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Friday, October 28, 2011

101 Survival Tips: Practical Teacher, IPSAHAN’S experience {Part 1}

I am lucky because I was selected to be in TESL Twinning Programme in which I experienced both campus life (in UPSI) and in Teaching Institute (IPSAH, Kedah). To be honest, these two places are totally different. In my degree programme, our teaching practical is managed by our teaching institute (in my case , IPSAH). Sharmila was my teaching partner in  an all girls school (nama dirahsiakan). To be honest, my first week was tiring and I could tell you most of my classmates (we were living on the same floor) slept almost all noon and evening. We were exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. However, I am lucky that my mentor teacher is very helpful and my supervisor is super cool! There was once I was nearly crying because I was relieved that I met my bed to sleep(*drama queen) . Talking to more than 80 students in a day can be tiring (* another sign of drama queen. I wonder why I don't make it to Hollywood! LOL).

As I reminiscing my experience as a practical teacher, I was thinking that there are several tips that I could share, although you might experience different things from me. In this post, let’s talk about your first day or week at school. Hope that this would help you a lot!

1.     1) Sleep early
Sleep early so that you could wake up earlier. I could tell you that my day start at 4.30 am- 5.00 am EVERY DAY for 3 months. In case that you are afraid you can’t sleep early, jog for 2 km at the day before. You would fall asleep easily. Or simply do anything that make you fall asleep. Why do we need to sleep early? Believe me that you need that 7-8 hours sleep per day because GOD knows what would you go through in the next day. You need you energy and sometimes after the first week you would YEARN that 7-8 hours sleep. Unless if you are used to the sleepless night and still could survive for the next day. 

2.     2) Come early to school.
You have to be there starting from the first bell rings. Hey, who would like  a teacher who always come late to school? And this is important for the Principal, Guru Kanan and Guru Pembimbing’s first impression.

3.     3) Murah Senyuman J
E    Even though that you are nervous, and you are shaking like there is an earth quake in the school office, remind yourself that it is going to be OK, and you would be ‘in the school family’ during your practical, that the situation would be normal soon. Sikap mesra membuatkan orang senang bekerja dengan kita, honestly. Tapi, jangan pula terlebih mesra till the teachers think that you are a schizo. lol

4.      4) Bring all the documents, lesson plan book, surat pengenalan diri.
Only ONE reminder-Pack earlier, a day before your practical. You don’t want to drive all the way to your dorm just to pick up a paper named ‘Surat Pengenalan Diri’.

5.      5) Lesson Plan Book, Form(s), Port Folio.
If you are IPG students, I believe that you are familiar with these things, and believe me, although it looks simple, yet you have to prepare a lot of things and you would be SUPER BUSY during your practical. Wrap your lesson plan book and file earlier, fill all the forms in the book and port folio. Before you start your practical semester, don’t forget to snap a latest passport photo coz it would be definitely needed.

6.       6) Time Table
This is totally depending on your luck. Sharmila and I are separated; I had Morning session and Sharmila had afternoon Session. Most of these things are already pre determined by the Guru Kanan and you could say nothing. In case that you don’t get the same session with your partner, and you can’t share transport; JUST PREPARE WITH PLAN B. 

The bawah garisan  bottom line is just be well-prepared. Teaching practical can be your worst nightmare or could be the sweetest memory ever!!! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Book Review; Freakonomics

Title: Freakonomics
Writers: Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
Total Pages: 315 (including bonus and index)
Prices: I don't know
Duration of reading: Approximately 1 week
Rating: 4.5 stars

I found out that I am quite slow to finish this book as it happened that in the very same week I need to deal with some other personal matters. This copy of Freakonomics is borrowed from my friend, Darick Lim, in which he bought this book while he was studying in Texas. 

This book is for real would make you as a mechanical page-turner. As it claims that it is from the perspective of 'a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything', freakonomics successfully makes me dazzle of every detail that is written by the writers. Generally, each chapter would talk about different issues, ranging from the similarities of schoolteachers and sumo wrestler, to the choice of babies names that reflects the parents. It is amazing on how the book is well written and chronologically explains the issues. This book is not only meant for business but it is meant for everyone and it is a must read book. 

Besides that, I am intrigued by some of the issues especially how Levitt explained on the decreased number of crimes that is due to legalized abortion. As Dubner claims in the bonus chapter, Levitt's paper that links 'abortion to a drop in crime has made more noise than the rest combined'. In my opinion, in dealing with 'the noise' there are several things that we need to consider before we agree with Levitt. First is about theological issues which I believe that most religions would go against abortion if the pregnancy is not hamrful for both baby and the mother. Second, we need to deal of ethics and morale issues. 

The only reason that I don;t give this book a 5 stars is because I found that the book is a bit confusing in Chapter 2; "How is the Ku Klux Klan like a group of real-estate agents?". It probably due to my knowledge background that I don't know what is Ku Klux Klan and as I am not living in the U.S.A, I am nit aware what are the impacts of Ku Klux Klan. However, this is easily solved as I am always well-equipt with Mr Google.

I would absolutely recommend my readers to read this book. As for me, I would probably purchase a copy of Freakonomics for my own book collection and definitely would purchase their second book entitled 'Super Freakonomics'. Happy reading everyone!

Monday, October 24, 2011


In case, if you are wondering, YES, I am one of the 201 B.Ed TESL graduates from the 'Program Berkemban Berkembar B.Ed TESL Kerjasama IPGM dan Universiti Tempatan'. Until now, we don't have our postings whereas my seniors had their postings like a month after they finished the degree course. 6 years ago, I never thought that I would be unemployed for 5 months. I had my life well-planned and I even dreamed of paying my own ride and bills by this month. To be honest, I am avoiding this issue to be discussed in every family gathering. Even my 5 years old nephew would ask 'When will you get your job? I want my McDonald Kids Meal! and I want my rabbit', and if I could, and if I would, I wanna answer him ' Well, sayang, I don't even have my own money to buy a deodorant'. My savings are gone and we keep waiting for something with uncertainties. I don't get any part time jobs because no one wanna employ for a pre-service government servant who might be called at any time, anywhere. And yes, in case if you are wondering, I am whining! Reports and news show that Malaysia are lack of English teacher. There are 201 of us who are fresh and eager to teach! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

101 Survival Tips; Organizing your desk (For IPSAHAN)

I am not the most organized person in the world, but hey, who don't love their working or living space to be spacious, neat, well-organized, clean and tidy? While I was living in IPSAH'S dorm, I was one of the unlucky students, because our block had not been renovated. So, we lived in a 'pre-historic' old dormitory which our desk didn't have any shelves or anything to put our things on. Therefore, I would like to share with you some of my dorm pictures that I had taken earlier while I was in SP. I hope that this post could help you to organize your work space if you have a very tight budget,

This is my desk.
As you can see at the two pictures below, I am using boxes that I bought for RM1 from Koperasi IPSAH. This idea is derived from my friend, Raynur who claimed that organizing with recycled box is 'CARA HIDUP YANG ZUHUD' . lol. By the way, this storage system is suitable to replace shelves for things that you always needed. Meanwhile boxes with lids are meant for things that you seldom needed.

I miss the dorm so much. This was where I lived and grown up. Despite of the 'kedaifan', I really enjoyed living in the dorm with my classmates.

Katil Berpuaka

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Making The Most of Being Jobless-Origami Crane Mobile {Part 3}

Testing my unpolished photography skill

Love them!
For God sake, I spent 12 hours doing this origami crane mobile. At first, I was doing them (without the beads) with common thread that we use to sew our clothes. It happened that the strings strangled among each other while I was hanging the crane. I was to the extent of giving up, but then my mum suggest that I should use fishing rope to tie the cranes, and I added some beads to make it beautiful, and tied them to an unused basket that we get in Malaysian version of dollar store. I placed the basket upside down so that it had a lantern-like shape for me to tie the strings. TADAA!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Intelligent is a new sexayyy!!!

Maybe most of you doesn't know who is Dr. Farish A. Noor. He is a historian, a Malaysian and a writer. Truly, I love his provocative writings. At the same time, he is handsome in a way that I can't explain. I guess his intelligence is the X-Factor. Well, I have several friends who read his book. One of our faves is "What Your Teacher Didn't Tell You". Well, accidently most of my friends define my standard based on Dr. Farish due to my out-of-nowhere reactions and big grin when I talked about him. LOL


So, any Dr-Farish-wannabe in KK! I don't mind to date you! BWAHAHAHA

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Making The Most of Being Jobless {Part 2}

'Graduated' from these in 3 weeks.
Currently, I am reading this.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Peace and Luck...

My First Crane Mobile

Cranes are symbol of peace and luck. Hope that I would find the 'piece' for a peace in my heart, and lots of luck too.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bookmark Problem Solved!

So that, the other day I made a status in my Facebook, telling that I don't like the idea of using bookmark while reading (even though I lobe to make them and give them to friends) because;

1) I keep losing them, it keeps falling down from the pages.
2) I keep losing the page where I stop, and it is ineffective.

I received different opinions from my friends.

So, for years, I keep folding a crease on the page where I stopped reading (or where I fell asleep!). My books are always dogeared.

Dogeared Burgess' favourite book.

The Enemy in the Blanket (Direct translation of Musuh Dalam Selimut-The third  part of Malayan Trilogy)

Then, I found the idea of cutting the edge of an envelope so that I could tuck in the page where I stopped. I really hope that this bookmark would not fall down from the page. However, the cons of this bookmark is it is made from thin paper and I found that it is difficult to open the edge everytime I want to mark the last page where I stopped reading.

The edge of the envelope that I cut to be a bookmark.
Then, I had the idea of googling the origami bookmark. I found that it is easy, interesting and elegant and cost u not more than 5 cents (perhaps). I found several ideas and start to fold my own bookmarks. These bookmarks are awesome because;

1) It tucks easily into the page as it is made from normal paper, but folded several time into thick folds.
2) It is cheap, elegant, beautiful and simply, I love Japanese art.
3) I would not losing my bookmark easily.

These are several bookmarks that I folded myself and I include the link that provide you with videos and instructions.

Triangle Bookmark

You could check this at here

The Mark of Love

Well, this one seems tedious to be done, but it looks beautiful at the end.

Well, you could check Fold Something Website for the instructions and videos. Additionally, this guy is cool, he has how own channel Youtube that consists of many origami instructions.

Bookmark Problem Solved! :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

My 'atek' jatuh longkang.

So that all my nephews and nieces called me 'Kakak Ella' instead of Aunty Ella. I am quite closed to Arif who named himself 'atek' (baby talk) or adik means younger brother. Something funny but sad had happened to him recently...He felt down into the drain while cycling.


After (kena rasuah dengan oreo)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Losing Track

I am kinda losing track on what I have read this year. So here we go, the list of books that I had finished reading. I am still unprepared to publish any of my book reviews.

1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
2. Tiga Kali Seminggu by Faisal Tehrani
3. Cipta Syurga Hati by Dr. HM Tuah
4. Bumi Cinta by Habiburrahman El Shirazy
5. The Malayan Trilogy by Anthony Burgess
6. Love's Shadow by Ada Leverson
7. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
8. The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
9. Love The One You're With by Emily Giffin

Just added to my loot since there are big discounts in Harris and I received my first part time salary.

1. High Fedility by Nick Hornby (Currently reading)
2. A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro
3. Evening is The Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan.

List of books that have not been read but beautifully displayed on my shelf.

(I bought these books while I was in Peninsular. I found that they interesting but I just cant squeeze in any moment to read them while I was very busy with study and assignments.)

1. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
2. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
3. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (Too much Dickens?)
4. The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope
5. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
6. The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams
7. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
8. How To Get from Where You Are to Where You Want To Be by Jack Canfield

Happy Reading To Me :)