Friday, October 27, 2006


I am sitting at the computer table surrounded by 4-metre-lengths of textiles. One length is of an irridescent green splashed with turquoise that I couldn't resist when I went to Silky's for a colleague's goodbye gift. Another is a deep dark pink with tangerine slashes. Yet another is navy blue silk with velvety ultramarine flowers surrounded by thin royal blue ribbons. YET another is a forest green with shades of grass green mixed in so beautifully.

I LOOOOOVE Malaysian silk and batik and everything else related! If I sit in any cafe, it will be to peoplewatch...or more precisely, clothwatch. Sometimes I am guilty of looking at the dresses and robes first before I look at people's faces. And in case my close friends are wondering, I spend more time gazing at the beautiful textiles than wearing them!

My ICT colleagues still remember the time when we went to Terengganu and I lugged twenty pieces of silk batik home. After I came to my senses, I sold them all off. This year I went to Terengganu again. Same story but on a lesser scale. Sold them off too. Well, I kept three pieces. Indak tahan juga. The thing is, when I look at the colours and the sumptuous fabrics, I just cannot help but want to bring them home. Then at home, I spread them out so I can admire them. Then once my sanity returns, I start looking for buyers. Never a problem that. Terengganu produces the best silk designs as far as I'm concerned. It's not that I can't keep them but my practical self won't allow me to do so.

But I'm not selling off the pieces with me now. Not yet anyway...

Springcleaning Time!

Went to work in serviceable jeans, ready to dig into files and boxes.

It's amazing how many useless bits of paper I can keep, thinking that maybe it will be needed or maybe someone will ask for info that only these useless bits of paper have. But most of the papers were of courses that had already been completed. Imagine having to print a one-page invitation letter for every teacher you invite to a course. So if you plan to have fifty of them, that would mean fifty letters to be faxed. After faxing the letter, the clerk would dutifully stamp the date of faxing on each letter which would be my proof of 'posting'. So if I have ten courses in a year, that would mean 500 pieces of paper. That wouldn't include the fax cover page and the extra copies of printed notes and stuff like that.

And that's how my paper garden grows every year.

So today.. well, actually YESTERDAY, I was extra ruthless - one copy of a letter for each course + name list and the rest went into the recycle bin. Yes we have a recycle bin in the shape of a discarded box top. Once it's full, the box top owner would tie up the papers and somehow make them disappear. As for the extra copies of notes... dump dump dump. Next year would always mean new updated upgraded shinybright notes. No matter how you try to reduce the paper and depend on Powerpoint slides, people still prefer paper to handle and scribble on.

Later in the morning, I will be going back to the office and I vow to demolish at least two boxes worth of paper. Minimum!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Crazy About E-books

One of the best things that ever happened to me was discovering electronic books. Yeah, well, it was a simple ol' pdf document. And it was ages ago... but the idea of being able to carry puh-lenty of books in my palm was mindblowing.

Now I've stuffed my PDA with almost 50 books and they save my life everytime I have to wait for something or someone. I get really edgy and fidgety if I have nothing to do, so having a book to read is restful on the nerves. Anyway when I get irritated, I get mouthy. And my mouth tends to move a few steps ahead of my brain. So the e-books save a lot of people a lot of grief. IF they grieve over my words lah..

Anyway, I've adjusted pretty well to the electronic books, considering how I can drool over crisp new printed pages. Aaah, nothing like a whiff of a freshly opened book. But I'm willing to trade in the whiffs for the easy access to lotsa books. Best of all, I can download a book within minutes of purchase online. No more waiting waiting waiting for the postman. And the bookstores in KK really REALLY suck.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Moving On..

Well, the briefing went well, bar a comic turn by the usually serious S3P Sector Head. Or two comic turns. Sigh, the man always surprises me. But he did entertain the roomful of nervously sweating professionals.

I was utterly relieved to find that I was going to be transferred to a nearby school, SMK Kolombong. Will sleep tonight.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Times They Are A'Changin'

Just received a letter informing me to attend a briefing on the 19th of October 2006. My director will be giving the briefing and with her few words, she will change my life. Not just my life but a few hundred others as well...

I will find out that I have been given a promotion. Good.
I will find out whether or not I stay in the office... but this would mean I will be low in the promotion rankings.
Or I am posted back to school as one of the principal's right hand men... this would mean I will be relatively higher up in the promotion rankings and will become a principal sooner.

I don't really care where I work as long as I get to stay in the Kota Kinabalu district. As long as I can drive to work from home and not risk falling asleep at the wheel. And school's a pretty neat place to work in cos you meet creative young people every day as opposed to the office. And the long weeks of holidays end of the year are pretty attractive too.

In the office, November and December always means long hours writing reports closing stuff for the year and planning for the next year. I always have to force holidays by booking holidays in places that make it impossible for my boss to cancel my leave.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

25,000 teachers face dilemma

More than 25,000 senior teachers who are eligible for promotion under the time-based promotion scheme are in a dilemma. 

They must now sign a declaration saying they are willing to be transferred to any part of the country, including Sabah and Sarawak, before they are promoted. These teachers, mostly women above 40, fear they will have to uproot themselves which will disrupt their family lives.

From an article in The Star, 10th October 2006.

Guess what, I'm one of those women but not yet above 40 lah...:)
But I face the same dilemma and so will every teacher once he or she is 'in the zone'.  But if we don't sign that paper, we don't get promoted.  And if we don't get promoted, we are stuck where we are.  Is that good or bad???  Hmmm, I think this is indeed what they call a dilemma.