Friday, October 26, 2012

Orphaned Puppy Update: He made it to two months!

Cody II made it to two months old!

By the way, as he got cuter and healthier, he is now christened Odie, by my mom.  You know how people prefer to use derivatives of their real name e.g. Amanda - Mandy?  Something like that.  Guess my mom didn't think I was cute enough to be called Mandy.

Now that he is old enough, we ditch his little crate, soft toys and pacifier for...


After he got his first vaccination, it was time for him to learn to be a dog and socialise with the rest.

But he's so tiny!  The other dogs weren't mean to him, but sometimes they play too rough with him and keep on stepping on him.  Even his brother, Wan Wan looks gigantic when he stands beside him.

And no, Wan Wan does not badly need a grooming.  He needs to be completely shaven off.

We thinks that Odie too will end up like him someday, judging by the condition of his fur right now.

He always seems to get wet and dirty; and when he is wet, his fur tends to curl up.  I'm seriously thinking of getting a pet shaver off Ebay.

Although he is strong enough to make it this far, he is still never far from danger as he is very susceptible to diseases, infections and parasites.  We will always have to take extra care of him to make sure he doesn't fall sick.

Two months later, Odie became the only survivor.  For the past two months, it had been a flurry of non-stop feeding, pooping, cleaning and also heartbreak when the other two puppies gave out on us; but now, seeing that Odie is frolicking happily on the green grass as if he had never lost his mother and siblings, it is indeed a fulfilment we'd never get anywhere.

And best of all, Odie is taking after his mom, Ting Ting.

For more of his cuteness, check this vid out:

I'm just crossing my fingers that he wouldn't end up like his kitchen floor mat of a brother, Wan Wan.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What the SWAG?

If half of your real life is in the Internet, then I'm sure you've stumbled on this word before, 'swag'.

It is used by most teenagers who think they have found a word that finally makes them sound cool, and by douchy hipster adults.

But what does it actually mean?  Why do attention-seeking kids love to use this butchered word?

I've done my homework for you:

“Swag” is an internet slang term often found in comments, discussion forums and image macros used as a synonym for “swagger,” a type of style or presence that exudes confidence and is sometimes interpreted as arrogance.

 So that's why it's everywhere.  But where did it come from?

According to the Online Etymogoly Dictionary[1], the word “swag” originated sometime in the 1520s and meant “to move heavily or unsteadily.” It may have been a derivative of the verb “swing”, which originated from the word “sway”[2]around 1300, meaning “to go, glide, move.”
In modern context, “swag” may be used as a business lingo for promotional merchandise[4] but its popular online usage has been largely attributed to its root word “swagger,” which Merriam-Webster Dictionary[13] defines as:
1 : to conduct oneself in an arrogant or superciliously pompous manner; especially : to walk with an air of overbearing self-confidence

2 : Boast, brag
The earliest documented use of “swagger” can be found in the text of English poet William Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream[3] written sometime between 1590 and 1596.
What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here,
So near the cradle of the fairy queen?

Well what about that! Shakespeare used it first, of course.  Then rappers started using it, to you know, sound poetic about bitches and grills.

The word “swagger” saw a modern resurgence through its usage in hip hop lyrics, beginning with rapper Jay-Z’s song “All I Need” from his sixth studio album The Blue Print that was released on September 11th, 2001. Since then, the word has been frequently used in various hip hop songs as part of braggadocio-style rapping, which is characterized by self-bragging and boasting one’s own skills or prowess.

Then, literary geniuses just went crazy.

Over 1385 definition entries relating to the word “swag” have been submitted to Urban Dictionary, including notable derivatives like “swagalicious,” “swag juice” and “swagger jack.”

And the madness started.

See more on Know Your Meme

See more on Know Your Meme

Swag is actually not a bad word.  It's just used in most inappropriate situations.  Pirates have swag.  Their swag comes from their wooden leg.  'Coz they are fucking crippled.  That's it.  You don't take a huge dump and call it swag.  Why don't kids get that?

Even Urban Dictionary agrees with me.

So imagine my horror when I found this in an essay:

First it was LOLs, and OMGs.  Now fucking SWAG.

Damn you Internet.  You teach bad English words.

As you can see, I still have to give her credit for that. 'Coz I'm swag like that.

Source: Know Your Meme, Urban Dictionary

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I'm a student again!

I'm finally doing my masters! So unplanned!  Just like when I bought an apartment! Why do I keep spending stupendously huge money spontaneously! Why can't I just buy a phone or something!


Our class started RIGHT after registration and up till today, the fact that I'm currently pursuing my masters degree hasn't really sunk it.

Plus my brain is still pretty busy trying to process all the things I need to do in two months time: assignments, researches, study for exams...Tell me something new and I think my brain's going to explode.

I'm currently taking Masters in Education (Educational Leadership and Management) under UNITAR (part time), 'coz that's the only course offered in my hometown now, but if there are enough students for a class to be opened here, I can and might change my course to my specialty, Teaching English as Second Language (TESL).

Though I'm not really into this current course I'm taking (I'd really like to do Literature), but it's fun to have friends who can be your support group.  We can go to class together, work together, and of course, come late, chat and probably ditch class together too.  And we can copy each other.  I mean help each other.

I also have learnt something new about being a masters student.  All this while, in my head, someone who pursues his or her masters degree is like, wow, a genius, and it's a pretty big deal.  Like, he or she must be super smart and I am obliged to respect them.  However, based on my observation, the programme is not THAT tough after all.  The courses are all extensions to what we have learnt before.  Therefore, it's really not  much of a big deal, and I don't feel like a genius anyway.  I just feel like my brain is failing me due to the overwhelming work we have to do.

The only difference of doing a masters degree and a bachelor is that in the former, we have experience with school and students.  When we were doing our bachelor degree, we had this romantic notion of school and students.  That the education system is perfect and all students are geniuses.  But with our horrifying experience in school, we will be able to relate with the courses offered, so doing our masters isn't that difficult after all.  Now I understand why my lecturer asked me not to rush to get a masters degree right after I graduated.  You really need some experience to be able to get through your masters course.  Well, I only have two years worth of experience but it sure as hell felt like 20.

So, my advice for you is that, if you plan to do your masters, GO.  Really, it's not as hard as you think it will be.  The hard part is just juggling between work and working out your financial stability.  But if you just graduated, I suggest that you work for a couple of years first before doing it.  You need the experience, seriously.  Without it, yes, it will be hardcore.

I may have to chuck my passport in the deepest corner of my closet for 20 months, my TV series marathon may have to be rescheduled to weekends only, and I may get nuts, have sleepless nights, on the verge of killing my printer and of course, stressed to tears, but hey, that's what being a student is about, isn't it?

But oh, I have a day job at the same time.  Well fuck me if I'm not going to die trying.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Another Self-Loathing Teacher Post

Experience makes you stronger.

That was what I believe, since my second year as a teacher has gone on smoothly.

I was wrong.

After being so contented, calm and strong in dealing with a different bunch of crap at school, I finally snapped.

The kind of snapped where you just don't give a damn any more.  The kind when you look at the kids who are playing at the back of the class, as you are breaking your back giving them notes to help them pass their SPM; and you think to yourself, "I don't need this shit", and just walk away, without a word.

No rage.  Just utter disappointment, in the kids you're trying to help, and also in yourself.

I thought I'm so over this phase.  But judging from the other seasoned teachers who refuse to enter class, burst into tears at the staffroom or you know, who just don't give a fuck any more, 'coz like, why try so hard when the kids themselves don't care - it looks like you'll never, ever get used to incorrigible spawns of the devil kind of students.  You do learn to be more patient each day, but for every time you practice patience, it just eats you inside.  You're just buying time until you become hollow inside, and break.  If you don't break, you must be a classroom management god, or just someone who is dead inside and do not give a single fuck any more.

After my dramatic exit that day, I thought I too had died inside.  I was still determined to enter class, ('coz it's a mortal sin to not enter class) but without teaching that bastard class, like, till their exam.  Fuck their SPM.  They don't care about it, so why should I, right?  Why am I hurting my feet standing on my 5" heels writing down notes on the white board for them?

Fortunately, or unfortunately, my Jiminy Cricket reminded me that in that be-damned class, there ARE still kids who want to make it.  I decided I'll just save my ultimate zero-fuck-given weapon of mass destruction for a better day.

So now, 3 weeks more closing into their exam that will determine their fate - whether they'll become rich and successful, or to be the scum under the shoes of the rich and successful, there's only about half of them left in my class.  Only those who seek success shall enter.  And those who have scorned me are banished forever.  If you have never been a teacher before, you'd think what I'm doing is wrong.  That I'm supposed to motivate these kids, yada yada.  Well fuck you, I don't care any more.  Yes, part of me has died.  But the other part of me still lives for the kids who want to learn.

At this point, I will stab anyone who dares to tell me that being a teacher is easy.

On a recent exam:

I feel you kid.  So here's an A+ for you.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Orphaned Puppies Update: Correction, 'Puppy'

5 weeks later, Cody II became the only survivor among his siblings in this harsh, cold human world, and is still kicking.  

There was hardly breathing problems and runny nose.  Wet nose yes, but no mucus.  And his birth weight finally doubled.  Like, 3 weeks late.

He has also already mastered the art of eating from a cup, then progressed to a bowl.  

The cutest thing about him is that he has teeth!  And every day, it gets razor sharp.

He's my new stress reliever.  My other dogs of course still do their jobs as stress relievers, but this little pup doesn't jump all over me and stain my clothes with paw prints, plus he's tiny and portable.  For now.

One more week and he'll finally be able to get vaccinated and the chances of him dying suddenly will be greatly reduced.

You can do it, puppy!  All my 249 followers are counting on you.  If anything happened to you, they will not want to live in this world any more.  Am I right?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Disgruntled Teacher Is Back

'Sup.  The Disgruntled Teacher is back.

I have so many things to complain about, and I'm not sure how I'm going to go about it without risking my ass getting taken action against.

Well I'm just going to be brutally honest while trying to sound polite.

I am unhappy with some of the decisions made in the Ministry of Education.  Our education minister needs to  re-evaluate certain things that his genius underlings propose and execute.  Wow, I CAN express myself politely, how 'bout that.  New policies and systems are drafted and executed as often as my period.  Alright, I take back what I said.

First there's this PBS thing, a pain in the ass for all teachers teaching Form 1.  I'm not so well-versed 'bout this new thing, 'coz I was playing Angry Birds during the briefing, but this is what I picked up from all the complaints I heard from the teachers who have to carry on with this new 'system': kids no exams, kids get assessed every week, truckloads of files, papers, oh god so many papers, work work work, suicidal thoughts.

Since it doesn't concern me yet 'coz I'm teaching Form 4 and 5 now, all I can do is pity their plight.


A few months later, surprise, surprise, ANOTHER new system!

For English classes, there's a thing called the Set System, where Form 1 students are streamed according to their proficiency.  Also, I still don't get most of it, 'coz seriously, it's unfathomable.  But what I know is, every time English period comes, they move according to the classes they are assigned to. In which I think is not a bad idea.  Also, each class will have less students in it, probably 25 and below.  In which again, I think is not a bad idea too.

But here's the crazy part, I mean, less logical part.

According to this newfangled system, from our current 10 classes, there are now a whopping 15 classes.

So what caused this previously happy, contented teacher to be once again Little Miss Gloomy?

We the morning session teachers have to teach afternoon sessions as well now, due to the lack of teachers.  

Well, I demanded that the classes be made early afternoon so that I don't have go back to school again in the evening, 'coz that's just retarded.  I mean inconvenient.

I don't really mind working extra hours, well, actually I do, but I just don't understand why, oh why this thing must be carried out since we only have like, two weeks left before the final exams.  Wait, not sure whether they have end year exams any more, but that's what we're told.  We only need to do this for two weeks.  Maybe less than two weeks 'coz of the PMR.

No matter how great an idea is, it becomes bad when there is lack of resource and manpower.  'Coz it will just defeat its purpose.  But nooo, it has to be done.  Even if it's only for two weeks.

So.  What is the main point of this actually?  What is the objective?  What are we trying to achieve?  What the hell am I supposed to do in two weeks, coupled with this PBS thing? 

 I can't find myself to be motivated to teach without understanding what in god's name I'm doing, or what am I supposed to do.  If you say, just think of the kids.  Do it for the kids.  Do effing what? WHAT?

So like I said, no matter how awesome an idea is, it only works when there is enough source and manpower.  The ideas from the MOE aren't all bad - just lack of source, manpower, careful and long term planning and concern for the teachers and students welfare.  That makes it sucky.  And that makes me disgruntled.

Anyways.  This is one of the challenges of being a teacher.  Shit can be thrown at you any time, and you have to take it whether you like it or not.

For my part, I will try to brain all of these once again and at least try to teach like a boss even though I may not know what I should be doing when I enter my Form 1 class.

And oh god.  A class full of 13 year olds.  Neither child nor teenager.  The unspeakable horror of the...TWEENS.