My Teacher

Teaching is a noble job. It might not pay much and sometimes you might not even get paid for doing so. Every teacher I have met have always wanted the best for their students. They try their hardest to impart the knowledge that they have to empty-headed students who oftentimes have their heads in the cloud. Though some teachers might be better in explaining things than others, most have the right heart. Being on both sides of the coin, I can understand how a teacher feels when students lose the respect they have for their teacher after giving tuitions to some students and tutoring my siblings. It is because they do not have such high respect for their educators that they do not pay attention in class when the teacher is standing in front teaching. Making matters worse when they start doing other things such as eating, doing another teacher’s homework or talking. It is because of a lack of respect that students do not finish their work prior to attending class and a loss of respect for teachers leads to students speaking back and defying teachers. Apart from that, the lack of motivation to study can really demotivate a teacher which makes it hard for the teacher not to be biased when helping other students that are more interested in studying. However, that is not always the case. I, as a student can say that once a while, we do really forget about the work that is supposed to be done. Sometimes, we have too many homework that we do not have enough time to complete everything. Hence, we learn to prioritise the subjects that we are weak in or love doing. It is absolutely not because we don’t like the teacher that we do not do his/her work. It is simply because we know we can do well in the subject.

 

Ever since I was young, I have never been to tuition classes. Often times I feel quite isolated as everyone is attending tuition classes except me. It also did not give me the opportunity to make friends we students from other schools. In kindergarten and primary school, my mother was my teacher. Everyday, she would sit down with us for an hour to study and to help us with our homework. Regardless of how tired and busy she is, my mother was such a dedicated tutor that I can credit her for all the results that I achieve even after primary school. She not only taught me during that period of time but she also teaches me the smart way of studying and how to be independent and to plan my time wisely (I’m not very good at this). It is her who build such a strong foundation in me that in later years, I find it not very difficult to continue on with my studies and to do well. I can still look back to the time when we were at our old house which only have three rooms (one is occupied by the maid hence we only two). Me in my matched pyjamas setting up the bed with small little portable tables and looking under the bed for our plastic boxes (the one that is under every hamper) filled with workbooks and choosing the one I wanted to do. I can remember her with her glasses and red pen that she always hold. She will be stroking her bolster with her feet and once in a while using the kapak oilment that I had. I wonder how she can stand putting the minty spicy stuff under her nose. The air con would be on and making its usual booming noise as it has work very hard over the years. There would we ice-cold water in a cup and a bottle filled with water next to the side drawer of the bed which I take to quench my thirst. It was all in the past. When I went back to my old house, I didn’t realise it was such a small room. To me, it was a castle back in my old days. More importantly, it was my castle, my home. So much memories were stored there. Every nook and cranny has its very own story to tell.

 

Now that I’m in university and on my way to be a doctor, I’m still very grateful for the sacrifice that my mother has made 7 years ago. I think I do not tell her that very often. Hence, I was very surprised when I was driving her back from KL that day. She asked me, “Mummy push you very hard to study last time ah?”, in a slightly guilty voice. Of course not mama, you brought me up well and I’m really thankful that I did not have to attend tuition classes like all the other kids. After seeing my youngest sister busy schedule that is packed with tuition classes, I can only be appreciative of my mother, my teacher. You are like a candle, melting so that you can give light to the surroundings. If you did not push me hard back then, I wouldn’t have been quite successful like now. And to be honest, one hour of studying a day isn’t much actually.

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The wind-up bird chronicle

I have been reading a book. A confusing book. One where you do not know where the author is going to steer the story to. Something about philosophy. It talks about life, death and love. The book got me thinking of what I have accomplished in my life. The people who are significant. I realised that a vast majority of them just come and go as the time pass. Just as how the seasons change. One moment you’ll be seeing them everyday and the next, only exchanging awkward hi-s and hellos. Reflecting on my life just makes me feel how lonely and boring my life is. Nothing happens. There isn’t anyone that could hurt me deeply. I don’t get into fights with people as most of the time, I’m agreeable and if I don’t, I just keep quiet. I am on the sea, in a ship, which has lost its winds. Neither going forward nor backwards. Everything is just still. But one day, the situation will just turn worse as water and food supply are depleted. Unless, there is the wind.

Pulau Perhentian

See the line where the sky meets the sea?

It calls me

And no one knows, how far it goes

See the light as it shines on the sea

It’s blinding

But no one knows, how deep it goes

~ How Far I’ll Go [Moana]

My semester break is finally here and because Harriet decided to visit us again for a month, my parents decided to bring us on vacation. After debating whether we should go to Thailand, Singapore or Pulau Perhentian, we decided to visit the much famous local beach that has been in countless of our school essays when the topic about places to visit in Malaysia pops up, the script of our chorus speaking team entitled ‘Beautiful Malaysia’ and many blog articles on the internet. I have heard of my friends and relative experience there and was very much excited to visit the area.

We started our journey at 5am as the journey to Terengganu from my place is 6 hours long by car. As we travel along the extremely winding route (my dad miss a turn hence we need to go through this way), both my sister and brother got motion sickness. However, the scenery was beautiful and we even managed to catch the sun rising from the east at the horizon. The sky was painted with different hues of pink, lilac and orange and it was so beautiful. When the sun has risen, the sky took its naturally blue colour and clouds of different shapes and sizes occupies that empty piece of space.

When we reach the jetty, we had breakfast at a small stall. We eat their famous nasi dagang. It was so good. After parking the car at the parking area provided, we took the boat to our island. Pulau Perhentian (PP) has two main island, PP Besar and PP Kecil. When we reach the jetty of our island, I can see the different fishes swimming in the crystal clear water. It looks so clean!

On the first day, we only went to the beach across the place we stay as we arrive quite late in the afternoon. Over there, my father saw a small shark and a vast variety of fishes. My favourite sea animal is the sea cucumber. It is so soft and as you hold it in your hands, they will not let go. They have thousands of feet and each in itself is like a vacuum. My father brought some bread to feed the fishes and they all came crowding over us the moment we hold the bread underwater. They aren’t afraid of humans as long as you stay still and be quiet but you can never touch them. Be careful when you’re feeding because some fish may bite. We also buried our mother in sand and make her into a mermaid.

On the next day, we went snorkelling on four different islands and then turtle watching. I love love love the sea. It is so very pretty. The corals are amazing. They come in different shapes, colours and sizes. Some are as small as a tennis ball while others are huge. The corals can be of dull colour but a few of them have fluorescent lights of blue, yellow and purple. We swam quite deep into the sea because we wanted to see a fish with a super bump on their head (I forget the name of the fish). There is only two in that area. I was quite afraid of the sea but I didn’t care. I want to do it. However, only me, my sister and father did that cause the rest of them were worried and scared as the current that day was quite strong and it was raining a little. While following the fishes, my dad managed to see it shit. After that, we went to the next island which is famous for its coral and has white sands that are a beautiful backdrop against the corals. I wanted to pee but couldn’t do it in the sea and it was so torturing for me. The next island has many small fishes and after listening to my mother’s advice, I finally managed to pee. The interesting thing on the next island is that they have Nemos ( clown fish) and they really do live in anemone like in the movie. They also have Dories. After that, our tour guide gave us an extra treat and brought us to another area to see the turtle. It was amazing! I swam with the turtle as it come out from the seabed to get some air. Even though I was kick by many people, it was all worth it. It was sad that my brother was dead after the first island as he got so sea sick he couldn’t swim anymore.

My favourite sea cucumber 😍

For meals, we usually eat at the restaurant in front of our place of accommodation. However, on the last day, we went to Long Island for dinner and watch the fire show. During our stay in PP, our entire family played games together. We played animals, charades, password, watermelon and 5 second challenge.

Finally, it is our time to return home. We packed our stuff and took the boat to the port. We had so much food. The best kerepok lekor bola and shrimp biscuit and kerepok lekor and other stuff that I couldn’t remember. Before leaving, we ate nasi kerabu at a roadside stall recommended by the locals. On our journey back home, my mother wanted to eat buah salak, durian and drink coconut water and buy some souvenirs we stop countless of time along the road. All in all, it was a nice experience and I do recommend you to visit PP.

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Nasi kerabu

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Liking someone you shouldn’t

I know there are many people who are facing the same issue but I feel so alone. My brain does know I should stop liking you and start forgetting but I didn’t want it to happen. Even though I won’t be acting on my feelings, the act of losing it is just that much more painful.

Is it normal to constantly torture yourself just so you can have that one moment of happiness. Why am I like this? The one person I had that much feelings for is someone I can never have. Why wouldn’t I just let go and give up? Being so vulnerable and volatile. You can change the state of mind in a blink of a second. Seeing you makes everything better and just like how the morning glories bloom in the presence of the sun, you make my heart bloom. You make me happy and the euphoria last for a few days. But just as easily, you can make me downcast and low-spirited when I know I can never have that relationship with you.

I don’t want to lose you. Like a little child holding her candy tightly, I do not want to lose the feeling of liking you. Though candies are sweet and make you happy, too much of it and all it gives you are painful cavities and a chronic disease.

 

Center of life

For me, the correct way of living is by putting Jesus in the center of my life. I have been pondering on why I get depressed easily and how other people can really affect my mood and emotion. It isn’t a good thing. I haven’t been bonding with Him for a very long time. Every words that I say and all the promises that I have made are like the air that can be blown away easily by the wind. Like how the sands are shifted when the waves comes crashing.

It is a Sunday and my church members will usually have fellowship lunch together. One of our group member will be leaving to further her studies overseas so we decided to eat something more expensive than the usual, Korean BBQ. After that, we grab bubble milk tea from a famous shop which is just nearby. Then, I spent the entire afternoon sleeping. To stop me from lazing around, I changed my clothes and went to the study area in university. However, I couldn’t absorb anything that I had read, even after re-reading it. I was so frustrated. Took my bible and went to the rooftop to just quite down. Initially, it was also tough for me to concentrate on what I was reading, but after a few lines, I started to focus and reflect on whatever is happening.

Currently, I am reading the book of Exodus where Moses brings the people out of Egypt and their journey in the desert to the promise land. Moses went up Mount Sinai to receive the tablet with the 10 commandments written on it. He took a long time and the people decided to worship idols. That is me. I am like the people who constantly stray away from God. If it wasn’t for His mercy, I really don’t think I even deserve to be alive. Instead of the Gods of Egypt, I put something else close to my heart which is very dangerous. I place a lot of importance on having friends and being liked by people.

Hence, my new year resolution (though it is a bit late to do this as half a year has already pass by) is to always remember to distant myself from people and draw closer to God when I feel that other people are getting a hold of me. My purpose of life should be God and not anyone else. Not even my family or friends.

All the best in achieving this my friend 🙂

 

Music in the air

Sitting here on that yellow bench, trying to find the motivation to start reading through my slides was extremely difficult and frustrating. For various unknown reasons and all the distractions that are around me, I find it hard to concentrate and focus on whatever I was reading. The topic, “Fuel” which talks about the metabolism of glucose, fats and proteins is just so unappealing.

I was so not at peace, with myself and also the situation I’m in. But as he sat down on that black little bench and placed his slender finger on the black and white keys, and started playing a song, I can feel my entire body started to relax and sway to the music. So gentle and calming at first. But as the song started to enter its climax, there is a buildup in the loudness and also the complexity of the notes. It was so beautiful.

Immediately, I feel lighter and calm. As if everything will be alright and I have the strength to face whatever challenges tomorrow. I never knew how music can affect me that deeply. Probably part of the reason I’m so constantly sad is because I miss making music. Last time while I was still at home, I expressed myself through the pieces that I play on the piano. Sometimes, I strung the chords of multiple songs on my guitar. Other times, I’ll be using the bow to produce a cacophony of screeching noises (I’m not very good with the cello). I have life most of my life surrounded with music and now that it is taken away from me, I am consistently miserable.

You, who played the piano on the 11th of June, good job! I was glad I was there to listen. Thank you 🙂

My emotion

Do you ever feel so constantly tired and depressed that at one point in that phase, you feel absolutely nothing. Nothing really matters. You just go on living, being there. Present physically but not really.

Do you feel like you are always going to break down into tears for no reason at all? Wondering how you could still cry and have that large reservoir of tears store up somewhere in your body.

Have you ever reached out asking for support and help? Contemplating whether is it really worth living at all. Hoping someone, sometime and somewhere would see that you are not okay through the subtle hints that you display.

Am I really not okay? Or is it me just exaggerating every single situation. Feeling emotions and being so in tune with them. Are we supposed to just ignore them? Cause every single time I walk out that door, all I ever did is smile and laugh. I talk and interact with people as usual.

My emotions are like the coming and going of a tide. Sometimes, you’re flooded with fast rising water level, other times, you can see the sea bed as the water pulls away from the sea side. There may be times when you start getting worried as the water start rising. At first, you were enjoying it, soaking your feet into the cooling sea water, but as it slowly starts climbing, higher and higher, to your calf, and then to your thigh, and up to your chest and then to your face. You couldn’t move, you’re trap there, even though you know how to swim and float, there is always that sense of fear. You feel the pressure of the water, the beating of the waves, the movement of the current and start getting paranoid of the creatures that are under the sea, at your feet. The fact that you couldn’t see the rest of your body submerge in the water just makes matter worse. But if you start to relax, to not panic, just lie down and let the water and your body do their job. You’ll be able to see the clear blue sky, the brightly shining rays of the sun as it illuminates the entire place, the regular sounds of the water might even produces a calming effect. You’ll be able to see the life of all the animals, be it above the sky, or under the water and you’ll appreciate how beautiful they are.

Relax, enjoy the ride, and don’t ever stop living.