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23 Apr 2015

Sangkar

OK lamak udah sik nulis blog dalam bahasa ibunda tek nak. So kenak aku boleh engkah tajuk "sangkar" atas nun? Banyak benda dipikir ku dua tiga menjak tok. Tok ada sedikit lanjutan dari pos sebelum tok tek. Aku luah rasa maok kekal jadi nembiak. Bunyi kedak sik senonoh jak gaya tapi ada sebab kenak ku pikir gia.
Perhati dunia sekeliling kita kinek tok? Makin menjadi-jadi kan? Perang, bunuh, politik iboh cerita panjang, luka hati kerna GST tek belum juak keghin.
Sangkar, kadangkala kita rasa kita bebas. Tapi bila perhati menar-menar, kita bebas dalam sangkar ya jak. Bebas tapi sik bebas. Dikongkong tapi sik juak dikongkong.
Apa juak reti ku madah gia tek?
Entahlah. Tauk sik dunia tok Tuhan ciptakan simple jak sebenarnya. Aku pun rasa kedak ya juak dolok. Why complicate things?
Kadang-kadang segala komplikasi yang kita ada dalam otak dalam dirik kita bukan juak kerna sesetengah faktor. Kali juak sekda keja, nak dipolah juak keja. Kali juak sekda penyakit, polah sigek.

Apa point aku tok?
Entahlah.

Aku kinek tok dalam "sangkar" jaga anak-anak exam.

Sangkar kebosanan.
Bah kelak beloya pasal sangkar gik.

12 Apr 2015

Young Love

There's this one student in my class who has this weird rather peculiar habit of standing near  our door whenever she's done with works and all. Yes it's a 15-year-old girl.
She's been doing this since February this year. Later I found out from her that her boyfriend is in the next classroom. You see, our classroom's door is partially glass (on top). 
To be honest, I thought she was only joking. You know how kids love to throw pranks at us adults.
But this one, the whole class verified her confession. She has a boyfriend who is a year younger than her.

One more thing. Every week she'd ask me this question: 
"Teacher, do you think my Adam (not his real name) is handsome?" I just smiled at her first. Not knowing what to say. So I'd reply (again and again), "He's OK lah. Cute too."
And she seems not so happy with how I reply every now and then. So in the end, I'd give in and say "OK, he's handsome".

The rest of her friends told me that once a month Adam would bake cookies for her. He even walks with her after class to a fitness centre where her mom waits for her.
I did ask her "Does your mom know that you and Adam are dating?" She said YES.
Wow! Lucky girl, I said to myself.
When I had my first boyfriend 17 years ago, I had to date discreetly. My mother wouldn't allow me to have a boyfriend at such young age. But I did have one, met him at a church camp. I didn't do the first move, of course. We dated for 7 months until one day my mother discovered about us. So she gave me two choices; break up with him or she'd drag us both to the altar. The 15-year-old me freaked out and I broke up with him. Poor lad. My mother's the ultimate villain here, don't you think?

If you ask me, what happened to my first boyfriend later on? Now he is a happily married man with two young boys. Good for him.

Recently, the head teacher (sort of, since he does all the syllabus back at my workplace) came up with a topic on the negative sides of getting involved in puppy love relationship for the students to work on; they were assigned to write a report based on that topic. I found the points given on that sheet were a bit odd. Basically, the points seemed biased. When I handed out the sheets to my students, our Juliet (not her real name) kept quiet throughout the session. The moment I announced the topic to the class, it wiped the smile off her face. I felt guilty in a way. But I had to do my job. To compensate the negative feelings that surrounded us (I think some of the kids are in their respective puppy love thing too, judging by their reactions), I gave some good sides of being in love at young age. I told them one has to be smart balancing reality and the joy of being in love. Juliet beamed out of sudden when I did that.
Just wow...


4 Apr 2015

Two years and still counting.

While most Malaysians have been busy crooning the litany of woes over the newly-implemented GST since Wednesday (of all the days, they chose 1st of April, cheesecake's sake!), I realize that I have been serving this learning centre for the past two years now. I began my job as an English language tutor here in Miri on April's Fool Day in 2013.

The biggest and the best joke to date, well sort of!

In just two years I have taught many young minds who were and are in dire need of help when it comes to mastering the global lingua franca.
To be honest, I am not a professionally trained tutor/educator. I did bachelor's degree in TESL halfway before I switched to performing arts and I graduated with Diploma in Theatre from UiTM. I spent almost 4 semesters for degree in theatre later on. Nevertheless, I had a harsh brush with one of the academicians in my campus and fell sick at the same time. That prompted my decision to return to my hometown on 15th December in 2012. Without the bachelor's degree, of course.

I recall how my parents, especially my mother, pressing me to find a job here. I was jobless for three months. One March evening a couple years ago, I went out with a former classmate. She told me that a tuition centre was searching for a part-time tutor. Since English language is my forte, she asked me to try my luck. Few days later I gained the courage to call up the centre, followed by an interview and VOILA! I got the job (I began as a part-timer) the very next month.

First few months I struggled as majority of the children speak only Mandarin. I was assigned to handle Transition levels and primary school levels as well. Nevertheless, I have never had problems in trying to adapt to languages.Since then, as I try to fix their English language skills, they generously try to teach me basic Mandarin. Oh dear! I should have tried harder at mastering Mandarin back in campus years ago.

But the journey wasn't all rainbows and unicorns. I did have one big kid (a bully) in my Transition class. A real pain in the arse, I must say. Weeks by weeks, I attempted to stay calm while having to be bothered by his nerve-wrecking antics during class. Until one day, he really pushed my limit button and I broke my "cool teacher" record. I screamed at him. The result? He refused to join the class and the mother even told my boss that her son wouldn't return if I am still teaching that class. Yes, I know, classic case of TEXTBOOK sample of SPOILT BRAT. But that didn't halt me from getting a cool offer to be a permanent/full-time staff at the centre months after the incident.

2014 was quite a year for me. I got the shock of my life when one of my students fell into epileptic seizure one afternoon. I went blank when the boy collapsed and there's so much blood and saliva on the floor. How can I ever forget that incident? My student had a close brush with Death and I was so helpless.

My 31st birthday was another unforgettable experience too. One of the classes that I taught last year found out about my birth date and they set me up. Cool birthday prank, to be honest.

Now that I have entered the second year of my service as a tutor here, I am looking forward to several more years of teaching experience. And oh! I almost forgot this. I began to teach arts since last August and this year I have gained 4 students. I take it as a blessing in disguise as gazillions years ago, I did think my artistic talent was sort of a hand-down jinx. But hey! The old rules DO NOT APPLY anymore. New games of survival are flowing in. I hope to utilize my skills and knowledge as long as I live.