Sunday, October 4, 2015

Lost and Found Sheep

I've finally made up my mind that I'm going to attend a baptism class. No one had coerced me into doing it, but the events that happened to me over the past 5 years, and particularly in recent months assured me that I'm ready to take the challenge of being a Christian.

My mom is a Methodist, while my late dad was a Buddhist, both devout in their religion. When I was a kid, mom took me to Sunday school at a Wesley Methodist Church in Malacca, a historical city in Malaysia. Somehow, along the way, I didn't feel the need to go as I disliked being forced to wake up every Sunday to go to church, and I didn't know God enough to want to go. Eventually, when I went into secondary school, I joined the Buddhist society, and found that it suited me well as Buddhism does not believe in a Creator. Don't get me wrong; it's a beautiful religion which I followed for nearly three decades. I thought that finally I've found something that gave my heart peace until something happened in 2005. My three-year marriage broke to pieces.

I was lost. I had nothing to hang on to. No one to talk to besides my parents. Then I remembered that there was indeed someone who could save me - God. I told mom one day: "Mom, I'm following you back to church."

After a 30-year absence, I was welcomed "home" in the same way by the same people except that they have aged a lot. I started going to church regularly with or without my mother. Yet I wanted to be sure that I'm truly ready to accept Christianity. That assurance came when I lost my job about two month ago. I prayed hard one night, confessing my sins to the Lord and asking him to help me get a job. The very next morning, I got a call from a premier private school in Malacca who offered me a teaching job that I had applied for earlier. It was truly God's work, and I told my Christian aunts that God has been listening and has answered my prayers! He is real!!!  I have prayed a lot from the time I decided to return to church, but THIS was special,

God has helped me when He knew I was in trouble. God will answer prayers in His own time.   So is there a God? Yes there certainly is, and I'm ready to be a Christian. There's no turning back this time.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 13:29 (NIV)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Amazing Health Product

Apart from earning as much money as they could, humans adore two other elements - beauty and health. Every one regardless of gender, like to look physically attractive, and they want to be able to do the things they want without falling sick too often. Realising this scenario, cosmetics companies have been churning out one product after another, each claiming to be better than its predecessors. Health product manufacturers continuously do research to produce healthier supplements for us. Each company has its own product strengths, as returning customers keep asking for more of their products.  One of the recent players to join the cosmetics and health industry is Jeunesse, founded by a husband and wife team Randy Ray and Wendy Lewis in 2009. Thousands have heard of this company, and participated in their reward compensation plan, so if this is the first time hearing it, do check it out. That's the purpose of writing this introductory article - to inform viewers like you about one of Juenesse's "superstar" products which thousands around the globe have benefited from.


To be honest, I'm a skeptic when it comes to health products. So when my ex-colleague persuaded my to try a box of RESERVE by Jeunessse, I hesitated; she persisted. She even paid for me and sent it to my house (located in another country) so that I could consume the product. Heck, why not, I thought. 

I tried a few days and felt the difference. Seriously, okay? It's not a 100% improvement, but I had fewer naps. Even when I did take a nap, I woke up in an hour, rather than 3-4 hours prior to taking this"wonder" drink. I felt more energised, too.  I don't mind taking this supplement as it is fruity - tastes like grape juice - and it helps in more ways than one.

Recently I also had nagging pain in all the joints in my fingers. No, I do not have arthritis - perhaps it was carpal tunnel syndrome, a friend said. However, after taking RESERVE for two days, the pain became noticeably lesser. I wondered if having just a balanced diet would be able to perform this "magic". If you think it's a drug, or contains some kind of steroids, you're wrong. If you want to know what it is made of, and what it could do for you, check these out:

Explaining RESERVE

A testimony for a friend of hers

RESERVE is also able to help patients with the following illnesses or conditions to recover, or improve:

  • obesity
  • heart problems
  • fibroid
  • hair loss
  • cancer
  • eczema
  • scars
... and lots more.


Jeunesse products are available in many parts of the world, in fact, in every continent except the Antartic. So rest assured there is one near you.

Do place your order by clicking here. Choose your country of origin (top right of the website) in order to pay in the currency of your choice.


One more thing, you could earn money from Jeunesse, too. To find out more about Jeunesse's other products and its REWARD COMPENSATION PLAN, do check this out by clicking here.

With this compensation or financial plan, you could be on your way to financial freedom. Thousands have already been there. So, you have good health, live longer, look more youthful, and earn the money that could help you live in comfort for a long time (don't forget to share your wealth with those in need)
This is a personal blog. Jeunesse did not commission me to do a write-up for them  I'm sharing the "good news" to those who wish to be better :-)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Animals vs Humans

This video was shot in 1969, before many of us were born. Some were still in diapers. It shows how grateful animals are for taking good care of them. Despite being separated by its owners for over a year, and being more independent, Christian, the lion, vividly remembered his caretakers.

Yes, animals remember; they feel. Videos like this makes all of us wonder, if animals could be that grateful to their guardians, why can't humans? 

And yes, there is a follow-up video taken a few years later (below), showing a more matured pride who has learnt to be on his own. But he still remembered the two (then much older) who saved him from Harrods years earlier. He greeted them, played a bit, and then left them. Christian was never seen again since.

It's also a story of being able to let go when the time is "ripe". Christian did let go of his need for the two guardians because he had to be on his own.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Leave Technology, Embrace Life

I believe you may have seen this video clip before whether in social media or directly from YouTube. It is an advertisement created by a Thai technology company meant to drive a powerful message to all of us.

There are many things that technology can do, but humans are much better than that, for they created technology, from wooden wheels to rubber wheels. From computers the size of your living room to one which you're now holding in your hands.

We created technology, but we are also the ones who abuse it so much so that we and the younger generations are overly dependent on it in every aspect of our lives. We look at our smartphones as we walk on the pathway. We cross the road reading our WhatsApp messages. We snap photos of our food as soon as it arrives and instantly tell the world on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter where we are and who we are eating with, not realising that our mom is waiting to have a conversation right across the table. I'm guilty of all that too, and I plan to gradually put a stop before it completely takes control of my life.

We have to tell our children that the iPad, Gear, smartphones are all merely devices to facilitate our work and to entertain us for a very brief moment. These devices wouldn't have a care in the world if you go blind because of it, or if you suffer from a bad backache. They won't even know if you live or die! So why make them "look" like they're the most important part of your life? Give your children, our future generation, a real life experience that such technology can't give.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Treat Them Like Our Own?

When I first joined the school, there was a meeting a week before the beginning of Term 2. We had the meeting in the library. The meeting was chaired by the CEO, and the Founder was there too. The Founder made a speech, and in that speech, he mentioned: "We have to treat each child as our own, then things will turn out alright." - in brief, he was merely trying to tell the newbies that we have to treat them well, the way we do our own children. I was touched; to me, it made a whole lot of sense because if we don't love them, there's no way they would love us and pay attention in class.

Six months had passed (a tad too slow), and I realise that whatever the Founder had said was just his words of wisdom. I have tried to be nice, to be a "parent" to them, but it backfired. They won't listen but would continue with what they were doing at that time, be it chasing their friends, talking too loudly or not doing their work. Maybe I wasn't strict enough from the beginning, but then, they are not my kids and teachers are not allowed to impose physical punishment including getting them to stand on the chair. When they cause trouble, I tried talking nicely to them but it didn't work - not the primary kids whom I'm teaching.

I began to think... 

It is easy for others, particularly those who have never been teachers - or those who assume they know what it's like to be one - to tell us to treat students like our own children. This is pure fallacy; it's just fatherly talk. In reality, we can't treat students that way, not in this era. Firstly they aren't ours; we can't impose our rules on other people's kids because they may rebel (one of my students recently spread rumours about his teacher because he dislikes her), and their parents may not like the way we try to mould their children. Heaven forbid, they may even sue us if we say or do things that we know is right, but to them it's wrong. Secondly, those who offer such advice to teachers have dealt with only two or three children (of their own); they may not even have brought them up by themselves!! They obviously do not know the problems that we have in dealing with hundreds of kids of various backgrounds, varied attitudes and different upbringings. We deal one student differently from another, and we certainly can't help all, or even ten of them, given the amount of teaching load and non-teaching duties that we have per week. Some are able to accept our ways, others are not. And when things get too heated up due to the number of students teachers have to handle, they would not be motivated and will end up being burned out just trying to educate the recalcitrant or obnoxious ones. Teachers are humans, so they do get stressed out easily if the expectations are too great but the results too insignificant.

So, do we still need to treat students like the way we treat our own children? Nope. Students don't want another "mommy and daddy" - they already have enough naggers at home. Perhaps the Founder was trying to make his point across metaphorically, not literally. I don't know. Go ask him.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

It Will End Some Day

Long ago, Malaysia is known to be a safe haven for everyone because there's no natural disasters like volcanic eruption and earthquakes. The major floods that we experience here each year can be attributed more to human activities than a natural event. However, things have changed now.

The recent earthquake in Sabah should open our eyes wide. The tsunami that hit Penang years ago should tell us that something bigger is coming our way. We have got to be ready; the government has to make plans for any eventualities of massive earthquakes or tsunamis years down the road (or sooner). 

Yes, priests and ulamas will proclaim in their weekly sermons that all this is happening because there is a prophecy that the world is coming to an end. The Christians believe that it is the second coming of Jesus. Other religions would have their own prophecies. It's not a joke. No matter what you call it, this earth won't last forever. It will be destroyed millions of years from now, but there are already signs of earth's destruction. We can already see it.

Apart from praying each day for our safety, for mercy, we also have to do our part to ensure that life is preserved as much as we could. 

Let's all pray that the government would take pro-active measures to address this issue, and not sweep it under the carpet, taking it as just a one-in-a-million occurrence. Let's pray for Sabahans, the victims, and pray for Malaysians.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Breaking the Bubble

I was chatting with a friend on WhatsApp recently, and I got this message:

"Get out of this bubble u r in since you are not happy being there. If you are, then it's alright to be stuck in the bubble."

This is definitely not about soap bubbles that kids blow to entertain themselves when they're bored. It's all about getting out of my shell - the hardened shell that refuses to even crack. I managed to break the shell once when I went out of Malaysia to work in Singapore in the same profession. Two years later, I was thrown out due to my sternness, so students refused to be enrolled into my class. Kids these days just want fun. What happened next was that I returned to my old shell - teaching in a primary school. Despite being a private school, everything is just the same as before I had left the country. In fact, I think it's worse.

This bubble that I'm talking about - it makes me wonder. Will I ever break it? It all boils down to myself - do I want to break it? If I do, then am I willing to make sacrifices? I have to leave my home, I have to forego coming back home as often as I'd like to, I've to let mom live on her own and not bother if she's worried about me and I have to ignore what others think of my decision to break the bubble. Even if I decide to stay where I am, but just change jobs, I'd have to face some of these concerns. 

I've been asking myself just one question. How is it that others could just pack their bags, leave home, travel thousands of miles, relocate to start a new life without a care in the world - or knowing that others at home could care for themselves - while I can't seem to budge? Okay, to be fair, it's not that they're heartless beasts; they just do what they want because it's their life. So, would I dare to do that? Maybe I was programmed with empathy and altruism at birth, so before making any rash decisions, I need to think of how it would affect others, especially my family members.

Are those two innate elements the cause of my reluctance to break the bubble and venture into a better world like many others? Is it the fear of uncertainties, or a combination of both?

Hmm... it's something to ponder seriously and make a stand or else I'd be stuck in the bubble for all eternity - and it's not alright for someone who gets bored easily.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Decision Made

After much thought, I have finally decided that I should leave the school I'm teaching now.

This morning, I was literally breathless, and didn't have the energy to yell at the kids who were too noisy. Had to force my voice out three times before they settled down. I believe kids these days are too affected by their phones and other gadgets as they are so engrossed in their own virtual world that they don't even know that an earthquake is happening in the neighbourhood. Call them once, no response. Call them the second time, they'd grunt while their eyes remained glued to the idiot handheld screen. Raise your voice the third time, then only they'd put down the gadget and do what you tell them to. This habit is carried to the school environment. That explains why it takes at least three yells to get a 99% attention from students.

I have decided, I can't do this anymore. I'd be insane, and I'd be ruining my already-weakened body. Stop talking crap about thinking positive. When you're in my shoes, in my environment, thinking positive wouldn't help you at all. You can't just say: "Oh, it's alright. They're just kids - maybe I'll learn something from them." or just a delusional: "Well, never mind. Tomorrow will be a better day." - seriously? Then how come I end up yelling in order to get just ONE person to listen carefully to my instructions to get just ONE task done? After yelling then only she got it right while the rest remained absolutely silent for a good five minutes (only).

It's not that I've just joined this industry. I started when I was 18. I'm now 48, so you do that math. That's a whole lot of lung abuse, not that I enjoy doing it. It just gets worse as time goes on. If I had been a smoker for the same duration, my lungs would be almost charcoal by now. Years of yelling seem to have similar effect - the breathlessness, the dull physical internal pain of the throat and lungs. But my lungs won't turn black. It has probably either shrunk, or inflamed!!

I'll be writing the letter in a couple of days. I'd have to source money to pay the school for breaking the contract - that's a five-figure sum all in the name of protecting my sanity.

People have given up on me because I complain too much. Whatever. I have the right to live a good and healthy life and shouting at people is not one of them. I know that I will somehow get back into teaching again at some point after this because I don't have other skills which I could use to diversify into another industry... but at least I wouldn't be yelling as much as I have done for decades, particularly the past 2-3 years. It's not a good way to die.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Time to Decide Again

The desire is getting stronger. I'm not talking about lust here.

Each day passes with lots of agony inside my troubled soul. My temperament and inability to cope with the new generation of hyperactive kids are taking a toll on my sanity. Each day I come back to my small room, lamenting that another day would come, and I'd be yelling again. Each day I dread waking up having to take a short drive to school along the badly maintained road. My 5-year-old car cries each time it hits a pothole.

Do I have a choice? Yes I do but the trouble is, I don't have the money to pack my bags and leave. I still have another 12 months to go before I can call it quits, and even when I do eventually,  I need to know what lies ahead. I can't be jobless for months. A short break abroad would be nice - hopefully with a partner, if I could find one. That's still far away.

I thought that being in Singapore was bad. Well, to be fair, it was extremely challenging mentally and physically for two years but then I had support from my girlfriend (now ex) who had to listen to my dumb complaints each day and night while I don't listen to hers. However, coming back here was (and still is) a nightmare!! Who says life is good across the causeway? Certainly not in the school where I teach or even in JB. Nothing seems to be right at all. The location, the people, the environment in my rented apartment - sucks.

How long can I hold? I doubt I could wait for that 12 months to lapse, looking at how I feel each day. Some people can turn negatives into positives easily. I see kids running around like monkeys in the computer lab, am I just gonna think "Oh they're just kids and they help pay my salary". I have the urge to pull them aside and smack them in the face for misbehaving. Westerners would sue me for abusing the kid, but this is not a western country. Asians teach kids differently, but of course we don't just spank or smack kids without a reason. We are not lunatics or anti-kids. Read "Tiger Mom".

Do I have a choice? The answer is still yes, but if I choose the road less taken (by quitting and paying for breaking the contract, which is a good five-figure), I had better prepare for what the future holds. Be prepared for wagging tongues and name-calling but who cares? They're not in my shoes. There are friends who are suffering more than I at work, yet they are not leaving. The reason - "I have no choice." - yes, they have mouths to feed, a family to care for.

No one ever reads my blog, unless they bump into this by accident. So those who happen to drop by and read till here, do pray that I make a decision soon.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Not Moving On

Another weekend has passed by. I look forward to weekends as it means not having to empty my already-weakened lungs (I do have some kind of pneumonia-related problem from before). I try to keep myself occupied with my new PlayStation Vita which I got last week; I go to movies more often now than I did in the past 47 years of my existence. I had to do something, including school work on weekends to keep my mind from being idle. Yet, despite my efforts, past incidents keep haunting me.

At the Shopping Mall

Each time I go there, my intention is to just browse around and do window shopping, or go catch a movie, or have a great dinner at a pricey western eatery. Well, I do all that, but when I see couples holding hands, or families eating together with a kid, I feel empty. I look around and see nice girls but then I can't touch them as I'm close to half a century old; I don't have that look and physique that make heads turn and tongues wag. My eyes would wonder, but I'd immediately look at the reflection on the ceramic floor, continue walking, knowing that those are the untouchables.

At the Cinema

It's a good way to keep myself entertained. I had not watched a movie alone when I was still attached. Even after the break-up, I never ventured into going solo to the cinema, but I've started doing it too keep my mind sane, for I don't want to think irrational thoughts when my mind is idle. But in the cinema, I see couples having pop-corns together; I see families with kids, while I'm sandwiched between them. I just wish I could walk out immediately but then I would stay on and enjoy whatever's left of the movie.

Behind the Wheel

I enjoy driving. I used to drive my loved one to random places at night just for a ride before bedtime. Now that I work over 220km from my hometown, I look forward to taking a 3-hr drive home. It could be very tiring, having to focus on the road. Turning on the radio would help but a little as the songs keep repeating. I end up turning it off halfway through my journey. The rest of the time, my mind would wonder about what the future lies, and why I couldn't learn from my mistakes. My car would be left on auto-cruise. When I get back to reality, I suddenly see the road in front of me again.

In School

I have lots of work to do, thanks to the students, who keep me on my toes. Sitting right in front of me is a nice young lady. Every morning, her teacher boyfriend would sit next to her and chat about work and other stuff which I don't quite understand as they speak Mandarin mostly. Then there's another couple - both expatriates. I don't know why I have to see all this so I end up confining myself to solitude in the staff room. Yes, there are singles among the teachers. There's one attractive girl, and another slightly chubby but moderate. Alas, I just stay where I am, refusing to make that move because I don't like to be rejected, and I don't want history to repeat itself. My ex-wife gave me a second chance but I blew it. My ex-girlfriend gave me a few chances, I was still as temperament as before (worse as time went on). So I'm not going to risk another relationship and hurt another woman. 

23 May 2015 (today)

It has been about months since we physically went separate ways. Our relationship however, had ended months before that without even my knowing that it was over until one fateful day I saw a message on her phone. It was a fleeting moment when I happened to turn around and saw the "I love you" message from her new man. That's when I started enquiring, and that's when she spilled out all the badness in me.

I had been advised to seek help from a psychiatrist because of my tantrums and temperament. Honestly, I was hesitant at first, but when I wanted to, I discovered that the consultation fee was ridiculous @ SGD$120 per hour excluding medication (if any). I erased that thought completely and prayed that I'd naturally change a bit. I could see that it hasn't as my mom is often the "new" victim of my sudden outburst when I get really annoyed about things. 

Yeah, one day, I'll go get that treatment that my ex-girlfriend had suggested, By then, she'd have already migrated to Canada, UK, Australia or anywhere else with her new-found love except remain in Malaysia. I know she won't forget me, as we shared a life once but she had to let me go as she just couldn't take all the verbal bashing anymore. I just feel so useless and worthless. Failed relationship. Failed career. Thankfully, I'm still strong enough to wake up each day and face whatever comes my way.

Weekends are a relief to me; they are also a nightmare. I still think of my ex-girlfriend daily, and how those nice messages suddenly stopped streaming into my handphone, giving me a hint that it was all over... a hint which I didn't notice until God saw it necessary for me to see it when I saw the "I love you" sticker on her Viber that fateful night. I was hit real hard, but I deserved it well.

I've wanted to do things to forget the past - simple things like deleting her phone numbers, unfriending her on Facebook, deactivating my account but I know that wouldn't solve anything. She'd not be happy because she has regarded me as a good friend - I think. I don't want her to be sad because she is actually a really kind-hearted and responsible person. You're one bloody lucky man, Mr New Guy.

Now, I have to find a way to get out of this shell and start all over because she already has a new life. How do I move on? I get all kinds of motivational messages but what is stopping me from following them? Yeah, it takes time...

Image result for moving on with lifeImage result for moving on with lifeImage result for moving on with life

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Not Really Unexpected

What do people say about expecting the unexpected?

21 March 2015:

This evening, I checked my phone, and there was a WhatsApp message from an ex-colleague telling me to apply for a job at my former workplace. It was indeed a tempting idea but then, I'm still tied to my present school for another 12 months. My bond ends in June 2016, after which I'd be free to go anywhere I like, or stay where I am now - the latter which I believe will not happen when the time comes.

True, I did not expect such "good news" to come at a time when I'm mentally, emotionally and physically drained to the core. I pray silently each day that the day passes quickly so that I could come home to my rented abode, and retract into my shell. If I had it my way, I'd just empty my kitty of my hard-earned savings and pay an amount equivalent to a term's salary (that's approximately four freaking months!). I could go home to my mother, eat proper healthy food and literally go back to where I come from. Alas, it was not meant to be that way. Given the current situation, I had to forget about going anywhere as long as the bond is still in force.

If I leave, I'd be wasting a good RM15,000 (approximate amount) of my blood and sweat. That's FIFTEEN THOUSAND in local Malaysian currency, not in rupiahs. Secondly, I'd be leaving my responsibilities midway for other teachers to take over from me. Well, I have my principles - I don't let others clear my mess. I'd stay on till the end of the term before bidding farewell. Others would just say that I'm stupid for making myself suffer so long. Well, I don't care. I'm just not that kind of person. I do the job, I finish it albeit the annoying and sickening hurdles unless something untoward falls on me that would result in my early employment termination.

Expect the unexpected, but also sometimes, it's just God's test for us to see how determined we are to continue or to hang on to whatever difficulties we have. There's nothing to be too excited about such unexpected news especially when you realise moments later that it feels like someone poking fun at you when they know jolly well that your hands and legs are shackled to a boulder, thus you can't move.

So when I get such unexpected "good news", I'd just be calm, and make a decision. For now, my decision is to stay on in this desolate place till next year. And then see if there's any more good news to come then.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

My Stress Reliever

Years ago, I saw this and I was keen to buy one. However, at that time, I didn't see a need to as I was entertained by a certain person who was part of me. Years later, to be precise, two weeks back I suddenly had the urge to get one - the PlayStation Vita Slim, an improvement from its bulkier version. Like its predecessor, the Vita Slim also has AR capability (not tested this feature yet but it looks real cool on video).

I did some research - reviews, YouTube videos of user comments and games reviews. I checked it out online every night after school to kill time, and to make sure I'd make the right choice. Then I decided to go ahead with the online purchase from a Singapore-based games shop that provides courier service to Malaysians too (seems to be popular online store among Malaysians). So there I parted with my SGD$230 for the handheld console, $29 for the game entitled "Tearaway" and another $16 for the semi-hard casing. They arrived in two packages - safely and in one piece after two days of tensed moments, wondering if Poslaju had delivered it to my home in Malacca. Their so-called tracking page was not helpful as the status of the delivery remained unchanged for 24 hours. It changed only a few hours after delivery.

The PlayStation Vita Slim with game and casing

The real reason(s) for buying this:
  • I've been severely stressed at work
  • Being alone in a rented room is depressing (am not a nightclub lover)
  • I just love gadgets.
The disadvantage(s) of buying this:
  • higher expenses (buying games and memory card)
  • my eyesight might worsen (if I don't limit my play to an hour a day)
  • it would be left idle in a year's time, just like my old Galaxy Tab 10.
Anyway, I'm happy with the purchase. It doesn't matter what happens to it 12 months from now. I might trade in for something newer. Yes, the store currently accepts trade-ins of old consoles, and even dead ones too.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Nightmare in School

They're cute, but they're more than a handful.

A young expatriate teacher - in the 30's I guess - entered the staff room this afternoon, and exclaimed that the class he had just entered as a relief teacher was unbelievable and he "wanted to sit down and cry". Yes, it's a he. I sat nearby smiling to myself though he wasn't talking to me. I could relate to his story. Then he went on describing how the young hyperkids behaved in class - from running around the class to standing on the table. Well, he couldn't believe it when another teacher told him about that class - the infamous Year 1A where no one sits still (apart from the meek new Japanese girl - she'll learn the ropes soon enough). The only teacher who could "control" them is their homeroom teacher, an elderly lady who keeps having a coarse voice as a result of all the regular shouting. It worked for her, but not for that teacher. And certainly not for me too, as I teach them for 80 minutes every week in the computer lab. So if that relief teacher thought that his 40 minute experience was hellish, he should've been in my shoes. The only way to silence them is to let them watch something on YouTube, but that couldn't be done every day.

What do these kids do in the lab? Everything else but learning. The minute the door opens, they barge into the lab, running from one computer to the next, looking for the "best" one despite being assigned places to sit at. Before I could even boot up my computer, a little guy would run to me and ask me if he could go to the toilet. Then another two would rush to me and tell me that the computer is too slow or they had forgotten their password (hey, I've pasted the UserID and password in their homework diaries). Moments later that same student would beg me to let him go to the toilet. If I let him go, others would want to do the same, so sometimes, I'd just ignore and hope they'd pee in their pants, literally so that I know they were not lying.Some are just testing you.

The projector is finally fired up and I had to yell to get their attention - nope, didn't work. I would use the Net Support software to blank their screens. Bad move - they'd slam the keyboard and mouse onto the table and yell "NOOOO!!!" so I would have to turn the computers back on. In one corner, two kids would be fighting, and when I go and attend to them, two more kids could be seen running in front of the class, or look at what's on the teacher's console.

Yeah, it's all the teacher's fault for not being strict from the beginning, right? Maybe. Maybe not. Go ahead, tell me to set the ground rules - like they care. You know what I do these days? I would just help those whom I could, including the notorious ones (who are keen to finish their work so that they could play their flash-based game), while the rest of those who don't see the need to sit still would be left in the hands of God, as I can't be running after each kid while ignoring those handful who want to learn something. So in the end, the computer lab would turn into a market, and adjacent to it is the library. Sometimes I'd yell so loud that the students in the library would pause reading, look up through the glass panel to see who that lion was.

Yes, that's Year 1A in case you don't know. All 25 of them. Hyperactive, nerve-wrecking experience for trainee teachers. They wreak havoc in class and traumatise teachers whom they could bully. So can someone tell me why kids behave this way? I get comments from my own colleagues about Year 1A. Same problem. They can't be all bad teachers. 

Blame it on technology. Because of technology, speed is everything. Because of technology, everyone talks simultaneously. Because of technology, there is no real communication because people just won't listen - they'd continue swiping on the keyboard, bashing others, trolling. I'm not anti-technology, but we cannot deny that technology is surely destroying what God had created - humans. Technology is slowly turning man into machines.

Don't let those angelic puppy-dog eyes, warm hugs fool you. They're smarter than you think. Wait a minute, aren't they too young to learn how to use computers? Actually no, but if you're tied down to a syllabus, then it becomes a really daunting task for the students and the teacher.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Need a Change

I'm back after a long absence.

Things have changed a lot. For one, I'm much, much older, and I'm growing more silver hair. Yes, I've had much more experience work-wise and in relationships, but I'm still the same old me. For those who already know me for years, you know what I mean.

I have been through a complete cycle as a teacher. Throughout my close to three decades in the teaching profession, I have taught in very rural and urban government schools, an international college, a private university, a tuition centre (in Singapore) and am currently in a private international school. Throughout these long years, I have been struggling to see if I could fit into the teaching fraternity. I tried, I failed. I tried again, and I failed again. For thirty years, I was not happy; I thought I could be a great teacher, but I wasn't. Well, to be fair, I did help a student or two. I did earn myself an Excellence Award in 1996 - my little success stories which I'm happy about. Nevertheless, I was still truly undoubtedly discontented. For years, I complained about my job every single day to online friends so much so that they kinda gave up responding, and to my girlfriend (now ex-girlfriend) till she'd just get so fed up of hearing already. 

Now... after nearly 30 years, it has come to my realization that teaching has NEVER been my forte. No matter how hard I tried, I'd end up getting really upset (with kids and the Management) and frustrated (when students don't get the results I want and I end up getting blamed). No matter how much I tried to manage my temperament, I would get riled up, flaring at the kids or physically "threatening" them when I could not tolerate their obnoxious behaviours. I can't tell the other teachers as they too yell at the kids daily, so all my pent up anger is left inside my cold soul. Consequently, now, I hide in my shell.

I have been such a recluse in this new school, in my own world 90% of the time as I'm just too numb to interact. I don't feel the joy of talking to anyone unlike before. Maybe it's because I'm an alien on Planet JB. I just have no more interest in my work, going through the daily monotony of a teacher's life. Don't get me wrong; I'm thankful to God for giving me a job when I needed one most, a high-paying one by local standards (don't compare with Singapore or KL). I'm thankful that He has opened my eyes by bringing me here to JB city to see what it is like to teach again, and to make me see that this is not what I really want. Money obviously can't buy happiness. The joy of job satisfaction would. This I have not tasted.

Every night, for the past 5 months, I'd be waiting to chat with someone, anyone on WhatsApp, or see something to comment on Facebook. Or just rant and rave on FB to let the online community know that I'm going bonkers after going through one broken relationship after another, and a messed up life. YES, there is no point lamenting, for I could never get back what (or whom) I have lost, but just strive as hard as I could to move on and on and on till the pain disintegrates gradually. "Go to church", "join the gym" were some of the suggestions. There is a mental block, and I must unblock it before it causes more harm to my overall health.

I HAVE TO get rid of old memories both good and bad. It's all over... everything past is over. I need to start new - it's easier said than done, but I need to. I have to have faith in God in order for this to work. Right now, I don't. That's the saddest part.

So ...