Thursday, February 28, 2008

3 Letters from Teddy- a story that touches me during class today

This is a story that touches me during class today. I'd like to share it with you guys. We may not be a teacher one day but what we say to children will leave a big impact in their lives. It's hard to not feel prejudice at all but at least we should try to avoid from doing so.

I have not seen Teddy Stallard since he was a student in my fifth grade class fifteen years ago. It was early in my career, and I had only been teaching for two years. From the first day he stepped into my classroom, I disliked Teddy. Teachers (although everyone knows differently) are not supposed to have favourites. But most especially are they not to show dislike for a child, any child.
Nevertheless, every year there are one or two children that one cannot help but be attached to, for teachers are human and it is a human nature to like bright pretty intelligent people, whether they are ten years old or twenty-five. And sometimes, not too often fortunately, there will be one or two students to whom the teacher just can't seem to relate.
I had thought myself quite capable of handling my personal feeling along that line until Teddy walked into my life. There wasn't a child I particularly liked that year, but Teddy was most assuredly one I disliked. He was dirty. Not just occasionally, but all the time. His hair hung low over his ears and he actually had to hold it out of his eyes as he wrote his paper in class. (And that was before it was fashionable to do so.) Too, he had a peculiar odor about him which I could never identify.
His physical faults were many, and his intellect left a lot to be desired, also. By the end of the first week I knew he was hopelessly behind the others. Not only was he behind, he was just plain slow. I began to withdraw from him immediately.
ny teacher will tell you that it is more of a pleasure to teach a bright child. It is definitely more rewarding for one's ego. But any teacher worth her credentials can channel work to the bright child, keeping him challenged and learning while she puts her major effort on the slower ones. Any teacher CAN do this. Most teachers DO it, but I DIDN'T. Not that year. In fact, I concentrated on my best students and let the others follow along as best they could. Ashamed as I am to admit it, I took perverse pleasure in using my red pen; and each time I came to Teddy's paper, the cross-marks (and they were many) were a little larger and a little redder than necessary. "Poor work" I would write with a flourish.
While I did not actually ridicule the boy, my attitude was obviously quite apparent to the class, for he quickly became the class "goat" the outcast-the unlovable and the unloved.

The days rolled by and we made it through the fall festival, the Thanksgiving holidays, and I continued marking happily with my red pen. As the Christmas holidays approached, I knew that Teddy would never catch up in time to be promoted to the sixth grade level. He would be a repeater. To justify myself, I went to his cumulative folder from time to time. He had very low grades for the first four years, but no grade failure. How he had made it, I didn't know. I closed my mind to the personal remarks.
First Grade: "Teddy shows promise by work and attitude, but he had a poor home situation."
Second Grade: Teddy could do better. Mother terminally ill. He receives little help at home.
Third Grade: "Teddy is a pleasant boy. Helpful, but too serious. Slow learner. Mother passed away at the end of the year." Fourth Grade: "Very slow, but well behaved. Father shows no interest."
Well, they passed him four times, but he will certainly repeat fifth grade! Do him good! I said to myself.
And then the last day before the holiday arrived. Our little tree on the reading table sported paper and popcorn chains. Many gifts were heaped underneath, waiting for the big moment.
Teachers always get several gifts at Christmas, but mine that year seemed bigger and more elaborate than ever. There was not a student who had not brought me one. Each unwrapping brought squeals of delight and the proud giver would receive effusive thank yous.
Teddy's gift wasn't the last one I picked up; in fact it was in the middle of the pile. Its wrapping was a brown paper bag and he had colored Christmas trees and red bells all over it. It was stuck together with masking tape.
"For Miss Jones-From Teddy" it read. The group was completely silent and for the first time I felt conspicuous, embarrassed because they all stood watching me unwrap that gift.
As I removed the last bit of masking tape, two items fell to my desk. A gaudy rhinestone bracelet with several stones missing and a small bottle of dime store cologne-half empty.
I could hear the snickers and whispers and I wasn't sure I could look at Teddy.
"Isn't this lovely?" I asked, placing the bracelet on my wrist. "Teddy would you help me fasten it?"
There was a few hesitant ooh's and ahh's but as I dabbed the cologne behind my ears, all the little girls lined up for a dab behind their ears. I continued to open the gifts, until I reached the bottom of the pile. We ate our refreshments and the bell rang.
The children filed out with shouts of "see you next year" and "Merry Christmas". But Teddy waited at his desk.
When they all left, he walked toward me clutching his fist and books to his chest.
"You smell just like Mom." he said softly. "Her bracelet looks really pretty on you, too. I'm glad you like it."
He left quickly and I locked the door, sat down at my desk and wept, resolving to make up to Teddy what I had deliberately deprived him of - a teacher who cared.
I stayed every afternoon with Teddy from the end of the Christmas holidays until the last day of school. Sometimes we worked together. Sometimes he worked along while I drew up lesson plans or graded papers.
Slowly but surely he caught up with the rest of the class. Gradually there was a definite upward curve to his grades.
He did not have to repeat the fifth grade. In fact, his final average was among the highest in the class, and although I knew he would be moving out of the state when school was out, I was not worried for him. Teddy had reached a level that would stand him in good stead the following year, no matter where he went. He had enjoyed a measure of success and as we were taught in our teacher training course, "Success builds success."
I did not hear from Teddy until seven years later, when his first letter appeared in my mailbox.
"Dear Miss Jones,
I just wanted you to be the first to know I will be graduating second in my class next month.
Very truly yours,
Teddy Stallard

I sent him a card of congratulations and a small package, a pen and pencil gift set. I wondered what he would do after graduation. Four years later, Teddy's second letter came.
"Dear Miss Jones,
I wanted you to be the first to know. I was just informed that I'll be graduating first in my class. The university has not been easy, but I like it.
Very truly yours,
Teddy Stallard

I send him a pair of sterling silver monogrammed cuff links and a card, so proud of him I could burst!
And now-today-Teddy's third letter.
"Dear Miss Jones,
I want you to be the first to know. As of today I am Theordore J. Stallard, M.D. How about that!!! I'm going to be married in July, the twenty-seventh, to be exact. I wanted to ask if you could come and sit where Mom would sit if she were here. I'll have no family there as Dad died last year.
Very truly yours,
Teddy Stallard.
I'm not sure what kind of gift one sends to a doctor on completion of medical school and state boards. Maybe I'll just wait and take a wedding gift, but my note can't wait.
"Dear Ted,
Congratulations! You made it and you did it yourself! In spite of those like me and not because of us, this day has come from you. God Bless you.
I'll be at that wedding with bells on!"

"A great teacher never strives to explain his vision-he simply invites you stand beside him and see for yourself. Rev R. Inman>
Author: Elizabeth Ballard

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

MAK 07/08

MAK (Malam Anugerah Kurshiah) is one of the biggest event in 3rd college which will be held annually. It's an award-giving dinner for us to show our appreciation to those who contribute to our college. It is divided into 2 phases because there are so many awards to be given away. Although I'm also a courteous resident, I don't receive any awards. However, I don't deserve the starvation while waiting for the event to begin either.
Phase 1-Venue: Dewan Makan Kolej, Time: 8pm, Theme: Floral
The event actually started at 9pm because many people come down late. Had dinner at 10.30pm. Queued for 15 minutes before I got my food. I ate like a horse that night. After that I tranformed back to human form and took some pictures. Some of the girls really looked like floral princesses whereas most of them wore baju kurung,rather disappointing. The performance was only so so.

Phase 2-Venue: JW Marriott Putrajaya, Time: 8pm, Theme: Black White Red Gold
My room mates and I went on the bus around 3.30pm, and arrived at the hotel around four something. Wondered why the committee arranged the bus so many hours before the dinner. We decided not to waste time so we brought some books with us. Too bad we didn't read up much because we were busy taking photoes. I didn't count how many photoes I've taken but I took many with the pretty girls of our college. Some are still in my friends' cameras now. Will collect all and see later on because everyone is busy with PTH now.

Waiting for Huey Ye as she became the makeup artist for a few girls. So this is the really spacious changing room where girls were busy making up. Only a few can be as free as we are.
The 2 of us with sour faces are losing patience. Guess it's time to get some fresh air outside.

Yeah~ Oxygen~

Pose of the day >.<
So, more photo taking which is the only thing we enjoy throughout the night. food was bad. Here are some pictures with some pretty girls. There are too many of them so I'll show only a few.



Guys must be jealous of me...
Or him?
Why so few handsome guys?
Sigh~ the ratio of guys to girls in this college is 1:3

I miss sleep

Been sleeping for less than 6 hours lately. That's sleep deficit to me. My dark circles are getting worse that no eye serum, mask or any skincare products will do any good to them. I actually have a few events that I must write about but it's been N days since the occasion passed. One example is Chinese New Year. So, don't be surprise if you see CNY as my topic in March.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The compulsory course in UM

"Producing leaders since 1905". Ever wonder how this is done?
We attend special courses that no other universities in Malaysia offer. One of the courses' code is STAA999X which stands for "sentiasa tak ada air, panggil 999 pun tak guna".
This course is really useful to us. They ensure that we are able to survive in places where water is something luxurious e.g. deserts. You must be interested what kind of skills we UM students attain that make us so special, right?

1. Our listening skills are superb. This is especially essential to train counsellors-to-be like me. We are able to identify if there is water by listening to water dripping sound from our rooms.
2. We think critically and creatively. We have one thousand and one ways on how to save water. We are also able to bathe with one small pail of water and have no problem for wearing the same clothes for a few days.
3. We are physically fit because we are trained to carry pails of water from place to place.
4. We have no problem in travelling because we are like nomads who can walk a distance from our residential college to other people's faculties to bathe. Aren't we adventurous?
5. We are patient because we can wait till midnight for water.
6. We are so dedicated that we do not cancel any of our activities like sports training even though we expect to sweat like rain but not having the chance to bathe after that.
7. We are so devoted to this course that we can't help not buying extra pails for reserving water.
8. We are always alert and ever ready to act like the frontline soldiers because once there's water, we'll rush for it no matter the cost.
9. Last but not least, we are doing a great deed for Mother Earth, by saving water. We as university students, are very aware of worldly affairs.

These are what make us the top in the country. There is no reason for employers not to employ a UM graduate who has all the strengths a company needs. For students from other universities, I'm sorry if I sound arrogant, your university must make this special course compulsory or else we will still be one step ahead.
*There is a generalisation in this post because not all residential colleges in UM face the water shortage crisis. The management has taken proactive measures to solve this problem so hopefully the problem can be resolved in near future.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's day is not for everyone one. Is it true?

I came across this brochure on one of the notice boards in my college.

Take note of the "DILARANG DAN DITEGAH"

I never know that Muslims are actually forbiddened to celebrate Valentine's day. Well, it really depends on how you see it but since this issue is sensitive due to religious matter, I shouldn't comment. It's all about the objective of Valentine's which is not parellel to the Islamic teachings.

However, some people keep promoting this celebration. They say Valentine's day is not only meant for lovers but also friends. So, my room mate and I have a very special celebration this night.

First of all, we decorated two chairs with Valentine's gifts and some titbits.

Then, we changed our clothes so that we can get better looking pictures of ourselves. Too bad we forgot to put on makeup.
After that, we swtiched off the light, and cover our study lamp with towel so that the lighting is dim and romantic. We played Jim Brickman's music and sipped some sparkling juice. Our "date" was rather short because I had to attend a drama practice. If not, we might be able to share one dance ;D
We also took some pictures together. But there were only the two of us, we had to think hard to place the camera that we finally placed it on a dictionary which is on a pail which is on my bed. Aren't we brilliant?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's

Tomorrow will be Valentine's day. My room mate asked me if I have any programmes. Guess I'll just stay in college and rest. Afterall, I haven't recovered from my illness yet. Sometimes I think I'm getting weird because I don't have feelings towards festive seasons anymore. I remember myself bathing in the college's shower room when the clock ticked 12am to 1st January 2008. Anyhow it's just another day.
I read this article bout why people hate Valentine's day on the paper. These are some I can remember.

1. Nice restaurants are fully booked. Have to pay more for lousier food.
2. Have to light candles (which is kinda stupid)
3. Flowers are more expensive than usual. Can wait till midnight to buy cause there will be a 50% off (but mind you that you might be in great trouble if you do so)
4. Make sure you buy the right size, colour and pattern for lingerie and DON'T even look at the salesgirl's boobs when you enter the lingerie shop.
5.Presents are damn expensive but don't expect you'll get one because you're a guy (poor thing)
6.You'll faint of dissapointment if your girlfriend whom you want to propose gives you a big NO in your face when you show her a diamond ring.

1. You have to act like you're really happy this day otherwise people will think that your relationship with your boyfriend is bad.
2. When you see happy couples on the street, you feel jealous, wondering why other people are happier than you.
3. You'll not be happy even though you receive flowers or cards anonymously because that guy might look like a toad.
4. You'll get frustrated if the person you hate most receives precious presents but complain bout it to you.
5. I forgot the 5th one...let's just skip la,can?
6. You'll faint due to dissappointment when the guy whom you thin is your Mr. Right sends nothing to you but a tasteless Valentine's card.

Sounds not fun right? Like nothing to be celebrated...but still, enjoy if you think the above doesn't apply to you and don't be sad if you feel that this day is not for you as you're not the only person who feels so ;-)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I hate being sick

I am not feeling well again. I worry that I’ll fall sick because this is the Nth time I get sick in KL within such a short time here. It all started with dust falling into my eyes, I couldn’t stand the itch but to keep rubbing them until they become red and watery. They were still red the next morning so I wondered if I should still go to lecture. Then, my nose started runnning and I felt a bit dizzy. Throat feels dry too. I took some vitamin C before I rushed to lecture (I'm a good and responsible student,you see). I don’t think it helped a lot but I just want to ensure that my immune system can withstand the evil microbs which intend to invade me. I can’t fall sick at this point as I have assignments lining up, drama practices, “xiang sheng”(相声) practices and a test on next Tuesday.

Am I doing direct selling now? No...

Actually my mum bought them for me. Got sale? Don't think so. I didn’t understand why she is willing to spend so much to buy these supplementary food for me.

But….. which mother won’t be worried if her daughter’s wrist is merely an inch thick, which is thinner than this Developmental Psychology reference book.

Or the diameter of the wrist being less than the sum of 2 twenty cent coins?

Are these the results of poor food?

Doesn’t look nutritious, right?

But it’s got nothing to do with the thinness of my wrist. After I took the measurement, I finally understand why my form six teacher used to suspect me of having Aneroxia Nervosa.
However, the food still sucks compared to these.

So, that worsens my condition.

Don’t worry because I receive love and care from my mum and friend. Shu Huan gave me 2 packets of herbal tea to fight the evils that make me sick.
I think this will be sufficient for now because I hate to see the doctor.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Wishing List (revised)

Saw this wishing list at the user profile. Was actually thinking of using it but is a shopping list in disguise. Not everything can be bought, dear blogger.
So this is my wishing list for the time being:

1) I wish I can have a nicer layout for my blog.
2) I wish I learn how to edit photoes using computer software.
3) I wish I don't have dark circles.
4) I wish my skin is FLAWLESS.
5) I wish I can get JPA scholarship (the money is a lot more compared to that offered by SPA)
6) I wish I get lots of angpaus (gosh,why am I still so childish?)
7) I wish I read more books.

Okla...enough for the time being. Will update again hehe...

After a few days, I remember the things I want to have:
1) A new bag (nice one)
2) A new and pretty wallet (optional)
3) A super-duper ultra durable umbrella (essential)
4) A good foundation (one that can cover the flaws of my face)
5) A bolster (no wonder I feel something's missing on my bed)

My English is still OK de!~


Pelajar berikut dikecualikan daripada mengambil kursus
English Enhancement 1 pada Sem 2, Sesi 2007/2008.
(The following students are exempted from the English Enhancement 1
course in Sem 2, 2007/2008 Session.)
1 PEC 070004 317895 Pass
2 PEC 070006 870228526148 Pass
3 PEC 070009 870729105608 Pass
4 PEC 070016 870122015032 Pass
5 PEC 070022 871130025112 Pass
6 PEC 070028 870301XXXXXX Pass <---- ME!!!!
7 PEC 070041 870122385236 Pass
8 PEC 070043 870901355474 Pass
9 PEK 070048 870427526060 Pass

Yeah!~ I passed the English test, no need to attend English lessons which means more time to sleep and sleep...feel sorry for my other friends because so few people pass (heard that the passing mark is 80 or more). Anyway, hope that the class will be short and fun.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Notice something?

I changed my profile picture because someone told me that I look i a cartoon. Hmph~ I hope this one will look normal, right "someone"? I hope you see this and give me feedback privately.

Anyway, was actually thinking of uploading more pictures for my new post but I don't have a cable with me now, so will postpone it. I'm just lazy to type so much.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

A birthday that I never had

It was my 21st birthday yesterday. I went to have some Sarawakian laksa with my uncle, aunty and sister that morning at Bangsar. After that, we wnet to Bangsar Village where aunty bought me a shiny handbag. That was my first birthday present for this year. After that I walked around Bukit Bintang area hoping to buy something for myself as I feel rather sad for not receiving many gifts. With that, I have a good reason to pamper myself. HOWEVER, I didn't spend money as crazily as I planned to. I bought a bracelet for myself n several for my friends. Wierd, I thought, why do I think of giving out gifts for others during my own birthday. But I didn't care, just enjoy the feeling of buying all the small small things. Then, my sister gave me a treat at Secret Recipe. I must say the service there made the unhappy birthday girl felt even worse. Forget all those, as the worse is yet to come.
It poured heavily after we'd eaten. I was worried because I still have to rush back to college by 6.30pm. Then I realised my handphone's battery was running low, so I had to change mine with my sister's (I left my charger at my aunty's place as I stayed overnight there). The only lucky thing that happen to me that day is that I brought an umbrella with me which enabled me to go back to college without looking like a mad person. As I sat in the bus from the LRT station to University, I thought, OK, this ticket that has my birthday on it will be a souvenir I give to myself. If I take all the sms as my birthday presents, I actually have more than a dozen of them. So, nevermind, I told myself. Too bad unlucky events didn't stop there. My sis's phone got blocked because I didn't knoe the password. Had to call her through public phone. After that my SIM card got blocked because I entered the pin for the phone instead of the SIM as I was too anxious. Through all the fuss that frustrated me so much, I got my time through the rehearsal.
I flew back as I really miss my bed. After a nice shower, Chee Weh (a senior) called me.
"Hey, why you left the stage so soon? You're suppose to stay for the meeting!"
"OK, I'll come down later."
"Make sure you do."
So, I took my sweet time because I purposely want to.
Someone knocked on my door. Then I opened.
Ta' DA~ iT WAS Shu Huan! With a cake!
"Where's your room mate?"
"One went to bro's home, one practising chinese yoyo"
"Hold on."
"OK." Yeah~ Finally I get one official birthday cake this year. Made my birthday sound more like a birthday.
So, Shu Huan woke her room mate, Suk Shing who was half asleep that time just to sing me a birthdy song, how sweet! When they started, one was English version and the other was in Mandarin. They stared at each other and decided to sing the English one. Ha, so happy. Since my mood was so good already, I decided to go down for the "meeting".
To my surprise, I have half a cake (because I share it with my college mother, Yee Chia whose birthday falls on the same day with me).
Conclusion, happy ending.

What Bei Shan Means
You are full of energy. You are spirited and boisterous.
You are bold and daring. You are willing to do some pretty outrageous things.
Your high energy sometimes gets you in trouble. You can have a pretty bad temper at times.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.
You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.
You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.
Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.
Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.
What's" Your Name's Hidden Meaning?