Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Wordless Wednesday 12

Harish is 5

Mama's boy is 5 today. My dear Harish,Mama hopes that Mama has been a good mother to you and Yaya. It's not easy to care for two active toddlers (and now preschoolers) but Mama had managed somehow. Mama was no angel and is still not but Mama is trying her very best to be a good mother to both of them.
What will you be in the future, dear? Sometimes you tinker with your toy cars and Mama thinks a mechanic is in the making. Then you build up things with your building blocks and lego sets, and perhaps an architect or an engineer? To Mama's horror sometimes you play with Yaya's tea party set and serve Mama a make-believe cake and a cup of tea. When you start to place a make-believe stethoscope on Mama's chest and hands, Mama smiles to herself. Once in a while you would pretend to teach your sister by pointing something at the wall using a ruler, and Mama said to herself' Is he going to be another ME?"
Anyway, Que Sera Sera.. whatever will be, will be and the future's not ours to see. Whatever you choose to be in the future, you will always be Mama's beloved son.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Maulidur Rasul Celebration

Maulid means the “Birth of the Prophet’. So Maulidur Rasul is the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad which occurs in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar.
Maulidur Rasul celebration was held at Mama’s school last week and this time around Mama could see the more students participated in the ‘perarakan’ (parade) and the competitive mood was there since this time they ‘berarak’ (participated in the parade) according to their respective clubs and societies. The students had been working on their banners and on that day, Mama could see the banners were colourful and attractive.
Besides the parade, we also had 'ceramah agama' (religious talk) and as usual the teachers and students were assigned either to cook the rice, or the ‘gulai’.
According to Wikipedia: Gulai is a type of food contained rich, spicy and succulent curry-like sauce. The main ingredients might be chicken,beef, mutton, various kinds of offals, fish and seafoods, and also vegetables such as cassava leafs and young jackfruit. The gulai sauce commonly have thick consistency with yellowish color because of the addition of ground turmeric. Gulai ingredients consists of rich spices such as turmeric, coriander, black pepper, galangal, ginger, chilli pepper, shallot,garlic, fennel, lemongrass, cinnamon and caraway, all these spices is ground into paste and cooked in coconut milk with main ingredient.
400kg of meat was used for the ‘gulai’ that day and the teachers started cooking the ‘gulai’ and ‘rice’ since 7 a.m. We also had ‘kerabu’ and ‘acar’ (also prepared by teachers). By noon, everything was ready and all teachers and students had a very satisfying and delicious meal.

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Wordless Wednesday 11

Friday, 17 February 2012

Goodbye and Thank you...

-We live in a society which generally undervalues the importance of teachers - they who are responsible for our most precious resource. Nothing can be achieved without people - and it starts with the children...
One of the English Language teachers spent her last day of teaching last Tuesday. Kak Sah taught the afternoon session (the form one students) so Mama rarely had the chance to know her well since Mama came to this school 3 years ago. However Mama knows she was a very dedicated teacher, and a very humble one too. Like others before her, we held a farewell ceremony at the school hall. Usually the teachers would deliver their final speech but Kak Sah adamantly refused to although a teacher had volunteered to prepare the speech for her. At first, Mama was quite perplexed why a teacher would be frightened to speak on stage because teachers usually are at ease speaking to and teaching their students and public speaking would not be a problem to them. Then Mama realised that a classroom and stage (with fellow teachers watching ) are totally different scenario altogether.
Sitting behind her during the ceremony, Mama thought "Will I be able to emulate her examples? Can I similarly embrace the challenges (that seem to be tougher) awaiting the teachers nowadays? I hope I will. I think I can."
And so today we say goodbye and thank you ...
embrace the knowledge that you,
have left a lasting legacy,
you have shaped and moulded brilliant minds,
you have guided compassionate souls and generous spirits ...
All of whom will create the cornerstones of the tomorrows still to come.

Thank you, Kak Sah...

Monday, 13 February 2012

Gotong Royong

As promised in previous entry, Mama will blog a bit about the recent activity in Mama's school last Saturday. We had the Program Jiwa Murni (Pure Heart Program) which was actually an euphemism for Gotong Royong. It went well, to our relief. It seemed that almost all teachers and students were so caught up in beautifying and cleaning the school compound and the classrooms that some of them were willing to continue this Wednesday. The main focus last Saturday was on the 'taman-taman' (parks), the classrooms and the noticeboards.The school prefects helped the teachers in charge of the noticeboards, the members of the clubs and societies helped their advisors with the parks and the rest of the students helped their class teachers to decorate and make their class more attractive and cheerful. When Mama went around the school to see the progress (and of course to take pictures), Mama could see they were enjoying themselves. And to end such a good day, the teachers had brought some food from home to share with their students and also with colleagues. Yeah, we Malaysians eat a lot. All the time. Enough said.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Meanie Mama

Pity them. Mama knows they meant well and this is the way they showed their appreciation to Mama but well, Mama had to be mean (as usual). Mama loves taking pictures of people, places and anything that take Mama’s fancy. Everybody at school knows that Mama carries her ‘point and shoot’ camera in her handbag all the time. And when there are special occasions at school or if we celebrate something, Mama will make sure Mama is always available to take pictures and Mama knows the students (and even some teachers) wait eagerly for the pictures to be uploaded to Mama’s Facebook.
Well, Mama digress. Today Mama’s school had the Jiwa Murni / Gotong Royong Programme. What is Gotong Royong some of you might ask. According to Wikipedia:
Gotong-royong is a conception of sociality familiar to large parts of Indonesia and Malaysia. The phrase has been translated into English in many ways, most of which harken to the conception of reciprocity. "gotong royong [is] cooperation among many people to attain a shared goal."[1]

Today at Mama’s school, the students, teachers and the workers all work hand in hand to spruce up the school either in the classrooms or outside where the ‘taman-taman’ ( gardens) are. Saturday is the weekend but since we had one whole week of holidays for the Chinese New Year celebration, we had to come to school on two Saturdays. And today is the first Saturday.
So being an ardent photographer , Mama went from class to class and from ‘taman’ to ‘taman’ to take pictures of the activity. Mama will write about this in Mama’s other entry, if time permits. When Mama reached her form 5 class (this year luckily Mama get to teach only one exam class), Mama was greeted warmly by the few students who were hard at work cleaning and beautifying the class. One girl eagerly held Mama’s hand and led Mama to another girl who was working on the materials to be put up at the back of the class. She was so excited to show Mama what they had created for the English subject section. Mama was surprised when Mama saw that they had printed Mama’s picture and put it along with other English Language stuff. Mama said “ oh, this one ‘tak lulus tayangan’ and took the manila card with Mama and sort of ‘ran away’ with the stuff.
When Mama ran into the class teacher later today she asked Mama about the material. Mama just smiled sweetly and said the same thing, ‘ Sorry Tie, ‘tak lulus tayangan’. When Mama opened Mama’s Facebook this evening, quite a few of them wrote in asking Mama to return the stuff. And Mama just clicked ‘Like’ and wrote ‘ Sorry. Tak lulus tayangan’.
Well, Mama was mean but Mama meant well, didn’t Mama?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Down Memory Lane

Last Sunday was a day of walking down the memory lane. A lane filled with good and beautiful memories of Mama's growing up years. A product of a boarding school education, Mama spent most of Mama's teenage years with teachers and friends. It was meant to be a small, informal gathering of Mama's ex-teachers and friends but to Mama's delight, about 40 people turned up. Some of whom Mama have not seen for almost 30 years. The teachers didn't age at all, except for the changed hair colour. They (the teachers) seemed very pleased and happy to see us.And Mama's friends? Some looked older, some looked younger.. but yes, Mama was very happy to see old familiar friends and faces that day. We chatted, we ate, and we enjoyed each other's company. Let's hope everybody felt the same way too.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Wordless Wednesday 8

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