a new chapter  

Posted by Hyllma

Today marks a new day in my life. It's surprising that the last three months of 2009 brought the most significant changes of my life. 

October 2009- 

Transfer to new school. SM Sains Rembau. I would be lying if I said I didn't shed tears upon learning of the news, shocking as it was. Whatever the reason, I had no inkling whatsoever that I was going to be transferred. Painful as it was, I would've preferred if I was personally informed of the decision.

But then again, come to think of it, it's a blessing in disguise. The transfer did me a world of good. For one, it brought me the peace and tranquility that I've yearned for. And the people in the new school are all very nice. I guess having a shared goal really helps. 

November 2009-

Joined Herbalife (today!), after much consideration. It's not so much that I want to lose (more weight), I do..but what is more important is that I want to lead a healthier life. To be more energetic. Cos after all, 70% of cases reported in clinics are attributed to eating habits. So, yes, I guess, it is one of my new year resolutions. Many thanks to my coach for encouraging me to make that first step. 

Wish me luck!

How to Cure Our Racist Disease  

Posted by Hyllma

How to cure our racist disease? (sharing an entry at letusaddvalue.blogspot.com-thanks Anas, for letting me share this interesting article!)

In a recent interview, I was asked what steps we can take to promote ethnic harmony in our country. How can we cure ourselves from our racist tendencies? I suggested that if we want to ensure success we must tackle this problem at the various levels.
They are in order of importance, the individual, the family (home), pre-school, school, college & tertiary, the workplace and finally other organizations like interest groups, political parties and the government.

The first two are the most important starting points although the majority tends to focus on the final two. I say do what we can do first. In that way, slowly but surely things will get better.

So here are my suggestions for you to consider. As my idea is easily doable, please have a go at it. At the least it will make you feel good about yourself. Why? Because you know you are doing the right thing. You will be sending your children to a peaceful future as oppose to a possible bloodshed.

I call this simple method, “Ten good things you can tell your children about …” They are part of my experiences during my early socialization growing up in Penang. They are not exhaustive. Feel free to add value to the list.

Practice them over and over again. Drum them in and see the effects in a year or two.

Here we go in alphabetical order

Ten good things you can tell your children about the

1)They work hard and set high standards therefore they are rich.
2)They are good in business, therefore they are rich
3)Even when they are rich, they lead a simple life and many donate their money freely
4)They are good at saving money and know how to delay gratification.
5)They are a discipline lot. They eat dinner early; finish their schoolwork and study before watching the TV.
6)Chinese parents really care and are serious about education – they are willing to sell their property and move to a smaller home so that their children can be educated in a good college overseas
7)They share with us the joys of Gong Xi Fa Chai and gave us angpows
8)They respect their elders
9)When the rest of us were still poor it was the rich Chinese who pay taxes. With that money the government builds schools, hospitals, roads, etc benefiting everyone regardless of race.
10)And, they make the best Ais-kacangLen Chi Kang and
Penang Laksa!

Ten good things you can tell your children about the Eurasians

1)They are fun to be with, they sing, they dance and throw the best barbeques and parties
2)They make friends easily
3)They give freely, they like to share
4)They make good neighbors
5)They are always concern about others so they make real good teachers, nurses and social workers; always helping, helping, helping!
6)They speak English well, you can learn from them
7)They somehow always are able to see the positive side of life
8)Though marginalized they do not demand much like the rest of us
9)They share the joy of Christmas with you
10)They make the best nasi lemak ever!!!

Ten good things you can tell your children about the Indians

1)They make great company; never boring, always fun
2)They know how to laugh at themselves.
3)They are passionate people, especially the Punjabis.
4)They gave us the best danceable music
5)They do not complain much even when some of us are insensitive and serve beef during our functions
6)They truly respect and care for their parents and elders. There are always some old folks living with them.
7)They are hardy, strong, resilient and tough. They reach Mount Everest for us Malaysian
8)They share the joy of Deepavali with us
9)Without them we would have not being able to produce rubber and be the number one rubber producer for so many years
10)The introduce one of the most important food to us – the curry!

Ten good things you can tell your children about the Malays

1)They are gentle and peramah, the nicest people around
2)They make loyal, long time friends.
3)They will share with you everything that they have; their food, their wealth, their power and their land.
4)They are good neighbors, caring and sharing. Gotong royong is their middle name.
5)They are artistic, cultured and sensitive
6)They are willing to compromise. Their leaders lead not just their own race but also all Malaysians
7)They know how to relax
8)They are easily won over – give them half a chance to make peace, they will grab it. Always giving in.
9)They share with you the joys of Hari Raya Puasa
10)They make the best sambal belacan & sambal ikan keringsambal petai in the world!

Ten good things you can tell your children about the Bidayuh
1)They respect the women and the elderly.
2)They like to ‘nyera’ which is a Bidayuh version of pot luck a lot with friends and family
3)Bidayuhs have really strong family ties
4)They are very caring about their neighbours; if the neighbors are drunk, they’ll let them sleep over at their houses!
5)They are willing to ‘gotong-royong’ when needed
6)They have very energetic kids and they are fun to play with
7)Their grandparents will spend time to tell epic stories on Bidayuh legends to their grandchildren
8)They are proud to dance the Bidayuh dance during Gawai Dayak

9)They play very good music
10) They make delicious 'pangkang' which is lemang in Malay.

Ten good things you can tell your children about the Kadazans
1) They have humble beginnings and strive hard to be better. Though they are rich, they still lead a simple life
2) Family and children are most important.
3) They respect the elders and will live with the old folks for as long as possible.
4) Parents are serious about their children’s education. They will go all out to ensure that their children are educated so that the children can have a better life.
5) They hold on to various ancestral traditions regardless of how modern the environment is – especially the ‘Kadazan-Dusun’ language.
6) They are good neighbours and are always concerned about the well being of others.
7) They always see the positive side of life.
8) They share with you the joys of the Harvest Festival especially the crowning of the ‘Harvest Festival Queen’.
9) They enjoy performing the ‘Sumazau’ dance during weddings and festivals.
10) They make the best tapai what we know as rice wine, bambangan or pickle, hinava or marinated raw fish and panasakan or steamed fish.

If you found many of the good things I suggested about the other ethnic groups similar to your own, don’t be alarmed. We are more similar then we think. We are One.

Meme: Save Yvonne's Sight  

Posted by Hyllma

I came across this touching story while on Facebook, thanks to Anas Zubedy. I don't know Yvonne personally, and nor does she know me. But as a human being, I believe we can always help others the best way we know how. 

Since last April Yvonne has been raising funds for the operations she needs to treat her neurofibromatosis which causes tumors to grow inside her body.

About six months ago, Yvonne lost her hearing. Now she's losing her eyesight and needs another operation. The operation is due in December and cost of the surgery is RM154,770 plus hospital stay for two weeks is RM3219.

She has already raised RM10, 000 and need more. She's hoping to raise the rest by republishing her book I'm Not Sick, Just A Little Bit Unwell in English and Chinese. The books are now available in Malaysian bookshops and from her website store. She is also selling T-shirts at bazaars and via her web site store.

You can read about her surgery and donate to her fund here.

You can also help by sending on this meme. If you do, please follow these meme rules:
  1. Create a blog entry titled "Meme: Save Yvonne's Sight"
  2. List three things you love to see. Add in the picture of Yvonne's book cover. The URL is http://www.yvonnefoong.com/images/banner/my-story.jpg
  3. End with the line, "Yvonne Foong is in danger of losing her eyesight thanks to neurofibromatosis (NF). Please find out how you can help her by visiting her blog at http://www.yvonnefoong.com
  4. Tag 5 blog friends. Be sure to copy the rules, OK?
  5. If you have a Facebook account, please check out Ellen's new invention, a "feme" pronounced FEEM, a meme designed for Facebook here. And if you want to blog about NF, that would be great too!
  6. I'm tagging the following blogger friends to ask them to help:
              dr farhana

7. Three things I wish to do see:

    a) The smiles on my parents' faces when I eventually settle down
    b) The beautiful beaches of Pangkor
    c) San Marino High School (when I was there 92-93)

*Yvonne Foong is in danger of losing her eyesight thanks to neurofibromatosis (NF). Please find out how you can help her by visiting her blog at http://www.yvonnefoong.com

what does it mean to be malaysian?  

Posted by Hyllma

sometimes, I'm ashamed to be Malaysian.

we claim that 'budi bahasa budaya kita', but I hardly see proof of the fact.

we claim that we are 'multiracial', and 'multicultural', but we are actually like oil and water, together, but never really blending, like in a melting pot.

so, by what yardstick do we identify ourselves as 'malaysian'?

The Letter I Would Like to Read to You in Person  

Posted by Hyllma

As this letter to his beloved in Slovenia displays, his relationship with local cinema is still very much like a long-distance love affair.

My Dear Nika,
I’ve been asked to write a column for this issue of Rogue, and the topic given to me was myself. I’ve always felt it awkward to write in public spaces about personal motivations behind the work I choose to do, so I have decided to use you as an excuse: there are things that you must know, that you may sense but not understand unless I tell you, and so I shall use this opportunity to put them on paper.

Besides, how could I say no to this offer when just the other day you recalled how an essay that was written by the solicitor of this column—in a previous incarnation of this magazine—played a central role in our being together? One must pay back one’s debts . . .

When we met in Rotterdam last January there was something about you that struck me immediately. It was not your beauty, or rather, not just your beauty, but your manner of speaking: which now sixteen months later still demands so much of me. There is a precious intensity in your gestures, the way in which your eyes dart and hands reach out to grab the right word, that illustrates how strong a desire you have to communicate, especially when the conversation turns toward the things that matter to you—the integrity of your work, the importance of nature, the concern for your brother. (I know what you’re thinking—shut up! I’m not a native speaker!—but this isn’t a question of familiarity with language.)

We both did not arrive at the festival in the best of conditions: you in ill health and from the disappointment of not closing the latest issue of Ekran before leaving Slovenia (compounded by you missing your flight and multiplied by a year’s fatigue of battling for editorial independence) and I from the solitude of learning to live alone, and of not yet having come to terms with the abrupt death of my father seven months before (something which, as you know, I am still attempting to do).

I wasn’t in a very good place the months before we met, reckless and hurried in my interactions with new acquaintances, but in Rotterdam it was hard not to fight for clarity and calm when the person before you, beleaguered and weary as they were, would still refuse to let their words slip carelessly . . .

I know sometimes you may think that it was the fact that we worked in the same field that attracted me to you, but I must tell you that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Why? Because one of the greatest joys I believe one can feel is to share that which they find beautiful with someone who otherwise wouldn’t have noticed it, and to see it appreciated. This is the main reason why I love teaching and why I refuse to show Lord of the Rings to my students (no matter how fervently my co-teachers insist). It is also the evidence that cinema isn’t what brings us nearer to each other: because in this regard, we are on equal footing, and I must instead find other things in me to share with you. For anyone who knows me, they know how difficult that is . . .

Does a place mean more than a person? Does my work in the Philippines mean more than the possibility of a life with you, somewhere, anywhere else?

But Rogue wants to hear about cinema! Or at least about my work and what I have done in it. Why it means so much to me, and why I have done the things that I have. So it is about cinema that I must write! Some of this may seem like things you have heard, my dear Nika, but don’t worry, if I am successful it will all come together in the end, and you will see why it relates to you, to us, and to the future.

Allow me to begin with a story, one of which you may be quite familiar.

In 1997, my father decided that my brother Chris and I, together with my mother, should return to the Philippines (my father as you know had been going back and forth between Manila and Vancouver, never growing quite comfortable in Canada. Remind me to make you a copy of the essay “Where’s the patis?”).

We had moved to Canada in 1983, leaving the Philippines just a few months before the death of Ninoy Aquino and just a few months after my second birthday.

Like most teenagers, I was still growing comfortable in my own skin, or rather trying to, and the thought of moving to another country for my last two years of High School petrified me. I resisted: on one hand, I protested to my parents that I wanted nothing to do with a country that was so class conscious and so corrupt (though I didn’t mind going there for vacation . . . ), and on the other hand, inside, I just didn’t want to deal with attempting to infiltrate ill-fated High School social circles in a new country. I was also completely devastated about having to leave the first girl I ever slow danced with in my high school life—Melodie Pangan—who I’m sure never thought of me as anything more than a friend, but who I still called dramatically from the airport, in tears, telling her I loved her for the first time. But I digress . . .

My father seduced my brother and I with the promise of round-the-clock air conditioning and a driver to take us wherever we wanted, which admittedly made the move easier to take (so much for my 16-year old defiance of class consciousness). Both of which, as it turned, were just selling points: things he was able, but unwilling, to provide.

As you know, we are five children in my family, but only Chris and I, together with my Mom, moved back. The primary excuse for it being just he and I was that we were the two youngest, and since Chris was just preparing to enter College and I was finishing my last two years of High School, we would both be able to adjust easier. But the other reason was also that we were men and, as men in the Philippines, he had wanted to groom us to take over the family business, to help maintain what he had established, or build on top of it. The primary reason, I believe, for him wanting my mother to come back was so that Chris and I would. We had grown quite close to my Mom over the years in Vancouver, as my Dad was often away, and he knew that her agreeing to go was the key to being able to bring us back. On the part of my Mom, she was settled in Vancouver, she wasn’t comfortable having helpers live in the house, and was used to cooking and cleaning herself and looking after us. She moved back for him, because he asked her to.

Two years passed, and my mother moved back to Vancouver. She had been battling bouts of depression caused by their fights, by her lack of control of the family, and it was decided that she would go to Vancouver for a while for therapy. I didn’t know at the time that it would be for good, it was supposed to be for two months. She returned for the first time in 2006 for my father’s funeral.

My brother Chris never quite settled in the Philippines. One theory we have was that he never got to imbibe the culture in a manner deeper than gimmicks in Makati—and as a majority of his good friends were foreigners and he had no Tagalog classes, he didn’t learn the language much. The other possibility is that he just wasn’t used to living under my father’s watchful eye. He graduated from University in June of 2001, and by August he moved back to Vancouver.

The first impulse of any good film critic, and to this I think you would agree, must be of love.

What was left of my Dad’s dream—of keeping the family together in the Philippines and of one of his sons taking a keen interest in the business? Me. And just me. With less people living in it, the house had more space, and I no longer shared my room with anyone, but I felt more and more suffocated. Upon graduating with my studies directed towards business management, I began working for my father. I lasted from June to November of 2004 before admitting that I couldn’t do it any longer. I would tell you I quit. My father told relatives at family gatherings he fired me. Either story will do now; it doesn’t really matter.

Sender: Dad
Date: 24-04-2006
Time: 05:19:51pm

“BF 2 GF’s rich dad: I wana mari ur dauter,
Dad: Do u work?
BF: Im a theology scholar.
Dad: Can u afford a weding?
BF: God wil provide.
Dad: Wat about a haus, raising a family & education of d kids?
BF: God wil provide.
Later…Mom: How’d it go dad?
Dad: D guy’s poor, & he thinks Im God!”

Sender: Dad
Date: 24-04-2006
Time: 05:22:32pm

“BF 2 GF’s rich dad: I wana mari ur dauter,
Dad: Do u work?
BF: Im a Unvrsty Profsor nd a film critic.
Dad: Can u afford a weding?
BF: God wil provide.
Dad: Wat about a haus, raising a family & education of d kids?
BF: God wil provide.
Later…Mom: How’d it go dad?
Dad: D guy’s poor, & he thinks Im God!”

I never wanted to be a film critic. To this day I abhor using the term for myself, but I’ve begun to do so regularly, just because it makes life easier.

Many filmmakers, especially filmmakers in the Philippines, have a problem with the word critic. We have little to no culture of healthy polemics in the country, as any attempt to consider fault is taken as a personal attack. Rare are those that are able to deal with it properly. One particular filmmaker took objection to the idea of a publication that I was to edit using the title “Criticine”: he had a problem with the word critic being included. A nasty term, I suppose he thought.

The first impulse of any good film critic, and to this I think you would agree, must be of love. To be moved enough to want to share their affection for a particular work or to relate their experience so that others may be curious. This is why criticism, teaching, and curating or programming, in an ideal sense, must all go hand in hand.

The first proper review of a Filipino film that I wrote was on Lav Diaz’s Batang West Side. I knew I liked movies, had even harbored thoughts of making them at one point, and I certainly took a measure of pride in being looked to by my peers as someone whose opinion was worth seeking. But despite this, and despite the surprising satisfaction of first seeing my name in print, I never had any interest in writing film criticism in any serious way.

It was not writing the review of Batang West Side (which I was quite proud of at the time, but look at with a bit of embarrassment for its simplicity today) that changed things for me, but rather what took place before and after writing it: the complete lack of engaging, intelligent writing on the film that engaged more than just the length. (Conrado de Quiros tried, and perhaps his championing was more important than the actual text.) Batang West Side, as you now, is 5-hours long, and if you read most of the articles that I mentioned (I dare not say discussed), this would likely be all that you knew. Even Jessica Zafra, after organizing a screening of the film through her engaging-if-but-short-lived FLIP Magazine (and having commissioned an article from Lav), proceeded to make crude jokes about the film in the letters section of the succeeding issue.

I was a junior in college when the film premiered, and in the five years I had lived in the Philippines, the closest I had come to connecting with culture via cinema were a few jokes in April, May, June, a film about three sisters starring the then quite popular Alma Concepcion and maybe SPO1 Don Juan: Da Dancing Policeman, starring the great Leo Martinez. Needless to say, Batang West Side was a departure, not only in length, but in aesthetic: its rhythm, the distance from the camera to its subject, the duration in which shots were held, the construction of the discourse (equally about past as about present), and most especially in its attitude towards its audience—its stubborn refusal to give in to our inherent need for a neat ending, instead forcing us to draw our own conclusions.

I wasn’t prepared for Batang West Side. I hadn’t heard of Lav Diaz and simply attended because it was during Cinemanila, and it’s not everyday someone makes a film of that length. I was curious. The film stuck with me. Especially so as one of the first films that made me think concretely about what it meant to be Filipino, about the pitfalls of migration. Perils that, I think for the first time now as I type this, my Dad probably understood better than anyone. It’s a shame he never got to see the film.

It was now a full year after Batang West Side premiered, a good few months after I wrote the article, and still little literature was available on the film. I contacted Lav and asked if I could interview him, to which he obliged graciously. The interview ran close to an hour, and I asked him all the questions I wished others had.

Happy with the results, which ran 12 pages long and was published on the website Indiefilipino.com (may she rest in peace, how I loved her so!), I used all the prepaid credit I had to text most everyone mildly interested in cinema in my modest phonebook to plug it. Hardly any of them responded, of course, but there were notes of appreciation on Indiefilipino’s forums, and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

There were people, it turned out, who were interested in reading serious writing on serious cinema—it just had to be written and published somewhere accessible.

so where does it go from here?  

Posted by Hyllma

ok, up to now, there have been 56 deaths attributed to the (deadly) h1n1 virus.

how many more deaths does it take before someone REALLY goes to work and finally TAKES ACTION?

or, in the classic Malaysian sense, does some politician/royalty/celebrity/famous personality's child/family has to die first, before someone actually takes this seriously?

we're all worried. telling us that more and more people are dead because of h1n1 isn't really going to help soothe our emotions.

what we all need is the reassurance that something is being done to make sure that the number of casualties dwindle and eventually drop to zero.

any takers?


Posted by Hyllma

wah.mentang2 cuti rajin je jari ni main2 kat keyboard laptop nih. padahal kerja banyak, paper tak abis tanda lagi but who cares..nanti aku mark jugak paper tu. cos i'm not the kind of person who can coolly shirk the responsibilities entrusted to me...tak caya tanya bos. kan bos, kan?

malam ni dinner kat luar lagi.. tetiba ayah ajak makan kat luar, so kitorang pun apa lagi, pucuk dicita ulam mendatang la jawabnya. pastu ayah tanya nak makan kat mana. aku dengan gembiranya jawab la 'damansara uptown' sbb aku suka variety of food kat situ. and harga dia pun boleh tahan, selamat poket. confirm korang xkena cuci pinggan kalau x cukup pun duit nak bayar. last2 skali, we went to section 20 to check out this new outlet called 'restoran yusram' (bunyi pun macam seram jek).

restoran ni decor dia cantik. ambience pun best. pendek kata, it's an upmarket thai restaurant la. macam mana tak upmarket, prices for the food items start at rm15 kalau x silap. sapa2 yang nak jalan2 cari makan kat sini baik x payah. don't get me wrong. food dia sedap. but burn a biiiiiiiggg hole in ur pocket. baik korang makan kat secret recipe ke, laksa shack ke...lagi puas ati.

so setelah kecewa tengok menu dia yang agak mahal, kitorang pun tanya waiter (sorang je tau waiter dia kat kedai ni..save budget kot sbb dah habis duit beli pos system n decor yang confirm mahal) if they have any noodles on the menu. and time tu la tuan punya kedai mintak waitress tu bawak 'kertas yang kecik tu'. mak aih. bunyi macam sedikit menghina pun ada di situ. nasib baik aku bukan jenis yang cepat makan hati. kalau tak, confirm makcik tu kena lempang dah.

so, at the end of the day, semua orang order noodles jek. aku xnk order nasi goreng walaupun hati tergaru2 nak makan nasi goreng sbb time tu dah 9pm. kalau makan gak, jawabnya tido terbeliak la aku mlm ni. and aku rasa makcik kedai ni ada kilang garam sendiri kot. sbb most of the noodles yang dia masak agak masin. mama yang kuat makan masin pun cakap camtu. aku, apatah lagi. masin kuasa lapan la jawabnya.

dan bil pun datang. rm 56.80 kot, kalau x silap. agak bengong jugak sbb mkn noodles je pun sampai almost rm6o. kalau makan kat secret recipe dah kenyang tergolek2 dah (eh, melampau pulak perumpamaan)

andai kata tuan punya kedai baca post aku ni,tlg jgn cari aku ke lubang cacing. am just telling the truth. sbb mama kata, tak baik tipu. in this case, tipu sunat pun x boleh gak. lagipun, customer is always right kan?

nampaknya terpaksa la cari port makan yang lain pasni. sbb aku dah agak boring dgn kedai kopi kat tasik.

esok dengar cerita nak g midvalley. gumbiranya. boleh cari kasut... *wink*

my new toy(s)  

Posted by Hyllma

beberapa ari lepas aku heret muna g mid valley untuk aktiviti jalan2 cari pasal. boring dok umah waktu cuti, even though exam paper ada 4 bundles tak tanda lagi. takpe. ada masa lagi. ceh. tunggu last minute pastu kelam kabut marking tak siap lagi. analysis pun lum buat. takpe. yala, daripada dok kat umah, tido, tgk tv, makan, dan mcm2 aktiviti tak produktif baik aku g jalan2 kat mid valley, kan? bagus punya logik.

sampai mid valley, the first thing kitorg buat is pegi makan. kat kenny rogers. apasal aku x nak pegi food junction? sebab: 1) food junction tu jauh kat atas 2) aku malas nak jalan all the way up (naik escalator pun tak mau) 3) dah lapar tahap asbestos. lagipun dah lama tak makan kat sana. my favourite eating place. dan sedikit privacy. boleh lepak2 dan tak berapa bising (sbb aku tau food junction mesti bising, crowded dan memang aku tak suka tempat2 yg time ni crowded dgn bebudak skola n college).

so, abis makan, aku dan muna jalan2 untuk accomplish misi seterusnya. beli handbag. ok, aku memang ada handbag nak bawak g ofis ari2, tapi x sesuai la kalo nak bawak g jenjalan kat midvalley. aritu pun pinjam handbag mama. x kisah la janji i have a place to put all my stuff.

penat jalan2 cari handbag. sbb semuanya bukan taste aku. masuk mcm2 kedai tapi keluar dgn frust. elle, sachs, eclipse, carlo rino, dan yang sama waktu dengannya. sbb most of these places jual handbag yang stok nak bawak g keje.so they're either too small, too big, or the colour is not my taste. susah tul nak cari handbag ni. cerewet gak rupanya aku. (tapi bukan selalu tau, kengkadang je...)

disebabkan dah bosan jalan2 cari handbag tapi tak jumpa2, aku pun ajak muna naik atas g kedai dell. so aku pun pusing2 dalam kedai dell nak cari laptop yang aku berkenan. first rule is that aku taknak beli dell inspiron. ces, blagaknya. sbnarnya sbb aku minat dell studio. tapi agak frust sbb yg in stock ada kaler black and red jek. disebabkan aku tak suka benda2 typical, dan aku tak suka ikut orang, i picked the red dell. tapi tgh syok2 adam al-shaheed (nama salesperson tu la) explain kat aku features dell studio 1435, ada lak kawanku call mengadu. mengadu pasal apa? rahsia. mak aku kata, tak baik mengumpat. so aku simpan je la cite tu antara aku + dia. orang lain x payah tau. takde kena mengena dengan korang pun.

so at the end of the day, i got myself a new toy. a brand new chili red dell studio 1435. tapi aku agak frust sbb microsoft office suite yang aku beli rupanya takde publisher. sbb kat skola selalu kena wat buku program.. nampaknya terpaksa la aku pinjam pc bilik ketua bidang kalo nak pakai publisher. takpe. macam tak biasa pulak....

then adam gave me the laptop bag that came complimentary with the laptop. tapi aku frust sbb ingatkan dapat backpack..rupanya dapat laptop bag biasa jek. so aku pun dengan rela hati g derma beg tu kat adik2 aku kat rumah. tak kisah la siapa pun yang dapat. and i got myself a notebook backpack yang sangat comel. gila banyak zip dia sampai aku pun naik confused mana satu zip yang nak kena tutup. and i got myself an external hard drive, cap buffalo. nasib baik bukan cap ayam. cos hard drive lama dah jahanam, aku pun tak tau camne jahanam. ganas betul aku ni rupanya.

so, dah lepas abis shopping laptop dan adik beradiknya, aku sambung lagi ekspedisi mencari handbag. this time masuk jusco pulak. last resort. sbb aku tau jusco tgh sale. muna dah nak pengsan so aku suh dia duduk kat tempat kasut jek. at the end, it was a toss between sembonia and elle.. sembonia tu functional tapi dia agak formless. mcm beg makcik2 pulak. sembonia yg lagi satu tu cute tp is not what i needed. so last2 aku grab the elle bag. sgt roomy dan sesuai untuk aku yang suka menyumbat mcm2 dlm handbag.ya, aku memang x suka matematik. tapi that day aku berjaya menggunakan matematik dengan jayanya. tapi kira percentage diskaun je la. my favourite part of shopping...

so, sesudah aku berjaya buli muna ikut aku shopping, aku buli emi pulak. tapi tak berapa berjaya sbb dia tak mau pick up kitorg kat midvalley. blame it on the jam. so, kitorg naik komuter sampai kl sentral, then grabbed a cab to angkasapuri. then off to pandan, emi's place. lepak kat sana jap, tgk aquarium baru dia yang sangat comel, siap ada ikan bandaraya albino n udang kecik 10 ekor yang suka main nyorok2.

at last, sampai rumah, sgt penat. balik terus tido. tak peduli dunia ni nak meletup ke, apa ke, biarkan.

nampaknya tak berjaya g tgk muvi dalam ekspedisi nih. terpaksa buat ekspedisi muvi lain kali pulak. takpe. cuti banyak lagi..

ada apa dengan saser  

Posted by Hyllma

saser sesuatu yang istimewa. tak percaya? tanyala sesiapa pun yang pernah jadi warga saser.

skrg ni ramai ex-saserians yang kecoh sbb saser akan 'dijenamakan semula' dengan nama sm sains tuanku muhriz/kolej tunku muhriz/mcm2 lagi nama yang setakat ni masih x belum confirm lagi setakat ni..

sebagai org yang dah lama kat saser, i understand the sentiments people have about saser. saser, sekolah 'bundle', 'sekolah antik' yang memang ternyata istimewa kepada semua saserians. walaupun sekolah kami tak la grand mcm sbp yang lain, we work with what we have. aku berani jamin, korang xkan jumpa cikgu2 mcm yang ada kat saser. rasanya kalau setakat balik sekolah kul 6 tu bukan benda yang pelik bagi cikgu2 saser yang komited demi memastikan anak2 murid semua sukses. walaupun takde overtime, cikgu2 saser x pernah turn down those who are in need. (aku rasa, kalau dapat claim overtime, dah lama aku bwk bmw 325i g skolah...)

hadiah hari guru yang paling best bukannya bunga berbakul2 or teddy bear besar orang. hadiah paling mahal is bila dengar khabar saserians dpt scholarship yang best2 such as sime darby, bank negara, shell, khazanah, dan yang sama waktu dengannya.. masa tu rasanya terbayar semua penat lelah mengajar anak2 murid kat saser nih. so, bila anak2 murid batch sekarang ni agak kurang adab dgn cikgu, rasa kecik ati tu memang confirm ada.

sebab sekarang saserians batch 7 &8 hidup senang. tak payah angkat katil naik asrama, kemas sekolah, dan mcm2 lagi yang students 1st and 2nd batch buat.. dulu semuanya kalau nak training, buat sendiri. masa tu saser miskin, tak ada siapa yang pandang. nak panggil jurulatih luar pun tak mampu. aku ingat lagi, ada ex-saserians 1st n 2nd batch pernah kata, dulu diorg malu kalau jalan sebelah tkcians. sbb diri rasa sangat kecik, tak la macam nama tkc yang memang gah sejak dulu, g mana2 pun org confirm kenal. tapi sekarang, alhamdulillah, jenama saser tu satu 'brand' yang sangat disegani.

saser memang special, to me. kat sini aku belajar erti jadi cikgu. belajar handle sekolah all boys yang cerdik, tapi nakal. belajar hidup dalam kalangan manusia yang bermacam ragam. dan satu benda yang tak mungkin aku lupa, masa saser jadi johan ppm english debate 2006. punyalah excited masa announcement of results sampai aku lupa yang aku pakai high heels waktu tu. kenangan tu memang antara kenangan paling best aku kat saser nih.

untuk anak2 murid saserians, biarla nama berubah jadi nama apa sekalipun, yang penting korang teruskan semangat saser, so that kita sentiasa jadi yang terbaik. itu jauh lebih penting dari kekalkan nama saser tapi perangai saserians tak serupa orang.

jangan lupa hormati guru,kawan2, makcik2 cleaner, pakcik jaga sekolah, makcik2 dm & kantin, and sesiapa pun yang ada kat bumi saser. sebab kejayaan kita sumbangan diorang jugak. tak guna kalau korang sebut "maafkan kami cikgu, halalkan ilmu kami cikgu, doakan kami spm straight a, cikgu" kalau itu cuma mainan bibir and doesn't come from your heart.

apa2 pun, 'saser, namamu tetap teratas'

aku sayang saser.

:: coming up for air ::  

Posted by Hyllma

lamanya x blog. ya Allah, berabuknya blog ni. amat2 bz, thank God now it's the school holidays, so I have time to catch my breath.

two days ago, aku g tgk bdk2 debate. konon2 nak cuti dr jaga debate for a year, which includes x nk g tgk debate hksbp. tp when it's held in ssp, which is within travelling distance (read: bullying my sister into driving me there), kaki rasa gatal je nak pegi. i can't help it. i love watching debates. thn ni diorg tukar format. instead of giving out the actual motions, thn ni diorg bg themes jek. the actual motion will be released one hour prior to the actual debate. and cikgu xleh join masa quarantine time.

tp aku sempat tgk satu debate jek. itu pun pegi dh petang. (sbb driver sibuk g wedding kawan dia). but from what i see, the boys are good. much better than last year.

semlm x dpt pegi. sbb aku g midvalley beli laptop. kenapa x beli kat low yat? sbb aku nk gak cap 'dell' kat laptop nih. laptop lama dah seberang laut, kat bandung. so terpaksa beli baru sbb susah nk wat keje kalo harap pc skola yg dh nak jadi tukun n pinjam laptop org lain (sbb org lain pun byk keje gak). so at last dpt gak laptop kaler merah (cos it was a toss between red n black, and i went for red)

in the morning, saser went into d quarterfinal (tp x ingat lwn siapa), n won. and dana got best speaker. in the semis, jumpa ssp. tapi kalah. so x dpt la kitorg dok stage picc thn nih. (we were so close, tp xde rezeki, nak buat camane). in a way, i'm proud that my alma mater won. tp sedih sbb my boys kalah. takpe, cuba tahun depan.

jap lagi nak kena mengadap test paper yang dok memanggil2 dari minggu lepas nih. tapi Tuhan je tau betapa malasnya aku nk gerak (tp time dok depan laptop ni rajin pulak, kan? pelik...)

pasni kalendar makin sibuk. ada latihan pusat hoki, pastu hoki sbp (kat bkt jalil), then program utk form 5....mcm2 lagi. nama pun dok kat saser. nak wat camne, work keeps me alive, and gives me purpose.


ckp pasal saser, ex students skrg semua sibuk dgn protes nak tukar nama saser. i understand their sentiments. ya la, tempat jatuh lagi dikenang, inikan pula tempat bermain. banyak yg kami belajar dari bumi saser nih. dari sekolah buruk yg sdar tinggalkan, cikgu 16 org je (kalau tak silap), pc kat skolah ada 4 je..dgn bekalan air yang kdg2 xde...dan mcm2 masalah lagi. semua kitorg redah je.

that's why aku kengkadang marah bila bebudak batch sekarang ni mcm x appreciate apa yang abang senior diorang buat untuk letakkan saser kat tahap sekarang ni. diorang yang cipta sejarah. korang tumpang nama je, sebenarnya. korang belum cipta sejarah sendiri lagi. so jangan nak banyak cengkadak complain mcm2 pasal skola. skola takde aircond, xleh main playstation, dan mcm2 lagi. apa? korang ingat saser ni hotel ke boleh live in such comfort? nama pun skola asrama. mcm mana nak belaja idup dalam dunia serba mencabar kalau x lepas idup kat saser?

aku sayang saser. tapi kalau the powers that be decree that saser kena tukar nama, aku ikut je. bukan sebab aku x sayang saser, atau xnak fight untuk kekalkan nama saser, tp sebab 'saya yang menurut perintah'. lagipun, yang penting bukannya nama. yang penting, all of us work hard to make sure our school come out tops. mcm shakespeare kata, "a rose by any other name is just as sweet...."

aku penat  

Posted by Hyllma

cepat la cuti skola.

mentally tired nih.

if i'm physically tired, senang jek. balik rumah, landing kat mana2 pun confirm lelap.

tapi, if i'm mentally tired, tidur la lama pun, still penat gak time bangun. it takes a looooong time to recoup my energy.

tak sabar nak cuti skola nih. boleh g jalan2, kacau debaters kat hksbp (mentang2 aku x jadi team advisor thn ni..blagak!)...ukur jalan kat mid valley...tgk muvi sampai pengsan... dan mcm2 lagi perkara2 best yang dlm kepala nih.

oh, lupa. before that, kena make sure exam papers dah siap mark dulu. hehe. nanti takleh cuti dalam ketenangan. kan?

inconsiderate young people  

Posted by Hyllma

i was pretty pissed from the moment i set foot in the ktm train from seremban, right until i reached the shah alam station.

never mind that it was the day before the labour day weekend, or that the train was 99% full (it was so full i could barely move).

never mind that everyone was pushing and shoving pretty much everyone else just to get a spot in the train.

what irked me the most was not only the sheer volume of the commuters. one fact that disturbed me was the fact that there were many residential school students (mara/sbp/other schools).nothing wrong with that, really. but what made my blood boil was the sheer insensitiveness and selfishness of these kids. i mean, you're young, healthy, and i don't think the civics lesson they teach at school really did any of these kids any good. none of them gave up their seats for those who needed them more (read: older people, who can't really stand up for a long time).. cos all they cared about was just to have fun, laugh, crack stupid jokes among themselves, or sleep. (ok, i'm not blaming the few who were sleeping, but i'm more irritated by those who were laughing so loud like the train was theirs!)

so, 1 malaysia, or otherwise, someone should knock some sense into these kids. they should learn to be more courteous and civic minded, and not just think of themselves!

of breathing space, reminiscence, and the days gone by  

Posted by Hyllma

I've always had colleagues from other sbps or day schools ask me how my school could maintain its academic performance by constantly placing 1st among all sbps in malaysia. it seemed weird to them that my colleagues and i are at school well after the formal school hours are over. most of the time, we stay in school until well over 5.00 p.m. (well, not all of us, anyhow, but suffice it is to say that many of us do stay back until around 5.00), especially if there are programs scheduled for that particular week. i guess the concept isn't alien to me since i've been here the past seven years, so i guess it just grows on me.

i suppose it's true what people say, that sustaining the momentum is much more difficult than working hard towards success. which explains why our school calendar is practically full of activities every saturday..so much so that sometimes i find it difficult to cope, that i just wish i could get some breathing space, just so i could cope with the frenetic pace that has been so synonymous with my life for the past seven years. don't get me wrong, i do love my job, i love working...but i guess there are times when i just wish that i could step on the brakes, stop by the roadside, and smell the flowers... sometimes i just feel so bad i couldn't make it to catch up with old friends, because of my hectic schedule (which is so atypical of a teacher's)... and to find out that my cat was dying, through my sister's blog was just , i dunno... so not right. so yes, i am guilty as charged, of being busy...sometimes too busy to even have time for myself.. i think i can count the days this week when i was able to stay awake past 9 p.m. (cos i'd mostly be dead to the world by 9.30 most days this week).. so yes, i guess the strain of work for the past month (we've been working six consecutive saturdays this month) is starting to get to me..since i'm practically conked out by the time my head hits the pillow (and i'll only automatically wake up at 5.30 the next morning!)

there are times, i admit, that i feel like i'm being a bad daughter/sister/friend for not being able to be wherever i'm needed, mostly because of work commitments. cos in most instances, my work always comes first. but on the other hand, i always try not to have anything to do with work-related stuff come school holidays..cos those are the times when i can chill, spend time with family and friends, and to just be.

it's a tough life, working in a stressful environment where my colleagues and i have to constantly ensure that the kids perform according to the targets we'd drawn up. but then again, i wouldn't have it any other way. as hectic and crazy as it can sometimes get, it's my life.

what am i?  

Posted by Hyllma

got this one off facebook. parts of it are true. but then again, with the Internet being what it is, I guess it wouldn't hurt to take it with a pinch of salt....

Phlegmatic (Water)

You are the harmonizer and peace-maker. You prefer life to be peaceful and flowing, rather than bright, changing and vibrant. You are a loyal & steady friend. You have the power to merge the ordinary with the extraordinary, but because you may take your time to do this, many people may perceive you as slow or unenthusiastic rather than seeing the real you that is simply flowing and meditative.

An affirmation for you would be:
  1. Visualize yourself floating Flowing, moistening, merging The reservoirs, river and streams of your body
  2. Going deep within for the wisdom of life. The depths of the unconscious mind, Facing the darkness of the unknown,
  3. Find the courage to be vulnerable, Aging with grace and health.
  4. Massage your lower back,
  5. Avoid cold foods and sugar.
  6. Limit your salt intake.
  7. And always listen to your dreams.

*I dunno about you, but I like #7. That's the advice I always tell my students.

A Prayer  

Posted by Hyllma

Another poem by Max Ehrmann

Let me do my work each day; and if the darkened hours of despair
overcome me, may I not forget the strength that comforted me
in the desolation of other times.

May I still remember the bright hours that found me walking over
the silent hills of my childhood, or dreaming on the margin of a quiet
river, when a light glowed within me, and I promised my early God
to have courage amid the tempests of the changing years.

Spare me from bitterness and from the sharp passions of unguarded
moments. May I not forget that poverty and riches are of the spirit.
Though the world knows me not, may my thoughts and actions be
such as shall keep me friendly with myself.

Lift up my eyes from the earth, and let me not forget the uses of the
stars. Forbid that I should judge others lest I condemn myself.
Let me not follow the clamor of the world, but walk calmly in my

Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am; and keep ever
burning before my vagrant steps the kindly light of hope.

And though age and infirmity overtake me, and I come not within
sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for
life, and for time's olden memories that are good and sweet; and
may the evening's twilight find me gentle still.