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.

Love,
Shereen

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