Monday, May 26, 2014

East Meets West

How do you tell if you're six year old little girl who spoke no Malay a year ago has now adapted well to her surroundings?

Well... one clue is when she spots a bunch of scented candles on sale at an upscale* supermarket and started spelling...

"C.A.N.D.L.E.... Cendol**!"

Poor thing has mixed English and Malay spelling!

Cendol pon cendol lah.... 

* Signs are written in English in most upscale supermarkets. mid or lower scales tend to use both English and Malay

** Cendol is a yummy Malaysian treat made of coconut milk, jelly noodles made from rice flour with green food coloring (usually derived from the pandan leaf), shaved ice and palm sugar. Yes, I nicked the explanation off wikipedia. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Say Whaat??!! Say When???!!

As I was emptying Aisyah's school bag last night, I found a note which was not there the previous night.

It read,

'Teachers' Day Celebration. May 22, 2014. Children can be dressed in Baju Kurung /Baju Melayu (basically, mufti as opposed to their uniform). Please bring food or drink for the party'.

And this was at 9 p.m.


My first thought was, 'Screw it, I refuse to respond to a note that arrives in my hand in less than 24 hours'.

But then I thought of the teachers. You know, superb beings who patiently taught my daughter over the years. Who sacrificed their hours and energy to educate my child.Their warmth and their smile.

And I also thought of this..
 And this...

 And this...

You know. Stuff other 'Supermoms' manage to casually pull at the drop of a hat. I'm serious, cupcakes are other people's last resort, these days, it seems.

And I don't even own an oven. So what am I to do???!!!

Panic. Panic.

Hubs offered to drive over to 7-11 and get some chocolates from there. But no, 'a gift to your teacher needs to come from the heart', I said.

Then I went to bed. Zzzz...

Woke up at 5 a.m. Then realised haven't started a thing on the gift project.

Panic. Panic some more.

However, in the end, managed to pull this off with Aisyah using materials we already have at home - popsicle sticks, assorted colours manila cards, scissors and sticky tape (lots of sticky tape). Stuck everything together so that it roughly resembled a flower, and popped into 7-11 to get the chocolate that goes in the middle.

There you have it, teachers. A flower for the seed of education that you have sowed in my child. May she blossom into a beautiful lady one day, Insya Allah... I do feel bad that it is miles off the chart from the creative velvet cakes, rainbow cakes, heck, even cupcakes that I suspect other parents might have provided their child with as a gift to their teachers, but it seriously came from the heart.

And Aisyah thought they were super-cute. So she was super-happy going into school this morning.

Ah, sweet... At her age, anything I pull is amazing.

Yeah, Supermom, me. I get to feel like this for, oh, I don't know, two more years before she's all grown and realised that it's not true and most of the time I am just winging it!   :P


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Good Sport

On Sunday, 19 May 2014, Aisyah's school held Sports Day. It was held in Bukit Expo, UPM. What made it better was that it also included another two schools under the same branch (Taski ABIM), so subtly, the game was on to determine which school was the most athletic. Aisyah was excited, of course. Her first Sports Day ever. Last year she hadn't enrolled yet at the school until a few days after the Sports Day had passed, so she's been made to wait a whole year to experience this. Imagine her excitement! 

The day started early. We got there around 8.30 am. Met up with other family friends - Lia and Afiz with their children Qystina and Uqayl and also Farid and Dila with their twin boys - Fahmi and Fahim. 

There were several stalls selling breakfast and other kiddy items, so food and drink was never an issue. Three marquees were set up for the three schools, all decorated in their theme colour (Aisyah's school this year was Orange and Blue, the two others were Red and Yellow and Purple and White). Parents looked over from their own marquee. 

Did you notice our family dressed in Orange? We were definitely rooting for Aisyah and her school. Pretty convenient to dress everyone in orange considering we attended a safari-themed birthday party the week before, so the attire was already ready. 

The kids first marched out on to the field.After a quick opening ceremony, the games began. Among the games and races competed on the day were 50m Sprint, Baton Relay, Hackey Sack Race, Fruit Hunt Race, Ball Hop Race, Giant Slippers Race, Hoola Hoop Run, Tug-of-War, etc.

It was fun to see the competitive spirit in these kids. Not being biased, but there are some serious athletes-in-the-making from Aisyah' school, which dominated most of the races. Aisyah was trained to enter two games- Hackey Sack Race and Hoola Hoop Run, and won Bronze and Silver Medals respectively. She brought home a Gold Medal too, this was on the Ball Hop Race where she was asked to replace a team member who was absent. I was really surprised because all of a sudden she came up to me and told me to hold her medal and prize (some Tupperware tumbler). I wasn't on the lookout for her because from the tentative program, she wasn't scheduled to participate in the race until much later. Her first gold and I missed it! But well done, Kakak! So proud of you... :)

Tok Ayah made it to his first grandchild's first Sports Day event. How sweet... 

Little Bro Zayd was a good sport from start to finish. He ate his breakfast, sat in his pushchair, and not minding the heat the least bit. Fell asleep about a third of the way through (slept soundly despite the noise and stuffy heat) and woke up just in time to see Kakak run. What a splendid boy. He even had fun running around chasing Hubs around the field on the green, green grass. 

Funny how grass didn't bother him (first time on grass for him). His sister sure freaked out on her first introduction to grass five years ago in Plymouth, as seen in these pics (the spot where we rolled around then, is now where the Plymouth Marine Laboratory Building erected. Nostalgic).

Plymouth Marine Building now - Plymouth University’s New Marine Building positions the University as a global centre for research, innovation and enterprise in the marine and maritime sectors.Within its walls we will create waves more than one metre high, exchange knowledge for business innovation and growth, create renewable energy solutions and help the world adapt to climate change.

Monday, May 19, 2014

An Adeh Day

Hari yg penuh menduga kesabaran.

Ntah kat mana silapnya. Tp pg tu semua ok.

Then start nak gi hntr borg utk kemasukan sekolah utk Aisyah ke one of these sekolah agama swasta dkt2 sini. Yo-yo-oh berkejaran gi fotostat segala dokumen bagai, sekali tgk, lakkk... nak signature n info cikgu tadika. Ok postpone ke hari lain lah jd nya. Boleh x perasan plak part tu. (PS: Utk sekolah kebangsaan dah setel, ini namanya mencuba rezeki).

Ok fine lg takat tu.

Pastu dpt berita mengejutkan mak mertua aku warded kat Hospital Muar, semput. So potentially nak kena balik Muar after work. Debar ni. Tp kerja je la sambil tunggu update from kampung. Apa2 pon kena balik awal.

Ptg pon x de apa2 sgt. Dlm pkl 4 ada meeting yg aku kena chair. Habis meeting, tgk elektrik kat dlm bilik opis aku trip. Mungkin sbb guruh td. So amik la kunci pintu bilik yg ada switch box tu utk aku on kan balik letrik. Berjaya. 


Kunci sendiri tertinggal plak dlm bilik.

Oh nooooo!!!! terperangkap kat luar bilik. at 5.30 pm. Sektor gomen sapa je yg tinggal???

Takpe2, kunci spare ada kat bilik a friend of mine. Called dia. Oh, dah balik Putrajaya. Kesian punya psl dia buat U-turn and dropped off kunci bilik opis dia, so that I could retrieve my key from her drawer.

Pegi2, kuncinya ada.

Bila try. Wrong key.


At this point it was 6.30 pm dah.

Then panggil technician. See if they could volunteer jd McGuyver lalu ikut siling from my friend's room tu (bilik kami adjacent). 

Mula2 mcm2 bole, but then diorg test2, mcm x bole. Terlalu risky. Aku pon x nak la diorg jatuh patah riuk ke apa, so stop di situ saja.

Then called maintenance guy. He said after Maghrib la baru dia dtg check. Hmph...

Nasib baik another colleague lom balik lg. So she offered to take me to a locksmith and pick up Hubs kat office dia. 

Sampai kedai, apek tu setuju je. Tapi dia nak RM80. Wakluuuuuuuuuuuuu...

Dah x de option, iye kan aje.

Dah la apek tu naik kereta my collegue ni, instead of kenderaan sendiri (like, WTF?). At this point, azan maghrib berkumandang. Maka lewatlah berbuka posa ini hari.

Apek tu godek2 dlm 15 min dan berpeluh2 jgk la sbb aku dah nyaris robohkan pintu tu, so dia kata alignment lock tu dah senget, tp last2 bole la bukak.


Dia punya latch rosak. Pastu apek tu x bawak spare. Sbb dia ingat ni job yg kacang jepakai jolok master key jd. 

DANNNN... dia kan dtg tumpang kawan aku td? So kena la hntr apek tu balik kedai balik amik spare part.

Sengal punya org.

Dipendekkan cerita, pintu setel. Tapi dah too late utk balik Muar. Alhamdulillah dgr Mak dah discaj, tp still kena monitor.

So berkejaran amik anak2 plak. By this time, dah 9 pm. 

Kitoarg pujuk anak2 gi mkn ikut la nak makan apa. Ok taktik menjadi. Takpe, anak2 maafkan.

Sampai umah, dah 10.30 pm. Straight to bed for the kids.

TAPIIII ada one more surprise.

Zayd lps menyusu2 tu, MUNTAH.

Maybe sbb susu tetek ni penuh sgt kot. Ye lah,td x pump sbb pump dlm bilik, bilik x leh masuk.

Adeh... ops mengemas plak - mandikan Zayd, diri sendiri, cadar, bantal, tilam, lantai, baju2.

Pkl 11 pm lebih gak baru dpt lights off.

Kaffarah dosa aku yg byk kot. Interesting day. Not fun. Just not-so-ordinary.

Ok, nak tido. 

Doakan Mak aku sihat cpt, and anak2 pun sihat2 ceria je ye.

PS: Selalu lately nmpk post kt FB yg budak sekolah x dijemput mak bapak padahal dah pukul 9, 10 mlm. So duduk dgn guard or ustaz jagakan /  bawa gi balai polis. Ramai yg komen kt FB teruk nya lah makpak budak ni, dilabelkan gile kerja dsbnya, x reti jaga anak xyah beranak dan mcm2 lg. Tapi terfikirkah kita yg mungkin ini bukan sengaja? Mungkin kes2 mcm aku (mujur aku ada phone number child minder so leh berkomunikasi, tp kalo kat sekolah nak call sapa, pejabat sekolah dah x de kerani nya????)... Silap2 kes lg teruk, kemalangan, sakit, dll. Oleh itu, jgn melulu menuduh mcm2 kalo tgk kes2 mcm tu. Ni peringatan utk aku jgk. Sendiri rasa, baru tahu.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy Teachers' Day

Hooo boy... It's been a busy week.

Let's see... between marking for Test 2, preparing Final Exam questions, moderating Final Exam questions, keying marks for Test 2, lecture note making, tutoring students how to use Praat (a speech synthesis tool), organising Multimedia Week, they decided to open up the week-long research grant application last Friday.

Typical me, I didn't even read the email until Monday morning. Which meant that I had 5 days to come up with a bombastic and sustainable at least for 2 years of research idea, write a full proposal, support it up with LR, draw the flow chart of process (that we expect, remember the project has not been conducted yet), plan a budget (we're talking at least five figures), Gantt chart and whatnot... Bah hum bug... On top of that, teaching, and all of the above. 


They must really be enjoying all the frantic that has put the lecturers through, I bet.

So last night I pulled an all nighter, only got about 2 hours worth of sleep (11 pm -1 am, then it was all the way). Don't get me wrong, I've started writing since Monday, but I just didn't think my writing was concrete enough so I kept adding and re-writing (I'm the kind of gal who stays in the exam hall until time is up, whether or not I know all the answers), so yeah... until the very last hour I was still working on it.

Then class 10 am - noon. Whose notes I only manage to dust and read after Subuh prayer. Hah!

Followed by a discussion with students regarding their poster presentation due to be showcased on Multimedia Week in two weeks time.

Rushed back to the office. Keyed in Test 2 marks on the online system. Phew. If I didn't complete it today, all students will get a big fat zero for their score.

Polished off nasi goreng from morning's breakfast.

A quick power nap for 45 minutes.

Then I had to attend a meeting on some report with the Faculty's Big Guns.

Got back to my office, saw my students were already at the door, waiting to have their weekly consultation on their final year project, which coincide again with Multimedia Week, crazy or not, who the Hell planned the showcase week on the busiest time of the year?

Good thing was their project is almost nearing completion. Bad news, I would be happier if they added a few more functions in. Heh.

Now, at 6.11 pm, finally got to breath a bit.

Not bad, considering all things have been achieved. Knackered, yes. But content too.

HAPPY TEACHERS' DAY TO ME. (and all educators out there!)

Time to make up for lost times with my two (or three if you can the big one) Hunnybuns.

Let the weekend roll.