Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Improving one's English through reading

Through my own experience, reading English materials such as newspapers, magazines, books and posters helps one to master the English language.

When I was still in Form 1, I had the chance to read books written by Enid Blyton cheaply. I have mentioned in my earlier post that I paid onl 10 cents per book after having paid 40 cents for the first Enid Blyton book. The Indian man who operated a second-hand book store at Tek Soon Street in Penang charged me only ten cents when I returned one Enid Blyton in exchange for one which I had not read before. Initially I came across a lot of words which I did not know, but I took the trouble to find out their meanings. As I read more and more books, those words became my friends and I knew them well.

As for newspapers, I still remember how I read the old newspaper that was used to wrap things bought by my mum. I read them and looked up the dictionary for words whose meanings I did not know.

Reading helps one to master prepositions which form an important part of the English language. Constant reading will make you have remember how prepositions are used without you realising it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Passive voice in the Malay language

In this post, I shall deal with the passive voice in the Malay language. We should bear in mind the following points in converting sentences in the active voice to the passive ones.

1 Only sentences with transitive verbs can be turned into passive voice.
For example, the sentence 'Mereka berbincang tentang masalah itu.' cannot be converted to passive voice because 'berbincang' is intransitive in nature.

2 Sentences with personal pronoun in the first and second person has a fixed rule in the conversion from active to passive voice and those in the third person has another set of rule.

3 For sentences beginning with pronouns in ther first and second person, follow this rule:
Object + auxiliary word + pronoun in the first or second person + transitive verb (minus the prefix 'meN (me, mem, men, meng, meny).
a) Saya akan membaca novel itu. [I will read the novel]
Novel itu akan saya baca. [The novel will be read by me.]
(Novel itu is the object, akan is the kata bantu (auxiliary word), saya is the pronoun in the first person and baca is the transitive verb (minus the prefix mem)

b) Awak pernah menonton wayang ini. [You have watched this film before.]
Wayang ini pernah awak tonton. [This film has been watched by you before.]
(Wayang ini is the object, pernah is the kata bantu (auxiliary word), awak is the pronoun in the second person.)

4 For sentences beginning with pronouns in the third person, follow the rule below:
Object + auxiliary word +di+ transitive verb (minus meN)+ oleh + pronoun in the third person.
a) Dia belum menjelaskan yuran kelab ini. [He has not paid this club's subscription.]
Yuran kelab ini belum dijelaskan olehnya. or
Yuran kelab ini belum dijelaskannya. [This club's subscription has not been paid by him yet.]
(Yuran kelab ini is the object, belum is the kata bantu (auxiliary word) and nya is the pronoun in the third person) and jelaskan is the transitive verb minus the prefix meN)

b) Mereka sudah menyiapkan kerja itu. [They have completed the work.]
Kerja itu sudah disiapkan oleh mereka. [The work has been completed by them.]
(Kerja itu is the subject, sudah is the kata bantu (auxiliary word), siapkan is the transitive verb (minus the prefix meN) and mereka is the pronoun in the third person.)

Monday, March 29, 2010

When to use suffix 'kan'

In the Malay language, there are certain words which must end in 'kan'. These include mengumpulkan / menghimpunkan [to collect), mengendalikan (to manage), memadamkan (to wipe out or to extinguish), menangguhkan (to postpone), merekodkan (to record), menghapuskan (to destroy), membatalkan (to cancel), mempedulikan / mengacuhkan / membenakan / menghiraukan / mengendahkan (to heed), merumuskan (to summarise), melaksanakan (to execute) and menerangkan. Learners of the language have no choice but to to memorise them.

There are other words which need suffix 'kan' only when they act as transitive verbs. These are the examples:
1 a) Dia mengadu kepada polis tentang kejadian itu. [no 'kan' needed]
[He complained to the police about the incident.]
b) Dia mengadukan kejadian itu kepada polis. ['kan' is needed]
[He reported the incident to the police.]

2 a) Kes kemalangan jalan raya semakin meningkat. [no 'kan' needed]
[Road accident cases are on the increase.]
b) Kecuaian pengguna jalan meningkatkan kes kemalangan jalan raya. ['kan' is needed]
[Negligence of road users has increased cases of road accidents.]

3 a) Jangan membazir semasa menggunakan air. [no 'kan' needed]
[Don't waste when using water.]
b) Dia suka membazirkan air semasa mandi. ['kan' is needed]
[He likes to waste water when bathing.]

4 a) Dia mencuba mengelak apabila nampak musuhnya. [no 'kan' needed]
[He tried to avoid when he spotted his enemy.]
b) Dia mengelakkan kereta yang dipandu ke arahnya itu. ['kan' is needed]
[He avoided the car that drove in his direction.]

5 a) Azmi suka menyanyi semasa mandi. [no 'kan' needed]
[Azmi likes to sing when he bathes.]
b) Mazlan menyanyikan lagu itu berulang-ulang. ['kan' is needed]
[Mazlan sang the song repeatedly.]

6 a) Lelaki itu suka menderma apabila dia mempunyai wang yang berlebihan. [no 'kan' needed]
[The man likes to donate whenever he has surplus money.]
b) Lina mendermakan dua ratus ringgit kepada mangsa banjir itu. ['kan' is needed]
[Lina donated two hundred ringgit to the flood victim.]

7 a) Suaranya meninggi apabila dia meradang. [no 'kan' needed]
[His voice was high / loud when he got angry.]
b) Dia meninggikan suaranya semasa memarahi anaknya. ['kan' is needed]
[He raised his voice when he scolded his son.]

8 a) Tangannya menghulur semasa dia bersenam. [no 'kan' needed]
[His hands straighten when he is exercising.]
b) Johari menghulurkan buah rambutan kepada jirannya. ['kan' is needed]
[Johari gave rambutans to his neighbour.]

9 a) Lilin yang bernyala itu semakin memendek. [no 'kan' needed]
[The burning candles became shorter and shorter.]
b) Dia meminta tukang rambut itu memendekkan rambutan. ['kan' is needed]
[He asked the barber to shorten his hair.]

10 a) Kakak suka mengurus halnya sendiri. [no 'kan' needed]
[My sister likes to manage her own things.]
b) Ibu menguruskan adik hal pendaftaran di tadika itu. ['kan' is needed]
[My mother did the registration at the kindergarten for my younger brother.]
c) Badan pesakit itu mengurus selepas seminggu. [no 'kan' needed]
[The patient's body became thin after a week.]
d) Lelaki gemuk itu menguruskan badannya dengan selalu bersenam. ['kan' is needed]
[The man slimmed his body down by exercising regularly.]

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Don't go fishing

One day, I gave out an assignment to my students entitled 'The advantages of fishing'. I list out for them the good points, namely training one to be patient, enabling one to have peace of mind and helping them to spend their free time reading while waiting for the fish to get hooked.

After some time, my conscience told me that I had to tell my students while they were writing the essay. I said, "Just write this essay but don't go fishing because the very act is killing lives. You are killing the fish you catch with your hook."

As my students come from different religious faith, I did not tell them that killing would land them into hell realm, according to the teaching of Buddha.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

At my late father's grave

This morning, I was with my sister and brother-in-law when we went to clean up the mess at my late father's grave ten days ahead of Cheng Beng Festival. As it was a Saturday, the graveyard was full of people who came for the same purpose.

We pulled out weeds that grew on the grave over the year. According to my brother-in-law, people in the area had sprayed weed-killer on the grass and as it rained the day before, he told me not to pull out the weeds bare-handed. Hence I used old newspapers to act as a shield between my fingers and the weeds still with remnants of weed-killer. It was nearly an hour's job before the grave looked presentable. Then we put cakes which we brought in front of the grave to pray. Burning of paper money and clothing were done later.

According to belief of the Chinese, those who show respect to their late parents and grandparents will be successful in life. It is this belief the makes Cheng Beng Festival stay until now.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cheng Beng is here again

Come this Sunday and many Chinese people will be visiting graves of their loved ones for praying and cleaning up the mess. This festival is known as Cheng Beng in Hokkien. It usually falls on the 4th or 5th of April depending on whether the 12th moon of the last year has 29 days or 30 days. If it is the former, then Cheng Beng will fall on the 4th of April. If the 12th moon has 30 days such as this year, then it falls on the 5th of April. For the sake of convenience, Saturdays and Sundays are preferred.

As is the practice, people will go to clean up the graves 10 days before and after Cheng Beng. For this year the Chinese will start doing so from 26 March to 14 April. F

Cheng Beng Festival is a show of respect for the dead and ancestors. Once a year, the Chinese will visit the graves of the dead to show respect to them. Clearing the grass that grew on the grave annually will prevent the graves from turning into a mass of grassland.

I will be going with my sister to my father's grave tomorrow morning to show respect to my father had brought me up and gave me education.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The difference between 'menemui' and 'menemukan'

For today's post, I would like to discuss the difference between 'menemui' and 'menemukan'. Both words come from 'temu' which means 'meet'. You can write sentences such as the following with 'temu' and its prefixes.
1 Saya ingin bertemu dengan abangmu. [I would like to meet your brother.]
2 Krishnan menemui adiknya di pasar malam. [Krishnan met his younger brother at the night market.]

The word 'menemui' as in sentence 2 above means 'meet'. However, 'menemukan' does not mean 'meet'. It means 'discovered'. For example, you can write two sentences such as the ones below using the word 'menemukan'.
1 Pihak polis menemukan mayat itu di balik semak itu. [The police discovered the corpese behind the bushes.]
2 Ahli arkeologi menemukan alat yang diperbuat daripada tembikar di tempat itu. [Archeologist discovered tools made of porcelain at the place.]

To sum up, 'menemui' which means 'meet' is used for people whereas 'menemukan' which bears the meaning of 'discover' is used with things and corpse.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

When numbness lasted too long

This noon I had my lower molar tooth extracted in a hospital's dental clinic. Earlier I had gone to a private dental clinic but the dentist dared not do the extracting for fear of complications.

The dentist first injected two doses of anaesthetic into my inner cheek. After a few minutes, when numbness set in, the dentist started to do his job. He skilfully remove my molar tooth without my knowing it. It was painless.

However, when I went back I was a bit worried because the numbness on my lip and lower jaw still did not go off after three hours. Hence, I telephoned the dentist to find out what was wrong. He told me that some people would experience four to five hours' numbness. True enough, after 4 hours, the numbness finally left me. What a relief for me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The story of soya sauce and scalding

Besides adding flavour to your food, what do you think the soya sauce or ketcup (or tau yu in Hokkean, kicap in Malay or si you in Cantonese) can do for you.

Well you actually can use it to treat scalding. I found it the hard way. Let me explain.

This afternoon, I accidentally dipped my finger into a glass of boiling water and got scalded. My wife immediately pour soya sauce onto my forefinger and there was a piecing sensation which soon went away. After an hour, I did not feel pain anymore and there was no blisters at all.

Although in the past, I used to apply fresh aloe vera juice onto my finger which was scalded, I do not use this method anymore since moving to a condominium where growing plants is a problem.

I think I will not hesitate to apply soya sauce to my fingers again if they get scalded again.

Monday, March 22, 2010

How to drive away cockroaches

Cockroaches like to hide in or wardrobes, causing damage to our clothing. One way to drive them away is to hang camphor balls. However, the smell is not pleasant. Here is a better way to achieve the same effect.

Cut your fragrant soap into smaller pieces and put some into different containers. Power clean water into the containers and place them in the cupboards or wardrobes. After some time you will surprised that they disappear and the wardrobes smell of fragrant soap. Choose the aroma of soap that you like.

As cockroaches do not like cucumbers, you can cut slices of cucumber and place them around places where you do not want cockroaches to appear.

So much for ways to drive away cockroaches.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

How to drive away mosquitoes

I am sure most of us have been stung by mosquitoes before. The itchiness will only go away after quite some time. Here are a few tips to drive mosquitoes away.

1 As mosquitoes do not like the smell of garlic, you can place garlic around your plants or places where you do not want mosquitoes to gather.

2 Dissove a few tablets of Vitamin C and Vitamin B2 into water. Then coat your skin with a thin layer of this solution. The mosquitoes will not dare to go near you because of its smell. If you have sensitive skin, don't try this.

3 Hang orange-coloured curtain at your windows. Mosquitoes do not like this colour and will not go near the room. Alternatively you can cover your table lamp with orange-coloured plastic paper to produce orange light to drive away mosquitoes.

So much for ways to drive away mosquitoes.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

How to drive away ants

The presence of ants in the house is a menace. You can spray insecticide to kill them. They will come again. If you are against killing lives, here is a natural way of driving away ants.

As ants do not like the smell of acid, we can use lemons to provide the acid to do the job. Here is how you go about it.

First cut a fresh lemon to halves.
Squeeze the juice and rub the side with the flesh all along the path where the ants travel.

Soon you will find that ants will disappear because they do not like the smell of the citric acid of the lemon on the floor.

So much for a natural way to drive away ants.

Friday, March 19, 2010

'Xin' and health

The last element in 'wu chang' is 'Xin' which means trustworthiness or reliability. 'Xin' is related to the earth or soil where everything green grows. A person who is reliable and does not grumble or blame others for anything will have very good bowels or stomach. He will have to trouble with digestion and so.

When we do anything, we should have faith and trust in others. Only then will we be free of worries which will lead to diseases related to the stomach such as gastritis

A person who suffers from depression will have problem with his stomach. Poor digestion and gastritis will be manifested. One way of getting rid of depression is to do some activities that will take the mind off the things that worry a person. As suggested one patient of the Chinese physician whose talk I talked too and whose experience I share here actually asked his patient who suffered from depression to run as far as his enery allowed every day. The man followed his advice and after some time, he really forgot about what worried him as he concentrated on what he was doing, that running until he could no longer go any further every day. After this strenous activities, he was cured of depression and his stomach's normal functions were restored.

Hence we should be a reliable person and do not be too 'calculative' (thinking of gains for oneself only and will not let others gain even a little bit of benefit) in carrying out our duties and dealing with others. In so doing, we will have no trouble with diseases of the stomach.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

'Zhi' and health

'Zhi' or wisdom is the fifth element in 'wu chang' (the five natural state or conditions). It is related to winter and water. To acquire 'zhi' one has to practise being humble. One good example is willing to listen to people's advice and opinions. As kidney manifests itself through the ears. A person whose qi of kidneys is strong is more ready to listen to advice and opinion of others.

What weakens the qi of kidneys is indulgence in sexual activities which will result in weak bones, poor memory and inability to learn and interact with others. When the qi of kidneys is weakened a person is more likely to suffer from fracture of the bones. There was a case of a patient who had too sexual actitivities that he broke his bone four times in a year.

Tension or stress will cause the qi of kidneys to be weakened. The symptom is insomnia. Once the stress is gone, the kidney's qi will be strong again and the patient will up and about again.

Hence we should be humble and relax our minds whenever possible in order to take good care of our kidneys.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

'Li' and health

The third element of 'wu chang' (five natural states or conditions) is 'li' or manners. 'Li' is related to the heart, order,fire and summer. It always goes upwards. The heart is the master of the body. It is open-minded and the 'qi' always flows outwards. "Li' also signifies order and progress. The progress of a nation is gauged by her well-mannered people. Well-mannered refers to law-abiding and disciplined.

The opposite of open-mindedness is hatred. The 'qi' of hatred flows inwards and causes the heart to suffer from heart diseases such as uneven heart beat and so on. According to the Chinese physician who gave the talk on 'wu chang' and its relationship with the five organs in the body, a patient who harboured hatred came to consult him. She suffered from pain all along her arm. The flow of blood along the vein connected to the heart was not smooth causing pain.

The lady was cheated by a man who took her 20,000 yuan away. She hated him since the day she knew she had been cheated until she came to see the physician. This feeling of hating has caused qi to flow and accumulate in the heart causing the above condition.

The physician advised her to forget about the 20,000 yuan which could not be recovered and stopped hating him so that health would be returned to her. She really listened to the advice and stopped thinking about the loss and the man associated with it. After two weeks, when he telephoned her to find out her condition, she told him that all the pain along her arm had gone.

Hence, we should not harbour hatred towards others in order to protect our dear heart.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

'Yi' and health

In my earlier post, I talked about the relationship between 'ren' (benevolence or showing concern to others) and the well-being of our liver.

Today, I will discuss the second element in 'wu chang', namely 'yi' or duty, responsibility and its relationship to health. 'Yi' is related to the lungs and autumn. People who are introvert or keep their feelings be they sadness or happiness to themselves tend to suffer from malfunctioning of the lungs. The remedy is smiling. Smile often and you will be free of diseases of the lungs.

The Chinese phyisician who gave the talk related his personal experience. He used to suffer from sinuses which is related to the nose. Malfunctioning of the lungs manifests itself through the nose. According to him, he was very pampered and cared for himself only and seldom show filial piety to his parents - the lack of 'yi' (doing his duty to his parents). Lack of 'yi' will lead to malfunctioning of the lungs. In his case, sinuses developed in his nose. When he was in Year 3 and Year 4 of his Chinese medicine course, he realised this theory and started to serve his mother and father. He started to to massage his parents to relieve them of pain in the joints. Miraculously his sinuses healed by itself after having done his 'yi' to his parents.

Hence we should do our duty to our parents and keep smiling to maintain good health of our lungs.

Monday, March 15, 2010

'Ren' and health

I had the chance to listen to a Chinese physician who talked about the relationship between human behaviour and mental condition known as 'wu chang' and our health.

I shall relate here the first element of 'wu chang', namely 'ren' or benevolence and its relationship with health as pointed by the said physician.

Ren is related to spring, wood, and liver. In this case, being benevolent helps to maintain the proper functioning of the liver. The opposite of benevolent is angry, demanding, ever want to win and so on. When liver is affected it will manifest in the eyes exertenally. The physician related his own experience of being very demanding and wanting to win in every exam while he was young. This mental state affects the liver causing him to suffer from shortsightedness.

The physician also quoted his clinical case about a girl who suffered from a tumour on the throat area. When he quesioned the mother, she was found to be a stubborn and ever-want- to- win girl. Once a car overtook her and she raced it and overtook in return. Hence the physican asked her to change his attitude by training to be benevolent and the best place to start is at home. He recommended she helped her mother to do all the housework and change her ever-want-to-win character. She listened to him and a week later, when she came to him again, it was found that the tumour had shrunk considerably much to the surprise of the doctor in a hospital she went to for ultrasound imaging.

The physician also mentioned an experiment done by a scientist in Stanford University on the exhaled gas collected from people who were very angry and those who were very sad. When the first type of gas goes through an indicator liquid, it turns purple while the second type of gas turns it grey. Later the scientist injected the liquids to white mice, they died. It showed that both gases were very toxic. Hence when we are angry, we produce toxic gases. I still can recall a talk by a policeman who talked on Buddhism. He said that in ancient China, there was a case of a baby who was breastfed by an angry mother died because the milk contained toxin because of her anger.

According to western doctors, when a person is angry, the energy spent is the same as that of running 3000 metres. Hence an angry man who feel tired. Furthermore, his face will be green because of the toxic gas produced and his hands will be cold because of pure circulation of blood.

Hence be compassionate all the time and refrain from anger and your liver will be in tiptop condition.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A card trick to share with readers

I like to watch magic shows. This evening I learnt a card trick taught by a magician in the show. I shall share it with readers of this blog.

Card Magic [Guessing the card picked by the audience]

You will need 9 cards for this trick.

1 Reshuffle the 9 cards in front of the audience.
2 Ask him to choose a card, memorise it and put it on top of your stack of 8 remaining cards.
3 After he has placed his chosen card on the top of your stack, draw the lowest card and place it on top of his card.
4 Tell the audience that you are going to reshuffle the card.
5 Place the first card on the table, then place the next card on top of it. Do so until five cards have been placed this way.
6 Put the remaining cards on top of the stack of five cards on the table.
7 Again repeat step 5 and 6.
8 Now, place the first card on the table again, then the second card until the fourth card. Then place the remaining cards on top of the stack of 4 cards on the table.
9 The seventh card from the reshuffled stack is your audience's card. You can throw one card at a time and when it comes to the seventh card, ask the audience whether this is his chosen card.

I have tried the trick several times and it works.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mum let me rest for a day

I was living in a fishing village when I was small. My dad was a fishmonger who would cycle to the housing estates to sell his fish and prawns. At that time, I was given only five cents per day for my breakfast which was a plate of fried mee. I would wait for the canteen man to finish frying his noodle before I dared to buy a plate from him. It had to part with my five cents when I got my food.

To help out the family, my mum would prepare jelly for me to sell in the village. It went on until I had to sit for my LCE (Lower Certificate of Education). On the eve of the exam, I begged my mum to allow me not to sell the jelly so that I had some time to prepare for the exam. She reluctantly agreed. Imagine how precious the time was when I used it to increase my chances of passing the exam. Luckily I passed and was promoted to Form 4.

Come to think of it. I really envy modern day kids who have all the time to themselves, yet they spend it playing computer games or fooling around when they should be studying.

Friday, March 12, 2010

How to score in 1119 English in Malaysia

In Malaysia, the Form 5 students will sit for an English paper consisting of a Directed Writing and Continuous Writing as part of written work. The students will get two grades, one for English and for 1119 English.

The second grade depends heavily on Continuous Writing. To score in this section, my advice to students is write pick a title that enables you to write a story. The reason is to attract the examiner to read your story, you must make it interesting and to show your good command of the language, you must show you wide vocabulary and the apt use of words to convey whatever you want to tell the readers.

Grade A essays must be interesting in the story line, written in varied sentences, with a wide vocabulary and grammatically correct most of the time.

For students who want to score in 1119 English, you need to read a lot. Write frequently and study the sentences written by good writers.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My effort paid off

Today the Education Ministry announced the results of SPM for 2009. One of the students I smsed to told me that she got an A+ for Malay. She was among the six students whom I coached as a tutor.

She was with me for three years from Form 3 to Form 5. All the students who are under me will have a strong grounding in grammar and vocabulary. I give them ample exercises too to make sure they are ready for the battle in the exam hall.

My effort paid off today when the leader told me that all of them obtain an 'A' for Malay.

Congratulations to all my students who scored and passed with good results.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On 'menasihati' and 'menasihatkan'

For too long, the use of 'menasihatkan' has been rampant in Malay in writing and in print. I have always told my students that more often than not, 'menasihati' is to be used because it should be followed by a person. Hence you say 'Saya menasihati adik agar menjauhi dadah.' [I advised my brother to stay away from drugs.]

If you want to use 'menasihatkan', then you have to have 'perkara' or some matter after it. For example, you can write a sentence such as the one below:
Saya menasihatkan cara-cara belajar dengan berkesan kepada Ali. [I advised Ali on ways to study effectively.] Notice that 'cara-cara belajar dengan berkesan' which is 'perkara' (matter) is used after 'menasihatkan'.

It will be grammatically wrong to write 'Saya menasihatkan Ali agar tidak merokok.' [I advised Ali against smoking.] Instead, write it as 'Saya menasihati Ali agar tidak merokok.'

From January this year, two teachers namely Cikgu Ghalib Yunus and Dr Ghazali Lateh have been writing about the wrong usage of Malay words in Minda and Skor, both suppliments of Straits Times on Tuesdays and Wednesdays respectively. Teachers and students should read about them to learn how to use 'bahasa baku' (standard Malay).
Well done, Cikgu Ghalib Yunus and Dr. Ghazali Lateh. Besides Awang Sariyan, you are the two championing the correct usage of the Malay language that I know.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The twins that I meet in class

In the course of my career as a teacher, I have the pleasure of teaching twins. As always, I will have to find a way to differentiate in order not to mistake one for the other.

Last year there was a pair of Indian boys in my Fifth Form Malay class. It was easier to recognise them because although both looked alike but they parted their hair on different sides, one on the side and the other on the right.

This year I have a pair of Indian girls in my Form 3 Malay class. I still have difficulty telling them apart because I have yet to spot the difference in features to differentiate them.

Usually, their language achievement differs as one will be better than the other although they are identical twins.

Monday, March 8, 2010

I like changes once in a while.

We like changes. For example, we don't want to wear the same dress day in and day out until it is the uniform that we have to put on.

I notice that my wife will change the position of things she has put after some time. This is yet another example that we like changes.

From this year onwards, all Form 1 and Form 4 students in Malaysia will have to study a new set of literature components for English and Malay. As I am teaching both subjects as a tutor, I like the changes in contents. For so many years I have been telling the same stories, reading the same poems and dramas to my students. Sometimes, I found it boring to harp on the same cord. At least for now, I have a chance to them myself before I can discuss the contents with my students.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Never try more than twice

With the advent of computers, consumers depend heavily on them in their daily lives. Take banking as a example, we are allowed to do internet banking for our convenience. We can pay bills, transfer funds to other accounts and ever reload our mobile phones.

To do Internet banking, we are required to opt or ATM card. Having requesting a six-digit Internet PIN from an ATM, we can go to the bank's website to complete our Internet banking registration.

We need to remember our ID and password. The trouble is sometimes we simply cannot recall our password on the spot and resort to guessing. That's when we render our Internet banking account being deactivated. From experience, I know that we can only tried twice for the password. The third time trial with wrong password will make our account inaccessible until we phone the bank to reset it for us.

Hence, whenever you find that you have entered th wrong password, try another time and stop. Try the next day or refer to the correct one by getting it from where you hid it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

How to find data easily from many files

MS Word only allow us to find words in a single file. However if we want to find different things from other files, we have to open them to do so.

One way of solving the above problem is to put all the files together and give it a name. Now, we can open this long file and the one we are working in. To find things we open the long file and copy them to the one we are working on.

I put all past year questions in a single file and if I want to find questions on nouns then it is easy for me to access it because I won't know from which year I should locate it.

So much for an idea to find words or items we want in Word documents.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Paper fans anyone?

Today in the mid of my Malay lessons, the electricity was cut off due to some short-circuiting which could not be repaird straight away. It was terribly hot in the room with 13 of my Form 1 students complaining of the heat.

Then one girl started to fold a fan using her A4 writing paper. As it was a good idea I gave everyone a piece of A4 paper and they learnt how to fold a fan from the girl. At least by waving the fan in front of them, they could tolerate the heat. As for me, I also used one of the fans made by the girl.

Sometimes, dealing with a situation such as this calls for innovation and the girl was really innovative.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How to cram many books into a book shelf

When I had to forgo one cupboard, I was left with no choice but to throw away about 250 books. Even that I still the spaces in the bookshelves insuffient for my books. Later I thought of an idea of economise space. What I did was to place those books which I will not be referencing at the book. I could place four books back to back in this way and had enough to place a row of books on the front.

If you ever have too many books to be put into limited spaces in the bookshelves, use the above method.

So much for cramming books into limited spaces in the bookshelves.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

For Lack of Space

Being a apartment dweller, space economy is of utmost importance. I realized ever since I moved into my condominium. I have too many books and too few racks or cupboards to keep them. As I buy more and more books, I have to dispose of old and outdated books which I bought for my English and Malay lessons.

This afternoon, I got rid of nearly 250 books because I shifted books from three shelves into two. I think that is the price one has to pay for opting to live in a high-rise unit with about 850 square feet space to move around.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Playing half-completed downloaded avi files

In my earlier post, I told readers how to play partial movie files. In this post, I would to share with readers another media player which is even better. It can play a movie avi file that is incomplete because we haven't finished downloading it.

I downloaded the trial version of NeuView Media Player from the Internet and had it installed. Then I tried to play one of my half-completed downloaded movie avi files. It worked. Those who would like to download this software can go to the following site to get it.

Happy watching half-completed downloaded avi files.

Monday, March 1, 2010

An innovative way to communicate

I watched with much interest the event of throwing mandarin oranges by girls on television on Yuan Xiao Jie or Chap Goh Mei. Modern girls surely have their innovative way of communicating with others even in a traditional occasion such as the Chap Goh Mei (the 15th night of Chinese New Year)

Before parting with their 'kam' (mandarin oranges), they have written their names and contact number on them with white correction liquid such as Liquid Paper. In so doing, the men who happen to collect the 'kam' thrown by them will be able to contact them and get to know them, and hopefully love will blossom.