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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Iklan Youtube (A Vlog Is Born)

"If you are what you say you are," Superstar by Lupe Fiasco feat. Matthew Santos.

My Youtube debut:



Don't be hatin' on me, please?

I've finally decided to get a vlog going on Youtube. I already have several topics lined up, so look out for them.

And I think I'll be more consistent with the vlog than this blog. Don't ask me why, it's just how I roll. I'll be updating weekly, although I haven't come up with a specific day to upload a video. I'm thinking Saturday, but we'll see.

Hope you guys like it!

And if you have a profile, be an awesome person and rate, comment and subscribe to my channel. I'll try my level best keep you happy.

Cheers!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

You Will Be Missed

"Kesat air mata. Ku mahu kau senyum seperti bunga menguntum," Kasihan by Hujan.

Earlier today, while I was out with my family at Padang Besar and trying to have the most fun a guy with no money and a camera could have at a place like that, I received a text message from a friend.

"Sahabat kita, A, telah meninggal dunia pagi tadi kerana asma.. Al-Fatihah buat Allahyarham.."

My first reaction was, "A? Innalillaahi wainnaailaihi raaji'uun (From Allah we came and to Allah we will go back to)", and proceeded to recite the al-Fatihah, while having A's face in mind. But that was left at that and then I went on minding my own business.

Then I received the same text from another friend of mine. Then another. Then another. I read them and did nothing but put my phone back into my pocket. The place was really crowded, so I could hardly hear myself think. Thus, I just went with the current of people minding their own business, looking for stuff to buy.

Several moments after the last text message, another friend called me. A was from Terengganu. This friend, S, is from Terengganu. He asked if I knew, and I said I did. He said he was visiting the family of the deceased person in question, I just nodded and asked him a few questions about some details, then ended our conversation.

After hanging up, I imagined S going to see A's body, and how he would react. My eyes immediately welled up and I had to stop in my tracks to wipe away the sudden tears. They came uninvited, unexpected, but, at the end of the day, totally welcome. I'm sure the people who were walking right behind me were thankful that they didn't run into me, and while passing me gave me the stink eye, but at that moment, the whole world didn't matter to me. What mattered was the realisation that A, a senior, a College-mate, a block-mate, a Student Council-mate, a FRIEND, was no longer with us. I couldn't smile for the rest of the day.
Taken from evonseah.blogspot.com


You see, what finally got to me was the suddenness of it all. He started his day, I imagine, not much differently from all of us. We woke up, as he must have, had our breakfast, like he would have, and went on with our day without ever thinking that anything would happen to us, until they happen to us. And when they happen to us, we might not fully realise that, hey, that thing that happened to us, THAT'S FATE. And that was was what happened to my friend, A. Fate.

You can't run away from fate. If fate says that you'll bite your lip today, you WILL bit your lip today. Even if that's the last thing on your mind, even if that's the least favourite thing that could happen to you and you would do anything in your power to stop it from happening, you WILL bite your lip. And I have. Same goes with death. You die when you die. No questions asked. No age limit required. It doesn't matter if you're 71 or 17, you'll die when you die.


The question is, will you be ready when it's your time to go?

My friends,
A was 22 years old. Twenty-two. Pretty young in anybody's book. He hadn't even started working yet. He hadn't even finished his studies. He had just finished his 6th semester in the Teacher's Training Institute for crying out loud, and 2010 was a very good year for him. He had just finished a whole term as the Student Council Treasurer, part of the Student Council team dubbed "the best we've had in years" by a lot of people. Nobody in their right mind would say that it would be the end of the road for our dear A. Alas, he was to go, and nothing could stop it from happening.

Taken from grumblingdwarf.com


The question is, will you be ready when it's your time to go?

In my memory, A was one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. He always greeted you with a smile, even if you didn't always smile back. He was a smart-looking, soft-spoken, dedicated and overall good guy. I don't think anyone would have anything bad to say about this friend of ours. Even yours truly, who didn't get the chance to really get close to him, knew enough about him to be able to trust him with anything. I was able to observe him from Student Council meetings and jobs, from trips to the Surau (he frequented it way more than I did), from the field (he always had these cool Adidas shirts on), from the Amra block (he was always smiling and getting other people to join him smiling), from passing through the Student Hall (that was his study spot for the exam period), and others. And earlier today, he was to be no more.

The question is, will you be ready when it's your time to go?

Will I be ready when it's MY time to go?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Out for A Jog

"The chase ain't worth the prize," Break Your Little Heart by All Time Low.

Watch. Video. Laugh. At. Me.

video

It was extremely awkward running around a golf resort with a tripod and camera in hand. And all the "who's that weirdo?" glances that I've had to endure.

But it was all worth it, for all of you, my loyal readers/viewers.

Also, I'm thinking of setting up my own Youtube channel. What do you think? Would you subscribe to me? Give me your answers in the "expressions" link below.

Cheers!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Couple? Not For Me, Thanks! (in Manglish)

"Mungkin dia perlukan perhatian," Kasihan by Hujan.

Since this seems like THE topic right now, I have been drawn to share my views/ reasons/ arguments/ whatevers for not couple-ing (that's having a girlfriend, for all you non-Manglish speakers).

Disclaimer: I have had the experience of having a girlfriend before this (two experiences, to be exact), so I know why people do it too (ecewaaaaah, expert abes ayat beliau!). Oh, and this post will be in Manglish too. (Sorry non-Manglish speakers!)



Reason #1: Berdossaaa..
The reasons that I have been reading all along. All I agree with. There are several blogposts about this that say it better than I ever could, but the most concise (i guess) would be this one --> Click here. Check it out.

Reason #2: Loss of Freedom
Sure, memang bes bila ada orang tanya pasai kita tiap-tiap hari. Sikit-sikit, "Dah makan belum?" Sikit-sikit, "Dah mandi belum?" Sikit-sikit, "Dah berak belum?"


taken from smallbiztrends.com

Tapi lama-lama naik rimas gak woh. Bila dah siap buat satu benda ja kena bagi report, kalau tak kena merajuk sedas. Bila tak reti nak pujuk awek, tambah-merajuk beliau pasai kita tak pandai nak pujuk. Last-last skali kena label "tak reti nak pujuk orang".

Jadi hidup akan jadi soo dependent on our phones. Kena text them, like, 24/7 kot. Nak buat kerja pun payah. Kalau lambat reply, kena lagi merajuk. Mau tak letih? Bila busy sikit, kena merajuk lagi. Nak bersembang rancak ngan member-member pun jadi payah. Pasaipa? Pasai time dok sembang-sembang, nak kena stop sat, reply message dulu. Kawan kita dok cakap, kita tak pay attention kat dia, then kata "hah?" Kawan kita pun naik bengkek ngan kita.

Tapi, on the other hand, kalau ignore the phone, then akan dapat lagi message daripada "si dia", yang akan berbaur "hello?", "U there?", ataupun miscall trus. Then, this happens:

Si dia: pasaipa lambat reply?
Kita: sembang ngan kawan.
Si dia: Oh, kawan... (which of course means "So kawan hang lagi important dari aku la?? Kononnya special la aku?? Kawan boleh dicari, tapi aku mana hang nak jumpak???")
Kita: Sorry.
Si dia: *merajuk, tak reply.

And the whole sha-bang lah after that. The fight scene that ensues I'll leave to your colourful imaginations jalah.

So, memang tak free man. Kena menjawab ALL THE TIME. Baik clash and stay single. Tak payah risau nak report kat siapa-siapa.

Reason #3: Habis duit.
Seriously, if you have a girlfriend, your wallet is not safe. Or rather, the money inside it. It's not that the girl will ask for the money or presents or whatever. It's usually our own innate desire to be so-called "romantic" to get them stuff. Pantang nampak bear cute atau cincin stai skit, kita terbayang-bayang si dia, so kita pun beli la, bagi kat dia bila jumpak.

taken from t0.gstatic.com

Ha, bila jumpak tu pun satu lagi hal. Kita ni kena la jadi gentleman konon kan? Kena la spend duit nak belanja dia ini itu. Mana boleh split the bill beb. Tak gentle ah. Kita kena belanja. Memang at the time kita tak perasan pun duit kita habis. Kita terlalu taksub nak make that person happy and make it seem like we're the perfect boyfriend, that everything that we spend is considered small change compared to what we get in return, and that's "true love". Bleagh~ I can't believe I was that kind of person. Astaghfirullahal'aziim.

Then not to mention the incessant amount of money that needs to be spent on prepaid. You have to text this person every 3 minutes, for the whole time that you're awake (let's just put it at 15 hours). After doing the math, (what?? Anak Pak Man does math??) I have discovered that if you send a text message every 3 minutes for 15 hours, you would have sent 500 texts to just ONE PERSON in a day. That's like RM5 (if one text was one sen). So an RM10 prepaid card would only last you 2 days! Gosh, even I'm astonished with this piece of information.

What do you get in return for your heavy investments? So-called "pure love" from someone who is not even your wife and you can't do stuff to her that you can do to your wife, and nothing else. Now tell me, is that rational?

Reason #4: You Lose Friends
Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit. Just because you have a girlfriend doesn't mean you lose friends automatically. But you do lose the time you can spend with your friends. Think about it.

taken from ih3.redbubble.net

Friend: Jom p tengok movie?
Kita: Oh, taleh ah bro, aku nak keluaq ngan awek satgi.
Friend: Oh, okay then.

Friend: Jom p mandi sungai?
Kita: Oh, taleh ah bro, aku janji nak breakfast ngan awek aku.
Friend: Hmm.

Friend: Jom mandi hujan?
Kita: Oh, taleh ah bro, awek aku kata bahaya, dia tamaw aku demam nanti.
Friend: What the foo??

Seriously, when your life revolves around your awek, everything else just drifts away. Family, friends, you bet.

So I have my reasons. I can spend my feelings, time and money on things that really matter, that are friends and family. Plus, I don't need to have a girlfriend to be in love. I'm already in love right now, and that love has brought and will bring me closer to Allah. And that's the only love I need.

Akhir kata, takkan kau rasai indahnya cinta; andai tiada cinta buat Yang Esa. (You won't feel the beauty of love if you don't feel love towards the One)

Cheers!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Stop & Stare/Radio

"Waking up next to nothing," Radio by Alkaline Trio.

This is my first attempt at making a music video.


video

It was a long process. Took more time than I actually had to, because of several mistakes I made along the way. But I've learned, definitely. Hope you guys like it.

Cheers!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Namewee & 1Malaysia

"Alangkah indahnya dunia," Muda by Hujan.

Hey peoples! Check this video from our very own infamous namewee out. Some of you might have seen it already, some might have not, so I advise you to watch it. It's pretty interesting, I assure you:





I came across this video about a week ago on my facebook home wall when a friend of mine posted it. I'm all for homemade videos, so I checked it out. He definitely knows how to make videos, but that's not what I'm going to be talking about here.


-Courtesy of Google-

As you might have noticed in the video, FINAS didn't want to sponsor his film since most of the dialogue (50%, according to namewee himself) was in Mandarin, and their requirement was that at least 70% of the film had to be in Malay to get approval. So he got disappointed. But then again, who wouldn't right?

I'm not going to attack namewee here. I think what he wants to do is great, and more power to him. However, I do have a bone to pick with FINAS here.

-Courtesy of Google-

Did you notice how they responded to his request for the 1Malaysia sponsorship? As soon as they found out that 50% of the dialogue was in Mandarin, they said "Itu bukan 1Malaysia." and namewee abruptly got up and left.

FINAS's epic fail here was their failure to explain to this young filmmaker what they meant by "That's not 1Malaysia," and I will give a suggestion to how FINAS could have modified their answer to sound more respectful and respectable.

They should have explained to Mr. namewee there that for a movie to be "1Malaysia", then the majority in our country should be able to understand the majority of the content in the movie without having to rely on subtitles, and how a majority of the folks in our little Malaysia speak the Malay language, which happens to be the Malay language, just in case you didn't know. You can't be a Malaysian without knowing the national language, thus by having most of the language in a film in the national language, then the whole of Malaysia could enjoy it, not just the minority which understand Mandarin.


-Thanks again to Google-

Seriously, a 1Malaysia movie should attract all Malaysians to watch it, not just one single race. And I imagine that a movie that only one race would be able to understand, can't achieve that.

I'm sorry FINAS, you guys failed to have the decent courtesy to have decent courtesy. The rakyat need to understand what is meant by 1Malaysia, and you guys didn't help at all. If anything, you made it worse.

Conclusion #1:
I would like to take this opportunity to advise all government servants (even aspiring ones) to have more courtesy in your dealings with clients. If you're a teacher, treat your students with respect and without prejudice. If you're a FINAS clerk (or whatever), please smile and use courteous language, respect your client, try your best to help him/her to understand what the problem is and explain solutions or whatever you need them to do in a non-condescending and respectful way. (I used respect 3 times here, so yeah, it's pretty important)

Conclusion #2:
Please people, try to get to a firm understanding of what is meant by 1Malaysia. Don't just interpret it to satisfy your own narrow understanding. Please try to understand that we want the WHOLE country to prosper, not just one type of people getting what they want in the name of "1Malaysia". It is what you make of it, and if you turn it into a racial sentiment, it will indeed turn into one. If you take it as a stupid idea conjured up by some prick who thinks he's all that when he's not, then it's exactly that. If you take it as a way forward, I'm sure it will be just that.

Comments are welcome in the expressions link below.

Cheers!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Teacher-to-be's Dilemma (Posting)

"Ku tetap akan teruskan apa yang dijuangkan," Lonely Soldier Boy by Hujan.

As a teacher-to-be, you can’t avoid thinking about your future teaching career. The biggest question that would appear in future-teachers’ minds would be “Aku kena posting kat mana ah nanti?” Yes, all of us have thought about where we’ll be posted at least once, even before getting into the Institute. Where we’re going to get posted is a popular question among us, and as the years of teacher training pass, the question appears more and more frequently. There’s even a quiz application in Facebook telling people where they’ll be posted based on the answers that you give (I got someplace in Sarawak, by the by).

Some would dread getting posted in rural and faraway places, like the interior parts of Sabah or Sarawak, or even Pahang’s own Jengka areas, mostly because they’ll face a lot of hardships there. But on the other hand, there are some who prefer to get posted to places like that. It’ll give them experience, they say. Plus, there will be added incentives for teachers in the rural areas. Money can be a motivation, definitely.

Now, let’s look at one aspect that I’ve been giving some thought to. And please bear in mind that I’ll be teaching primary school English. Let’s get this party started.

Since urban folks are more exposed to English than the rural folks, then it can be safely assumed that teaching English in urban areas would be easier compared to rural areas. This is because the rural children, given their low exposure to the language, would have a harder time understanding the language. The teacher would be forced to speak the native language more frequently, decreasing the English immersion time the children get. A good teacher would of course do his/her best in trying to help the children understand the language better, and she/he would succeed, but at the end of the day, emphasis will be given towards vocabulary and proficiency rather than other skills.

A teacher teaching in areas where English exposure is high would have a very different situation. Say that the proficiency of the students is not a problem, since they are already able to use the language well. This opens a lot of doors for the teacher to teach the children other things, such as critical thinking skills, learning to learn skills, and the whole bag of chips. To me, these skills are very important and should be taught to the kids who already know how to use language. The teacher can now teach them how to express themselves, teach them to have an opinion and write it down or speak it out, teach them to question ideas while using the appropriate language. Of course, the teacher will have to set some healthy boundaries as to what they could question and how far to take the discussions, teach them learning to learn skills, encourage them to look for the answers by themselves. In the end, the teachers will be a facilitator of the children's learning.

Of course it would be fantastic to help less fortunate children gain an understanding of the country’s second language, but I think changing students’ mentality from swallowing everything given to them and puking it all out in exams to a more inquisitive and critical mentality is also equally important.

From these arguments, you can probably see that I aim to change the thinking of Malaysian students. I want to get Malaysian students to think more critically about things, to appreciate knowledge more, to question more, and not just regurgitate everything that has been said by the teacher or a text book.

And yes, this all starts at primary school, with the teachers playing the leading role. I need to study up if I want to be able to do all that.

Discussions in the comment box are welcome.

Cheers!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Conversation with Hystrix (Islamophobia)

"Muda memberontak, etika yang kononnya akan dipegang sampai ke hari tuanya," Inspektor Remos by Hujan.

Here's a very interesting texting session I had with Hystrix the other day. I was roaming Youtube as always, and the theme of that session was "Islamophobia in America". I was too lazy to write anything, but Hystrix wasn't, so she put it down in her blog.

for part 1 of the conversation.

for part 2 of the conversation.

is part one of the town hall debate I was watching.

Big THANK YOU to Hystrix for typing it down.

Cheers!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Holiday Pitchers

"I try so hard, I try so hard," Where Did You Go by A Rocket To The Moon.

Ten days of chillin' and fun around Malaysia. The pictures will do the talking (helped along by the captions).

A little side note: all pictures were snapped by me, unless I'm actually in the picture. And I don't know how to edit pictures, so they're all unedited.

Raya Korban in Kuala Krai, Kelantan.

I had nothing else to do, so I snapped as many pictures as I could. Two-hundred plus in total (too much?), but here are some of my favourites.

Somethin' be smellin' funky up in here..


Ginie ambo wak..



Dead cow in the scenery.


Flyin' meat.


Ayah Su's house in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan.

Just to see Iris Kyra (I hope I got the spelling right). Cedits to Aiman for this one.


Malacca Visit.

We stayed at Cik Mah's, but Bapak brought us out to town one fine day, and I was holding the camera, again.

Taming Sari Tower, in all its majesty. SubhanAllah~


The "handle" of the keris up close.


The view of the river from the top. Looks very clean, no?

After the seven-minute keris-ride, we headed to Mahkota Parade, which was a short distance away.

Archery? In a mall? Super-cool.


Kuala Lumpur Stopover.

We went to take Boy out for dinner at Midvalley.

Bapak: We're gonna eat HERE. (At Midvalley Megamall)


Mak: Interesting~ Interested?
Boy: Hmm, lemme think about it..


Aiman: That rice looks nice. (See? Rhyme! Aiman, FTW!)


Just to prove that we were there. Paramore-esque pitcher, doncha think?


After Midvalley, we decided to hop on to the Digital Mall in Petaling Jaya.
Wanna get info bout alienware, son? Here's the place to ask. He's readin' their newsletter as we speak!


Aiman decided (and the decision was made by Boy) to treat us all to ice-creams! Woot! Woot!


Chillin' in Ipoh, Perak.

Bapak had a golf tourney in Ipoh, so we stayed there for the night.
Our hotel's foyer.


It used to be "Casuarina".
As you can see, that is no longer the case.


A cool welcome. Upon our arrival at the lobby, they served us with some lychee tea and cool face-towels as well as a really big scentless flower for us to marvel at, but not to take home.


To the mall!


Rajinnyer bebudak nie..


Ceh, komik rupanya.. >_<"


The next day we headed back home and arrived safely. Alhamdulillah~

Hope your holidays went fine.


Cheers!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Netbook Notebook

You’re standing up just to dance alone,” Annabelle by A Rocket to the Moon.

The significance of the above song line, you ask? Well, this post is basically a syok sendiri post. Just to tell you all that I got myself a netbook! Woohoo!


Say hello to my lil' friend!

Why a netbook, you ask? Well, first and foremost, it’s because of the size and the practicality of a netbook, small and light so that I can bring it wherever I go without worrying too much about ruining my backbone. I can get on the Net or type more freely now, and since I’m going to be a traveler soon, this is very the practical, you know?

Plus, it’s a big upgrade in terms of RAM size from my laptop (512MB to 2GB). It should be a lot faster to do stuffs on this thing. And it can store up to 320 gigs of stuff, as big as my external hard drive. Big upgrade from my 60GB laptop. So it has bigger capacity with less weight. Awesome.

Another plus would be the battery life. As long as I have been using it, the longest it can go is about 6 hours, given that I watch videos regularly. Monumental improvement from my 50 minute laptop battery.

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. This thing does have its down sides too. First of all, the screen resolution. Small. Too small for me to use the Ulead video editor, or any video editor at that. So if I still want to work on videos on this thing, I’ll have to get a new monitor. The laptop’s screen resolution is large enough, so no problems with it there.

Another con (as in pros and cons. Get it? No? Boo you.) about this netbook is that there’s no CD drive, so I can’t install anything from a CD, unless of course I get an external DVD drive. I won’t be able to install Sony Vegas Studio HD on this thing without it. An alternative would be to actually buy the software from their website, but that would cost me. Big time. And I don’t think I’m that comfortable financially for that just yet. The laptop wins in this one.

Both my laptop and netbook have Windows 7, although the netbook has the 7 Starter, which falls short of the real thing. I can’t even change the theme. Moreover, the Chrome isn’t as good. No bookmarks on the tab place up there. Not even a home button. The laptop has the full 7, even if it isn’t genuine. But the functionality still favors the unoriginal full 7. So the laptop gets the better of the netbook here, but only just.

Both don’t have proper anti-viruses, so that’s on the top of my shopping list for now. Too bad I’m very very short on my dough right now. Sigh.

So to bring to Macquarie, at the moment I think I’ll bring both. Some things I can do on the laptop, some things on the netbook. I think I’ll treat the laptop as my desktop, which won’t leave the room and will be used for video-editing purposes as well as other multimedia-related things. The netbook will be brought by me like Paris Hilton carries her pet Chihuahua (does she still do that?) for practicality, and for typing on the go. What do you guys think?

Cheers!

Monday, November 22, 2010

What I Learned at BTN

"I just know that facial make," She's Killing Me by A Rocket To The Moon.

So this is the part 2 (if you will) of the last post. Let's dive right in shall we?

1. Don't kick too hard when repelling.
Or else it's over WAY too soon. A kick-and-a-half and you're on the ground. Not even ten seconds. And I was so looking forward to it. >_<"

2. A game can get WAY out of hand.
If the players take the game WAY too seriously. I mean, really folks, it's just a game. No reason to shout, no reason cry, no reason to lose friends over. Sigh.

3. Persistence pays.
Sometimes. Of course, I received encouragement from all the right people. And being easily influenced, I kept trying to change one mind until I succeeded. That's why I love the facilitators. Seriously, they made the difference.

4. Not having your phone can be a BIG inconvenience.
With our current dependence on staying connected, I wonder how we ever survived when having a monophonic phone was a luxury. Not remembering your lecturers' numbers, not being able to get a hold of the bus drivers, not being able to update your facebook status. Say Alhamdulillah~

5. The Constitution.
Perkara 181 - Kedaulatan Raja
Perkara 152 - Bahasa Melayu sebagai bahasa rasmi Persekutuan.
Perkara 153 - Hak istimewa orang Melayu & hak-hak rakyat umum.
Perkara 3 - Islam sebagai agama Persekutuan.
Who said I slept through the talks?

Well, I guess that's all I want to share for now. Thanks for reading.

Cheers!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kursus Kenegaraan

"Even more than words can say," I Miss You Like Crazy by The Moffats.

From the 8th to the 12th of November, it was BTN time at Meru, Klang, Selangor. IF you want an almost complete report of what happened there, please click here. Credits to Miss Najwaa.

I won't be reporting, because let's face it, I'm not much of a reporter. But I'll try my best to write something about this camp.

Throughout the course, I actually got several ideas/topics to discuss here on my blog. I'll get to them when I muster the desire to write. For now, I'll just tell you guys what I [liked/ disliked/learned] [from/about] the 5 day 4 night course. Here goes.

Likes:

-Facilitators!
Especially mine, whose name is Ustaz Rujhan. He lived in Egypt for 11 years, and returned to Malaysia only twice throughout those years. Once because of earthquakes, and the other time because of war in a neighbouring country. So as you might be able to imagine, he had a lot to share about that during our small group (11 people) sessions. Unfortunately, our time together was too short. We only had one ice-breaking session and one discussion session, where he explained to us key things that we needed to know for the benefit of ourselves and the country. I really wanted to the discussion session to be prolonged, but the schedule didn't allow it. I wish to learn a lot more from him. The other facilitators were also a very fun and informative lot. They knew their stuff, and they knew it well. (The stuff I'm referring to is the Federal Constitution or Perlembagaan Persekutuan). And the Head Facilitator, Abang Yap was a great guy. He opened a few eyes when he said "Kerajaan dan parti politik adalah benda yang sangat berlainan," meaning that the Government and political parties are two very different things. Truth.

-Coaches!
Well, tough love would be apt in describing these guys. Really, they are military to the core. But we could still feel that they cared from their actions. A very good example would be when the boys' dorm blacked out. Sazali (the Naib Penghulu) and me (orang ulu) went to the coach's place to report it, and the only one still awake was Pak Ibrahim. He went to the trouble of going all the way to our dorm (which was on the other side of the camp from the coach's place) to fix the problem. Even though he scolded us for the most part, the effort he took in walking all the way to our dorm and solve the problem showed he cared. He could have taken the easy way out and say to us "Solve it yourselves!" and go on about how he had to survive in the jungle for a whole month without electricity, but he didn't. Thanks Pak Ibrahim. A big thanks to all the coaches!

-Meals!
Which were abundant. 6 meals a day makes for a pretty full stomach. More often than not, I went to the dining hall with a still-filled stomach. Alhamdulillah~

Dislikes:

-Being late!
For a majority of the activities throughout the course, I was late. A majority of the guys were late for a majority of the activities. Sure, most of the time we were only late not more than 5 minutes. And even that was because I was afraid of the implications of the head dude being late, thus I rushed myself. I need to improve on that.

What I learned will have to wait, since I'm off to Kelantan now. Take care yaw!

Cheers!

Friday, November 5, 2010

SK Ladang Harvard Speech Day

"Sebelum putus tali Tuhan yang Esa," Jangan Kau Berputus Asa by Spider.

So I'm in a Spider-y mood right now.

A few days ago, upon returning to the land of Harvard (Bedong), I went straight to SK Ladang Harvard to attend the school's Speech Day (Hari Anugerah Cemerlang, not Hari Ucapan). My youngest brother (now in Standard 6) was getting a prize, and my mother who is a teacher there was the MC. I acted as the unofficial photographer. Equipped with my father's 550D alongside my baseball cap worn backwards, I certainly looked the part. All I needed was a speedlight and some gloves to complete the look of a stereotypical event photographer.

Moving on, Ainul (the youngest brother of mine) got 2nd place in his class, and got a few books for his efforts. Congratulations to him, and I hope he gets great results for his UPSR (which will come out on the 11th yaw!).

Besides speeches and prize-giving, there were also performances by the students to keep the audience entertained. There were nasyid performances, story-tellings and the like. But one particular performance stuck out from the rest. It was a sajak recitation by a Standard 5 girl.

She recited a poem entitled "Ibu dan Ayah". It was a short one, just about a minute long. She started the sajak like any primary school student would. You know, how they ALWAYS recite a sajak? Too bad this blog doesn't have audio, or else I could have demonstrated it to you who still don't get it. I'll have to settle with assuming you know.

It seemed like there was no feeling at all in the recitation. Like she was merely reading out the words of a poem that her teacher gave to her yesterday. Honestly, that was what I was thinking.

But then, after about 3 quarters of the way through the sajak, she hesitated. When she restarted, her voice started to get shaky. A few lines later, a tear appeared out of nowhere, quickly wiped away nonetheless. She promptly ended her sajak and ran off the stage, crying.

I smiled. Wow, I said to myself. How I was mistaken. That kid really knew what she was talking about. It was a thank you note to her parents, their hard work, their determination in giving their child everything she needed within their means. She realised her parents' sacrifice and could only express her gratitude through words, which she realised, was very little. But that was all she could do. She wasn't big enough to do any more. That was all she could do, write it and recite it. She wished she could do more, but she couldn't. That was all she could do.

It made me realise that there's no one way of expressing love and appreciation. I thought I knew this already, but this kid showed me that I was wrong. Even if we don't see the love, even when it is being said out loud, it doesn't mean it isn't there. I was wrong in initially assuming that the poem that the kid was reciting was given to her by her teacher and she was forced to recite it on Speech Day. Even though it seemed that way to a neutral spectator such as myself, there was much more to it. It had more love than some could even manage to muster in a lifetime. It was the realisation of the efforts of loved ones and saying "thanks for everything". It was emotion, expressed unemotionally (initially).

I salute that girl for being able to get up on stage and recite the sajak in front of her parents. I wish I could do the same.

Cheers!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Last Malaysian Exam (for two years)

"Rinduku masih kau tak peka," Bila Nak Saksi by Spider.

Yes, hopefully the exams that have just passed will be my last time sitting for Malaysian exams for another two years. I don't feel like recapping the exams. I would rather reflect.

Boy, were they hard, I tells ya. But then again, the two subjects (Learning & the Learner and English Language teaching Methodology) were two subjects that I didn't like very much. It wasn't because of the subjects themselves. I think it's more because of the way they were taught.

Sure, I'm not a certified teacher yet, so what I think carries very little weight now, but don't you think that before you produce good teachers, you have to be a good teacher first? Sure, you can say "a good teacher does this, this, and this" but if you don't portray it in your teaching, then we feel like you're being some sort of a hypocrite, not practicing what you preach. And you expect us to pay attention to you and take what you say seriously? I'm sorry, but that's just hard for me to do.

And I'm weak. I know I should be saying "What does that have to do with your progress as a good teacher? If you want to learn, then learn. You don't need to depend on the teacher to give you everything," and I do say it to myself, sometimes. I know I should be intrinsically motivated, and there are even a lot of extrinsic motivation coming from incentives, other lecturers and such. But as I admitted, I have come to realise that I'm weak. I depend way too highly on the teacher teaching the subject for me to be interested in the subject.

Take Classroom Management, for example. I love CM. And I think that Madam M is highly responsible for making me feel this way. Same goes with English Studies and Social Studies (during foundations). I loved those subjects mostly because I loved the way the lecturers taught them. They were definitely inspiring, and I've grown to love literature and social issues because of them.

I remember saying to Hystrix in class,

"Throughout this subject, we've never had even a single meaningful discussion session in ELT. Thus, ELT is meaningless to me."

It surely is a bad thing to say, but it's the truth. I go through each ELT class counting the minutes for it to end, and sadly enough, the teacher has done nothing to rectify this lack of interest problem.

Thus, I feel that as a teacher, I am highly responsible for making my students interested in what I'm teaching. I have to be interesting. I have to grab attention. I have to give meaning to what I teach. I need to instill a sense of love towards me for them to love what I teach, what I say and what I do. Only then will they love learning. Only then will they be intrinsically motivated to learn. Only then will they love knowledge. I hold a lot of power, as a teacher. And with that power comes great responsibility.

Who says teaching is an easy job?

Oh man, this has turned out to be a reflection fit to send in as an assignment. Ugh, how I dislike the formality.

But this is from my heart. It may sound cliche, but at this moment, it is what I truly feel about education and teachers.

Ya Allah, give me the strength to be a better man. A better teacher. Amiin~

Cheers!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Advice from Ustaz Rushaidi

"Hello, hello.. Ola!," Vertigo by U2.

"It has all been arranged!" said one of the performers during TESL night. And yeah, you can't help but sigh over that fact, but you learn to accept it and be thankful towards Allah for arranging everything. As the Yang Di-pertua of our Student Council once said, "Sebaik-baik perancang adalah Allah SWT." SubhanAllah..

I woke up early the other day, and got the opportunity to increase my 'amal that morning. However, while doing all that, I fell asleep again, totally unintentional. After a few minutes, les neighboure came and woke me up, and I half-heard him say that Ustaz was coming in that day. Cool, I thought to myself as my eyes closed again.

When I finally finished my very long blink, I was already half-an-hour late for class. Hastily put on my batik and ran to the Surau to face the music. And I got the music alright. No need for details there. All that needs to be said is that I don't like going late to class. I don't like it at all.

Then after some more lecturing, Ustaz gave us some advice for preserving our Iman whilst at a non-Islam country, as well as other things. Here are some of those words of wisdom that I managed to jot down:

1. Always be in a crowd, or to use his word, jama'.
And that crowd should be Muslims who can keep us on the Siraatul Mustaqiim. When we're alone among non-Muslims, we will have a bigger tendency to follow their way and be influenced by their norms and beliefs. This makes sense since not a lot of people like to feel like an outsider. Then the tendency to let go of our beliefs and values will be augmented as the desire to "fit in" and be accepted would also increase. We need to be frequently reminded of where we're from and why we're there, and that is to learn.

2. Give 200% in everything.
We'll be foreigners there. We'll be representing our country there. The whole ra'yat of almost 29 million Malaysians' image will rest on the frail shoulders of 62 Chalkies of Cohort 2. So we need to be excellent in everything. Don't give anyone any reason to look down upon Malaysia. Let them see Malaysians as a productive, hard-working, friendly nation. Plus, we have our scholarships to think about. We will be fully supported by the Government. We shouldn't let that money go to waste. Learn as much as possible, mingle with anyone and everyone, and work like your life depends on it.

3. Read the al-Quran regularly.
Regularly means everyday. If you can't do it after every Solat, then at least once a day, after Maghrib ka, Subuh ka. Remind yourself of your faith. Don't leave the Quran. Ever. Istiqamah, very important. If you haven't started, then start here and perpetuate there. Get a tafsir and read the Quran while knowing the meanings. As long as the message is read and understood and applied, you're going to be just fine. InsyaAllah.

Thank you Ustaz for the advice. I'm definitely going to miss him. I have really come to respect him as a knowledgeable and fair person. To me, he's one of several true teachers I have come to know while studying here in this Institute. Praise be to Allah for letting me meet such people.

May we be under His protection always, Amiin.

Cheers!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

First Official Legitimate Video

"I had ants in my pants and did the boogie dance," First Dance by Never Shout Never.

Alhamdulillah! Yeay! If you have added me on Facebook, then you would know that last month, a bunch of the Cohort 2 Chalkies went to Jerejak Island here in Penang. I saw that as the perfect opportunity for me to make a video. I elected myself as the unofficial director of videography for the trip, and brought along my trusty W380 to capture all the action in beautiful VGA (I didn't know how to edit stuffs in HD yet, boohoo!)

After the trip, the procrastinator in me postponed editing the raw footage for a little more than a month afterwards. One fine weekend, I decided to finally complete the editing, and it's finally finished! So all'a'yall, check it out! My first video!


video

Thanks to all involved in making the event and the video a success! None of it would be possible if it not were for your cooperation!

May more videos follow! InsyaAllah~

Cheers!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Malaysian Artistes (Early Morning Rant)

"I wanna be laughed at, laughed with, just because.." Weightless by All Time Low.

First of all, I'm hungry.

Now that that's out of the way, on to the rant!

What comes to mind when you hear "artis Malaysia"? What would usually come to mind are the people on the cover of Remaja or Mangga etc. Put those pictures aside. We'll come back to them in a few.

Now, what is an artist? Well, according to http://dictionary.cambridge.org, an artist is

1. someone who paints, draws, or makes sculptures.
2. someone who creates things with great skill or imagination.

I would like to emphasize the second definition. The key words I want to stress here are "create" and "with .. imagination". So an artist must make something out of nothing and that something has to be cool.

Now let's go back to our Malaysian "artists". Do all of them create anything? Do all of them do it with great imagination?

I have to admit, a lot do create some pretty fabulous stuff, but then again, there are also a lot who don't. A lot of singers get songs from so-called composers with lyrics from so-called lyricists. A lot just ride off their fame from the various "reality" shows that are on air to get recording deals, and most of them don't even know how to play a single instrument. Heck, they wouldn't even know what a "crochet" was if it beat up their pet cat and fed it to piranhas. A lot of so-called "actors" get to be on the big screen just because "they know a guy", when evidence of any sort of talent is lacking. Heck, even somebody's spouse can somehow become an "artist", if they play their cards right and get themselves in controversial-enough situations. And what you get is a typical Malaysian (Malay too, I might add with a little racism) "artist".

I would like to stress that there be a distinction between "singers" (whose only function is to sing others' creations), "actors" (who really don't create anything, really), and actual artists (refer to the definitions given above). Malaysians like to label anyone who is famous an "artist", regardless of their contribution towards the art scene. Please people, artists are artists. Please do not mistake "stars" for "artists", because being an artist means actually contributing something.

Any disagreements are welcome. =)

And yeah, stupid ada-kerja-tapi-tak-maw-buat-kerja-lantas-update-blog-post.

Cheers!