Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Exam Season

Invigilating 1 Belatuk is like hosting a twisted talent competition.
I Belatuk sat for their history paper today, and had to contain their otherwise relentless energy to conform to the numbing silence of the exam atmosphere. Under these dreary circumstances, they still showed tremendous effort to entertain and put up a great show. Bless them.
s A: *makes whistling sound through his teeth to the crippled tune of "baby shark doo doo"
me: Viknes! ....
s A: Oh!hiiii *waves*
s B : Rocks his chair so far back that his head lands on table behind. knocks his head on that table.
me: Sharen! Stop that *through gritted teeth*
s B: *does a Tamil movie-star salute* (ask me for a demonstration anytime)
s C: pulls up t-shirt over his head to form a tudung, rocks back and forth and stares at me....blinking
SUDDEN THOUGHT!: Oh God, they're taking turns!
Nope, NOT this time. I will NOT react.
s C : *starts singing a Malay song and wraps t-shirt-tudung tighter around his head.
me: Norman!! Sleep! Now!
s C: Sorry teacher.
-eerie scraping sound begins-
me *what now? searches wildly around the room.
s D: Using a pair of scissors to carve up the notice boards on the side. making a bloody mess of confetti.
me: Chuan Sze...what is wrong with your head. (mental note: make him clean it up, without a broom)
s D : *stops for a blessed second*
s E: seeing all the drama, decides to stretch and make a loud BURRRRPP sound. (then says oops and acts like it was a mistake)
*class giggles madly*
s F: has been suspiciously quiet all the while *decides this is the best time to test his catapult (ruler over three erasers to launch little paper balls, one of which hits the teeth whistler on the forhead) *SMACKK*
s A: Hoi! Cikgu kacau cikgu...*throws paper back* misses *hits tudung boy* who jumps and shrieks because he scares easily.
Teeth whistler, truly an accomplished musician, begins with a round of percussion. *plays imaginary tabla under his desk* -war drums in the Blackboard Jungle.
*class erupts* "WE ARE ENTERTAINED," their eyes scream, because their mouths can't
Some who were blissfully asleep, stir from their slumber.
No no nooooooo...
me: Suppresses aggressive language with Herculean effort.
"One more word, and you all go for recess late.
That's it. Silence. Recess always wins.
Encore! Encore!

Friday, 8 September 2017


Currently listening to: Bravado by Lorde.
          I can’t identify what it is that makes me nervous. Perhaps this is why I don’t travel anywhere alone. The idea of solo travel is a romantic one but I know the minute I get off the plane, I would regret going. Who would help me? Who would I talk to when I’m not exploring amazing architecture. Who would I eat with? Strangers? You mean I have to *shudder* socialise? I want to shake off those shudders and approach strangers to ask for help without feeling judged, stupid, pitiful, lost and beyond help. I want to get over that feeling of hopelessness in unfamiliar territory.
               I sometimes imagine myself exploring unknown places, foreign lands without a plan or care in the world, but then I realise I’m just replaying a scene from a random movie or travel programme, where the hero always bumps into someone willing to take them around to explore the colourful street life of Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines.
              I digress. I realise I fear being vulnerable, being in a position where I have to admit I am lost, in order to get help. I fear new train ticket machines because using them entails putting yourself in a clueless position to ask for instructions. I fear getting on a plane because it involves checking in and boarding and a hundred other terms I’ve read about but never experienced.
I fear the unknown.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Breathe in.Your chest experiences a sudden tightness as if it's making a last desperate attempt to stick a band aid on and hold itself together. Breathe out. The band aid snaps off. Shocked/angry/hurt/embarrassed tears well up, which you will furiously blink back because they who hurt you cannot know it. Your fists curl up, not to punch a wall, or pound a table but just to contain the trembles. Truth is, you don't know how to react. There's always a first time.

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TEACHER HEARTBREAK. So I know the picture seems trivial enough, (not to mention badly drawn) but this is one of many teeny tiny heartbreaks that happen along the way. It's easier to post the funny faces but it's not always a Mary poppins kinda day, I'm afraid.
Here's to teachers everywhere who breathe in, breathe out and move on! 💝💝💝

OKAY, kids, copy this down!

Me unintentionally starting a dialogue on coffee...again.

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A week after the holidays

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Unflattering Candids

This look is called "Sigh.Not againn" When I try to explain the words "DESperate" "DESpite" or "DEStination" or "DEScribe" and you shout "DESPACITOOO", I'm not paid enough to laugh, kid.

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The look I'm wearing: "Mildly annoyed" with a touch of "Smelt something bad".
One of my go-to facial expressions when 30 sweaty buffaloes charge in 10 minutes late after an hour of football and start congregating under the fans, making loud tired sighs, asking for a further 10 minute break..when here I am with my roll of mahjong papers ready to go! 

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Some days we see marvellous things

My eyes must be deceiving me. Peralihan students NOT running around? NOT SPLASHING WATER on each other? Instead, READING? QUIETLY?
Respect to the comic book writers who have these kids so captivated that they are so effectively out of mischief.

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