... in which I kill time by the hour ...

Jul 26, 2012

The Thulhaadhoo Chronicles - Fandom Interlude

Because I need to vent this out somewhere D: Much whiny ranting ahead.

I swear, it is like everything to do with fandom was just waiting for me to set foot outside Male’ because no sooner than I came to Thulhaadhoo and tried to concentrate purely on teaching and being a kickass teacher that students actually like and being all sorts of awesome, all hell broke loose in the far east.

Super Junior made their come back, for starters. I have not seen the MV for Sexy, Free and Single  (what the hell, though, seriously xD). Nor have I downloaded the album and thus have no idea what the songs are or sound like. Because unlike in Male’ where I have unlimited internet connection, all I have here is a measly modem for which my father is paying and I can’t waste all the money he puts in it to download stuff that does not have anything to do with my TP or teaching aids.

And so I was left with a huge green monster on my back while Rif and Neji – YOU TROLLS – excitedly told me over fb, texts and phone calls how epic and catchy the music is and how mindblowing and awesome the MV is and how gorgeous and sexy everyone looks (NEJI IS A HUMONGOUS TROLL MONSTER WHO TELLS ME HOW FREAKING RAVISHING MY BIASES LOOK UUUGGGGHHHHHH~) and I cannot even spazz with them because UM I CANNOT RELATE BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW BECAUSE I HAVEN’T SEEN/HEARD ANYTHING YET D: D: D:

So there I was, trying to ignore the very existence of SJ because I hate them for making their come back when I couldn’t be there to join in all the grandeur and awesomeness of it, when my other fandom decided I hadn’t  been trolled enough.

The LJ Kanjani8 subbing comms were just waiting for me to leave, weren’t they!? D: They’ve been quiet for a heck of a long time, but as soon as I get here, they started releasing subs after subs after subs. D: I’VE BEEN WAITINF FOR THOSE FOREVER AND YOU COULDN’T FIND A BETTER TIMING, COULD YOU D: My sticky notes are full with all the links I’m saving, ready to download them all the moment I get back home.

As if releasing subs I cannot get my hands on yet was not bad enough, Kanjani8 decides it’s time to make their Eight Ranger debut and BAM! Out came their ER single just a couple of days ago and I was just aching to download the damn thing because SO MUCH NEED. I almost snuck a download on the school comp in the staff room (what, my  master teacher does it >.>) but the internet connection speed was being a bish and I couldn’t get the single after all.

I nearly went insane when they released the freaking PV – in three different versions WHUT – and the making of ER the very next day. EITO Y U NO WAIT TILL I GO BACK WHYYYY D: D: D: So now I have another music video I haven’t watched, an album I haven’t downloaded and biases – all seven of them – I haven’t witnessed in their new looks yet.

The only good thing? Unless I download the shiz myself, neither Rif nor Neji will be able to get their hands on the K8 goods, either. So  yes. SUFFER WITH ME UNTIL THE 4TH OF AUGUST TROLLS MWAHAHAHAHAA.

Er, wait. Just one more day before the release of the Eight Ranger movie. O___________O FORGET MALE’ WHY AM I NOT IN JAPAN FOR THIS A;SLKHJFAKSDHFSDKJHFKJSDHFSJKFF

The Universe. It trolls me.

The Thulhaadhoo Chronicles - Part 2

There really is nothing quite like the feeling you get when you enter a classroom for the first time, not as a student, but as a teacher.

I can’t quite describe what I felt on my first teaching day when I entered that quiet grade 8 class and dragged on the friendliest smile I could muster and looked around at those fourteen faces, all of which were reflecting that judging you so hard right now vibe, and it really struck home that Fook. I am their fooking teacher. I have fooking students. I am here to teach. Fook fook fookity FOOK.

It is something akin to stage fright, I think. And I have had my fair share of that. I still remember those instances during my primary school years when I was grudgingly forced on stage to act out some moral drama. I always got the butterflies beforehand, but the moment I am up on stage and all those hundreds of eyes are on me, the one thing that sticks in my mind is that I cannot afford to make a fool out of myself. That one solid thought is what always got me through those experiences; it made me perform my best and ignore the audience and just bloody do it and somehow I survive.

I think the same thing happened this time. I am here on my Teaching Practicum and it is not a field I can afford to lose out on, so I just unwittingly handled the fear the same way I used to handle stage fright. And somehow … it worked well. Wow. I don’t even-

I never thought it would be so hard to explain what it is like to teach, but the feeling is … kinda overwhelming, in a good way. I always knew I had confidence deep down inside – or at least, a mask of confidence that hides my nervousness well – and I was able to bring that out and carry out the lessons in a not-at-all fail way. ^^;

I also like to think I was able to connect with the students on a good level. It stands to reason they were nervous around me the first few days, but I felt such a burst of accomplishment when I saw how they warmed up to me slowly as the days passed. Even greater is the feeling when I am able to handle the handful of naughty kids in the classroom and they actually participate in the activities with enthusiasm and answer my questions correctly. And it gives me those warm fuzzy feelings when the students initiate invitations for me to interact more with them or seek me out for whatever reason and I can feel our relationship building and solidifying. Those little things really do make me feel like all the pains I have to take to be a “good” teacher are so worth it.

So far, I’ve also taught chem to a grade 9 class, which has less number of students – only six! – but are more playful and active. It is a good experience, I guess, learning to manage two classes with very different behaviour, but if I may say so myself, it is far more fun to teach a class that is playful. Being obedient and silent is one thing, but being active and enthusiastic is another. As a teacher in training, I personally prefer to teach classes that have a bit of a naughty playful side. xD

Nevertheless, I’ve developed equal soft spots for both the classes and I so do not want to feel love for a bunch of kids I’m teaching for a mere month because I’ll have to leave soon anyway and I don’t want any sentimental rubbish to deal with later, but … oh yeah, I so totally have soft spots for them >.> (Heck, I refer to them as my brats now D:)

One of the perks of being a teacher is being given the chance to unleash one’s sadistic side on brats xD Well OK, so I haven’t been really sadistic – I’ve been trying to win their hearts and please my master teachers for one thing, so yeah – but it is still gratifying to know I have that power over them. /bricked
(If in some alternate dimension I end up on one of those hilarious Japanese shows I am so totally not thinking of Janiben OK and they ask me if I am an S or an M, I think my answer is obvious. :P)
But I have forced some of the more reluctant kids to be more active and engaged in the lesson by using my borderline sadistic powers of pigheaded persuasion, so it comes close xP Not to mention having to deal with naughty boys who ask extremely cheeky questions to which I fire off sarcastic replies that shut them up good; this is a case where I think both teacher and student enjoy the banter … to different degrees lol xD 

The major downside of being a teacher is losing the freedom to being a flaily spazz outside school, especially in a small island like this where everyone knows everyone and talks spread fast. I hate that need-to-maintain-my-dignity-at-all-times that comes with the teacher package. I need to unleash my insanity outside! But I can’t, because people – especially one of my brats – may see and they will tell everyone and losing society’s respect is a huge no-no. >.>

But well, things are pretty smooth sailing so far, teaching-wise. My master teachers’ feedback have been pretty encouraging and I have hope that I will, Insha Allah, pass my first TP. ^^

Jul 8, 2012

The Thulhaadhoo Chronicles - Part 1

So, here I am in Baa. Thulhaadhoo for my Teaching Practicum, an entire atoll away from my home island, alone. 

Well, maybe not technically alone since I did come with 4 other students from my Uni, one of whom is not only my close friend but a resident of Thulhaadhoo and most of us are living together under one roof. However, this is the first time I've travelled away from home without any family - even my "parent-less" visit to Malaysia in 2010 was with an uncle and cousin - so yeah, I'm pretty much all alone here.

Am I loving it? Yes and no.

It is both exhilarating and nerve-wrecking, the thought of fending for myself. Having lived under my parents' roof for 20 years, I guess it is natural to be nervous about doing things on my own.
Not that I am good-for-nothing or anything; I mean, I do do chores around the house etc, but it's always been Mum and I as a team-of-sorts. I was particularly terrified about the have-to-cook-for-myself part. Mum has always been the official chef of the house; I'm pretty much the assistant kitchen girl or something to that effect. Sorely lacking official cooking experience.

But, alhamdulillah, I guess things do have a way of settling themselves. Us girls cook as a group (since we're sort of share-housing here) and whatever skills I've learned from Mum, I've managed to implement them without really realising it. I cooked things on my own that I never have even tried before and the taste turned out actually pretty OK. Totally edible. xD 

Won't lie, that made me feel so relieved and good about myself, because apart from not wanting to humiliate myself in front of the rest of my housemates, I also feel the need to live up to the high expectations my relatives have for me when it comes to cooking. They all assume I'm awesome at it just because my mother is the best damn cook in our entire clan. Sometimes, it pisses me off - what, is it something that can be inherited or something? - but being forced to take my own crash course in cooking ever since I came here and discovering that I actually can make good food, I feel like I'm sort of proving myself.

So, cooking is fine. And living on our own is turning out to be fine, too. All of us can handle the household chores like cleaning and laundry, and we help out with preparing each other's lesson plans and teaching aids.Also, since my friend is staying at her husband's house, I can have our room in the share-house all to myself. Yay privacy and a queen-sized bed to hog all I want! xD I'm so used to having my own room - and the ridiculous amount of value I put into my personal space and privacy - so I was internally jumping for joy 8D

As for the TP itself, hmm, what can I say...? Thulhaadhoo is a small, quaint little island. Not many huge trees. Lots of houses. Hot in the late mornings and afternoons. And what with Hulhangu monsoon, the clouds get in the way of any breathtaking sunsets it may have. Not much of a lovely beach or sea, either. Mostly just the habour and lagoon. I also haven't had time to properly look around the island, busy as I am at the island school, which is pretty much as quaint and old-fashioned as the island.

I don't mean that in a bad way; just that they still use the old blackboard and chalk method for teaching. I've grown kinda accustomed to all the technological services available at our Uni and we did our preparations using those, so it's a bit of a challenge to revert back to the old style. But I don't mind much. It's more work, but I'm kinda enjoying it... :)

The first week is over, which was just full observation of the classes I'll be teaching. Thankfully, the Science kids seem pretty manageable. The 8th grade class is almost boring at times, they are so silent. Thankfully the 9th grade class is pretty fun. A little hectic sometimes, but fun ^^

The second week started today and I was supposed to take my first lesson today, which is Bio for the 8th grade class. I had butterflies in my stomach since yesterday and I watched a movie last night 'cause I didn't feel like sleeping though I should've slept well for my first teaching lesson instead of watching half of what legit classifies as porn (I didn't know it had porn, though >.> But it's interesting - A Frozen Flower [2008]) and ended being almost late to school and I spent the first hour rereading my lesson plan over and over again because I cannot mess up on my first teaching day, but none of it even mattered in the end because I was told that a previously postponed unit test had been scheduled to take place during my Bio period, so in the end, I didn't get to teach after all. UGH. So frustrating! Because it means that I gotta wait another 24 hours with those darn butterflies in my gut; at least I can overcome my nervousness after the first lesson. I hate having to wait for it...

There really is nothing much to say really, cos not much has happened. The PTA had a cleaning day to celebrate Working Day this last Saturday and we spent hours doing paid housework for people around the island and cleaning the boatyard etc. It was pretty great; lots of community service and getting to know other teachers better and yada yada yada.

So, my first full week here has been pretty uneventful. But I feel it was also very character building. I'm learning to be very independent and I like it :)

I miss everyone at home, though ... Little more than four weeks more before I return. Can't wait, seriously ^^