High…

Bongkersz posted a video in his blog featuring Lighthouse Family’s HIGH a day or two ago.  I have always liked the band especially the first album, if I’m not mistaken, it was the first, POSTCARD FROM HEAVEN or something and I particularly love the song LOST IN SPACE.  Well, I’m not going to post the video here (Truth betold, I don’t know how!), so if you want to watch, you can go to bongkersz.com or search for it on youtube.

Now, what I am going to share is a story that the title of the song brings to mind.  I had a collection of books by S.H.Tan, but people borrowed from me and did not return, so now I only have one left! @#$%&+#!! I can recall a story in one of them about this Mat Salleh woman who went to a tailor in KL. She wanted to have a dress made.

Now, while the tailor was taking her measurements, she kept telling him, “More high! More high!” Mini skirts were in fashion at the time, you see. But the tailor kept shaking his head and gesturing to indicate the negative.  The woman was furious and started to raise her voice, “MORE HIGH! MORE HIGH!” The poor man had no choice so he obliged and instantly received a slap on his face. A fight ensued…until the police came to the scene to settle the matter.

The tailor told the police everything that had transpired while the Mat Salleh was frantically demanding that justice be done! Finally, everything was sorted out. The police officer explained to the Mat Salleh woman that it was all a misunderstanding. “You see, M’am,” he said, “MORE HIGH in Cantonnese means to touch the private part, so the tailor was merely carrying out your instruction…”

Disclaimer: I don’t know Cantonese and this was what I read in the book, so if MORE HIGH means some other thing, then I will hold no responsibility for that. LOL!!!

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After the love has gone…

While browsing, I came across a few teacher-bloggers, and what troubles me most of all is that more often than not, they seem disillusioned and have lost their passion for the vocation.

Why this sad state of affairs, one may ask? Maybe it’s the workload. Maybe it’s the money, the lack of recognition given – especially when other less-deserving ones get what they are craving for or maybe the sense of achievement does not seem to be forthcoming, especially when the students are so weak and are not inclined to learn anything at all.

For one thing, if a teacher is merely going through the motions, teaching for the sake of teaching while waiting for pay day, the students will feel it and they will respond the same way. On the other hand, if a teacher puts his heart and soul in it, the students will sense it and appreciate it, even the weak or ill-disciplined ones. Why do students behave like monkeys in one teacher’s class – despite the endless scolding and caning and yet, they are comparatively much better behaved in another teacher’s class?

Teaching is a relationship – a relationship between teacher and students. Like all relationships, e.g. that of lovers or a husband and wife, what you can get out of it depends on what you put in it. If you can be selfless and look beyond personal comfort and material gains, you will find it more rewarding, that’s for sure.

In another of my English book, I had a passage on two brothers and one of them, a teacher, died…and the last paragraph reads: “…At Tommy’s funeral, there was standing room only in the cathedral – young and old, men and women, all of them his friends and students.  It made me contemplate on the meaning of our existence in this world.  Some people had power, wealth, status; but they often went about their lives in selfish pursuits.  Then there were people like Tommy.  He had none of those – no monuments built in his honour, no titles bestowed, no streets named – nothing but the memory of what he was would remain eternally in everyone’s hearts.  He was their friend, their teacher; he was my brother.

On 2nd December, 2007, I retired. I was 55…and a student sent me an sms which touched me more than anything. It read:

“Students hardly know or guess…the love their teacher can’t express. With thoughts he seldom says aloud, his heart is warm, his feelings proud.  They do not fully understand his wisdom, guiding hand, each helpful word, holding love unspoken, hope unheard.  Yet as the busy years roll past, they come to understand at last, the worries he knew, the problem times he pulled them through and realise how great it’s been to have a teacher just like him.  With love and thanks for being such a wonderful teacher. Happy Birthday.”

The day a teacher receives something like this, he will feel that it is worth all the blood, sweat and tears he has put in his vocation through the years…and he can be proud to call himself – a teacher. I certainly hope this will motivate and inspire those who need it.

It’s just not logical…

…that in the story, “The Hare and the Tortoise”, the arrogant hare that was far ahead in the race decided to go to sleep, allowing the tortoise to overtake him and win the race.

So, when I was writing one of my English practice workbooks for SPM students, I decided to change it as in the extract below.

…”With a clear display of determination, the tortoise edged forward slowly on its way, taking one sluggish step at a time while the hare stayed put at the starting line, buckling over in fits of hysterical laughter at the sight, unable to start running.  Finally, when he was able to pull himself together, he bolted off at lightning speed, but not before the mean streak in him made him kick the poor tortoise out of the way. ‘Step aside, David! Here comes Rabbit Beckham!” he hollered at the top of his voice, giving his opponent one mighty kick that sent him flying into the air.

But as Forrest Gump would say, ‘Life is a box of chocolates;you never know what you’ll get,’ and the tortoise came crashing down on the head of the hare who had the misfortune of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, knocking himout cold…The tortoise fell onto the ground and by sheer luck and coincidence, rolled straight towards the finishing line.  The animals held their breath in suspense as the tortoise stuck his head and legs out of the shell. Feeling a little airsick after the extremely turbulent flight, the tortoise staggered wobbly forward and crossed the finishing line…”

Now, isn’t that a lot more logical? As a matter of fact, it amazes me that many fairy tales and children’s stories are full of things that do not make sense at all and some are quite violent and frightening even, yet they are so popular worldwide. Would you read them to your children?

Mind your language

I think I have said it somewhere that although I am very comfortable with the so-called dirty jokes, it makes me cringe when I hear people talking, every line punctuated with foul language – references to parts of the anatomy in particular, be it male or female.

When I was small, owing to peer influence, I picked up a word or two but when my mum heard it, she threatened to stuff my mouth with red hot chilli peppers (Hey! Isn’t that the name of a band?)! That frightened the living daylights out of me, so consequently, I never acquired the habit.

There is this story of a man whose speech was peppered with references to a certain part of the male anatomy (which coincidentally is the name of a town in China). He met a genie who granted him three wishes. He rushed home quickly and told his wife about it.

“What are you going to wish for, dear?” the wife asked.

“All kinds of [insert word] I also want!” he declared. And true enough, all kinds of [insert word] appeared – big ones, small ones, long ones, short ones, fat ones, thin ones…. When he saw that he panicked and shouted, “Take away all these [insert word]!!!” True enough, all of them disappeared including his own. And since he only had ONE wish left, he had no choice but to wish for his own [insert word] back.

The moral of the story is simply MIND YOUR LANGUAGE!

Like a virgin

I am on my own… It’s my first time and I’m nervous. My friend, cibol of cibolution.com is forcing me into this and he keeps pushing and pushing…and finally, I give in.

So here I am, “…like a virgin, touched for the very first time…” and hopefully, when I start getting used to all this, I’ll be able to do much better to ensure everything will be more to your liking. Satisfaction guaranteed so that you will come back for more!