Friday, September 24, 2010

The Flashback and Its Implications on the Not So Distant Future

I had this conversation with a friend of mine a few days ago and I really wanted to blog about it the moment I came back but the problem was that I had exams and I really, really needed to study. Either way, I found time to simply rant with no worries (yet) today and decided to just go with that..So, to keep it short the conversation was about internship and teaching. For those who don't know or have forgotten about it, I am currently pursuing (I never did understand why we use that verb) a degree in English Language.

     I am in no way complaining about the course that I am taking but one thing that I would like to gripe about is how focused everyone seems to think that teaching is the only logical choice after graduating. Surely that is not the only choice for us...surely there are something else that we can do. I have to admit that when I filled in that form, I wasn't expecting myself to be a teacher and that view has not change since then. I have nothing against the profession of teaching but I just can't see myself as Master Yoda to some young padawan because of certain reasons. Here are the few reasons listed below. But before I continue on please excuse me for a moment...
     *Went to check dictionary* It seems that according to "The Little Oxford Dictionary", the verb "teach" is to give information, instruction, or training to (person) or about (subject, skill); practise this as a profession; advocate as moral etc. principle. To my understanding, to teach is to provide information while at the same time encourage and instil positive moral values in the students. 
     So now that we have the definition of teaching covered, let's move on to my tiny phobia towards teaching gained from my experiences with teachers.

Teaching = obsession in getting good image garnered from students' results
I don't know about the rest of the population but this seems to be especially true for students who are getting ready for their major exams (read; UPSR, PMR, SPM, STPM) and it seems to me like the teachers are more obsessed than the students themselves in getting good grades (translated; A1). They are so obsessed to the point that the moment they enter the class, they (the teachers) starts droning on and on about the subject, vomiting facts and don't really care if the students understand what they are 'teaching'. I guess, it's partially the society's fault for being so grade-oriented but I feel that the most important part about teaching is to understand the student's predicament and try to teach according to the student's ability and not simply teach by regurgitating every single thing to the walls. The only reason they are so obsessed about the grades are not because they care for the students; which incidentally wouldn't be so bad if it were true, but it's simply because they want to create a good image for themselves and the school. Doesn't that seem a bit selfish to you? I am afraid that if I do decide to teach one day, I would end up being a teacher like that and I feel that if I am that kind of teacher I will not only be doing wrong to myself but to the students as well. This is not teaching. This is more like listening to a tape with no pause or rewind button who cares only about its reputation... 

Teaching = easy job because you don't really need to care
Again, this is something that happens in my education life. These are the kind of teachers that go "Morning class, do whatever you want, Thank you class" and leave when their session is over. This is especially true for language teachers who seem to think that language is something that the students already know so they do not need to put in any effort in teaching the students. In my opinion, no matter what subject it is you're teaching you should never assume that the students are experts on the subject. If you are a teacher, aren't you hired to do your job? To teach? Do you feel proud of the salary that you get at the end of the month because if it had been me I don't think I can receive my salary because I hadn't been doing my job. It's teachers like these that give bad names to the profession which create a bad image in my mind whenever someone mentions teaching. 

Teaching = demand for impossible feat from your students
Here's how a typical scenario goes. The teacher goes into the class not doing his/her job every single day for the semester then BAM! exam is here and he/she ask questions that he/she has never taught before or didn't teach at all. Of course, some students are able to answer the questions thanks to tuition or their overly-genius brain but the rest are left gasping at the paper, staring blankly on as they try to sift through their dwindling memories to find out how to answer the question. This irritates me a lot when it happens to me. If you're the teacher then you should know what you should teach the students and what questions to set for the exam because that's what the curriculum specification is for. Sadly, that is not happening and I am freaking afraid that this might be what I will morph into if I do become a teacher. I do not want to hold such a big responsibility in manoeuvring a kid's's stressful!!
     Enough bashing on the teachers...let's move on to the students...I may have been unfairly portraying the teachers since I do not have the experience of being one but since I do have a whole lot of experience of being a student I can truthfully say that the biggest fear I have towards teaching are the students.

Students who don't care
I am guilty of being this type of student; the ones who don't care and never pay attention to what the teachers are saying in front of the class. That is, until I go on to my tertiary education. Anyways, I have friends who are still like that and whenever we do any group discussion in preparations for an exam, my friends will be asking me questions that they should know if they had been paying attention in class or reading the books. And it annoys me to death because I feel like they should know this and if they care at all they should have done their homework instead of relying on me. Even after I patiently try to explain the answer to the question there's no thank you and it's not even over. They continue on to demand (seriously, they do demand) for an example which further infuriates me. It left me thinking how the heck did they manage to get themselves up to this point. 
     This is the product of today's education. The lack of effort to think for themselves and the total dependence to someone else for answers. Seeing as how annoyed I get just from 'discussing' with my friends for exams, I don't really think I can handle teaching a class of students who are exact replicas of these typical students who don't care. Furthermore, I really cannot stand people who can't be bothered to think before they ask questions. It is up to this point that I suddenly realise, the teachers that I had the misfortune to encounter may have been like that because of the students. I'm pretty sure they were once young and idealistic and really do have the ambition in teaching the students. But because the students themselves do not listen in class due to their dependence on tuition, the teachers may have become jaded and soon stopped caring. Then again, they may have been like that all along...
     By now, you can probably tell that there are two, maybe three kinds of teachers in the world. The first kind are the teachers who are obsessed with themselves (i.e. teaching to get good results in order to gain good reputation), the second kind are the teachers who simply don't care what happens to their students, and the third and the rare kind are the teachers who actually do teach and do care. Throughout the whole course of my education life up to this point, I have to say out of ten teachers there are only one to two who really do teach; teach in the sense as stated in the dictionary. Seeing as the 'bad' ones never really set a good impression on me I finally develop this prejudice against the teaching profession. My mom has been enthusiastically encouraging me to try taking up the profession and after giving much thought I might actually consider teaching for my industrial training just to see how I handle it and whether or not I might change my mind about it. Until then, there's still time for me to float around and play with other ideas I have about the future...Nothing is set in stone anyway so I might as well continue to take my time in making my decision...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Morning Brain

My mom always tells me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Although I know this for a fact, I seldom practice it because I find it extremely difficult to swallow solid food early in the morning. However, being the obedient girl that I am, I got a gigantic box of cereal a few days ago which could last me a lifetime if I don't start having breakfast daily.

So this morning I finally boiled some water, make some milo and cracked open the big box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes (Made from real corn it says on the box...). While I was munching away with nothing better to do I decided to read the cereal box. Lo and behold something caught my attention. I'm pretty sure most of the plebeians eat cereal for breakfast and maybe occasionally for supper as well. So why did they put 'breakfast cereal' on the box? Do we actually have a dinner cereal or lunch cereal that I do not know about? If we do well sign me up, I want one!! brain just doesn't work least I'm blogging, right? XD

Pointless, pointless thing

Lookie!! A new post!! I kid you not...La dee da~
     Anyways, I just realised I have been neglecting my poor blog for one whole month when I switched on Mozilla for a change...Oops...I've probably lost my readers if there were any to even begin with...
     In case you are curious (really??!!), I have officially crossed over to the dark side and switched to Google Chrome for a change. As a result, I have been religiously ignoring my blog even though it's niggling at the back of my head. Lack of inspiration, no time, lazy to type, assignments...take your pick. So why blog again? Because I've finished my individual assignment and I have nothing better to do.
     Things have been really crazy around the uni lately. People complaining left, right and centre. There's the thing about SRC elections, then there's the car park issue, then it's some exam issue and don't-know-don't-care issue. Feels like there's a season for everything here in Kampar. It's my second year now but seriously, I feel like my head is just as empty as the first year. I have forgotten most of my phonetics stuff. Ditto my History of English Language. Oh well, out with the old in with the new right??
     To be honest, I have kind of forgotten how to write properly. So the first post after such a long break might look really wobbly because my articulation seems to have taken a leave to go rust and rot on the sidewalk. I only found it curled up near the rubbish bin this afternoon so yeah, give it some time and it will be all spanking new again... 
     That's about it, I guess. Since SRC is over I don't really think my take on the issue will be that timely. Nor would my views on the parking issue be all that welcoming...I think I'll just laze around until I find something to blog about. Until then, cheers! 

PS. Urgh..the internet connection is killing me...It keeps dying on me. I'll be lucky if this ended up online. Sigh~

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Three Wise Monkeys

     Would it be naive of me if I wish I had not known so much? Would it be silly of me if I wish I could close my ears and pretend not to notice sometimes? Would it be alright if I lie here and forget this ever exist? If, if, if, and only ifs.
     Sometimes I feel as if we are living in a haven. Secluded in a warm embrace, protected by our little bubble where nothing can ever hurt us. It is a world where everything is beautiful and peaceful. A place where I can safely wake up and be ensured that it is another day to look forward to and the sun is shining on my head. The sense of serenity and happiness would be so strong the black cloud will not be able to dampen it. 
     But when I wash my face and rub my eyes, I see it is all a dream. My little perfect world packed up so nicely in ribbons and pretty wrappings are gone. It is just like any other day once I open the newspapers. There is no peace, there is only chaos and fights over petty issues.  It is a world filled with secrets and lies.
      He said, she said. I wasn't there to hear him, neither was I there to hear her. Who to believe? Who to trust? Where to go at the end of the day? I don't think I want to hear all these anymore. These vindictive remarks and backstabbing is tiring me up. Does all this really mean so much to you that you will lie and scheme your way through it? Scheme all you want. Lie all you want. By all means, do whatever you please. But do not drag me into it. Do not place me into your plans because I am not like that.
     I do not want to live my life strategising my every move like it's a chessboard. The worst that can happen when you have been checkmate is to start the game all over again and learn from your mistakes but there is no take two in life. My life is not a battle game. He said, she said. How many more lies to cover up your lies? How many more chances do I need to give until I finally realise it's enough?
     I believed and I still want to believe that there is good in everyone but each day is making the belief thaw away. As the pinnacle of ice starts melting away, the beauty is gone and all I can see is a layer of grime where slugs crawl away spreading a thick layer of mucus. How long will this belief last? Will I eventually change into a person that I won't be able to recognise tomorrow because I do not want that to happen. I want to hold on to my childish belief. If things turn ugly my only consolation is that no matter how ugly the world is there is still a tiny glimmer of beauty and truth amidst all these chaos.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Of Dreams and Reality

     I woke up with a smile this morning. I had an extremely vivid dream last night and it was so amazing I didn't want to wake up. As I sit here trying to recall my dream, it feels like holding water with my hands because the memories are slowly leaving me. 
     I dreamt of having a party at a guard house in a shopping complex (I weird), I dreamt of colourful, Japanese looking decorations strewn across the walls, I dreamt of running up and down the steeping escalators with a bunch of faceless people as I giggled away but most important of all, I dreamt I went to the seaside. As I was dreaming of the seaside it felt so real I could practically feel the sand between my toes and rubbing against my heels as I run down along the waves holding my high heels. It was so real it's almost like I dreamt on HDTV with "sensor-feel" thrown in. 
     Funnily enough, the dream was so realistic there were knick knacks around the beach hidden underneath rocks left behind by previous patrons. It's not your typical plastic bags and polystyrene boxes that you will find at the seaside though. It's tiny porcelain houses, weird looking painted rocks and something else that I can't remember anymore.
     Sigh. I want to go to the beach. I want to feel real, soft, brown sand between my toes. I want to hear the waves as they rush back and forth hitting the sand and leaving behind tendrils of marks on them. I want to hear the breeze blowing in my ears and see the trees dancing like graceful dancers across a stage that follows a silent rhythm that no one knows. I want to look at the blue ocean melding into the sky where you can't point out where the horizon is and when you put your toes into the clear, blue water you can see your feet immersed in them. 

Bring me to the beach,
Where the sea is blue,
and the skies are too,
The waves so strong,
It can't be wrong,
To have you here,
with me so near,
To feel the sand,
It won't put a dent,
My heart, it's beating,
It's true, I'm not kidding,
Bring me to the beach,
Please, won't you, please?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bursting Bubbles

16th of April has come and gone. Nothing big happened; no fireworks, no big bang, no parties and thankfully no disaster happened. In fact; to many, me including, it is just like any other day. I toed my line over to the second decade last year and I reached the first year of my second decade on earth last Friday. 21 years ago, I was born and 21 years now I am still breathing.

Birthdays are never a big event for me nor for my family. I never did understand what all the big fuss was about. I hate attentions and I really don't think there's anything happy about birthdays. Birthdays has always reminded me of disappointment, lost hope and an end. 16 came and nothing was sweet about it. 21 is here but nothing is exciting about it. The only difference today compared to a few weeks ago is only an addition to a number and a license to vote. 

Someone wished me a good birthday and hope that I could chink off my cynicism. I'm sorry. I don't think I can manage that. I had to grow up early when I was young and cynicism comes with age. It can only grow and not die with age. 

On a happier note....this semester is about to end and no one is happier than me about it. This whole semester has been tiring. Busy with assignments, busy with exams, busy every moment of my life with something else altogether. Are those really excuses? Because sometimes I feel like they do not mean a thing and if I really want to and try really hard I could make time for myself. Only thing is, I am not trying hard enough and somewhere along the line I've given up trying.

I started out with Science and my first year in Arts is almost over. Looking back I am still not sure whether if I had made a correct choice. I still feel wistful when I think of my friends continuing on their journey but I am at the same time happy with what I am doing right now. Sure, Science was fun and frustrating most of the time but English is easier and not as relaxing as I thought. If only I could get the best of both world. 

It will be my second year next semester. Thinking about it is making me feel exhilarated and happy because for once I am getting the results I am hoping for. I don't feel that suffocating feeling I had anymore. I no longer dread entering the exam hall knowing that I might not be happy with what I have done. The only wish I made on my birthday is to promise myself to try it again one day when I am wiser. Next time, I will definitely not give up. Until then, I want to feel happy for a moment and not worry about tomorrow. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The End

I am now pronouncing the termination of my blog. I have been so busy that I cannot find time to update my blog as often as I want to anymore. Add to the fact that the only time that I have is now being spent in my hometown to get some alone time with my boyfriend I don't think I can juggle so much anymore. So...please don't bombard me with questions and demands for me to continue updating my post. Or anything about my boyfriend...Really sorry this have to be the end...

 know what's today's date or not, ha?? Need to write this down as a momentous moment in my life leh...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Picture of a Thousand Words

One of the interesting aspects of taking an English Language based course is the fact that you will be reading and analysing English Literature, be it recent or old. Mostly, old. I am in the midst of getting my assignment done and in a whim, I had chosen Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray to be analysed for my Introduction to English Literature. 

The first time I read it was when I was in my primary school years. Being young and innocent, I read it without really understanding the full idea of what exactly Wilde was saying. I remembered the story well and liked it very much then, even though my comprehension towards the story was not the way it is today. This childhood joy has continued on until I decided to revisit the story recently.

The reason why the story drew me when I was young was because I had find it interesting that a picture could turn ugly and old while the real person remain untainted by time. I had devoured everything mystical and magic then, so it really is unsurprising that I would find Picture of Dorian Gray enjoyable. My staple of books ranged from Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes to Enid Blyton's series. If it had any speck of magic in it, my nose will inevitably be buried under the book. Since Dorian Gray was a school library property, I had read it only once but the macabre facet to it remained indelible in my mind, never forgotten but never taken out to be reminisced. 

This year, 2010 marks the second time I have read the book and now that I have aged, I find it depressing and saddening to see how great a person's influence can be and how vanity can destroy a person. The joy that I had once a long time ago is now lost because I do not think I will be able to read the story ever again without feeling sorry for Dorian. The first time I read the book I had thought Dorian deserved his penance but now I am beginning to have second thoughts. I still think that Dorian had it coming but the blame should not rest fully on him, or should it? Whatever it is, the only thought that is going around my mind right now is just how much I wished I had chosen Lewis Caroll's Alice in Wonderland instead. Something light and whimsical without a morbid aftertaste. Sigh....

Monday, March 1, 2010

This Chap Go to May...

Quick note: For anyone who's interested in arts check out this site: Drawing for geeks! It's a collection of drawings done by random people. Pictures are out every Friday and the drawings are based on themes given beforehand. Some are really adorable looking, while others are cool. Nuff' said, go see if you're interested.

The Chinese New Year has finally come to an end (anyone tried the Yao Jia's How Tos?). Yesterday's Chap Goh Mei (did I spell that correctly?) passed by without my notice until I cycled by the lake in the afternoon. Hihihi...It seems like there's many single people looking for love in Kampar. I saw a few mandarin oranges floating in the to the single ladies and gentlemen out there, go to Westlake next time on Chap Goh Mei. Who knows...maybe you'll meet your love one there. 

I have been busy with assignments these few days but hopefully it will all come to an end by next week. Not much to talk about since I can't find any blog fodder. If there is something random, I'll keep everyone updated. Till then, toodles~

PS. How's your post CNY weight? Guess it's off to the gym for some people, eh?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright!

Welcome to another episode of "Yao Jia's How Tos". Today, we shall learn how to celebrate a wonderful celebration of Chinese New Year in a creative way. Before we begin, please be forewarned that all loss of wealth or damage to self is your own responsibility and the author will not be held responsible for them, thank you very much. 


1. Go around restaurants asking for "angpow" money after telling them you have been patrolling the area for robbers. 
I went to have "bak kut teh" for breakfast on Sunday just before heading to Kampar. Parked in front of the restaurant was a police car and the policemen were happily sitting in said car waiting for the taukeh to go ask them what seems to be the problem. Said policemen happily asked for "angpow" because they have been patrolling the area. Yesiree...our lovely authorities setting up good examples for the general public...

2. Find a dresser with a latch and knock your head on it.
It seems like my Sunday was an eventful one because I reached Kampar and was able to punctured my head on the edge of a latch while I was cleaning up my dresser. Slight bleeding aside, get ready to sleep the whole following Monday to wake up feeling like having a sledgehammer driving through your head. Wonderful experience, that is. Makes a good excuse to skip a working day, no?

3. Watch re-runs of old Stephen Chow movie and repeat the lines.
If hurting yourself or doing something illegal is not your cup of tea, you can always opt for a safer activity like this. Ensure that you have a good command of cantonese if you are repeating his lines although it is still fun bastardising the language. If you hate Stephen Chow's guts, well then go ahead and choose some other shows. What show is of no importance. It's what you do with it that counts. If Sesame Street rocks your boat, then knock yourself out. Sing-a-long with Ernie and Big Bird. 

4. Eat up all the mandarin oranges at home and arrange the skins on the floor into nice patterns.
If there's no mandarin orange at home, peanuts also works. Remember that patience is a virtue if you are doing this activity. If the grown ups ask you what you are doing, explain to them the intricate process of how an artist goes around redecorating a house. 

OK then, kids. That's it for today. Have fun and remember, you heard this first on Yao Jia's How tos!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Returns

Will post when I return from a short stint back to hometown. In the meantime, would like to wish everyone Happy Chinese New Year and to those who are not celebrating, have a happy holiday~

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Young Plants

Teeheehee...I'm going to let you in on a secret. Promise you won't laugh okay??

That's me in the picture (I'm on the top left with the mushroom head and glasses...). This was taken when I was in Standard 5. I remember the petty fights we used to have about the smallest, craziest things. I remember Mak Cik Ros, the fierce and scary looking canteen lady. I remember staying back at school together with everyone to cram for our UPSRs. I remember the white, tiny swings by the fence that we always rush over to when we reached the school...

Looking back now, it feels like all these happened a hundred years ago. Those were the carefree days. The days when we truly had no worries. We fought but we forget about them the next day. We cried but always comforted each other.This picture showed me the time when we were uncorrupted, when we were innocent (see! I was once innocent too...) and full of hopes towards the future.

It's amazing to see the powers of technology. I've lost contact with most of my primary school mates but because of this one photo that we shared was put up on Facebook, we found each other again. But now that we do have the means to communicate with each other, we realised that it may have been too late. There's not much to talk about except the past and what has happened to us. But it may be a start. The plants may have grown but that does not mean it has stop growing. Friends are our companions for life after all. So let's not allow the young plants to wilt away on its own!

Monday, January 25, 2010

What If....

....all that you know is actually just a figment of someone's imagination? I mean really, what if all the facts about history that you read is actually just a lie? Something someone wrote and the people of today assume to be true. 

Histories are in essence, stuff that has happen in the past and written today by professionals but seriously, there's no 400 year old people walking around so who's to know whether or not what is written in the history books today are true? For all we know, dinosaurs may not even exist. It could be some Neanderthal's school artwork left behind and millions of years later we dig it up and assume it's animals crawling around Earth a long, long time ago...If you hadn't read about dinosaurs in books, seen them on tv, accept them as a known fact, would you still believe this creatures once exist? There's no valid explanation right now how they ended up extinct so maybe my theory is correct. Dinosaurs are some random kid's homework forced onto them by Neanderthal teacher all across the globe millions of years ago.

Doesn't it seemed a bit facetious for us to only believe in things when it is backed by evidence? We think dinosaurs exist because archaeologists dug up a pile of bones and arrange them into this big, scary creature. If that were the case, does it mean we will believe in anything as long as there is massive, realistic looking prove lying around to back it up? 

Well then, I'll make my own history. I'll write stories about people of today who walk on their hands instead of their feet and about superheroes that fly around wearing a silly cape. Then I'll print out millions of copies of these stories and plant them underneath the ground all over the world. Millions of years later, the future generation will dig up the soil and find my stories. Then they will think the humans in the 21st century are weird creatures that can fly and walk using their hands. Of course, if I want to do that I need to first destroy all evidence of our existence and that would be a lot of work, won't it? Anyone care to join me on this crazy project??