Learning everyday

“You can do it. You don’t have to be nervous. Of course the teachers will be nice. You won’t fail, you did your best! “

I always tell myself before school starts. And I’m the teacher. LOL.

I get jitters when I teach my students. It’s a tricky thing balancing teaching with self directed learning, to impose discipline but still keep a friendly and safe learning environment, how to help students bring out their potential. Lucky for me, I have to worry about things like whether to smile or not to smile, to breathe or not to breathe too. AS IF I HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO WORRY ABOUT.

But mostly, I never want to be a complacent teacher.

You know, one of those middle age, middle management teachers that think they know everything because school graders listen to them.

” You mean you don’t know? How caann like dattt. I taught u yesterday. Thinkk, Just tryyy to use your brain. How? Just think la. THIIINNKKK

It’s easy to be lulled into this false sense of complacency when your content knowledge is much much superior then your young charges.

So I decided that I would try my hardest not to be that teacher

By learning something new everyday!

It’s tragic sometimes. Some days I don’t have anything interesting other than being a really attentive student and learn in class.

I learn to observe more when I teach, and just last week, I took everyone out 10 mins earlier just to get them KOI bubble tea. #NOTbecauseIwascravingforsome Well maybe that played a tiiinyyy role but student morale was low and they needed a perk me up. I would have never done that before, but I figured, sometimes my kids need me to bend the rules a little so that I can just listen.

But more than that, I’m learning to push myself to pick up new things!

Like floating yoga

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 1.57.12 PM.png

or not sleeping during ying yoga class. Sometimes I would focus and think about how great I am at meditating, wow this is easy, and then the next think I know, I wake up and it’s all been a dream. HEH.

I picked up body pump and pretty much stopped cheating during the chest and arms exercises, mmm, *most times

A little bit of TRX too but mostly just to swing around.

And I even tried this skipping class that I ended up in tears.

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 2.04.07 PM.png

#nocoordination #meetsgaranginstructor

But I still turned up the next week. And I’m pretty damn proud of myself for turning up. I still sucked, but I turned up.

I learned that I needed space after instructions to try it out, to fail many many many times before getting it. I learned that I’m not flexible but I’m working on it. I learned that I still have no coordination, not working on that one because I’ve accepted that I’m pretty much a klutz on two legs #sisredha.

Images of me scolding my kids when they can’t complete the square or factorise (after teaching them once) would fill my brain and I feel so bad!

I can’t think of anything else than can make me empathise more than putting myself into new and different shoes everyday and making it work.

I learn that I need patient teachers, but I work best with demanding teachers that just pushes me, sort of the same way I approach teaching.

And I learn that not everyone respond the same way so differentiated instructions are important.

I always hope that I never lose this spirit of learning, Insyallah and may this make me a better teacher everyday.

 

 

Advertisements

Finding Mr Meow

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 7.32.23 AM.png
Ahmoo and I, we’re just thankful 🙂

If you were to meet me 3-4 years ago, you’d probably not recognise the me now.

Maybe the hardware has not changed much (HAHAHA, tell that to my expanding waistline! But I digress)

Internally, I feel that I’ve gotten through several difficult metamorphosis to get to where I am here, right now.

Years ago, when I lost a dear friend, I questioned a lot of things.

My faith took a hard hit.

Because… how could a healthy (national sports athlete, organic-hippy-tree-hugger-vegan-god-stop-killing-vegetables-already) 21 year old die of cancer? It doesn’t make any sense, incomprehensible, you can’t put two and two and get 10.

Because.. how could I be surrounded amongst nice people, people who worshipped the ground I walked on, and still feel so.. alone.

Because.. why do I need God when I’m young, healthy, happy.

Mr Meow came into my life when the very foundation I stood on was shaking.

And he steadied me. He steadies me.

This rock of a human being, so incredible rooted in his humility and sense of self. He complements my erratic restlessness with a calm disposition I could only helplessly admire. Juxtaposes my insecurities with strong values. This Pulsar riding, Kopitiam coffee drinking, selipar Jepun wearing, kind hearted man has taught me so much, I’m humbled by his presence.

So yes girls, a strong woman can run her life but it takes a stronger one to recognise and embrace help; despite that strong backbone and solid head above her shoulders.

Find someone that comprehends that, and stands still to be your pillar to lean on and perfectly knows that you can just hold on for a little while.

Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 7.36.57 AM.png

Thank you for everything.

May you always be in His grace sayang.

I’m not sick!

I’m healthy by 21st century standards

What I mean is that I work out (or try to) at least 3-4 times a week

I LOVE GREEN JUICE so I make mine green with minimum fruits, more vegetables

I sleep 7 hours a day and have an extreme case of dis-insomnia. It’s sort of insomnia in the opposite. The moment my head hit the bed, I’m asleep. Mr Law who?

My biggest flaw is that I always lend a hand to people around me by finishing their snacks for them. I mean, I subscribe to a no wastage policy so of course I’m glad to help, yes pass on those chocolates this way thnxbye.

But these past months, I’ve been so sick, even Mr Law forced me to take out one insurance after another. Probably waiting for me to croak so he can cash out 😛 

HAHAHA I KID. I KID. not funny, i know.

But looking around NIE with fellow snivelling noses, I know I’ve found my tribe: the sicklies.

I hope we all have the patience to endure what Allah swt has tested us with. May this be His way of cleansing our soul and removing our sins. We can all do our best to take care of our bodies, but He gives and takes and we truly belong to Him.

 

 

Mmm, who is this girl beside me?

These past few weeks, Toybots have been so generous. Overly so. She offers to do my share of the household chores, buys me things at random..

“Its okay, Angah, I can help you do the dishes”

“Do you want anything from yew tee”

“Can I help you flush the toilet when you’re done”

Ho shootsy bootsy. 

Is it too late for me to renounce my sisterhood with her? 

Hahaha.

I waited and waited for her to tell me where all this stems from guys..

So before long, she broached the topic of needing me to sponsor her tricity exchange trip.

Well, she beat about the bush long enough the bush is probably dead by now.

And that got me thinking about a couple of things. Toybots and I, we not only look similar,

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 10.06.55 PM.png
Uncanny similarities. I probably paid for this trip too, pfft.

 Her face is a photocopy of mine.

but growing up, I had a hard time asking for money too. Not that my parents were draconian about it, but because I knew how hard money came by and I never would want to put additional burden on them.

I remember the trips I had to miss or the occasions I felt envious of my friends when they wore  clothes that weren’t a hand me down. When friends depended on their parents for extra pocket money for luxuries like watching a movie, I would work selling kueh at the market for it.

I remember that time is AC when I was given the opportunity to exchange at Osaka but the trip was marketed as “economical” when its teethering at $5K.

Most of all, I never want Toybots to feel that way. She is the gem of my heart; much capable and smarter than I could ever be. I was always hard on her because she has so much potential and she is starting out with much more resources than I could ever ask for when I was her age. She makes me proud every year with her countless awards and just how consistent she is in getting As in her academics. And this trip, she was offered one because she was/is (hard to keep track of this woman!) the Vice President of SP student body.

 

Of course I gave her the money.

But the next time she’s being ultra nice,

I’m gonna ask

“Mmm, so who is this girl beside me”

 

Saving money

Always have intention. Nawaitu itu penting. Lol.

Anyway, some of my friends have asked me how I’m not that broke in light of house payments. So I’ve noted them down and this serves as a reminder to myself to just in case I fall into the abyss of my spendthrift youth.

Okay, so I started having a money detox when I began officially working in August last year.

Prior  to that, money was just paper, waiting to be exchanged for Starbucks, plane rides and eating out. The last few years in Uni, I could count the amount of home cooked meals I had with my fingers. It was a jab at the “I’m independent” notion I wanted to shove down my parents’ throats. Thank god they survived.

When I began to have a solid income, I decided that I would spend less than what I would make on the day through the side jobs, keeping the $2.4k ++ intact.

For example, I taught tuition after work every weekday, and depending on the classes, I would earn between $40-$75 daily. That meant that my expenses (including transport, food, hp bill of $100/30 days, gym membership of $99/30days) must all fall under the amount. If for some reason I had to call in sick for that day, I’d limit food and walk rather than train/bus. Weekends were harder because even though I would bring home slightly over $200 on a Saturday, the hangout with family and hey-let’s-ask-Angah-to-belanja evenings would put me in the Red zone at times. I learned after that it was ok to share the bill *glares at Along*. Sundays are my lowest earning days so it was easy to follow a strict budget when you go out because you know that you can’t spend more than you make (or at least your conditioned brain thinks you make).

With the salary, I would give 1k to my parents for tolerating the pain I’ve inflicted to them over the years and save the rest. I go crazy on birthdays and festivities.

I try to follow the same rule now too, but it gets tighter because for a couple of months recently, the entire $2.4k was diverted into house payments. I gave my parents $500 instead of $1k and was proud to say that I could still save around $50 a month! My highest was in April at $52.08 *beams* Alhamdulilah!

So my theory with money is this: If the duit is Halal and you are using your money for good, you give some to your parents for Berkat, Insyallah, duit mesti ada.

Importantly, these rose tinted glasses I’m wearing, well they always tell me that I have money. And feeling like you have money sure beats the gloom of not having any!

 

Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 2.37.13 PM.png

Gonna be mine and Fazal’s in 6 months Insyallah *squeals* 

Well, and OCBC but whose looking at that.

 

My expanding family

Walking around Taipei, Mr Law saw someone sitting fat and heavy on the racks.

I read his mind immediately.

“No, no. It’s too expensive for a soft toy,” I told him. 

Just for form la cos inside my heart, everything was yearning towards it. Small and pudgy with horns to bite at night, hehe, it’s everything you would want in a plushie.

I was saying no, but was willing to steal from a child for it guys!

We brought him up Taipei 101, people watched and even had his first flight home. Truly a mama’s boy this one!

Screen Shot 2017-07-30 at 10.39.04 PM.png

Welcome home, Mr Rhino. You, Ah Moo, Twinkleboobs, you guys complete my life.

You guys are the testament of Mr Law’s courage, dedication and hard work. I wouldn’t be here right now with all of you if Mr Law wasn’t who he is.

Screen Shot 2017-07-30 at 10.37.26 PM.png

 

How do you know?

Me: I don’t know. How do YOU know?

A: Sometimes when you know, you just know. It should be easy. It shouldn’t be like work.

Me: It’s never been easy. Well there are moments when it is. It tides away all the uneasiness always lurking beneath the surface. But its a lot of hardwork. So I don’t know. I’m scared.