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Friday, March 12, 2010

Secret Code???

"Blek esk kte tmpang awk ble? P kte xnak blek uma awk tau. Law xbole xpe." When I first read this, I was puzzled. What the heck does this mean? Is this a foreign language? But since when did my daughter learn how to speak in foreign language? Or maybe this is a secret code?

Well, according to my daughter, this is how teenagers nowadays write (my daughter and her friends, to be more precise). Time and time again, my husband and I have stressed her on the importance of writing in clear sentence and using the correct spelling. Alas, what goes in the right ear, goes out another. Sadly, nothing registers in between. To her, if she writes properly, she would be the laughing stock of her friends and would be labeled as an outcast.

I understand if short form is used for writing SMSes, but in Facebook? You can write pages and pages without having to pay a cent (of course the internet charges is a different story and not borne by her). My concern is her atrocious spelling will not just end in FB or used among her friends but will spilled over to her school assignments or examination papers. It may become a bad habit for her. This I have evidenced numerous times in my students' work, and they are university students, mind you. Reading this kind of work always make me feel like a sleuth. It is like trying to break a secret code or something. It's one thing trying to figure out if they really understand the subject, but trying to decipher what they were conveying is a different story altogether. Being just human, this sometime did affect my mood and I'm afraid might influence on how marks were given (though I tried very hard not). Well, my point is, if I couldn't understand what they were trying to say, how am I supposed to know if what they wrote was right or wrong, right?

I'm really at my wits end trying to get my daughter to write as clearly as possible. Ottoke, ottoke? ("What to do, what to do?" in Korean. Now, this is really a foreign language my daughter taught me). Please.....help me out.....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Schools holidays are here again...

"I can't wait for the school to open. I'm bored. There's nothing to do at home," said my daughter. Say what???? So far, for the past few days since school hols started, my kids were either playing with the PSP, PS2, Wii, computer, and not forgetting being glued to the TV all day long. Also, most of the time, this daughter of mine who has been complaining, spent a chunk of her time either yakking with or texting her friends. As a matter of fact, the past two or three days she has been doing Korean drama marathon. And there are tonnes of story books in this house that she has not touched yet. Alas, she felt has nothing to do.

When we were young, we were not as priveleged as my kids. There was no TV in my house (once our TV was broken, my late father refused to fix it or get a new one). Computer, PS2, and what not were unheard of. There's no kampung to go back to. And my parents were quite strict, we were not allowed to venture outside the gate by ourselves. But we always looked forward to school hols. Like my sister said, we were creative. We would play with anything and even invented our own games.

Of course playing with my siblings, especially playing the board games (these we have quite a number) would usually ended up in squabbles (poor Mak, she must be very tired scolding and shouting at us when this happened). I remembered we also used to act out plays or sing and record ourselves using the old tape player (the one like in the Mission Impossible, the old version, that is). Later, we used our late father's cassette player (I doubt my kids have any idea what these thinggamajigs were).

But most of the time, we drowned ourselves in books. My eldest brother and I used to belong to two libraries, the Perpustakaan Sultan Ismail (in front of Lido) and Perpustakaan UMNO (near Jalan Segget). Every other week, my late father would take us to these libraries, alternatively. We would spent time reading at the library and then would take home a maximum of three books at a time. When Perpustakaan Sultan Ismail moved nearer my house, my younger brothers and sisters would walk to the library, a good 1 KM, I guess. And my youngest sister would use the torch light to read in the dark since we were usually asked to go to bed quite early (that was why she had to start using glasses when she was still quite small). During the weekends, my late father would buy three newspapers: NST; Berita Harian; and Utusan Melayu (jawi). We had to read them all since my late father wanted us to be able to communicate in BM, English and know how to read in Jawi. I guess, even though my father did not teach us formally, that was how he inculcated the love of reading in us.

Well, my dear daughter (hopefully you are reading this), boredom should not be one of the words in your dictionary. And nothing to do should not be one of the phrases that come out from your mouth. Be creative, be resourceful, find things to do. The least you can do is, "HELP ME OUT IN THE KITCHEN RIGHT NOW". So, what are you waiting for?

Till next school hols. Happy holidays.....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Biskut Raya

Every Ramadhan, without fail, I will try to make my own biskut raya. And without fail, it will always fail me. Yesterday, I tried to make some Biskut Suji or Biskut Arab to some. I followed the same recipe I used last year and the result was "Bleigh".... I don't know what went wrong but it did not taste the same as last year's. Last Ramadhan, I managed to bake a few batches of the biskut suji and proudly gave some to my siblings. But other cookies did cause me some heartache.

As usual, the first tray baked will be the food of the dustbin. It's the same story every Ramadhan. Be it biskut suji, biskut kelapa or what ever biskut. There must be some that were burnt. In fact, more than 10 years ago, when I just moved in to this house, the house was nearly burnt down because of the fire caused by the oven while baking the raya cookies (actually the fire was in the oven, not a bit of the house was affected. Just an exaggeration from me. More dramatic huh....But it did cause a lot of panicking because the fire might spread if we were not able to control it). That year, not only the cookies were thrown away in the dustbin, but the oven received the same fate.

And every Ramadhan I swear that I'm not going to bake any raya cookies. But I always eat my own words. Why? Beats me. I guess it's just my ego trying to prove that I too can make my own biskut raya. Especially with the newly renovated kitchen this Ramadhan, maybe I feel that more cooking should be done in the kitchen. To say that making my own cookies is more economical, I think it costs me more. I don't know... Or maybe because of the fighting spirit in me....the never give up spirit (He...he...he...but I don't think this is it).

Well...for this Ramadhan, I guess no more baking cookies. I'm only going to make my favourite biskut cornflake which will only involve my oven top and microwave. Until next Ramadhan, insyaallah, we'll wait and see.....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

To Blog or Not to Blog

The idea of owning a blog has never once crossed my mind. True, I had created my own webpage before, but even then it was solely meant for uploading notes, assignments, and what not for my students. With the e-learning thinggamajig nowadays, my webpage is a thing of the past. In fact, I've totally forgotten all about it.

The traditional me has always associated writing a blog with writing one's diary or journal. It's something personal and is for the eyes of the writer only. As a matter of fact, reading other people's diary was once (and maybe still is) an offense. So why in the god's name would I want to blog and let the whole world read my "diary"? More importantly, would anyone even bother to care for what I think or write? In actuality, I am never in the habit of writing a diary. I do keep tab of the important stuff I do or something that I feel important to remember in my PDA, though.

Once, when the word blog was never even heard of, I did try to keep a journal, something which I was trained to do in my distant past. It was actually my reflection on interesting events or phenomena I observed. Alas, it was shortlived. So, why did I want to start blogging? Wouldn't I better occupy my time with writing-up my thesis than blogging away?

Well, to be honest, I really thought I need to have my own blog in order to comment on others. I was reading my brother's blog one day and when I tried to post a comment, I was asked to sign in or something like that. So, I just left his blog without commenting. Then I read my daughter's blog and really felt that I need to leave a comment on her posts. Thus, on August 15, at 1430 this blog was born.

Little did I realise that I do not actually need to have my own blog or account to leave her a comment (she told me later that I can sign in as open ID, what ever that is). Well, since I'm now a blogger, I might as well share a few thoughts with whoever would want to hear me rant. Hopefully my blog will not end up with the same fate as my journal. Until next post....