Monday, May 31, 2010

Story of An Unduk Ngadau Underdog

It's the month of the Kaamatan again.

For those who are too ignorant to know despite all these 1Malaysia crap we've been fed on wherever we go, it is the Harvest Festival celebration held in Sabah, and it is called Hari Gawai in Sarawak.  Peninsular people, after reading this post, please don't ask me how dope my Gawai celebration was.  'Coz I don't celebrate Gawai, bitch.

It is the month to celebrate er, good harvest.  But people today use it as a reason to drink and be merry.  And wake up with a hangover the next day or finding yourself getting slapped with a fine by the traffic police which you have absolutely no memory about.

And also, the most anticipated contest of all, the Unduk Ngadau.  Or in a language you'd understand, the Harvest Queen contest.  Yes, it is a beauty pageant for the ethnics or mixed ethnics in Sabah.

The Unduk Ngadau is the staple of the Kaamatan celebration, which commemorates the legend of Huminodun.

When the earth was plagued by the seven scourges sent down by the deity Kinorohinga to punish mankind for their sinful ways. The seventh scourge was drought and famine which threatened to end all life on earth. Kinorohingan’s only daughter Ponompuan, also referred to as Huminodun, took pity on mankind’s plight and sacrificed herself to end the famine that had plagued her father’s people. Her body parts were planted as seeds and became rice, the staple food source of the people. Thus the importance of rice in the lives of the Kadazandusun, as rice embodies the spirit of Huminodun who sacrificed herself to save humanity.

So, the girls who join this beauty pageant are supposed to embody the spirit of Huminodun.  She must have the grace and the humility of a princess who'd sacrifice herself for humanity.

I was one of the girls who be trippin' to be one.

Let's just say the Unduk Ngadau experience was memorable, but I wouldn't do it again.  Not even at gun point.

The thought of joining it never crossed my mind, but of course, my mother made me to.  She believes that any ethnic Sabahan family or at least have a little ethnic blood should let their daughter join the competition.  

I'm not a person with grace especially to do the 'walk', no, it is actually the 'sway', so I was definitely going to be an epic fail.

Before she signed me up for the district level contest, I was 'dispatched' to join a contest organised in Kota Belud by a political group which was supposed to be my 'training ground' as I was an Unduk Ngadau virgin.

I could barely utter my memorised Dusun language script (see, you have to introduce yourself in the language of the ethnic costume you're wearing) and needless to say, instead of 'swaying gracefully' on stage to present myself and my costume, I practically marched across the stage praying it would be over soon so I could pee right after.

So yeah, as predicted, I failed on my first try.

The part I hated the most was the UFO hair.

I cried when they teased my hair for the contest.

I cried when I tried in vain to untangle my hair with bottles of conditioner and frustration after the contest.

I would swear not to join any pageant-like contest again, but it was too late.  I was already signed up for the district level contest.

I'd have to go through it all over again.

Keningau is a hick town where everyone knows everyone.  I was going to be so fucked.  Like, to my brains.  But because I love my mom so much, I'd do it for her.  Being the only daughter and all.  Or else she'd bring it to her grave for not fulfilling her lifelong wish and she'd be wishing she had another daughter.

So I went back and practiced my sway.  Fact: If you asked an Unduk Ngadau to do a sway from  point A to point B which is 10 metres long, it would take her 5 minutes, tops.  That's how slow graceful one should walk.

Knowing my friends and schoolmates would be watching me and waiting for me to fall off the stage, my only wish that time was just to make it through the second round. At least it wouldn't be THAT pathetic.

After all,  I couldn't wait to get out from my costume and padded butt and boobs (yes, I cheated! And so did the rest! I think), clown makeup and tumbleweed hair.

So I did make it to the second round. And I was glad.

We had to do another walk, and wait till they call the semi finalists.  I was ready to go home and eat a burger.

Then they called me for the next round.  What the F?

This time, it was for the Q&A session.

And I made history that day when I forgot that being graceful is throughout the contest, not just the walk.  

I lost all grace the minute I opened my mouth.

I was asked about my favourite pastime activity in which I answered reading (which was a lie) and why I do it.

I threw in everything I learned in my previous semester and crapped about lifelong learning and globalised education.

And that was the reason I made it through the top 5 finalist and eventually became the Unduk Ngadau Keningau 2006 first runner up winner.

With all the cameras flashing and the cheering of the crowd, I forgot all about my burger.

Being second was good enough for me.  At least I won't have to go compete in the state level competition and go through hair torture and cram inducing fake smiles.

Or so I thought.

The first runner-up had to represent Bingkor, a smaller district within my hometown.

And I only knew about it ON the day of the solo photoshoot.

And my hair was all braided ala Alicia Keys.

I only had about 3 hours before the photoshoot session ends.

My mom had only 2 hours to remove each rubber band from my hair painstakingly and put make up on me.

While my dad drove us to Kota Kinabalu.

Being a makeup artist once herself, she was able to put at least a little bit of makeup on me on a speeding vehicle.

I looked washed up and still dazed and confused, compared to the other dolled up girls, but what the hell.  Bingkor must have their girl!

Most importantly, I wasn't ready for ANOTHER pageant.

What more a state level one, competing with 50 other UN winners.

There were some really pretty girls, some just plain Jane without the makeup and of course, bitches and girls whose sole purpose in life was to win.

The whole experience wasn't that bad.  It was kinda cool acting like a beauty queen.  Staying in Hyatt, having scrumptious meals, and of course, did beauty queen stuffs like visiting an orphanage.  Madeline Nandu was my roomate, so I have brag points there since she's all famous and modelly now.

The only tiring part was that for a week, we had to mind our manners, the way we talk and walk as we were being judged throughout.  And just sit pretty and smile a lot.  Seriously, I don't know how those who join the contest over and over again could stand it.

 just smile and wave. smile. and. wave

Especially the smiling.  We had a gala night where we were to parade our night gowns sponsored by a bridal shop, and to wait for all 50 girls to wave and smile to the audience while we stand and continue smiling?  If you stand next to us, you can actually hear us sucking in our drooling saliva and swallowing it as the muscles around our mouth begins to wobble uncontrollably.

 So the 31st of May came, and I was half hoping I'd be out on the first round 'coz I just wanna go home and besides, I didn't memorise the questions AND answers prepared for us for the Q&A session.  Yes people, the 'beauty and brains' concept is a sham.  There is only beauty.  But I'll get into that some other post.

And yes, the judges probably saw a big L on my forehead and I was out.  And I was the only who had a smile on my face.  The other girls who didn't make it looked murderous.

And I was the only one who had no shame to go into the hall to join the audience and enjoy the show, looking at my competitors trying hard to out-beauty-queen each other. 

Again, there was the crying and writhing as I untangled my hair that night, but it felt so good to be out of the glitz and glam of a beauty queen, and to just sit with my legs wide open and take ugly photos.

I learned something about myself that day.  I'm all vain and love to take photos, but I am definitely not beauty queen material.  It's too superficial and there's little expression as one is expected to conform to society's expectation of a lady.  And I also became even vainer since I have the title 'beauty queen' on my life resume and going out without drawing my eyebrows is a crime.

Having a shot at the UN grand state level in Hongkod KDCA already made me a winner.  Sorta.  Or at least made one of my mother's motherhoodly dreams come true.

Or that's what exactly a loser would say.

But what the hell.

At least I can tell my daughter I've been to Hongkod.

And pressure her to compete and not to come home without a crown.


Happy Harvest Festival people!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

How To Make Awesome Cheapass Bookmarks For Your Students To Bribe Them I Mean To Show Your Appreciation

Fret not my friend! I'm here to guide you!

Of course, I stole this idea from the internet.

But mine's way awesomer.

I needed to get my students something as a parting/thank you gift so that they'll remember me forever.  Or at least HAD one teacher in their lifetime who personally handcrafted something with love and lack of sleep for them.

And the cheapest thing I could think of was a bookmark.  Lame, I know, but it is the cheapest and could potentially remain in their lives forever.  Or at least a month, tops.

However, bookmarks these days aren't cheap!  I have 74 students and my budget was RM74 (what? I bought them enough candies to cause cavities).  And the cheapest I could find was RM1.20 per piece!  That was so over my budget.  And it's fug with random cliche motivational lines.

So hence the idea of making one instead of buying.

So if you're a teacher in need of bribing showing some love to your student, or you just want to make your own awesome bookmark, read on.

Things needed:
1. Coloured envelopes, or the ones with the red and blue stripes or whatever.

2. Stickers (optional)

3. Any smartass type up/writing on a piece of paper

4. Glue
5. Scissors/cutter

Cut the edges of the envelopes.  You don't need envelopes actually - you can just fold and glue papers that resemble it...but that would take another 3 hours of your time.

Paste your smartass lines or if you're the nice type, yawn inducing motivational words lines.  It can be anything besides the following e.g. 'you drooled here', 'this is the part where it gets REALLY boring' etc.

Paste any stickers you want.  Or don't.  Whatever.  If they are emo kids, I think they would like blood on the bookmarks.

And voila, you got yourself your very own awesome DIY bookmark. Yay!

And it's cheap too!  The cost? RM12.90! For 74 students!  That's about 17 cents each! EACH! Double yay!  See how much I have saved?

How do you use this weird looking bookmark?  Just cover the edge of the page where you usually dog-ear it.  See, easy.  But it does take a genius to figure it out.  Trust me.

And you get happy, appreciative, unsuspecting students.

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


No more slaving self writing epic lesson plans everyday.

No more collecting useless crap from school for a pompous portfolio.

No more sitting around at the lonely corner of the staffroom waiting for the clock to strike 2.30p.m.

No more swearing at my evil printer.

No more nagging students to bring their books.  Which only half did.  Which the other half won't be my problem anymore.


Though I still have to come back for the brainwashing induction course.

Plus these are only half of the things I managed to pack back home.  Or quarter.

Till then, my six years here isn't exactly over.


Monday, May 24, 2010

I found the answer

Approximately three months ago, I asked myself these two questions:

Did the profession make a the right choice?

Am I cut out to be a teacher?

I found the answers three months later.

The answer is YES, YES and HELL YES.

And now I do.

Better be ready for me, world.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I Broke My Teacher's Day Celebration Virginity!

Remember this post?

Yes, I have came into terms with it.

In fact, I remembered this date, anticipated it, literally jump for joy (during a performance on stage though - more on that later) and wished other teacher friends a happy Teacher's Day.

And that someday is today! Yay!

Notice how I'm full of sunshine?


Now I know it's not as truckloads as the others, but still...






Alright, forget my Chrismas rantings.

Back to today.

In the school I'm in, we celebrate any event in ABSOLUTE GLAM and STYLE.

Think red carpet glam. And weddings.


And about the performance, yes, we new teachers had to do a sorta-amateur-even-barely-one musical based on school according to different eras.

You guessed right.

I rocked the 70's...

...and did The Hustle.

I kid you not.  We seriously burned the stage with the Travolta.

And we also had to do a dance as representatives of the language department.

The song ensemble?

Interesting, no?

We sucked balls though, in both performances. Everything just HAD to go wrong during our moment of glory.

The students LOVED it though. They didn't even realise how bad we did.  Or maybe they did.  No matter how hot the mess is, as long as it is entertaining eh?

The culmination of the event?

I got this.

Say my name bitchez!

Extremely superficial and vain, but oh well.  Any award IS a good award.

I'm keeping this as proof that I was once a hottie when I'm old and wrinkly and have no flatulence control.


To all the awesome teachers who read my blog without thinking it's poisoning the minds of young people:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tagged: I just spent the whole day doing this and so should you

An Award From Lizee

Fine, so it's not the AMA or BAFTA or other acronyms of awards.  I had only one period of class today and I deserve to slack (and write crappy post-observation lesson plans) after the observations.  And go online the whole day and write lame posts.

1. Ucap terima kasih & letakkan link orang yang memberi award ini.

Thank you Lizee!  You love me!  You really do love me!

2. Nyatakan 7 perkara tentang diri anda.

No. 1
I chipped my front tooth when I was nine.  When I escaped from the chore of taking care of my lil brother to cycle to the nearby kedai runcit to buy gum.  When 50 of the neighbour' dogs came barking and chasing us on the way back.  When my bicycle tripped on dry cow shit and I landed on my chin.  And I went back home all crying and bloody and dirty, hoping that my mother would take pity on me.  As awesome as she is, she had to beat the hell out of me with my father's Crocodile belt and take away my little coin box before showing me her compassion.  And that's when I realised that half of my front tooth was gone.  If you look at my pictures or teeth closely, you'd notice the discolouration from the filling.  WHY DIDN'T I JUST STAY AT HOME AND TAKE CARE OF MY STUPID LITTLE BROTHER?! O WHYYY...

 Stare at this picture, not when you see me

No. 2
I was involved in a car accident before. I never knew how it happened, but all I can remember is that upon impact, I was already under the dashboard at the front seat (I was really young at that time), with my mouth feeling like a beach.  Have you ever had a cup full of sand in your mouth before?  Yeah, it was exactly like that.  Although my mom, cousin and nanny sustained injuries that required a lot of stitches, I was unscathed.  Talk about miracles.

 Well, not exactly like this...

No. 3
Believe it or not, I was a total dork before.  Though I did think I was cool.  And that made me even a bigger dork.  As a tween stepping into my teenage years, I felt conscious of my image.  I'd prefer to wear huge T-shirts.  Till my elder brother told me to dress like a girl.  Now his sister dresses like a slut. Thank you dear brother.

No. 4
As tough as I might look, I'm a fucking softee when it comes to sad movies.  I'd cry when people die,  when lovers or families get separated, in Disney cartoons (wtf), when children cry and etc.  I also cry during unlikely cryable scenes.  I cried when Harry Osborn died in Spider-Man 3.  I kid you not.  I blame 6 years of studying literature for instilling empathy in me.

No. 5
I am never the teacher's favourite.  In fact, I think teachers hate me.  All throughout my learning years.
In primary school, I almost got slapped.  Almost as in, my chin was under her iron grip already.  She thought I was being rude when she scolded me and my eyes was on her fugly face, and not on my toes.  I wasn't being rude!  I swear!
In secondary school, a teacher just exploded in class and I became her scapegoat.  I was twirling my pen - NOT in an act of defiance, but rather as a habit, and she thought I was being rude.  Then she went on screaming at me and letting everyone in class know that ALL teachers think I'm a pain in the ass, or to quote her, "biadap".  Geez, professional, much? And oh, she walked off and cried.  But I'm innocent as a baby!  Really!
In college, one lecturer just detest me.  Even asking for permission to go to the loo is a crime.  What more not paying attention. But ironically, she gave me excellent grades for my observation.  Good thing she's professional.

No. 6
I kayakked across the Johor straits before.  But being the loser that I am, I didn't finish the course.  Kayakking on a tumbling sea with occasional pours of rain for 5 hours straight and getting stuck in the mangroves every now and then was a feat to me, a non-sporty person.  My 6 foot tall partner with a big built wasn't a help either.  Oh, the muscle ache post-kayak were epic.  I could not hook and unhook my bra without screaming in agony for a few days,  I even teared a bit, I think.

No. 7
Speaking of sports, yes I don't do sports.  I'm bad with rules.  I'm bad with coordination, and I'm bad with teamwork.  How can you remember not to run with a ball without bumping it first?  How can you hit a tennis ball with the appropriate strength to win the game?  And how on earth can you serve a volleyball to the opposing team? HOW?!  But don't get me wrong - I do like to do activities that gets the heart pumping e.g. jogging, swimming, working out in the gym...Yeah, basically sports that don't involve people.  I'm a sports hermit.  So don't expect me to join your team for any game unless you want to lose.  BADLY.

 3. Pass kepada 15 orang award ni. 


I just assume you'd like to have the chance to talk about yourself without sounding like a douche who is so full of him/herself.

4. Beritahu kepada 15 orang yang bertuah ni bahawa diorang dapat award ni.

And for doing so, you get these!

Awards for sharing unnecessary details about your lives that we don't wanna know/heard about too many times!

And also to show that I think your blog rocks.