t-2 days  

Posted by Hyllma

Time sure flies when you least expect it. But for what it's worth, this year's school holidays was better than last year's, on so many levels.

First is because I didn't have to invigilate the SPM exams this year.. Sitting in a room, for 2 hours, sometimes more, going up and down the aisles, watching over the kids, and seeing that they don't cheat, is just not my cup of tea. Lucky for me, the bosses let me off this year, since I'd already invigilated the previous year. yeay me!

What's the best thing you can do during a school holiday? Of course, catching up on sleep is one of the most popular things people usually do when they have the chance. We initially made plans to go to Bandung and visit my sister there, but then the ticket prices were a wee bit out of our budget. So scratched Bandung off the list, and we looked for a place less expensive, but no less exciting. So in the end we decided (no, wait, my DAD decided on Pangkor). And we had fun there.

And I got to spend time with my best friend, doing absolutely nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. We spent time, hung out together, to just be. It was fun since I'd normally be busy the first six months of the year due to debates, and from July-October preparing the kids for exams (which includes marking TONNES of essays, riddled with atrocious grammar errors, God help me!)..So the school hol's the only time I get to spend with them without having to rush, or worry about meeting deadlines, or essays that I hadn't marked yet.

And it's new year in approximately 2 days (and counting...) So yes, it's that time of the year when people are busy making resolutions, hoping that all of them get fulfilled. Personally, though, I don't think New Year's the only time for a resolution. The important thing is not that you only wish for something to happen; but, rather, you take steps to make your dreams a reality. Which is what I'm planning to do. But I guess it's enough to wish that 2009 would be a better year for all of us (amidst all the terrible predictions I've read in the papers!)

Happy New Year, everyone! Have a wonderful, happy, and blessed 2009! :)

pangkor, part 2  

Posted by Hyllma

me and Emi on board the ferry to Pangkor

iklan sunglasses kat Jetty Lumut

with our tour guide, Syahril Teh at the Kota Belanda's 'Batu Bersurat'

Pangkor getaway  

Posted by Hyllma

My dad had been mulling the idea of going somewhere this school holidays, partly because it had been ages since the whole family went anywhere for a holiday. And partly because almost everyone is home this school holiday...

The Pangkor trip wasn't exactly planned a few months in advance, since our plans kept changing. First it was PD, then Melaka, then PD trip got cancelled, then was back on, you get the picture. So finally, Ayah decided to go to Pangkor on Saturday (and we were supposed to go on Sunday!), so imagine the scrambling my sister had to go through, just to book hotel rooms for all seven of us.

So yes, Sunday morning came, and we made sure everything was in order. Before leaving, we wanted to board Ennet at the vet's in Section 13, but we arrived a bit late, and it was already closed. Luckily, Jingles at Section 9 agreed to board Ennet although the lady had initially hesitated (especially when she saw that Ennet was expecting). Luckily,though, she gave in when we said that we'd pick Ennet up on Monday. Phew. One problem solved.

The Pangkor trip was memorable for a number of reasons. First is the fact that it was our first family outing since ages ago, and second, would be the fact that my dad lost his phone in the ferry; which could have been because someone pickpocketed him in the ferry, or while we were busy getting out. And i also rode the bicycle since ages ago. It was pretty weird at first, cos I had problems adjusting to the bike, but things got better from there. And the ride to the beach was wonderful. Partly because there was no traffic, but mostly because the scenery was just breathtakingly beautiful. (I wish I could upload the pics but I can't find my phone's connector cable. Next post, maybe...)

And of course, the trip round the island just before we left for the jetty was just great. Our tour guide, Syahril, next to being a chatterbox, was a veritable source of information about the island. We saw people boat building, and stopped at a factory at the island where they process marine products like ikan bilis, ikan masin,and the like. We also went to Kota Belanda, and Batu Bersurat (not like the one in Terengganu) and a Chinese garden/temple (can't recall the name) where we saw three arapaima fish swimming in the water. (You can also see them at the Senawang Giant)

So, yes, although the trip to Pangkor was a short one, it was wonderful. Just what we needed to let our hair down, and just let the world go by for a while.

Now, time to think of our next destination.... :)

a little tweaking...  

Posted by Hyllma

i bullied my little sister into editing some pictures i had uploaded off the internet. and asked her to make a collage of the three norwegian forest cats i saved. and the above banner is the result. never mind that my blog name is no longer visible, and is instead replaced by the word 'adorable' (which refers to the cats, not the blog!)

so yes, we're all still missing our dear jack. but as the saying goes, life goes on. and it is only fitting to hope and wish that jack is somewhere, in a far better place, free of the suffering he had had to endure since this past year.

going 'nasi-kandar' - ing tomorrow! (i think the guy at the nasi kandar place put ganja on his food. cos i sure am addicted to his nasi kandar---especially thinking of the huge serving they offer!!!

ode to a dear friend  

Posted by Hyllma

if you gazed into his silver-gray eyes, i'm pretty sure you'd be charmed.in fact, it was one of the first things that drew me to him. that, and his oddly dark brown/black nose.

he was like the little brother we never had. even though he was just a cat, he was treated like one of the family. we'd always remember how much joy he brought into our lives.

i still remember that day around a year ago, when the vet diagnosed him with feline aids. at first i was shellshocked, thinking how in the world it was possible for such a thing. but jack being who he was, fought on, armed with our love and care. when i brought him to the vet last weekend (since he had refused to eat), she herself was amazed that jack lasted this long.

anyone who knew or remembered him would be surprised how scrawny jack looked in his last days. i had a hunch that the end was coming, since his legs were clammy when i touched them. he had difficulty eating anything other than liquid food since his gums were swollen, and she didn't recommend scaling for jack given his weak physical condition. and she pretty much told me that there wasn't much that we could do for him, except offer him supportive medication. given the benefit of hindsight, i feel that the doctor just didn't want to tell us that jack's days were numbered. with a single digit.

it was difficult to believe that the jack that we knew, who was so rambunctious and jumping around pretty much everywhere was reduced to a shell of his former self. i still remember how he would wake us up every morning, and request for his water bowl, and wait patiently for us to feed him (at the dining table, no less!).

i fed him some soup last night, which turned out to be his last supper, around 8.00 plus, not too long after my family left for a forum or something at the umno shah alam building. i remember gingerly picking him up, putting him on my lap, and feeding tiny amounts of soup my sister made for him. and not long after that, he had a seizure. scratch that. two seizures, which scared the living daylights out of me, since i've never been particularly very good at taking care of cats. my experience of taking care of cats would amount to buying them food and making sure they eat. my sisters usually played nurses and caretakers to the cats.

so i did what i could to comfort him, which was to ruffle his fur and assure him that he was going to be okay, and put him back in the cage. i promised myself that i'd check back on him the next time i came down.

so after taking some cold medications, i went upstairs to watch tv, and rest. and when i came down, i was surprised when i saw his mouth was slightly open, along with his eyes, so i gave him a gentle nudge. and that was when i discovered that he was gone.

there is a certain finality with death. in a sense, i'm happy that jack is no longer suffering. but on the other hand, i'm sad that we've all lost a dear, fluffy little friend who brought so much joy and happiness into our lives.

rest in peace, dear jack. you're sorely missed.

too little, too late  

Posted by Hyllma

The country was recently shaken (literally) by news of landslips and landslides, one after another. I guess it's Nature's way of telling us that we have, indeed, gone too far.

And of course, in true Malaysian fashion, experts and politicians started spewing out comments, which I find not only irritating, but coming too late. Yes, the site of the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide is not too far from the Highland Towers site (1.5 km approximately), and residents have commented to the MPAJ but did anyone listen, take heed, or take stock of what happened in 1993? I don't think so. I think it's rather too late now to tell us that the soil at Bukit Antarabangsa is not stable, not suitable for construction, etc, etc. I'm sure we are very much aware of all that.

It's definitely the wrong time to be pointing fingers or passing the buck. Yes, the landslide happened. What is best now is to make sure it does not happen again. Perhaps the powers that be can think before they act/issue statements on how best to prevent the situation from recurring.

So, who's to blame? The developers, for wanting to cash in on the 'exclusiveness' of the area? The residents, for wanting to live 'an exclusive address'? Or the local council, for giving a nod for the project to go on anyhow, despite the fact that there are serious risks involved?

Of course it is easier to point the fingers at a, b, or c..What is difficult is to take ownership/responsibility of what happened.

Let's just hope that such tragedy never recurs. My prayers to those who lost their family members and friends. Al-Fatihah.

transporting disappointment  

Posted by Hyllma

I had the good fortune to watch the premiera of Transporter 3 at the TGV Sunway Pyramid the other day, and I walked out disappointed.

The truth is, I had been looking forward to an exciting time at the movies..Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the movie, but then again...

I had enjoyed the previous two installments of The Transporter movies, and was hoping that this time around, it would be the same, adrenaline-pumping non-stop actions, thrills and spills.

The movie had plenty of that. Actions, fight sequences..but that was all. There was not much plot to begin with. If there was, it was simplistic, and so darn slow. I mean, why is it that I had to wait halfway through the movie to find out exactly what Frank Martin's assignment was? And the lines delivered by Valentina (I don't remember the name of the actress, which goes on to further explain why the movie wasn't all that memorable)- well, they were cheesy, and wasn't interesting at all. I mean, throughout the whole movie, she only talked about two things - food, and sex. Sex, and food. Smacks right off intelligence, don't you think? And throughout the movie, I felt like giving her a tight slap for being soooooooooooo terribly annoying (or maybe two, or thirteen...)

So there's my take on The Transporter 3. A lot of action, not much story (which reminds me of Wanted, which I watched not too long ago...)

Maybe it's better if you'd just buy the DVD version from one the apeks at the DVD shop. Then probably you'd feel less cheated off your money...

(temporary) blindness  

Posted by Hyllma

i'm one of those people who would be literally blind as a bat without vision aids (which in this case meant, most of the time, contacts!)

i hadn't really paid much thought to how much being able to see really meant. not really, anyway, until i discovered not too long ago that one of my contacts was missing. and i had already planned to go out with a friend tomorrow..so, let's see... imagine going round the malls, in, say, mid valley, with only approximately 50% of your visual acuity (and not to mention the headache that would ensue from all the squinting i would have to do!)

it's not like i've never lost my contacts before. it happened, quite a number of times, but most of the time i'd always have a spare pair handy, just in case. but it wasn't quite the case this time..cos i only brought home an extra pair (which i am currently using!) , thinking that i wouldn't need to bring home the entire two boxes since i was only going to be on leave only for a month. my gut was gnawing at me to bring the entire set, but i dismissed it without a thought. and look where it got me.

i guess it's true what they say- always trust your gut instincts.

so there i was, looking for a tiny piece of plastic (which had probably shrivelled, since i last put it on yesterday night before going out for dinner)..and my hands were all over the carpet trying to find where the tiny thing was. apparently, it slipped from my fingers when i was storing it for the night...

lucky for me, I FOUND IT!

so, moral of the story, don't bring home an extra pair. BRING TWO- JUST IN CASE. or, GET TINTED CONTACTS. like the big bad wolf in 'the red riding hood' said, "All the better to see..."

futsal oh futsal  

Posted by Hyllma

my sisters had been trying to coax me to play futsal ever since the school holidays started, and i only agreed to play today.

part of the reason i had been pretty hesitant about it was the fact that i'm mostly an introvert..that, and the fact that i've never been very good at sports..so it naturally follows that i was not really into these kinds of stuff..but then i decided this morning, what the heck, just give it a try and see how it goes.

so off i went with my sisters (there were four of us)..and waited for the rest of the gang to show up. and then we were off. i guess i must've made a fool of myself there on the pitch (if you call it that, i'm not sure what it is actually called) with my futsal-playing skills which were, almost, let's see..zero. but the point is i had fun.. (i think i remember screaming more than i did playing, when the ball actually went to the other team...)

so despite the aches and bruises (i stubbed my toe somehow, can't really recall how that happened), i enjoyed it. wasn't really in it to help lose weight or anything health-related. it was all in the name of fun. good ole fun.

let's hope my motivation stays afloat until next saturday (our next game)...

what's the juice....  

Posted by Hyllma

with yoga? I don't understand all the hullaballoo surrounding the issue. I mean, yes, yoga has its roots in Hinduism. So does that mean that if I go and attend my friend's wedding ceremony in a Sikh Gurdwara it makes me less of a Muslim, which then makes my belief in Islam somehow diminish? What about those uncles and aunties who practice Qi Gong, which has roots in Buddhism? Does that also erode their faith in the Almighty Allah? Cos I don't see them rushing to pray in a Buddhist temple after their Qi Gong sessions if that's what you mean...

To me, it's rather shallow and simplistic to simply assume (the key word being assume) that because people practice yoga, therefore it automatically follows that their faith will be eroded. Because the way I see it, most people see yoga as a form of exercise, which is not as strenuous as, say, weight lifting, or bench pressing. And yes, because they teach you to employ the proper breathing techniques, therefore you will feel the aches and pains you previously experience to lessen, and gradually disappear.

I have always believed that inculcating religious values does not necessarily mean that you always have to take the prescriptive approach. I'm sure people don't like it when you say 'You must do this, this, this...and cannot do this, this, this....' without being given the proper, logical explanation why or why not. If you're talking to a four year old, of course you can say 'Because I'm your mommy and I said so, and you know Mommy is always right!' Even then, there are four year olds who are not contented with such a dismissive answer and would demand an explanation until they are satisfied.

It's the same way with us.

I'm sure people would gradually be able to accept if, indeed, yoga is prohibited, as the Fatwa Council has decreed. But the explanation given must be logical, and not be done in such a way that it insults people's intelligence.

I'm not writing this because I am a yogi (someone who practices yoga), but because the idea had been idling in the corner of my mind, and I just wanted to put my thoughts into words. Even the Prophet Muhammad says that dakwah should be done with 'hikmah'... there are, I'm sure, other ways to inculcate and instill religious values other than taking the prescriptive approach.

Perhaps that is the question that the powers that be should answer.

Good Fences... Make Good Neighbours?  

Posted by Hyllma

My dad has a passion for gardening, which, sadly, I don't inherit. He could just buy flowers or seeds and the next thing you know, it's starting to sprout flowers, and soon, bear fruits, before you could finish saying 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious'.

But this post isn't about his passion for gardening. Well, not directly, anyway. It's just that the next door neighbour, who, apparently needs a long lesson on effective communication and respecting other people, decided to 'tuang pasir' in my dad's proverbial 'periuk nasi'..simply because the leaves had been growing all over the place. I'm not really arguing in anyone's defence, but in my opinion, whenever there is an issue to be settled, it is best if the interested parties sit down and talk about it. I mean, as much as the government's 'Budi Bahasa Budaya Kita' campaign goes, i see no budi, or bahasa from the aforementioned neighbours. What's wrong with saying 'Daun dah lebat sangat tu, baik potong yang mana patut, takut nanti nyamuk membiak.Sekarang kan musim denggi?' Is that so hard to say? But I guess the neighbour, Mr R and Mrs M, have problems communicating, cos the only thing they know is to pick up the phone and report to the Shah Alam Municipal Council. stupid idiots. I don't see the point of you wearing the tudung all the way to your navels if you don't know how to communicate nicely to people around you. It's such a waste, really. You send your children to private, religious schools. But you yourself don't practice the values promoted by Islam, rather than the five rituals. Bad decision, I tell you.

I guess, yes, good fences make good neighbours..particularly if we do care for each other, and try to respect each other's differences. It doesn't hurt to communicate and try to work things out before bringing in the third party, and , in addition, instilling distrust in yourself, against your neighbours.

thank God for the holidays!  

Posted by Hyllma

so glad that the school hols are FINALLY here! i had been so looking forward to it. funny though, when it finally arrived, i had a hard time believing it. to have SEVEN total weeks of not working was just plain weird, after working so hard the whole year. the first part planning the activities, and the second executing the plans, and the final part analysing what went wrong, and how to fix it. for someone who was so used to 10-hour work days, not having to come to work for such a long time seemed so surreal in the beginning. but i'm beginning to love it though. time to catch up on so many things that i missed and loved during the days i was so busy working. like, my beauty sleep, for one. and catching up with family and friends.

this year, short as it may seem, taught me so many things. in retrospect, i learned the true colours of some people. and i learned the true meaning of friends, and friendships. about how being different isn't necessarily such a bad thing; and how, no matter how hard you try, it is simply impossible to just please everyone. what is important is that the bosses know i'm doing a good job, or at least try to. that,even if i might take some time, i do, in the end, get the job done; and not just talk about it but never get anything done in the end.

was planning to go to bandung for the holidays with the rest of my family to visit my sister, but it fell through in the end. was thinking of doing some shopping in bandung, too, but i guess i've got to shelve my plans for a while. maybe next school holidays. (which gives me more time to save some $$ before i go shopping!)

i guess it's true what ppl say, that even though it's the students who r sitting for the exam, the teachers are the ones who feel the jitters...i was almost hyperventilating when my boys were sitting for the english paper last wednesday, and i do hope (and fervently pray) that they will do well, for english,especially, as well as the other subjects. scoring first place isn't as difficult as trying to maintain being in 1st place among all SBPs for the 3rd year running... but we all tried (as we all have been) all our best. so now it's up to the Big Guy Up There.

happy holidays, everyone! have a good one!

enough already!  

Posted by Hyllma

for someone who is not so politically inclined (i consider my privilege to vote to be as far as it goes for being politically involved!) , i really am sickened by the way things are going nowadays. i mean, yes, the whole nation voted for their choice on march 8th, after which the current govt was formed. so i believe the next order of business is how to make this country a better/safer/more harmonious place to live in.

i'm not saying that the government is all perfect (everything is trial and order,i believe ) so yes, they make mistakes. but it is not fair, and nor is it equally right nor responsible for the opposition, to simply complain that the government is not doing a good job. and if we believe that the government is not pulling its weight, the responsible opposition play its role, to provide check and balance so that the government will not slacken. i don't understand why, in a government 'by the people,for the people', the people don't respect the choices that they themselves had made. i believe that if you don't like the present government, well,tough,cos you made the choice yourself. nobody pointed a gun to your head and coerced you to vote to anyone's advantage. there are due processes of law to be followed, and i believe we should follow the rules in this sovereign country. kalau tak puas hati, tunggu the next general election la.....

i mean, there are greater troubles ahead of us. the world is on the brink of a recession, brought about by the american economic crisis..so I believe that we should stop bickering and just get on with our lives. we do what we're supposed to do, carry out our obligations and responsibilities, so that this country we call home will be exactly that, a home.

I came across this quote from zig zigler,and just thought of sharing it here:

"some people find fault as if there is a reward for it"

and, on that note, remember the ugly malaysian? let's bury him for good.


Posted by Hyllma

does it always pay to criticise everyone and everything? do we always have to make everyone hear our opinion just because we have one?

i've never been one against criticisms (and yes, i can take them in good stride!), but I just feel that if we should criticise anyone (or anything,for that matter), it should be constructive, rather than destructive, criticism.there is no point criticising someone if it meant to make us look good. if we need to criticise someone for not doing a good job, then by all means, do criticise him or her. but we should also be responsible to point that person in the right direction. it's not enough to just tell someone that he or she is wrong. it's also equally important to tell that someone how to not make the same mistake again.

we're all very good at destructive criticisms, by pointing out other people's mistakes and follies. it's easy to point fingers and say a,b,c, are all wrong. perhaps we should all learn to be a bit more constructive with our criticisms. maybe then everyone will live happy lives.

funny sunday  

Posted by Hyllma

for someone who is so not a morning person, I laughed at myself this morning..for waking up early and, as a result, coming to work earlier than I was supposed to. I'm not laughing at the fact that I woke up early, just that when I got to school, i discovered that the program was supposed to be at 10.30 a.m instead of 8 a.m., so I had a good laugh there. I guess this is what happens when I'm on autopilot. (since I wasn't really willing to end my school hols just yet!)

to those who sent me birthday wishes, thank you very much.

how i wish the school hols were longer. seriously.

of public speaking and other things  

Posted by Hyllma

anyone who said teachers have no problems speaking in public certainly didn't look hard enough (or far enough, for that matter!)

i had the privilege of attending a public speaking programme held recently in my school, and, i must say, it was darn good! not because it was organised by one of my friends, but simply because it was good. period. end of sentence. and it was testament to my belief that one does not necessarily have to speak using american/australian/scottish/british/nz accent to sound credible, to be believable, or to sound just plain impressive. cos, at the end of the day, what matters is that we're able to get our message across.

even though it wasn't my first time emceeing in school (regardless of whether in english or bm), my stomach was in knots after knowing that the speaker concerned was about to reach our school. it wasn't the thought of speaking in front of my fellow colleagues that scared the living daylights out of me, but it was the thought of having an outsider, a person who's very good at public speaking (not just in Malaysia,but also internationally!) listen to every single word that i say was just, simply put, nerve wrecking.

but,at the end of the day, it was all good. it was good to have someone point out our flaws and, more importantly, how to correct them and make sure that we don't repeat the same mistakes while speaking in public. it's easy speaking to your students in class as they don't pose any threats to you, and neither are they intimidating.but try speaking to the whole school and having almost 500 pairs of eyes trained on you and just listening to the 'pearls of wisdom' coming out from your mouth...the point is, it's not easy. regardless of whether you teach english, maths, biology, civics, or even physical education. nothing quite shocks the system as having someone force you to speak in public. some of the most macho,adventurous,and daring people i know turn the exact opposite the moment they're asked to speak in public.

the point is, as hard as it is, and as life threatening as it may seem, the ability to speak in public should be one of the skills one should acquire. not because it might make you popular (although it might be true in most instances), but simply because it makes you more outstanding (not instanding, as azmi put it!) companies and recruiters look forward to hiring people/graduates/individuals with good communicative skills.

contrary to popular belief (of some really narrow minded people,anyhow), speaking (good) English / being more comfortable speaking in English does not make me any less Malaysian, or any less Malay, for that matter. i love my country just as much as any Ali, Abu, Maniam, or Ah Chong. If i happen to like speaking in English more than i like speaking in Malay, it's just because i'm more comforitable expressing myself in english. i can get my point across quicker,and, more effectively, cos i don't have to think of the appropriate Malay equivalent. and,yes, i agree that maths and science should continue to be taught in english. not because i teach english, but because english is the language of science and technology. cos at the present moment, we pick up,learn, and acquire technology from other countries..

or perhaps, all school kids in malaysia should now learn japanese and korean? (since they're not english speaking countries, but are technologically advanced anyhow)...

perhaps someone should think about that,then...

pointing fingers?  

Posted by Hyllma

I came back from the 35th edition of the HKSBP three days ago, and remembered a conversation I had with a friend on the declining standard of English especially among schoolchildren. I mean, when I was in uni, we were exposed to the different methodologies of teaching reading, speaking, listening, and writing to our students, but when we came to school, the real battle zone, the picture was different. dramatically.

I've never been one to believe that one should sound American/ British/Australian to be believable, to speak 'good English' . To me, what matters is that as long as people understand what we're trying to say, and we manage to get our message across to our target audience, it's all good. It pains me (and my delicate lil eardrums especially) when students mispronounce words or speak using atrocious English (sometimes just to show off or just to sound sophisticated to others).. cos I believe that as important as it is for the students to get good grades for their SPM exam, it is equally important that they should be able to communicate effectively with people from all walks of life. and frankly, i believe that nowadays, proper pronunciation, grammar, listening and speaking skills have taken a backseat to getting an A in the English paper. Which is sad. Cos at the end of the day, yes, students can get an A. but then again, the A they obtained is useless since they can't even string a single grammatically correct English sentence!

And believe me, it's not easy trying to speak English when the environment around you thinks that 'speaking English makes one less a Malay/Malaysian'. To me, I feel more comfortable speaking English than Malay, since I know I can get my message across more effectively. Yes, in a way, I am fortunate, having learned English since I was an infant. But that should not be made an issue, really. I am as much a Malaysian as someone who speaks fluent Malay. Yes, some people do not have parents who speak and/or understand English at home. But that should never be an excuse. If you want it bad enough, you will make it happen.

Yes, it is important to master the language.simply because it's a tool for communication. I mean, we can't expect people from all around the world to speak Bahasa Malaysia now, can we? And besides, it adds to your X-factor.and makes you more marketable in the job/scholarship market.

well, that's what i think, anyway.

after the dust settled...  

Posted by Hyllma

hksbp ended yesterday. we lost the second round to kusess, who ended up in the finals against rmc. personally, of course i was sad that we lost. but i was ok with it as it was a fair fight. true, we had good substance. but then, debating isn't simply about good stuff to say. at the end of the day, it is all about hammering all the nails in the coffin. it's all about being able to convince the adjudicators that we presented a better case than our opponent did. kusess was able to clearly spell out what their case was, and managed to point out the flaws of our case. it was as simple as that.
personally, though, i am proud of this year's team. despite the two f4 speakers having zero experience in debating, and having had training only for three months, they were able to get this far. given proper training, and a bit of brushing up, they could be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
and,yes, i am looking forward to the final. although i much prefer if we were on stage instead of kusess, but that is another question altogether...


Posted by Hyllma

the national level hksbp kicked off three days ago... and it was the longest bus ride i've ever been on.. primarily because a) since the basketball team failed to qualify for the national level hksbp; therefore, b) we had to go to jitra with the sbpi selandar bus. given the tendency for most malaysians to work on 'malaysian time'; we were left hot,sweating,and not to mention pretty short on temper when the bus finally arrived at 10.35 a.m (instead of 9.30 as was originally planned)!!
and for the first time in my years of going to hksbp, i lost my voice.which was funny, considering the fact that i wasn't the one debating day in and day out. but i guess the weather was,well, a bit too hot to handle. thankfully, though, i'm beginning to get my voice back (and can now speak without having to strain my vocal cords even though i still do sound a bit hoarse).. but then again, that's part and parcel of my job...
so far we've done well, considering the fact that we've won two out of two matches so far; against sbpi kubang pasu (where megat was best speaker) and sm sains dungun (where kamal was best speaker). hopefully we kick some butts tomorrow against semsas kuantan, qualify for round 2, proceed to quarters, continue to the semifinals, and earn our place in the much-coveted finals! so much money,time,and effort; and not to mention, sacrifice, have been spent on training and getting ready for hksbp...and the win would just be the icing on the cake!cos i still remember the heartbreak and heartache i felt when we lost the final leg of the prelims against asis (who were the eventual champions)...and i don't think i can go through all that anymore...

but,for what it's worth, i hope things work well tomorrow..and that all our hard work and sacrifice will be handsomely rewarded! :)

like they say, 'saser is the pinnacle of glory' and it shall continue to be....

Pangkor, Part 2, and then some...  

Posted by Hyllma

Yours truly had the opportunity to go on a paid holiday in Pangkor last weekend..At first I was hesitant to go, since I had prior engagement the Sunday nite I was due to return to Seremban. But then, paid holidays don't come by so often, and neither do I usually have the time to go on holiday since most of my time is devoted to work.and work. and work. (until infinity, to borrow a friend's expression...

Spent most of the journey to Pangkor (on the bus) catching up on my lost hours of beauty sleep..and the ferry ride from the Lumut jetty to Pangkor Island didn't really disappoint. (although, I was, I admit, shocked when the ferry stopped at a perkampungan nelayan, thinking that it was Pangkor, which, thankfully, wasn't!)

The accomodation provided wasn't too bad,either, considering we were travelling on a shoestring budget. after all, we were only using the lodging just to sleep, so it wasn't much of a problem, really.

The fun part of the trip came later that evening, when my friends and I went on a boat ride around the island. it was fun to see the different faces of Pangkor: Monkey Bay, the crocodile and whale-shaped rocks, Pulau Giam..among other things. the feel of the breeze blowing in your face was just something so wonderful i can't find words to do justice and describe it...

If I had any regrets on the trip, it would be cos it ended so quickly. i had fun, though. and it definitely helped in easing up the stress that was bottled up inside me.


and, oh, we're leaving for hksbp in kedah tomorrow. at the moment i'm taking a breather from all the scrambling i had to do today, to make sure that everything's in order. and we're having a friendly with stj this afternoon, in apprsoximately an hour....

but for what it's worth, i do hope we'd win this year. cos we have to redeem last year's loss to asis (who were the eventual champions)..

that said, i'm so glad the holidays are here... :) have a good day everyone!

holiday for the soul  

Posted by Hyllma

just came back from a weekend trip to pangkor approximately 3 hours ago. it was tiring, to say the least, but in a good way..

the trip was what i needed after slogging hard at work (for the past 3 months!)...so you could imagine just how high my stress level was..had a great time going on a boat trip around teluk nipah, and later spent some time in the water (even though i am terrified of water since i can't swim, but that's besides the point). i mean, it would be a waste if i didn't do it, since the water was soooo beautiful.. i ended up with fistfuls of sand in my pockets later, but it was nothing compared to a rejuvenated spirit..

wish the trip was longer,though. so that i could've snapped more pictures...

and another good thing was i finally got to see my baby nephew.... faris muzafar (kinda reminds me of the angkasawan dude!)

here's hoping to a good week ahead! and a good showing at hksbp in kedah....

that wonderful little thing..  

Posted by Hyllma

called blog..is exactly that, a wonderful little thing. :)

Nowadays,every Ali,Ah Chong and Muthu is scrambling to have a blog. It's the in thing, the flavour of the month. Even young primary school children have blogs nowadays.. To some people, blogging is just a therapy for them, to just vent off some steam. To others, blogging becomes their mouthpiece, to disseminate their ideologies,opinions,etc,etc. And I see nothing wrong with that.

Of course, your blog being your own personal 'property', you can write about virtually everything and everyone. However, I believe that despite itching to exercise your freedom of speech/thought/opinion, I don't believe in using a blog to slander people/call them names. There are still certain conventions to adopt, to ensure that while you do get to exercise your free will, you don't victimize anyone in the process, just to get your point across. And it's not fair to say that all bloggers are bad. It's like saying 'Guns don't kill people. People do'. I think it's rather cowardly for someone to 'baling batu sembunyi tangan' (when writing defamatory statements about people and hiding behind pseudonyms). I mean, if you strongly believe in whatever it is that you're writing, show it...show yourself!

*my first attempt (after so many times) of writing a serious blog* kinda hard having to think up all these words to try and sound serious (i was, when i wrote this entry,though!)

oxygen, please?  

Posted by Hyllma

if i had a wish, it would be for more time..cos right at this particular moment, 95% of my time is devoted to work.... (not tht i'm complaining, cos it does keep me occupied and prevents me from wasting time unnecessarily)...but seriously though, even with the 24 hours God has given everyone, i think i need another 24 just so that i'd be able to breathe.normally.like other people..
cos there would come a time where work is going to be routine, something that you do on auto pilot every day, and because it brings home the paycheck. i pray, with all my resolve, that i won't turn out that way. it's sad to see someone change from one end of the spectrum to another... from someone who goes to work out of his or her love for the job, to someone who goes to work simply because 'that's all I know to do'. Granted, work is never easy, at least not all the time. There comes a time where u just feel like you want to scream cos buried up to your nostrils in work, and then comes another thing which needs to be done right this instant, because it's also important.. And then you feel like screaming and sprouting profanities to that certain someone who doesn't understand the idea of having a life.. who doesn't understand that despite our devotion to the job, you just need some space. for you to breathe,and, quite simply, just be.

Some people might question my intentions for choosing to stick around the place where I've been working for the past six years, cos yes, there were spats, tears were shed, etc.etc. But what they don't understand is the fact that i love my job. here. I love the kids. Every year I would resolve to say 'this is going to be my last year working here..I'm going to find another job etc.etc. ' but then, when I look at the kids' faces, all my resolve melted away. Add that to the fact that I'm fiercely guarding my privacy.I can be my own person and have my own private life. And besides, what fun is it to live in the same town where you went to school, college, and work? This country isn't very huge..it's probably even smaller than the whole of California combined...
Yes, I love my family and parents and extended family and relatives...but that doesn't mean in any way that I should give up my right to a private life just so that I'm closer to home. The way I see it, it's better to live somewhere not that near, and to be appreciated; than living close to home but taken for granted. Cos I'm tired of having to justify why I still haven't transferred after six years. the point is, I DON'T WANT TO. I love my life, I love my job, I love the kids here. And my friends. We do have our disagreeements,true. But that's what makes it life.
So, no. I'm staying put. Not planning to move anywhere anytime soon, I think. I know I can be (and am) stubborn when I need and want to be, and right now this is what I want. As important as everyone is in my life, I do need my own private space. Where I can just chill, and just be.

and get some more oxygen.

crazy life  

Posted by Hyllma

last week was one of the most stressful periods in my life (this week being the other one, cos we've had to work seven days, oh!)

but the good thing that came out from last week was the graduasi.it wasn't flamboyant or anything, just a little something we threw together to celebrate the 2007 5ers..was kinda disappointed that the head boy and his assistant were a no-show...they cited various reasons for not coming....work being one of them, and a relative's wedding the other one. to me, it was just a case of 'i don't care'.and it smacks right of indifference..and not appreciating the hard work and effort that my colleagues and i have put in to make the event a success. cos we weren't expecting the boys to come and shower us with presents..what would have been more memorable was their presence. cos, for all you know, it could've been the last time they would see their friends in the batch before all and sundry fly off to faraway places. (and hard-to-pronounce towns and countries!)

on a different note, life is crazy. we work so hard to get more money. supposedly, to be spent. but at the end of the day, we work so hard, for such long hours, that we don't even have time to ourselves, to do our own things, let alone spend the hard-earned money... (that doesn't mean i'm rich, by the way..) and in that regard, it is ironic. we work hard from dawn to dusk. we spend such long hours in the office. but still, at the end of the day, we're still unhappy.

so there's one of life's great mysteries....go figure it out!

amalgamation of my thoughts  

Posted by Hyllma

So, that's it. the much-awaited 12the general elections are over. and, definitely, many surprises sprung up along the way.

I've never been a person who cared much for politics.But as I am writing this, thoughts are swirling in my head. The Opposition have managed to give a wake-up call to the BN, who, I think, have been pretty complacent and overconfident that they would have just swept all the seats on offer this edition of the general elections. It's amazing, this thing they call the people's power. Clearly, the people are the ones who choose the leaders. And I believe that these gentlemen (and ladies) should not only be nice to their constituencies come the election time (as is usually noted). Leaders should be working for the people, to help develop the country, first and foremost. Not for monetary or political gains. Ironically though, it is popular belief that being politically active will make one rich. One may be richer in a sense that he knows more people, get to know more friends, and build a network. But the misconception is that being active in politics does not necessarily make you rich, money-wise. Heck, if that were true, my family would probably be living in a penthouse somewhere in the posh KLCC area...*a girl can dream, can't she? *

That said, I'm not exactly a person who would readily pledge my allegiance to any particular political party. I'd rather vote for the person if I know he's done a good job for people in his constituency. I guess that's the one thing that makes me different from my parents who are staunch supporters of BN. But whatever it is, I'm happy to have been able to exercise my democratic right to vote. More so when other people have to go to war just to have a say.


On a different note, next week seems to be a pretty full one for me. I've got to head back to Seremban for the announcement of SPM results (I hope we'll be able to maintain our excellent track record so far!) on Wednesday, then sitting for my competency exam on Thursday. Then it's three days holiday before school resumes on Monday.Hope I'll do well for the exam, seeing that I haven't had the time to study since I've been bogged down with so much work! And if anyone says being a teacher is easy, he's dead wrong. Cos most of the time after I come back from work, my system just is about to shut down. I put my head on the pillow, or cushion, or even the floor, and off I go into dreamland.
Physically, teaching doesn't tire you. Mentally, it drains you. Right till the last drop. But still, I can't think of a better job. I can't stand a desk job, sitting in the same spot in an air-conditioned office, going for one meeting after another. I'd rather be communicating with people than lab apparatus,or machinery.I'd like to think of myself as a people-person. Even though I'm mostly introverted, I need to talk to people to guarantee my survival. It drives me crazy coming home to an empty house, with just the telly and laptop as companion.

Change. Many people shudder from it. Some people look forward to it. But whatever it is, change is inevitable. We change every day, whether we realize it or not. So do the people, the world, around us. What we can do is embrace change. Face life with an open mind,an open heart. Embrace life. Change happens. Deal with it.

fare thee wells...  

Posted by Hyllma

It's final. My boss has already transferred to another boarding school (a far more challenging one, from the looks of things) Rumours had been practically swirling around the grapevine for a while now, before we heard the formal announcement that he was leaving. All of us knew that he was going to leave us, it was just a matter of knowing when.

And even though we anticipated his transfer, when the actual announcement came, some of us were left speechless. And suddenly feeling somewhat insecure,unsafe. Cos then we started thinking of who his replacement would be. And, again, the rumour mill started churning out names,one after another, on the person.

There were some disgruntled individuals who were only too happy to see him leave. But, with the benefit of hindsight, I realize now that he's the best boss I've ever worked with, in my six years. When he was around, we benefitted from many things. None of which (ok, maybe some) the other schools would have been rewarded with.

And,for that, I am grateful.

I'm never good with goodbyes..during my trainee teaching period, I only let the kids know it was the very last day I was going to see them. Cos I'm just not comfortable with the whole idea of goodbyes,I guess.

But for every beginning, there has to be an end. For every meeting, there has to be a farewell. And, besides, we'll still be seeing him around, since he's still working within the system..

Mr. K, here's wishing you good luck in your new school. Thanks for the memories!

And, to borrow a saying from an Irish blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

thank god for holidays  

Posted by Hyllma

Haven't been much of a prolific,productive anything lately..Cos usually writing, or blogging, rather, in this context, helps vent off some of the negative vibes swirling around my head (the byproducts of stress and an awful lot of work,thankyouverymuch).. Cos it's only March, but from the look of things, I already have my year mapped out for me (not by me, for me)..

But I'm not complaining.. (ok, a little, maybe....)

Even though work takes up most of my time, it's the one thing that defines me,who I am, and partly, the reason for my existence..I didn't find teaching- it found me. Not that I have problems with the teaching part (save a few stubborn sods)..but it's rather the extras that are taxing. On me, my time,in short, my life. The public finds it easy to point the finger at the teachers every time a child does something wrong..but they forget just as easily that teachers should not be solely responsible for a child turning out the way that he does.. cos u also have parents, peers, and other elements of socialization thrown in the mix. Equally ignored is the fact that teachers are also humans, with feelings of their own....

People conveniently are duped into thinking that teachers have it easy. They get off days during school holidays (while getting paid!)..but they haven't been looking at the whole picture. Go into any boarding schools here and you will find the teachers working hard day and night just to ensure that their students will score distinctions in the exam.And, without being paid extra. (if I were paid extra, I think I should be able to afford that sleek Beemer by the end of the year...) And even then, should there be courses being held during the school holidays, it's still work for the teachers...

Like I said, teaching found me. I grew to love being a teacher, to touch lives of young people who would, one day, be someone in their own country. The best reward for a teacher is not money. It is the satisfaction of seeing my students score distinctions in their exams, and subsequently being offered places in overseas universities that most could only dream about. It's the joy in running into my ex students and to discover that they have done well for themselves. and most of all, when I hear the words "Thanks for everything,Miss.I'm someone today because of you"

I planned on venting off my huge workload while blogging..and somehow ended up getting melodramatic...but hey, for what it's worth, I love teaching.I love my kids. (I just don't like some of the people I work with) then again, life never really gives you what you want..so if life gives you lemons, make lemonade!