Monday, November 21, 2016

Still Alice

And Allah has created you and then He will cause you to die, and of you there are some who are sent back to senility, so that they know nothing after having known (much). Truly! Allah is All-Knowing, All-Powerful.
-Surah An-Nahl, Verse 70

The movie and the book has made me realise this: We derive so much meaning from-, place so much pride in-, and based a big part of our identities on: our work, our intellect, our strength, our beauty, our youth, our power and our wealth. But all these are temporary. How would we cope if these things are taken away from us?

In Alice's case, her sense of self was eaten away by the Alzheimer's Disease. For us, it could be old age, or an accident, a recession, an illness, a civil war or any other plot twists that life has in store. Point is, the rug can be pulled out from under us at any moment. A sobering thought which can really cut our ego down to size.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

5 Averroes 2016

To my 5E kids

A year went by in the blink of an eye.
You'll be sitting for your SPM in 3 days' time and all the hugging from today's Majlis Mohon Restu has made me nostalgic.

I want you guys to know that I've enjoyed being your class teacher tremendously. We always had so much fun during English lessons and I'll definitely miss all your jokes and antics.

Forgive my shortcomings; I think I should have been an adultier adult and not let you guys get away with soo many things tsk tsk. (2017 resolution: Run a tighter ship!)

My hope is that all of you achieve true success, in this life and in the hereafter. And that you'll make a positive contribution to the world, in small or big ways.

I love you guys.
Take care & all the best!

Here are some recaps of the fun times we had had (combed from my fb timeline):

This group did 2 chemistry experiments for their English presentation: Chemical Garden & Elephant's Toothpaste.
Ammar prefaced their presentation with the weirdest and most memorable opening line ever:

"Kids, watch where you're stepping...
Because Papa is going to drop some knowledge."

He delivered the line with such panache (i.e. Ted Mosby-like) that it was greeted with loud cheers and laughter.


I don't usually blow a gasket in class.
And technically I didn't but when my students didn't do the work I had asked them to, I just expressed how *disappointed* I was.
Kirtina said that I was very good at that (guilt tripping students).
Anyway, afterwards, I found this letter on my table and subsequent lessons had a different feel to it.

The kids have been extra nice to me (it feels like they're walking on eggshells so as to not upset me again) and they have been producing above average work. It's clear that they've been putting in extra effort in the ongoing ULBS presentation and I'm very impressed by what they have come up so far.

So maybe I need to employ this God-given guilt-tripping ability more often? 


A: Teacher, I just saw an angel
Me: What are you talking about?
E: He's talking about his crush teacher
Me: Ohhhh
A: Yes, the angel just walked through the gates of hell
Me: What??
A:  She just entered the school compound...

Pandai guna metaphor ehhh


Some of my 5E kids were trying very hard to increase their marks for English.
They tried every possible tactic to get me to change my mind.
I didn't relent and told them; "You know, in 5 years' time, it won't matter if you got 2 extra marks for a monthly test. You won't even remember whether you got 86 or 88 for English."
The students responded with, "But teacher, we'll remember you *kindness* and *generosity* in awarding extra marks to your students."
Good try kids but no, flattery will not work either.


The students were brainstorming ideas for their section of the school yearbook.
Several themes were suggested:
Star Wars
Syafiq asked the girl next to him, "Theme Ambition tu macam mana?"
The girl replied, "Kena pose jadi your ambition. Macam, what do you want to be?"
Syafiq, without skipping a beat, replied, "I want to be with you."
Smooth Syafiq, very smooth...


For our class photoshoot, the kids have really gone all out dressing up as flight attendants, doctors, veterinarians (Iffa even brought her cat as a prop), lawyers, imam, film directors, etc.
Khairul, our in-house photographer, has done a very good job of taking the pictures. They turn out real nice.
Today the students asked me what I would be posing as.
"Do I have to?"
"Eh, mesti la Teacher. Tapi Teacher tak boleh jadi teacher. Kena jadi benda lain."
"Okay, give me some ideas."
"Imran dressed up as a Prime Minister yesterday (complete with the Jalur Gemilang & I Love PM banner). Why don't you be Rosmah?"


Imran was absent on Monday because he had a fever. When I saw him today, I asked him how he was feeling.
"I'm okay Teacher, it's just that now I have a sexy voice."
"Sexy? Says who?"
"Says me"
"Hurm okay"
I started to walk away but he was insistent:
"It's sexy kan Teacher? Am I right?"


Some of my students took part in a Solar Car Competition today.
One of them had this as his whatsapp status:
'Come home victorious or don't come home at all'.
"So menang tak?" I asked
"Might have to find a new home today" came the sheepish reply.


R: Teacher, cover your ears, we're about to begin our council.
Me: What council?
R: (in an officious voice) It's the Council of Men
Me: Am I not an honorary member of your council?
R: Are you a man?
Me: Urm, no.
R: Then you're not... as this is The Council of Men.
Me: Fair enough, may I know what does this council do?
R: It discusses, you know, MANLY stuff.


An example of students seeking divine intervention for their SPM Trials:
H: Teacher, I wanted you to pray for our Physics paper, but I would rather you pray that we'll win the gold medal tonight.
Me: Why? Is there a quota or something? Am I allowed only one prayer per day?
H: No Teacher, if we win the gold medal, we'll have a public holiday tomorrow!


Today, my students sat for, yet another, mock exam.
When I entered the class to start the English paper, the students looked weary and tense.
Some were frowning, some had furrowed brows, bulging veins on their foreheads, etc.
I tried to get them to relax:
"Just think of it as another practice session. Don't worry too much about it.
No exam is worth risking your mental health."
"Well it's a little too late for that Teacher," came the wry reply.


I examined the Panadol, tissue, Brands chicken essence & minyak angin on a student's desk during examination.
Me: What's all these?
Hong: Things a stressed student needs.
Another student brought a big box of tissue.
"What's with the tissue?" I asked.
"To cry," the boy answered succinctly.



A: Teacher, after SPM, could you text me every day and remind me to exercise?
Me: Every day? What's in it for me?
A: You'll get one hot student.

Thanks for the memories :)