We, Teachers are under Attack! (because of the bloody haze!)

This godawful haze, originated from Indonesia has created many problems for the neighbouring countries. The rise in respiratory illnesses spiked this time of the year. A lot of outdoor events, some major and important are also cancelled because of the worsening air quality.

And schools were closed for days too..... People should stay indoors for health reasons.

This created a new problem, for parents at least. When schools are closed, where do you put your children for care? Most parents cannot bring their children to work, and the hyper active ones will bring major headaches without supervision.

So where do the parents go to vent their anger and frustration? The Internet, especially FACEBOOK.
Who they blamed? The TEACHERS for closing schools.

The war between these narrow minded parents and teachers online has gone critically viral these couple of weeks.

I must make this very clear; The decision to close school was made by the Ministry of Education, not us lowly teachers. A directive was issued for the schools to be closed for certain times in certain areas. And the schools were closed not by whim, but to save a great many children from travelling to school in hazardous situation. (So why blame the teachers? We don't create the haze to close schools for pleasure). 

Some of the comments by these frustrated parents are dangerously scathing. Other than blaming the teachers for closing schools, they accused most teachers to be improperly trained  and not really serious about the well being and education of their children.

And some comments are seriously not proper to be typed here.

Teachers retaliated (including yours truly) by pointing how narrow minded these adults were. We teachers ARE NOT glorified nannies, to care for your children while they work.
We educate and improve minds and body. A school is NOT a daycare centre.

(My actual nuclear bomb; If you cannot care for your own children for a couple of days without us, you have no business whatsoever to breed!)

About the level of education of teachers, those of us with high levels would seek these misguided parents in their Facebook domain, challenging them to see whose education is higher. (Mind you, we teachers got so many university grads and even PhDs. ) After heavy fire, many FB accounts of said victimized parents were terminated by the owners.

It maybe petty and bullying. but WAR IS WAR.

There are still a great many parents who thanked us teachers during these hours. A lot of the people understand, and are still happy to send their children to school, trusting us with the education and growth. For this kind of parents, we teachers are very happy to accept the responsibility.

Now picture time; (something to show that a teacher is not only good in class, and I already posted this in my FB account to prove)
This is me calmingly waiting for something....

Here, in a hospital ward, at midnight...... (seriously, after midnight)

For this student of mine, who had his foot stitched because of an accident at the hostel room. 

We are TEACHERS, and We do Serve.

But We are NOT your damn NANNIES!

- Facebook can be a very very bad place to be when people with limited intellect decided to share their piece of mind :P

I am a School Warden, and Hear Me Roar

I am just back from looking after some 300+ students in the school hostel. Its only babysitting the students, making sure they do stuff on schedule and hoping nothing bad happens during my time on duty.

What are the bad things that may happen you asked? Children are still children. Accidents during sports. They might fall off the stairs. Brawling rarely happens, but its a possibility. Some students may have high fever in the middle of the night. They might got food poisoning. Unauthorized personals invading the hostels. Or the students decided they wanted to go out of the hostel grounds without permission. The list can be quite long....

There are 7 wardens, all of us are also teachers, three men and four women. Only me and a fellow male teacher live outside the school compound. (I love my house anyway, and do not wish to stay apart long with it). Close proximity to the students will be BAD for a warden's health. There'll be constant knocking on the door, and endless stream of questions from both students and parents during the weekend. From 'when can we go out' to 'can I bring my child out for her grandma's wedding'.

Every wardens has his / her own style. And mine is 'in your face' approach.

If I don't like a student (behavior) I will tell the rest that I hate that particular human being and his associates will also feel the heat. I don't usually sugarcoat my words because I always believe honesty is the best policy.

Some may wonder in shock, WTH are you posing as a teacher then? From my 14 years experience, my observation of human (student) nature is; they will never change in school. A good student may improve, but an average or the bad ones may continue being so for the rest of the year. I am talking in behavioral terms, not academic. A tardy boy will continue being late, and a hardworking girl will continue creating great diagrams in her homework.

So what kind of children do you have?

The best way to change children's mind for the better is by telling them why they must do so, making them UNDERSTAND what will happen if they fail. Yes, talk to them to nail in the facts, properly.

This may prove very hard because usually peer pressure will destroy this holy task of yours.

So I always turns to BLACKMAILING instead. The next best thing.

You don't do what I ask, I will never look at your face again. You will make 5 copy of this correction paper if you fail my test. You will stand the entire hour in my class if you are late. You will acknowledge yourself as an idiot if you fail to answer me, even after I told you to read. You will sit in the middle of the corridor if you fail to hand in your work etc etc.

Harsh. (Not very) brutal. But it works. I don't do much shouting anymore when I found out that the results will be much the same without any screaming. Now I aim for their ego.

Anyway, picture time!
I used my younger prefects to set up the hall for yesterday's ceremony. These students work directly under me and know what will happen if I don't get my way. So everything went fast and smoothly. If I use the average students instead, sharp and abusive words may have to be expressed to have the job done. (They will play... oh how they play....)
Oh and this was about 930 in the evening....

The next day, when all of them are in school prefects uniform. I didn't have to tell them twice (now that's a teacher's wet dream). You girls sweep and you boys pick up the pigeons' feathers (our school is infested with these flying vermin). Observe and Obey, my personal motto.

You just cannot win the war by playing nice. The Dark Side of the Force can have things done too :)


Needful Things and Wanting Stuff

I have just started a new hobby four months ago.... which is collecting MONEY. (You may also call it saving, you boring people you).

Usually by almost the end of every month, I would have some cash to spare and always ended up spending it all up before payday. I know its a very very bad habit, and I did waste thousands upon thousands on the little things that amused me.... but still, I think they were well spent. I am going to be 40 soon and it would be stabbing on my own proverbial back if I don't save some for the rainy days....

(I actually LOVE rain and the cold weather, mind you).

So since four months ago I set aside quite a significant amount of money (in fact, I transferred it to another bank for NOT ease of use). The amount I set aside monthly is always the same, for me to remember. And still at the end of every month, I still have some surplus.... (what the hell have I spent on before this?!)

And now I wondered.... if I started saving YEARS ago, I might be as rich as Scrooge McDuck or Toupee Trump!

Yesterday my mom gave me a lot of cash money, my small share from the sale of one of our houses. I immediately put the money into my collection bank! A few friends who know my new hobby said I should put it in some trust fund for maximum profit. I think I will do it later next year.

For now.... other than new PS4 games (fortunately the titles I really like are very few in between) I don't want anything else. But I NEED to repair the gates, and my house sink. That will not cost an arm or a leg :)

If I work much harder, I can accumulate more money... That's why I don't hate rich people because I know most of them work hard for it. I am just lazy, and only make so and so.

p.s. - I was thinking what to post earlier as I was browsing through your blogs.... :)

The Greatest Author on This Planet; Sir Terry Pratchett (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015)

This may come WAY so late, writing about somebody who passed away much early this year. But I just kickstarted my blog (again) and at least I may run away with that excuse, eh?

Once in 1997 I was bored and decided to buy a book with my own money (yes, yes, i admit I have STOLEN a great deal of books from people and EVEN libraries.... but that was way when I had few cash to spare, and good books were (and still) expensive). So I visited Kinokuniya of SOGO, the nearest bookstore to the light railway transit station I board to go home.

I love fantasy. And was very familiar with most of the good authors and titles. But the fantasy section in the bookstore was dismally inadequate. Only a measly row remained, with titles I had never heard of. As I did not wish to go empty handed, I picked up a few books to look.

And yes, I am someone who JUDGED a book by its cover.

(And I rarely open a book for a quick read before buying).

In the midst of those few books was a purple blue one.

Heck, the cover is bloody ugly, I thought, no wonder nobody wants it. I turned it to read the blurb;

"FAERIE TRASH.   Ever wonder what those magic circles of stones in the English countryside are for? They're to keep the elves out.
Elves are nasty (besides being brutish and short). They're vicious. They love cruelty. Plus to make things worse, they have got IT. Glamour. Style. Humans find elves absolutely irresistible. They actually think elves are cute!
So when an infestation of faerie Trash invades the Kingdom of Lancre, upsetting the Royal Wedding Plans, the ordinary people of Lancre are helpless. It's up to the witches, led by Granny Weatherax, to deal with the vicious little bastards.
Which is all right with Granny. She thinks elves are cute, too. And that makes them even more fun to kill."

I never smile while reading a book. And this blurb created an instant miracle!
I love fairy tales. And here is an author who tries to be funny in fantasy. 
I broke my own rule to judge a book by the cover, bought it and left for the station.

In the train, I opened and started to read. And it happened again, me smiling! The book was so cleverly funny that I continued reading it and finish all 281 pages that very evening.

I was smitten. Never an author had that power over me. I returned the next day after class and bought every single book by the same author (I only got two). I walked to further bookstores to acquire more titles. Traveled across states and one time, used my penpal in America to get me a couple of elusive titles (Amazon.com and online shopping were still unknown back then).

I even got some of his collaborations with other authors.

Yes, he is THAT good. Try him.

So when Sir Terry Pratchett died of Alzheimer's last March, you can say there was a small yet significant hole in my soul. This was a man, who I never met, but through his writings conveyed fantastic little miracles. He created memorable and powerful characters to emulate and hate. Elegance of words even in crude jokes. Observation of the human psyche, and the truth about human nature.

He was the greatest author who ever lived, because he made me smile (and think).

There will never be a new Discworld novel... and I have to wait for the final book to reach this shores still..... But farewell and goodbye Good Sir, your stories will live on within millions of readers who (may accidentally) stumbled upon your works....

p.s. - I found out that in later publishing, the covers of Pratchett's books had improved somewhat :)

Vain vain Vanity Yay!

I was vain (2013) and still am :)

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