4/27/2005 08:17:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|*cough cough* Quite some time ago, there lived a group of people in a row of huts. They were your typical group of people - some were wives, others were husbands and one or two were children. They led their own lives, did their own things and formed their own family units. Theirs was a home within a hut, so to speak. Occasionally one or two of the families would venture out to interact with each other - share gossip, news and even food. Then the rains came and no one talked to each other. No one shared and life was...quiet. Everyone did their own thing. Now this would not have been a problem (or the story for today) if not for the fact that each of these little huts were connected to each other by cables - yes, happy cables that spanned a few miles long. No one knew where these happy cables came from, neither where they lead to. All the families knew was that these happy cables made them...well, happy. Yes, back to the story. Then the rains came and one stormy day during the rainy season, one of the happy cables snapped. Five families were affected but only one came out to investigate what had occured. The rest sat in their homes, thinking that it was only a temporary thing. That one family discovered that over the course of the season, the rains had damaged several surrounding trees, causing one to topple over the cable and thus relying on it for support. BUT last night's storm was particularly bad and the cable, after hours of tension, finally gave in and broke. It laid on the pathway, testiment to its suffering. The head of that one family walked back into his hut, sent out a message pigeon and waited. A few minutes later, a group of burly men came and one by one, they fiddled with the happy cable towers and before you knew what they were doing, all the huts went silent. No more happiness. Some families started grumbling outloud. Some were quiet as if no one was staying in them. One or two came out to talk to each other. Questions came flooding out. "What happened?" "Why don't we have the happy cables on anymore?" "Was this because of the rain?" "Did you know anything about this?" "Did anyone do anything about it?" And slowly, everyone started asking the same question. "Why didn't anyone do anything about this?" But it was already too late. The trees had to be removed before the happy cables could be activated again. That could only be done in the morning. So all the families had spent the night without happiness - which they did, rather unwilling. Moral of the story? Well, I'll leave that up to you. All I know was that I spent the entire night sleeping in the hall and doing my French homework by the candlelight because there was no electricity. Why there was no electricity? Read the story.|W|P|111456238998066021|W|P|The story of happy cables.|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com4/27/2005 02:56:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Jayelle|W|P|lol! and there I was thinking it was some streamys related problem:)4/28/2005 09:30:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous romantic|W|P|Sad but thats what our world is heading towards.. .. let somebody else do it...4/28/2005 05:32:00 PM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|Romantic: I know. -.-4/23/2005 05:07:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|...and I'm awake. Well, actually I was up around 4-ish, lingered in bed for a while trying to go back to sleep but decided at around 4:30am that it wasn't happening. So I got up, took a shower and here I am, blogging about my thoughts. Or should I say just one of my thoughts? I'm the sort of person who doesn't like to linger on decisions. If something needs to be done, I do it immediately - I'm like that when conducting personal matters as well as stuff related to work. I can break-up with my ex on his birthday and my excuse till today is this: "Why wait till another day when it is going to be bad news anyway? I'd rather get it over and done with ASAP." Similarly, I like to be speedy and quick on my job - don't know how many people are like that but I appreciate such attitudes, especially if they are reflected at work. But having too much on my plate has led me to a prioritization mess at the office so much so that I'll have to admit one thing: one cannot teach four subjects AND handle administration work at the same time. Especially if the administrative work is shitty and was handed down to me in a shitty manner. AND especially if I have not been briefed on many matters. *interruption* I'm hungry. *continues* I have been advised by many people - Nil and parents included (who incidently have wealths of working experiences like this) - to speak to 'her' on Monday about this and continue doing MY stuff should she not show up. Since everything was based verbally and there was no letter of appointment, I am technically free to go back to my post as lecturer and my duties before. I also have every right to reject an offer or reconsider it - after all, there was no new contract and even the Human Resource department doesn't recognize me as the programme leader of my department. Nil is in Singapore this weekend due to some work commitments. I'll be going down next weekend to get away from it all just for that particular holiday. My parents will be out of town, so in the meantime, I'm going to attend my training later at 9:30am, try to get some rest, run some errands, do some housechores, prepare for my lectures and get ready for French class on Monday evening. Everything else can go take a walk in the park or fly a kite...unless of course, it's an invite for a drink. ^_~|W|P|111420487032432843|W|P|It's 5am...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com4/23/2005 01:14:00 PM|W|P|Blogger tomatoinc|W|P|hang on there mei. have hope for a better days ahead, and perhaps you can confront ur boss about it. or better still, dump the work to others. :P a lil hypocrisy there..but wth.

take care4/23/2005 03:24:00 PM|W|P|Blogger thquah|W|P|mei :-I'm the sort of person who doesn't like to linger on decisions. If something needs to be done, I do it immediately - I'm like that when conducting personal matters as well as stuff related to work. I can break-up with my ex on his birthday and my excuse till today is this: "Why wait till another day when it is going to be bad news anyway? I'd rather get it over and done with ASAP. I think all "Libra" sign ppl are like this. I am also always like this ,What ever need to be done.I always get it done without much delay.Somethimes it's good but not necessary always.4/23/2005 04:22:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Adam|W|P|Most of the time, I linger on decisions too long. However, I'd sometimes make decisions suddenly that would shock everybody. So far, no harm done.4/23/2005 06:22:00 PM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|THQuah: It often depends on the situation but doesn't necessarily mean that it was done without thought. :p

Adam: If you have thought them through, what's wrong? There are always many ways to reach the end.4/23/2005 06:22:00 PM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|Tom: Aiyo...I think you know me - I don't do stuff like that (dump my job onto other people).4/23/2005 10:10:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Piggy|W|P|I knew you were really stressed out from work but not to the point of confronting her. Geez...guess I was to absorbed with my own little world to notice much, sorry for that, been a bad friend. Sigh...
Anyway, you've always been passionate about teaching. And as your student, I know that you're a good lecturer, strict but good. So instead of letting her bring you down because of all the responsibilities, I suggest you listen to Nil and your parents and confront her on Monday, if she comes in at all that is. But if she doesn't, just talk to Ms C, I'm sure Ms C will probably be more understanding. We'll talk more on Monday when I see you k. Meanwhile, just enjoy the weekend and relax.4/24/2005 09:48:00 AM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|Piggy: No worries...you had your own issues too. ^_^ I'm hoping to get more rest this weekend, but with my 'aunt' visiting, I've been crankier. Gack.4/24/2005 10:57:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Kervin|W|P|Wow love your new site design!4/24/2005 11:57:00 AM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|Kervin: Thankies...nothing like a bit of Photoshop to spruce things up. ^_^4/21/2005 10:16:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Upon reading one of my student's blog (she happens to be a good friend of mine - though heaps younger), I started to think about change. I started to roam around blogs, reading archives, trying to pick up on the little things that have impacted this person in the last few months, years, weeks...even days - trying to discover if change was like what I thought it to be. Have you changed? I look at myself and I see changes. My secondary schoolmates would probably disagree since to them, I haven't really changed in terms of appearance or behaviour. They see me as the bookish, nerdy, quite...stable, home-y type - since my hobbies revolve around things I do at home...apart from the occassional travelling. I wonder if they would still say the same if they knew of the things that happened in my life for the past nine years. Yup, it has been that long since I left school. I may still look the same - less make-up during the day, same old hairstyle (just a different colour) and mayhaps even same built and same fashion sense (simple, nothing outrageous or revealing). But I feel different inside - I have had so many life altering experiences that I used to wonder to myself if what I felt was really reflective of who I was. Open-heart surgery in 1997 that left me with a 7-inch scar running down my chest. Took me three years to brave wear low-necklines. Still takes me a while to adjust to the stares and questions I get but at least I don't mind wearing stuff that allows a peek of the scar I have. Failed relationships and encounters with lecherous guys, abusive men all took a toll on me and ultimately my personality/character. For a long time, I was very different from what I wanted to be. For a long time, I couldn't bring myself to trust men without question, without hesistation. For a long time, I was hungry for real love and lonely. I become depressed, suffered manic depression and I went mildly schizo for a while. Changes in the home environment allowed me a chance to discover the real world, met wonderful people - who despite all my shortcomings personally, made me appreciated and loved out there as a colleague and classmate. Inside, as I reflect on how I have changed over the years... I went from a rather nonchalant, ignorant, naive girl to a responsible, pro-active, ambitious woman who knew her place in society yet wanted to be more than she could be. I went from depressed, nutty, insecure to satisfied, happy and confident. I used to tell myself during times of trouble that change was something bad. I used to question why this particular guy lied to me about his wife. I used to fault myself for my ex's failures in his own life. I used to hate the idea of change - of meeting someone, of breaking up, of losing loved ones, of moving... I used to ask so many questions without ever telling myself that some things are meant to happen to teach us a little bit more about life. I lost sight of who I become in the midst of the cloudy questioning. And in a way, I'm thankful for finding myself again - for sticking up for myself...for changing. Today I find myself gearing up for more changes, big or small. Time and time again, I tell myself that my life will never be as certain as I want it to be. While that means things will inevitably be hitting me, it also meant that I could make the best out of situations - bad or good changes. Simply because of this: Change is inevitable. We can change for good or bad but what matters at the end of the day is that we change. To remain stagnant is to signify the inability to grow, to learn, to mature. Change will happen - we can never stop it from hitting us. BUT whether that change is positive or not, well...that depends on us. So what are the changes that have impacted your life?|W|P|111409434057985057|W|P|Change - what does it really mean?|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com4/22/2005 12:05:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous romantic|W|P|what we experienced makes us what we are and hopefully builds up our character :) Looking back, even despite the bad times would you wished for things to be different??
In my case I know I wished they did not happen but again if those things did not happen would my choices now be different ???4/22/2005 12:06:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous romantic|W|P|..ooops forgot... I like your new template :)4/22/2005 11:51:00 AM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|I suppose the answer to your question would be a no - despite the horrors of it then. Valuable lessons were learnt and experiences gain. Makes me who I am today. Am not about to change that for a 'what if'.4/23/2005 01:16:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous romantic|W|P|yup agree with you there4/28/2005 08:17:00 PM|W|P|Blogger desiderata|W|P|Hi FIRST comment on thy blog. I was especially alert to one word you used here -- I also have used it several times, but I highligted it --+mayhaps+ -- a week ago with the two + signs, meaning to get back to it later in my Sunday columns "desiderata.english" which I targeted for promoting the English language; weekdays' posts are mostly CivilSociety stuff. Welcome to visit, and Comment?

PS: I enjoy the flow of thy writing; I wrote a couple on Teachers&Teaching, recalled by watching "Boston Public" now showing on one local TV channel. As a teacher, you may want to view one episode and see how it goes.5/04/2005 01:12:00 AM|W|P|Blogger desiderata|W|P|PS: I saw your use of the word +mayhaps+ in 3rd para -- could I ask you to spare some time tlling me what you really mean? You see, I had used this word also in my posts; expalined it last Sunday in my desiderata.english.special column -- wonder if our "meanings" coincide; I promised my readers I'll explore it with thee! Thanks in advance with much anticipation...4/21/2005 08:52:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|...since I had time on my hands (from taking leave for the past two days - plus the fact that today is a public holiday), I decided to change the look of my blog, create the French one which I've been promising to do but never got around to it AND of course, update some stuff - namely things on the sidebar. Am quite happy with how the blog has turned out, even though I went crazy in the initial stages when it 'disappeared' after failing to republish fully. I realized that since pulling my blog off PPS, I've been getting less hits and traffic has dropped, but I'm not really concerned about that. I suppose it is also due to the fact that I haven't been posting as often as I did in the past and about more controversial stuff. Can't say I miss the old days though. Nevertheless, my thanks to the people who have been faithfully visiting and sadly been treated to old stuff. I'll try to blog as often as I can but as you know what they say about blogging... It stops when people get busy with other things in their life. ^_^ Hope you like the new look.|W|P|111408821125988732|W|P|Dwindling things...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com4/22/2005 01:14:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Silencers|W|P|no scrollbar in firefox. pity those without a mousewheel and malfunctioned pagedown/pageup keys :p

But i like the new color scheme, yess... lovely.4/22/2005 01:53:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Piggy|W|P|Love the new look of the blog. But had some problems nagivating around it. Plus, there's nothing on the sidebar. Wonder if it's my old, old comp that's too outdated to support what's going on in your blog. Overall, LOVELY! =)4/22/2005 10:17:00 AM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|Silencer: The scrollbar works in Firefox and IE - the only thing that has been disabled is horizontal scrolling (from left to right of the page).

Piggy: IE always gives me issues with the sidebar. ~_~4/20/2005 10:32:00 AM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|His papal name? Pope Benedict XVI. Admist some jubilations, I have been witness to a few disappointed individuals regarding the appointment of Joseph Ratzinger as the new pope and spiritual leader of the Roman Catholics worldwide. Never mind that some of these individuals aren't even practising Catholics and thus aren't directly affected by this unsurprising appointment. BUT why do I say unsurprising? Well...after spending nearly two days watching CNN, reading editorials and updating myself with backgrounder information on the Vatican and issues plaguing the Catholic faith PLUS observing the changes within my own church as well, I have somewhat told myself that the Vatican would not have elected a moderate cardinal as the future pope. With issues such as homosexuality, birth control, stem cell research, abortion and challenges to the theology itself hitting the church hard, it is not surprising that the Vatican wants to go back to the very basics - theology and in other words, orthodox Catholism. I find it being reflected in many churches today, where there is a strong attempt to hold on to the basic theological teachings, which ultimately is said to provide believers with a clearer picture on where the path lies and how we are to live our lives. The Protestant church is often concerned with the issue of relativism - 'changing or adapting beliefs to suit current circumstances' (which frankly is often seen as the short-cut and ultimately incorrect way to practice the Christian faith) - so why not the Catholic faith too? I think it would be pretty insulting to God to change theological and religious practices just to find more acceptance among the people of the world today - such as the incorporation of female popes/cardinals/priests/leaders and the acceptance of abortion. Even my church draws the line between what we will do as a religious institution, religious followers/believers and as part of society. Why? Because religion isn't about politics or feminism. And at the end of the day, the faith is about seeking acceptance and approval from God, not from man. The Vatican selected an individual whom they felt would best lead them closer to God, closer to the one thing that matters to them. And for that, I'm happy - happy for the one billion over Catholics worldwide. Happy that they have chosen a good, firm, knowledgeable man who will lead them and the faith into the future. Funny how a better part of the world has turned this 'election' as a political fiasco when it was never the case to begin with.|W|P|111396564378787100|W|P|We have a new pope!|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com4/20/2005 06:57:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Suresh Gnasegarah|W|P|My two cents, and yes, I'm a non-believer.

Funny how a better part of the world has turned this 'election' as a political fiasco when it was never the case to begin with.

It is everything about politics. The reason why World leaders like Blair wanted to be seen with the Pope just before the Iraqi war is a classical example of the political nature of the church. A liberal pope would shake the very foundations of ultra right orthodoxy, which in itself would be a political statement. Everything about the new pope is about politics, which is why the selection process is shrouded in secrecy.

I think it would be pretty insulting to God to change theological and religious practices just to find more acceptance among the people of the world today - such as the incorporation of female popes/cardinals/priests/leaders and the acceptance of abortion.

This again assumes that God doesn't want things to be changed. The church might piss on homosexuals and people who have abortions but does it truly know what the God(s) really want? What happened to an ever forgiving and accepting God? What would happen if we indeed find a Gay gene? Would you rather see a child be born and then be fated to live a cruel life in state run orphanages although the mother knew that she couldn't afford the child? Shouldn't god be kind enough to understand that we don't want the child and the mother to suffer unnecessary pain?

The man up there has been quiet. It sure as hell doesn't mean that he doesn't want to change things.

Personally, I'm disappointed with the appointment. There are tonnes of things the catholic church needs to do particularly in the third world, and getting an ultra conservative pope, like Benedict, is not going to help. The last thing we need is another statement from the Church condenming condoms to undo all the work groups like the WHO have been doing in Africa in the battle against AIDS. Benedict has a strong reputation against birth control and it's worrying.

Heck, Benedict even once said that rock music is "the work of the devil" (or something along those lines).4/20/2005 09:58:00 PM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|"The man up there has been quiet. It sure as hell doesn't mean that he doesn't want to change things."

BUT can we be absolutely sure that these are the things we need to change?

"Everything about the new pope is about politics, which is why the selection process is shrouded in secrecy."

Then I suppose anything done in secrecy could amount to politics.


As much as I respect the differences in your viewpoints and your standing as a non-believer, I'm looking at this from a believer's point of view - even though I'm Protestant - which incidently doesn't share the same issues that the Catholic church abhors - such as birth control - which is why I never mentioned anything about it.

At the end of the day, believers - Pope or regular Joe alike - do not answer to us. They answer to God and the last I checked, we aren't God himself.4/18/2005 12:55:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|...I can't stand it, especially more so when it occurs at the workplace. Over the weekend, my favourite writing utensils have gone missing - one mechanical pencil, and about three to four ink pens (black, blue and red) [it is so bad so much so that I can't do anything without them]. A while ago, it was my stack of A4 paper which kept dwindling without me ever knowing why and my stash of 2B pencils. Long time ago, it was my stapler, ruler and what-nots. Granted that these are little things and that I could easily purchase a few more 'expensive' pens (ink pens cost anywhere from RM3 to RM5) BUT come on, these things are so trivial and petty. I can't believe I have to take preventive measures for safeguarding my stationery. Funny thing about the entire matter is this: I have more expensive stuff at my workstation which is easily available. So why my stationery? Pfft. Am silently cursing that whoever took my stuff will have his/her fingers rotting off in the near future. -.-|W|P|111380045431213751|W|P|Petty thievery...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com4/19/2005 06:42:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous romantic|W|P|I had this problem before especially with the Asian staff. Taking of stationary, pens and pencils etc is not stealing.. just " borrowing and oops was gonna replace but didnt get round to it.." When I explained that it is no different from stealing cos they invaded my space and took things ( yup, even though they were "honest and not take my expensive stuff") I did not have that problem anymore after that.
I guess people never thought taken stuff like that is actually theft plus very annoying.4/21/2005 10:48:00 AM|W|P|Blogger d4g|W|P|i dont mind lending people things... if they care to return them....4/21/2005 10:00:00 PM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|Romantic: I have resorted to labelling them and keeping them under lock and key. ~_~

Pras: Same too...but don't take advantage of my generousity, y'know.4/08/2005 09:01:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|...when I wish I could turn back time. ...when I wish I could travel to and fro M'sia without the need for a visa or passport. In case you're wondering what on earth is it that I'm babbling about, well in about two weeks, it would 1.5 years since I left Sydney for home. I remember blogging about it last year, about how I missed the air, the warmth, the lights...the place I found myself in. In the months that passed by, I slowly forgot about my sad musings. I could relate the happy memories but only for the benefit of others like my students who were leaving for Perth. I could relate the experience but was unable to feel them. When the New Year came around and I got busy with work and a new position, I had even forgotten the date, the year... Until tonight. Watching Kylie Kwong wander through the streets of Surry Hill, the Sydney Fish Market, staring at the myriad of visuals on the telly - sunshine, colour and all...all of it brought back fond memories - memories that I had placed right at the back of my head and completely cut off. So that I wouldn't have to be sad. ... I remember the friends I had - Wen Qing, Apple, Gower, Andy, Marine, Henry, Aiya, Damiano, Anna, Ranmani...so many names - I barely remember them now. I remember sipping a cup of hot coffee, chatting away with Gower under the trees of my university campus about global issues and Malaysian politics. I remember having a bottle of chocolate milk with Andy as he asked me questions about dating habits of Malaysians - somewhere near where I sat with Gower a few weeks earlier.
I remember watching Andy worship the sun with his platinum blond hair, cheeky smile and blue eyes - all the while smiling at the sight of Apple, one of my Chinese classmates who shielded herself from the sun. What a constrast. I remember watching ducks waddling towards the lake on my way to the gym in the evenings. I remember cuddling up to myself in my socks, trackbottoms and long sleeve wooly top during winter on the couch, warming my hands with a couple of Cadbury 99% Fat Free Hot Chocolate.
I remember my interview sessions with The Body Shop and the fun I had with all the girls. I remember walking to work AND class in my boots, holding my jacket to myself even though it was summer. I remember watching the wild parrots peck at the seed treat I hung on the tree in my yard.
I remember the stroll I took along Sydney Harbour, watching the streetside performances, smelling the sea and fresh foods, gazing out to the Opera House and the sea beyond. I remember the lights of Darling Harbour and the nights of lovely dancing and music with my housemates and friends. I remember walking down the entire length of George St. just to find my favourite second-hand bookstore, the smell of books, sitting on the floor with an old book in my hands, just flipping the pages away. ... So many things, thoughts...memories...and yet part of me wishes to cry because that is all they will ever be. Just memories. I miss Australia...more specifically...I miss Sydney.|W|P|111296783773235647|W|P|There are just days...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com4/12/2005 10:55:00 AM|W|P|Blogger d4g|W|P|oh dear i hope i dont start missing canada...4/12/2005 09:42:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Hi Scarfer, your writing makes me feel humbled and privileged to be living here in Oz.

Btw I really like the way you post photos and message in the one blog entry. I am a newbie. Would you mind telling me what tool you used to achieve that?

Thanks!4/12/2005 11:09:00 PM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|Oh...just an Olypmus OM-2000 (old school manual camera) AND the boyfriend's Canon A75 Powershot.4/13/2005 02:29:00 PM|W|P|Blogger percolator|W|P|*sniff* *sob*

I left Brisbane last October. I miss the daily bushwalks to campus. Working in the labs till 3am ... boo hoo hoo...

http://mudpond.blogspot.com/4/21/2005 10:00:00 PM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|Percolator: I feel your pain! *hugs*4/08/2005 05:56:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Some free time, that is what I have now - just finished an internal training on teaching and learning (can't elaborate due to policy and what-nots) - but know what, that isn't really the point of this entry. Was just ruminating about several things after being bombarded with jokes, information and ideas on how to be a better lecturer...and oddly enough, the things I was ruminating on don't even relate to teaching.
  1. What do you know when someone you don't know very well emits auras of dislike towards you?
  2. Do you feel upset - or in the mildest of manners, affected - by such emotions? If you do feel upset, how do you cope with such things?
  3. If you don't, is it because your skin is as thick as a rhino's hide or...? Do you ever stop to think as to why they don't like you?
I suppose I'll have to take some time out to figure this on my own but comments are appreciated nonetheless. In the meantime, have a good weekend! ^_^|W|P|111295463129289185|W|P|Out of curiosity...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com4/09/2005 12:20:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Cupcake Queen|W|P|1. Keep a safe distance away from the person emitting bad vibes to me.

2. No, I don't feel upset as it's all about them, not me. If I can't help feeling upset, then I'd exercise to work off the bad emotions.

3. If ppl don't like me, then it's their problem, not mine. I simply can't please everyone in my life.4/07/2005 09:29:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|Just two days ago, my former boss popped by for a visit - she is now principle of another education arm linked to my college - and during the chat with me and my colleagues, remarked about how some parents need to be re-educated. To a certain extent, it was true. Many parents today have more help manning their children as compared to their grandparents - teachers, maids, nannies and what-not. My parents would never dare dream of pinning the blame on my teachers when I failed my classes or never attended them. In all the PT (Parent-Teacher) meetings they attended, the fault lied with me and the visits were to better understand me when I'm OUTSIDE the home. BUT parents of the students I get are vastly different... My colleagues have gotten yelled at, threatened and even scolded for the most pettiest of things by parents. Parents seem to forget that we, lecturers, are also human beings and are also teaching other classes apart from the ones their children are enrolled in. Parents seem to forget that they too are responsible for the well-being of their children even though they are in college. Yes, our duties are to educate and impart knowledge to their children but as parents, don't you have duties of your own to fulfill? It came to the point where one parent - in his furious state - yelled "My daughter is not an adult, she is still a kid and I expect you to look after her when she is here." Yes, you and another two hundred odd parents. Guess what? There are only eleven of us in the Department including the Head, who is barely in because of business development plans and what-not. Mind you, the girl in question is turning nineteen this year. It was stated in one of the more recent issues of TIME Magazine (they did a cover on education in the US) that parents think of the educational institution as a washing machine. Dump your dirty children in and when the cycle is done, they WILL come out clean. After all, if your washing machine is working fine, your dirty clothes DO come out clean, don't they? That was how the educational institution was seen in the eyes of the regular American.
And I don't think I'd be wrong in saying that we see our schools, colleges and universities as the same thing - dump our lazy, unmotivated, good for nothing children in these places and expect a top-of-the-class, charismatic adult to walk out with a scroll in their hands, all clean, pristine AND easy to manage. I know of some great parents out there who don't mind waving around a firm hand or two when it comes to their children, who think about others too when it comes to educating their children BUT sad to say, many parents out there just don't care about people like me. Being an educator is not an easy task, especially when the only support you seem to be getting is from your family and no one else - not the parent, not the child, not your workplace and not even your government. Teachers, lecturers and sometimes even professors have to bear the brunt of failures in their classes simply because the people who provide for us are concern with quantity and not quality. Because parents equate A with greatness. Because parents confuse a letter with substance. "Charity begins in the home." So whatever happened to learning from your parents, OR learning the basics at home? I remember first learning my ABCs, how to read and write at home, diplomacy and tact plus a whole lot of other things...as I grew older, Dad would actually take time out to make sure I knew how to do my Math homework and when I went into college, my parents would faithfully attend PT meetings only to be told that I pressure myself too much and that I push myself too much sometimes. Dad (and Mum) get on their 'learning is a lifelong thing' on an ocassional basis and till today, the educational experience has never stopped for me - even in my home. Parents enter their children into schools and colleges/universities in hopes that they need not fulfill their basic parental roles anymore - thus the educational institution today can be seen as a surrogate parent or even a maid, to be abused and used. Instead of being someone their children can look up to, someone their children can turn to in times of trouble, someone their children can learn from, the parent has reached this stage in human society where we have no option but to ask several questions... What is a parent? What are the duties of the parent? Do those duties stop immediately when the child hits schooling age? If a parent is someone who guides, motivates, disciplines and teaches a child...then is it okay to say that we educators ARE parents of our students? If that is so, what gives birth parents the right to belittle the efforts of many teachers and lecturers around the world? Personally, I have been very lucky to encounter really patient and gentle parents - parents who are genuinely concerned for the educational well-being of their son/daughter. BUT the realist in me knows that one day, my luck will run out. I hope it will not be too soon.|W|P|111288248569851405|W|P|What is a parent?|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com4/08/2005 12:28:00 AM|W|P|Blogger tomatoinc|W|P|lalaa...i love my parents...without their support i won't be here. but obviosly, i have encountered parents who don't give a fuck...and parents who try to control every single thing.4/08/2005 12:52:00 AM|W|P|Blogger d4g|W|P|This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.4/08/2005 01:01:00 AM|W|P|Blogger d4g|W|P|sorry i accidentally deleted my earlier comment!

very thought-provoking post mei, but kudos for bringing it up. I guess parents of today and parents of yesterday are like a whole different generation. Parents of today are more out to put the blame on at outsider rather than looking at their own faults. I for mean these parents who complain, do they actually really look after their child's overall well-being? I'm not just talking about physical stuff - money, food, colthing and other material possessions; i'm talking on more of an psychological and emotional state. Do they talk to their kids and take time to go through with any problems their kids are facing in school or anything?

I mean from what I observe, parents these days will just dump their kids in schools and tuition centers and if anything goes wrong, they put the blame on the instructor rather than their kid.

oh the tuition teacher is lousy!!

oh that teacher doesnt know how to teach!!

Do these parents even bother to talk to their child about what's going on? I mean do they ask their children why are they doing badly in school and you know try to advise them and help them out?

I believe parents are your instructors for life. They teach you things that cannot be found in textbooks but are highly crucial for social development.

Parents teach their kids about integrity, respect, responsibility, kindness,empahty and a whole lot of other mental lessons. They help complete the psychological part of a child's total human development. A parent is also one who looks after the child's overall well-being and with the aid of teachers and instructors, they help develop the child into a properly well developed individual.

My opinions on this issue are based from my experience. My parents have brought me up very well and they taught me many many things about life where teachers never explaind. They also taught me how to not be afraid to approach them when I faced any problems.

My mum used to take alot of interest in my education when I was in high school. This was because I was a below average student. Despite going for every report card day meeting and meeting with my class teachers, my mum never once blamed my teacher for anything. Instead my mum would ask the teacher infront of me what mistakes I am making and what am I doing wrong. This is so that I too could hear for myself what am I doing wrong. Then on the ride home I would get my lectures (well more like scoldings :P ) from my mum about my poor perfomances in school.

But I think the more important point is my mum never once just deserted me or you know called me a hopeless kid or anything like that. She constantly used to motivate me by telling me to work harder and put all my effort into my work and consistently monitor my performance, yes there were times where she would have to get strict with me to make sure I did my work.

That was a long time ago... today I can boldly admit I wouldnt be at this level if it werent for my parents...4/08/2005 08:03:00 AM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|Prashanth:

"I believe parents are your instructors for life. They teach you things that cannot be found in textbooks but are highly crucial for social development."

The funny thing is this: today, a number of parents are expecting lecturers to teach their students about life - if that IS the case, then what are parents doing? ~_~4/08/2005 09:55:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Old Fart|W|P|In my time, which day by day seems to be getting a whole lot long time ago, teachers automatically drew our awe and respect. These days even kids as young as 10 come home from school and mock the stupid and irrational actions of their teachers. This happens especially in homes where the kids are expected to use their heads and think and told off when they parrot anything. (Remember how we praise our little kids when they say something really original). Yet in school their teachers only reward them for parroting. Original thought is even frowned upon and you say something original and clever, you run the risk of admonishment from the teacher who is far less cultured probably. Obviously growing in such an environment kids grow wondering whats it all about.

Anyway, in my time you get punished or admonished in school, you don't come home to complain to your parents. Why? simple!. Round two starts! And in my case it was the poor cherry tree that suffered the loss of its branches for use as a tool of "abuse" and punishment! I would say...Of course when we talked about it when a whole lot later, we all had a good laugh at the expense of my late dad who would look rather foolish!

So, I guess you guys who are lecturers of young adults today must surely have a rough time having to deal with kids who think they are old enough to shag and have a romping time satisying and indulging in their new found and growing knowledge of what was once not so long ago embarrasing apendages and crevises and mounds on their bodies, but which are now the source of untold pleasure, and yet, they find themselves in a spot with their teachers when disappointed with anything. Rather than dealing with it...what they do is run to mummy and daddy! That's the irony isn't it?

I have previously have had the misfortune of having to dealwith an ired parent who was threatening hail and brimstone. Talked about taking the case to all the authourity you could name dealing with private education, including the Public Complaints Beureau and the press. Luckily it was all so far only through letters. That gave me time to study the issue and deal with the matter one at a time, turned the whole thing around and not only got him to pay all the money due from him but also drew an apology as well. Invited him for tea and subsequenntly he went off singing praises!....

I honestly feel sorry for kids who at this age still need to resort to their parents help to intervene when they have a problem at college!4/08/2005 04:12:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|It's a love-hate relationship. I love them, but at the same time, I irk them as well. But I'm not complaining. The truth be revealed when we take hold of the parent rein. ;)

Deb @ http://madametings.blogspot.com4/08/2005 05:44:00 PM|W|P|Blogger MooPig|W|P|My parents never blamed on the teachers. They blamed me instead. Teachers have my parents's full support to punish me whenever I broke the rule and they never doubted the teachers.

I've seen parents who created hoo-ha just because teachers caned their precious sons/daughter for breaking the school rules/not handing up homework. No wonder the kids nowadays are so spoilt that they dare to threaten teachers.

I was in a private boarding school for 18 months. A teacher once told me that they were told to 'tell lies' during PTA meeting. Some teachers told the truth about their children's performance in school but the parents just refused to believe that their angels are actually devils!4/13/2005 08:16:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Andreas|W|P|Great post, Mei. I think there is too little time that is spend with the kids. Too little and especially too little quality. Do things together, bond with your kids, get to know the. Hey - think of your family as your own little company (especially if you are only thinking about your career). Would you fire yourself? Would you buy shares in your family? Hm - makes me think about my own comment.4/05/2005 10:08:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|...I have come to regret giving out my mobile phone number to students for emergency purposes. I have even come to regret giving them my MSN contact details. Silly me had thought that in an effort to better reach the students, I'd be as contactable as I could be. However, at the end of my first semester, I realized my folly (I started receiving stupid phone calls at midnight asking about assignments, and even at 2am in the bloody morning with regards to how to write their paper!) and as such, only certain students had my number - namely students I trusted - matured ones and those whom I share a close relationship with outside the classroom and college. The rest were told only to contact me before7pm. ON MSN WHEN? During the day and early part of the evening was okay. Anything after 10ish or 11ish and you'll be ignored. WHAT? Assignment queries, clarifications, and operational matters or even a chit-chat is fine. ON PHONE WHEN? During the day and before 7pm. WHAT? Life and death situations. My students - the ones who have left for Australia - still had my MSN but it didn't become an issue until recently. They were smart enough to know WHEN to bug me and WHAT to bug me about. Along the way, I make exceptions for students who desperately need someone to talk to even though I'm tired, or busy with preparing lectures and what-nots. I don't mind doing that... But there is a limit to everything. Earlier this evening, specifically at 10pm, my phone rings. I picked up only to hear the following words "Mabel, hi. I'm wondering if there is class tomorrow since you were on MC today." *grrr* To this student, I want to say this: Did it ever occured to you that when I'm on MC means I don't like to be bothered with work? That when I'm on MC - unlike you jokers - I am actually SICK (if that means anything to you in the first place). My office doesn't even call me, so why the hell are you calling asking me if there is class? Unlike you folks who can decide to go on MC a day or two before your actual MC, I, on the other hand, go on MC for ONE day and only find out that I'm on MC that morning itself. I don't plan my MCs and there WILL ALWAYS BE CLASS unless you see a blardy notice stating otherwise. That means you still show up for your other classes. Last but not least, this is not a life and death situation so why the hell are you calling me? And then some other fella HAS to go and IM me with the same question. Student: "Mabel, tomorrow got tutorials ar?" Me: "Why not?" Student: "I tot you MC mah." Me: "Unlike you folks, when I go on MC, it's for one day unless you were told otherwise by Shirley (my colleague). So yes, there is class tomorrow." Someone please shoot me and put me out of my misery. Am seriously contemplating on hanging up on my students or unknown phone numbers. Must announce this issue during class tomorrow. "DO NOT bug me after 5pm unless it is a life and death situation. Panic attacks about impending deadlines do not count as an emergency." =.=|W|P|111271119976903516|W|P|Students today...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com4/06/2005 01:49:00 AM|W|P|Blogger d4g|W|P|oh dear, students bugging you when you're sick and not in the right mood... yeap i know what that's like!! Being a teaching assistant myself, I too tend to give my msn contact (but never my cell no.!) to my students so that they can reach my in case they have any difficulty. Like you I too don't mind helping out, but there has to be a limit and students should use their own judgement and just think before they ask me a question.

Sometimes i even get loads emails asking me the same bloody question whether it's regarding the tutorial sessions or writing case analyses (I guide 1st year students in writing their first proper business case analysis) or u know just some stupid enquiry whether there are lectures next week etc.

So to counter all that I made my own Tutorial website. I post all the materials I cover in class so that students can just download it off and print a copy for themselves instead of bugging me. I also post up my section's case-study marks so that I wont be bugged. I also have a Tutorial forum so they can ask me a question directly over there and students who have a similiar query can save both his/her and my time by reading my initial reply to the first student that posted a question.

I think this takes a whole lot of burden and pressure of me as a TA. And my prof is really impressed with this whole idea, he's now encouraging his other teaching assistants to have a website as well.

But that's the thing you have to face mei, when you become too personalized, some students take full advantage of it. I've gone through this before that's why I know. I try to be approachable to my students' needs and they take advantage of me by "influencing" and "begging" me to give them higher marks and this is a HUGE turn off for me. It disgusts me big time!! i get approached by students in the library or online constantly bugging me whether i've marked their papers and whether I can give them an A on their case study.

argh... but you know in teaching, most of the time 1/2 to 3/4 of the students will be really annoying, but you also get a few who really are genuienly nice, they show REAL concern towards their work, they don't BUTTER YOU and they are very respectable towards you...and it's these little bunch of students that make my day!

btw just a quick clarification - i'm centerpide from the other woobly rambles :)4/06/2005 08:01:00 AM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|Oh trust me...I still get students who take advantage of this system which I have set up. FYI, the questions on tuts isn't a problem. I don't mind them bugging me over that. The problem arises when they start bugging me about extensions, and frivalous stuff. -.-4/06/2005 03:43:00 PM|W|P|Blogger mystic|W|P|Mei: Hope u are feeling better. I gave out my number to my students also but they know not to contact me after 8pm.4/06/2005 05:09:00 PM|W|P|Blogger philters|W|P|students ringing me in the middle of the night and sending me rubbish sms around the clock is one of the reasons wh i left the teaching line. i might go back to it someday but very soon, i'm afraid. i don't know why, but students nowadays just lack tact and are so overly dependent. oh, and the dependent ones are not the worst! what's lengths worse are thos calling me the night before an assignment is due to ask for an extension! argh!4/06/2005 07:15:00 PM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|Socio: Agreed. I get some of those cases occasionally. -.-4/07/2005 08:08:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Does It Matter|W|P|Ah....by the time I got a mobile, I had quit teaching. Anyway, can't remember any student of mine asking for even my home phones. Although I might have given it to some SYTs.....Students forget that you've got a life....Don't sacrifice that for your students.4/07/2005 09:08:00 PM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|DIM: You know what? The younger, richer the student is, the more likely they are to demand stuff from you 24-7 (in ref to the younger students in my department). They bully my colleagues and they get their parents in on the actions. Sometimes I wonder if we ALL need some form of re-education in how we treat others.4/04/2005 08:20:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|*enters the stage* *cough sputter cough* ON MEDICAL LEAVE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. *bows and exits* ps: Just give it another two to four days. I should get better by the end of this week. Sorry, folks.|W|P|111261730861323805|W|P|NOTICE!|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com4/04/2005 09:03:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|get well soon mei, i am sure you're students are going to miss you during your medical leave.

regards and warm wishes,
stupid cupid4/05/2005 08:03:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous romantic|W|P|Get well soon and lots of rest and fluids4/05/2005 06:48:00 PM|W|P|Blogger MooPig|W|P|Get well soon, Mei!

{huggies}4/05/2005 10:42:00 PM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|SCupid: Yeah...they miss me so much until they called me at 10pm asking whether there is class or not. =.=

Romantic & Eileen: Thanks. Was feeling bettter up till moments ago - I think getting angry has made my flu buggies worse now. Got a bleeding headache. Gack.4/03/2005 10:03:00 PM|W|P|Mabel|W|P|...and Mondays always get me down. - Carpenters I'm moody and it's hard for me to understand why. I couldn't stop crying as the time for Nil to go home drew nearer and nearer. It didn't help matters that I am not totally prepared for one of the lectures tomorrow morning, that I'm boggled down with assignments and pop-quizes to mark AND the fact that I'm an adjudicator for a debate topic which I have no idea about - China and regional security. Couple ALL that with a scratchy throat, blocked nose and sneezy constitution - yup I think I'm coming down with something (which isn't that bad but you never know...) *sneeze* Meh. |W|P|111253722481419089|W|P|Rainy days...|W|P|meiteoh@gmail.com4/04/2005 09:42:00 AM|W|P|Blogger philters|W|P|you don't need to know about china and all to be an adjudicator. just remember matter-manner-method. its not all about the info in the arguments, its also the conviction and the organisation. in other words, who is more convincing. the adjudicator just has to be non-bias. i've come across a lot of screwed up adjudicators who try to bring in what they know about the topic instead of judging the competition.

just sit back and relax. let the info come to you:)4/04/2005 11:26:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous centerpide|W|P|yeah dont worry too much about the debate... sit back and N-joy students doing their best to convince you!!

as for the sore throat and all... hopefully you're not coming down with any flu *touches wood*4/04/2005 12:19:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous minishorts|W|P|*hug hug* come let me sayang sayang.

MUAKS.4/04/2005 01:52:00 PM|W|P|Blogger mystic|W|P|Mei: *hugs* take it easy with your throat hor. Try drinking honey lime...it helps.4/04/2005 03:02:00 PM|W|P|Blogger meiteoh|W|P|Socio: I'm too sick to even think about preparing for it. Gack.

Centerpide: Touchwood doesn't work anymore. :(


Mel: Right now, me at work and it seems inviting to sleep and it's too cold - even though my colleagues find it hot. :(