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.


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?


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.


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.


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.

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!

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~


-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!


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.


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~