Saturday 22 June 2013

Time versus Money

That was the first round's motion for our Kelantan's state-level debate competition. To be honest, i thought that was highly bias, but when we actually sat down to brainstorm ideas, it is funny how we could find substantial points to support both sides.

Here's a quick recap of what had happened prior to our debate competition.

1. As usual, in our Gua Musang's PPD, most of the time we do not have inter-school competitions, but rather selected ad-hoc to represent the district for certain state-level competitions (horrible but true). Unfortunately, this time around, our school was selected for English Debate, and no prize for guessing who's the teacher-in-charge @_@

2. English is not a second language here in GM, but rather a foreign language. Getting students to know very basic English is hard as it is, let alone debate in the language. I knew i had a mountain in front of me.

3. Using our English Week, we held debate competitions and surprisingly the interest exceeded our expectation. We thought forming two teams to compete would be difficult but we ended up with 7! Then again, the students (with no debate experience and very minimal guidance from me since we lack time) made the debate sessions rather hilarious or even hard to watch. Not only their English competency was just not at par with their age, they were throwing out sweeping statements, ending their speeches below 2 minutes, reading heavily from their wikipedia-sourced notes, and turned POI into emotional and baseless arguments. It was rather painful to watch. But i observed each of them carefully and applauded for their courage to attempt such a big task, and finally narrowed them down to 4 kids whom i could train. I knew chances of us advancing would be difficult, but i was very encouraged by their jest and willingness to learn, and so we started the training.

4. Our training was really productive, as i used a lot of different oral techniques to encourage them to talk, and taught them how to make critical arguments. They were speaking English (albeit its brokenness), proactive in researching for points, and getting hyped up for the competition.

5. The D Day came, and the kids were petrified. But with the huge inefficiency of the Kelantan's JPN, instead of starting at 8.30am, the students were only quarantined at 10+. The long wait probably helped my kids to relax quite a bit. When they were released from their quarantine, to their horror, instead of being ushered to one of the small rooms for their debate session, they were ushered to the school hall, and paired with a SBP school from Bachok. Not only were they freaked out, I guess i was too lol.

6. I was at the edge of my seat as i sat through their debate. Our team became the Opposition and had to fight for 'Money'. When my first speaker stood up, everyone in the hall could hear the quiver in her voice, but she quickly calmed herself down and went on with her points. I cringed from time to time at her glaring grammatical errors, but i was impressed by how she pulled it through. One by one, the speakers from both sides had their speeches over and done with, POI was pretty strong from my team, and to everyone's surprise, our points were stronger and more believable than the Government's team. Despite being pulled down if we are comparing the fluency between our team and the other, in terms of style and substance, i knew we had a chance.

7. Then came the reply speech. My second speaker took up the challenge and went strong. Just as she was about to end her speech, she did something to everyone's horror. With a slip of tongue, she confidently said, "with that, we the opposition believed that TIME is more important than MONEY. With this i rest my case."
You could almost hear everyone gasped in disbelief. I knew then, it was over.

8. True enough, the Government won the motion, and my kids looked down and defeated. Just when i was reviewing their performance, identifying their big mistakes but telling them how much pride i have for each one of them, the Chief Adjudicator walked towards us. She congratulated my team saying that they did great and even told them that in terms of the points accumulated, we should have won; but because of the huge mistake done during the reply speech, we 'threw away' our stand and handed the victory to the opposing team. I was extremely thankful to her for making the effort to explain to my kids as i saw their faces lit up! And instead of playing the blaming game upon that second speaker of ours, they were fired up (knowing they could have won) and said they are going to try harder next year :)
There and then, i was one proud mama.

Being a teacher is really not an easy task. Sometimes you feel like you could not carry on, sometimes you feel like you are victimised, and sometimes you feel like you hate what comes with your job... But then there are times, you just feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to be part of your students' lives, to be acknowledged and appreciated, and to know that you did your best for someone other than your own self.

So to teachers out there, be proud of yourself. You are doing a great job.

Friday 14 June 2013

Bridezilla mode? Nah

Since i'm starting anew here, there's this rather weird sensation of excitement. Kinda like a kid, being given a box filled with 48 pieces of crayons and a huge blank canvas :p

Today i thought i would start sharing something i have never talked about freely, especially on a public platform... If you have guessed it right from the title of the post, well done.

My closest friends and family, or even my old blog readers would have known that i have been engaged for quite a long time. There's this saying that its not good to stay engaged for too long, and i actually feared for the worst.

Things have never been easy for Alex and i. Not only we are separated by thousands of miles or have to endure horrible internet connection and frustrating unstable calls; there are a lot of uncertainties in both of our lives. And to be honest, we didn't even know whether there would be a wedding. But once we prayed hard and committed into it, we set a date, and we worked towards making it happen.

So is planning a wedding that includes fitting in families and friends from different countries, juggling the budget and elders' opinions while still fighting for your own vision an easy task?

It's a no brainer.

I actually love the planning and research part, visualising the wedding in my head; but when you have family members who are 'just giving a suggestion', things get a whole lot trickier.

Thus, i am really thankful that my parents always have my back, and allowed Alex and i to have the wedding the way we wanted. My parents agreed with us that wedding should be a celebration, not a ceremony of protocol to please or to impress people who may or may not even be at the wedding for you. At the end of the day, the wedding is just an event, but the marriage is what matters most.

Even so, it doesn't make planning a wedding any much easier.

After much emails, calls and research, we decided to hold a really private wedding of 60 people in Penang. It will be just with really close family and friends. However, i have to plan the itinerary for Alex's family that will be flying in from various countries a week before our wedding for a short Malaysian vacation, and deal with bookings, fittings, designing and purchasing from Gua Musang (really hard as there is no public transportation from Gua Musang to Penang and i could only get away during school holidays). But i am really grateful that Alex helps me out with the major decisions (despite being so far away), and we are both on the same page in many areas :)

As God continues to watch over us, in exactly 6 months time, we would be starting a whole new life chapter.
I won't even shy away from saying that i can't wait to marry this amazing guy lol.
Even though our journey has been filled with much odds, and i only got to see him for 9 days (during the May school break) after waiting for six months, when i'm with him, it just feels right.

I might even share some of our experiences during this whole wedding planning fiesta, and even review some of the vendors that we came across (good and bad), but as for now, i just want to splash this post, with some of our pre-wedding shots, as taken by our dear friend, Vialli :)

for more piccies, go to

Stay tune,
Journey with me,
God bless :)

Ermmm.. Hi there~

I was D.E.V.A.S.T.E.D.

I finally had the mojo to revisit my rusty, neglected blog, only to find that due to some ridiculous-whatever-reason-it-is, all my pictures are GONE!!! Yup, all gone. Just like that.

That blog of mine was really dear to my heart, as it probably recorded most part of my life that was rather significant to me: from college me, to my happiest period as a carefree student in Auckland, how i fell in and out of love, how i met this great man of mine, and my life as a beginning teacher in Kelantan... and though the words remain, my picture-filled posts are all.... *sniffs*... gone.... lost... missing... ....... .... gone..... *sniff* ...

Hence, I decided to give blogger another chance. After all, my first blog was blogger, and let's hope, I do not have to experience such heartbreak with this new blog :')

Anyway, this is only the explanation entry. After i composed myself, i would probably start filling this new canvas with more stuff, pretty pictures, and personal reflections... and make this the new home for my thoughts.

Stay tune and God bless.