Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Come As You Are

She came and hugged me when I was sitting at my table.

"Teacher, Happy Teacher's Day!"

The hug was long and tight. I giggled.

"Ok, ok Aca...thank you very much!" Still, she hugged me tightly and didn't let go.

"Come on girl...thank you very much. Read your book, revise," I continued giggling. It was already awkward. She was still hugging me. Her head was at my shoulder. She then looked at me.

"Ok teacher, I wanna kiss you." She kissed me on both cheeks. I was stunned.

"Kiss me back, teacher" She smiled. I did kiss her back, on her cheeks. Still giggling, I said thank you, half-stunned but feeling fully happy. She went back to her seat.

She was the brave one.

When everyone was answering the Add Maths paper this morning, the class went deadly silent. All eyes were focusing on the questions. The struggle was obvious. And it was the perfect timing to replay the memories from the back of my head. 

This was the song that brought me into this world. It was Nirvana "Come As You Are" that helped me to gain a place in the course. It was an interview for a twinning programme for TESL. 

I was asked the reason why I wanted to be an English teacher. After all, I was a Science student. I told the interviewer that I love English songs. So they asked me to sing a song.  

I sang half of the song. With my ugly voice. The pitching was everywhere. But I sang.

As simple as that. 

I didn't go impressing them by saying teaching could change anyone's life. I didn't bluff them saying that teaching is a noble profession. I didn't know at that time that teaching could inspire anyone.

I wasn't even prepared for the interview in the first place. All I knew that day, my parents were waiting outside of the room, waiting for us to hit the road back to our hometown. And in front of me, four 'big' people, talking in English, asking questions related to my life.

All I did was answering them from the bottom of my heart.

"What if your students asked you about difficult words that they cannot understand? What should you do?"

"I will ask them to check from Mr Dict," they burst out laughing at my answer. 

Seriously at that time, I didn't realize that Dict sounded really like Dick. But, that was exactly what my form 5 English teacher said to refer to our dictionary. Mr Dict.

While some of them were still laughing, I remember one of them, Puan Rozana (God bless you always) said:

"Come as you are, Noorul. Come as you are into this world of teaching"

And I definitely did it!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

You Belong With Me, Taylor Swift!

If you could see that I'm the one who understands you
Been here all along so why can't you see
You belong with me
Standing by waiting at your back door
All this time how could you not know baby
You belong with me

It was rather a tiring day today. 

Fate has spelled that I got to wake up late almost every Wednesday morning, sending everyone on their feet straightaway as soon as I realised I had accidentally dismissed my alarm and had overslept again. Hurriedly, my hubby jumped straight into the bathroom. My small family depended on me in getting up to school and work (yes, you had to agree with me this time, Mr Hubby).

Then, Sofea was quite easy to handle since I lifted her up from the bed and put her on the toilet seat and lifted her again to be put in the bath tub, under the shower. She didn't even have to open her eyes but she still had to brush her teeth though. She would only 'wake up' when I dried her up. So I did all those things so fast to catch up with time.

I put her in her school uniform as swiftly as I can. Once done, she would go down the stairs to have  her breakfast. The maid was already waiting. But the bad news was, her favourite bread went missing so she refused to replace the bread with any other bread available. But I couldn't entertain her today, I just shoved her into the car and then we sped to our destinations.

Oh! I am supposed to be on duty almost every Wednesday, handling the school assembly in English. But fate smiled cheekily on me since I am also late almost every Wednesday too. But luckily today, I managed to take over and dismissed the assembly on time. Phew!

The first class I went to was after the assembly. There was a rude boy who refused to follow my simple orders of getting ready for the exam. When ignored and rudely replied, I said to him very clearly and sternly, with my face made from Hell, and my index finger pointing to his nose level, "Nasib baik kau dijadikan sebagai manusia..." (luckily that you are created as human...) and how I wished I could continue saying: "If you were born as a pig, I would have shot you and roasted you well." But of course, I didn't say that. But the boy got the message anyway and sat down and followed orders. When you don't have enough counselling time, you just need to be a Mafia to have everything under control. Oh shut up! Save your opinion about education and role model. I had to start the exam on time.

Entering the second class for the day was fine. I anticipated that the boys would be noisy and non-cooperative. Yes they were. But they have been with me for quite some time now. I have known some of them for years. They too, know me a bit too well. So, when the roughest boy stood up in the middle of the exam to annoy his friends, I just knew what to do and he just followed the orders 'obediently'. The exam went smooth.

The last class for the day spelled disaster for me.

They were already answering their exam papers when I went into the class. Most of the heads were on the table. Some hopefuls were struggling with their answers. I settled down, sitting at the very back of the class so I could watch them over. I took out my red pen to mark my students' exam papers. But I saw my BB was blinking. A message.

"Why didn't you answer me?" My superior asked me through the message.

I typed the reason for keeping quiet. For the late reply. I apologised, of course. It was unintentional. I replied in lengthy. I pressed the send button. My BB went dead. Great! I took a deep breath. I hate this!

I tried to initialise the phone again. Failed. I tried again. It was successful the second time but I already got the second message. I think she went impatient with me already. I was warned for my inability to answer to her. 

"What is wrong with you?"

"Nothing," I answered. 

The phone went dead again. Oh, I was as dead as the phone. That short reply must have sounded rude and ignorant. My couldn't-care-less attitude shown. But that wasn't my intention. Really.

Then, there were voices of my students. One of them had gone out of the class in the middle of the exam. Oh great! Thank God for such a lovely Wednesday. After 20 long minutes, the boy came back to class. Smiling. Feeling proud. I smiled back. There was no use of getting angry to this boy. He was a gone case. At least he came back safe to class and was still alive. And he didn't bring back any corpse with him too. No dagger. No blood. No dagger with blood. Okay, everything was fine.

When the school bell finally rang, I went to a shopping mall, had my clothes changed, back into my car and played my guitar. I felt terribly tired today. And when the time was up for the next music lesson, my teacher asked me whether or not I was fine. Of course I said yes. (Oh, someone did finally ask me about how my day was!)

He checked last week's assignment on plucking and then he taught me some basic strumming. But I was quite too fast on catching up with the strumming, so he crammed three lessons into one. Then he gave me a new assignment for the week.

"Do you know You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift?" He asked cheerfully.

"Oh. Swift? No." I smiled meekly.

Actually, I know Swift's songs but that No was that... I just didn't want to rush. To move swiftly again? I think I need to slow down. 

Saturday, 5 May 2012


dream by jillallyn

I dream of living with all my loved ones in proximity. At the moment, my parents and siblings are all scattered everywhere in the country. Some are quite close, but very much distant by work and other private matters. I haven't seen my parents for quite some time now. I miss them very much.

Once in a while we talk over the phone, with my dad always passing the phone quite too quickly to my mum. And there is nothing much discussed except about my kids and my school work. Of all my siblings, I am the only one who works as a teacher. Just like my parents. Proudly.

I dream of playing good music to entertain myself. Thus, at this very age, where people start prioritizing something 'more important', I go back starting what I have started long ago but didn't finish. This time around, I will ensure that I gotta do what I like doing, and not allowing others to suppress me from doing it. Slowly and patiently, I will start from the beginning.

I dream of having all close friends together, very close with me, where we share our hopes and ambitions in bettering our lives. When any attack comes upon us, we have an unquestionable defense to rely on. Where we know exactly when to come to aids when any of us is in troubles.

I dream of a life without sickness. Physical and mental sickness. Sickness is one thing that degrades us from being our best. When we are sick physically, we stop functioning the way we always function. We try to accommodate the pain and try to ease the pain away, no matter what. Mental sickness is the worst of all sicknesses. Those with mental sickness can actually reach the stage where they stop being humans altogether.

I believe that a life full of dreams is a life worth living. Those dreams make humans humane. No matter how many dreams enliven your life at the moment, keep dreaming. Because you will never know when....

...your dreams are finally shattered.