Thursday, May 16, 2013

Teachers' Day 2013

This year's celebration will be somewhat muted. The students are in the midst of their mid-year exam and for the first time ever, the morning-session and the afternoon-session teachers in my school will celebrate Teachers' Day separately :(

So, anticipating a rather sombre day tomorrow, I tried to cheer myself up by remembering the funny things that have happened, so far, this year. Below are some of the things I could recall:


R gave me a riddle, "Teacher, api apa yang takkan padam?"
I thought for awhile before giving up, "Api apa?"
Looking directly at me while trying his hardest to keep a straight face, he revealed the punch line, "Api cinta kita"


I was teaching 3 Tekun Plural Nouns and was telling them that the plural form for 'synopsis' is 'synopses'.
Me: "Other words that follow the same pattern include: analysis, basis, crisis, axis..."
Iznul: "Maxis?"
Then others started to chimed in, "DiGi Teacher? Celcom? U Mobile?


A student was about to go for Umrah. He bade farewell to his classmates and me. We all wished him well. Before he went off, he whispered conspiratorially to me, " Teacher, nanti saya doakan Teacher kat Jabal Ar-Rahmah (!)"


What I came across when marking exam papers:


I was pasting the students' work on the bulletin board when a student raised her concern, "Teacher, boleh ke tampal poster ni?"

 "Why not?", I asked, a little bit perplexed.
"Macam simbol Illuminati je"


Students do say the darndest things, don't they?

Maybe the above stories aren't really that funny; perhaps they got lost in translation; or perhaps you have to be there to get the joke.

If the above anecdotes failed to cheer you up, I know of a fool-proof way to do so. Behold, the perfect pick-me-up:

Ryan Gosling can do no wrong ;)

Happy Teachers' Day to all fellow teachers!!!

Monday, May 06, 2013


GE13 has come and gone.
I'm very sure that I'm not the only one who's rejoicing over the end of the election period.

I'm not apolitical. I registered to become a voter as soon as I was eligible and I've voted in two General Elections already.
But I'm sick of all the nasty political postings on social and mass media. Yes, people have the right to freedom of speech but why be so nasty?

The thing is, humans have been proven to be predictably irrational. Every one of us has his/her own biases and prejudices. Some choose to make them public while others prefer to keep them under wraps.

But these public/private biases profoundly affect how we process things. We think we are rational, but we are not. In football, managers are often accused of having "selective sight". They will kick up a storm when their players are fouled or when decisions are made against them. But remarkably, they often don't see when their players foul others and will try to justify wrong decisions that are made in their favour.

All of us are irrational in that way; We all have selective hearing and sight. We consciously choose to hear and read more of the things that reinforce our beliefs and disregard other viewpoints.

So in all likelihood,  our staunch support for Party X is not based on a rational decision. 
Maybe it is, maybe it isn't but we cannot deny that sentiments and emotions cloud our judgments at times.
Thus, why the need to assert our views so forcefully unto others? Why treat those who don't share our views as if they are "unenlightened"?

Sensible, well-thought-out and nicely-worded posts are fine. What I'm allergic to is, fanaticism.
Nikola Tesla said something so profound: 

“If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world.”

Reading spiteful comments made me realise just how true his words were. The hate was so real and forceful, it was almost tangible. Another quote that struck me was:

When we have very strong opinions about something, remember this beautiful advice by Imam Ash-Shafi'i (r): "I believe my opinion is right with the possibility that it is wrong and I believe the opinion of those who disagree with me is wrong with the possibility that it is right."

Besides having civility when we disagree, I also wish that we don't share unfounded rumours so freely and unthinkingly. Rumours that are not credible/accurate/reasonable flood our news feed and inboxes unrelentingly. Just run the latest rumour by the CARS checklist before hitting 'share' and we'll all be better off because of it.


I don't claim that I'm rational as I readily admit my own selective sight and hearing.

I don't claim that I've never offended anyone by what I say/type as I probably have.

I also don't claim that I'm right...

This post is just to vent my frustration that's been building up for some time now.
It's also a plea for us to be nicer to one another even when we differ; for us to #SaySomethingNice.

Let's leave all the negativity and toxicity of the past month and get on with our lives.
But before that, one last political joke: