Friday, March 20, 2009

Deeper Conversations

Language has become a popular issue lately, especially regarding PPSMI. To me, I'd prefer PPSMI to be maintained, because in this fast-paced globalisation era, it is important to master the latest development in science as soon as possible. If one is not well-verse in English, then they will not be able to understand, let alone master new skills as soon as possible because most of the materials are available in English. Translating takes time, but time and tide waits for no man, especially in this world today. Sometimes the knowledge we learn today might be obsolete tomorrow due to fast developments made in other more developed countries, and we need to catch up to that, if not, we will be left behind.

Yet again, the question of the indigenous people's mastery in English that becomes a hindrance to their acquisition of knowledge pops up alongside the question of the deteriorating appreciation for the Malay language that has become our identity for so long.

I disagree that PPSMI deteriorates one's nasionalisme, because PPSMI is actually for a patriotic cause, which is to ensure that Malays are able to compete on the global market by quick mastery of the latest sciences and technology, i.e. through the English language.

Then again, people question, wouldn't PPSMI widen the knowledge gap between the indigenous people and the urbanites? The thing is, even without PPSMI, there has always been a huge knowledge gap between the urbanites and the indigenous people. The solution to this is to provide equal education opportunities that is easily accessible for the indigenous students.

Then again, teaching skills might also need to be revised so that as the teaching and learning process proceeds, the students will develop an awareness to the importance of the skills obtained from the lesson, and prehaps make more efforts to better themselves at the subject, instead of merely studying for the exams.

I don't actually want to elaborate much on PPSMI, it is a sensitive issue, and most of what I will say is alike to that of other justifications to defend PPSMI, that you can probably read from other blogs. (another factor is that I am too malas to do so and I will be going back to school soon, maybe I'll elaborate in my later posts.)

Personally, I am more comfortable with English, since I was familiar with English ever since kindergarten. I think in English, and it is easier for me to express myself in English. Not that I'm boastful, but even in my school, people have come to associate English with me. It goes as a blessing and a curse.

For one thing, I get opportunities to participate in competitions and I easily understand lessons which are conducted in English, but socially, I become a freak. Some people actually are scared to talk to me because they are afraid that they have to use that 'dreaded' language when talking to me, and some just regard me as a stuck-up 'mat salleh celup'.

However, I am glad that the few of the friends I've had actually changed their perception on the language, and when they try speaking in English with me, they improved, even though slightly, in their command of English. It is a good sign.

Even so, some people find it strange that my command of formal Malay is not as good as my English, i.e. my karangan. The answer is simple. Others think in BM and translate it into English when they answer their essays. In my case, it is the other way around.

When asked to give opinions, I'd prefer English, when it comes to BM, the cat gets my tongue, sorry, Cikgu Mad, that's the truth. I take time to 'translate' my ideas.

Due to that, many condemn me to be unpatriotic. Unappreciative of my own race. This sometimes causes an inner emotional turmoil, but truth be told, I am more 'patriotic' now than I was before, that is, after I began reading about politics.

It is not as if I don't speak Malay at all, in fact, I speak Malay more often than I used to before this, especially in the Kelantanese dialect, given the fact that most of the time I am around a majority of Malay. (This has somewhat, I shamefully admit, aroused a subtle sense of 'xenophobia' in me when interacting with other races, but I want to change that!)

Now the question of patriotisme lies in one's capability to represent his or her own race on the global arena. Of course, knowledge becomes the measure of a man.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Taming Tigers

If you have not read this book, get you hands on it quick!
Yes, I'm serious, it is that good.

why?

simply because it is unforgivingly, brutally honest.

What I love of this book is basically the fact that not a single word has gone to waste. Every single description is relevant, and makes for a pinpoint analogy of each scenario in the book. When you traverse each sentence, you already have an idea what the author is trying to portray in the way he describes what the characters do, wear, walk, talk. the simple gestures represent the very soul of the culture so imminently depicted in this book.

And the main character, Balram, seems so real that you could almost believe that he actually runs around in the streets, er, slums of India. The complexity of emotions and the inner turmoil he felt as he expresses his views on the issues.

The author's ideas of a new-age caste of small-bellied and big-bellied people and the Rooster Coop has been compellingly displayed along the storyline, and you could actually understand the conflict going on in this book and sense the subtle criticisms and the desire for change in certain areas of the system. (I could even match some of the ideologies to the local scene =P).

Some people might regard this as political fiction, but the fact that the author effectively utilises dark humor and satire in his storytelling makes it a sarcastic yet entertaining read.

Similarly so, Slumdog Millionaire (which I have yet to watch) seems like another unforgivingly, brutally honest work of art.

Whereas, the local flick, Budak Kelantan, is somewhat the portrayal of the gedebe-ness of Kelantanese boys. However, lest we assume that only Kelantanese boys are like that. The idea of the film is basically to reflect on the good and the bad in our own society. All the other rowdy kids of the other states have also had 'dangerous adventures' like that depicted by the character in the movie, it is unfair to condemn the Kelantanese alone who perpetrate all that misbehavior, but the gedebe (gangster-like) Kelantanese boy is portrayed in this flick simply because the Kelantanese themselves have a unique culture (their dialect, hell yeah, it's my first language at school), some good, some bad, but all the same human- and Malaysian.

Just because the Indians are protrayed as ruthless, conniving people in The White Tiger and Slumdog Millionaire, and the Kelantanese are portrayed as gedebe, doesn't mean that other people don't have it in them too. They do, only up to some degree, but the fact is, they do. It can actually be applicable to anyone , for those who actually care to stop and observe the world today.

These masterpieces don't actually degrade a certain culture, but rather opens our eyes with the unforgiving, brutal honesty that they serve, and might, perhaps, imply a desire of shifting paradigms.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Relics

Hey, more photo posts.

There seems to be a virus that resides in my pendrive after being infected from the school computer. The pesky virus wouldn't go away and it messed up my files, so I lost a lot of information, including all my photos! I swear I'm not sticking any more pendrives into my home pc!

By the way, I found some of these pictures in my home pc. These are all last year's pictures, mind you:

COOKING CLASS gone awry!

actually, it was for our 'innovation' project that didn't-turn-out-well-and-in-the-end-was-terbengkalai last year.

This was the second batch of the "cough drops" that actually turned out as gula-gula nisan. I didn't even know such a candy existed until we did this. so, despite being a failure, it was an educational one. Part of the team were Atiq and Liyana. haa..the good old days.



peppermint extract.



melting the 'nisan'.



adding 'em groundnuts.



what's cooking? A whole lotta goop! nah..it's a mix of crushed groundnuts, flour, cinnamon, honey adn peppermint extract. Thanks to Cikgu Aidah for letting us borrow her stove and make a mess out of the Home Economics room, and thanks to our adik-adik form 3 at that time who helped us mash the nuts. =)



and the finished product. I know it looks unflattering, but the first batch was worse, the one that I did with my granny during the holidays. Indeed, the project was a flash in the pan (pun intended).

next is the biji Katak Puru as a cure for diabetes project that was also terbengkalai.



introducing buah kodok


we were suppose to test on wether or not the extract from the seed could actually reduce glucose content, so we conducted an experiment involving the Benedict's solution to test for presence of glucose in the mix of kodok-extract and glucose. Well, it didn't turn out right, so in the end, since I was too busy with my other commitments, the project was abandoned.



next are the pictures from Arabic Cultural Festival in SBPI Jempol. I met Affan and Amirual Izzat, my ole' SKLK schoolmates who went to SBPI Sabak Bernam and STAR, respectively. But I didn't get to take any pictures with them.



yep, Hishamuddin steals the limelight all right, but I'm not fanatic enough to be in the same photo with him.



The guys (Hakim, Aiman Yusoh and Latif) and girls (Jannah, me and Farhanah) with Ustazah Noraziah on Day 1. Oh, the sad thing about HK ARab is that I lost all my precious group pictures. It was my first time with my KODAk C713, and someone had accidentally deleted my pictures. *sob*sob* These are the pictures from Farhanah.



with Farhanah





and..the best thing was..I was a BPI (Badan Pelajar Islam) or the Faris version of BADAR for a day.. alim-alim pun akulah yang pakai tudung singkat sekali..geli hati betul..

Pantai Sabak for our Shell-NSTP Global Warming Journalism Workshop and our Form 3 Geography kerja kursus. =D This is the only 'surviving' picture I have of Pantai Sabak after the virus ordeal.


well, that's about all.

Monday, March 16, 2009

nama di ruangSaya

You're just a name on my MySpace
another face in my Facebook
the vibrant profiles seem so empty and meaningless
masking an even more vacant soul
the fantasies of an Alter Ego

You send me Virtual Hugs and Electronic Cupcakes
crossing frontiers of touch and taste
senses ceasing to exist
so as sincere emotions
because affection
is given a new definition these days
of Virtual Hugs and Electronic Cupcakes
from a name on my Myspace

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Written

from experience.


Child of Hope
By: Nurul Kamilah Binti Mat Kamil


Tears welled up in my eyes, as I choked out a reply to my teacher’s question.
“I’m sorry, teacher, I cannot read this. It’s in English.”

I saw Mr. Teo go red in the face, ready to spank me.

“What has your mother taught you? She’s an English teacher, how can she not have taught you anything?”

The tears came streaming down my cheeks, as I ran out of the class, terrified. Mr Teo called after me, but I didn’t even look back.

As I was halfway down the corridor, heading for the exit, a gentle hand grasped my wrists.

“Sany,” the soft voice beckoned.

I spun around to see Miss Hasniza, my foster mother and English teacher.

“Where are you going?” She asked, her face contorting in concern.

“I want to go back.”

She held my small, trembling body in an embrace. “It’s all right.”

Miss Hasniza took me to the cafeteria and sat me down on a chair like a toddler. She bought me a currypuff, and calmly told me to eat, even though recess was over an hour ago.

“Mr. Teo is very hot-tempered, but he’s very kind-hearted if you get to know him.”

I bit my lip obstinately. Mr. Teo was one of those people who never understood people like me.

I was of the Temiar clan; a child of nature. It was Miss Hasniza who introduced me to the concrete jungle when she adopted me last month. I never got used to my new surroundings. I missed the singing of the crickets at night, the cooling rush of the river at my feet and the feel of moss on my fingers as I played in the trees. Most of all, I missed my ageing mother.

“Let’s go to the computer lab, shall we?”

I looked up at my teacher in surprise. That was unexpected; usually she would coax me to get back to class.

I stifled back a tear, “okay.”
Heads turned in the staff room as the other teachers saw the young, petite teacher walk with a grubby little boy at her side down the corridor.

Hand-in-hand, Miss Hasniza led me past the school garden to the computer lab. The garden was a myriad of colors, from morning glories to rhododendrons, and allamandas. Butterflies floated by, and birds chirped merrily, lifting the gloom from my heart. I was calmed by the presence of nature.

Upon entering the vacant computer lab, Miss Hasniza brought out her mobile phone and dialed a number. She spoke for awhile to the person on the other line. Then, when she finished, she turned to me. “Do you remember how to turn on the computer?”

Miss Hasniza knew my passion for computers. I nodded, enthusiastically. “I’ll try.”

After about half-an-hour fumbling with the buttons, I successfully managed to turn on the computer without much damage to the equipment, or to myself.

I watched as Miss Hasniza turned on the contraption she called a ‘web cam’. Without warning, she snapped a photo of me using the web cam. I watched in amazement as a picture of my moody face was displayed on the screen. I almost laughed looking at my face. It was contorted into such ugly features. I thought of the jembalang stories my mother told me. I smiled to myself secretly.

Then, Miss Hasniza introduced me to the internet. “You know, you can communicate with other people in other places using the web cam. It’s like a magic mirror.”

I looked at her in fascination. “Show me.”

All of a sudden, an unrecognizable man’s face appeared on the screen. I was startled, but Miss Hasniza calmed me down.

“This is Mr. Subramaniam. He’s in charge of the ICT program at your village.”

The man beamed as he stepped back, allowing the face of an older woman to fill the screen- it was my mother!

Tears began streaming down my face again, but I quickly wiped them away, because I knew that my mother wouldn’t want to see me unhappy. I put on a brave face for her.

“How are you, son?” She spoke in our native tongue.

“I miss you, ma.”

“I miss you too, son.”

I reached out a finger and touched the screen. “I want to go back to you, ma.”

“You have to be strong, son. We depend on you. Miss Hasniza will help you.”

In the background, my brother and sisters were playing. They were dressed in my old t-shirts that were handed down to them after I left for the city.

A teardrop fell on the keyboard as I rested my heavy head on the monitor. I clutched at my shirt. How I wished my mother, brothers and sisters would be here. How I wished they had proper clothes to wear, how I wished they could see the technological marvels I’ve seen, taste the nasi lemak, sleep in a warm, comfy bed at night, how I wished…

“It’s okay, ma. I’ll be strong for you.” I croaked.

After saying good bye to her, I cried in Miss Hasniza’s arms.

Since that day, I’ve tried my best in everything, especially in English. I was far behind in my class, but I struggled. Miss Hasniza was always there when I needed the support, encouraging me to go on, when everybody else ignored me, when they have all given up on me.

“He’ll never get anywhere. The least he’ll get is a ‘c’, and that’s as good as 5A’s for an illiterate orang asli like him,” I hear people sometimes whisper under their breaths.

I sometimes cried, knowing that fact, but every night, Miss Hasniza would tell me that it’ll soon get better the next day. With that optimism in mind, my days did get better indeed.

In my hands today, I hold my diploma in education. I will return to my village to teach the younger generation there. I am forever indebted to Miss Hasniza, the teacher who changed my life. Thank you, teacher.

Word count: 998

Friday, March 13, 2009

Events

the First Corporate Day of 2009, I can't remember when..


blurred picture..arghh

the Fivers at the Roll-call on Corporate Day


In my class, with the assistant monitor, Adilah



with Nora



prefects: Hannan, Echoh, Atiq and Muja

Anis, Kam, Muja and Nani

here's a short clip taken during the role call. However, I don't have any footage of the boys, though.

video

well, there you have it, Corporate Day. comments on the attire?

KOT 26/2/09







these are all pictures of the Rahman house tent. One house claimed to have spent a total of RM 3000 for the tent decor.



with Wani. gosh, I suddenly realize that I don't have any of the parade pictures.



the belles of the ball..? eih..macam mak datin je aku pakai kebaya and selendang..perhh!



With headgirl Aisyah at the Mahathir tent. In the background is the replica of a ship and an anchor.



Omar, Syakir, now headboy, and me in the Mahathir tent.



My Editor-In-Chief-cum-Mahathir designer Syau.



the other assistant editor-in-chief, Nafis.



with Senior Amir of Hussein house.



me and Anis at the Hussein totem pole.



with the Hussein house president Amin.



with my Sejarah teacher, Cikgu Rodzieh.





Razakians



with Nora and Faiqah at the Razak tent.



Anas as Peter Pan??



the PKRs (Penolong Ketua Rumah) of Hussein (Muja), Razak (Adah), Mahathir (Hannan) and Rahman (Atiq)



Syafirie and Jija



I can't remember what this trophy was for, but it was ours!

unfortunately I couldn't upload the formation marching video due to its large size..sob..sob..

Charity Golf 28/2/09





I didn't win anything, just played for fun. Pa came to Kelantan that day.

and currently I'm busy with... Exam Penggal..

Watikah Pelantikan Badan Pemimpin Pelajar..110309..the most hectic one yet.. because right after the ceremony, the fivers had Sejarah exam!



Gamelan girls: Zaleha, Muja, Syuhadah, Kam, Hannan, Atiq, Esoh





sekadar bercanda



alahai Hannan





posers!

tadaah! All in all, I'm so glad it's over, it was good when it lasted.hehs..