Sunday, September 30, 2012

A SHORT VISIT TO SINGAPORE

When was the last time I visited Singapore? November 2010, and I realized about this after checking my passport. I decided to pay an old friend, an ex-coursemate of my college days, Puan Siti Khadijah who is now residing there with her family members. The last time I saw them was when they were in Germany back in June 2010.

Her house is located in somewhere in Jalan Pasir Bongek, a road name which I find a bit funny. The house was magnificent and it will be featured later in my blog. I am sure you will be impressed. After a short chat, Puan Siti Khadijah was kind enough to take me to the latest tourist attraction in Singapore so do expect a lot of entries about this amazing place later.

Before going back to JB, we went for dinner somewhere in Bukit Timah at Al-Azhar Restaurant. Finally, Mr. Stephan dropped me off at Jurong East MRT Station.

That was the end of my short visit to Singapore. It was great to see friends again and to get to see a new place as well. Thanks a lot to Puan Siti Khadijah and Mr. Stephan and the kids too for the fun time.

Friday, September 28, 2012

SPM CONTINUOUS WRITING SAMPLE

FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY. MAY MANY WILL BENEFIT.
NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE.

*If you have read the essay posted in the last two postings, this one has the same title "TOMORROW" but was dealt in a totally different way.
** Please do not try to memorize any essay for examination. it doesn't work that way.


T O M O R R O W
by: writer unknown

Strolling down the paved pathway, with my fingers tightly clasped around my little sister's wrist. I breathed in the fresh air and allowed the soothing wind to determine my route. The serene park was quiet as the sun was just rising, its ray of light peeping through the clouds. I saw something in a distant shade of velvet red. Just one rose amidst the bushes. The rose somehow beamed unlike any other I had ever seen. It had not fully bloomed. There was an odd vulnerability to that rose. Pacing back home, my sister softly muttered the lines of a famous song. She sang, "The future's not for ours to see," and her voice trailed off as we entered the house.


That red rose sat on my dining table in a fragile, transparent vase. I could not help myself. It just had to come home with me. Day after day, my eyes were preoccupied wandering along the petals of the rose and and down its stalk. The first couple of days the rose fully bloomed. It looked brave and oozed confidence. That day, I received some thrilling news. My aunt had given birth to a healthy baby boy. The joy of the addition of another child filled the air. Toasts were made among the relatives and excited laughter drowned the baby's cry. Our life is sugar coated with many joyous memories. I pondered to myself what tomorrow had to offer.


Clumsily making my way down the stairs, I propped myself on a chair. Squinting due to deprived sleep, I observed my rose. At that very second, looking was just not enough. I caressed my fingers down the stalk. Thorns with such menace pricked my fingers and it certainly did hurt. I was however disturbed from analytically assessing my fingers by a phone call. my mother's wavering tone alarmed me slightly. My grandfather had been rushed to the hospital after suffering a severe fall. I could sense a certain level of panic in my mother's voice as she tried to be as calm as possible telling me she would be home late. Life does have its surprises. Some of them one never wishes for. However, life obeying the concept of balance will present us with hardship and turmoil. Sadness, despair and anger are feelings which we cannot hide from. I prayed that day that tomorrow would be a better one.


The rose, the following day, no longer stood confidently. It wilted to one side. The flower in my palm felt limp and weak. It no longer had the visual appeal it did several days back. My grandfather's condition, according to the doctors was not improving. The frail man lay lifelessly on that inclined bed with tubes and breathing aids all over his body. I could tell my mother and her other siblings were losing hope. They were far too distraught to bother to hide their visible emotions. Just like the rose they were emotionally weak. Seconds clocked away slowly as I wanted that day to end and step into tomorrow.


Black pigment on the petals of the rose gave it a lacklustre appeal. It was not presentable to put a dead rose right in the centre of my dining table. Finally, the time had come for me to dispose of that very flower. As a family, we performed prayers and rituals for my grandfather who had passed away. Death had to come and it awaits all of us. Similar to disposing of the rose, we had to let my grandfather go. Who are we to dictate the cycle of life? No one. My family and I merely accepted his fate. That day was gloomy and silence was not once broken. I clasped on to the very same hope that tomorrow would be a better day.



Life hands up the golden opportunity of seeing uncountable tomorrows. As a being in this world, the only armour we are given to survive the downfalls and conflicts is our hearts. When our hearts stop hoping, our minds stop believing, and we stop living. My sister sang the perfect tune: "The future is not for ours to see". Our path in life lies before us but until we see the daylight of tomorrow, we live in the dark. Tomorrow might bring joy. Tomorrow may hand us grief. I have begun to understand that time is the essence of our journey through life. Therefore, tomorrow is the door to the future.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

MY EARLY BIRTHDAY CARD FROM MIRI

My birthday card arrived early this year, as if I receive birthday card anymore. People do not send anymore cards, with the belief that this will cause more trees to be cut down. Even people start inviting friends and acquaintances to their weddings via SMS and Facebook. 

The card came from Miri, Sarawak and I am sure I do not have any secret admirer from that part of the world. It was from Mega Hotel which I remember staying at when I was there three years ago. And inside the card, there were also signatures of people who should be working there.

Thanks Mega Hotel for the kind thought. If I were to go to Miri again, I would stay at your hotel for sure.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

CONTINUOUS WRITING SAMPLE FOR SPM

FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY. HOPEFULLY MANY WILL BENEFIT.
NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE.

T O M O R R O W


What comes to mind when the word "tomorrow" is uttered? Do you think of hope, that further advancements made tomorrow would better our lives? Or do you think of despair, and the darkness that shrouds the unfathomable future? Or maybe some of you might perceive "tomorrow" as just another day, uneventful and tedious.
You may call me a pessimist for I nearly always attribute negative feelings to the word "tomorrow". To me, that word is merely a substitute for another word: "procrastination". How many times when something is requested from someone, they wriggle their way out of the job by simply muttering "tomorrow"? That is word is like a spell for Harry Potter to be used for avoiding mediocre tasks. Experience has taught me that when someone mentions "tomorrow", it would best to try it yourself.

Besides simple procrastination, the "T" word is also often used by the government's telecommunication company in their customer-relations sector. I have phoned in countless times to request for technical assistance as my modem keeps breaking down, and their response would frequently sounds like "we'll look into it tomorrow" or "we'll send a technician over tomorrow". However, tomorrow comes but their technician is nowhere to be seen. There is even a joke that explains why they are now registered as "TM". It stands for "Tomorrow, Maybe".


Moreover, doesn't it frustrate you when you lounge around all day and promise yourself that you will get that important thing done tomorrow, and when tomorrow comes you find you telling yourself the same sentence as yesterday? It certainly frustrated me, for I could never find the will power to begin my History revision until Sunday (the History exam was, yes you guessed it, TOMORROW). Believe me, the word "panic" with an additional understatement as I scrambled to gather my notes into my overcrowded brain.

Needless to say, I took my history exam looking like Atilla the Hun, a Viking warlord from the Dark Ages with a hairstyle that would make Albert Einstein feel very neat. My failure was due to my lack of discipline, but like all other teenagers, I find it easier to blame everyone and everything but myself. My scapegoat this time was the word "tomorrow" in the context of procrastination.


Bear with me dear reader, for I am about to indulge myself in the following of what the world would be like if "tomorrow" was never in our vocabulary. Well, the most obvious outcome would be NOT failing my History but let us delve deeper and explore all possible angles, such as the economic impacts and social life.

      Father: Hey, son. I think you'd better start studying.
      Son    : "Aiya", tomorrow! Astro Channel 30 is very 
                  interesting!

Without the context of procrastination firmly embedded in our minds, the dialogue would become something like this:

      Father: Hey son, I think you'd better start studying.
      Son    : Study? I've done 2 hours of History and 3 hours
                  of Physics!

It goes without saying, that "son" would almost certainly ace his examinations, go on to get a good job, and contribute to society, thus elevating Malaysia to giddy heights and ensuring continuous progress. However, there are negative implications too should the word "tomorrow" never appear.


 Allow me to be the devil's advocate and point out that our economy would tumble if "tomorrow" was never invented. There is a bad side of procrastination that is always highlighted by the media, but there are always to sides to everything. For example, there is a proverb that goes "good things come to those who wait". We have to learn to delay our immediate wants, and by dictionary definition, isn't delaying a task defined as "procrastination"? Furthermore, if there was no "tomorrow", nobody would think to save for a rainy day. Banks would be non-existent.


In a nutshell, the word "tomorrow" is open to many interpretations. I have merely covered one aspect of "tomorrow", and although my essay may be lengthy and tiresome, there are still many more aspects to cover. As previously written, the "T" word may mean hope to some and despair to others. It is up to you, dear reader, to think and develop your own opinion about the famous word.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A POST HARI RAYA POT LUCK IN THE STAFF ROOM

SATURDAY 22nd SEPTEMBER ~ It was again another replacement school day which fell on a Saturday. Experience told us that there would be only half of the afternoon students who would turn up which would make the teachers sad. So guess what had we planned to make us happier?
 

The food was specifically chosen for the afternoon tea. It didn't really matter what was prepared on the tables, the food would always taste great.


With a few more weeks remaining before the school holiday starts, there will be one or two more pot luck sessions in the staff room. This should be good because nowadays it is either we do not have enough food at the canteen or we have had enough.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

ALFATIHAH TO AN EX-STUDENT WHO PASSED AWAY

with his mother (photo taken from FB)
I went to visit Mr. Mohd. Shahafiz Anuar at his house right after school at about 4:30 p.m. today. He was really really sick. His right arm had been amputated about a month ago because of cancer and according to his parents, unfortunately, it had spread to the lungs by now. I was there with my colleague, Ustaz Mohd. Rifqi, and we could see Shahafiz was very weak and having breathing difficulties.


the very last photo
At about 11:30 p.m., I received the news that Shahafiz had already passed away. I read someone's posting on Facebook about it and then Puan Zakiah texted me telling about the same thing. It happened just too fast - I was there with him a few hours ago. However, Allah must have loved him more and may his soul be placed together with the faithful and pious ones. ALFATIHAH.

Friday, September 21, 2012

VISITING AN ACCIDENT VICTIM

with the accident victim
The last time I saw Mr. Mohd. Arif Mohd. Noor was during the 20th day of Eid, just a few weeks back. [READ HERE] And today I received a shocking news from his friend, Mr. Shamsul Nahar. that Ariff was hospitalized as he was involved in an accident - he riding a motorcycle and then crashed into a car. There was a crack on his left toe and he had undergone an operation. As he was discharged early, so I just went to visit him at his house in Taman Universiti.

the injured body part
Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah, for the minor injury. By looking at his response, I know he will be up and running in just a few days, and will be ready for his BIG day in about a fortnight from now.

self-made fruits basket (ready for order) :)
Well, Ariff, have a lot of rest, drink a lot of water and do not worry too much. See you on your wedding day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

SPOT THE ERROR 37

A common error committed in writing - a task for the SAU, Grammar Police, awaiting.

(a link posted by my friend, Mr. Ridwan, on his FB wall)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A POST EID VISIT

It was a replacement holiday for "Malaysia Day" which fell yesterday on a Sunday and I was happy to welcome two more visitors for a post Eid visit. It was better late than never. They were Mr. Azim Afif and Miss Anis Zulaikha, two ex-students from UTM whom I taught 3 semesters ago.

As you can see, visiting people at home is not only restricted during the month of "Eid". You are always welcomed, if the time is right, that is. :)

Happy going back to work, and school, everybody!

Monday, September 17, 2012

THE 29TH DAY OF SYAWAL 1433H

Finally, it was the last day of Syawal. I had the last visitors in the evening (even though officially it was the 1st of Zulkaedah already, a new Islamic month). But it did not really matter. Mr. Irfan came together with his younger brother, Mr. Asyraf, both were my ex-students. Irfan's two friends from UTM tagged along: Mr. Ismail Sabri was here last year and the other one (Oh God, I couldn't remember his name now) taught as a substitute teacher in SMKTUN before.

So I guess that was how Eid was celebrated this year. I had seen and met many people I had to see and I am thankful for that. Thanks to each and everyone who had come visiting and please forgive me I might not be able to go to your houses. Most of my weekends were occupied by entertaining people. 

I guess now we can go back living our normal lives.

ATTENDING MISS FADHLUN' S WEDDING

I must say that majority of the trainees who underwent their teaching practical sessions in SMK Taman Universiti were generally pleasant and friendly. They also adapted well to the school environment and seemed to enjoy their time in school. I was invited to a wedding of an ex-trainee. Miss Fadhlun Hanaffi, who was teaching in SMKTUN about three years ago. The event was held in Pekan Nanas, Pontian.



She is one of the few ex-trainees I am still keeping in touch with, thanks to Facebook. I even saw her attending the workshop I conducted for Pontian English language teachers recently.

I was also very very happy to get to meet Fadhlun's friend who was in the same batch doing her training in my school. Miss Lim Wen Li came all the way from Kuantan just to attend her friend's wedding.



Thanks a lot Puan Fadhlun (now a "Madam" already) and may your married life be filled with happiness and sunshine and stars at night throughout.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

THE 28TH DAY OF SYAWAL 1433H

a nurse came visiting
Today was the second last day of Eid celebration.The first guest to arrive was Miss Fatiha who is now working as a nurse in a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur but was here for the long weekend break. She came with two other friends who were here visiting earlier.

Fadhil's wedding
After the Zuhur prayer, I went to Taman Rinting to attend a wedding invitation of a (family) friend. It was the wedding of Raja Mohd. Fadhil whom I used to know since he was very little and now he is already someone's husband.

Puan Rafidah's open house
Right after that, off I went to Taman Pulai Indah to Puan Rafidah's open house. Upon arrival, I saw a few colleagues there so there was no awkward moment not recognizing anybody.

Azry's open house
And the next house to visit was the house of a form five student, Mr. Azry Anuardy. I had no reason to say no as he was really determine - early verbal invitation, sms and messages on FB, to make sure I came to his open house.


There were some students and ex-students as well and I suddenly felt I was the host of the open house instead of the guest. Furthermore the host was too busy making sure the food and drinks on the table were always enough for everyone.

The tummy was already stretched to its maximum capacity so it was time to stop eating and visiting for the day, but I had one more house to go later in the evening.




In the evening, I received one group of guests whom I thought would never turn up for this year's Eid. As these people from SPM batch 2010 they were all coming back home from campus for the long weekends, I guess they had planned the visit towards the end of the month.

the food in the plastic bag was for me
And the last visiting activity for the second last day of Eid was an open house cum tahlil event at Mr. Shafiq Suhaimi's house in Kempas Baru. but I was there for the open day and eating session only. And I was among the last guests to arrive. I had to wait for the boys to go off so I was only there after eleven. 

What a long day it had been. I was feeling tired but happy and hope I will not get fat.

Friday, September 14, 2012

THE 26TH DAY OF SYAWAL

"Alhamdulillah" (Thank you, Allah), after not being able to organize this event last year, I managed to invite my male colleagues to my house for a "tahlil" (reciting of the prayer for people who have passed away). And two of them brought their family members along. Even my Indian and Chinese friends were present to join the gathering so it was also an Eid visiting programme. Mr. Ong Poh Shin who retired last year was also here to meet old friends.


Two people, Mr. Syazarul Shahrir and Mr. Sanusi had something on so they could not join other people the big group who were here earlier. Nevertheless, I was really glad that they still turned up for the event even though it was quite late.

the ultimate group photo
Standing from left to right: (Amin, Mr. Rifqi's son), Mr. Hisham Abdullah, Mr. Mohd. Faisal Md. Zain, Mr. Punithan Pannirchelvan, Mr. Zahidi Mahmood, Mr. Mohd. Nazli, Mr. Mohd. Marzuqi, Mr. Mohd. Nasir Sardangi, Mr. Sin Boon Han, Mr. Mohd. Hamzah Ali, Mr. Tham Han Leong. Sitting: Mr. Ong Poh Shin, Mr. Ravi Subramaniam, ME, Mr. Mohd. Rifqi Mydin, Mr. Masrizal Sayute, Mr. Mohd. Azhar, Mr. Ng Che Kim. Went back earlier: Mr. Mohd Sabri Mohd. Salleh and Mr. Ahmad Yassin Lauto.
 
Thanks a lot to all my friends who had come over all the way from Taman Universiti and the surrounding area. May we see each other again in the same occasion next year.