Saturday, July 2, 2011

That Silver Lining

Sorry for the absence my dear readers. (Yes, although you are few, I appreciate each one of ya! :D)

I have been, um, busy.

Sorry for the lame excuse too. >.<

Anyways, I left at quite an emo note, did I not? A few were concerned, and I thank you for that. But honestly, it was just what it was--an emo moment.

I was feeling down for a bit and, possibly in a spur of inspiration, blogged my emo-ness away. After I was done with that post, I felt much better really.

Do you wanna hear what happened?

Maybe I shouldn't. You might say that I was over-reacting. That I was making a mountain out of a mole hill. That I was being silly.

Well, I'll tell you anyway if you promise to only say nice and comforting words, after. :P


I'd been happily enjoying my holidays for the past two months, spending my days exploring line dancing, Praise Exercise and the glorious world of cooking and baking! :D I'm sure you bore witness to a few of my attempts, eh? Although not privileged enough to taste them! :B

Then on Saturdays, for like, three hours a week, I teach at my old music school; teaching the kids and one Grade 8 student. And then I'm done for the day. :D

Oh, and now on Thursdays after Praise Exercise, I help teach English to all the old aunties, indirectly picking up Cantonese and Mandarin from them on the side. :)


Came The Call.

Dr. Melor, a lecturer who had taught me two subjects the previous semester, whom I had not spoken to since my finals in April, was calling me on my handphone. (At the moment, I was at the optometrist's shop to get my eyes checked. haha Random~ xD)

Did I do something wrong? Is there a problem with my results? Is she taking back the A she gave me for both subjects?

Yikes. @.@

Thank God it wasn't about that. She asked me if I was "free" for the next couple of months. To do some teaching. English. For Form 4 students.

Terrifying? Definitely!

Ooh, and did I mention that these were no ordinary Form 4 students? These are the gifted Form 4 students of the Permata Pintar program. Gifted ya, not the "special" kids. These are kids with high IQ and potential to become Sheldons (from The Big Bang Theory--which is AWESOME btw! xD). They actually spent millions building a special school for these gifted children within UKM itself.

Andddddd this Permata Pintar program happens to be our beloved Prime Minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah's pet project. 

Talk about pressure. >.<

I have had no teaching experience whatsoever, despite the fact that I'm already a final year TESL student (this coming semester). I have not gone for my teaching practicum and therefore cannot say that I have had real-school teaching practice done before. Ever.

So, my lecturer calling to offer me this teaching stint was absolutely nerve-wracking. She must be insane!

And so I told her exactly so. I mean, the me having no experience part, not the she being insane part. =.=

Then she told me how much she was impressed with me during the microteaching in one of her classes. Said that I had good mastery of the language (duh!) and that I was very clear and direct with my instructions and input. I remembered her giving me a near perfect score for my microteaching, with only one mark to full. She said she was confident I would be able to do well for this job. That I had It. And as we all know, It is very important, isn't it?

I asked for time to consider. Which she kindly gave--2 days.

And in those two days, I struggled, I did. I went back and forth, trying to figure out if I should take the job. Whether I could actually do this--take on 3 classes with a total of 115 students. 115 Form 4 students. No, 115 Form 4 gifted students. With no teaching experience.

Then I contemplated the issue of logistics. Yes, I could stay in the hostel the students were also staying in. But how weird is staying with your students? Some of the girls might actually see me in a towel and literally, nothing else. Or see me with toothpaste stains down my spaghetti-strap top. Or worse, use the toilet I just had a dump in! @.@

And then they see me in class trying to command their attention. How is that gonna work, anyway? Wave my hands up high and hope they can see me? >.<

Plus, I had no car to take to the school, which meant that I'd be stuck with no transport to even go outside for a nice Chinese dinner of chap fan (economy rice), or even to jalan-jalan in nearby Kajang. Since it was not normal term time in UKM, there were no buses, and I doubt I'd be able to get a taxi in that deserted god-forsaken place.

Besides going to the school and back to the hostel with the kids on the bus they were provided with, I'd be going no place else. I'd be stuck in my room, having to entertain myself with just my laptop.

For two whole months.

But then again. It was a rare opportunity. I'd be reasonably paid. I'd have lodging. And though I wouldn't have a life, I'd be teaching and gaining valuable experience that would definitely help me in my teaching practicum next year.

I talked myself into it. I convinced myself this was good. That it was worth sacrificing my holidays for. I was terrified, but I was warming up to the idea. I started thinking about what I needed to do, imagining what it would be like. I started thinking, Hey, I might actually be able to do this. I can do this.


Came The Text.

To prepare myself, I sent a couple of queries I had about making an appointment to see my lecturer and the teacher I was supposed to take over from the following week in a text message. (My lecturer is the head of the Permata Pintar program, and was always in meetings. Calling would not have been appropriate.)

After a loooonnnnggggggggg gap of silence (I assumed she was not available and most likely in  some meeting or other) she finally replied my text message.

I read the words I'm sorry and was stunned for a while. I glanced through the message and got the gist of it. She had suggested me as the replacement teacher to the Committee but they rejected me, even though they were "impressed with my CV". No teaching experience, they said. And though my lecturer vouched for me, saying I had done really well during my microteaching assignment, it wasn't good enough.

I just wasn't good enough.

I guess you can imagine how I felt. Sure, it wasn't my-husband-just-cheated-on-me-with-some-slut-and-I-have-ten-kids-to-provide-for-and-I-don't-even-own-a-house bad, but it was bad, for me.

I was rejected twice before for a KPM scholarship that would give me a chance to study overseas in a 4+2 undergraduate twinning program with Australia, or the UK. The first time, I did not even get called for an interview. The second time, the interviewers actually told me how "impressed" they were with me, and then gave the scholarship to someone else. What was so frustrating was, I remember talking to a girl two years my junior outside the interview room, and how she told me that she was only applying for this teaching scholarship because "her mum asked her to". She didn't have a passion for teaching, she didn't even want to teach. But for all I know, the scholarship went to her anyway. What was wrong with me? Why wasn't I good enough? My Band 6 for MUET not enough? I wasn't passionate enough? My portfolio not impressive enough? I'm not tall enough? WHAT?

I'm sure the Committee had very reasonable, very valid reasons for rejecting me. They just couldn't take in someone who had no teaching experience. I get that. Don't you think I've told myself this over and over already?

Somehow though, this, now, is like five-years-ago all over again. It hurt then, as it does now. The sting is still there, know what I mean? :(

Call me silly, stupid, whatever. I'd agree. Why want something so badly? You're only setting yourself up for disappointment.

So what do we do? Stop ourselves from wanting something? Prevent ourselves from desiring something? Don't allow ourselves to hope?

Somehow, I think that even if we lived that way, we'd still feel disappointed, one way or another. And is that even called 'living'?

We can't run from disappointment. It's one of those things that come together in the package of Life.

The trick is learning to handle it.

I was thinking to myself, Hm, I guess I get to keep my two more months of holidays. And this is a pretty decent way to spend them--line dancing, Praise Exercises, teaching aunties English, teaching music to kids, and baking. I've got work, I've got play, and this 'ol Banana me is picking up some dialects to boot! Not bad, what.

Wouldn't you agree? :D

It may seem simple, but I think spending my holidays this way is meaningful to me. :)

So I guess not getting that job worked out well after all. Not getting that scholarship twice then worked out too, five years down the line. Maybe Someone out there knows what's best for me, better than I do, myself :D

Let's all learn to see that silver lining behind every cloud.


SandraC said...

God has his ways. u dont worry. if i were u , i would be happier to be at home than rotting in my hostel. haha..

Jennifer said...

Hey I found you in my followers, thanks for following my blog! I really do appreciate it, you have no idea!

The way you explain things makes me giggle. You have a really great blog here, I love the way you tell your stories to your readers. :)

Keep it up!

And good for you for finding the silver lining--that's always important.

I hope to hear from you on my end of Blogger soon. ;D