Otahuhu March Trip & More About Electives

skirtt

Love this $10 skirt bought @ a random store  @ Otahuhu

Otahuhu: Went to Otahuhu with Mira and Atie today. Mira and I bought enough chicken to last us for up to one month. We’ll probably finish it sooner than 1 month, but well… That’s for later. The three of us ate vegetarian curry with rice at a restaurant there. It’s called Kamal’s something- I can’t remember it well. The curry was awesome. The meal only cost me $5 too. Yum.

Elective:
Atie has somehow convinced me to take MATH 101 just for the heck of it. Well, it’s going to be my last elective anyway, so I’ll manage.

New Specs, Laptop Cooler, Public Bank and Stuff

I was too tired to write anything after coming back from KB last night. It was a long day where I tried to get almost everything done all at once. Went to the mall, the bank, and then to another mall. In fact, I’m still very sleepy at the moment. I wanted to go back to sleep after Subuh prayer, but I couldn’t (yet, at least). Maybe that’s why I settled for getting this post over and done with.

  • New cooling fan
  • New Specs

To sum things up, here’s the list of what I did yesterday:

  1. Went to RHB bank to withdraw a small fund from my ASB. Uhhh, I feel so poor now but the money’s going to be my ‘lifeguard’ just in case the allowance comes in later than expected (they’re saying it’s in a few weeks, three weeks top, but I couldn’t be so sure)
  2. Went to KB Mall to take my new shiny pair of spectacles. Only after paying did I realise that the frame belongs to the Morgan de Toi accessories collection. I only picked it up because it looks cute before. That explains the pricetag.
  3. Went to the computer zone of KB Mall. Bought new laptop coolers for myself and Mama, a new mouse and a cheap 4GB Trascend flashdrive for ReadyBoost. My cooler is the small and portable one (picture above). It comes with two adjustable speeds and a retractable USB cable. It’s currently happily sucking out the hot air out of my abused laptop. For RM29 (and brandless to boot), this is one cool thing to have. It even comes with a carrying pouch, but one that I cannot touch freely or grip because I can’t touch velvets and imitation velvet surfaces without dropping it or cringing at the feel of it’s texture.
  4. Went to Pacific departmental store surveying some new clothes but couldn’t find any that I like.
  5. Had lunch at Rasamas. It was 1pm and no one was there yet.
  6. Went to BSN to check Mama’s new matrix BSN card. She opened an account there for the purpose of transferring money to some relatives’ BSN accounts. Five years ago, I got my card in a few days. Yesterday, they told us the card would be ready in one month plus. I was like WTF? It’s their fault for being stupid enough to not read the application form carefully. My mother filled the new account application along with a Matrix card application. But then they went and gave her the regular bankcard. When she complained, they cancelled the bankcard and asked her to fill in a new Matrix application. Incompetence idiots.
  7. Went to Public Bank to reset the username and password for my e-banking*. While I’m at it, I opened a savings account to go with my debit card and e-banking. I figured many cool Malaysian merchants still only accepts bank transfers and/or PayPal. Transfers will let me save a lot, so yeah.
  8. Went to Telipot Mosque for Zuhur and Asar prayers (we did stay for at least an hour and a half there).
  9. Went to Tesco for grocery shopping.
  10. Had dinner at Secret Recipe.

* Near the end of last year’s second semester, I wanted to withdraw money from my PB Visa electron in Auckland. At that time, I haven’t made any withdrawal for a while. To my horror, the machine refused to accept my card. Yes, I was horrified. I checked it yesterday and the ATM’s working just fine. That’s when I came to a realisation.

Malaysian bank PIN: 6 numbers
New Zealand bank PIN: 4 numbers

I totally LOLed and felt stupid then. I must have keyed in only four PINs when I tried to access my PB card. Sad, sad, sad and silly Adlina.

And so that was yesterday. One more visit to the mall (need a new universal adaptor and extensions) and I’ll be 100% ready to fly. I’ve even contacted Adrian about our (mine and Mira’s) arrival to Auckland on the 8th. Hope things will go smoothly.

KB Mall, Shopping, Double Chicken Prosperity and Stuff

doubleprosperity

Isn’t Double Chicken Prosperity just awesome? Yum~

Part 1: It’s been a while since I last went shopping. The rain kept me at home for weeks. I went to KB Mall with my parents this evening, thinking that there wouldn’t be so many people. We were wrong. Even finding a parking space is a trying affair. How could it slipped off my mind that Chinese New Year is approaching? Hmm… I bought 3 jeans and 2 tops for a good deal. I so love discounts :3 That’s RM235 down. And then we went to McDonalds.

Part 2: My craving for Double Chicken Prosperity has been satiated! I don’t mind coughing out RM14 for the awesome thing at all! And before you complain anything about boycotting or whatever, please do refer to this entry that I wrote a couple of days ago. While I was waiting for my order (DCP and two fillet-o-fish for my parents), the staff kindly asked me to wait for my meal on the left side of the counter. A dumb bitch standing behind me suddenly went “Hey, cutting line aa?”. I bit my lips from calling her ‘blind and stupid’ and simply said “Excuse me, I’m waiting for my meal that I’ve already paid for” in heavy British English accent. My orders arrived just after I said that. I took my tray, glared at her for a few seconds and enjoyed seeing her flustered self. Serves that bitch right.

Part 3: After a month of thinking of buying a new external HDD, I finally succumbed to a 320GB Hitachi, which cost me a mere RM268. Maybe it’s a lot cheaper in KL, I don’t know. This is the cheapest for 320GB that I could find in Kelantan. The same hdd sells for a whooping $310 in New Zealand. Technically, I’ve saved a lot (lol, I remember buying the old 80GB WD for more than RM200. Moore’s law is totally correct after all, except 80GB is still selling at over RM100.

Part 4: I actually wanted to print some photos, but guess what? I couldn’t find a print shop in KB Mall. I was sure I saw one last time I went, so I was very confused when I saw none. I guess I’ll just go the usual print shop at Tesco.

Stuff: One a different matter altogether, I’m kind of done with MySQL. My Garden of Lies project is going to use XHTML + CSS layout with either Greymatter of CuteNews – OLD SCHOOL STYLE, YEAH! It’s been too long since I last used any of them and I thought “Wth, it’s going to save me from all those SQL calls”. I’ll just take care to keep hackers out.

p.s/ I still want a Nintendo DSi!

Views on Education: A Musing


– My Messy Desk, WSA, Auckland (21.05.08) –

I keep stumbling upon blogs of young Malaysian bloggers these past few days. Some are taking PMR and some SPM. Makes me feel a little bit nostalgic somehow; I remember my days of manual blogging in 2001 before using Greymatter in 2002-2004 and moving on to b2evolution, and finally wordpress and Joomla. But it’s not this recollection that hit me with this sense of nostalgia. It’s what I read in those young darlings’ blogs.

Aside from records of normal everyday occurences, it seems that most of them are talking about scrapping as many A’s as possible in exams. I remember how I was like that too when I was at that age. It’s not until I’ve left school that I actually reflected back on what I view education as – what I truly want from education, and from being educated.

Life of A Student and the Race for A’s

I thought back on why I wanted so much to get as many A’s as possible. How did I feel back then when I got 5A’s in UPSR? How did I feel back then when I got 8A’s in PMR? How did I feel when I got 8A’s in SPM? I remembered getting extremely upset with my SPM results. I felt like tearing the result slip, because it hurt to look at the B’s when I’ve worked myself sick for the exam. I got slightly envious of those who got straight A’s, and felt really, really low because it was the first major exam where I didn’t manage to scrap all A’s. And the B’s upset me because they were what I didn’t expect.

Now that I think about it, I couldn’t help but smile. Never mind if the smile is actually bitter or not. While chasing after the A’s, the grades and the rank, I was unconsciously falling into a dangerous trap. I didn’t realise that I was trying to please other people all along. I didn’t realise that getting the A’s was not really about personal gratification, but about feeding the expectations of society. At that time, maybe even now, some people’s view on what makes a student ‘good’ is his or her grade. Academic excellence comes before anything else, because it is what we can easily observe. It’s what the eyes can see. Like me, years before, I never really considered that they are actually many ways to define excellence and intelligence. As I grow up, portions of my thoughts mature with me.

I’ve come to learn that the nature of excellence and intelligence varies across cultures and society. What a particular society defines as ‘giftedness’ may not necessarily apply to another society. Imagine the uneasiness I feel when breaching the subject of education in Educational Psychology tutorial. We get to hear the views on education from students all over the world. Like in Japan, grades are everything for students. In New Zealand, the United States and a few other countries, skills and abilities matter the most in defining intelligence (particularly cognitive skills). So then, what is the definition of excellence and intelligence in Malaysian culture?

I ask myself now: For all the subjects that you got A’s or those that you worked so hard to get A’s for, do you still remember what they’re all about? If you got A for History, do you still remember all the historical facts you learned in History? If you got A for Math or Add-Math, do you still remember all the formulas? If you got A for Chemistry, do you still remember all those equations for chemical reactions? Chances are: “Probably” or “I don’t” would be the answer. I don’t think I could ever say “Absolutely!”. What might had taken me only 2 minutes to solve back then might take 30 minutes now. Some people might even straight away claim “I don’t remember anymore la~”

What tickles my brain at the moment is the fact that there’s still a race to get as many A’s as possible in education. Does it still mean anything if deep understanding is not achieved?

Life as a Teacher-trainee and Teachers

When I graduate as a teacher, what is it that I want my student to achieve? What do I have to emphasise in the classroom? Should I keep reminding them of how they should work hard to get an A for the subject I teach? Or do I remind them of how important it is for them to acquire the right skills and the right knowledge so that they can use it in the unseen future? Why do I get the feeling that I’d be told off by the school authority if I choose the latter?

Moving out of the topic of students and learners, I have other dilemmas weighing down on me too.

Why are teachers rated on the scale of how many of the students taught by them managed to get A’s in their subject disciplines? Why are schools rated on how many of their students get high results? Why provide teacher-trainees the motivation to ‘make a change for the better on the education policy’ when they’re going to be ripped off of their ‘freedom of speech’ once they are posted at schools? Why keep telling us that we’re the ‘agents of change’ if we’re going to be asked to ‘shut up’ later? Why pay us to study overseas if we aren’t allowed the opportunity to change what we were initially asked to change?

My seniors who had just had their graduation ceremony a few weeks ago are already teaching. However, it upsets me greatly that many of them were actually asked to teach subjects which are completely out of their subject discipline. I knew this scenario isn’t foreign in the past, but I had hoped it would change before our era. They were sent to study English, and how to teach English. This also applies to teacher-trainees of other programs – they were taught their respective subject disciplines and were supposed to teach within their subject disciplines. Within their expertise. So why, when it’s so blatantly obvious that there are shortages of teaching staff in a particular subject discipline, are they not assigned to the right ones?

I’m learning English, and I’ve lived in Kelantan all my life. If me asking to teach in Kelantan receives a reply sounding like “There’s no empty post” in the near future, then I would know how much of a nonsense that is. My old school was short on English teachers. The school my mother taught in was short on English teachers. Even the schools my elder brothers and sisters-in-law teach now are short on English teachers. So why pray tell are those who were trained to teach English stuck with teaching subjects they are not trained to?

I could get a headache out of all this. I even worry about writing a blog entry such as this – worry that I’m not allowed to voice all these out. Will I get some kind of penalty for this? God knows. Until later.

Countdown to Departure

So sad that my holiday is finally coming to an end. My days of sleeping after subuh prayer, lazying around doing nothing, shopping until my feet cannot hold, not worrying about food, etc etc… They’re all coming to an end 🙁 My flight is on the 20th, 9.15pm. Ah.. Another over 10-hour trip. At least I get to sleep on the plane.

Let’s see what have I bought during this looooong summer break:
+ Sony Vaio VGN-CR23G/W (white is so cool~ and 2.0ghz + 2gb ram is good enough for me And free VOS too, and lots of freebies)
+ Sony Cybershot DSC-T70/W (because T2 has smaller LCD, and I don’t need 4GB to take pictures! The free 1GB memory stick is more than enough for me.)
+ Philips SA3124/37 – 2gb (finally, a new mp3 player! Okay, it’s music and video player, but I only use it for mp3s)
+ Western Digital Passport (External HDD) 160gb
+ Motorola V6 Maxx (okay, I give up. V9 is still too expensive…)
+ 2 2GB PenDrive Mini
+ Lots and lots of clothes (jeans, cropped jeans, t-shirts, lounge suits, etc)
+ Lots of Nike stuff (yes, I’m a big fan~), including the cool (yet bulky) Chisel watch (I want to buy Imara Kylo or Imara Keeva.. maybe in Auckland) and 3 pair of shoes (1 free mary jane, 1 sl IV wide and 1 air force 1).
+ Elizabeth Arden Valentine Set and various L’oreal and Maybelline products (and other products too, actually. I haven’t bought cosmetics and skincare for a while…)
+ Elizabeth Arden Green Tea EDP 50ml and Salvatore Feragammo Incanto Charms EDT 100ml (couldn’t resist!!)
+ Sony headphone and Philips In-ear Turbo Bass earphone with neck strap (yay!)

There are more, but it’s impossible to list down everything.

I’m really, really BAD when it comes to spending money. For the next two months and a week, I shall live with this:

Travellers Cheque

AU$ 5850
(Nigel, I owe the pic to your creativity XD)

Signing off~