Thursday, April 30, 2015


Another Picoult's story of family conflict that ended up in a courtroom where the drama continued. It is a story of a dilemma whether one should pull a life support to one's father who was brain dead. The father was some sort of Animal Planet superstar as he devoted all his life to living with wolves. I am leaving out all the subplots so that you could read the book on your own. I guess I have read quite a number of Picoult's novels already by now, and here's the list:

(1) Change of Heart
(2) My Sister's Keeper
(3) Plain Truth
(4) House Rules
(5) Picture Perfect
(6) Perfect Match
(7) Mercy
(8) Keeping Faith

There will be more Picoult's to come.


Many years ago, superheroes only had to solve simpler problems on planet earth. And they were less brutal and more humane on television. Perhaps, I did not read Marvel comics so I had no idea of what to expect. Nevertheless, watching movies of superheroes always make feel younger - the time when I believed our world was a safe place to live in because there were always superheroes who would come to the rescue when the needs arose.

This was a record-breaking event - I went to watch a movie with 8 other people who were no strangers to me. I did not expect so many would agree to go. 

We would surely remember this moment for many more years to come.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


I was at SMK Laksmana, Kota Tinggi, to judge a Poetry Recitation Competition for state level. Other than Poetry Recitation, there were also other events going on like Choral Speaking, Public Speaking, Scrabble and Debate while Drama Competition was held yesterday.

The verdict for the competition was ready by 1:30 p.m. There was a closing ceremony at 2:00 p.m. but a kind soul managed to "smuggle" out the cert and goodie bag for me and three more people so we did not have to wait for the session. May God repay the lady's kindness.

a friend from UPM TESL group, Ms.Norazlina

my ex-co-chief for SPM marking group, Mr.Soh

It was the first time Poetry Recitation Competition was done this year so this might continue next year. If you wonder, how the competition was carried out, here are some notes you might find useful:

1. It was only for lower secondary students.
2. A team should comprise of 2 students.
3. There are 2 sections: prepared poem (7 minutes) and impromptu poem.(3 minutes), similar to public speaking.
4. No props and music are allowed.

So now students have more opportunity to take part in competitions for English. However, I personally think, only the proficient and good ones will benefit when they are put in a situation where they have to write a poem and present it to the audience in such a short while. We should have less stressful activities and competitions for the weaker ones to take part so as to make learning the language more fun and meaningful. 

Monday, April 27, 2015


25th APRIL 2015 ~ Finally, it was the last day of the state level tournament. There were two more rounds remaining and I saw a lot tears and smile, but the most important thing was the will to fight right until the end.

Then there was the closing ceremony and the Political Secretary to the Minister of Health was invited to officiate it before the prize-giving session.

the JB teachers who took part in the Blitz competition, and won

Eight players from the Johor Bahru team successfully secured the top 10 spots in their own categories and Johor Bahru district won the third place (again) this year.

under 12 players

the JB team

the teachers of the JB team

an ex-player who could not compete anymore

another ex-player who is now a teacher,
was with the JB team back in 2003

players from SMK Mutiara Rini

players from SMK Taman Universiti

All good things must come to an end.I have to wait for another year to take care of the district's team members and to meet old friends.
Until then....

Sunday, April 26, 2015


I attended the wedding reception of two ex-students of SMKTUNMs. Insyirah Johan and Mr. Firdaus Zainal which was held in Kulaijaya. This was actually the bridegroom's reception. I could not attend the one for the bride's side which was held yesterday as I was away in Segamat.

This was another classic case of schoolmates who are finally married to each other. I wish the couple a happy married life ahead and may their days be filled with sunshine and stars and all the happy things in life.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


1st DAY ~ 23rd APRIL 2015

The annual state level chess competition was here again. This time, the tournament was hosted by Segamat district and was held at SMK Seri Kenangan. As usual, I was with the Johor Bahru team which comprised of 36 students and 11 teachers. There were 2 games played, started at about 2:00 p.m. and finished by 6:30 p.m.

briefing before going back to our lodging

2nd DAY ~ 24th APRIL 2015

Three more games were played today - two rounds in the morning and one more in the afternoon after the Friday prayer. It was a very long and tiring day indeed for everybody.

As usual, we let everyone had the chance to let their hair down by going to the mall in town in the evening but still, there were people who were getting too involved with the game. And I was not surprised.