Wednesday, June 27, 2007

my 7s and 9s

On some weekends, a bunch of 7 and 9 year olds call me Teacher Doreen.

Me and Teacher Angie take turns with the 2 classes under our wing - the Primary 1 and Primary 3. As though my day job isn't enough to keep me busy and knackered eh? But they pay well, so I don't mind doing a few hours every other Saturday.

There are 15 students in the Primary 1 class - and they are... all over the place! We have boys who can never sit still, students who talk too much, the I'm-smarter-than-everyone-else types who read louder and faster than everyone else when asked to read together, the shy and timid girls who speak so, so, so softly I have to stick my ears to their lips to be able to hear, the ones who never bother to finish their homework, the ones who get 0 for spelling, the ones who get full marks for spelling - it's quite a concoction in there.

The Primary 3 class is a small one of 5 students, and I their company a whole lot. At this age, they are already quite knowledgeable, and will ask plenty of questions. It is also very much easier to teach them because I don't have to crack my head figuring out how to simplify a particular scenario or word for them to be able to understand it.

Teacher Angie and me are very different. She's a strict disciplinarian while I'm more easy going. The kiddies know it - and they exploit this fact. It's all quite funny because despite how smart they are, they seem to forget that teachers talk.

Then you get to know the children... yes, teachers all have pets. These days, despite me moaning and groaning about waking up early on teaching Saturdays, I still look forward to seeing the children. For me, I think it has to do with the fact that they are so innocent and naive, and for that few hours, my mind is taken off all "adult matters" - like bills to pay, work-related stress, and well, general "adult" worries.

A few nights ago, I was up marking their homework sheets. We had also just finished a term, which means I have to count the stickers in the 7-year olds' spelling books in order to reward them with little presents. A big sticker for full marks, and a small sticker for those who have only 1 mistake.

2 students stood out when I leafed through their spelling books. One has 12 big stickers out of 14 spelling tests. He's a quiet boy in class, and I don't remember ever having to yell at him at all. The other student, this girl, stood out because in the early weeks, she started off with failing her spelling tests and even getting zeros for quite a number of them. But progress is noticeable because of late, she's been doing rather well, even getting full marks for some tests!

Is this why people find satisfaction and joy in teaching?

Posted by Doreen at 9:50 am


Friday, June 22, 2007

my brush with royalty

"Kereta 6128 siapa punya?" asked the Manager of the Royal Selangor Polo Club.

We were out there on the patio having a meeting with a client when rudely interrupted by Mr. Club Manager. I stood up to indicate ownership and he told me I had to remove my car.

"Tak boleh park kat sana, tu VIP parking," he told me.

As I was walking towards my car, I saw a signage erected right where I had parked, but it was shadowed by mass of overgrown hedge.

"Oooh. Royalty parking." I thought to myself, and told the Manager he should trim his bush (no pun intended) because the sign was obscured.

Foolishly and excitedly, I asked him, "Oooh, oooh VIP on the way datang ke?"

"Takde lah, but you still cannot park here".

Posted by Doreen at 10:12 am


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Magic Nails

It wasn't so bad.

The good thing about starting work at 10am is that I don't get caught in the morning crawl. After parking my car, I even had time to admire my nails.

Pretty kan?

See, even the toes match.

The first day wasn't so bad. The new company is housed in a serviced apartment in town, so we get to work from a home setting- a living room and a flat screen TV, a kitchen and we go barefoot. Definitely a nice change from what I was used to.

The Creative Director spent the day waiting to be inspired (read: sleeping). The Boss is yet to return from HK. Everyone else did their own thing.

And I spent the day leisurely reading up on past works. Knocking off at 7pm sent me straight into the queue of cars as everyone too wanted out of the city centre. But it wasn't so bad, I reached home in time to still catch the 8pm news jingle.

I was wondering if I can bring a pair of pyjamas and leave it here. I can change into them and work, and only change out of it when I have to attend meetings.

All in all, a decent day. The nails helped.

Posted by Doreen at 12:23 pm


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

almost over

So the break is coming to an end. 3 weeks - where the hell did 21 days go? Dammit. Oh well. I've still got a couple more days to go till Monday comes.

I'm gonna say this and you're not allowed to laugh - I am actually quite scared about reporting for work at this new place. Yes I know; I've got "First Time Job Hopper" plastered across my forehead right? Don't rub it in, can?

So I'm asking you, yes you - any tips? Advice?

I guess spending 5 years in my first job has proven to be more hazardous than I thought it would be - it has made me fear what's out there. Christ. I feel like a hermit.

Oh no.

What do I wear to work on the first day? Which route shall I take to work on Monday? Are my colleagues nice? Is the boss a bitch? Will I have time to settle in and get to know my colleagues before work starts piling up? Will I gather support from fellow colleagues and subordinates?

Damn. And you know what it kinda feels like? Freaking Primary One all over again! Except this time, it's not the other 7 year olds that I'm scared of. They are all gonna be mean and big! And what if I get bullied? What if they backstab me? What if they all conspire and plot something against me? And.. OK, fine, I am scaring myself here.

Here I am - 26 years of age - freaking out like that. Whatever man. This sucks.

Posted by Doreen at 10:23 am


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Randomly Brutal

So I took this test, some dating personality test, right after that Heroes personality one (I'm Nikki!)..

Genghis Khunt (Random Brutal Sex Master)

We almost called you Brutus the Uterus and attached this picture:

But we figured you wouldn't understand, and rightly so. We don't understand either. So you are Genghis Khan, master of man, bringer of pain, riding your way to conquest after conquest.

Your sexual averice is legendary. You've already had an unusually high amount of experience, and, still look for more. You intimidate many. You make no apologies.

Personality wise, you are carefree and relatively easy going. You don't plan out things ahead of time; you tend to live in the moment. Of course, this can cause some damage when the moment happens to include a screaming orgasm with his younger brother. Hence the 'brutal' tag we've given you.

But you know what, take five seconds to lock the doors and you'll be fine. There's nothing wrong with a little sex, or a whole lot.

Avoid: The Slow Dancer

Consider: The 5-Night Stand, The Hornivore, The Playboy

Take the Dating Persona Test!

*GASP* I would never shag the boyfriend's younger brother.

But, take the test and have a laugh. I took it twice cos I didn't believe the result when it said I was Genghis the first time round. Random and brutal sex master eh?

Now bend over, boy! *whip*

Posted by Doreen at 3:42 pm


Monday, June 11, 2007

A Puffy Story

I hate deciding what to eat.

I'm serious. I hate it. When it's lunch time at the office, I hate the part when everyone's asking everyone "What shall we eat?" I usually tell them to decide because I'm not fussy with food.

The man is hopeless at deciding where to eat as well. Despite our growling stomachs, we can still sit on the couch undecided, especially when Jeevan / Colette / Jamie is on. We'll just sit there lah, until we cannot tahan the hunger anymore... then we'll pop over to the usual Chinese shop. So much for trying to find some place new to eat.

I'm back at my parents' for a couple of days. Whatever the time of the year, coming back home is always a cause for celebration because let's face it, no one cooks better than your own mother. Sure, Jamie Oliver is cute and all, but I bet he can't whip up a mean curry fish head dish the way my mom does it.

And what's good about being back home is that, mom doesn't ask me what I want to eat. I mean, she doesn't ask an open-ended question. Instead, she'll ask "Do you want to eat curry fish head / grilled chicken / (insert dish name here)?"

See how much easier life is back at home?

Mom made curry puffs yesterday. I joined in the fun. Her curry puffs have been notoriously good for as long as I can remember. We made everything from scratch - right from kneading the dough and dicing the potatos and ingredients which will be the filling for the puffs.

So there we were, the rain was lashing down hard yesterday afternoon, and mother and daughter in the kitchen busy making puffs. It was a moment to revel in. Everytime I get some spicy potato on my fingers while trying to seal the puff, I lick it off, which is much to mom's dislike. "Ish, so dirty!" she will say.

After about an hour, and 30 puffs all made to perfection, we immediately fried a couple. Best to eat it fresh you know. With the remaining dough, mom made something that looked like a cinnamon roll, while I attempted to make a blob of shit.

The curry puff was like how it always has been. The pastry flaky and just right - not too thick, not too thin. The filling was spicy and aromatic. And when you bite into it, the smoke rises from the hot filling, and then we have to jump about for a while with our mouths open because we didn't allow the puffs to cool first.

And somehow, my blob of shit didn't look quite like shit after frying it.

Is it just me, or does it look like a snake who is all smiley and with mata sepet?

Posted by Doreen at 11:11 am


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Crackers and Coffee

I had cream crackers and coffee the other day. I dipped them crackers into my steaming mug of coffee and then greedily devoured a whole stack of them thereafter. They were heavenly. Ultra heavenly in fact.

I cannot remember the last time I had crackers dipped in coffee like that. My recent craze is the banana-choc-chip muffin from Starbucks. Then there were the cheesecake from Secret Recipe, the teeny cakes from Bakerzin, the rolls from Bread Story, the cookies from Famous Amos, oh god I could go on.

Then it hit me.

Everyone's too busy eating all those pretty little pastries and sweet delights from your up-market little cafes and bakeries. And it's all about paying good money to eat quality stuff.

But if only we bothered to look again, to go back to basics, and perhaps we just might find little joys which we forgot were there because we were too busy pursuing other things in life.

We overlooked simple joys in life because we all wanted fancy stuff, because apparently, fancy stuff makes you look "the part". And we all know that everyone's got a part to play in society. Right?

Maybe once in a while, everyone should have cream crackers dipped in coffee. It brought me back to ground.

Posted by Doreen at 7:54 pm


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

picnic up Everest

Why are there so many people climbing Mount Everest these days?

Cos the ice is melting that's why! Not so cold anymore right? Can bring your whole family go up there picnic right?

And now Ken Noguchi has to clean up after your stinking arses.

As if the ice melting as a result of world climate is not bad enough, now you gotta leave nasi lemak wrapper up there lah?

Heh, ok fine. So Japanese and Koreans make up the most number of mountaineers heading up Everest.

Ken has so far managed 5 cleaning expeditions up Everest, and has brought back 9000 freaking kilograms of rubbish. There's more where that came from. Much more.


I've never gone up any mountain. Except Genting. I may not want to scale Everest or Kinabalu or any other mountains, but I want my children to be able to do so, should they want to, and they should be able to enjoy the mountain at its purest form. Minus nasi lemak wrapper and all.

Be a responsible climber lah aiyo.

Posted by Doreen at 3:12 pm