Quotation of the Day

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Theme of Violence in 'The Curse' which affects two characters

Discuss the theme of violence in the ‘The Curse’ and how violence has affected the life of two characters in the story.

          The novel I have chosen is ‘The Curse’.  The theme of violence is prevalent in the novel. The first character that has been affected by violence is Azreen.  From the very beginning, we can see how Azreen has been subjected to violence in her childhood.  Saleh Abdullah was a very stern father who would not hesitate to discipline Azreen whenever she was defiant or rebellious as a child.  Her mother, when reprimanding her for slapping a classmate in school has reminded her that her father has punished her ‘a thousand times’ whenever she misbehaved, yet she was so stubborn.  One incident was when Azreen’s father accused her of stealing mangosteens from the estate and she was caned severly by her father and scolded by her mother.  Her parents refused to believe that she was telling the truth when she said she only picked the ripe fruits from the ground.  Azreen reacted to the beating by not eating her dinner and sulking in her room.

          Violence begets violence.  Azreen threatened to hit Mohd Asraf with a hockey stick between his ears when he tried to tell her she was ‘ganas’ or aggressive. Azreen did not think twice about taking part in the silat-cum-boxing matches in her school even though she was a girl.  In one match, she ended up giving an innocent spectator a bleeding nose.  Azreen did not change her ways even when she grew older.  After the Old Lady’s death, Azreen turned on Mohd Asraf who was irresponsible, like a wild cat.  She beat him, scratched him and kicked him till she broke down in exhaustion.  She was angry because of his stupidity and anger.

          Another incident of violence is when her parents thought she was responsible for the motorcycle accident with the bull that has caused her mother to be paralysed.  Azreen has to go to bed with slases of rotan all over her legs and back.  Ever since that incident, the relationship between Azreen and her father has been strained.  Azreen found it hard to forgive her father when she learned that he was the one who had killed her sister with his parang.  It was only after he has died that Azreen can put the past behind her.

          Another character that has been affected by violence is the Old Lady.  She was a beautiful, modern and educated young woman who has the misfortune of marrying a man who was a wife abuser.  Ever since he lost his job, he has been drinking heavily and returning home late every evening.  Then he started to hit her.  First, it was a slap on the face and he apologized when he was sober.  She forgave him. The following week, she was hit again.  He hit her on the chin, a shard of broken bottle he was holding slashing her on her neck. The hast straw was when he kneed her in the stomach and kicked her when she was down.  When he pounced on her, she stabbed him with the kitchen knife.  Her whole life changed after that incident.  Even though the police listened to her story and let her go free, the damage was done.  She was seen as a husband-killer.  She was a mad woman who has slashed her husband to death in the kitchen.  All her friends avoided her like a leper and she was forced to live alone in an abandoned house in the jungle.  Many superstitious stories were created about her and people in the village were afraid of her.  They would not let her come back to the village.  When she relented to go to Mohd Asraf’s grandmother’s house to see whether she could help her, she incurred the villagers’ wrath and they tried to chase her away.   When Mohd Asraf’s grandmother died, he led a mob to her house in the jungle and subsequently the Old Lady was killed in a fire that burnt down her house.

          Violence is never a good thing.  It should be avoided at any cause. We can seethe harm that violence does to people as seen from the characters of Azreen and the Old Lady.

(Sharing purpose: Taken from Baby Steps The Curse & Poetry Form 5, Setia Emas)

An unforgettable incident in "The Curse"

Describe an incident you would never forget in “The Curse” and give reasons why you would always remember it.

          An incident I would never forget in “The Curse” is when Puan Fatihah fainted out of shock when she saw a silhouette of a Pontianak that looked like Madhuri appearing from behind a pile of tree trunks.  But the woman who came towards her was not Madhuri.  She has long hair and she floated in her white gown. Puan Fatihah’s voice failed, her head started spinning and she felt faint.  The last thing she could remember was the sad pleading eyes of the woman and her long fingers reaching out to touch her.  Thankfully, she lost consciousness.

          I would never forget this incident because it makes me sympathise with Puan Fatihah.  I find it sad that Puan Fatihah is a victim of her own belief in the supernatural.  Prior to the encounter with the Pontianak, she has gone to see out the bomoh to get a charm to win back her husband’s affections.  She is superstitious enough to resort to such a desperate act.  It is her superstition that makes her believe what she sees as a ‘ghost’ and that is why she faints from utter shock.  What is so ironic is that she has thrown away the first charm which is a small piece of paper with written incantation into the river.  The result is her husband has taken the younger woman as his wife and she has only herself to blame.  Now that his younger wife is dead, she must win back her husband’s affections with the help of the bomoh.

          I also feel sorry for Puan Fatihah because she is so pathetic. She cannot bear her husband a child and always feels insecure as she has no power to keep him all to herself.  I can feel her pain of insecurity as she looks at the mirror each day and sees her aging face.  She is haunted by ‘the deepening lines, the crow’s feet, the sagging skin and double chin’.  Which man can still stay in love with a face like that? Her insensitive husband has spurned her and laughs at her insecurities.  Her declining beauty has caused her to feel envy towards Madhuri and to be angry at her husband.  This is really pathetic.

          I also find this incident memorable because it reminds me of how fragile a woman can be.  Puan Fatihah has tried to be strong and put up a great pretence of liking the second wife.  She has actually succeeded in deceiving everyone in the village and even Madhuri herself.  Madhuri, in her last letter to Azreen has told her sister that Puan Fatihah is such a kind and understanding lady whom she looks up to as an elder sister.  Madhuri sees her as ‘such a dear sweet woman’ and is not sure whether she can emulate her goodness as a person and a wife.  Poor Fatihah!  She has suppressed her emotions and has to endure the fights she and her husband have been having lately over trivial matters.  She cannot get his attention when Madhuri was alive and she still cannot get his attention after she was dead.  She was so emotionally fragile that it was not surprising she fainted when she came face to face with a ‘ghostly figure’ who has reached out her hands to touch her.

          I would not forget this incident as it has taught me not to believe in superstitions nor resort to solving problems by using supernatural methods.  All of us have problems and we must not let them overwhelm us.

(Sharing purpose: Taken from Baby Step, Setia Emas)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


5 minutes to 11pm. Can you believe our teacher's meeting just ended? Clock in at 6:35am this morning, clock out at 10:50pm. Time to eradicate the mind set that teachers work half day.  It's an extremely tiring day, most probably due to the physio exercise. Freshen up, curled up in bed, lent 'Perfect Match' to a teacher, so decided to update my blog again. Note: This is not a professional blog, and I don't intend to make it professional simply because .... this is one of my refuge where I can pour out, and assure myself that you visitors are my God sent listeners. Arigatok.

Photo: *breathe in and out, slowly* Finally, this is it. 32 years to go into this profession.

Thank you God for the passion for teaching is still burning. I pray, it will only glow brighter, especially at the darkest time. I understand, having the future generation as our clients is a huge responsibility.  Forsake me not & give me enough love to spread to my kids. 

In the process, let's  rejoice & celebrate this wonderful life with the people God sent into our lives ♥

In Jesus name,  I pray, Amen! :)
*breathe in and out, slowly* Finally, this is it. 32 years to go into this profession.

Thank you God for the passion for teaching is still burning. I pray, it will only glow brighter, especially at the darkest time. I understand, having the future generation as our clients is a huge responsibility. Forsake me not & give me enough love to spread to my kids.

In the process, let's rejoice & celebrate this wonderful life with the people God sent into our lives ♥

In Jesus name, I pray, Amen! :) - c/p from my FB, again :P

Honestly, there is nothing to brag about this piece of paper. Every teacher will eventually receive it, just a matter of time. Nonetheless, I can't hide my joy upon receiving this letter of confirmation. It's symbolic because it sorta releases me from the probation period. As Puan Aminah advised, with great power comes great responsibility.

Photo: Amazed by the students' enthusiasm!

Day 2: Kapit Division Basic Theatre Workshop

How to train students to "not be noisy" in class: Take a book and whisper out the words.

The creative techniques:
#1 sit and whisper.
#2 stand.
#3 lie flat on tummy.
#4 lie side ways. 
#5 lie facing ceiling
#6 squat
Amazed by the students' enthusiasm!

Day 2: Kapit Division Basic Theatre Workshop

How to train students to "not be noisy" in class: Take a book and whisper out the words.

The creative techniques:
#1 sit and whisper.
#2 stand.
#3 lie flat on tummy.
#4 lie side ways.
#5 lie facing ceiling
#6 squat

Photo: Belajar dari kejatuhan. Kalau ulang kesilapan yang sama, kita bodoh. We should bounce back.

Love letters activity:
Students thanked their parents mostly. Promised to strive hard for success. 

One student outshines the others. A potential leader is discovered.
Belajar dari kejatuhan. Kalau ulang kesilapan yang sama, kita bodoh. We should bounce back.

Love letters activity:
Students thanked their parents mostly. Promised to strive hard for success.

One student outshines the others. A potential leader is discovered.

I love this basic theater workshop SO MUCH! I like the facilitator, Mr Zach. Not only does he know his subject matter well, truly talented actor; he's also a great motivator. I like how his eyes and actions speak to the 30 participants. They are hooked to him throughout the entire program.

Boy am I lucky to be have the opportunity to select and bring these students to join this workshop. Other English teachers couldn't make it, and since opportunity knocks but once, I said 'yes boss' without hesitation and .....the other side of the coin was that I caused discomfort to yet another colleague. Sorry teachers, for choosing your students to participate in this workshop which I highly regard as beneficial, but in your eyes, skipping classes for this is not right. (Alright, I feel like deleting this post now.)

Do you feel the freedom of speech is shrinking as we grow older?

For example, at the discipline meeting tonight, we teachers are reminded not to sms/fb using mobile phone while in class.  That's a rule everyone must abide. But the thing is, I do use the dictionary app in my smartphone (blame my limited vocabulary, but hey, that's why dictionaries are invented) and sometimes I google for photos for my kids to see, on the spot, in the class. Comparing to the Boston Marathon Bombing, this is really nothing worth to mention. Beh...

Count blessings:

This afternoon, we did a 'love letter writing' activity: the aim is to encourage students' to pour out their feelings to their loved ones. I am so touched by their letters. Most of them wrote to their parents, apologizing for they're not obedient children and promising their parents they will study hard and be successful to make them proud. I nearly cried upon reading the first few letters until ..... I came across one letter: kepada orang yang sayangi iaitu orang yang tiada kebebasan. He wrote about anarchy, about freedom, justice, the rich VS the poor, social discrimination and ended with, Bangunlah Orang Timur!

At his tender age of 17, he's felt the freedom is robbed off his people. According to Mr Zach, this boy has a lot of positive energy in him, he just needs to know where to direct the flow of the energy to. Yesterday, when they were assigned a simple dramatization based on feelings: angry, sad, nervous, shy, sarcastic etc, his expression was something I'll remember for the days to come, if not years. When he outburst the dialogue 'MARAH', he really showed it by having his red blood pumping up and redden his fair face, his nose even shivered and his eyes, wide opened. Everyone in the library was taken aback. Ah, such talented actor, his first attempt and he did fantastically. Imagine if he's a good coach or given more opportunities to explore and use his talents.

Another blessing:

My 3J actually approached me and asked if I'll enter their class today (they know I'm exempted from work for 3 days for this workshop) because they want to have SPELLING! Geez, this little request that comes from the weakest class sent booster potion to me instantly. Coincidentally, the participants were having their tea break/group discussion, so I asked for permission and joyfully entered my favourite 3J. (I do like 3E too, and 3F my own class, 3B is my hope, and upper 6A1 is my where I can communicate with them in English) All in all, I am just so grateful that I love every class appointed to me.

p/s They (including the naughty boys) smiled so brightly when they saw me and I even heard 'I like you!' .....not bragging but it's my nature to share my happiness. Also, they moved their chairs to sit in front of me. Schematically, it's not right to move from your seats, more so, lift your chairs; BUT, they moved to come closer, they raise up their hands enthusiastically to answer; they shouted out of excitement, aren't those worth praising? BUT, no, THAT'S WRONG. Wrong, because I failed to be a police officer; I should double check with Miss Pauline if their enthusiasm disrupted the neighbouring class.

Photo: Teaching is the easy part! 

Shoot, 11:45pm. Time to key in the number of books read by students at i-Nilam, 120 students...

Oh, when will I fall in love with these unnecessary paper work?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mubahay from Philippines~

Sibu-KL-Clark Field (4 hours via Air Asia), took a 2 hours bus to Manila.

Day 1: Manila City Tour, Greenbelt, Makity City.

7am ferry from Cebu to Bohol. We took Cebu Pacific flight from Manila to Cebu.
Took a ground tour, tour guide came to pick us. The thing about blogging late, memory loss, can't remember his Philippine's name. Anyway, he was a friendly tour guide :) (minus the fact he offered a double fare to airport, hm..)
Before reaching the peak of Chocolate Hill lookout point, tour guide dropped us by a souvenir shop and we took a few photos here.
Thank you Cupid! I'm currently struck with the love portion =)
Personal favourite shot with my buddy Yvonne! Thank you for making this vacation so complete!

Since young, I'm told caterpillars are poisonous and well, it's spongy :)
Lunch on cruise @ Loboc River. P450 per pax (round RM 40) one hour cruise and watched kids perform at stops.

Baclayon Church, Bohol.

Blood Compact Site, Bohol.

TARSIERS! Geez, aren't they adorable!
TARSIERS are the only extant entirely carnivorous primates. Tarsiers are amazing jumpers able to jump 40 times more than its own weight. Young tarsiers are born furred and with open eyes. They are able to climb within a day of birth. Tarsiers are able to rotate their head 180 to compensate for the immovable eyeballs! Their third finger has the same length as their upper arm. The second and third toes of their hind limbs bear claws instead of nails using for grooming. Tarsier exhibits the slowest fetal growth rates of any mammal taking 6 months to reach a birth weight of 23 grams. Scientists differentiate tarsier species through their song and singing styles. Tarsiers do sing in high-pitched voice.  
Butterfly Farm staff took the initiative to take creative shots for us.
chilling out by the beach.

Casa Manilla..

Mexican Food @ SM Mall, Manila
Getting ready to Dolphin Watching, snorkelling at Tagbuliran & Virgin Island.

Sea urchin. Tasted like mussels, eaten raw, with a dash of vinegar.

Virgin Island.

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This trip, we touched crispy cacoon, rubbery caterpillar, spiky urchin, hard starfish. Tasted vinegar-ed sea urchin & having butterflies as earring & hair accessories.

And, that is why I heart travelling.
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(Sorry for the unorganized photos, due to weak WiFi connection at Kapit.)
Overall, this budget trip exceeded our budget. Nevertheless, it's worth the $ for the experience and memories shared Hui Yi, Yvonne and Samantha. Due to the war between Sabah & Sulu, we did consider cancelling our trip. This is the perfect time to PRAISE GOD. It was truly a blessed journey, with beautiful weather, protection and ... cheerful hearts :)

It's the holy week (24th-30th March 2013) when we were there. Since Philippines is populated by Catholics, we are amazed that shopping complexes were closed on Holy Thursday (thus the last minute shopping idea was replaced by strolling along the Riverside, watching sunset, I like!)

Traveling is addictive.

p/s To my future husband, can we have a simple wedding by the beach and use the $$ for a memorable honeymoon instead?  Hahahahaha! Yeah, dreams can come true.

Rejuvenated. Enjoying basking in the sunshine while waiting for the best to come.

Monday, April 8, 2013


It has been ages since I last type on my netbook, simply because I can't access to our weak school WiFi. Yesterday, the connection is back. Boy, am I excited to come back to this blog =D Chosea good activity book, and finished typing the 15 activities in 56 minutes, just to share with you all. 

Spell Well Write Well
“…gives teachers ideas on how to conduct spelling and dictation activities.”

(Sektor Pengurusan Akademik Jabatan Pelajaran Negeri Sarawak)

Spell well Write Well is designed to assist the English Language teachers in conducting activities to help pupils spell and write well.  The module provides ideas on how to conduct spelling and dictation activities and hence develop spelling and dictation skills among the pupils.  A detailed description is given for each activity.  Teachers are encouraged to adopt and adopt the suggested activities as part of their lessons.

Competency in the use of English Language entails the correct spelling of words. Thus, to help pupils to develop their spelling skills, teachers could carry out activities which would stimulate the pupils to recall words that they have learnt.  These activities can be introduced as set induction; incorporated into the lesson as reinforcement, or can be a form of feedback at the end of the lesson.

Besides, teachers should constantly ensure that pupils maintain sufficient contact with the language in order to remember the spelling of words.  This can be done by implementing reading and writing enrichment exercises.  This avid reading will not only help them remember the words, but also to expand their vocabulary.  Continuous writing hones the spelling skill.

1)    Spelling activities: Five minutes a day, keeps the spelling errors at bay.
2)    Create awareness of words and spelling used in advertisements, signboards, labels etc.
3)    Teachers may correct the spelling errors during lessons.
4)    Set up a spelling corner in your classroom.


1)    Pictionary
2)    Bingo
3)    Running Dictation
4)    Actionary
5)    Musical Dictation
6)    Rhyming Words
7)    Catch It Fast
8)    Sing Along and Spell After (SASA)
9)    Newspaper in English
10)                      Unjumble the Fumble
11)                      I Spell, You Check
12)                      Jingle Spell
13)                      Match-making Words
14)                      Word Hunt
15)                      Word Staircase
16)                      Spelling Wasp

 This week, I did PICTIONARY with my 3B, 3E, 3F, 3J and 6A1. I thought the better classes will find it boring because I used Ladybird Sounds and Pictures series. I was pleasantly surprised to know even 6A1 enjoyed the game and they requested for more of such games in the coming lessons. As for the extremely weak 3J, they laughed throughout the lesson and it touches my heart to see them diligently learn the spellings. 

Activity: Pupils identify the pictures and spell the words
Aim: To identify the pictures and spell the words
Materials Required: Picture cards & Posters
Preparation before activity: Prepare pictures without labels.
1.    Flash picture cards or posters.
2.    Pupils are instructed to clap once if they want to spell.
3.    The first pupil to clap gets the chance to spell.
4.    The pupil who spells the most number of words correctly is the winner.
1.    Pictures labelled with words of which some letters are omitted e.g. c_t, p_ng_in
2.    Pictures labelled with scrambled letters.
3.    Pupils draw pictures on the board for others to guess and spell.
4.    Pictures used as clues for word maze/word search.

Activity: Pupils are asked to identify the said words in the word maze.
Aim: To crunch words
Materials required: Word maze based on themes (e.g. fruits, animals etc)
Preparation before activity: Prepare a word maze.

1.    Each player is given a word maze.
2.    Teacher says out a series of words learnt.
3.    Pupils search for the words in the maze and circle them.
4.    The first pupil to find the complete set of words shouts BINGO.
5.    He/she needs to spell out the word correctly before he/she is given points.

1.    The pupil who shouts BINGO presents the maze to the teacher for checking.

 Will take photos of their excited faces next time (as memory for me to see, when I retired, 30 years later) haha. Blessed week ahead to all :)