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of my country..

i used to be in a stage, when i really wished they never have broadcasted news at prime time because i still wanted to watch more cartoons..and i vividly remember that during that time, whatever they showed in news, had nothing to do with me..it would take 20 or 30 more years for me to care about the country (i knew too i can forever not care about it if i wished not to)..

and now that 20 years later has come and even if i don’t watch news, i’ll still read something somewhere and i can’t help but understand and care about what is being reported in the media..i’m now who my dad was 20 years ago..i’m starting to understand what i see and relate to how things affect one another..

what kind of socialization processes that i have gone through that has placed me in a situation where i was left with only one option that is to care..?i wish i don’t have to care about the effects from major developments in klang valley, about the possibility of overload-crash from all of those projects.. but here i am, writing about it (because i was concerned too after reading Tun’s & Amir Fikrie’s blog)..

i don’t get it why it HAS to be in Selangor..and why people could have no say about it..?

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i’m doing some translations here..

i should be going to the library borrowing some books for the assignment but i was here instead amending some features of this blog..

i’m not a fan of google chrome for some “whatever, i just don’t like chrome” reason..so i’ve been thinking of ways to get my writings translated into different languages..i couldn’t put google translate widget into this blog because wordpress.com didn’t allow me to use javascript..

but with some help from some genius people, i managed to get a list of languages for readers to choose from, if they prefer to read in a different language..the thing is, the list is a bit too long and not so fancy so i place it further down the link list..just until i can find some ways to make it more professional..?we’ll see.. πŸ™‚ but anyway, thank you Prof. G. Translate πŸ™‚

owh, but if you’re using chrome, you’ll have no problem getting my writings translated into any languages you prefer..seems like Prof. G. Chrome is a very efficient multilingual machine πŸ™‚

oui, voulez-vous de lire en français?

였, ν”„λž‘μŠ€μ˜ μŠ€ν”Όμ»€μ§€λ§Œ, ν•œκ΅­μ˜ μŠ€ν”Όμ»€? μžμ‹ μ„ λ„μ™€μ€λ‹ˆλ‹€. 당신이 μ›ν•œλ‹€λ©΄ 그것은 ν•œκ΅­μ—μžˆμ„ 수 μžˆμŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€.

p/s: it’s not always reliable but that is the closest to helpful πŸ™‚

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of my classmates..

summer school has been a bit boring because we’ve been learning all sorts of things we already knew..it’s the same things – classroom management, how to make teaching more interesting, how to address the differences in cultures and practices in classroom etc etc..but one thing or more could have been learned so yeah, i’ll just stick with it for now..this’s the 2nd week of the course, so two weeks to go..

now my classmates are all mature students – most of them are in their third year (at least)..and there are some significant differences that i can see if i were to compare what i’m experiencing now, to what i’ve experienced two years ago..

back in my first year, most of the Kiwi students would try to avoid working with us – muslim, asian girl..they avoided eye contacts and they chose who they wanted to be in their group (if there needed to be a grouped activity)..if they couldn’t avoid it, they would minimise their participation in the activity..

however as they grew older, they eventually came to term with our presence and acknowledged the fact that we were no different from them..it’s easier to communicate, negotiate, joke around and i even got one of them to teach me how to read notes in base treble (yes, i forgot it’s different from cleft treble)..they approached us like they approached their fellow Kiwi mates..

so my conclusion is, they’re struggling with some ‘power’ issues when they’re younger but they will eventually realise they’ll not become ‘powerless’ if they maintain a good relationship with the minority..

anyway, that’s something i can be happy about..and brings me to school every day.. πŸ™‚

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i’ve been thinking and seeing..

i think i think too randomly..

when i was having a shower this morning, i thought of what it’s like to have a mixed marriage..one thing led to another, i thought of some cross cultural competence..when i was watching this one particular Korean drama, i thought of things movie makers had to think about when they wanted to produce a movie – what the audience wanted to see and what could be produced to feed their desires..

when i was watching Harry Potter *yes, i’ve watched it* i wondered where on earth the shot was made..i kept admiring the places they’d been to..and when i was attending the fencing award ceremony, i met a lot of world class athletes and i wonder why (in Malaysia) coaches put a lot of pressures to their athletes and if they win a number of events, they’re worshipped and suddenly got their status changed!

so here’s my story of how i imagined those things..

one of my friend’s Indonesian..but her family is settling in Holland right now..and she got married to an English guy..and to complicate the story a bit further, she’s raising her sons in New Zealand..she was a Muslim and she used to practice it – praying, fasting etc..but with that marriage, she had to lose her religion and a lot of cultural practices..she loves eating spicy foods but her husband and kids couldn’t eat spicy food..so it was kinda frustrated to her as everytime she makes spicy food, she would eat it alone..and as for her kids, they don’t look like Indonesians or English or Dutch..but they can speak all three languages..i could imagine they’d be facing some identity crises when they grow up, just like a friend of mine, whom parents are of Chinese origins but they’re born and bred in New Zealand..*i’ll elaborate more about this later*

i’m not saying mix marriage is difficult..what i’m saying is, it’ll be a unique experience and what you’ll go through will not be as common as the normal marriage..you’ll have less people to refer to when you have some cultural or communication issues..and you need to be prepared to change something about your life..

and secondly, the cross cultural competence..you know it’s amusing seeing a person trying to talk in close proximity with a person who wants to talk in an appropriate distance..and, seeing some westerners rushing for water after eating some hot food prepared by some Indian families..or, accidentally says good bye in a culture where good bye is a taboo, even the word for good bye is non-existence! owh this’s fun..some people when they’re mad at some other people, they want the guilty party to look them in the eyes when they’re talking..but in some cultures, looking at the angry person’s eyes when they’re mad is disrespectful..and i’ve been talking about how my Kiwi friends stayed for as long as they wished when they attended our small get together and we really had no idea how to ask him to go back politely..

hu~i really love seeing cross cultural incompetence to happen..haha..yeah, i’m looking forward for another travel trip..and i couldn’t forget how i was greeted when i bought something in one of the Italian shops..i said ‘ciao’ and trying to wave but suddenly the sales person grabbed me and gave me a cheek to cheek kiss..and i frost like a statue before saying ‘ciao’..

and the Korean drama..God, i couldn’t stop admiring the beauty in God’s creations!..they appeared to me as flawless..well everyone is flawed in reality but those movie makers made the actors looked flawless and reflecting back on my own, that’s the image people wants in reality..people wants to be flawless..and because they can’t in reality, they created a medium, a fictional ones, where they can imagine as if they’re flawless..and in that fictional world, flawlessness is a norm..and trust me, these things are addictive..they managed to feed our unrealistic desires..and i think the Korean government owed a lot to its actors because they’ve been doing a very good job in promoting the country too..

and Gosh..Harry Potter..i loved the first installment of the final book..the story line was successfully paced, the acting was as good as usual, and sceneries used were amazing! i loved the places they chose to shoot and apart from wanting to go find those places, i couldn’t wait for the final episode as well..urgh come fast summer movies..

owh, have i told you i’m a New Zealand fencer now..?ok so now i’m telling it..and yesterday i went to this fencing award ceremony and i met several important figures in NZ fencing..they’re the commonwealth and olympic athletes, national team coaches and referees, and fellow fencers from all over Wellington..and let me tell you this..they are also the people i’m meeting at school, sharing the same lecture theaters, using study-link to support their studies and ride the bus to go to school..nothing fancy like a personal assistant or a driver or flash cars..and nothing like “i’m famous so i deserve to be snobbish”..things about people here that i love the most is they are a very humble bunch of people..it’s not surprising if you’re sitting in the economy cabin in one of your flights, that you’ll be sitting next to one of the NZ MPs..i’m so gonna miss this attitude when i’m back in Malaysia..

owh..there you go..i’ve been writing a lot..i’ve to stop now..i’ll have training at 2pm and some pot luck dinner at 6:30pm..later~ πŸ™‚

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my IPBA cohort 5 friends..

some of my friends ended their days in Wellington today and flew back to Malaysia earlier this morning..and i was so sad that whoever left now are among the oldest to be in Wellington..

it felt like just yesterday we had our picnic together..indeed! it’s yesterday..and that was the last time for them to see oriental bay..

the scenery they saw along the way to the airport would be the last road they took around Wellington..

the shuttle cab was the last land-public transportation they rode – that the next shuttle cab they would ride after this ought to be belonging to a different country..

the two years were filled with every emotions existed..we learned, played and grew up together..and believe me everything is meaningful..

say if you come again next time, things will be different..there wouldn’t be the same situation – we’re all students and classmates and resent on the same thing – boring class, bias lecturer, nasty assignments..we’re all gonna be different..

and i’m gonna miss the moment we shared in this place..they were beautiful..

wish you guys all the best with your final year in Malaysia..good luck in everything! maaf segala salah silap, halal kan makan minum..jumpa lagi!Β  πŸ™‚

love you guys loads..

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teaching, anyone..?

Story Time - A Thank-You to the Teachers

i’ve finished watching the drama i’ve been watching last night..God, no wonder it’s named Drama..i couldn’t believe myself when i looked for the soundtrack from Mr.G and eventually downloaded the song! owh i need to step into reality now..

anyway, that’s not the story i want to tell..

i’ve been attending a series of workshops organized by the BEd TESOL community to prepare the senior students with some beneficial teaching skills..most of the topics have been covered before so you can imagine how sleepy we got when we have to learn the same thing, for the nth time..

however, we learned some interactive teaching tools yesterday, got to try the tools ourselves and i couldn’t help myself from wondering how creative a teacher should be in varying their teaching methods..we’ve looked at some online tools for creating mind map, generating photo albums, making charts, making comic strips/ (II) and even making a second life! these sites and tools were admittedly interesting and would be very useful and helpful for a fun classroom but to think again, how much could it possibly achieve with our education system..?

the aim of virtual learning is obviously to make learning fun and interactive to learners and thus, it requires more time because a lot more things need to be carried out following that particular activities..the classic way of teaching should still be carried out..

the problem with our education system is it’s too exam oriented, that finishing the syllabus is the main aim of the teachers..so teachers will use all the time they have to finish the syllabus, then help learners’ comprehension of the syllabus, without having extra time to implement the teaching skills they learned back in university! what a waste! a good teaching practice is acquired through practice and constant research for applicable & beneficial methods..it’s ironic when they keep talking about improving teaching skills but there’s not enough time for application..

well, i’ll just give it a try, God-willingly..and i really wish too, that Malaysian students can change their learning attitudes..

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of morality..

as for now, i’ve been sharing this house with four other housemates, each has her own bedroom, but we share the lounge, the kitchen, washer & dryer and toilets..

i’ve been housemates with Shufaiha since last year, so we pretty much got a lot of things worked out..we alternately cleaned the toilet every week, we alternately bought the groceries that we share and we knew how to cooperate to keep the house clean and comfortable..

but it’s a different story this year..we had to share the house with the juniors..they’re the first year students and this was their first experience of sharing an accommodation..from my observation, i could tell that they were a bit clueless as to what we were expecting from them, and it was our fault too for not outlining what they could do as a responsible housemates..it was very difficult for us to pinpoint every single thing so thought of modeling what they could do..and it turned out to be a complete failure, because they didn’t see what we were doing as a teaching process..it seemed pretty hard for them to learn implicitly..

so a third party who accidentally happened to be older than the rest of us took some action by reminding them on their responsibilities as housemates..they learned from that better, and i could see some improvements after that..but it wasn’t for long..they started to neglect their responsibilities again and expected their other housemates would finish what they’ve started..

so i took some measures..i adviced them that sharing a house meant sharing the responsibilities and each one of us was accounted to our own actions..say you’ve invited your friends over for dinner, you’re supposed to clean up the mess that you’ve created..so everyone else could use the space e.g kitchen, lounge, dining table comfortably..yep, then they were able to be responsible again..but i guess maintaining the disciplined was very hard for them that they changed again..yes, i had to deal with it and i was successful again, for a short period of time..and now i gave up..

you know it’s so frustrating that some people could not see what some people see as a mess..and it’s even more frustrating that some people see responsibilities as a burden..you could learn a lot from the opportunity of sharing a house but to some people, they just refused to learn..so now i’m questioning their morale as a woman..

as for next year, i specifically mentioned that i only want mature students as housemates..