Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bond University's High School Mooting Competition 2009

And the winner this year is....Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School of Malaysia!

It may seem like an ordinary international competition win to some but to those in the know, this victory almost didn't happen. First of all, the level of competition was pretty high, with the STTSS students having to beat other equally-hungry schools in Sabah. Out of 105 teams all over the world, STSS was among the handful that made it to the finals. Second, there was an advisory issued by the Ministry of Education, barring all student travel out of Malaysia due to the H1N1 flu epidemic. Teachers and parents had to kick up a blizzard of letters and phone calls before permission was granted.

For the team to win, after all the stress and shocks they suffered, it must be pure ecstasy.

To Averyl Bachi, Annabelle Yap Yang Ling and Jonathan Lee Yung Sheng, this will be something they will never forget :)

I asked Averyl to tell me about the competition and this is what she wrote :

In this competition, the organizer will give your school a case to read and a stack of related cases for you to back up your argument. They will decide whether you're the appellant or the respondent, and they will give you 2 or 3 grounds to fight on. A lawyer's help is really needed, because reading the related case is really confusing. Teachers can help to explain the English and lawyers can help with the arguments.

The regional round is in Kota Kinabalu, competing with around 15 schools. The winner will go to Australia to compete with the Australian schools.

The organizer in KK is A.C. Services (Mr. Anthony Lim).

At first it was kind of difficult, because when you read the cases and you don’t get any of it, you'll panic. It was like Greek to me at first. So you need to read it a few times. Knowing the facts of the case is important too, because in the middle of presenting your argument, the judges will cut in and ask questions, such as "Why do you think it can’t be done this way?" or "Why is he wrong?"

So it's important to anticipate what questions they're going to ask and have the answers ready. That was the hard part, not knowing how to answer the questions and thinking on your feet.

The best part was ... WINNING! and thinking "All that hard work finally paid off!"

The second best thing was the prizes! For the regionals, they gave the team RM1500 and for finals, AUS300! Annabelle Yap won Best Advocate and her prize is a 40% scholarship to study law in Bond University.

For those who would like to know more about this competition, here's the link.

Thank God For Those Who Bring Magic Into Our Lives

Sometimes, in the midst of chaos, something suddenly appears and causes me to stop and check myself. Last Friday at a hall, as I was silently cursing under my breath, dragging chairs hither and yon, a hauntingly simple melody caught my attention. The lyric 'syukuri apa yang ada, hidup adalah anugerah' seemed to freeze my thoughts.

Be thankful for what you have, life is a gift...

Suddenly all the upset and frustration just seemed to be suspended for the short while the melody was played. And for a short while, I was bespelled by a simple tune and a haunting voice.

What would our world be without talents like this to bring enchantment into our hectic lives? Then I thought of the massive talents that have recently passed away - their losses are not of mere men and women, but of magic and imagination.

So the next time I walk down a school corridor and see a boy strumming on his guitar, Maths book left unheeded, I will hold back my words of admonishment and think that for a few seconds, he is bringing magic to his world.

Jangan Menyerah

(Song & Lyrics by D'Masiv)

Tak ada manusia
Yang terlahir sempurna
Jangan kau sesali
Segala yang telah terjadi

Kita pasti pernah
Dapatkan cobaan yang berat
Seakan hidup ini
Tak ada artinya lagi

Reff 1:
Syukuri apa yang ada
Hidup adalah anugerah
Tetap jalani hidup ini
Melakukan yang terbaik

Tak ada manusia
Yang terlahir sempurna
Jangan kau sesali
Segala yang telah terjadi

Back to Reff 1

Reff 2:
Tuhan pasti kan menunjukkan
Kebesaran dan kuasanya
Bagi hambanya yang sabar
Dan tak kenal Putus asa

Back to Reff 1
Back to Reff 2

Monday, July 27, 2009

Do I Have A Personality Disorder? No. :)

Someone asked if 'Oxymoron' in my blog title meant I had a split personality or some kind of dissociative disorder.  Let's just say it took me a while to grab my breath because I was laughing too hard.

Unfortunately I am absolutely and boringly free of any disorder.  Sorry....:D 
Okay, maybe I can be a little bit paranoid and a little bit fussy....and sometimes people complain I won't let up (translate that as 'being a nag') but it's only with stuff and issues I care about.  Otherwise why would I bother?

Oxymoron in my blog title only refers to the conflict I sometimes feel as an individual living in a world with set expectations.  I think that goes for pretty much everyone else on this planet, right?  But most people just suck it up and live with it.  I blog it...LOL...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Open SESAME! Oh Why Won't You Open???

One analogy I like to use in handling situations in my life is DOORS. You know, the very cliched 'doors close, doors open' and the 'opportunity knocks, so open the door..'

Two days ago, I went to see an officer in a section that I was hoping would be able to 'help' me. Close friends know what I"m referring to. After an hour of discussion, I left his room with mixed feelings.

Let's just say, I am now looking at three doors. Bronze door, glass door and polished wood door. All these doors open to bright futures....but I would like to go through the bronze door...and the glass door is also not bad. But suddenly both seem to be shut fast. And it seems as if it's only the polished wood door that is open for me...sigh...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Just One Of Those Days....

Today I feel heavy-hearted... but at the same time, I'm asking myself why I bother to FEEL anything.

I've been doing a lot of things lately and some of it isn't what I can call my 'core business'. But I do it anyway...cos someone has to do it, right? I don't ask for anything in return as I'm 'pulling one for the team'. I'm deliberately keeping this vague. So if you don't get it, never mind... I'm just letting off steam.

No matter what I do, it's just never good enough for SOMEONE. One may ask, why do you care? I ask myself that too. Maybe because most of the benefit goes to that someone???


While I don't ask for rewards, neither do I ask for brickbats. I think that is too much.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

English Teachers, On Guard!

However the heat has merely shifted to English Language...

Published: Wednesday July 8, 2009 MYT 2:42:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday July 8, 2009 MYT 3:55:24 PM

Math and Science back to Bahasa, mother tongues (Update)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet has decided that the medium of instruction for Maths and Science will revert to Bahasa Malaysia in national schools and mother-tongue languages in national-type schools from 2012 onwards.

The reversal of the Teaching of Math and Science in English (PPSMI) policy will be done in stages, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Wednesday.

He however added that there will be greater emphasis on learning the English language.

English literature will be re-introduced, as will subjects on grammar and composition.

Beginning 2012, students in Year One and Year Four in primary schools, and Form One and Form Four in secondary schools, will learn Math and Science in Bahasa Malaysia.

The change will not affect those in Form Six and Matriculation.

The two subjects will be taught in two languages until 2014 for other students, he said.


On efforts to emphasise the learning of English, the number of English teachers would be increased by 13,933 -- retirees would be hired, as well as foreigners if need be.

Primary schools will also increase English classes by 90 minutes a week.

Get all these 'fascinating' updates at thestar.com.my!

Teaching of Maths & Science In English To Be Phased Out

Well, they did it.

Wednesday July 8, 2009

Mathematics and Science to be taught in BM, vernacular languages

The Cabinet decided on Wednesday that Mathematics and Science will be taught in Bahasa Malaysia and vernacular languages in stages from 2012 onwards. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who announced this, however, said more emphasis would be placed on learning English. Follow the announcements on Twitter

It's a pity, actually...as I've always found it easier to learn Science in English.  In university, I used to buy my Chemistry, Physics and Biology books in English so I could understand the concepts faster before attempting to answer the questions in Malay.

We are all at the mercy of our politicos.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Keyboard Shortcuts & Me

I've been involved in many computer courses, as a participant and also a facilitator.  Sometimes when I step into a roomful of ICT-aware young so-and-so's, they look at me and immediately dismiss me as an 'auntie' who probably needed to be taught how to hold a mouse.  Auntie ah, the mouse you right-click and left-click like this one...

Ah but sometimes I do get my revenge.

You see, the kids nowadays learn computers from the cradle but their computers have mice and trackballs and joysticks.  The computer I learned how to use way back when only had a keyboard.  Mice back then were animals you chased with a broomstick..or a parang

The first computers I used didn't have Windows.  They had DOS.  For those young 'uns out there, DOS has C prompts and A prompts and strings of code people memorized.  When we migrated to Wordstar and Wordperfect, we also had to memorize commands such as CTRL-TAB or CTRL-F.  If you mastered Wordperfect, you were almost a demigod because there would be nothing for you to use but a totally blank screen and the keyboard.  Years of using such commands have made it almost second nature for me to use keys as shortcuts.  Such as using CTRL-i to italicise this sentence.

But back to my revenge....ah yes... imagine a non-functioning mouse and a deadline in ten minutes.  Suddenly auntie can save the day.