Quote Today

    If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn't. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.
    - Oscar Wilde

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    From Writing to Screenplay - Not What I Want Of You Share

    If you've been following my post from Day One, you'll remember the short story I wrote a while back and posted it on the blog.

    I never had imagined that anyone would read it and appreciate the story in the way some of my readers have. Having it affect the readers, that is enough to tell myself that I've written from the heart.

    Few months back, Farid, a drama & film producer/director and a personal friend, came to me to ask if he and another friend could adapt the story into a screenplay. Imagine my delight - of course I said yes!

    I don't really know the details of the filming, but I do know it'll take place in Sarawak some time in November, if things go as planned. Don't know the details of casting, so we'll just have to wait and see.

    As for credits, I didn't ask for royalties and all that mumbo-jumbo. A mention in the making of would be suffice. Then again, I wouldn't mind a something-something if it comes to. =D

    As with, I would love to write another story, but for a story to be written from the heart, it doesn't come often as much as I would like it to. Should the moment comes, you'll be the first to know.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Save and You Shall Have! Share

    When you save money, you will get what you want.

    So I recently made quite a pricey purchase for an everyday necessity. It wasn't on a wimp. I actually did save up to get it. And let's just say it was totally worth the wait (and saving).

    Just shy of 1K, a Samsung Galaxy S I9000 became mine.

    Dubbed Lexie (as in short for Galaxy), it made me feel pretty much up-to-date with the whole touch-screen technology that's been whirling in the mobile industry. This is a big thing for me since I've never been much of tech-savvy, must-have-latest-technology type of person.

    No, it isn't an iPhone 4, which I initially thought of buying. But it is as much like the iPhone 4 - just under a different name and make. So far, it hasn't disappoint me. What it lacks, I'm not really bothered. You can't be too choosy with these things.

    The iPhone 4 can wait. And I'm guessing it wouldn't be a long wait since it'll probably come in a basket decorated with flowers and ribbons, delivered to my home as a gift on one very special day for me...=D

    For now, Lexie's my baby!

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    My Diana needs this! Share

    For immediate purchase!

    ETP*: Next week by latest.

    *Estimated Time Purchase

    Diana Instant Back is on its way from HK, as we speak (write/read)!

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    It's Lomo, baby! Share

    I love how my Lomo always gets people talking. I love it even more when I see the puzzled look on people's faces when I pull a lever to take a photo and rotate a winder after that..

    Lomo's not for everyone. If you're so used with being in control of all the settings such as ones on a dSLR, then a lomo will only offer you so little. Which is why I love it so much - I'm not one for dealing with too many knobs and levers, it boggles my mind.

    As for picture-taking, expect "happy little accidents" with a lomo.

    No, you won't find a screen to look at a picture after you've released the shutter. You can't delete a picture if you find that it's too blurry or too washed-out. The great thing about shooting with a lomo is that you develop a sense of appreciation about the art of taking photos because you haven't the slightest idea how a picture will come out until you've taken them to the film lab. No photo becomes an option - an option to delete or digitally edit. They are as they come.

    With that said, photography with a lomo is also about freedom in the art of. Why peek into the viewfinder when you can shoot from the hips with a lomo?

    In a world where focused image and optimum lighting take a back stand, this little plastic camera allows one to be free of rules and conventions, to take only of happy memories and not worry about ISO and focal points and what-nots.

    Ever since I've got my hands on a Diana F+, people's responses towards it have been amazing - when they see it, they want to ask about it and talk about photography. It makes them want to talk about what taking pictures meant like in the old days when no one's worried about what lens range or flash packs they've got.

    The best thing about having a Diana F+, personally, I don't have to pretend that I'm a professional - or even an amateur for that matter.

    I merely like taking pictures of moments in life. I'm not worried about working my way up to the experts.

    So far, there aren't many shutter-happy "lomo-graphers" in Brunei, as yet. But I'm hopeful the vintage, retro-style toy camera will make its way into the local craze someday.

    Who knows? The glory days of 35mm films will make a comeback and Konica'd be able to pick up sales once more. =D

    So..when you do feel like going vintage once in a while, grab a lomo and start shooting. You can read here for tips, or as they called it, the 10 Golden Rules, then break the rules or however you want to. Don't think and just shoot!

    Happy lomo-ing!

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Apologize without Sincerity Share

    Had to send a kid to the discipline room today. All because he was unwilling to write today's day and date on the board.

    It wouldn't have mattered so much if he did not stomp the chair on the ground so hard, or slam the board duster so hard that the board rattled on impact, or send me the disgusted, hard expression my way.

    But it had to do it all. It was definitely the last straw.

    Instead of apologizing sincerely after being "interrogated" by the discipline teacher, he had to go say he did what he did because he wasn't in a mood, and when asked why he showed his anger, he had to say, "I have very little respect for teachers."

    Nevermind the school oath they recite everyday about always respecting the teacher.

    Even with his apologies, they were insincere. So I asked why can't he be sincere.

    "Cher, nda nemu kati ka ikhlas." (Cher, I don't know how to be sincere.)

    I had only one thing to say to him after all that -

    "Don't want to learn anything or respect your teachers, don't come to school and waste my frigging time and effort."

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Solitary Keeps Me Sane Share

    It has been a rough couple of weeks...maybe even a couple of decades...

    Just let me be alone, okay...

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Nico went Missing Share

    I recently bought a new camera...but I also recently lost my Nico.

    Damn you thief!

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    It's Black or It's White Share


    Tricky being a teacher in a school. No, no, it's not about the amount of marking or teaching periods, neither is it about the administration work that gets pounded on you every day.

    Many a teacher, I am sure feels the same way. Maybe except for those teachers who can do no wrong and believes rules and regulations are king (eventhough it actually should be).

    I have a relationship - a love-hate relationship , to be specific with none other than DISCIPLINE.

    "Every teacher is a discipline teacher," we were told by our principal. I nodded. Surely it meant I agree.

    But four months into the life of a teacher, I have kids who wore colored socks and shoes, had bangles and rings, and asked for permissions to go out of class to have a drink during class every 5 minutes.

    Mind you, I let these kids do these things. But does that mean I'm a bad teacher? It doesn't, in my book.

    I mean, as long as they do the work I set for them, as long as they listen to me while I'm teaching, as long as they don't treat me as if I'm their friend but as their teacher, and as long as they come to school every day to learn at least something, I'm fine with that.

    I'm sure wearing colored socks to school won't make my kids suddenly don't know how to learn, as it is with wearing rings from boyfriends/girlfriends would mean that they stare and daydream about their loved ones all the time (they won't be able to in my class, anyways). I may get frustrated with them sometimes, but I still believe these kids are generally good people.

    However, there are the odd days when I see students with their shirts tucked-out, or when they popped by the canteen during class periods and moreover when I see a cigarette butt between their fingers and puffing in and out like they're fresh air, I get irked and I put on my stern face and stop by to "say hello".

    When they get the "message", then it's fine - I'm glad they've still got brains capable enough to comply. But when my nudges fall on deaf ears, oh so help me God!

    You might argue students smoking and students wearing colored socks is a case of relative judgment.

    But the whole idea of maintaining discipline is to carry it out when needs be and be consistent. If you're going to punish a kid who was caught smoking, surely you'll need to punish a kid who's caught wearing colored socks.

    Rules are rules. It's either black or it's white - as the late MJ sang. There are no greys.

    So the conflict is this - there are days when discipline is king and there are days when discipline is trivial. Am I still a bad teacher?

    All I'm saying, I like inconsistencies or compromises because it leaves us teachers with a little "freedom" to sometimes "break a rule or two". It isn't uncommon to see teachers with a little color in their hair, neither is it uncommon to see teachers arriving too late and leaving too early, nor is it uncommon to see (female) teachers wearing skirts that are shorter than short.

    At the end of the day, when I wrap up my lesson, collect the exercise books, say my goodbyes to the kids, leave my blue and red pens on my desk, and get into my car to go home, a pair of colored socks or a packet of cigarettes "stays" in school, all ready to be disputed over the next day, all over again.

    Saturday, March 13, 2010

    "Why Am I With This Man?" - Girlfriends' Read Share

    Women are emotional. Men aren't?

    I beg to differ.

    Women cry and let their feelings out by expressing them in words. Men - well, let's just say they're not so smart in utilizing words.

    How do men show us that they're sad or angry or just plain emotional? They act it out. Yes, you do!

    Here are my top four scenarios (in no particular order) on men's acts of emotions:

    Scenario 1:
    When you're going out on a date. He's waiting outside in the car while you are still just finishing your make-up. Enter the car and you see he's got a pout. You ask, "Are you okay?" He says, "Nothing's wrong." But for the rest of the journey, he sits quietly, driving, without so much of a glance at you. Besides the odd questions here and there, he gives you the silent treatment for the rest of the date.

    He's angry. Reason: because it took you an extra 5 minutes to do your make-up and he had to wait for that "longest" of a time of 5 MINUTES!

    Scenario 2:
    As a continuation to the 1st scenario, this one extends to the story that you're going out for dinner with him and a few of his and your friends. Dinner ends with everyone guessing the total bill. You guess a number and everyone else guesses a higher number than yours. Turns out you were the furthest guess from the actual. "No shame in it", you'd might think. But because your boyfriend was angry with you, he felt justified by embarrassing you in front of his friends.

    You put a smile and act oblivious to his foolish attempt to embarrass you. Truth: your feelings are hurt and inside you're crying because your boyfriend would show you up in front of his friends and actually laugh AT YOU, too!

    Scenario 3:
    In the car with your boyfriend driving, your boyfriend checks on your inbox in your handphone. One of the messages indicates you're keeping a secret for a girl-friend to whom you've sworn to never tell. Your boyfriend insists to know. You say, "But I've promised not to tell." Boyfriend squints his eyes and and says, " Fine!" Boyfriend continues driving but this time with increasing speed and stunt-like manoeuvers.

    You try to remain calm and unaffected. Inside, you're scared and at the same time angry at him for being so selfish. Selfish for not considering the life of a girl who is his girlfriend, the life of a girl who, more importantly is a daughter of a father and mother, whom would like to see her return home safe and sound.

    Scenario 4:
    You don't mind that boyfriend has friends who are girls with whom he frequently hangs out with and even have conversations on the phone with. Just as long as he knows his boundaries. But you sit next to a friend who is a boy and all you do is have petty conversations. Boyfriend gives you a look. As a sign of respect, you move away and try to explain to boyfriend. But boyfriend wouldn't hear it and sets off to not talk to you and ignore you for the next few days or until you say sorry.

    Boyfriend is angry and you want to make it right so you say sorry. Truth: was it really yours to say sorry? Does the rules of 'not engaging with the opposite sex' apply only to the girlfriend but it's 'however it goes' for the boyfriend?

    Often, it isn't the words that causes the tears to fall down a woman's face or bare the hurt of the heart. It is the things that men don't say but do that makes us listen to achy-breaky heart songs and ask, "Why am I with this man?"

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    It Is Almost Time To Go Share

    "...I've lived in this place and I know all the faces
    Each one is different but they're always the same
    They mean me no harm but it's time that I face it
    They'll never allow me to change
    But I never dreamed home would end up where I don't belong

    I'm movin' on..."

    It's five minutes to the end. Like a schoolkid, all ready and packed to storm out of the room. For a moment there, it was all she could think of - to come home.

    The loving voice of a mother, the warm embrace of a little sister, the assuring confidence of a father - nothing else mattered for her. Coming home was, always has been, a memory of comfort and love.

    Yet, as the years passed and as she came into age, deep down lays a yearning for something bigger than herself and the world she has come to love. She knew inevitably, it was something she must do for herself. It was the only way to keep her sane.

    The harmonics have dwindled over the years, now replaced by constant bickerings and doled-out blames enough for the whole family. Silent treatments and unrelentless name callings have come to waste, they no longer pierce the hearts.

    Do you know that feeling when you're so sad that you want to just cry?

    But you're so angry at the same time that the tears just won't fall?

    Her days are like these - plagued by the slanders to her feelings, yet unable to rise above them, even with the strongest of will.

    It isn't the question of could, but it is the question of would - would she be willing to endure?

    She could not make them choose. It wouldn't be right to do so. For her, it seemed like they have already made a choice. A choice not to listen, a choice not to defend, a choice not to acknowledge. A choice not to choose but to neglect entirely.

    Perhaps she's thinking too much into it. Perhaps this is her heart speaking to her. Perhaps all she wants to do is to get out.

    For sorrow that is too much, her reasons mattered only to her. 

    The bags are packed, the pictures and gifts all wrapped up and the memories tucked away in the corner of the bedroom. And as she carried with her her dignity and pride, she knew it is almost time to go.

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    My Friend Want To Be A....Toilet! Share

    It's Day Three as a new teacher in my school - so far so good. I have yet to experience the stress & pressure that so many teachers have complained about. But I'll try to take each day as it is and not worry or expect too much in the coming days.

    Today was the Year 7 Enrichment Programme Orientation and it gave me a chance to get to know my 7G a little better. Being the lowest-end class in the cohort, I knew trying to maintain discipline and organization within the class would be a challenge for the day. It didn't help with the fact that out of the 11 students in that class, 10 of them were boys.

    Before today, we had a short briefing about the games for the programme the next day, and I knew getting 7G to complete or even participate in the games was going to be hard work. I was told not to expect much.

    Our first game was "Remember Your Friends" where each student were to introduce themselves and the person next to them and so on. A simple game, you might say, but not so simple for them.

    "My friend name is Harry. My friend 7G. My friend want to be security."

    As their Language & Communication teacher, I quickly found out where I needed to focus my teaching with them - everything!

    We had our light moments as well, and I too shared a laugh I couldn't contain with them.

    "My friend name is Benniface. He in tujuh (seven) G. He want to be a toilet."

    It was an honest mistake. He wasn't being a clown at the time. He wasn't saying that his friend wanted to be a toilet, per se. But he couldn't find the word he actually meant, either.

    "A pilot," I corrected. "Not toilet, a pilot."

    For most of the time, keeping the group in order or telling them to quiet down proved to be an effort wasted. I can tell you now that the fingers on my hands cannot count the number of times our group have been called on for making too much noise or disrupting other groups. I constantly prayed for the day to end soon.

    But God was not so forgiving today.

    Our last game was the Tech-Challenge where each group of students will have to make a simplified model of an oil-rig platform using just pieces of newspapers and some masking tapes. I quietly said to myself, "My group will definitely not have an oil-rig model to show at the end of the activity. Gosh, we're in for the shame later on, then."

    My fears seemed inches away from fruition when my 7G were not anyway near to building at least the legs of the platform even after 15 minutes. In fact, all they could do was to ask me "What is o-reek (oil-rig), cher?"

    After explaining in very "kindergarten" words and even drawing a very rough sketch of an oil-rig platform, one or two students finally knew what they were supposed to do and began rolling newspapers to build legs. I finally could sigh for relieve - just a bit, though.

    With just thirty minutes left into the activity, it was a reassuring sight when the others in my 7G group began picking up on what they needed to do. In fact, I was pretty surprised myself to see the students come up with a plan to make the legs of the platform sturdy and stable all by themselves. I began to see hope.

    After finishing the platform, it was obvious in the faces of the students that they were so proud of their structure and I couldn't help but be so proud of them, too. They couldn't wait to show the rest of students in the hall their "o-reek" platform.

    As the judges saw each platform being tested with weights, my 7Gs were all up on their feet, excited and nervous at the same time, as they waited for their platform to be tested. 

    The moment of truth came, and as I saw two of my 7Gs up front with their platform, I held my breath. I wanted so much for the platform to stand and not topple under the weights. The rest of the 7Gs were literally on their toes, perhaps gritting their teeth.

    As the last of the weights were piled on, the platform quivered a little and slanted a bit to one side..

    God was definitely forgiving today.

    Our "o-reek" platform stood strong and my 7Gs literally jumped for joy and cheered. The platform success meant a LOT to these kids. Their success meant a LOT to me, too.

    As challenging as it may sound to be teaching these students who may not be able to read at all or understand even the simplest of sentences, I still don't think it as an added burden that will probably not reap desirable (exam) results. Rather, I feel blessed to be teaching a group of students so unique & diverse such as that of my 7Gs.

    After all, where else can you get students who think toilets can fly planes?

    My Year 7Gs with their "o-reek" platform

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