Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Birds Are Flying Home



It is a blessing when family can come together for a happy time.

I, for one, was yearning for this moment.

My daughter came back at the end of April and my son last week.

Meeting them at the arrival gate made my heart leap with joy.

Now that they are home with us, we have lots of love and care for one another.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and their presence makes the house a home for all of us. We have memorable times and amazing relationships. Each new day is a fresh beginning for us to come together.

Maybe we should make it a point to visit one another once in a while, to stop our hearts from turning cold.

Many things that we have taken for granted have suddenly become so precious to us. Now we can talk together more than before; now we can discuss more about things that we usually keep to ourselves; now quietly we help one another to do things together. Now love is no longer just a thought and a feeling; it is a decision and a commitment.

I enjoy every moment of our time, and I believe we all feel the same.

My hope is that we can stay together that way forever.

What about you?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Now That’s Life



My annual increment falls on 1st January.

But I only received my salary adjustment letter two weeks ago.

I will receive my new salary and the accumulated increments at the end of this month.

It looks like I have many hundreds more to spend, which is good in view of the Gawai Day or Gawai Dayak, a festival celebrated by the Ibans and Bidayuh in Sarawak on 1 June every year.

I smiled as I read the letter.

*******

I remember getting my first paycheck many years ago.

Those were the golden days when I was still a bachelor.

I had spent extravagantly, but I still had much to save.

Now looking at my salary; 6-7 times over.

But I seldom have enough, and some months I am crying for more.

********

Everything costs money today and everyone just knows how to spend.

We seldom have enough for everyone to spend today; we need more.

And that is the price of growing up; we have to take on heavier responsibilities, and make bigger and tougher decisions.

Some snap under the immense pressure. Some grit their teeth and continue on.

Will there be an easier way to live life?

Some said we first buy what we need and satisfy our wants later.

They called it the theory of human needs and wants.

But different people have different needs and wants; quarrels then begin and continue.

Some run in van and toil in vain all their life; there are always problems and troubles.

Some said if we can be contented with the little we have, we can enjoy our lives.

Now that’s life; it is no bad after all.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Getting Serious In Life



The ceiling fans continued spinning.

The adjacent classes were still making a lot of noise.

There were footsteps of people walking up and down the staircase outside, and students running and walking around.

But no amount of disturbance could distract the students from answering their exam paper.

Many of them looked haggard and tired. They must have sacrificed many hours of personal time to prepare for the exam. But the exam was essential. There is priority in life, and in this case the exam must come first.

Many scribbled the main points on the question papers, listing down in the form of mind maps. Some took a sip of drink, then another sip, trying hard to recall all that they had learned.

It wasn’t easy to answer all the questions well, but they must try. After all, there is nothing really easy in life.

Now that is life. There are times to be carefree; there are times to be serious. It is not nice to be serious when others are celebrating. Equally, it is not appropriate to be jolly and happy when others are serious.

There is always a season for everything. And if we know just what to do every time, life will, and can be more meaningful.

As it is, some of us are still searching for clear direction in our lives.

Yes, we must get serious about our lives.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Working Together



It was 8th of May, a fine Saturday morning.

7.30 a.m.

The sky was bright except for some patches of dark clouds looming overhead.

It was Hari Gotong Royong PIBG, a special day where parents and teacher gathered together and worked voluntarily for the school.

Many parents and teachers had come. There was a registration process for parents and attendance taken for teachers. Many went to their own groups, talking, laughing and joking together.

7.45 a.m.

The division of work and delineation of responsibilities were described in detail.

Many understood what they were supposed to do. They hurried for their tools and rushed to their respective station. There was not much talking, except for some parents who had difficulties finding their station.

8.00 a.m. sharp.

Everyone was busy working.

It was a surprise to see just how many dedicated and hardworking parents and teachers we had, despite working directly under the brilliant and scorching sun.

I could see them sweating profusely and breathing hot and heavy. But I could see their broad smiling faces. They must be very proud and happy working for the school.

I could see them chopping down the tall and dense trees outside the school gate. I remembered this was the station where naughty students gathered together after they had escaped from classes.

I could see them extending the students’ motorcycle parking lot and cemented it.

I could see them repainting the buildings and repairing equipments.

Of course, there were also those helping in the preparation of food and drink for our breakfast and lunch.

The sun slowly rose above the mountains and I could feel the intense heat on my skin. It was indeed a hot day.

10.00 a.m.

All the work scheduled was completed.

Everyone finally rested from their work and went for their breakfast.

Then the jumble sale began.

Many products were sold. Now the bargaining session began. It was very interesting and everyone was laughing, jeering and joking as they went about shopping.

11.30 a.m.

It was time for lunch. It was a rich meal and there was more than enough food for everyone; more talking, laughing and joking sessions and everyone was smiling away happily.

I was happy to be a part of today’s gathering.

It was a rare occasion where parents and teachers could work together.

And I really enjoyed it.

And I believed many felt the same.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Attitude Does Count – A Lot



Some students I know are very inquisitive and have a lot of questions to ask their teachers. They follow where the teachers go and they are always ready to ask their questions. They will walk with the teachers everywhere until they get what they want.

I love their spirit, determination and never-say-die attitude. These are the students who will improve on their academic performances by leaps and bounds. And they will be successful in many areas later in their lives.

Attitude does count – a lot. A simple spark of inspiration, desire, and intuition can do wonder in our lives. If only we have an inquiring mind and a humble spirit to learn, we will go far in all our endeavors and undertakings.

I talk as a teacher. Like other teachers, I want to be appreciated and loved for what I do. Imagine entering a classroom to teach with the best educational techniques, and provide a very stimulating and motivational lesson, yet students just walk away without question or comment. How heartbreaking it will be after all the preparations.

Teachers are rational and emotional beings. They have a lot to teach and share. They will be very happy when their students ask them questions. In fact, many of them are ready to reward their students for their initiative to ask questions. Many teachers also treat their students as their personal friends; they share their joy and difficulties in learning and teaching, and many other topics in life.

If only we can give our teachers a good, deep and lasting impression, they will love us more and share with us more. They will have high regards for us, and our academic performances or social standings will improve. When need arises, they will also give us good recommendations and descriptions.

As it is, students with positive attitude and willingness to learn will go far in their study.

But there is a great deal to learn in posing questions. We must think through our questions, restructure them properly, and ask rationally, logically and meaningfully. We don’t want to appear stupid, immature or unready by asking shallow and absurd questions or giving stupid and unnecessary comments.

A humble and teachable spirit is what we need to learn from others.

Let us be brave to open our mouth and ask. There is nothing to lose.

Ask properly and politely. Attitude does count – a lot.