Tag Archives: school

So, do radioactive spirits ride bicycles in Australia on election day?

  1. The recent election in Sarawak just reaffirmed my suspicion that I have no real interest in local politics. It’s bad enough that the winning side represents a whole lot of things I disagree with, the opposition offers no viable alternatives as to what would undo generations of misinformation, nepotism, corruption and bad fashion sense. Frankly, at this point, I don’t give a fuck. Or two fucks.
  2. I need a new bicycle. No, I want a new bicycle. Because the one I’m riding now is a hybrid with a front suspension fork and is almost as heavy as my fat ass. The blind consumer in me is drooling over something like Puyu’s Scott but will probably invest less lavishly on some old 80’s frame and build the bike up slowly.
  3. The campaign against LYNAS building a rare earth processing facility near Kuantan is gathering steam. Been invited to join FB anti-LYNAS groups and goaded by old punk friends to organise and reignite past flames of civil disobedience and dissent. Sure, who wants a radioactive dumpsite in their backyard, but truthfully, I’m ashamed to admit that in all likelihood I’ve been coaxed into the apathy of the middle class. The armchair revolutionary or the sloganeering beatnik are two personas I’m not comfortable with at the mo. I have been talking about this in classes at school though. See? I’m not such a burnt-out and pacified civil servant after all. Pbbthhhh.
  4. Two. I repeat two friends have expressed real intention in migrating to Australia these past couple of months. Greener pastures, ey? I don’t intend to dismiss these good, examplary Malaysians as defectors nor do I envy them (although I did sing “Malaysiaaaaa oh tanah air kuuuuu” to one of them). It’s just that I hate losing friends just because the place I live in is such a shithole. Awwww.
  5. Three. I repeat three occurrences of the paranormal phenomenon known as hysteria came to my attention this month. One of which happened right before my eyes as our school dance troupe were rehearsing their ulik mayang routine for a competition. They purportedly saw princesses (summoned by the music), one of which put a heavy selendang (scarf) made of gold on one of the poor girls. Screaming and fainting ensued, until a colleague ‘exorcised’ these beings by pressing on toenails and the usual verses. Shit. I mean, shit. I gotta move to Australia.

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Olahraga: Acara Mulut Laju

Tersentak ketika menjalankan latihan sukan (sebagai ketua rumah) menjelang kejohanan olahraga sekolah tahun ini apabila seorang rakan sekerja memberi komentar, dalam dialek pantai timur pekat, “Saya dulu sekolah agama, tak ada sukan-sukan ni semua. Elok je cergas sampai sekarang.”

Tidak dinafikan bahawa kadang-kadang memang terasa jengkel untuk turun ke padang setelah bertungkus lumus dengan kelas, kerja-kerja perkeranian dan segala karenah pelanggan dan birokrasi.

Namun hakikatnya, dasar pendidikan negara mewajibkan aktiviti sukan di sekolah. Justeru pentadbiran sekolah-sekolah cuba melaksanakan dasar ini dengan seadilnya dari aspek perkongsian beban kerja. Maka semua guru, tidak kira jantina, jawatan dan kepakaran, apatah lagi orientasi pendidikan (sains, sastera atau agama) wajib memikul tanggungjawab ini bersama.

Agak mengejutkan, (untuk aku, at least) bagaimana komentar sedemikan boleh dikeluarkan, dengan sewenang-wenangnya, tanpa setitis ironi, di khalayak ramai, termasuk pelajar. Bukankah ini mencerminkan kecetekan ilmu dan sahsiah si pengujar sendiri, memberi suatu gambaran negatif terhadap sistem pendidikan negara khususnya yang berorientasikan pendidikan Islam?

Nampaknya usaha ke arah pendidikan menyeluruh dan lebih progresif masih lagu suatu konsep yang abstrak dan jauh dari pemikiran kolektif segelintir ahli profesyen keguruan negara.

 

 

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Thank You Very March.

A hectic February gave way to what is transpiring to be manic March. I was away from school for a whole two week stretch; first attending a Digital Storytelling Workshop, then off to rehearsals for a concert to be played middle of this year. Even though I was spared from the 3-4 day annual Sports Day hustle, I was kept informed of the scores as they are relayed to me in real time through colleagues. My house lost.

As mentioned in an earlier entry, S started kindergarten on Monday the 2nd. A and I sent her to school that morning, half-expecting a big scene: a wailing S screaming for us not to leave her. Nope. Not even a whimper as she waved my wife goodbye.

I finally got the camera I wanted and have been in a shooting frenzy lately. Unchecked enthusiasm found me waking up at 6.30 on a non-working day to go to the beach and shoot the sunrise. It rained. I sat under the shade, with my tripod still wishfully up, talking to other thwarted morning swimmers. A dull but pretty memorable morning nevertheless.

I have also started a new photoblog. Come visit and tell me what you think.

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3rd Period

Waiting for the boys with awkward haircuts and bright eyes to finish summarizing notes in third period PJ.

The diligent ones with brows furrowed, hand scribbling fast on orange tabletop. 

The idle staring into space.

The social congregating in small boy-islands, chattering around grey-legged desks.

One in a songkok brushing his finger tips through his classmate’s hair. Seated in the same chair. Dandruff removal ritual? Latent homosexuality?

A few restless ones have started to amble aimlessly around the room. Grins looking both stupid but uncannily all-knowing at the same time.

The sun’s yellow rays on their faces this cold January morning.

Murmurs steadily forming a louder rumble of crackling adolescence as we inch closer towards recess and life beyond classroom walls.

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Dangdut.

She grew up the daughter of the southern working class. Dad’s a taxi-driver, UMNO member and smokes 3 packs a day while discoursing on why Mahathir is god. Mum sings in a band, a beauty for the drunks to behold in the sodden, smoky dangdut halls of Kuala Lumpur. Her mother gave her the name she had always wanted for herself : Juita.

She knows men like her mother knows them. When you find one who doesn’t expect you to toe his line, keep him. Do anything and everything, once he’s yours, to protect him from the cruel world out there. Traps and snares everywhere. Usually in the form of one of your own. A full-blooded and lonely woman with so much to share and offer.

At 16, in school, she was often confronted by the teachers about the nature of her parents’ work. It’s easy enough to say her dad’s a driver. He drives. That much is apparent. But to her answer that mum’s a singer there would always be furrowed pedagogical brows. She sings? Where?

In my left ear canal, you dumbfuck, she would say silently before walking off to the toilets to smoke.

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Trio

i

It’s been a complete month of inactivity for my band and I expect the next few months will be ‘down time’ too, what with L’s due date and so forth. Gotta admit that I’m not really missing it that much. No wait, I might actually miss playing together if I can actually remember much of our sessions. Personally, it’s just that for me: the sheer lack of memorability. We either blast through a routine of covers or play lacklustre originals. Perhaps I should have more faith and maybe I’m being the usual negative ass. Or maybe it’s the weed. Wack.

ii

Smurfette is coming tomorrow for a couple of days. Perhaps an early birthday wish is not out of order. Especially after the kind of mood she’s been in lately, 10 laps of swimming notwithstanding. Haven’t really planned anything overly extravagant but a couple of days lazing around without her hectic routine would help her relax and get refreshed. Might do a barbie on Saturday or maybe go for a riverside picnic or visit a chili pepper farm and pretend we’re RHCP. Heh. Kuantanfornication.

iii

They’ve given me my MUET classes back and so I teach this bunch of bubbly Lower Sixers. Attitude and enthusiasm-wise, they’re among the best batches ever to have enrolled in this school. A briefing from their former teacher revealed that a few have even received distinctions at SPM level. Promising indeed and my expectations were naturally high. Until a writing test administered last Friday. They have a lot to do to get above average scores in MUET. Sample sentences:

  • My opinions the improved in order to attract more tourist to Malaysia because Malaysia is fullfil with colourfull culture.
  • In my opinion, we need to stories the interesting places in Malaysia in internet because we know that in era 2000 all people when they want good information, they must use computer to searching internet.
  • The local workers always choice jobs, their want a work like sit in office because have air-cond.

Hoo boy. Got a lot to do it seems. Cannot work like sit in office only because have air-cond.

 

 

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Of lift drops, sad siamangs and student BO

i.

Weird dream last night: I was hanging on to a bar on top or inside of a (multi-storeyed!) lift and it was going down real fast. Fast enough to induce some sort of motion sickness, you know that kind of sick feeling in the pits of your belly while you’re going down a roller coaster or some other sort of amusement ride. It didn’t help that just before the weird lift ride I was drinking some weird cocktail. At a bar apparently, made for me by this big mustachioed barman. Guinness was definitely in the drink as I noticed him taking a measure from the draught (I must really miss draught Guiness) along with other nameless clear liquids.

ii.

Went to a mini zoo yesterday with A, S, Toj and Ron. Had fun looking at this lone bear in a huge-ass bear pit (complete with cave!) who was sitting down on its butt, sucking on its paws and making these funny bear-paw-sucking noises. Saw a crocodile, two baby monkeys, a big-ass turtle who was as old as I am, a stork with scrawny legs pretend-fishing in a sad little pool, some ostriches and a loveless little siamang looking at us through the cage-wire, it’s long arms above him in a defeated, I surrender pose.

iii.

I just spent 15 minutes this morning photographing parent-teacher consultations in every classroom. It’s meet the parents day or known in our place as Majlis Cakna Ilmu. It’s good that I only have to take pictures. I’m not a form teacher who manages the class, collects fees and deals with parents. Otherwise I’d have to come up with things to say about their children which often are things they would be better off not knowing. Things like “Maaf puan. Anak puan busuk”, or “Yati ni pandai tapi agak gedik”.

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