Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009. R.I.P. (A year in retrospective)

Once again, a year is leaving us. SAD. And not, especially considering how 2009 hasn't really had been a CLOUD NINE year with 'series' of deaths and passings and deceases and demises. Nevertheless, as for the other years that had passed me by, I would like to take a moment to recount on what a year 2009 has been. Here's how it goes.

To me, personally, 2009 has been a PRACTICUM year through and through. I started thinking about it the moment I stepped into semester 6 of my study, because, whether I liked it or now, I was gonna pass semester 6 relentlessly, and that oh-so-dreadful semester 7 was gonna fill in anyways. So, with practicum being the underlying theme of the year, I decide to break the memoirs into chunks on monthly basis, to ease the recalling as well as reading them.

JANUARY.
I remembered being utterly anxious of the big P that that was all I was thinking of. So I decided to go to Melaka to shop for the garments (specifically shirts and loadsa them). I went there and slept over at my friend's house over there and kinda killed two birds with one stone. Catching up things with 'em while focusing on my prime goals. I remembered being sOo interested in the shirts for the FIRST TIME EVER in my life that I couldn't get enuff of 'em. But of course, with my limited budget and whatnot, I ended up with buying 4 of them and a pants, and it cost me well over MYR200 (too bad the free bag didn't come with the purchase) and obviously, the store I went to is the one and only, PADINI Concept Store. The main reason why I went there instead of going to one of 'em in KL was that I didn't have a companion to shop with. NOT FUN. ^__^ And that was the last time I went there to Melaka for this year. FYI, I never fail to come back to Melaka every semester ever since I graduated from UiTM Lendu. So not the case of the peanuts forgetting their roots, eyh?

FEBRUARY-MAY
Due to the insignificant events that didn't really leave traces in my memory, I could hardly think of specific events memorable during these months. Uh-oh, the memory's coming now. Yeap. THE one and only event I remembered well enough was the BIRTHDAY BASH of my elder sister(and the only) in Sepang. My sister turned 29 this year, and with the first born baby of hers and all, she decided to celebrate it with the family and consequently made the event to be family-saturated (lol). I remembered that, being a sometime motion sickness of a person, the journey that they undertook made me dizzy to a certain degree (it rhymes! lol) and it kinda took some time to reach the beach (again! lol) and for us to settle down. It was A-W-K awkward particularly for me, since, being more introverted and all, the thought of having to face the many faces of the la familia at the same time scared the shitzo out of me. Haha! Okay, I am over exaggerating here. What made the event oh-so-memorable was the throwing of the tantrums of my 3-years old niece who was apparently swooning over loadsa toys on displays in the shops that she just couldn't settle for JUST one. Talk about becoming a greedy ho! Just kidding. ^__^ I remembered 'filming' the scene using my trusted PSP Go! Camera and felt good about it since pictures speak a thousand words and that I don't really have a good memory.

Following the family event was all work and no play. With the view in mind to pass semester 6 as the requirement of the practicum, I remembered being burdened and choked with the abundant workloads out of the many methodologies shoved down our throat (lol). Too many things, too little time. I remembered taking an instant liking to my Methodologies in Teaching Literature's lecturer (hereby known as MTL) due to her witty sarcasm and sharp,pointed words. Never beat around the bushes, indeed. ^__^ Another lecturer who affected me was my Methodologies in Teaching Writing's (MTW) who was a total no-nonsense. Yada yada yada. This bores me. LOL.

Semester 6 proved to be a rekindling interest as I was once again under the tutelage of the awesome Madam Rosalind who taught me Drama in semester 3 and then Asian Literature this semester. I 'boldly' decided to have a change of wind since I wasn't feeling all too 'compatible' with the chatty lecturer. Too much jokes KILL, apparently. LOL. It was brave act indeed. Changing to a less comfortable schedule (friday noon and all) and much lesser number (about 10 peeps or less altogether), but it really felt like home. Her maternal instinct exuded through and through that I would always say to myself, "I'm home!" in her class. Watching movies like Water and Jogho and reading through the stories and novel really made me proud of my Asian roots.

It was also a rekindling affair with my linguistics lecturer, Dr. Richard Holmes (yes, he is a native speaker) and though attuning to his lecture never fails to challenge (lol), it was his utter genuine interest in language that turned me on. In NOT an obscene way, thank you ^__^. Being in his class again also felt like home since he never really changes and I like him the way he is. Over time, I found myself to take great interest on this thing called Contrastive Analysis and never seemed to get enough of it. Perhaps I should do a dissertation on it one day, who knows ^___^

But then realistically, all things have the ups and downs. So did the other lecturer of the semester. I remembered not liking my Methodology in Teaching Grammar (MTG)'s lecturer (I'm gonna be honest here) since she never bothered to be liked either. The climax of this love-hate relationship was when she ERUPTED after our INSANE hours long of microteaching (see, I didn't even remember how long it was!), bashing us and stuffs and tryna prove that she's one-up that us. LAME! Seriously, have u not heard of this thing called ATTENTION SPAN? You and your pre-menopause ego. Pathetic.

One last lecturer whom I didn't take great interest in was my Shakespeare's lecturer, who was as monotous as a tree. Who sat through most of the lecture. Who consequently awarded me B-, thank you. It wasn't so much of the fact that I never received a B- in my entire varsity life that bothered me - it was the fact that the others who received a B when I did better that suxx. Same thing with the course above.

These two courses pulled down my grade. As a result, I DIDN'T get the Dean's List.

There. A public (service announcement, lol) confession. Not that I cared much, since I had received the VC's award once and didn't feel excited about it.

So yeah, these past 7 years were all about academics. NOT FUN.

June
June was the beginning of the practicum. Fancy called PRE-PRACTICUM, it was all talks. So much so that it stricken me into believing that I wouldn't make it through (the rain, lol) since their talks were so VAGUE and SUBTLE. It didn't make me visualizing of anything they talked of. Not to mention the ridicule I received. Yeah, IT WAS SO GREAT.

A week later came School Orientation Program (SOP) or Rancangan Orientasi Sekolah (ROS). I remembered the moment being school holidays and all, thus there were only a few teachers to entertain us. The most caring hostess would definitely be Puan 'Kak Pidah' Afidah who welcomed us through and through in her cribs (in this case, library) out of her being the library teacher and all. She showed us the inside of the library, and offered herself for any resource. She offered us home-made egg tarts (which was so delicious) and noodles while we were filling our time doing our SOP as required. I also remembered helping this SPBT teacher (I don't remember her name, can someone help me?) to paint the pole in front of the SPBT room out of me not really having a knack in art to help them carving out the polystyrene cut-out alphabets. It delighted me to help the SPBT teacher, especially knowing the fact that she was a colleague to my secondary school's teachers (yeap, more than 1) back when they were studying in UM perhaps? Correct me if I'm wrong ^__^

Okay, this bores me as well ^__^

The MAJOR thing that happened in June, as well as in my life was the experience of myself being the victim of snatch-theft in broad, scorching daylight of the afternoon, just a few more walks away from the school compound. They slickly asked for direction to Section 11 and convinced me even more when the person next to the driver's seat went out of the car and showed me a card as if to show the address and when I peered onto the paper, that was when my bag was snatched away. It looked like a laptop bag, it wasn't mine, it was my sis', and inside was the Form 1 textbook, teaching materials, and most importantly, my Motorola L6i and my wallet. Pfft. It didn't help when I 'happened' to lose my handphone for the 3rd time in the last 2 years. I first lost my Nokia 5200 (Express Cover, whatever that means, lol) in 2007 when I was listening to the radio from the earphone while boarding the blardi Rapid bus, all the while not realizing that it was gone until of course, that no more sound was emitted from the piece. The feeling was DEVASTATING. To lose something so deary to me while I was on the way back home to Gombak made me feel like contemplating suicide (LOL). It took me a while to recover and I was being very much in hiatus until I was emotionally stable. Then I bought a 2nd-hand phone just for temporary, and it was lost too while I was accompanying Shikin to the Akademi Bahasa in main campus (apparently I carelessly left it in the premise). There WAS hope when somebody (in this case, one of the lecturers there) contacted Shikin to inform that she found the phone, but when I contacted her back, SOMEHOW we 'lost contact' and I stopped bothering about the blardi 2nd hand phone. That was when, along with Shikin and Wan Nurul, we went to the Plaza Alam Sentral to buy the Motorola L6 (it cost about 350 at that time) due to it being the near end of the semester and obviously I didn't have so much money to splurge on a phone.

It was equally heart-wrenching to know that all the contents stored in the phone would no longer be retrieved. The messages, the pictures (however mediocre they were) and the contacts..it never felt the same.

Another significant moment in June was when I woke up on the morning of the 25th to discover a friend of mine, Izza texted me to inform that The King of Pop, Michael Jackson has died. It felt like a joke. A prank. I felt like the time stopped. I turned on the tv to watch for the breaking news, but was disappointed by the lame local network. Admittedly, it didn't affect me that much since I was MORE affected by having to teach two notoriously-well-known classes of the afternoon session. I was 'academically-stricken'. LOL.

July
The most memorable thing about July was the birthday bash of my beloved oka-sama aka MAMA. She turned 55 this year and so, my ever-'party planner' of a sis and her hubby decided to throw the celebration in Cameron Highlands. I decided to tag along to 'escape' even for just a while from the nightmare that was the practicum. I remembered it to be cold, but not as cold as Genting. Being the FIRST TIME to ever be there (pathetic, I know), there wasn't much to be excited about. Apart from strickened by the smoke coming out of the indoor BBQ (I am allergic to smoke being an asthmatic, I get hyperventilated easily that I will almost certainly die if I ever trapped in a fire), we went to the usual 'fixations' - the Strawberry Farm, the Cactus Farm, the English cottages, yada yada yada. The journey was so sickening for me, having motion sickness and all. Pahang always give me the motion sickness. From Raub (where my sis used to study in SEMESTA) to Genting (where myself and my 'entourage' went for a group holiday back in 2006) to here in Cameron Highlands, it's all the same. I CANNOT TRAVEL 'AT PEACE' IN PAHANG. LOL.

WAIT. How could I NOT remember acquiring my beloved WASABI HP 540 notebook? Forgive me, Wasabi-chan! Honto ni gomen! ^__^ I named the lappy after the sauce since it is green as I am green in envy (lol) and it is hot as hot as I am (lololol). It was a bargain since myself and two friends of mine, we were BFF ever since semester 1 in my diploma back in 2003 went for lappy-hunting and we went first to the Low Yat Plaze, baffled by the endless streams of ningens (humans, lol) and finally settled for a less crowded, more serene Imbi Plaza and immediately my eyes were fixed to this kawaii to hansamu to kirei noto-hon (lol). Considering that one of my friend, Mimi (bukan nama sebenar, lol) is a regular customer back when Mimi was young, I had full faith on the retailer as much as I had faith on this machine (I'm typing this entry now using it. 5 months and going strong! ^__^). So for a 'fraction' of MYR1900, Wasabi belonged to me in such a ceremonious way. LOL.

August
There wasn't much to be remembered of apart from having ALMOST diagnosed with Influenza-Like-Illness (ILI) and FOREVER counting the days left of our stay in the school with Fazrina ^__^. I remembered that being the lazy me (I am embracing my slothness, lol), I came to the school one day feeling a bit tired and my body started burning. Yet as always told by the others when they checked my temperature with the back of their hands, they would say that it was just my feeling. I stayed until recess, trying to analyze the situation, and when I couldn't even manage a relief classes while staying put on the teacher's desk, I had a feeling that there was something wrong. I took my leave from the Afternoon Supervisor and my 'insanity streak' brought myself to 'catwalk' (lol) all the way to the bus stop opposite the Baiduri apartment to wait for the bus. There was no taxi to be 'arrested' (tahan, lol) and I just happened to miss the Seranas and Rapid bus while I was walking to the bus stop opposite Unisel, so, rather than sitting idly to no changes, I decided to walk further until the bus came to stop my train of thoughts from thinking to much of the possibilities. As I then arrived to the Pusat Kesihatan UiTM, it was then I realized how alarming the H1N1 situation was. The atmosphere was gloomy and somewhat deserted, leaving little to the imagination. There wasn't many fellow patients waiting and when I was sent into the doctor's room, they took my temperature and I received the reading of 38.4 Celcius degrees. Not bad (LOL). The doctor asked what I was doing and when I answered that I was doing my practicum, she assigned me into precautionary measures and gave me a week-long of MC and I immediately bid adieu to Shah Alam after packing my stuffs and all.

It was a MUCH needed rest after all.

September

September was a very exciting month! Not only that I would only 'serve my time' (lol) for just another day or two, it was also the time when I acquired much assets! First, I remembered going to Giant Batu Caves with mama to buy my beloved Wasabibi (lol), my small but cute deskI remembered days before Hari Raya, my family and I first went to Tesco in Selayang where I bought my beloved HP Deskjet 3-in-1 F2280 printer at MYR169. It delighted me since earlier in July, I accompanied a friend of mine to browse for the printer during the PC Fair in KLCC the convention center so I was doing window shopping in advance.

Later on, as Aidilfitri arrived, we decided to go to Carrefour, Wangsa Maju to buy things and whatnot for the preparation of Hari Raya. That was when I bought my beloved Wasachibi, my small but nonetheless cute two-doors wardrobe at MYR80. I loved it.

For Raya this year, I REALIZED how old I had became (lol) when I only received MYR100 worth of duit raya. I feel old.

As for the practicum, the conclusion was that I maintained the relationship with some of my Form 1 Efektif students, and some of the 2 Budi's. Love em to bits!

October

October was the 'Sisterhood of Travelling Pants' month! LOL. It was the month that, out of the fact that I was holiday-ing, my sister invited me to accompany her for a week, since her hubby went out of town to Terengganu for work-related purposes. I gotta admit, I was reluctant as first since it was YEARS since we last talked to each other, growing up and all, her started working and all, and her was away in Raub, Pahang in boarding school and all. I tried my best to penetrate through the invisible barrier, despite least talking as usual, but I complied to whatever request of hers such as going to the parking lot each morning and evening when she went to and from work, helping her to bring the babies' stuffs and all. Note that I didn't know how to cook yet, let alone the rice! I mean, I knew how to cook rice, tried it a few times before, and sometimes work, and sometimes don't. The MAIN reason I agreed, apart from compassion (lol) was the fact that they have wireless in their home, one thing I didn't have, beside my limited broadband. So I pretty much enjoyed the unlimited streaming, watching videos and stuffs, facebooking, and above all, DOWNLOADING games and movies. I managed to download Bleach 3: Fade to Black and a game I couldn't remember. LOL.

Of course, the BEST part of October would be my birthday! Oct the 15th! Tanjobi omedetou gozaimasu, atashi! LOL. Due to my 'kindness', my sister treated me to a birthday celebration at Secret Recipe in Metro Plaza, Kajang. I had Spaghetti Bolognaise, Chocolate Cake and Mochacino while she had Tomyam Noodles, Pistachio Cream Cake (I think) and Oreo-cino something (LOL). That was Thursday. On Wednesday we went to the Pasar Malam where I snapped the infamous 'Goldenberg' pix (as said by Azwan Suroto, lol) and on Saturday we went back to Gombak. My family held an open house that evening where they made BBQs and stuffs. I was tired for not sleeping till morning. When we arrived, I had to look after my sis's bb every now and then while they were busy preparing. Finally, when I couldn't take it any longer, I went to bed early before Maghrib only to wake up to find that most of the grilled chicken and stuffs had finished. Lol.

November

Wow this entry has taken longer than I expected! Lol. Had to look after niece, preparing the spaghetti for this New Year's eve (woohoo) and stuffs. November was about buying Wasabi the handphone! Nokia 5130 XpressMusic at MYR420 in Plaza Alam Sentral with my housemate. I shall always remember the date. 10th November 2009. November was also about having new spectacles. Bought the frame for MYR20 at Uptown Danau Kota and sent for the lenses for MYR230 at a glasses shop nearby my house. ^___^

December

Finally, the end of the year. I bought the Body Shop perfumes, mini Federal Constitution, 2 checkered shirts, sent for tailoring 3 ethnic clothes, attended my long-lost DBS's fwen and having sort of a mini reunion.

Note:
2009 is truly a YEAR-long of learning. I learnt to unlearn many things.

I learnt to keep my poise (whatever that means, lol) and composure while in constant pressure from the walking time-bomb of the ex-students.

I learnt to FINALLY socialize even more with my own family.

I ventured into doing translation for the first time and it has been quite lucrative (managed to gain MYR500 or more in a mere 2-3 months' period).

I managed to buy a phone with my own money (from the working).

I managed to vary my apparel with the checkered shirts.

I managed to return to the ethnic garments after more than 3 years shunning it away from my closet.

I learnt to un-bore myself this 3 months' long holiday by making frequent visit to Shah Alam every week for a night or two of staying. And earning my own 'source' of income. ^__^

I LEARNT HOW TO COOK. Especially since my mum was away for a week to accompany my sis while her hubby went out of country to Japan for work.

I LEARNT TO COOK ALL ALONE this week since my mum was away with my 'assistant chef' my youngest bro, my ototo, babysitting my newborn niece and her not-so-big-sister (my first niece) while their mum was having meeting in Kuantan. They are back already.

I LEARNT TO WORK-OUT DILIGENTLY, targeting problem areas such as the underarms (with dumbell), stomach (with sit-ups) and hips and thighs (with power walk, running and stretching).

And most importantly, I LEARNT TO EXPLORE THE OTHER SIDE OF ME THAT I NEVER KNEW BEFORE. Of cooking, translating, socializing, acting, and all.

Goodbye 2009. You'll leave me while taking MJ, Farah Fawcett, Brittany Murphy, DJ AM, Yasmin Ahmad and all the great artistes along with you. While I'll never see you again, I am grateful of the memories and the LESSONS you gave me all year long.

What a practicum year it was indeed. Never cease to learn and teach.

WELCOME, 2010. Please, give me high TEN in study.

May I pass semester 8 without losing focus and manage to graduate in time.

May I get the job I desire without waiting for too long.

May I live a new life free and away from the varsity happily.

May I be thinner and achieve my target. (For the first time I actually feel confident to achieve it ever since I became committed to working out)

May I have a great life outside of this comfort zone called VARSITY that I had lived for the last 7 years.

I'm gonna end the wishes here, since I have to be careful with what I wish for. ^__^

That's it.

With love,

W.A.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A week with mom away: Day 1 to 3.

A lot of thing had happened (or acquired, so to speak) ever since the last entry. It is as if I had achieved those New Year's resolutions of mine, and I couldn't help but feeling ecstatic (without the ecstacy, of course). I had acquired a new cellphone, nothing fancy, just a Nokia 5130 XpressMusic in red. It cost me MYR420 plus a 2gb memory card, which I went to buy it with my housemate on Nov 11th at Plaza Alam Sentral. The purchase was rather important considering the fact that I had been phone-less for about 5 months after the bloody incident on June 15th when my beloved-and-missed Motorola L6i was snatched away, along with the textbook and the teaching material.

The whole focus of purchase and acquisition towards the year end was on the 'preparation' to become a final semester student aka a seniorita (lol) in the course that I am taking. Say it nonsensical, but I build up this belief that I should brush up on my looks and appearance to suit the status. Not only that, I did all these thinking that wow, this is going to be my 14th and perhaps my last semester being in the varsity, had I not chosen to further my Masters or that the offer will not seem to be materialized thus far. For once in my life, I crave to be and look like a final semester student with the integrity and credibility of one.

And so, therefore, I plunged into a series of purchase, following the acquisition of the cellphone. Well, actually it started earlier than that with the purchase of the man-bag and the skinny pants. And I followed-them-up with buying perfumes in Body Shop for the first time (pretty pathetic, I know), new jet-black full-frame glasses with new power for the lenses, and a couple of checked shirts for the sake of portraying the image afreshed. I bought one recently in ROMP, KLCC for MYR 45.90 in black,blue and white and already eyeing on the green, purple, red-purple and purple-red. I plan on having 7 of them in different colors to be worn once a week.

Also in the garment department, I envision myself to re-plunge into the ethnic wear on Fridays as I used to wear back in my diploma days. It's all come to the choice to walk down the memory lane and live up the glory days of the yesteryears. I had said it before and I'm gonna say it again: I love history and I live by the past, present, and future. That said, I already bought a 2-meters of pastel pink cloth to be sent for tailoring. Like the checked shirt, I also envision myself having 7 of the different shades and tones. Or more.

Yesterday strucked me with some kind of revelation as to why I always thought that my entries were somehow lack of substance. It was because I penned on things in the future or something of immediate that I didn't really get the chance to reflect on it and getting the bird's eyes views. Those entries couldn't help but becoming superficial. As I put it on my blog header, as well as I had put it in my presentations, hindsights are absolutely 20/20.

Coming back to the title of this entry, this 'a week with mom away' event commenced with her being invited to stay over my sis' crib to accompany her while her husband went out of town (or country) and left for Japan for a week. Sugoi ne. Yeah, I wish I could be in his place, without the accountability, of course. So, yeah, coming from a family of 'boys', all that are left in the house are 4 hungry mouths waiting to be fed. Thankfully enough, the red meats from the 'korban' are still available and myself and my youngest bro decided to use them up for good.

This week has been quite a 'survival' mode. We became like tacticians to the other chauvinists who expect the food to be served on the table. We became thrift-spenders with the limited budget mum had left behind and instinctively, my mind became alert with the groceries that can be bought within the limitations. It was fun and I wouldn't say it as being a challenge at all, since my experience in the uni and living a student's life has taught me majorly on how to survive on a shoestring budget. It is funny, but I always feel a sense of satisfaction when, say, I managed to buy a few things I like with an RM10 note.

My bro (hereby called as ototo, the Japanese for younger brother) is the real 'chef'. He isn't really a skilled cook, but he can conjure edible meals from the 'throwing' here and there of the ingredients. He gets the skill and experience having spending the most time with my mom. The youngest complex, they say.

For the first day, which was this Monday, we had just arrived from Penang from visiting the in-laws and my newborn niece. The 'wheel-lag' was hardly brushed off and yet we had to live in reality. While my bro (the older than mine) went off to work that noon, we began preparing the meals.

The first meal was just mere fried meat with a little touch of sauces (of soy and chilli). It lasted until mom and my eldest bro and his wife and kids arrived later in the evening and we had Nasi Ayam Dara for dinner that night. The 'conquest' was to begin the next day.

Tuesday arrived, and it was weird having to be up and about, boiling the water, making drinks, boiling the eggs and made the nestums (lol) for breakfast. I was so used to being a 'chauvinist' (LOL) that the thought of preparing meals not just for myself but the household amused me. I had only 3 hours of sleep the night before and it kinda took a toll on me. We made sardine stew for lunch and it was edible. As if it was that hard. For the 'minum petang', I made Mi SEDAP for two and that kept us going without the usual okashi (kuih). Later that night, we fried some more meat to accomodate the dinner and the 2nd night was over.

On Wednesday, which was yesterday, I become rather ambitious and visionary. Lol. I thought up of the meal for the day and the next within the financial constraint. We decided to make 'Daging Masak Kicap' for the day, based on mum's famous recipe. We tried our best to replicate it, but ended up with a rather bland one, though still edible. So it was still commendable. It wasn't only the preparation of the meal but also the house-cleaning needed to be attended to and I gotta say I moved about the most this week.

For today, I decide to cook fried mee for breakfast and perhaps back to sardine for lunch. Dinner would probably be fried rice. It's Thursday and mom would be back tomorrow or on Saturday. Hoping that I'd get the allowance by this weekend. I can use it to buy another shirt at ROMP! ^__^