Friday, November 30, 2007

Terima kasih, cikgu (Thank you, teacher)

Teaching in Jerantut, the apex of the Jengka Triangle, is very memorable. I shall relate in this blog an act of a parent who went all the way from the Jengka Felda Land Scheme to thank a teacher for rendering help to his son.

The school I taught in comprised two streams - English and Malay and so I had to teach Science in English and Malay. The boy, whose parent I mentioned above came to see me one day. He told me that he wanted to go back to Jengka Triangle to see his parents but had no money for the bus fare. As you see, students from the Malay stream usually stayed in hostels and were allowed to go back at weekends with special permission from the Hostel Warden. He asked me to lend him two ringgit and I obliged willingly although my salary at that time was a mere RM310 per month.

I did not expect to get back the money from the boy as I treated it as a form of financial aid to him. A month later, a Malay middle-aged man came to see me. He said he had purposely come to say 'thank you' to me for lending his son the bus fare to go home. I beamed at him, telling him that as a teacher I should help my students if I could. Then he dug his hand into his pocket and handed me two one-ringgit notes. Of course, I refused to accept them.

This incident showed that the Malay parent respected the teacher and was grateful. The fare that he had to pay was four ringgit for the to-and-fro journey. He could very well have asked his son to return the money to me. If I had accepted his money,he would have spent six ringgit, taking the trouble to thank me personally.

This is one of the many occasions when I feel that teaching pupils in the rural areas is worth my effort.

Below are candid shots of my students in the lab.

Co-operation in doing experiment

Let them do the experiment, we just watch will do.

Don't let it drop. In case it drops, my hand is ready to check its fall.

What are you doing on my back?

What are they looking at?

What is the boy laughing at?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

How It All Started

This is my first post. I hope my students, especially Mei Yen who aroused my interest in blogging will read my blog. I was led to read Kenny Sia's blog through an email sent to me about how he played along with a con-lady who wanted to cheat him out of a lot money and in the end Kenny just sent her RM1.00. I had wanted to start a blog earlier but did not know how to go about it. Yesterday, in my tuition class Mei Yen told me how to do it and gave me some tips. Hence this blog was born.

In this blog, I hope to pen about anything under the sun so that I don't have to stick to one theme in particular and be out of ideas as to what to write.

Incidentally, the photo of me (which will be posted in my profile when I have learnt how to do it) was taken using Mei Yan's newly bought Sony Erricson k710i. Then she transferred it to my HP IPAQ 2490 Pocket PC which contained my Kamus Dewan and Advanced Cambridge Dictionary (both were bought online) which I access whenever I come across any new word whose meaning I am not sure of. A teacher has to learn, too. He cannot be the know-all especially when it comes to vocabulary. Do you know that the new spelling for to e-mail (or to email) in Bahasa Malaysia is 'meng-e-melkan' and there is a difference between 'menghafal' and 'menghafaz'? Find out yourself from the latest edition of Kamus Dewan.

I think that's all I want to talk about. Hope to resume tomorrow. 'Bye.