Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New assignment, new haircut

Lastnight I received an sms from my former BM cum form teacher and former colleague, Cikgu Mahda. He requested my help with his Masters assignment. Coming from him, i just can't reject. And this morning my Uncle Robert came and asked me to go to the Education Dept to settle my posting at his school, to relieve a teacher on maternity leave, who happened to be my Aunt Josephine who gave birth to a baby girl lastweek. This assignment would be different as I'll be teaching primary school kids. A new challenge! Primary One class teacher lagik.

I got myself a haircut after the trip to the Dept and breakfast. A crewcut at the oldskool barber shop.

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After that I went to the mall to buy bathing soap and fabric softener. I bumped into Deli, and he said he didn't know Mawi is in Limbang. Curse him! At home, after my sis arrived, she asked why did I get a Mawi haircut. ARGHHH!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Today or technically I should say yesterday, was the Guru Pemulihan interview. And I also found that its called Remedial Teacher in English...i think, OK, but at least that sounded better than Rehabilitation Teacher.
Anyhows, I was supposed to have my turn concluded by 1pm, but our batch of applicants took longer than expected to be completed so the last 3, including myself had to join the 2pm batch. I considered myself fortunate as my 3 buddies, Deli n Nijan had their interviews the day before, and Pian was with the first batch last week. So they relayed stuff to me on what they were questioned etc. Basically I was all set. Current issues and Falsafah Pendidikan Negara and all those stuff you can find from the Ministry's website. To be honest, I just read through them once, and kinda memorized the Falasafah part.
When we were waiting our turns, the others were busy discussing the potential questions, with notes n papers in their hands. I thought that was overkill, its just like preparing for an exam. I actually thought they were wasting their time and its not much use. All the while I just sat there, text messaging my friend Dunstan, going through my mobile Spanish dictionary. I didn't know anyone in my batch, so no chit-chatting for me. Though the girl sitting infront of me was a babe. In my previous post I was worried about how my BM would fare. And as i sat there, the same thing hung around. I practiced the interview in my head. And i began to think if I was under-prepared. But all the while I was cool.
Fast forward, the candidate before my turn entered the interview room, and I started feeling tense. Ah, typical me. My breathing was now different. And I had to hold myself, taking slow and deep breaths. When it was my turn, I stood outside the door waiting for the sound of the bell, indicating that I could enter. Somehow it took quite a while. And imagination crept in. I began to picture myself as Gary Neville, captain of Manchester United. The way his face n eyes are very focused, his body stance. And i did just that!!! HAHA. *Ting!!* Game on...
I entered and greeted the 3 interviewers, the lady asked for my file, and as I gave it to her, the guy in the middle (let's call him The Don) barked, "Kamu graduan oversea, kenapa nak mohon jawatan ni??!!"
Damn that was quick, didn't see it coming!
"Sebenarnya saya bukan graduan dari luar negara, cuma saya mengikuti program twinning di Inti College Sarawak."
The Don nodded, "Oh macam partnership lah, jadi kamu tidak belajar di luar negara."
"Ya betul." Good heavens!! So technically I did not answer the question, and I would have no idea how...haha.
"Sanggup pegi pedalaman?? kalau pegi Bakelalan mau??"
Damnit, the pace and the atmosphere of the interview just kept heating up.
"Bakelalan? Boleh juga. Sana pun memang kampung mak saya." Back at ya!! I bet he didn't expect that answer, considering I have a Chinese surname and have the looks.
"Ok. Kalau posting sana sampai 10-15 tahun?? Masih sanggup kaa, guru pemulihan ni susah sikit kalau mau transfer." Crap!! 15 years!! Ok I admit he psyched me a lil there. I mean, I would love it there, but 15 years is a long time man. And what he said ain't horsecrap.
Still with my pokerface on, I smiled, "Saya rasa saya boleh cuba."
Next we moved on the questions on to stuff like the difference between an ordinary teacher and a remedial teacher. Then he asked about the vital characteristics needed in a remedial teacher. So I answered all those calmly, and in midspeech I realised I was speaking an above average Bahasa Malaysia...Haha.
Then he asked what I undertand and know about the word Integrity. And what I think about it in the context of the Msian Govt...in English (finally). I've read quotes on integrity and also articles on people known to have that quality. That was sometime back when I wanted to know what intregity really meant. Paid off afterall.
"Benjamin, kamu punya prestasi dlm temuduga ini sangat baik." Turns to his henchman and henchlady for agreement, and continued, "I think this is among the best we had so far."
Pokerface mode still switched on, but with a wider smile, and a thank you.
"But you don't have your CGPA in your transcript, and you don't have the letter from JPA to certify your qualification. Ini sangat-sangat penting. Banyak markah yang kamu tak dapat score ni. Sangat sayang lah."
Pokerface mode, smile still visible. They told me to process those documents/requirements ASAP by the 19th. That gave me the impression that I hit the jackpot, but I need the lottery ticket to claim the prize, which I do not. And it is quite difficult if not impossible to sort those things out by the 19th.
Back home, I thought about all those, and I guess I don't really want to be a Remedial Teacher anyway. Considering the the job description, future prospects and all. Sometime later that evening my friend Graman in Sibu texted me telling me that the advertisement on KPLI is out. So I guess I'll have my eyes on this one. Most importantly, it's something that I prefer and want. All in all, the interview was a invaluable experience, having never attended one that was conducted in BM.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Mother mother

Today, April 16 is my mum's birthday. She's ummm...*thinking*...*calculating*...she's 49 today. So I would like to dedicate this post to wish her happy birthday, and may God grant her many more birthdays. We'll be having the birthday dinner tomorrow as my parents have some stuff over at church tonight. I will also be making my debut as Chef De Mission, and my main masterpeice will be the grilled chicken.
On a different front, I'll be having an interview tomorrow for the Guru Pemulihan thingy. I don't know what you call it in English, Rehabilitation Teacher? Just doesn't sound right man. I mean you do not go around rehabilitating students right? It will definitely be a new experience, to go through an interview that'll be conducted in Bahasa Malaysia. I'll need to watch whats coming out of my mouth, no "Well...", "so...", "then..." etc. OMG its gonna be tough out there tomorrow!!
Hmmm...I just got a text msg from an unidentified number asking me if I had my interview already, identifying him/herself as Lek. Who's Lek??? Oh my cousin duhal. Peace out!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What's the price to pay for loyalty?

If I were to be asked what is my strongest trait or quality during the upcoming interview, I'd probably say loyalty.

I'm telling you that this is very true. I am a true believe in brand/people/etc loyalty. I practice it!

Just earlier while on YM with ndru, we talked about the longserving Man Utd players, Solsjkear in particular who has been with the club for 10 years. Ndru and I have been loyal supporters of the club before that. Me being a year or two longer lah. And it is also amazing that Ryan Giggs has been there before we were fans. Another example of loyalty to a football club. I have never switched loyalties, even during the tough times when we weren't winning trophies.

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I am also a loyal user of Digi Telecommunications. I have been with Digi ever since the day I owned a mobilephone. I've changed numbers a couple of times but I remain a loyal Digi user. So loyal that I have never changed to a different telco during the period of having 3 girlfriends (not at the same time of course!! Well that's another example of loyalty LoL) even when they are not Digi users. The only time I ever used a different services was a couple of years ago when I went back for my long semester break, and in those days Digi's coverage had yet to reach Limbang. So I used Maxis for that 1 month plus period, and only during that period of time. Despite the cool image of Maxis and the wide coverage of Celcom/TM, I am still a Digi user.

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I am also a loyal user of Colgate range of toothpaste. I guess this is one habit that has been instilled since childhood. I mean, we even call any toothpaste regardless of brand as colgate. There was a time when I was younger, when we go travelling and the house that we stayed in had no Colgate toothpaste, I would rather not brush my teeth. Even if I did, I would still feel that my teeth are not clean. But lately I've been using Darlie lah. Cause my sister prefers it, and she gets mom to buy them. And also it's not economical to have 2 toothpastes at the moment. But I guess the quality is better than before lah.

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I just thought of another. I am a loyal shopper/window shopper at Grand Supermart. Ever since the store opened a couple of years back, I spend my time browsing the cold storage section, canned food section etc etc even when I don't plan to buy anything. The Departmental store section is also much fun, decent quality clothing. But since Uncle Spencer was promoted and transferred back to Kuching, Grand Supermart isn't what it was like before. Nevertheless, I still prefer shopping there.

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To end, I am also a loyal owner of the house cat, Kitty, or as I call her fondly, Babi. We have a love hate relationship. My mum actually got her for my sister who loved our cousin's kittens. But after a short time, the ownership of the kitten changed, and so did her name. From Sweetie to Kitty @ Babi. She was recently pregnant but the poor little felines justs didn't make it.

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This is Kitty posing immediately after the washing cover fell to the floor. A rare moment where she actually looked at the camera. A strange pose, I guess thats what been seducing those male cats in the neighbourhood.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hero, Heaven, Hell, Help me

For the past couple of days, I had thought of so many stuff I intend to write here. But the moment I finally logged in and clicked the "New Post" icon, I have no friggin idea on what to write. I guess I shouldn't be one to be surprised, happens. Anyhows, there is this one thing that I won't forget to post.

My grandad made the news!! My dad who was surfing the net yesterday found this on New Straits Times Online. Dad called out and I came running from the kitchen. "Look at this guy". I looked, and I wondered who was this dude in the picture. (yea yea I know I suck) After a few seconds it finally hit me....that's my ipu! (grandad in Lunbawang)

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The rest of the story, you could read from the link. This is one badass grandpa I tell ya. And I say that with tremendous affection and pride. He once told a story about the first time he chopped off a Japanese soldier's head. I asked him, not to question what he did, but just a question, why did he chopped off the head. He replied, "Naru tupu." Subtitle: "Just for the heck of doing it." I just love this guy.

Seventh Heaven

Wednesday morning Europe were shocked and awed by a majestic Manchester United destruction of AS Roma. I can't believe what I was watching either. I was trying hard not to shout there and then, at 3.10am in the morning, as not to wake up my mum especially. All I could do to contain my joy when the 3rd goal was scored, was jumping like a madman in the living room. Such ecstasy! Next, AC Milan....

Burning grass? Call 994!

Last Friday evening, as me and my cousin Nathaneal were driving my uncle's house to the town center, we spotted a trail of black smoke. I suspected it was a fire, so we change course and went to find the burning location. After a few wrong turns, we finally got to the place. Too bad it wasn't something big, like a house or something. Well, I mean luckily it wasn't someone's house or anything! *grins*

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Turned out it was just a bushfire. But there were houses nearby so, it's definitely not a good thing. When we reached the place, it was already crowded with people. Ah Bengs, local equivalents though more subtle Mat Rempits, joggers, kids etc. But most of them stayed away from the fire. I saw some dudes near the fire, so being the arsehole that I am sometimes, I joined em. Thanks to the continous advancement of technology, people were snapping away with their cellphones, and I am one of em. And I was fortunate my cell was in its glorious mood. Moments later Jabatan Bomba Limbang arrived in amazing fashion, the fire engine drove through bushes and uneven ground to the scene.

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Firemen getting ready to do their thang!

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Firemen in action.

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Firemen assessing the situation after the fire was under control. Joining them was a "local expert" on fires (man in blue pants + singlet).

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Found the culprit! Bad tyre...

To end things up for tonight, I'll be having my big interview on Tuesday. I don't know if I'm nervous about it, but I should be. It's gonna be conducted mostly in BM, Bahasa Melayu my man!! I just hope I won't suck or even get carried away with some fake semenanjung accent. For those who don't know me, I don't speak BM!! I mean I do speak Bahasa Sarawak (fluenty) and the local Limbang Malay, but not the National language. So I just hope to God that I would do just fine!!

Monday, April 09, 2007

It's April

Happy belated Easter people.

April is like the start of my new year. Not that it's official like a personal fiscal year. It's like everything begins in April. New hopes, new job, new hobbies, new everything. So I wish u all a very happy new year, month of april version.

Wanted to put up a few posts + pics. But the process is pretty cumbersome, and that makes me lazy. I would have to resize the pics and upload them to Photobucket before I can put them up here. Blogspot in all its glorious wisdom would most of the time not show the photos if I do it the easy way.