Sunday, May 31, 2009

lesson learnt

I gave my students this essay question for exam practise:

You have studied the novel 'Phantom of the Opera' by Gaston Leroux in the literature component in English Language.

From the above novel, write about a lesson you have learnt.

Support your answer with evidence from the text.

Your response should be:
-in not less than 50 words
-in continuous writing

I like this particular work. It's written in a matter-of-fact way, which made me laugh out loud. I especially like the last sentence - You tell them Aiman!

"We can't judge people by their looks. Example like community, community looked down to Erik because of his face. Of course his face looks ugly but he is intelligent, clever, talented, and determined person. It is of no use to have a beautiful face but don't know anything"

The lesson I have learnt: We should never underestimate the wisdom of today's youth :p

Saturday, May 30, 2009


The day before

I was supposed to register anytime between 9am-12.30pm. But I reached IPBA at 12.40pm. I came straight from school after settling a few errands and closing the register for the month of May (calculating the month's attendance percentage, hitung panjang kehadiran, hitung panjang pelajar and whatnot). The registration people have started to pack things when I reached their counter. I managed to register but the counter for collecting the robes and mortar board was already closed.

The briefing would start at 2.30pm. I couldn't reach Fa and Nada. I also didn't bump into any Cohort 2 people (except for Nina and Aimi). Where is everyone? This wasn't the "reunion" I had imagined.

After Zohor, I finally met familiar faces again. I bumped into Dayah Z and Fatin at the surau. We then went together to DKB for the rehearsal briefing. Only then, I saw all the others: Nisha, Mass, Syafiq, Rubini, Wan Lynn, Peri, Aini, etc.

As the briefing progressed, more people trickled in, and each new arrival incited fresh excitement and furious waving. Syahir, with his new looks, created the loudest buzz.

We then adjourned to Bilik Kesuri to practise the procession-in. But first, I had to make a quick dash to Level 2 to collect my robes and mortar board.

The rehearsal was a big yawn. There were many kinks to be ironed out (with regards to the Negaraku recording, the VIP arrival, the backdrop, etc) that we just sat there, doing nothing for the large part of the rehearsal.

Finally, after the rehearsal ended, I got to see and have that long catch-up session with my dearest friends (we were seated far apart from each other in the hall).

Ainur, Hassanah, Jaime, Fa, Nada and I went for an early dinner because we were all famished. Like what Ainur said, "Ni bukan lapar lagi, ni dah lapaq".

We had a good, relaxing dinner and then it was time to go home. That night, my family was supposed to take a studio photo to mark my graduation/graduating.

While driving home, I had a sinking feeling that my brothers forgot about it as I didn't remind them of it that morning. Further, the plan to get the photo was only "tentative". But the photo shoot couldn't be done at a later time as I had to return the robes tomorrow.

Being the last child, my graduation was not really a big deal as everyone in the family had already "been there, done that". So, there's nothing to get excited about. While others bring their parents, siblings, grandparents, significant others to the graduation, I will only bring my parents. And I'm okay with that. Tak kecik hati whatsoever.

OK, maybe only a teeny, weeny bit.

As expected, my two brothers forgot about it. Abewan promised to come (despite having to change his plans) but Abafan said that he was really sorry he couldn't make it.

We reached the studio at 9pm. Perhaps Kakak felt sorry for me - I didn't know what she said to Abafan that made him changed his mind. Abafan said that he'd be there in 30 minutes' time.

I didn't have the Macquarie green-and-gold hood with me, so my robes looked bare. Further, my sis-in-law, niece and nephew would not be in the picture (she is eight-month pregnant while Damia and Irfan were in their pyjamas).

The picture was ready the next day and it didn't look too bad considering everything.

Afterwards, we all ate Satay Kajang for supper and that made me feel much better.

The Day

I didn't wake up thinking, "Hey, it's my graduation day!". No, I woke up groggily thinking, "Thank God it's the school holidays!". It took me around 2 minutes to realise the day's significance.

I quickly performed Subuh, got ready, had breakfast and left for IPBA (my parents would be coming later). The place was already a hive of activity when I reached it. Everyone seemed to be in their robes already yet I still haven't collected my hood. So I had to run to Level 2, in heels(!), and collect it.

They were about to start the procession when I rejoined the group. Big thanks to Tasha for calming me down and helping me pin my hood and mortar board in place. I owe you one Tasha!

I think the ceremony went smoothly. I especially love the choir performance and Anne's heartfelt speech. I was also overjoyed to see Jean and Rod (my favourite lecturers) in the Macquarie contingent together with Pamela and Sue.

After the ceremony, I went to search for my parents and was relieved to find out that they weren't too late as to be refused admittance/miss my turn to get the scroll. We took pictures together and they took their leave. They figured I would want to spend more time with my friends.

I milled around, took photos with friends, had brief chats with them. It was fun but hardly the long, catch-up session I had imagined. Everyone was a bit preoccupied that day, I guess.

It was a bittersweet, fleeting reunion. It was great to meet my friends (the newly-married, the about-to-be-married, the pregnant mums-to-be, and everyone else) but it's sad to comprehend that we may never cross path again. :-(

So that was that.

My graduation day.

Was rather fun to be celebrated like that.

Can't wait to begin and finish my Master's to experience it all over again :-p


P.S. A special shout-out to Majidah, who couldn't make it to the graduation: You were sorely-missed!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Exam week

My school is currently having its mid-year examination. Yeay!
It occurred to me how students fret during exams and teachers relax. Why? Well, the school is way quieter for a start. And we don't have to do lesson plans + reflections throughout the exam period. And it's kind of satisfying to see the students gelabah... hahaha (I'm sounding a bit sadistic aren't I?)

It was my turn to do the exam paper for English. I had to compile the questions, hand it over for riso, staple the pages together (525 sets!) and wrap them all nicely according to classes. Thank God it's all over and done with!

Now the fun is about to end. While the students enjoy their school holidays, the teachers will be stuck with marking their exam papers. The previous 2 monthly tests weren't so bad since they only involved Paper 1 (i.e. objective questions). This time round, I have to mark 200+ exam scripts. Based on my preliminary readings, I might lose my sanity due to the:
1) repetitious stories
2) incomprehensible writing AND handwriting
3) (unintentional) humour contained in the students' work

So watch this space to see whether I'll make it through the hols in one piece ;-)

Graduating ceremony

meet Rupert

This Saturday (30-5-09) will be my graduating ceremony. Apparently, it's not called a graduation ceremony since most of us have technically graduated. Not many of us attended our actual graduation at our respective unis, so this event on Saturday will be a ceremony to mark that occasion.

I can't wait to see my hard-earned degree on paper. The one which cost me many sleepless nights, anxieties, panic attacks, self-doubt, etc.
Ah... student's life seems such a long time ago, isn't it?

Can't wait also to see my friends, many of whom I haven't seen since Dec 6, 2008. I can bet you that there will be a lot of hugging, kissing, squealing involved when we meet each other for the rehearsal this Friday.

2-week school break

Although I'll probably spend most of my time marking papers, I'll no doubt set aside time to meet with fellow teachers: Fa from Pitas, Nada from Cyberjaya, Dayah from SEGAR, and other IPBA teachers who'll be in KL.

Morning session

After the semester break, I'll be teaching in the morning session (again). When I first reported to the school, I was assigned three Form 3 classes. I taught them for 3 weeks before being transferred to the afternoon session. The Form 3 students are taking the PMR so I guess they needed somebody with more experience to teach the students.

Since Feb 2 until now (for 4 months), I've been teaching the Form One and Two students. Now, I'm being moved again. I'm replacing another teacher who will be on leave from June until December.

At first, I was a bit despondent by the news. I mean, I've gotten to know my students, built some kind of a rapport with them. Now, I have to start all over again.

But my sister said, "Bukan tiap2 tahun, Adik akan tukar students ke?" (read: it's unreasonable to be too attached to them)

betul jugak.

So, now that I'm resigned to the fact that I'll be changing my schedule+desk+students +colleagues again, I'm actually looking forward to it due to these reasons:
-sesi pagi taklah panas sangat.
-I'm forced to wake up early, so no more late sleep-in for me
-Older students are probably less boisterous/hyperactive. I'm not saying they are not challenging to deal with but they certainly have less features of ADHD - meaning that I don't have to strain my voice so much now. I'm saved from permanent damage to my vocal chords!

A slight digression: This one class, 1T, reduced me to tears, not once, but twice! Punya la bising. I held the boys back after class to reprimand them but quickly let them off because I could sense that I was tearing up.

On both occasion, on the next day, the boy who sits in front would ask, "Cikgu menangis ye semalam?"

And of course, I would reply with all the bravado that I could muster, "Mana ada"


I wonder why the students are not terrified of me. I mean my class would keep quiet when certain teachers just walk past the class. But with me, they would be noisy even when it's exam time! Hish *tak puas hati* I just have the most atrocious classroom management skills!

When I broke the news of my transfer to my students, I received a lot of funny reactions.

One boy said with all solemnity, "Saya akan merindui Cikgu".

Because he was so serious, I had to suppress my laughter/smile.

Another conteng his answer sheet in the just-concluded English exam:

By the way, I have the perfect mug to drink from once I start working in the morning session:

the mug says it all, doesn't it?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

like having a 2nd birthday

Teachers' Day was a blast. Here's all about it:

My Favourite SMS

Without TEACHERS--
days are

Favourite Card

A tie between Khaidir & Lukman. They both wrote such sweet (and funny) messages.


Most Perplexing Gift

What is it and what it's for?

Hadiah misteri

Most 'Sebak' Moment

When they read the dua before the start of the celebration: "Ya Allah, berikanlah guru2 kami keikhlasan bagi menjalankan tugas yang berat ini..."

Friday, May 15, 2009


My cat of 12 years died yesterday (13-5-09). We think she was hit by a car because there was blood spatter on the road in front of our house. She must have staggered to the sidewalk after the collision and laid herself there because that was where we found her.


-Years ago, Meknot was a skinny stray cat who picked our house as a place for her to settle down.

-I don't know why we called her Meknot. Our family has a knack for giving odd names to our cats.

-Meknot was most attached to Papa. She would follow Papa to sleep, to the bathroom, the TV room, etc.

-We have another cat: Aeschylus (or AC for short). But only Meknot is given "special access" to stay in the house. AC has to be put outside after her meals because she's too noisy.

-Meknot liked to accompany me when I had to stay up to finish my assignments (back when I was a student). She would be awake until I turned in myself.

-Meknot liked to sleep in the most unlikely places. She's not skinny anymore but somehow she managed to twist and curl herself into confined spaces.

Meknot sleeping in a flowerpot

-At other times, she liked to sleep while in full stretch. She always adopted the most comical positions.

-Meknot was passionate about grooming. She looked immaculate most of the time.

-She likes to be the centre of attention. So, if you were reading the news, or typing on the computer, you could be sure that Meknot will land exactly on the newspaper or the keyboard.


We love you Meknot!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Chicken Soup for the Teacher's Soul

In the run-up to this year's Teachers' Day (only 3 days' to go!), I would like to share a few stories about the rewards of being a teacher.

Sure, you're underpaid, bogged down by paperwork, stressed by unruly kids, losing your voice, etc.

But there are a few incidents that make it all seem worthwhile.

Incident 1:

My former student called me today just to say: "Cikgu, kami semua rindu kat cikgu..."

Incident 2:

A student gave me his mum's Mee Hailam recipe (it's his mum's specialty). I didn't ask for it, mind you. Agak random but comel juga!

I should have named this entry Mee Hailam for the Teacher's Soul!

Incident 3:

I received this letter on my last day at Hillcrest:

Dear Miss Rosyada,

Greeting from 2 Amal. Thank you for teaching us we say with the most sincere words that we have ever said or written. You have been truly a wonderful teacher. These past three months have been so wonderful that even thinking of an English lesson without you makes our hearts to be filled with immense sorrow. We are crying inside because your time as a practical teacher is up. We will truly miss you and remember you as a great teacher from now till the day after forever. We wish you a sincere good luck in whatever you hope to achieve. Please do not forget us here in 2 Amal because we will surely remember you. As I am writing this letter on the behalf of my class, I am struggling to hold back the tears. But I find peace because I know that you will become a great teacher in whichever school you get assigned to (hope it's Hillcrest). I would like to elaborate the reason why your teaching was so wonderful. You see, you teach us in a fun and creative way. Everyday feels like a trip to the zoo because of your fun, fresh and exciting activities. Besides being very educational, it is also fun to do for the whole class. It kills us to say farewell to you but we do know that it is for the better and must be done. And with that note we say farewell to you, Miss Rosyada, the greatest English teacher ever!!!

Without wax,
The Whole Class of 2 Amal 2008

P.S. If you wanna know what without wax means, e-mail me at---
Sure, the tone is too melodramatic but reading it never fails to make me smile from ear to ear.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


KONWANIS used to be the acronym for Konvensyen Wanita ISMA. But in its 3rd edition, it stands for Konvensyen Wanita Muslim, as it was opened to non-ISMA members as well.

The 2D 1N convention was held at INTEKMA Resort, Shah Alam from May 1 - May 2, 2009.

There were around 400 participants from all over Malaysia. And they came from all walks of life. The youngest participant was 17 years-old while the oldest was 60+.

I really enjoyed myself there even though I was a bit malas to come at first. I had a very busy week and thought that I really deserved to spend my labour day doing nothing.

But alhamdulillah, by Allah's Grace, I did come to the convention and I gained so much from time spent there:

1) I was able to meet friends (Kakak2 & Adik2) whom I haven't met for a long time.

2) Dapat kad istimewa from a friend *wink2*

3) Dapat banyak pengisian yang bermakna.

The theme of the convention was "Jiwa Tenang, Hidup Sejahtera". So, a lot of what was discussed knocked sense into my head. Lately, I was highly-stressed by my increasing workload/responsibilities. I felt so constricted by them. At one point, I was thinking (in a rather dramatic and hysterical fashion): what do these people want from me?

After listening to the talks, I realised that I was too self-absorbed in my problems. EVERYONE has his or her own problems and things that they are stressed about. The (simple) remedy for my predicament seemed to be: Be less self-absorbed and be more thankful!

And never underestimate the power of positive thinking (husnozhon)!

Another sister reminded us that instead of stressing over the "usual" stuff: work, money, etc, we should be stressing over more important stuff such as:
-our solah (are they on time? khusyuk ke tak?)
-our inability to prevent kemungkaran


Other reminders:

"Truly, man was created very impatient;-Fretful when evil touches him; And niggardly when good reaches him;- Not so those devoted to Prayer;- Those who remain steadfast to their prayer" (Surah Al-Maarij, Verses 19-23)


Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest! (Surah Ar-Rad: Verse 28)


Dari Syuhayb bin Sinan r.a. katanya: Rasulullah telah bersabda: Kagum sekali keadaan seorang mu'min kerana semuanya membawa kebaikan (pahala) baginya -- dan ini tidak mungkin berlaku melainkan kepada orang mu'min. Apabila dia mendapat nikmat maka dia bersyukur -- dan ini adalah kebaikan (pahala) baginya. Apabila ditimpa kesushan maka dia bersabar -- dan ini juga adalah kebaikan (pahala) baginya. (Hadis riwayat Muslim)


Sekitar Konvensyen:
poolside dining

Sunday, May 03, 2009

MNS Camp

The 3D 2N camp was held from Apr 27 to Apr 29, 2009 at the Pusat Kokurikulum Sepang, Bagan Lalang, Sepang. I had 4 students with me: 2 boys and 2 girls. We took off from school at 12.30pm and reached the place 2 hours later. The students didn't know each other (they are from different forms); so the trip was a quiet one.

I was shocked to see the place: it was "padang jarak, padang tekukur". It does not look like a "proper" campsite at all. The Dewan Ceramah (merangkap Surau) and Dewan Makan are just makeshift tents. I instantly regretted having agreed to come here.

The sparse ground
The makeshift Dewan Ceramah/Surau
Dewan makan

After registration and Zohor, I took the students out to lunch. It was just a small eatery overlooking the ocean. We didn't stop anywhere on our way there, so I was really hungry. Many schools went there too, so by the time we arrived, only mee, mee hoon and kuey teow were available. All of us ordered kuey teow goreng.

After our late lunch, we went back to the campsite and were just in time for the briefing session. The instructors introduced themselves and asked that we not have pre-conceived notions about the camping based on the unpromising outward appearance of the place (macam tahu2 je). Afterwards, we were given tents to put up. The students shared a tent among 4 people, while the teachers shared among 3. But not many teachers chose to stay at the campsite. Many opted to stay at one of the many chalets nearby.

I shared my tent with 2 teachers: Masturah and Kavitha. We became fast friends. Around 6pm, we went with another teacher to walk along the beach. The tide was high and the wind was blowing hard. It was a nice respite from the VERY hot and stifling afternoon. We walked along the beach and was surprised to find a dead fish. We took pictures and continued walking. Then, we found another one, and another, and another.

The dead fish lying on the beach

I stopped counting after 50! There were that many dead fishes along 100m stretch of land. We were busy taking pictures and discussing the probable reasons for the fishes' demise. I felt like a scientist doing a field study... haha (later, when the other teachers proposed eating ikan bakar at one of the many seafood restaurants there, we declined. We were paranoid that the fishes might be polluted too!).

We walked until we reached the newest resort there. It is still under construction but its restaurant is opened for business. We didn't eat there because the place seemed too posh (read: expensive) but we looked around the place. It was beautiful. The landscape was further accentuated by the sunset. It was perfect timing

The beautiful Sepang Gold Coast Resort

The next morning, we woke up early because we were scheduled to go to the Paya Indah Wetlands. We were supposed to leave at 6.30am. The bus came late, so we had time to eat breakfast leisurely and left for Paya Indah at 7am. There were 3 buses. The journey to Paya Indah took 1 hour. I was still sleepy so I slept throughout most of the journey.

Once there, we were divided into 2 groups; one group was going jungle trekking, the other kajian air. I opted for jungle trekking. But due to transport problem (Paya Indah bus was unavailable while our drivers went for breakfast), we didn't get to do the actual jungle trekking. We went sight-seeing at one of the 14 lakes instead. One of the rangers showed us around and gave a very informative tour.

The tranquil Lake Typha

We had a break before rejoining the kajian air group. Next stop: the hippopotamus enclosure! The 3 hippos are from Botswana. They are Kundra (14 years old), Cendana (12) and Juwita (11). Kundra is the only male in the group and is the heaviest (1 ton!).

A few students got to feed the hippos. They are amazing creatures: intimidatingly huge but also adorable!

meet Kundra

We were shown around the place some more before leaving at 11.30pm. Oh, we also got to see the yellow pythons: Bobo and Mimi before we left.

Back at the campsite, we had our lunch, performed our prayer and got ready for the next activity. We walked to the beach and the students had to build a sand castle. The scheduled water-confidence activity had to be abandoned because the tide was too low.

While the students build their castle, Mas, Kavitha, Faizah and I went to a nearby shop and bought ice creams. We ate and talked under a shady tree. Once we got back, the students have already completed their work. This was the nicest creation:

Later, we did a paintball target practice at the campsite. It was my first time holding a paintball gun. I hit the target once! Yeay!

The boys getting ready to fire

Later that night, we had the Malam Kebudayaan. It was fun when the instructors kept teaching the students various tepuks: tepuk semangat, tepuk terima kasih, tepuk saedah, tepuk sate, tepuk anak dugong, etc. The students did an OK job (they hadn't had much time to practise). But I wished they had figured out a more original storyline than a group of people admonishing another group because they were throwing rubbish everywhere. About three versions of the story were acted out by the different groups.

On our last day, we pulled down our tents. Put our bags in the car and converged on the Big Tent for the Closing Ceremony. It was a nice camping experience. The instructors were very cool, the pace relaxed, the food delicious and I really enjoyed the company of Mass and Kavitha.

I wouldn't mind going for another Kelab Pencinta Alam Camp :-)