Friday, November 5, 2010

My Kelab STAR Team

My Hardworking Kelab STAR Team

This may be a bit presumptuous, but, since I will not be around to bask in aura of the annual lunch organised by me and the Kelab STAR team, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have made a concerted effort to contribute to the success of this event.

Each and every one of the team members have played their part extraordinarily well, not just for this particular event, but also for all the events that this club has managed to organise and conduct, right from the beginning of the year until the last day of school. When I look back at the minutes of the first club meeting, I noticed that out of the many activities suggested, we did not manage to carry out two, which to me is an achievement in itself because we have managed to carry out the other eight!

I hope I have not offended anyone from my team whom I have not included in the composite picture that accompanies this entry because there is just not enough space. However, I must stress once again that some of the team members have indeed done more than their fair share of responsibilities throughout 2010, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I hope you all have a wonderful time at the lunch. It doesn't really matter if I am in attendance or not because what matters most is the event that all of us have planned for months prior to this date, has finally materialised. Insya Allah, we will meet again in next year's annual event under the organisation of another team, lead by another chairperson; perhaps one who is better than I am!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Floods In Perlis and Kedah

Not Even A Cat Is Spared

When a natural disaster happens, it ultimately affects all, from the youthful young to the energetic elders, and from pretty plants to furry felines. The picture above is of a feline friend that belongs to a friend in Perlis who has been experiencing this calamity since the 1st of November.

One other person who is affected by the huge flood is a dear ex-student of mine who is studying in a university in Perlis. What is more challenging for him, who has had a very sheltered life here, is that he has to undergo the flood by himself and even had to be transported in a lorry that was used to transport sand, just to be saved from the flood! Well, my dear ex-student, experience is an enriching element of life.

On top of that my own sister could probably be in some flood relief centre. However, I am really praying that she is in no way involved and that she and her family are safe and sound at home, possibly have a hearty a dinner while watching news about the flood on their own telly! I have not heard any news from her even though I have made many unsuccessful text messages to her.

As an outsider looking in, my heart and my prayers go out to all those involved in the flood and hope that they be patient and persevere!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Responsibilities Amongst Friends

There is not a single person in this world who is not bogged down by responsibilities, be they young school-going children or working adults. The only difference is whether those responsibilities are simple or difficult ones that involve other people around you.

It always makes things a lot easier when people around you are willing to cooperate in completing certain tasks. Even though, things may look daunting initially, but after some discussion your friend or colleague begin to see the light of things and start to accept his or her responsibilities. Of course, you will be able to exhale a sight of relief, knowing that this person, who earlier on started off by giving many excuses not to carry out his or her responsibilities, eventually agrees to them, after realising without that person, things will not go as planned.

But, how do you handle someone whom, after many discussions and giving alternatives and suggestions, is still adamant in not contributing to the success of a planned activity. You give the person every possible way for her to carry out the task, but she still comes up with excuses not to carry out her responsibility. Worse of all, she starts roping every body around her to agree with her demands; people who initially had agreed to their own responsibilities.

The way I am feeling now, is I am thinking of just letting go of the whole planned activity and just let that person handle the whole thing as she wants. Perhaps, the good thing about being called for a meeting on the very date that we are having the activity, is that I will not be around; and she can rope in as many people as she wants. Since I can't do things our way, I guess she should be able to do things her way!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Of Pots And Kettles

The Pot Calling The Kettle Black

I have been in service for more than thirty years, twenty-three of which is in the teaching profession. I have seen many types of people with many different characteristics and I have definitely gone through many emotional turmoils. Nevertheless, to be fair, I have also undergone my share of wonderful and gratifying experiences.

I have also had the experience of working for several superiors. I am happy to say that a few of them have made my work as a teacher very enjoyable in which case, time just flew without me even noticing. However, there are some superiors who have made my working experience very distasteful and have made me think about whether I am in the right profession or not, more than once.

To make things worse, there are those who do not practise what they preach. They tell their subordinates to do one thing while they do something else. In some cases they keep telling you to give all you can to the profession with verbal hints of gratification, when in fact the rewards go to those less deserving. Some people can just display the little that they do and get instant gratification, while you work your hide to the bone, and you get just that; bone!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Well Done, Tarsians!!!

Girl Power!

With a sigh of relief, I exhaled, as the Form Six State Level Sports Carnival came to an ultimate close at 4.30 p.m. on the 23rd of October! I can finally let my guard down and let my shoulders droop a little after weeks of hardwork, struggling to see the success of this event.

This event actually started off in September when our school was unceremoniously chosen to be the host for the District level of this sports carnival. Even though there are only three schools with form six in the district of Tampin, organising the event was an Herculian task for some one as green to this scene as myself. Unashamedly, I have my colleagues to thank for helping me run the programme and making sure that it went along smoothly!

After the district level, we started preparing for the state level. The respective teachers who were assigned to train the students did their jobs well, except for one, unfortunately. I, on the other, hand took it upon myself to make sure that the students were assured of their pocket money, food during the competition and transport to the venue.

To tell you the truth, I was just as happy to have managed to get my students to the venue to take part in the competition and assuring them of their food and drinks after a tiring day out. But, when two of our teams won and became the victor in two games, it was the icing on the cake for me! And, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you all!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Teachers' Club Annual do

Well, it's that time of the year again folks! The SMK Tuanku Abdul Rahman's Teachers' Club committee members will be busy organising it's annual do, which will either be dinner or lunch. As the Chairperson of the club, I am happy to say that, my committee and I have managed to organise many activities all throughout the year. Starting from our participation during the school's sports day right up to this year's Teachers' Day celebrations.

Undoubtedly, with all the activities held earlier this year, one can only expect that a substantial amount of money has been used from the club's coffers. And now with the biggest event of the year looming in the horizon, the main thing on every one's mind is, do we have enough money to pull this thing through. We initially had illusions of grandeur of having our annual do at a hotel! But as the illusions turned to reality, the venue started to get more realistic starting with the local golf resort, then the local b-and-b and finally the school hall!

Well, the school hall it is! Unless of course every single teacher agrees to add another RM10 to enable us to have the do at a hotel! As of 1.00 p.m. no one has agreed to that additional fee. The main thing is, we have fun, even if it is in the school hall!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Novel Novel

After months of waiting for the paperback version of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, it finally made its debut in bookstores last month. Based on the reviews made on it and also the fact that it topped the Malaysian's (and worldwide) best seller's list for weeks, my expectations were running high and I have to say that I was not disappointed.

I take my hat off to Dan Brown for being able to weave a story out of things that are factual into a wonderful work of fiction. I can only imagine the work and effort Dan Brown must have put into connecting the facts and fiction together to make the whole story seem so convincing and believable. On top of all that, he also created symbols and cryptic notes, which in itself must have required even more research, to add an aura of enigma to the story.

I for one, enjoyed reading the novel. I can easily differentiate between a book that I like and one that I love. A book that I like would take me one day to complete. On the other hand, one that I love would take me at least a week to finish, because I just don't want the story to end. Even though The Lost Symbol is a story that I like, I feel it is nowhere nearly as interesting compared to The Da Vincci Code, which I love!

Potatoes, Beans and Chicken

Strange Combination

I am a first-class food lover and has undergone many gastronomic endeavours. I have had many different types of food from all parts of the world, be they from my own resourcefulness of trying recipes from different countries or during my study in the UK and travel in France. I have seen many different types of food combined with other types of food, some of which may not have seemed palatable at first glance but worked deliciously well once savoured.

However, not all food go hand in hand with each other as I have unpleasantly experienced during my stay at a local hotel recently. I was really looking forward to the breakfast buffet spread after missing supper the night before. As usual, during stays like this, I always prefer to have baked beans, mashed potatoes (or potato wedges) with sausages for breakfast if only to avoid from the mundane fare that we Malaysians usually have in the morning.

Well, I did have mashed potatoes; I did have baked beans; but there were no sausages in sight even after circling the buffet table vainly twice! When I asked the waitress what would go well with the mashed potatoes and beans, she happily pointed to the Chicken Rendang, which incidentally was for the Nasi Lemak. I cringed at her suggestion that a local dish could possibly marry well with something with a western flavour! I think not dear waitress! I mean, this is not a marriage between a local and a foreigner which would be happily united with the saying 'I do'. For this combination of food, I am happy to say 'I don't!'.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Selesa Beach Resort is so Selesa

A Relaxing Place to Relax

This evening I just returned from a two-day meeting at Selesa Beach Resort in Port Dickson. Even though in essence it is called a meeting, to me however, is actually a brief vacation from the mundane routine that I go through every monotonous day. As the name of the Resort suggests, it is indeed a relaxing (selesa) place for an individual to wind down. Even better the stay there was free.

Actually, I have attended many meetings at this venue for the past ten years or so, ever since this resort was known as Regency Hotel until it was taken over by a new management a few years ago who decided to call it by its present name. And I have never had any complaints! One thing that I can applaud this resort is it is quite friendly. On a few occassions I reached the resort earlier than the check in time, usually after a long, hot two-hour drive. And I have always been pleasantly received by the staff at the reception counter who checked me in even though I had arrived at 12.50 p.m. By the way, the check in time is 2.00 p.m.

Unfortunately meetings conducted are usually long and time consuming and they do not leave the participants much time to go to the beach for a swim or a stroll. However, just catching a glimpse of the calm azure sea is usually enough to bring cheer and relaxation after long sessions of meetings. I'm hoping to attend more meetings at Selesa Beach Resort because it is "selesa"!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mangiare Bene

An Italian Fare for Eid
One of the joys of celebrating Eid is the chance to sample and savour different types of dishes when visiting homes of friends or relatives. Even more so, sampling and savouring similar dishes but cooked according to each person's recipes and cooking techniques which results in the same dishes having special tastes and aroma. That is the very reason why for Eid alone we have at least four different types of 'Beef Rendang' cooked according to the different recipes of four out the thirteen states in Malaysia.
What is even more interesting about enjoying the gastronomic adventures of Eid is that home owners are now becoming more liberal about the food they serve during this celebration, that is, they no longer confine their menus according to the traditional fare. They are becoming a little more adventurous by serving their guests with more international fare.
This Eid for example I had the opportunity to experience this shift in paradigm whereby my youngest sister served us pizza when we went visiting her house on the second day of Eid. On the following day, my fifth sister went all out to cook a whole spread of dishes which included lasagna and potato salad. This goes to show that, not only are we shifting to a different set of menu for our Eid celebration, but we are expanding our gastronomic repertoire. What's in store for us next year? British fare, perhaps!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Eid Mubarak

A Chance For Family Reunion

Eid Fitr is the day every one eagerly awaits every year, more so for the Muslims who have been fasting for one month prior to that, and also for Malaysians of other races who join in the annual celebration.

Eid is also an opportunity for family members to reunite after a long absence from each other. Each of us have our own responsibilities to tend to, our jobs and careers and also our families to care for, which in a way hinders us from seeing each other as often as we may want to.

Thus, it is not only an opportunity to catch up with old times and updating each other with current developments, it is also a time to just get together to see each others' faces. It is a time to get to know the latest addition to the family, be they nieces, nephews, grandchild or even in-laws. It is definitely a time to see the expansion of the family.

In a nutshell, Eid is definitely a time when every one should rejoice. It should not just be ignored because it only comes but once a year. If one misses this year's opportunity, then one will have to wait another 365 days to do all the things mentioned earlier; which, in essence, is a very long wait.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Matter of Responsibility

Relaxing Under A Shady Palm Tree

The roads were very congested that day and all the vehicles were practically crawling inch by miserable inch under the hot four o'clock sun. Matters were made worse because for the whole month of Ramadhan a particular section of the road in the town of Gemas has been closed to make way for the annual Ramadhan Bazaar.

I had been going up and down this particular road for almost half an hour, visiting the stalls, going to the tailors and buying somethings for our break of fast. I was searching in vain for the policemen whom I had seen earlier chatting with each other, oblivious to the traffic jam which was happening right under their stumpy noses. I was hoping that, if they were still there, they would have helped to ease the traffic congestion.

And after squinting my eyes and getting them acquainted to the scorching rays of the sun, I caught sight of one of the policemen, taking shade under a palm tree. Being a busy body that I am, I stood across the road and to my dismay, noticed that he stood there for almost half an hour, merely watching the congested road in front of him. That makes a total of one hour of idling.

I am not against resting. But if a teacher were to play truant like the policeman mentioned earlier, I am sure people from every quarters would make a hell of a noise, condemning the teacher; including the policeman himself. People should be fair in passing comments and not restrict them to people from one occupation only. I'm being fair in passing my comments! Thank God for blogs!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The 16th Day of Ramadan

Fifteen more days to food and merriment!

Muslims have by now completed 15 days out of the 30-day month of Ramadan. Initially the fasting month was like dragging a pair heavy feet through wet sand; slow and tiring. But as the fasting month reaches its half way point, the days seem to pass by faster and faster.

And with each passing day of Ramadan, Muslims wait impatiently for the sighting of the crescent moon that indicates the end of the fasting month and the first day of the month of Syawal, and the beginning of a month of festivities, that is Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

I used to remember my late mom telling my siblings and me that only those who fulfil a whole month of fasting can celebrate Hari Raya. I always tried to rationalise what she said and to question her why that was so. I now realise that everyone can celebrate Hari Raya, whether or not they complete their month of fasting.

Most of all I understand what she meant when she said that only those who fast can celebrate Hari Raya. What she meant was only those who fast can enjoy the spirit of Hari Raya because if you have fasted then, only then will you get the full joy of celebrating Hari Raya.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thanks For The Money!

A Little Goes A Long Way.....

The Prime Minister has made a wise move in announcing that all government servants will be getting RM500.00 each for the coming Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Some many groan in despair and express their dissatisfaction that this amount of money is too little and would make any kind of significant difference to their already ballooning household expenditure.

I, on the other hand, feel that money given by the government or anyone else for that matter, other than our salary, is a welcome addition to our monthly income, even though it comes once in a blue moon. It helps to ease the extra expenditure that will occur during this festival. And being the bread winner for my family, I say that this little bit goes a long way.
Let us not complain about the sum that is given to us. Let us express our appreciation by striving to work harder and make a positive contribution to our service because if this small sum were not given to us, our budget for this festival would be a little tighter!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

To Learn Or Not To Learn

Is English Language such a sleepy subject?

What can a teacher do to attract the interest of his students to learn English Language? I mean, it's not like I have been complacent all my teaching life not to realize their needs to things that are new. It's not like I ignore their desire for things that challenge their critical and creative abilities. And at the same time, it's not like I ignore the syllabus set by the Ministry.

Moreover, I can safely and happily say that I am the only English teacher in this school, or even in this area, who teaches English Language using modules which are related to the chapters stipulated in the school textbooks. I have poured for hours on the modules by surfing for suitable materials on the Internet; netizens will attest that it is not easy to find suitable and at the same time, credible materials. I have spent countless hours creating activities based on these materials that I collect; activities which include reading comprehension, vocabulary building, text completion, grammar activities and even activities for enrichment.

However, my hard work is all in vain because the results that I have been expecting is not materialising. Students seem to misplace the modules that I give them. They don't seem to complete their work. On top of that, they don't even bother to hand in their exercise books. All these, in spite of my many futile attempts to get them to do so.

I am willing to change,yet again, what ever that is necessary to get my students to enjoy learning English Language once again, just like my former students, many years ago. I am willing to change! But are my students willing to do the same?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Form Six Students

Are Form Six Students A Pampered Lot?

Ever since the inception of this new format for Form Six which involves everything from the teachers to the school hours, words have got around that there are many people from the main stream, teachers and students alike, voicing out their dissatisfaction. They say that the Form Six's go home much earlier than their peers in the main stream and that their time-table is more relaxed. The Form Six teachers are not safe from these dissatisfaction's also. They, this time the main-stream teachers, say that the Form Six teachers are having a happy time teaching adult learners who do not seem to pose any disciplinary problems and that teaching is a breeze. The dissatisfied teachers from the main-stream also attest that the Form Six teachers can also go home earlier than they do. In essence, they say that the Form Six teachers can do whatever they like.

Well, I would like to take this opportunity to put to light a few misconceptions. First of all, the Form Six teachers are not leading a happy teaching life. The main-stream teachers are welcome to check out time-table which bear witness that the Form Six teachers' are jammed packed with activities other than teaching. We have slots for group Research and Development sessions which take up to periods. Then there is the Exam and Evaluation section of the time-table which takes up three periods. If a Form Six teacher already has 23 teaching periods, when you add the five periods mentioned, he would have 31 periods! On top of that the Form Six has 160 minutes of co-curriculum compared to the main-stream that is 150 minutes. Worse of all, when there is any activity conducted for the Form Six, we are not allowed to involve the teachers from the main-stream; but when there is any activity organised by the main-streams the Form Six teachers are forcefully involved.

So, I say to these main-stream teachers who complain, go ahead and pour your heart out. Form Six teachers have never complained about their lack of opportunity to become the Head of Departments, Senior Assistants or what ever administrative posts that you are holding. So, to be fair, don't hold a grudge against us.

Ask Me No Questions, And I'll Tell You No Lies

Of course people don't usually ask me any questions. First because I am the quiet type and second, because I usually shy away from people when I see them heading towards me. And especially when I know people want to converse with on topics that I don't really favour.

However, it seems very odd when people begin to lie through their teeth when nothing is asked from them. It always hurts me more when people lie because they think they want to protect me from the agony of listening to the truth; when they think that I cannot accept the truth.

I suppose that is the real reason why I shy away from people. Mostly because I already know the truth, but because people think that I may get hurt when they me the truth, they begin to tell me lies. I, on the other hand, already know the real situation.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Remember Her Well.....

I remember her well, so calm and so cool
Waving goodbye, as I set off to school
She packed some sandwiches in my bag; so neat!
So I won't go hungry, I'd have something to eat

I remember her well, by the door she waited
As I came home from school, tired but excited
I ate the food she cooked; all were so nice
Even when they were just 'kicap' and plain, white rice

I remember her well, when I went to the playground
Watching over me; she'd always be around
And whenever I was hurt, she'd blow it away
Surprisingly enough, it would all be okay!

I remember her well, when she tucked me in bed
Putting a light, fluffy pillow under my head
And every time when I started to weep
She'd say, "Don't cry"; she'd sing me to sleep

I remember her well, every night every day
Nothing I do can ever repay
Even though now, we are no more together
I remember her best, because she's my MOTHER.....

from an eternally grateful son......
......and one year has gone by........

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dynasty : Alexis and Krystle ultimate catfight

In conjunction with the new background song that I have chosen for my blog (which comes with a disclaimer that I don't own either of the artistic creations) I have chosen this very much loved cat fight scene between Alexis Colby and Krystle Carrington, two of the lead characters from the series which first aired in the 80's. Of course some of you who are reading this blog right now, don't even know about any of these characters, let alone the soap opera, which also happened to be one of my favourite shows back then. However, I did miss a couple of episodes because during that time I was studying in a teachers' training college and there was no television over there. So now, with "youtube" I can check out all those episodes that I missed, including this one. Hail Dynasty!!! There will never be a show like it ever again! Thank God for small miracles!!! :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nisfu Syaaban

In the light of Nisfu Syaaban, which literally means, the fifteenth night of the month of Syaaban, Muslims all over the world are looking to practise as much good deeds in anticipation of the coming Ramadhan.

And in light of this auspiscious night, I would like to share some thoughts about 4 of the 9 reasons for an unhappy heart.

1. Anger : When one has anger in his heart, one will not be able to find peace, similarly he will also not be able to find happiness.

2. Vengeful : Being vengeful will eat up ones heart, always thinking of ways to destroy other people. With a heart full of this feeling, one cannot find happiness.

3. Miser : A person with this in his heart, will find ways to avoid from making the smallest of donations for fear that other may share his wealth, or even worse become richer than he is, and is always worried that would happen, thus robbing him of his happiness.

4. Greed : Just like the miser, one who is full of greed, wants all wealth to be his, and it does not make him happy to see other people have a any share of wealth.

Insya Allah, the other five reasons will be shared in my next post.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Page Pet

pYzam Page Pets
FreeFlashToys Page Pets

Monday, July 12, 2010

Adios World Cup

Felicidad La Furia Roja

I have never been a football fan and in a way I suppose I never will be. Well, maybe there was once during the 1990 FIFA World Cup, if my memory serves me right, when I was actually a real football fanatic.

I remember I had just got my posting to teach in a Felda scheme all the way in Johor and I was staying in one of the officer's quarters, which incidentally did not look much like one for I suspected the house actually needed some tending to and a fresh coat of paint. But enough about the house and back to football.

I recall all throughout the month that the event took place, my housemate at that time, prepared ourselves to stay up late to watch the interesting matches which meant choosing our favourite teams. We would set our alarm clocks, go to bed early and let the clocks wake us up. When we got up, we boiled a pot of coffee, took out some biscuits, switched on the telly and huddled warmly in our respective duvets to watch the games. There were only two of us in the house, but the noise that we made cheering for the teams, almost every time woke up the neighbours, who almost all of them had small school-going children and some even smaller.

When I recall those crazy football loving days, I can appreciate how people actually do go crazy over football. However, watching football games like the World Cup now is a totally different ball game altogether; no pun intended! People don't watch the games on their tellies in the comfort of their own homes but they go to food outlets like stalls and bistros to watch the telecast on giant screens with other strangers. True, they go there with their friends but the spirit of football being a game to enjoy in the comfort of your own home is a thing of the past.
Football has now become a culture! If football is the culture that young people nowadays are willing to adopt, what happens to the culture they already have?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Master of Ceremony: How Long More?

For Better Or For Worse

My first experience at being a master of ceremony (MC), actually took me by surprise almost fifteen years ago, when a colleague who was supposed to be the MC for that particular PTA meeting, was taken ill. As reluctant as I was at being asked to do something ad hoc without any advance preparation, I took the task in my stride and, I was even more surprised when the meeting went on without a hitch. The rest, as they say, is history.

And now, fifteen years later, I am still that MC, but for many more occasions other than PTA meetings, including seminars, official functions, school sports, district and state level activities and even workshops. I must say that I have enjoyed being the MC all these years, mostly because I like to create texts and also poems to be read during the occasions. I say 'I have enjoyed being the MC' because I feel the novelty (if you can call it that after all these years!) has finally started to wear off.

I also feel that it is high time that this position is filled by someone else, preferably a younger protege, a fresh face, who could take over this position. I feel that for someone whose age is pushing half a century, it is time for me to hand over the microphone to that person. I am truly honoured to hear that people still feel that I am the best person for the job, however I feel that there are many more younger and more capable people out there who are waiting for their turn to shine. And shine they should because I am not going to be around forever. Anyway, I always feel that it is always better to walk away with dignity where the choice to leave is yours and not when you are told to do so.

I suppose that is all I am asking for. Give me my dignity!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Higher Education

Students registering at a local university

A Student's home for the next three or four years.

What can be considered as the final hurdle in a student's education is when they set their foot into one of the universities all over the country (or even abroad, if one is lucky enough!) However, this need not be the last for all because education is a never-ending process. But having the chance to further one's education in a university is, well, something to be proud of, not only by the student himself but by all those who know him.

The student's main task now is to study well and to perform to the best of his or her ability, because the real challenge is not setting foot in the university but to compete with the other students who have abilities and qualities of their own. Forget about where the money to support your education is coming from for that is the responsibility of the parents. Forget about having (too much) fun, because enjoyment will come when you produce good results and hold that scroll in your hand.

Most importantly the student himself must remember that his entry into the university is accompanied by the prayers of his loved ones, by the joy of his friends and by the aspirations that he set to his siblings and younger relatives. And with those prayers, joys and aspirations, fly high and make yourself and everyone proud!

Effort Unappreciated

The Good, The Bad and The Totally Bad

You are always encouraged to the point of being forced, to prepare resource materials, especially ones that would attract the students' interest to learn, in this case English Language. And you, either out of obligation or sheer interest, spend your precious time and money to do just that and more, so your students would get, not only to acquire the language, but in doing so, undertake activities that challenge their knowledge and also their creativity.

And to allow these students the opportunity to complete your tasks, you give them ample time to finish the task; not one day, not two, but more than a week. And to make things even easier for them, they are allowed to complete the tasks in groups of as many as four people.

However, all your planning and your research in creating educational resource materials for your students fall flat in your face because none of your students made any attempt to check out your resource materials, let alone complete the tasks. It really is disheartening when you think that the only reason you go all out to produce these materials is to allow your students the chance to improve their proficiency in the language. It just makes you feel like going back to the more conventional method of 'chalk and talk'! Only when I talk, I would want them to keep quiet. And the chalk, I would not use it to write on the board!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Deception Point

Deceived by Two Combs of Bananas
It had to happen at one point in time and I always say it is better late than never. Though the delay of realizing that one has been deceived has actually taken toll on an individual's life. I cannot help but feel like I have been at the bait-end of the lure, taunted and tempted, by this wriggling juicy bait. The angler, to my ignorant assumption, is trying to offer me some kind of delicacy that I have never before had in my life. The angler who is offering me the satisfaction of consuming this exotic live bait.
And being the greedy and gullible individual that I am, I fall hook, line and sinker into this deception, that is now filling me with grief and if not taken care of carefully, may even cause me pain and stress. I should have realized that after this long game of taunting me with the bait, I should have noticed that it was merely a game of who is going to be the actual winner, because the obvious loser is me.
It doesn't really matter how much or how little I have done, but I suppose I was too naive to expect something in return when in reality that is not the case. I guess it was just a case of give and take, with me doing most of the giving. I should learn from this experience of deception, but being a normal (sic!) human being, I doubt I will learn anything from this because I have a feeling I will fall hook, line and sinker again for the next bait that is thrown at me. I just hope it will be more to my taste, at least!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Informative Speech: "The Causes of Homelessness"

Hi Form 6 students! I have chosen this video for two of your MUET components, namely MUET 1 - Listening and MUET 2 - Speaking. For your listening task, I shall post some questions based on this video for you to respond to. Those questions will be posted to your e-mails later. For your speaking task, I would like you to identify all the strengths present in this speaker's presentation and also weaknesses, if there are any. I shall expect your responses to the tasks in the week begining July 5th 2010. Happy listening!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Favourite Book

One of the late author's many books!

No, this book has nothing to do with The Prince of Persia, though I am happy that Sidney Sheldon thought of the title much earlier before the aforementioned film came out earlier this month.
Sands of Time by Sidney Sheldon is one of my favourite books by this author which tells about the plight of a group of four women who come from totally different backgrounds. They have to put aside their differences to survive and stay alive. Set in Spain in 1976, this book describes the turmoils of Graciela, who harbours a mysterious secret; Teresa, who eventually betrays her new found friends; Lucia from Sicily who is wanted for murder and Megan who, after living for many years in a monastery, eventually finds out that she is the heiress to a multi-million dollar conglomerate.
Sheldon couldn't have made this book more interesting with four diverse characters to make the story spellbinding. Of course, my favourite character from the novel is Megan. It is nice to dream about an existence void of wealth and later to fall into the lap of luxury. One can only dream. But then again, that is the master that Sheldon is. He lets you dream through his characters!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Welcome Back To School

First day of school after the break!

After two weeks holiday, everyone including teachers and students, return to school with spirits anew. Well, at least a handful of them revived their spirits to face the next second half of the year, with a few more months of toil. I say toil because as you know, whether you are a teacher or a student, your task is never done, even though people seem to think you have all the time to lie under the sun. Not that it is a suitable time anyway, because it is terribly hot nowadays.
Well, back to the subject of the first day of school, I would say that if I were a student, I would like to hear my teachers welcome me back to school, listen to them lifting my spirits and giving me meaningful advise. Very little of that actually happened today in the hall during assembly. What the students got were lashings of warnings and tons of reprimands from one teacher to another, much to their boredom and, not surprisingly, disgust.
I mean, it is only the first day and already you are being verbally scolded from all sides. I could only stand so much because after one of the teacher's speeches, I started to switch off. And I am a teacher!!! You can imagine how the students reacted!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

cat stevens

Somethings are easier said in a song, especially a song that encompasses everything that you want to say. It doesn't really matter if the song is an old one. Since a song is supposed to be universal, it's main function is to entertain and at the same time, educate.

Sometimes it also takes a good listening to the lyrics of a song to get you to understand yourself and the people who matters most around. The answers and justifications you seek are all around you, but when it happens to be in a song, it seems to have more impact. A song, in this case a video, leaves an even deeper impression because you can hear how the singer expresses every single sentence in the song and at the same time you can see his facial expression with the articulation of every single word.

And once a while, you come across a song that says vividly want you cannot say, mostly because of your own ego. To people who matter most to me, thank you for being a part of me.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day

Is there really anything special about this day? This blogger begins to wonder.

Every year we come to the second last Sunday of June and people begin to remember their fathers! The date is so specific that people actually wait for this particular day to wish their fathers and fathers every where 'Happy Fathers day' and to express their love! It is rather sad to think that expressions of love to a father is now confined to one particular day of the year when you really have 364 more days to do so!

I suppose people don't bother to express their love to their fathers the other 364 days maybe because fathers themselves don't display expressions of love to their children. I guess it all has to do with this macho stuff! A father usually suppresses his feelings of love towards his children. He doesn't really sit down and chat his children, let alone hug them, especially not in public. A father seldom makes time to do little things with his children, like reading stories or helping them with their homework. I guess, men in general avoid close proximity for fear of people's contemptuous glances and to avoid being marked as effeminate by the society they live in.

I mean, while we are on the subject of Father's Day, let us ponder why we actually have this day in the first place. Like I said, there is nothing really special or significant about this day when you compare it to Mother's Day! Let's just think about how our society celebrate Mother's Day. First of all, there are so many special programmes like movies lined-up by the television stations to let people know about the plights of all mothers all over the world. At national level, we even organise Mother's Day extravaganzas by having dinner shows at hotels dedicated to mothers, where famous singers croon to mothers all over the country. In fact there are even awards for 'Mother of the Year' (Ibu Mithali) which the government organizes. So special is a Mother's Day.

And then there is Father's Day. Sigh!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friend or Friendlier

The Eyes are two of a human's organs that doesn't grow any bigger since infant to adulthood. That is why they leave a lasting impression!

It is not always easy to find new friends especially in today's world when everyone is busy with his or her own careers and practically minding their own businesses. However, once in a while, you do meet people, in reality or virtually, who want to be your friend and they seem quite genuine in their intentions. People foster their friendship usually on the basis of similar interests or opinions that they may share, but sometimes friendship is borne out of necessity and also out of dissimilar interests.
Whatever the reason for the friendship, one thing that is always difficult to fathom is when one of the friends wants to take the friendship one step further, from becoming friends to more than friends. There is no hard and fast rule when starting a friendship. You cannot give instructions that your friendship will be totally platonic and it should not go further than that. It is always difficult when one of you instigate that move, and you are caught off guard!
So, when you are put in such a position, what then can you do? It would be impossible for you to stand your ground and be defiant about the personal rule that you have set when you started the friendship, because the unwritten rule was not mutually agreed upon. Can you actually be that adamant by looking at your friend straight in the eyes? Staring into those two limpid pools of dark globes containing mysterious secrets of the heart, which is going all out for yours! Be careful of those pools because one false step and you can fall into them and drown!

Good Luck to My Ex-Students!

Rezza Roslan

Muhammad Asyraf Khaja Mohideen

Shazwi Abdul Razak
Anis Fadzlin Abdul Razak
Every year I go through the same feeling but never has it been this poignant and exciting at the same time. Poignant because some of the students above actually went out of their way to thank me (and, I suppose other teachers too) for all that I have done to enable them to be where they are today. That place in question is where they will be studying for their tertiary education doing their first degrees. And exciting because I get to know, one by one, where they will be going to to further their studies. It is just like receiving one good news after another!
I do not take credit for my students' success, but I feel honoured and privileged when my students actually thank me for what I have done. It is true that a teacher's work is to teach his student merely because he is paid to do so, and no gratification should be elicited from this work. And in fact, a teacher does not actually ask to be appreciated! But when a student comes up to you and articulates a single word 'thank you', it makes years of teaching worth the effort. Even though, a teacher may have taught thousands of students throughout his profession, it does not really take all those thousands of students to express their gratitude. One simple thank you from one student would be enough. One student can actually make up for all those thousands who 'forgot' to say thank you.
All I can say to my ex-students, especially those whom I feature in this blog entry, who have said thank you is, thank you and that your success is reward enough for me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Freeloading Family

The other day I was shopping in a hypermarket when I had the unpleasant experience of bumping into this large group of noisy family who were also there to shop, apparently. The thing that immediately caught my attention about that family was that they we all gathered around the fruits section and filling their hungry gaping dirty mouths with the grapes that were on sale there. The grapes were going at RM8.90 per kilo and had already been put in neat bags of a kilo each. This family even had the audacity to open up the packaging and started plucking the grapes one by one eating to their hearts' content, if they had any heart in them to begin with; and I do mean all of them, including the father, the mother, the daughters and sons, the grandmother and a whole group of gaggling aunties! And to top it all off, they didn't even notice I had taken a picture of them because they were too busy stuffing their faces with the grapes.
I have chanced upon this situation more than once but I have never got used to the idea of people who freeload, especially when it comes in family size unison. I always feel that, where fruit is concerned, if you really want something that is for sale and you can't afford to buy a lot, just buy the little that you can afford. However, in this scenario affordability is not the question. The main question here is the idea of honesty. I suppose this group of family have not had that value ingrained in them for the past few generations judging from the people in the family who participated in the grape-feeding frenzy. If the grandmother does not have an ounce of honesty inside her bone how then can she possibility teach any of it to her children and to her children's children.
I feel that these people are not ready for hypermarkets and they have actually driven all the way from somewhere else, probably Mars, just to have a look at what the hoopla is all about, and to happily take advantage of it! I may be a bit judgemental here, but I have no place for people who are dishonest. I mean, you can come from a very remote place but if you have honesty in your heart, you will be safe where ever you go; whether the place has any hypermarkets or not!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Holiday Exodus

As usual, holidays is the time for people to go back home to their roots to visit their elders and relatives, whatever the underlying reasons may be. I usually prefer to spend my holidays at home, relaxing and pottering around in the small garden or just trying out new recipes in the kitchen. But, once in a while, I get requests from my kids and spouse to travel back to the village and meet our elders there.
Visiting my in-law has always been a journey back to nature where the environment is still filled with fresh air and and abundance of flora and fauna. It is a return to a place where I can simply pluck fruits from the tree and be assured they are clean enough to be eaten. I can pluck any vegetable growing by the small creek or under any of the fruit trees and be confident that it has not been sprayed with any artificial fertilizer or chemical pesticides. In a nutshell, I spend most of my time in the village outside the house than inside it. I think it's just me because I enjoy being with the greenery and filling my lungs with the fresh air, amidst the shrieks of my in-law to come into the house!
Well, there will be many more trips to this village, God willing, as long as the elders are still living there and as long as they still have a hold on the land. I guess that is something that they should hold on to, not for their own sake, but also for the sake of future generations.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rose's Turn - Glee Cast (Lyrics)

I heard this song on the first episode of the second season of Glee, the surprisingly interesting show that has got me glued to the boob tube since last season. I guess I can somehow, in my own rhetorical way, relate to all the characters in the Glee Club and that is the basic reason why the show appeals to me. I think that is why it also appeals to most of its audience, whom among others, are people who have their own aspirations; who find them hard to achieve because other people think that they don't have the ability or are not visually pleasant enough!

Call the show what ever you like! You can call it a fantasy or you can even call it an escapism because, in a sense, it is true. The show provides a sense of escapism to those who aspire to be somebody but have not reached the right time and place to be discovered or make an impact, so before achieving those ambitions, all they can do is fantasize. But no ordinary fantasy mind you. A fantasy that is coupled with hard work and determination to achieve that ambition! I hope Glee doesn't lose it's lustre, and continue to provide aspirations to those who wish to aspire! And also perspire!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Exam for Teachers!

This whole week has been exams for teachers and today is the last day. A few days is not really a short span of time when you consider the actual time spent by teachers to read up on the topics that would be coming out in the exams. Even longer, when you consider the fact that some teachers have been taking the same exam year after year without success, apparently because of a quota system that determines how many of us pass and how many of us fail. I mean, if you already know who is going to pass or otherwise, then why allow us to sit for the exam in the first place?

Apart from being unfair, I personally feel that examination can be a daunting experience and from another point of view can be quite discriminating, too. Daunting because, being one who does not have young age and an active medulla oblongata on my side, I have to sit in the same hall with younger colleagues. Discriminating because, well, examination is the time when your heads of departments start discriminating those whom they want to go up the ladder of achievement and those who will remain at the base of the ladder.

But with this particular exam being what it is in the first place, perhaps some people just don't need ladders. They can simply ride a magic carpet and fly off into the sunset enjoying their meteoric rise!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


School holidays is not only for us to take time to relax and unwind, and forget about the grueling 8 hours we teachers endure daily at school, sometimes working for six or seven periods on ends and having to face lots of challenges, namely from the students and the administrators. School holidays, however, is also a time when couples who are in love, make a lifetime and memorable commitment by tying the knot. And nothing is more memorable than attending the wedding of your own ex-student. I personally, get a sense of deep personal satisfaction when I see my ex-student making it in life in all aspects; from education to career and from relationships to matrimony. It cannot be denied that as the years go by, I have and will be attending more and more of my ex-students' weddings. If the rowdy students in school add to the number of grey hair on my head, these ex-students who make it in life make the grey hair much more visible. However, my ex-students' success, makes all the grey hair seem worth while.

A special mention goes to Hafida, my ex-student, who got married a few weeks back. I enjoyed the wonderful reception and the food was very much to my liking. May your bond of marriage lasts a lifetime and may you be bestowed with happiness. Thank you for the invitation!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Green Hobby

There is something about gardening that gives the hobbyist such intense pleasure. When all the plants that you have planted a few weeks ago, start to sprout new shoots and begin to show their usable potential, that is when your face begins to light up. Planting herbs like vietnamese mint and curry leaves doesn't actually help you to reduce your household expenditure, but the accessibility of these herbs in your own garden whenever you want to use them in certain dishes, certainly makes one proud that one has put in the effort to plant them. The fact that these shrubs continuously grow also means that if you do not use them in your own kitchen, you can always offer them to your neighbours or friends at your work place. Another thing about gardening as a hobby, is to see something green growing in your garden and in your own way, you are contributing to help make the world a greener place to live in. It can be a good way to instill among your children that they too can make a difference in the future, no matter how small that contribution may be.

Friday, June 4, 2010

School Holiday

It's that time again! The time when students and teachers alike rejoice because it is the end of a semester! Finally! Time for teachers to sit back and relax and forget about work and especially students who have been a proverbial pain in the neck! I suppose that is why teachers always complain about back aches, painful shoulders and aching necks! We now know for sure the cause of these ailments! I suppose these students are totally oblivious to this to the point that they always wonder why their teachers breathe a long sigh of relief or smile from ear to ear after the end of a lesson with them. It is no wonder that these teachers hasten their pace or even take longer strides to be as far away from these students as possible! And a two-week's absence from these students is sheer bliss! The proverb 'absence makes the heart grows fonder' does not apply in this situation! Happy holidays teachers! You deserve it!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Staff Family Day

Family day is something looked forward to by everyone, especially kids. The excitement is even greater when they know that they are going to the beach and spending the night there. This family day was special because it involved almost all the teachers in my school; including their spouses and children. We had many different types of beach games like beach football and tug-o-war for the adults and telematches for the kids and we even had barbecue for dinner. On top of that, no one went home empty handed because there were prizes galore! Thanks to all my committee members for making this day a success!

Doris Day - Que Sera Sera

Another song chosen for my Form 6 students' listening activity during the semester holidays. For my students reading this blog, please make sure you get the lyrics of this song, then paraphrase this song in prose form in about 150 words using your own words. Remember also that you will be giving an oral presentation of the prose on the 23rd of June 2010 during your MUET 2 slot. Happy listening and happy holidays!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I Hate Public Speaking Song - Joyful Public Speaking

This week I shall be doing Public Speaking with my Form 6 students and I think this video may offer some light humour to a heavy subject. I realize that not many people enjoy public speaking, even though, given half the chance, they would ordinarily talk incessantly with their friends. I suppose public speaking is similar to speaking normally with friends. The only difference here is they don't reciprocate; a one way communication. I assume the thing that gets people off public speaking is that they are prone to the scrutiny of their listeners and also the fact that they have to talk about one particular subject for a given amount time; not less than five minutes usually. However, the one thing that my students have to conquer is not their fear of public speaking but their proficiency in English Language. I suppose that is the thing that they fear the most, speaking publicly and in English!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Engelbert Humperdinck - Spanish Eyes 1969

This is another classic song that no other singer can sing as well as the original singer. The singer has left such a tremendous mark on the entertainment world, no one can even hope to imitate him. And when you talk about classic songs, that is the very reason why no one can even hope to write a song that comes even close to the beautiful melody in this song.

"The Lucy Show" Joan Crawford Guest Stars PART 1

Another favourite of yesteryear. I didn't really know how to speak English Language when this show was shown on television here in Malaysia more than thirty years ago but surprisingly I think i understood what the laughter was all about. I knew where the humour was. Some comedies do not need long scripts to reach the punch line. With Lucy, it was punches all the way.

Tom Jones - It's not unusual (This Is Tom Jones - 1969)

I went for a course last week and met some old friends, some of whom I have not met for many years. It was a nice, warm feeling reminiscing with them about old times including some very old songs; songs we used to hear in our teens. One of these songs is this one sung by Tom Jones titled 'It's Not Unusual'. Indeed, it is not unusual to get to meet old friends once again. Here's to many more meetings in the future!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Servants and Labours : Happy Labours' Day

Wow! It has been a while since I posted anything in this blog of mine. Since today is the 1st of May, I guess it is appropriate to write about Labour's Day, what we teachers being government servants who are actually labours. If you think about it carefully, teachers are in a way like labours, which does not necessarily require us to do labourious tasks. But, teaching and everything else that comes with it, IS labourious. Much have been said about the piles of work put on a teacher's shoulders. If it were teaching per se, I am sure no teacher would complain. However, we have to express our grouses because most of what we do in school does not reflect the aspiration of teaching at all. Clerical work, meetings, courses, workshops, organising social activities and a lot of other unrelated things that people outside the teaching refuse to believe. I say, let these skeptics take over our duties for a week and see how they feel.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Fruitcake Special III

This is the third installment of resource materials for the form 4 literature component. This task is suggested to be used for Set Induction and suitable for students with lower proficiency. I am happy to say that you will not be able to find the picture used in the resource material from any image in the internet because I had drawn the picture myself. It was just too difficult (and utterly impossible!) to find a picture suitable enough to be used for this particular activity. But feel free to use the material with your students. It's fun and allows students some creativity albeit difficulty for them to generate a vocabulary list. Happy teaching!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Where Are They Now?

How time flies! One moment they are just innocent, fresh faced teenagers eager to learn anything that their teachers would dispense to them. The next moment they have grown up to become adolescents ready to face the world and all its challenges. With their advancing maturity, I can't help but feel that I am growing older day by day; in fact I am growing older. But I would like to grow old, with the pleasant thought that I have somehow contributed something beneficial to these students, or rather ex-students; something instrumental for them to make it in the world. Then again these guys are the creme de la creme of our school and most of them have done well for themselves. I am happy for them! But where are the rest of them? I would really like to know what they are doing because once a teacher always a teacher, and the sense of responsibility is still there, even though they have gone their own ways. Spread your wings and fly far my students. My prayers will go with you.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Am I That Invisible?

You can tell a lot about your friends based on how they react to your not being at work or in this case not being at work for three days in a row! After twenty plus years of being in the teaching profession, none of my colleagues' reactions can actually cause me to feel surprised anymore (at least, that's what I thought!). In any case, it is actually expected of them! I have been missing from duty for three days in a row; the first day I took two bus loads of students out on an excursion and the second and third day I was out on medical leave.
It was rather heart-warming to hear a few friends asking where I was and if I was feeling better; a few said they wondered why they had not seen me for three days. But it was quite disheartening (I should be immuned to this already, based on the number of years I've been in this profession!) when a few did not even realise that I was not in school! Is this a sign that I am dispensable? Or is this a sign that my presence all these years have not left any impact at all? To friends who cared, thank you. And to those who couldn't care less, I guess the feeling is mutual.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What Does A Teacher Do? Part II

After completing the before part of the lesson, now comes the while part of the lesson. This is where you see the teacher starting the lesson not with the set induction but with attempts to control the class situation due to the rowdiness of the 40 odd number of students, telling them to get ready for lessons and getting out their books, which more often than not, would take up about 10 to 15 minutes of the lesson. It takes the teacher another 5 minutes during the set induction to actually get the students ready and to listen to what the is saying.
The teacher then proceeds to Step 1, which could be a comprehension exercise which would take about 2o minutes; a task which would be preceded by reading aloud individually or in groups and with the teacher correcting the pronunciation or stress of particular words. Then, while the students are doing their work, the teacher would not be sitting down at his desk, but be walking around from student to student in order to, one, find out if any of the students are facing any difficulties and two, if the students are actually doing their work. The teacher would also be guiding the students to search for difficult words using the dictionary. The final part of the lesson would consist of a remedial or enrichment exercise, after discussing with the students the answers to the comprehension exercise. Bear in mind that for 40 minutes, the teacher has been on his feet without sitting down. Can you imagine if the teacher has eight periods for that day? He would then be on his feet for 320 minutes or 3 hours and 40 minutes! And still people insist that a teacher's work is relaxing!

Friday, April 2, 2010

What Does A Teacher Do?

The present teacher is burdened with a lot of other unrelated work besides teaching because the ministry thinks teaching is a simple thing to do. Maybe I can highlight to these people some of the things and the processes that a teacher goes through before, while and after teaching. Please take note and don't just walk away!
Before the actual teaching, a teacher has to prepare his lesson plans for the next day. If there are four classes, there will be four different lesson plans. Writing a lesson plan doesn't take much time but it is the thought into writing it that takes most of the time. First, the teacher needs to know the proficiency levels of his students. Then he would have to look for suitable materials to be used during the lesson which could take hours of pouring through the Internet and reference materials. Next, he would have to develop at least two different sets of exercises based on the materials he has found. Following this, he would have to copy the materials, type the exercises, print them and photocopy according to the number of students for that one particular class. He would also need to foresee the difficulties faced by the students in order for him to come up with remedial or enrichment exercises. Only after at least ten hours of planning would he be able to write down the lesson plan. All this is done before teaching; and that's only for ONE class and ONE period only! It would be double time for a double period!
NB: While and after teaching to follow.

A Happy Teacher Is A Productive Teacher

Many debates about the responsibilities of teachers have made the headlines in all the media for as long as I have been teaching. And consequently many promises by the ministry have been made to look into matter. However, sadly they have looked into the matter! Why do I say that it is sad? This is because that is what they normally do; that is they just 'look into' it!
Teachers say that their work is to teach but they are burdened with too much clerical work which can affect the teachers' focus and attention on their real responsibility. I say that clerical work is part and parcel of being a teacher, which does not necessarily mean I totally agree with it. But if a teacher needs to be given clerical work besides teaching, I would suggest that teachers be given less teaching periods. More than 20 periods a week consume a lot of the teachers' sane time and thus leave them less time for nothing else, especially clerical work. I mean, if you want teachers to excel in both areas that is teaching and clerical work.

In Sickness and In Health

It's been quite a while since I have been sick and, of course, am very grateful for the health that God Almighty has bestowed upon me. But, once in a while, you have to become sick, one as a way of purging out the negative elements inside you and the next as a test of your faith in the Almighty. Incidentally, it also helps to give your local medical practitioner a boost for his business. I don't know if you consider it a boon or a bane, but getting a two-day off for being sick can be quite relaxing; away from the hues and cries of the school, especially the undisciplined students! Well, it can be a boon if you are not really that sick, but if you are really sick then getting off work for being sick is not really enjoyable, because let's face it; what is there to enjoy when you are sick. Sick isn't it!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Catch 22

Catchy but not many catch the drift, literally or meaning wise. It's like you are in a dilemma or having to make a life-altering decision that can either make or break you. In either case, you are not very certain whether you want to make it or you want to be broken because, when you look at the options, even though you may get broken, you want it to be that way, because the sadist in you may some how enjoy it. The only repercussion from that breakage is that it affects the people who are in close proximity to you. Catch 22 is such an enigma that you tend to think that you cannot have both catches which means you cannot have two of everything. And I do mean everything! Perhaps, you are only meant to catch only one or nothing at all! Catch what I'm saying?