thing.. We had to be REFLECTIVE..

Anyway our first class which i recall was with the little ones.. maybe aged between 5-6..

Things I remember:

The kids were adorable creatures with 1001 behaviours..

The class was a colourful array of papers and objects.. (with tiny chairs & tables)..

.. and of course the phrase used by one teacher still fresh in my memory: silly billy

Whenever a child made a mistake or was behaving badly.. the teacher would say.. `Oh, you're a silly billy aren't you..' or 'Don't be a silly billy'.. And till this day, I just love that phrase - cuz it rhymes and doesn't really sound insulting.. just kinda cute..;)

Whether the children were able to take that comment positively I have no idea.. but kids I suppose are more forgiving than adults..

As a human being who is far from perfect.. I have had my share of silly billy moments. And though you feel like kicking yourself when that happens, you just have to wear that title for a while.. at least until the guilt, shame, sadness, etc.. washes itself away from your conscience..

Saturday, March 26, 2011

happy endings

At the age that I am, I am well aware that life is not made up of happy endings all the way.
You get your spectrum of moments and that is life as it is.

But when reading a book or watching a movie..., what I want to see is a happy ending.

And when I get to the end of a story I thought would give me an ending it deserved - especially after going through the ups and downs of a character.. it just upsets me that someone has to die or that the ending falls far from my expectations..

Just had that moment with a book I finally finished - `Never Let Me Go' - ok the title maybe should've given me a clue of it's possible ending.. But still..

Kazuo Ishiguro (the author) writes beautifully. His strength lies in his ability to describe events with such detail. The plot is fascinating.. though I kinda only got it almost towards the end of the story- that the children in it were `clones'.. or `designed' to be used as donors.. It didn't emphasize that explicitly in the novel but instead, Ishiguro focused more on the memories of these kids at the school they were placed..

Anyway, basically, the ending was kinda sad and left me wanting more.

Maybe if I watch the movie it'll give me a better sense of closure to the story.
Or maybe I should just accept the fact that not all stories end with a happy ever after.
Just like life.

ps/ There is an `ever after' -after death that is, in our after life.. Let's all work at making it a happy ever after.. for life will be eternal there..

Friday, March 18, 2011


As I write this entry it is with realisation that it is my 100th.
Nothing to be proud of really but kinda making it a big deal cuz the number sounds grand :)

So.. upon returning from the land so fondly called `Down Under', I was thinking of writing 100 things about my trip..erm.. would anyone be interested to read it?

Let's try..


1. I love MAS. 2.Truly laden with MH= malaysian hospitality 3. it fed us with ice-cream on both journeys to and fro.. 4. with superb in-flight entertainment :D 5. read my book only on the way to Aussie but not on the way back.. too distracted by the entertainment on board.. ;)


6. The IB workshop drained me but I learnt a lot 7. made new friends! from Australia, Jakarta, India, etc.. 8. got material to use in class

9. it was a fully digital experience as we had to refer to stuff from a website - so EVERYONE was with a laptop.. kinda reminded me of a class with students who use the laptop while I'm teaching.. haha..

10. think I made my college proud by contributing a few times in the workshop.. ;)


11. modern city 12. organised 13. efficient 14. unpredictable weather 15. multi-cultural (like Msia!) 16. went to the Moomba Festival = fireworks! 17. people cycle EVERYWHERE!

18. bicycle lanes 19. bicycle-parking space 20. rental bikes available! 21. people cycle to work in jeans! and shower and change before starting work.. 22. mode of transportation i used = trams (on time!) 23. shops close at 5pm, workshop finished 4.30.. :(( 24. Nandos and KFC are halal there! 25. many other halal restaurants like Indonesian food 26. even an old town kopitiam.. 27. Yarra river - one of the attractions.. lovely view at night


28. Meeting up with ex-KMB students was great. Even though I only taught Sofia (05/07 batch) IELTS for 4 weeks (at that time teachers taught the students), it felt like we had known each other for long. Lovely hospitality and helpful from the first day we were there.. Had dinner together at a halal restaurant = nasi goreng nenas.. ;)

29. They took us on a trip to Brighton Beach on tuesday. We had a little picnic by the beach and it was a cold evening.. brrrr.. but fun!

30. Took a stroll down Docklands later and sipped hot chocolate trying to keep warm..

31. Admired Sofia's skill at reading a map and Jaja's ability to drive a manual car to take us to the beach and around the city that day..


32. Main attraction - the colourful boat houses.. wonder how it looks like with a boat in it. Google the image!


33. Cheaper than going on a proper tour 34. but going there meant you can't get up close and personal with the animals:

35. esp loved the koalas - they just hug the branches of a tree.. and were sooo cute!

36. kangaroos - kinda lazed about and wanted to see them hopping but they didn't
37. little kangaroo sitting in the pouch was not seen
38. enichda's reminded me of my hedgehog but are way cuter and fatter
39. platipus is a mammal that lays eggs!
40. orang utan sanctuary
41. smallest penguins on earth! CUTE!
42. spent half of the day there and took oh so many pics.. was lovely.. i think the zoo is pretty with flowers and shrubbery all around..

43. if i had a second job, I'd want to work with animals..


44. Vegetarian. 45. cooked on one night we were there- salmon + broccoli + dessert (frozen) 46. blessed to stay in an hotel apartment with complete facilities to cook.. ;) 47. even tho halal restaurants were plenty, eating in was still the best.. 48. always be careful of the ingredients tho.. 49. bread, milk and juice were the 3 essential things we always had 50. the fun part was getting vouchers from the organizers to eat during lunch. We had a choice of 2 restaurants to go to and select one meal and drink..


51. Even tho the rate was high RM3.1 = 1 AUD.. I managed to buy some stuff

52. Victoria market is THE place to get good bargains (not sure good quality)..

53. Sadly as shops closed at 5.. (finished course at 4.30) I only shopped at the ever so famous market on the day I was leaving .. which left me very little time to choose and decide (women like me take a lot of time shopping cuz we think too much and can’t decide..)

54. A lot of Indonesians were sellers at the stalls.

55. Due to limited space.. NO souvenirs were bought for my 57 students... :(

56. While packing to go back, I had to sit on my suitcase to zip it.. i think that's the first time that happened..


57. I visited a cousin who has been staying in Melbourne for a couple of years. 58. took a train to his house and met his 5 mth old daughter for the first time 59. My cousin just got a PR status and seems content to stay there permanently..

60. I think it's cool to live and work overseas.. apparently a lot of my cousins and aunts/ uncles are doing that.. Made me wonder if I'd ever be willing to to do that.. and like, stay there forever..

61. The Moomba Festival I went to made me smile and remember a sample individual oral I once gave my students to listen to of an Australian girl talking about the festival as her chosen topic.. ;)

62. In the future will bring a BIGGER suitcase and less clothes.. so I can squeeze in more souvenirs.. haha..

63. Woody, our eldest cat is always in tune with what
we do.. here's a pic of him before we left.

64. This is one when he was looking at things I had bought esp the koala bear key chain he thinks is for him. (hubby says it is for him..)

65. On my flight back there was a lot of turbulence as the plane went into air pockets.. this for me, is always the scariest part when flying.. it gets you thinking of the `what if's' while you're in the air..

66. But what I always love to do when I get to sit near the window is to be amazed at Allah's creation and to just stare at the beautiful clouds and sky hundreds of thousands of feet above the ground.. it surely is a sight you only get to experience when you're in an aeroplane.. Allah is great..

ok.. it seems that I only managed to reach 66.. Not bad.. hehe.. I kinda owe this entry another 34 points.. yikes! I guess I do have some more to say about the trip.. but do you really wanna know? ;)

Till the next post..

Friday, March 11, 2011

leaving on a jet plane

Will embark on a journey to a different continent in less than 24 hours from now..
Want to write something `wow' here but packing my small suitcase and worrying about whether I'm gonna be carrying too much (or too little) has made me exhausted.. Packing sure is a chore..

Am also paranoid that I will leave something behind..

I guess going away for a few days does that to someone..

The cats will be missed of course. One tried to get packed with my belongings as he sat in the suitcase.. cute.. I suppose they sense that we'll be leaving them behind..

As usual, one of the must have's to be packed with my essentials is a story book. It should keep me company on my 8 hour flight.. I have chosen The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. A book I bought last year but never got round to reading.. I tend to read more on holidays as compared to my normal working days. But wait. I'm not going on a holiday.. This is more like a business trip..
Anyhoo.. will pretend that I'm on a holiday anyway and try and take in the new sights and sounds to my best capability... (after the 8.30-4.30 workshop..) and even if shops mostly close at 5.. :p

Pray for my safe journey there and my return.. Maybe I'll have stories to share when i get back InsyaAllah..

ps/ don't miss me too much ;)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

everybody hurts

When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on
Don't let yourself go, 'cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along
When your day is night alone, hold on
If you feel like letting go, hold on
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on

'Cause everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone

If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
Everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes. So, hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts. You are not alone


A famous song in the 90s I used to listen to. Thought about this song early today and felt like sharing..

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Two years ago I did a poetry writing lesson with some previous students during the month of April - National Poetry Month. They were given a list of words and asked to make up a poem.. This was what I made up out of the given words. Somehow felt like sharing this since I've been doing poems in class recently.. Enjoy!

If I have magic

I’d make teardrops delicious

I’d eat on the moon

I’d ride on a balloon

I’d make school funny

I’d make today sunny

If I have magic

I’d make dreams true

Dreams of love

Dreams of you

If I have magic

I’d make you mine

I’d make you love me

Only me

ps/ Let me say for the record that this was not intended for anyone. I was just using the words given.. ;)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

w r i t e!

I once picked out a quote that stated two kinds of readers: those who read to remember and those who read to forget..

Perhaps we could also say that people write to remember and be remembered..?

Have been harping on about writing to my students lately and stressing that in the exams there's always a communicative purpose behind every writing task they have to complete.

After all, what is writing if not to serve a purpose.

Once you know why you're writing, things may become much clearer.. focused.. and ideas will flow..

Of course there are people like us, who blog.. or write diaries, who may not write for any particular purpose or audience.. And so then.. why do we write? (when we know very well that only a fraction of the people we know will read it... at least in my case that is..)

Some people do not share the same concept or need for a blog or a diary.. Why does someone need to write about feelings and stuff..?

In my defense, I write..

to put my thoughts in order.. to even it out, if you may call it..
to share with others things I hope they can relate to
because sometimes only by writing does it allow me to `say' things I can't say out loud..

Sometimes I write just because.

But most importantly, I write for me.

I hope I'll continue writing and if God grants me a long life, that my children too will live to read these ramblings of mine.. and hopefully learn something from it.

Keep in mind that the person to write for is yourself. Tell the story that you most desperately want to read.
Susan Isaacs

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