Sunday, April 26, 2009

From Kuala Terengganu all the way to Mount Kinabalu

View from Promenade Hotel, overlooking the waterfront

It was a trip down the memory lane. I could still remember the morning I was transported along with a large group of teachers to KLIA for our first posting. At that time, Labuan was still under the administration of JPN Sabah, so I had to go to KK first before going to Labuan, which was my home for the next 8 years. The only difference now, it's been a decade of teaching and I got the chance to make another trip to Kota Kinabalu. I arrived at Kota Kinabalu Terminal 2 airport late in the evening. My friend Angah welcomed me since her school is just nearby. She took me around the town area to refresh my 'navigation system' since there has been a lot of development in the town area. I guess I still got the touch and sense of direction around the town. I really felt welcomed coming back to KK. There was always somebody I know around, my students and friends. I purposely chose Promenade Hotel because the location is at the center of everything. Overlooking from the hotel windows I could see what used to be Anjung Senja Kota Kinabalu which is now making way for a new development. Things change for the better. It was the first night for me in KK after two years I transferred back to Terengganu. I spent a restless night thinking of presenting my Commonwealth Action Research Paper to a panel of School's Inspectorate. Since the time difference between Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia is one hour, I had to sleep early because the day started early and I would be driving to Ranau the next day.
" I wish I could hibernate longer"

I woke up as early as 4a.m. and packed up all my things because I had to check out of the hotel immediately. Pn. Zaleha (The Officer from EPRD ) had rented a car so that we don't have to take a taxi that would cost us double. It was a smooth journey and eye refreshing to see all the greenery. I arrived at Pekan Ranau at 7.30am so I still have an hour before the presentation. As promised, I called my friend Shamrin as soon as I reach Ranau. He used to be my colleague back in SM Sains Labuan. It's been so long that we have not met each other.

"World's Highest Via Ferrata Sky Walking on Mount Kinbalu"

When we arrived at PKG Ranau at 8.20am, I was surprised to see that a group of school inspectorates (Nazir) were already waiting for us. I guess I was the only teacher around because the rest were either Officers from Kementerian or Nazir. Pn. Zaleha did all the introduction and she presented "Education for All" paper first. I felt a little bit nervous at the beginning, however since everybody was so interested to hear from me, I managed to deliver well. The feedback from the Nazirs were positive. I felt good because this is the first international paper that I have produced and the first time I got to present it in such occasion.

"This is the place where all the vegetables were gathered and ready to be transported"

These are some of the items sold at Kundasang vegetable market. I wish I could bring some back to Terengganu but I doubt it could be fresh when I arrive in KT.

"busy bees"

"Strawberries and Honey"

After the presentation we went straight to Kota Kinabalu town to do some shopping. Philipines Market was our prime target because everything we want is there. I'm not much a shopaholic especially when it comes to ethnic stuff.

The all new Kota Kinabalu Airport

After doing some shopping, I took Pn. Zaleha to the airport. I was amazed at the changes made, it was nothing like the old one. I took sometime to explore the new airport and I was impressed with its design. There were 10% left I guess before the construction completes. I waved Pn. Zaleha good bye and went straight to Terminal 2 KKIA. I guess this is not going to be the last trip to KK because this is the land of birth for my son Ammar. We'll come back for more. Insyaallah.

Me at Kota Kinabalu International Airport

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Experience that matters the most!

Our new logo

It's good to be back writing in this blog. We had a friendly match yesterday with SMK Lembah Bidong. I almost canceled the game due to transportation problem. Luckily, with the help of Cikgu Fazli things went well and the problem was solved. Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate that. The main purpose of that game was actually to evaluate the new form four player whom had been practicing since last month. To my surprise, they amazed me. I was glad in a way that I could rest my form three players because they were having exams. Congratulation boys! It is the motivation for me to keep polishing your talent and skills. I just need more games to develop these boys and give them more experience. The next tournament is just around the corner.

Rising All Blacks star

My day started with a happy message from my sister who is now in New Zealand. She just bought me an All Blacks jersey and a tie! I just can't wait to wear them. For a true All Blacks fan like me it is really something. My idol player is always Jonah Lomu. I always love his strength and courage when he played.

Sure hope you guys enjoy this clip !

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Old Skool and New skool, Stay Cool, Stay in School

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my greatest pleasure to present you my former school, Clifford school Kuala Kangsar. Not many people know nor heard about this school especially outside of Perak. Well today I shall tell you all about my 'old skool'. I guess this is where everything started for me. This is where Rugby makes its mark in my life and it has changed me entirely. Clifford school is the oldest school in Kuala Langsar. Some people taught that Malay Collage Kuala Kangsar was the oldest, well, they were wrong all the way. Clifford school was established in 1897 while MCKK was established in 1905. Our tradition goes along way back in the times of the British colonials. Those days, the royals and the aristocrat went to this school for education before MCKK was founded. Names like Hamdan Syeikh Tahir, Tun Sambathan, Raja Mohar Badiozzaman and Rafidah Aziz were among the outstanding few. There are more to be mentioned. As the post independence generation, I am very proud to be a Cliffordian. Even though we were not as glamourous and as prestigious as the MCKK, we are proud at the standard of our own.

I've left Kuala Kangsar for almost fourteen years, all my memories are still fresh in my mind. I've been a kampung boy and I still am. The only thing that made me feel sad going back to Kuala Kangsar is the big empty house of my grandparents. It is still very hard for me to let go of the feeling since I was not there when when they passed away. That will always a part of me that lives forever 'the presence of my grandparents' because I never saw the 'go'.

My class was right next to the foyer on the right

"The Ship is more than the crew" is the motto of the school signifies the highest regards and importance is given to the school. As written on the walls of Dewan Hamdan the school hall, "Once a Cliffordian always be a Cliffordian". I guess I have never really left school and that is why I am destined to be a teacher.

"The Ship is more than the crew"

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A different perspective of a teacher

I'm to get good respond from my reader about this blog. Even though, the focus of this blog is about rugby but I try to make it more reader friendly with more open topic of interest. So today I decide to talk about "being a teacher". I always believe that a teacher should always be versatile then only he or she can feel the joy of being in this wonderful profession.
A teacher in my wife's school complained indirectly to her because she had to leave class for choral speaking rehearsal for the National Teacher's Day Celebration in May. I just couldn't understand why such teacher never understood the roles that she is playing. Juggling with her classes, papers to be marked and also family I think she deserved some respect and not complains. I bet if that teacher were to be in my wife's shoes she would not stand a session of the training. As a teacher myself I wear many hats, as referees, coach, driver, maid and so on (you name it) I never regretted that I have chosen this profession. I admit that I have left a few classes with the students but I never left them empty. There is always work to be done and there is always new skills to be learned. Sometimes people think that leaving school for other things is easy, one thing they do not know is that we have to make up classes and double the work of the teachers who stayed in school all their teaching career.

Kampung Kedah near Mahsuri's well

Meeting the challenges of the new millennium, teachers need to be more proactive and reliable. Students may not see their teachers as role model but if we can earn their respect you can be their idol. As a coach, I want my rugby players to look at me as their mentor. Teaching my students to play rugby is not all about winning. I want them to be a fully developed individual. I want them to have a strong character and highly disciplined. Above all that I want them to be true gentlemen.

Teachers' Debate 2007

I'm glad I have chosen this profession and I am proud to be an extraordinary kind of teacher. To all the teachers out there, I salute all of you because you are the backbone of our society.

An evening in Likas 2006
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