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!)