Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Note Slipped In Class

VIDEO

How tired I am of this
unbearable distance between us
How I long for the toll of the recess bell
Have you forgotten me?
Grown mindless of me?
Tell me I am not writing into an abyss
Or that is what will become of my heart


I find this so sweet :)
link from Limmie's blog

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Angels We Have Heard On High

The following story was inspired by another short story Angels We Have Heard On High in the book Joan 'n' The Whale.

It was Christmas Eve.

Snow fell from the sky like light feathers from a down pillow; each snowflake unique and special, then blending in with the rest on the ground in a blinding brightness of white.
The lights from Harvest Church shone like a warm fire in the coldest of winters – a yellow glow on the stark white. Service was about to start.
Pastor John stood patiently before the pulpit, waiting for the congregation to settle down. He heard snippets of women chattering about Christmas decorations and dinner preparations of the turkey, men discussing the increasing prices of decent Christmas trees nowadays and the dangerous conditions of the roads in this weather.
As Pastor John cleared his throat rather loudly, his patience wearing thin, there was a hush over the sanctuary and everyone hurriedly took their seats.
Pastor John stood over the pulpit, his arms holding the sides, and looked each member in the eye. Then he smiled, and a breath of relief went through the church.
Everyone was silent and attentive when he finally began:
“Our Lord was born on this day over two thousand years ago. He was the King of Kings, Prince of Peace, Lord over all of creation. Yet he arrived not in a palace and purple robes befitting his title, but in the humblest manner imaginable – in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes, surrounded by cattle and sheep, in the smallest and most insignificant town in Judea.” He paused.
“Joseph and Mary, who was heavily pregnant, had travelled far from Nazareth to Joseph’s hometown in Bethlehem. When they finally arrived, they were tired and completely exhausted from their journey. But they were told by the innkeeper that there was just no more room,” Pastor John emphasized on the last three words.
“The–”
Before he could speak his next word, there was a murmur from the back of the church. He stopped in the midst of his sentence and strained his neck over the crowd to see what had happened. Every face in the congregation turned towards the direction of Pastor John’s eyes.
At the entrance of the church was a young couple. They looked a little worse for wear. The young man had a beard a week too old, and his wife (“Are they even married?” the women in the church had begun to gossip) was noticeably pregnant. Both were shabbily dressed, the young woman’s shawl covered with snow.
They seemed embarrassed and the man looked frantically among the pews for an empty seat for both of them to sink into oblivion, away from the public scrutiny they had unintentionally gotten into.
It being Christmas Eve, Harvest Church was packed to the brim. The only available seats were right in the front pew, directly facing Pastor John.
The young man was hesitant at first, but eventually took his young wife’s hand and led her to the front. The disapproving looks of the women and men alike followed them as they made their way down the main aisle to the seats. After what seemed like eternity, the young couple sat down quietly, heads down.
All eyes returned to Pastor John, who had silently watched the young couple, noting the clumsily sewn patches in the young woman’s skirt and the young man’s wrongly buttoned shirt. He shook his head as he scanned his notes for where he had left off.
“In Hebrews 13, the Scripture says ‘Continue to love each other with true Christian love. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” Pastor John was taken aback by the aptness of the verses, considering what had just occurred. The congregation was silent, thoughtful.
Clearing his throat he began again:
“The gospel of John says that ‘He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.’ The people of Israel did not recognize him, the Jewish leaders did not recognize him, and the innkeeper who turned them away did not recognize this precious gift that has been given to us by God for our salvation.” He gave a solemn pause.
“My brothers and sisters, do we recognize him?”
Pastor John sat down beside the young couple in the front pew, offering a small smile to them, as the choir stood up to sing a few Christmas carols.
When they were done, Pastor John stood up at the pulpit again.
“Welcome to Harvest Church. We are so very glad to have some visitors with us this evening.” He looked at the young couple.
“We would like to open a time of sharing right now. Anyone who has a need, or prayer concern to share with the rest of the congregation, please feel free to come on up.” Pastor John held the microphone out, his eyes inviting the young couple to come up.
But before the young man could get up from his seat, old Mizzie Everett ran up to the front as fast as her arthritis could allow her to. An audible groan went up and down the sanctuary. Old Mizzie Everett loved sharing time.
Every time sharing time was open, Mizzie Everett was up there, well, sharing. And the congregation would look away, embarrassed, as she rambled on about her seven cats, their habits, and their latest mischief. They would hum in impatience as she discussed every one of her ailments and aches in excruciating detail.
And she rambled on again, her knuckles white as she grasped the microphone tightly in her disfigured hands.
“Thank you, Mizzie,” Pastor John interrupted, after fifteen minutes.
But old Mizzie Everett did not hear. Or she pretended not to. The congregation was getting restless.
Thank you, Mizzie,” Pastor John said firmly, after another fifteen minutes had gone by of Mizzie rambling on about every single leak in the roof of her house. He took the microphone from Mizzie and gently nudged her down the aisle back to her seat. “We will be sure to keep that in our prayers.”
“Anyone else?”
The atmosphere in the church tensed as the cordless microphone was passed to the young man. He stood up, shakily.
“This is my wife, Mary,” he gestured to the young woman sitting beside him, head still bent low, “and I’m Joe.”
“J-Joe? As in Joseph?” Pastor John sputtered.
There was excited murmuring in the church as the people wondered about this striking coincidence. The namesakes of the parents of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Joseph and pregnant Mary? A young couple? On Christmas Eve? This is more than a coincidence, Pastor John thought.
Joe smiled, embarrassed. “Yeah, I know what people are thinking. But we’re normal people, really. Our car broke down a few blocks down the road. We were looking for a place to spend the night but noticed the lights from the church. So I figured, what the heck, it is Christmas Eve and all. Why not?” Joe passed the microphone back to Pastor John and sat down abruptly.
“Well,” Pastor John said, unable to think of anything else to say. “Well.”
Suddenly, he smiled.
“Two thousand years ago, Joseph and Mary, carrying baby Jesus in her womb, were turned away. This Christmas, let us recognize our Lord for who he is. This Christmas, let us be sure there is room in our hearts.”
Pastor John sat down as the choir stood up to sing “Angels We Have Heard On High”, his heart full. There was a lesson to be learned here. He smiled as he turned to the young couple and shook their hands.
Entertained angels without realizing it, eh? Everybody would be happy to help this young couple now, Pastor John smiled.
As Pastor John had predicted, during Coffee fellowship after the service, the young couple found themselves surrounded by the beaming faces of many of the members. One member brought them punch, and another, hot cocoa. A member, who was a mechanic, volunteered to look into their car problem early the next day. And more than a dozen of them offered their homes for the young couple to stay for the night.
“You are all too kind,” young Mary gushed, her face radiant.
Pastor John beamed proudly at his members’ hospitality, convinced that this Christmas was going to be the most special one of all.


Amidst the happy chatter and laughter of the congregation and Pastor John’s distinguishable guffaw, old Mizzie Everett stood at the corner of the hall, alone, nursing a now cold cup of cocoa in her pale, bony hands. Nobody noticed her. Nobody wondered about her.
Mizzie was silent as she finished her cocoa and headed slowly towards the outside of the church where she had parked her old bicycle. She got on it, with difficulty, and carefully pedalled out of the compounds of the church, in the direction of her house. Nobody noticed. Nobody missed her.
She was gasping for breath, wheezing terribly as she pedalled slower along the bumpy road.
Oh, my back. It has been hurting so much lately. She sighed. In this frail mortal body, they do not realize how temporal it is. Everything is, until we go home.
Her bicycle squeaked at each pedal she took. She willed herself to keep going until she reached her destination. She slowed down and leaned on one foot as she stopped the bicycle by the roadside. She left her old bicycle lying on its side as she trudged up the snow-covered hill, wincing in pain at each step.
This is it. She gasped for breath, reaching a steep slope. This has been one of the toughest assignments yet. But finally, it is over.
She pictured the golden paths, the magnificent gate, and the glorious voices of the rest as they sing her joyous return, their wings radiating light and beauty. And she thought of the Master, welcoming her home with open arms.
As she reached the top of the hill, the sky above her turned bright. She heaved a final sigh.
Finally, I am going home.
With a crack and a flash of light, Mizzie Everett was gone.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Melancholy, Indeed

I was suffering from a slight headache after sleeping late and getting up early to register for my ko-k subject.
The system was having some problems, and after 328594738562305783 times of trying (okay, an exaggeration) I
finally managed to register myself for the class that I wanted (with my brothers helping me click the "Daftar" button ceaselessly).

After
that was settled, I had another matter weighing heavily on my mind. I could not go for my Korean class. There were 4 sets offered. And I had problems attending class for ALL FOUR of the sets. What are the chances? I prayed I would be able to negotiate with the coordinator and figure out a way so I can attend classes. If the coordinator could help me, I could start classes this week itself on Wednesday. But if he could not help me...I would have to give it up. :(

Reaching UKM after months of not seeing it, I could not help but sigh. Not in nostalgic fondness, mind you. No, I am being honest when I say I was
not looking forward to starting the new semester. The holidays felt way too short. Plus, the initial headache of not being able to register for an important subject fueled my non-nostalgic-fondness of anything and everything UKM-related. Suffice to say, I was fed-up with UKM (in)efficiency in things that matter, and had run out of swear words with which to curse UKM with (I know, forgive my unrestrained jaw in tense moments >.<). Thinking to help my roomie to check in and get her room keys since she will be flying back to Peninsular only this weekend, I inquired at the administration office about it while checking in myself. The kakak there told me that they just realized that the previous person who used my room had not returned the keys yet, and the office's set of spare keys for that particular room was also missing. Hence, the key I held in my hand was the only key to open my room. She suggested that I give her my set of keys bila senang (when I am free) so she could make a duplicate. I wonder then, how I was supposed to go in and out of my room while she held the one and only key? How can things like this happen? At the beginning of the semester already?

With my mum helping, I lugged my one-bootful of heavy luggage into the hostel corridor and finally arrived at my Second Home. I pushed the key into the keyhole, turned it and pushed the door open, expecting everything in the room to be covered in six inches of dust.

It was worse. There were bits of paper and plastic bags all over the floor and both the study tables. The pin board looked like someone (or some
thing) had tried to scratch it to ribbons. (In retrospect, it must have been the C_ _.) The cupboards had the pungent smell of moth balls (which I never use, because I hate >.<). And sitting right on top of my bed, smack in the middle of the mattress was an odd-shaped lump of...cat pooh. Yes, cat pooh. I kid you not. Yes, you may go Ewwwwww here. I've done my share of Ew-ing.
Oh, and did I mention there were ants crawling over it too?

I know, disgusting as it was, what choice did I have but to just clean it up?
I'm ashamed to say I allowed my mum to wipe the lumps off the bed with tissue paper. I just couldn't. >.<
Shudder.

After the "cat pooh" fiasco, I went to meet with the coordinator for the Korean language class and asked if there was any way he could help me so I would be able to take his class? He said a very clear and firm,
No. Part-time lecturers will be taking the classes and the time slots are fixed, non-negotiable. My plea of "Is there any other way?" met with another what I took to be a rather unsympathetic No. He explained that he had taken on more students than the limit because he had expected this to happen - students not being able to take the class because they clash with other important classes; students who will eventually drop the subject. It must have been my imagination, but it seemed rather like a smirk.

I
really want to take Korean. At first, I had my sights set on the Japanese language - my first love. I just love the language - the way it sounds, the melodies and harmonies it seems to create when being spoken, how expressive it is, how adorable it sounds sometimes, how beautiful.

But the fact was, Japanese class was
really hard to get into.

Oh well, Korean was an interesting language as well. And oh, how many Korean dramas I loved ! Would it not be absolutely awesome to watch Korean dramas without the subtitles? *
day-dreaming*
Finally deciding on taking the Korean language as my elective, I signed up for an online Korean language learning module. Just to learn a few basic words in the language. And I watched a few Korean dramas during the holidays to "immerse" myself in the language. I guess, that is one way of picking up the language. And I
did learn a few phrases :) I was all excited and ready to start Korean lessons.

And now this. :(

I got back to my empty room after my parents had left and just felt...tired.
It is amazing how fast you can get exhausted and mentally strained even before the semester has officially begun. Classes have not even started and I already feel like giving up.

Not even two whole hours of singing with other Choir members (which always worked to cheer me up) could get me completely out of this melancholic mood I am in at the moment. Nor the high-spirited Disney-value-filled
High School Musical soundtrack I am listening to now.

I hate sounding like a sour lemon, but I really need to vent.

Would you blame me for no longer looking forward to this semester? Not like I was very excited for this semester to begin with. But now that energy has just dampened and gotten worse.

Plus, I am all alone in my room now. No one from my gang is around.
Friends who are not back yet, friends who are at home with their families, friends who have been kicked out to a different residential college (for no valid reason !
Sigh).

I hope it is true what they say that when you're down, there is nowhere to go but up.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Master Chef and the Klutz in an Ideal World

The mansion was magnificent, to say the least.
Well-manicured lawns, its perimeter lined with beautiful rose bushes - ruby red and pearl white varieties.
The windows were spotless, reflecting the light of the sun into my eyes until I had to shield myself with my arm.
I walked up a cobbled path that led me to the front door, watching each step as I went.
My heart was hammering in my chest; I felt about to burst from the build-up of anticipation of the past few days !

Finally.
The moment was here.
Who knew what could happen?
Who knew where this could lead?

I took a deep breath as I stared at the grain of wood on his polished front door.
And I took another deep breath. And another.

After what seemed like a millennium, I raised my arm to knock on the door and alert someone of my presence. But before I could...

"Hey ! You're here ! Please, come on in."




Gosh. It really IS him.
I cannot believe that he is really standing before me, larger than life.
I pinched myself to check if I was dreaming.
Ow.
Okay, I'm not.

I was struck by his hair, his face, beaming at me as if he was happy to see me.
Although he was much taller than me, I noticed the colour of his eyes - a deep brown - the broadness of his shoulders - very inviting for someone to cry on - and the rippling muscles beneath his shirt.
Oh, he certainly looked dashing in a black shirt, unbuttoned just before his mid-chest.
How flattered I felt that he would dress up for such a simple lunch with me.
I had to almost physically force my eyes to look up into his face, instead of into the small exposed area of his chest.

I took him all in, hardly believing that I was here, that he was here, that the moment was finally here.
He did not seem phased by my lack of speech.

"I have everything almost done. Just need to get the roast out of the oven."
As he said it, I became faintly aware of the aroma of something sweet and heavenly from behind him.
All of sudden, I felt hungry.

I stepped in behind him and admired his furnishings as he bustled behind the counter of his neat kitchen.
At the dining room was a table set for two with mouth-watering dishes I could not even begin to describe laid out in the middle, tempting me to go up to them and take a whiff - just to see if they smelled as good as they looked as well. He was definitely a master chef.

Gosh, I wonder how it would be like to live with him?
I started daydreaming of waffles and pancakes in bed, lovely pastries for tea, wonderful scrumptious meals everyday, spoiled for choice when it came to types of cuisine...

"Shall I seat you?"

He pulled out my chair and I gingerly sat on it, aware of his eyes boring into the back of my head.
Was my hair all in place? Did I have a rogue strand? Can he see it?
I consciously ran a hand through my curls, and smiled as he sat opposite me.
But he was such an easy person to be with.
He put me at ease so quickly, with his wit and his humour, and his charm.

I can barely remember our conversation that whole two hours over lunch, but it did not seem to matter.
What I did remember were details I hoped he would never know I noticed.
How his hair looks soft enough to risk reaching my hand out to touch. (Which, of course, I did not do. How embarrassing would that be?)
How his smile is a little crooked, but his teeth so perfectly white.
How his laugh is oh-so-enchanting and could melt all my insides into goo.
How his eyes are a deep brown just like many other Asians, but if I stare long enough, I swear his eyes could smile right back, as if they knew I was staring, and was amused.
How he likes to rub his hand to the back of his head when he was embarrassed at something I said (when I praised him for his culinary skills, his generosity).

We shared a lot about ourselves.
I told him about my dreams, my hopes, my wishes for the future. How I wanted to be more than just a good teacher to my students, more of a friend they can share things with. Someone who, they will tell me years after they have left the school, has left an impression on them in more ways than one. I want to be GREAT.
He shared with me about his life, his work, his passion for cooking and how it is more than just appeasing the stomach, but more of an art. About his struggles, and even how one allergic-reaction incident almost cost him the career he had spent his life building. But he made it through. I mentally saluted him for his courage and determination. He would never give up his love for his work. I could certainly see that.

All too soon, it was time to leave.
I was reluctant to go, but embarrassed that I had taken up so much of his precious time.
He must be annoyed with me for that, but had been too polite to say so, or show any sign of it.
I kicked myself for that. How insensitive ! Don't you know how busy he is? He's got more important things to do than chat aimlessly with you, I berated myself.

As I stood on his front porch step, I held out my hand to shake his; to thank him for a wonderful lunch.
Honestly, it was more than wonderful. It had been great. I wondered if it was too forward if I asked him to lunch next time. And cook him what, instant noodles? I shook my head.
He was way out of my league. I should be grateful I even had this opportunity.
I looked at him and was surprised to see that he was nervously picking at the hem of his shirt.

"Do you think...we could do this again sometime?" His eyes flicked from mine, to the ground at his feet.
I almost laughed out loud.
Was he nervous about asking me to lunch? Him? Nervous about asking me?
It suddenly hit me that he was asking me out again.
HE. WAS ASKING ME OUT. AGAIN.

I almost choked.
Don't let this opportunity go. Be confident, girl !
"S-S-Sure." Darn.
I was too busy scolding myself for stammering my response that I did not see his hand until it was below my chin, tilting it up towards his face.

I gulped visibly.

His nervousness seemed to have disappeared as his lips curled upward into a smile.
My legs could barely hold me up - they felt too much like jelly.

The distance between my lips and his got smaller and smaller...
An inch away from him, I closed my eyes thinking, "Ohmigoshohmigoshohmigoshohmigoshohmigosh..."

My final thought was, "I hope my breath does not smell like the roast turkey we just had !"

Suddenly I felt a vibration just beside my ear. A strange kind of buzzing.
Not now !!
I tried to ignore the buzzing and vibration and concentrate instead on the softness of his lips on mine - which I should have felt by now.
My forehead creased and I peeked out of the slits of my eyes.

"W-w-what?"

Ceiling fan.
Pink walls.
Pillow in my face.
And my handphone alarm, buzzing furiously to tell me it is time to wake up.

Nooo !!! This cannot be happening !!
I squeezed my eyes shut, as tight as I could, and willed myself back to moment before our lips touched.
All I could see in my mind was black.

Sigh.
Why????


p.s: This was definitely a dream I did not want to wake up from :(

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Key To Freedom

It happens only once in a lifetime.
Once it comes, it never occurs again.

You have the key to your freedom, to independence.
Your whole future is ahead of you, and you hold the reins.
You control which direction you go, from here on out.
You are your own person, you call the shots.

You can do whatever you want, and no one can actually stop you.

Turning twenty one. :)

Yes, finally, legally,

I can consume alcohol. Not just "Shandy" anymore.
I can walk into a casino and gamble away every cent in my pocket. (With my height, I think the guards will still ask me for ID; then I can give an indignant face and show them that I am legally allowed to do what I am doing at that moment)
I can get married without my parent's consent and leave the country (but I'd have to get my passport done first, though).

Somehow, I do not feel any different to when I was twenty-plus.

My weight is the same (I wished so hard I was a few kilograms lighter ! ). And my height too (unfortunately), is still the same (since I was in primary school >.<).
I doubt I have suddenly gained an infinite amount of wisdom overnight.
Nor have I matured and aged significantly into adulthood.

Am I happy? Sure.
Excited? A little.

But my birthday was just like any other day.

Oh, but a few days before that, when I was totally not expecting anything...

My mum:
"Go dress up, we're going for dinner."
"Okay, but why must I dress up?"
"Cos...we're going to a nice place."
"It's just dinner with the family, right?"
"Yes, but...it's a really nice, fancy restaurant."

"Go put on some make-up la."
"Why?"
"Look nicer ma."
"Aiya, it's just us right? No need la."

And my dad:
"How come I never see you wearing contact lenses anymore?"
"Cos...I seldom go out?"
"Then, why are you not wearing them now?"
"It's only family dinner right? Why do I have to dress up, put make up on, and wear contacts if it's just gonna be for a couple of hours?"

Ah ! All the hints ! Why did I not notice them before?

When we arrived at Kensington (the "nice, fancy restaurant" my mum must have meant) I caught a glimpse of a familiar face.
I blinked.
Another different, familiar face appeared.
Suddenly I noticed a whole bunch of people I know standing inside the restaurant behind the tinted glass doors.
And I knew.

All I could say was, "Oh-am-gee ! Oh-am-gee oh-am-gee !!!"

A lovely Chocolate Indulgence cake was waiting for me accompanied by a slightly off-tune rendition of "Happy Birthday". On it was written:


"Happy 21st birthday Lisa! Happy Growing Up"

Happy "growing up" indeed. They can tease me even on my birthday. Or especially because of that. >.< (I was told I had Sam to thank for this ! Aishhh XD)

Almost all of them were there. Along with a few I had not seen in a long time, or did not expect to see.
It was certainly a surprise !
I looked around me and saw all the people I love and care about. People I have had the privilege to know.
And that is the best present anyone could ever give me for my birthday :)

Heartfelt thanks to everyone for making it a great time !
Special thanks of course to WenYun and Sam, who were, I was told, the masterminds behind this little "deception" ! "Family dinner" indeed !!! :P

Oh, you think the surprise stops there?
Of course not.

At half and hour to midnight on my actual birthday, my mum very suspiciously brings out a nicely-wrapped package. To be opened on my birthday, it seems.
I open the package and there's a very pink journal.
"Oh, wow. Thanks guys !"
A journal to pen my thoughts? An appropriate gift when you turn 21 I guess.
"Why don't you sit down while you read it?" my mum suggests.
"Read it? Read what?"
And I flipped through its pages and spied beautifully decorated photos, scribbled chicken-scratch handwriting.
"You guys wrote stuff in it? For me?"

And I sat down to read.

I read what my parents wrote for me, their baby ah girl who is now a young adult; I read what my brothers wrote about me being their sister (which made me laugh out loud - too many inside jokes to explain here), a message from a former teacher, wishes from best friends, close friends; there were even messages from good friends all the way from UK and Australia !

I did not cry. Too much, at least.
There were tears pricking my eyes by the time I reached the back cover of the journal.
I was practically almost speechless. It took a lot for me to not let out a sob.
I was so touched by all the words written especially for me.
I was touched by the time and effort one of my best friends had put in to put this together. It made me feel oh-so-very-special. :)
Love ya, WenYun !! (I can never repay you; I feel guilty for not doing something like this for your twenty-first >.<)

I really appreciate everything that everyone has done for me - the party, the journal, the wishes either through SMS, calls, or FB :)

And yes, I did get my "key" to freedom - along with a lock and a tiny '21' !!
My parents bought me a really lovely white gold necklace with 3 tiny pendants (mentioned above). I love it to bits ! Thanks Ma and Pa !! :)

Although I sorta kinda have gained my "freedom", it does not really mean much to me.
What was more important was that my birthday this year has shown me that I have been so blessed with the friends and family I have around me.
I have people who care about me, who believe in me, are proud of me, and wish me the best :)
These people did not magically appear out of nowhere when I turned twenty one. They were here behind me, alongside me, all these years of my life.
That, has never changed.

Of course, I am secretly thrilled by the fact that I can (as in, the ability to, not necessarily that I want to. Aheh) drink more than just "Shandy" now.

But in every other way, I hope things remain no different to when I was twenty-plus.


p.s: I love you guys ! Thank you for everything :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Aim for the Longkang !

Jess and I @ bus station
Literature paper was kinda tough.

Identify four reasons for the inclusion of the Literature component in the secondary school curriculum?
How do I know?

You guessed it. I crapped all the way. >.<


With Nerdy Alia :)

My fault this time.
I vaguely remember reading something like that in our slides.
But I didn't memorize them, goodness. >.<
But who cares about all that when you have awesome plans for the rest of the day? XP



Chiew Yen, me, Sun
(GIB = Girls In Black!)


Took the Rapid KL to Kajang for satay with (most of) my course mates to celebrate our "Best Decorated Table" win during TESL Gala last month. Fifty bucks wei. I say that's pretty worth it ! But more than the money pay-off was having our effort pay off !! It felt awesome to win first prize :) We worked our butts off for that competition ! And finally we get to enjoy the fruits of our labour (Satay-Kajang-style) together !!

Oh, makan alone was not enough.
Nooo. Of course not.
Bowling was next on the agenda !



Bowling shoes of different colours and sizes !

I was so glad so many of us joined the game, although initially they did not plan to.
So sporting ! I am definitely impressed with Syai, Shan, Dwee and even Sun. Jessie did awesome herself, finally scoring better than me tim ! *jealous* *but in a good way XD*

OMG.
I seriously have not laughed so hard, and that loud, in a looong time.
(Exam stress really does get to you ! Just look at the Lingkaran Api Pasifik on my face and you will know what I mean >.<)
We had so much of fun bowling.
Oh, and of course, camwhoring together :)

You won't believe it, I was so enthusiastic cheering everybody on that I screamed myself hoarse !
Okay, maybe not so hard to believe.
But well, everybody needs to be cheered for and high-fived right? :P

I learned that:

1. There are many different styles when it comes to bowling. You can:

(a) stand terkangkang and throw the bowling ball from between your legs (oh, and don't forget to show off your awesome butt while you're at it ! XD) a.k.a. Alia's Style,

(b) squat just before the alley and roll the bowling ball (doesn't matter if you can walk faster than the bowling ball then, it's for precision's sake) a.k.a. Dwee's Style, or

(c) fling the bowling ball as hard as you can but let your fingers get stuck to it, just for laughs (well, actually it was unintentional, so it was that much more entertaining ! However, you will need to bowl again :P) a.k.a. Syai's Style (no offense Syai, but you were too CUTE !! lol).

2. It does not matter if you keep hitting nothing but air when you bowl, or you keep getting a dash on your score board, keep playing anyway. :)

3. Getting a strike does not matter either, most important is the effort ! And that deserves crazy loud cheering ! Loud enough to make all the adjacent lanes (and those even further away) stare at you like you have horns growing out of the top of your head (cos that's how people seemed to be looking at the two noisiest lanes there) ! :P

4. If you want to high-five a person, make sure they see you first. Otherwise, it is pretty embarrassing to high-five the air. Trust me, I know. >.< 



5. It's okay if your name appears wrong on the score board, people still know who you are. (Right, "Liyaa" and "Putei"??) *This is an inside joke. You will not understand this unless you are, well, inside.* XD

6. Hanging out with my crazy bunch of course mates is F-U-N. So we most certainly must have a Round #2 !!! :)



Toilet shot, of course.
Wouldn't want to disappoint ! XD

I have not enjoyed myself with these guys like this in such a long time.
Makes me think, "Why did we never have this before?"

I think we should have it EVERY SEMESTER !!
At least once we should all go out and makan together and enjoy each other's company :)

It was totally awesome !
Let's do it again, yes? *hopes everyone nods furiously here*

TESLians, I really appreciate you guys !
Thanks for an awesome day !!




Me and the normal gang went for a second lunch at Noodle Station.
Price was reasonable, noodles was...not bad. Not bad at all ! :)
Went in highly recommended by Chiew Yen.
And we were not disappointed !










Went grocery shopping (mainly hunted for Butterscotch Gardenia bread but finally only found Choco-Raisin) and then went to da bao KFC for dinner.

Imagine, I had been craving KFC for ages ! Finally !

Now, is that not a blissful life? *winks*


*At the moment, the author is ignoring the fact that she has not exactly completed her final examinations yet, with the last paper - English Phonetics and Phonology (yes, it IS as scary as it sounds) - still to come. For now, she claims partial freedom !*

p.s:


Suddenly teringin to have steamboat.
Tomyam style.
Aheh.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Itenetrsnig Tutrore

I am so terid of radneig Pyogucnlitsihics.

It is crtianley a vrey itesntrnig suejbct to sudty, but for an etxanimaon? It is srosileuy kllinig me !
It deos not seem to mtater taht I hvae arldaey gnoe tguhroh the txet book ocne dirnug sutdy week.
Rnadieg it aigan is lkie the fsrit tmie ALL. OEVR. AIAGN.

Why cna't I rmebeemr the fvie bniefets of ealry raednig?
Or all the mtoheds of scenod-lgnaague tcahnieg? Tehir smliriaiteis and dfirfecnees?
The fuor mian tehroeis on the rleatoin of lngaguae, tuhoght and ctulure? And tiher agrnmuets?
Troehy of Ntarual Gmamrar, Uvnisrael Gamramr, blignauliism and ahpsaias.
Sgih.

Trhee are smoe itnetrsenig suftf. Lkie waht I am tyrnig out hree.
Rsreaceh dnoe swhos taht fnulet Eglnsih rdeears eteuvalnly lrean to itnedfiy wlohe wdros rheatr tahn sngile lrtetes.
Sllnipeg may be iprfemcet, but mnaenig can siltl be rcoereevd.

Tihs has been crilcnig the itnreent snice 2003:


Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.


Itnerstenig, no?

But scuh a ttorrue to sdtuy !

Wsih me the bset.
I need hlep. >.<

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Squishy Can Be Nice Too

Rain.





I know how the phenomenon of rain occurs.
(I mean, I do remember something from Form 3 Science and Geography.)
I understand how it happens.
It's logical, reasonable, predictable.

But, what I do not understand, is why it rains when you do not want it to rain,
but there's not a drop from the sky when you do want it to rain? >.< Walking out of the exam hall after my (horrible) second paper, I am greeted by sheets of rain, large wet puddles, and soggy squishy grass. The prospect of squashing myself into an almost-toppling-over bus full of other people with equally as damp clothes and hair was not very inviting. And considering my height, I have underarm odour to worry about too (since my face is just at that right height).

But how do I walk back in this rain?
In a baju kurung too. (Alamak ! >.<)

I took a deep breath and whipped out my brand new maroon umbrella from its plastic cover (it's that new) and took my first steps out.
*splash splash splash*
Ugh.

I can feel my shoes getting squishier with every step I took.
Every car that passed by, I would literally shrink to the side; so afraid they'd splash puddles of water all over me.

There were puddles of water everywhere, forcing me to "dance" all over the place.
"Dance" as in as much dancing as I can do while holding my baju kurung skirt up, that is.
And there was thunder and lightning too.
There was this bright flash of light, and I cringed in anticipation:


CRACK !!!!

It was really loud. The kind of loud where you can feel your heart go thump in your chest at the same time the thunder cracks.
I had this fleeting vision of a lightning flash hitting my (brand new !) umbrella (did I mention it was a lovely maroon colour? Oh, I did. Aheh.) and electrocuting me to death, leaving behind nothing but a pile of black ash. Or white.

And worst of all, the humidity made my hair go all poofy. >.< 


 Yes, I was a little grumpy. But the further along I walked, the lighter the rain got. The squishy sounds of my shoes *squish SQUISH SQUISH squish squish* was like music. Every puddle I jumped over taught me a new dance move. The weather got awfully cooling. And I enjoyed twirling my umbrella, skipping in the rain :) 


Sitting down at my laptop after I hung my umbrella to dry, I can hear the splash of raindrops outside. And it is not annoying, it is peaceful. The rain tells me one thing: "Your bed is the coziest place on earth at this moment - so get in it !!" xP 


I am sure you can tell what I am gonna do next :P

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Theft

I really dislike plagiarism.

I really dislike people who take the credit for things that are not theirs,
for work that does not belong to them,
for ideas that did not come from them.

As a writer myself,
I would HATE anyone who took my short-stories,
my poems,
my writing,
and called it theirs.

I do not know what I would do if I should browse the net one day,
to see MY poem, or MY short story, or MY writing there
with someone else's name at the bottom.

That was MY work,
MY words,
MY sweat and blood.

MINE.

And I'll be d***ed if I allow such things to happen before my own eyes.

I shall not remain quiet.

You might not like me very much then.

But I feel strongly about this. So there.

Such people should not have the right to demand respect from others.
How dare they ??

How can I ever look at someone like that again without disgust ?

Plagiarism is theft.
A crime.
One that I do not, will not, tolerate.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gluttons Galore

I just got back from a faculty lunch - Majlis Meraikan Pelajar Yang Menerima Anugerah Dekan.
Pretty straightforward, no fancy-shmancy names and stuff.

I didn't really care. Was just excited about having lunch with a few other course mates - free
lagii.

When we entered the restaurant, the first thing I noticed was that there was a whole lot of people already waiting.
But very few tables. Definitely, not enough for the whole lot of us. >.< Oh, well, what can you do? We moved outside to the adjacent dining hall. True, there was no fancy table cloth, or pretty ribbons tied to the back of the chairs, but at least we get a table to sit at. We had to squeeze 7 of us at a table meant for 4. Then began the waiting. We were there since12pm. And according to the programme, it was supposed to start at 12.15pm after the VIPs arrive. Well, waiting for the
orang-orang besar - what else is new? >.< We entertained ourselves in the meantime, despite growling stomachs, by taking pictures ! First take from this angle, then another from the other angle. Ooh, let's take in pairs ! In groups of 3 !
Excited happy chatter turned to silent groaning.
Our growling stomachs could wait no longer !

All we could do was stare at the food, covered nicely with very tempting shiny stainless steel covers.

Finally, the VIPs arrived (I bet they
melenggang-lenggang masuk lagi) and the ceremony started.
But because we were seated
outside in the adjacent dining hall, we could hear, and see nothing. We had no idea whatsoever what was happening inside.
Wait, we did.

Oh, then finally ! The long awaited moment !
Makan time !!

We were at a table that was nearby the buffet table.
But surprise surprise. Before I could even reach for a plate a whole crowd of girls (fellow Faculty of Education students, mind you) were pushing and shoving to get to the food.

I was patient. I stood there, waiting for some who were taking the melanin plates (which were heavy, I tell you).
And I waited some more.

But more and more people just kept coming and coming and pushing and pushing and shoving and shoving.
I was one of the earliest there, but I had yet to get a freaking plate.

One kind soul handed me a plate - a sweet Malay girl in a pink
tudung. I was so grateful. :)

But it was kind of pointless because I never got to reach the food.
All I could see was a sea of
tudung-clad heads and a tangle of arms.
I could see hands grabbing plates and spooning large amounts of the dishes onto their plates.
HUGE mounds I tell you. Their plates had food the size of a mini Mount Kinabalu.
And still, I had not the heart to push my way through to the food although I had been there earlier than the whole lot of them standing in front of the food now.

I stood there, clutching my plate. I felt a push from in front of me. Quite a rough one.
I assumed it was an accident.
But oh, no. She pushed again, and again, and again.

WTH.
I was seething. No, I was silently
furious.

Do these people not have manners? No consideration for others?
Are these people not civilized ????!!!!
Can't you freakin'
WAIT.YOUR.TURN ????!!!!

I gave up.
I struggled to pull myself out of the crowd.
Difficult to go against the current, if you know what I mean.

I did not get any food. Seriously.
There was no food
left.
And there was no refill.

It was only later that we discovered that the organizing committee (I do not know exactly who) had ordered for 200 people. And 300 had shown up.

Now, tell me, how on
earth can that happen?
All these people certainly did not come here uninvited.
Do you mean to say that you invited 300 over people, yet ordered enough for only 200?
Where are your brains, people ???

I would really like to give you people the benefit of the doubt, and assume you are not idiots, and that you do have brains.
Then how, explain to me, can this happen?
Not enough seats, not enough food.
Some of the unlucky ones had only plain
mee hoon to eat.

The irony was, those
GLUTTONS had taken mounds of food.
And had left their tables with excess food. Some had even plates of
untouched mee hoon.

I really do not know what to say anymore.
I am just tired of all these unfair, inefficient incidences that just turn me into someone I really do not want to be.
I am extremely pissed, but lack the energy to rant and rave any longer.

I'm disappointed in the "esteemed" Faculty of Education.
What is this inefficiency in planning? Nobody bothered that there were some of us who had nothing to eat.
As long as the VIPs were oblivious to what was happening, and left with happy, full tummies.

I'm disappointed in my fellow future teachers.
Is this how we should be behaving?
What happened to consideration? Care? Kindness?
Is this the kind of example we want to be showing our students?

Can something be done?
Can we change the mindsets of people?

I do not know.

All I saw today was selfishness and a
proud display, I would say, of gluttony.

Except the kind sweet Malay girl in the pink
tudung.
I am grateful to you, whoever you are.
Not just for that small simple act of consideration for others that you showed me.
But for the values you represent.

We seriously need to pray for our future generation.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Darn Unity

Even with the final examinations drawing awfully near, and the semester in its final week of study, burdened with assignments yet to be completed before then, my beloved faculty decided to help us relax and reduce our pressure and tension by giving us:

A QUIZ.

Whoopee.

Strange that this quiz for
beloved Curriculum and Pedagogy class seems to be so poorly publicized. All we received was an announcement on SPIN (student e-portal) asking all of us to attend the final lecture on the 13th of October in Dewan Budiman at 2pm where there will be a reflection of our micro-teaching, oh, and a QUIZ.
Nothing else mentioned, like how many marks were allocated, the format of the paper,
nada.

I frantically searched my (very dusty) notebook where I had written notes for the class (when I successfully managed to stay conscious long enough to actually write) and lo and behold ! There
was something about a quiz during the final week. I had written:

IMPORTANT !! QUIZ WEEK 14 (ESSAY) - 30%

wth.
Thirty-freaking-percent ????!!!! Purely essay ?????!!!!!!!!!!!!
Alamak. I haven't even touched my books. Darn. >.< So began a few sleepless nights (well, sleep-deprived days really) of frantic, desperate, hopeless, mugging. I suddenly realized I had books I never knew I had. What great timing ! Just in time !

I also realized, unfortunately, that there were
36 methods of teaching all categorized real pretty with fancy names like Resitasi (Recitation) and Sumbang Saran (Brainstorming) described in excruciating detail. And yes, I needed to also translate all of it into English from Malay.
Methods in teaching, lesson plan formats, Bloom's Taxonomy, 10 views in integrating curriculum, National Education Curriculum, ways of effective teaching and learning, officialism, introducing a lesson, variations, explanation, techniques in questioning and everything else was pretty much
stuffed into my brain, if I can use such a term.






I very nearly was on the verge of committing suicide.
Not really.
But very nearly though.

Everywhere I went I thought of the 6 levels of Bloom, the difference between critical and creative thinking skills, what the statement for the National Curriculum was.
Gan jeong betul.
Especially on D-Day.

All my previous classes before the quiz, I could not concentrate. We were talking about Broca's aphasia and Wernicke's aphasia and the
corpus calossum in Psycholinguistics, but my mind was still on the 5 main reasons why teachers need to plan their lessons - in essay point form.

It came to the point where, I didn't really care whether I was finally ready or not, I could
not stand the sight of that pink book again.
I had had enough.
I just wanted it over and done with.

We were finally seated, all of us. Most of us, like me, nervous and jittery. And very jumpy.

The question paper was handed out:

JAWAB SEMUA SOALAN DI BAWAH

1. Apakah yang anda faham tentang perpaduan?

2. Apakah masalah utama yang dihadapi dalam pengajaran mikro 10-12 minit?
3. Apakah kaedah yang anda fikirkan paling sesuai untuk pengajaran perpaduan? Nyatakan.


wth.
I slogged and mugged and had sleepless nights to answer questions that even my F5 brother can? Or anyone from
any other course can, for that matter? On UNITY ??!! What is this, an essay writing competition in conjunction with Independence Day? Or wait, 1Malaysia? *grrrrrr*

Oh, and after I'd written a 1 page essay for each question, allotting about 10 marks for each, she told us that the entire quiz, all 3 essay questions that is, would give a total of 10% for our final marks.

Ten-freaking-percent.

I swear, I could curse real bad right now.
Real bad. >.<