Saturday 27 July 2013

the unknown

i'm a very protected girl.
i get into a teary mess watching semi-touching commercial ads,
i feel burdened upon reading news on crimes and deaths,
i flared up in anger when i hear about rapes and sex trafficking,
and many times i just couldn't comprehend how can a human be so merciless and cruel...
how could someone feed on someone else's pain and agony?
how can some people be so sick?

as i calm myself down after feeling overwhelmingly emotional after reading all these awful articles online (its the hormones speaking too), i start to feel really blessed.
it's true i'm all alone, unwell, in this small room of an old mattress, a floor filled with my hair, school work in a pile which i had been successfully ignoring, and getting annoyed by someone singing karaoke (old ancient chinese songs) from the house next door.... BUT when i stop dwelling in self-pity, i could see how much favor God has given me.

it's not about being positive, but it's really a matter of faith and thankfulness.

i'm well received and loved in my working environment,
i actually love my job,
i'm very in love with a guy who loves me as much, if not more,
i have the best parents,
despite my love handles, i think i look ok enough,
and i'm someone who has a lot of love to give!

There are times when i still think whether there is more to what i have now.
All this while, my life journey has been very protected and provided.
God blessed me with good results consistently from primary to secondary, and then gave me scholarships, and when i'm done studying i was provided with a job. Of course many steps of faith were taken in between but one would say i have a pretty smooth-sailing life compared to many. And it still feels like i'm still very much in my comfort zone...

Now, i often find myself thinking.. "What's next?", "Will i be able to compete in a world without stability?", "Will i be complacent?"

The thing is, i always challenge my students to 'dream', to 'think BIG', and we even did lessons on making our Bucket List...
and the question falls back at me... "Am i doing what i preach?"

I guess it's high time to seek God earnestly, and look into myself too,
who knows, it may be time for a new crazy adventure of crazy faith...
a time to walk towards the unknown..........

Friday 19 July 2013

and i held back my tears...

This entry needs a lil bit of a rewind.
Around 2 months ago, my principal saw me and called out to me.. Out of the blue he asked me whether i could teach Physics which of course i laughed it off. Yet he kept insisting and said he went through my files and realised that i scored , and i quote him , "a lot of As" in my SPM so i could actually teach a lot of subjects. Again i refused profusely saying that English is my core business, is what i'm trained to teach and i would love to stick to my classes. He relented in the end but not before reminding me that i should teach Physics because my SPM result is much higher than the one currently teaching that subject @_@

Oh well, that was one of the 'jokes' i kept to myself.

In the meantime, our students who were taking Chinese classes had a young replacement teacher, filling in the absence of the one and only Chinese language teacher who was on an extended maternity leave. She was an STPM leaver who needed a job while waiting for her uni applications, and due to our school as well as PPD's inefficiencies, she later found out that she might not get paid at all! Understandably she did not want to waste even more time and she resigned, bringing in another STPM leaver (a guy this time around) who only had a C in his SPM Chinese (which apparently is good enough to be a replacement teacher). BUT, the same problem that happened to her remained the same for this guy so he had been told to 'wait for the appointment letter', which of course never came. So our kids who are taking the Chinese subject had been loitering around without any teacher.

Fast forward to just about 2 weeks ago, i jokingly mentioned to my dad about the "teacherless situation" in my school as well as how my principal wanted me to teach Physics because of my SPM results... and to my utmost surprise, my dad looked straight at me and said, "Why don't you help these kids?"
I was stunned, and quickly retaliated saying that Chinese is a really difficult subject and i don't even have the confidence to teach it.
But dad replied, "Whatever it is, you got an 'A' for your SPM, and definitely better than that replacement guy. I still think you should do what you can to help those kids."
It got me thinking... And eventually i said i will pray about it.
Then the day after, i received a text from a student of mine, asking me why have i been replaced by a new teacher! Imagine my shock (i was on CRK to help sort out my brothers' placements)! I quickly contacted my Head of English Panel to inquire and guess what... our school received not one, but TWO new English teachers! And since i was away, she gave one of the new teachers my timetable to relief my classes.
For me, that was the sign.
It's really amazing how there is always timing for everything. Now that i look back at it, from my conversation with my dad to all these that followed after, God is really teaching me a lot of new things, and dragging me out of my comfort zone, really really REALLY taking huge steps of faith towards his plans and purposes for me.

To cut the story short,
I was humiliated by my PKP who assumed that i was trying to ditch my classes now that there are new teachers',
I was appreciated by my Principal who was glad that i offered to help the teacherless kids.
I had to bid goodbye to my Form 4 English classes, both of which i have grown very fond of.
I was fighting hard to hold back my tears when my Form 4 classes begged me not to leave them and even wanted to see the principal and the PKP as a whole class to keep me as their English teacher.
and now I have received my new teaching timetable.

I will be keeping both my Form 5 English classes, and will be teaching three Form 3 Chinese classes, and two Form 5 Chinese classes.

I'm still pretty freaked out with all this. Teaching English has been a pretty comfortable affair for me despite the many challenges of dealing with very low proficiency kids; teaching Chinese? Both PMR and SPM classes? I don't know.

All i could do is to continue trusting Him, pray for wisdom, and start taking those HUGE steps of faith.
and know that if i do succeed in guiding these kids to excellence, it's not me, but all Him.

Keep me in prayers too and if any one of you have tips on how to teach PMR and SPM chinese, do share with me :)

Saturday 13 July 2013


Wedding planning has been really fun actually.

I was never that girl who dreamt about her fairy-tale wedding since young; nor was i ever obsessed with the thought of putting on a wedding gown. Imagine my 'cultural shock' when i came upon 'pinterest' and wedding blogs, dedicated to make people spend lots of money for that 'perfect', 'magical' day. Though i must admit, i fell for those dreamy-looking pictures and well-taken photographs too. In fact, i probably even got a little carried away with those tiny details UNTIL sense came back to me.

Am i in love with the idea of a wedding or am i in love with the idea of marrying the one i have been madly in love with?

It all came clear, and now i just pray for a marriage, blessed by God, and definitely by my parents.

So i pretty much mellow down on a lot of aspects, though i was still adamant on DIY-ing some stuff just because i love to add those personal touch.. BUT... one thing that i could not compromise was, the DRESS.

And gosh is finding the perfect gown difficult!

I went searching with Ray and Rachel in KL with only one gown that i kind of like.
I went around all the bridal shops in Taiping with mum and came back with not even one that fits what i was looking for...
and finally,
in Penang, I FOUND THE DRESS (which both my parents approved of) but was not of my size and could not be altered!!!! *cries*

so finally, i just settled for this gown, which wasn't exactly the ONE, but i guess it was close enough. Plus, i got a pretty sweet deal out of it so i guess i'm happy for now :)

As all the shops forbid photo-taking, my friends, and my mum managed to sneakily steal some shots for me. Though the pictures were not exactly flattering, i thought it would still be fun to share some dresses that i did try on :P

However, none of them were close to what i had in mind.

The actual dress was only seen by some lucky few (my parents - who were there with me through the fitting, and some of my girls - through whatsapp lol ;) 
Not even Alex had the slightest clue what i'll be wearing and i like that lol

If all goes well, under God's guidance, provision and protection,
I'll be walking down that isle, with only my closest family and friends, in a small private affair, towards my super awesome groom... in exactly five months ^_______^

i'm anxious
i'm excited
i can't wait ;)

Friday 12 July 2013

Milse Dessert Bar - Yay or Nay?

Most of my dates with the mister revolve around food.. glorious food! We are quite adventurous when it comes to trying out new places, but not without much research and reading reviews online. Our 'food'losophy has always been "if we are going to spend money on food, let's make it well spent" ;)

So even before I headed over to Auckland during the May-June school break, Alex had been tempting me with pictures and blog reviews on this new and happening dessert bar in Britomart! Dessert bar? Yup, that sounded exciting to me already and easily became one of my first-to-check-out foodie scene in Auckland ;)

Finally, Alex had to go to the city for his work and brought me along, dropping by Milse Dessert Bar for a sweet bite~ We had a little trouble finding this small patisserie initially as it wasn't particularly on the main road but kinda hidden in an alley.. At last, with Alex's trustworthy mobile GPS, we found it!

I was like a kid who just stumbled onto Willy Wonka's chocolate factory and couldn't wait to get in (partly because it was rather chilly that day too lol). The place is rather quaint, and with only very few tables and seats. We were quickly served and given seats by the walls. Not complaining, we took our seats and i went off surveying the dessert selection while Alex was busy doing his work through his phone :P

There were gateaux..

handmade chocolates...

tarts and stuff-with-names-that-i-could-not-remember,

Gourmet Gelato on sticks

and macarons... really colourful ones..

It wasn't that easy nailing down to just two items to try (the price is rather hefty) but we settled with a Mini Alaskan Bomb for Alex, and a  Raspberry, Rose and Chocolate gateaux for me!

However, due to the lack of manpower on a really busy afternoon, (or perhaps just some inefficiencies) they did not serve us our Cinnamon and Vanilla Hot Chocolate (NZD 9.50). Though the waitress was very apologetic, we decided we would not wait for our drinks and to just pay and leave..

So what's my final verdict about this fancy lil place?
Been there, good enough.

I doubt I would make a second or third trip back to this place as honestly speaking, we were kinda disappointed and felt that this place was over-hyped.

For the price, for the publicity, we were expecting a lot more, as the dessert though not too sweet (which I like) was nothing spectacular or memorable.

It could be we did not pick the right dessert that would leave us with a really good first impression, but then again, shouldn't all the products sold in a shop be equally good in its own unique ways?

Even so, don't let my less than enthusiastic experience deter you from giving this place a try and judging it yourself :)

Milse Dessert Bar
27 Tyler Street Auckland