Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MJ vs Elvis

On Saturday Iyan asked me to get him Michael Jackson's DVD because he had missed the concert which was aired on television. He especially requested the one with Smooth Criminal. Why? He wanted to learn to moonwalk. So, on Sunday I was practically hopping from one shopping centre to the other looking for his DVD and at each stop, the reply was a disappointing, 'Sold Out'. I have to wait for the new ones to arrive somewhere next week.

Iyan asked me a question just now. 'Taiyee, who is better? Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley?' I couldn't give him an answer. I just told him that they sing different types of songs and both are very good. Iyan said, 'I think Elvis is better.' LOL! He also said that he wants to visit Neverland!

Michael is indeed an icon and a legend. Within days of his passing, all his albums and DVDs were sold out. How often do we see this scenario? I am glad I have his albums, even though not many. I am not an avid fan of his but I just love his songs and music. I wonder if there will be any other singer who could replace him?

As for Elvis, I don't know much about him. Could the atmosphere at the time of his death be the same as the one now? All I know is I also like many of Elvis' songs and I have a collection of them. Not bad eh?

jennyiyan's recollections...

Friday, June 26, 2009

King of Pop

This afternoon at work, I received a phone call from my seven-year-old nephew, Iyan. He said, 'Taiyee you must throw away your King of Pop t-shirt.' 'Why?' I asked. 'Because he is dead.' He said he heard it on the radio.

I heard the news this morning when a few colleagues of mine mentioned of his demise. I did not and could not believe it initially. Then this feeling of utter sadness crept all over me when I realised that I could not pretend that it did not happen anymore.

Whenever I saw clips of his videos on tv, I had to hold back the tears that were threatening to flow. The King of Pop is dead. It's a reality.

Indeed, he is an icon. When I look back, the entertainment world has not only lost a sensational singer but an icon who cannot be replaced. Practically everyone in this world knows who Michael Jackson is. His fast moves and dances on stage and his signature moonwalking and crotch-grabbing moves will definitely live in everyone's heart.

His first few songs that I heard as a young girl were songs like Beat It, Thriller and Billie Jean. Later on, I learnt more about him and knew about the Jackson Five and his other songs which he recorded when he was younger. My all-time favourite is Ben. I fell in love with the song the moment I heard it.

He might be gone but I believe his name and songs will live for generations to come. Hence, it is very apt that the title King of Pop be given to him. He is even called a legend by many and as proof, most of the radio stations are paying tribute to him by playing his songs throughout the weekend.

I will not throw away my King of Pop t-shirt as requested by Iyan. I will not even wear it anymore but will keep it to remind me of the existence of such a great singer. RIP Michael Jackson.

jennyiyan's recollections...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Tribute To A Wonderful Dad

Tomorrow is Father's Day. I'm sure most of us would have already thought of how to celebrate this day with our fathers. Some might even have celebrated it today because there is a possiblity that tomorrow evening all the restaurants would be packed. Most people would be having dinner as a family to celebrate this day.

As for me, I will not be celebrating it because my dad passed away four years ago after he succumbed to an illness. However, there are many memories that my siblings and I had with him.

First and foremost, I would like to thank my dad for his farsightedness. Why do I say so? Well, he saw English as a very important language to master and he wanted all his children to be able to converse in the language well. Hence, he made sure that we took the subject seriously.

Besides that, he together with my mum had influenced my siblings and I in such a way that we have all grown up to be independent and successful adults. He played a great part in moulding us into what we are today.

What I am doing today is also partly his influence. I remember receiving a letter informing me that I was offered a place at a certain college. I had made up my mind not to go initially. When dad got to know about it, he was very unhappy. He told me that it was not easy securing that place. Many people would have killed for it.

With the economical situation in our country today, I am truly glad for his advice. If it wasn't for his farsightedness, I would be worrying about being retrenched today. Now I do not have to worry each night when I go to bed that I would not have an office to go to when I wake up the next morning.

My dad was a disciplinarian and he made sure that we followed every rule he had set for us, like taking our studies seriously and for us girls, no dating or going out when our exams were near.

He was also a man of few words. I wouldn't deny that we were a little fearful of him when we were young as he would never think twice in rebuking or punishing us if we did wrong. However, we respected him for what he did because he believed in not sparing the rod and spoiling us.

As a father, he made sure that we were never in want. He worked very hard to provide for us and whatever we needed, he would go all out to get it for us.

On the other hand, he was not someone who was all work. He would take the whole family away for holidays and I am proud of the fact that I have learnt a lot of things and gained a lot of knowledge from all these trips.

On days when he was busy and could not be away from work for a long period of time, he would take us to the nearest beach during the weekend just so we could spend time together as a family. I truly value his effort in trying to keep the family together and as a result, we, his children grew up in a very loving and close knit family.

These are just a few of the instances that I am sharing here. There is so much more to talk about him and I know I won't be able to finish it in one sitting. So, I'll just leave the rest to some other time.

Finally, I take this opportunity to wish all fathers out there A Very Happy Father's Day.

jennyiyan's recollections...

A Tale from Wonder Land 2

It looks like everything in Wonder School is settled, according to reliable sources. The saga has ended. How is it settled? Well, apparently Number 1 (N1) has been transferred to another school and the principal (P) from the school that she's going to would be coming to Wonder School as principal. Actually P was formerly a senior assistant at Wonder School and was the Board of Directors' (BOD's) choice to replace N1. Fortunately their request was deemed appropriate and finally approved by the authorities.

When Small Fry (SF) and gang heard rumours that P would be coming back to the school, they scrambled to get in touch with her and tell her about everything that was happening in Wonder School. Sigh. Obviously they have not learnt their lesson. Why can't they just let matters be and work together as one for the betterment of the students and school? We wonder what would happen to Wonder School. Will peace and harmony ever be restored?

No matter what, let's just hope that P will use her intelligence and discretion when dealing with things and not easily be swayed by what they have been telling her. Most importantly, she would be fair in dealing with matters pertaining to the students' and teachers' welfare. Only then will there be peace and harmony in Wonder School.

jennyiyan's recollections...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

That's life 3 ...

Yesterday at work, a colleague of mine told me that another colleague (A) was on medical leave for one day. Without thinking, I asked, 'Only one day?' 'Yeah, he said one day only.' I couldn't believe my ears. Did I hear right? Then I thought, people may change.

This morning at work, the same colleague told me that A was on medical leave for another day. Yay! I wasn't wrong. Old habits die hard. Another colleague who sits next to me said, 'We know him too well.' I couldn't agree more.

This type of people will find all ways to be absent from work and these are also the people who would get away with things with their smooth talks. They will shirk their responsiblities and others would have to help complete their unfinished work.

Then there is another type who will out of the blue tell you that they are not feeling well and want to go to the clinic or hospital during office hours and would disappear for the whole day. At times I wonder why action is never taken on this type of people. It's unfair when the rest of us have to cover for them.

Of course there are many others who are worse than what I've mentioned and I guess we can't really get rid of all of them. Come to think of it, I think the world that we live in wouldn't be as colourful as it is now without them, right? They do spice up our lives and at least give us something to gossip about. ;P

jennyiyan's recollections...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

English and the SPM 2

I'm sure we all remember the issue which was brought up by our DPM a few days ago regarding English being made a must pass paper for the SPM. From the feedback, many quarters are against making the subject compulsory. I'm positive most of them are parents who feel that it is not a necessity. I wonder if they know what their children would be losing out and have they asked their children's opinion about it in the first place?

It might not be important for them but what about their children's future? Will they be able to compete with others at the international level? From what I see English will still be the international language for many years to come unless of course, everyone starts speaking Mandarin or any other language overnight and English is deemed not important anymore.

Furthermore, books and all other printed materials for colleges and higher learning institutions in Malaysia are printed in English, especially the imported ones. So, if children do not start taking English seriously from young, they will be having a hard time in future when they further their studies at higher learning institutions. The only way to help them will be by making English a must pass subject. It will be difficult initially, but if they realize the importance of the subject, I am sure they will put in the extra effort to learn and master the language.

The same thing happened with the learning of Maths and Science in English. After the initial glitches, we see the results. The first batch of students have done relatively well in these two subjects. They preferred to answer their exam questions in English even though the Bahasa Malaysia version was given. This shows something, doesn't it? Here, we have our previous PM to thank for his insight and farsightedness.

However, if there is going to be a change in the teaching of English in this country, then a lot of research and planning have to be done first. It will take time. It's all right as long as we see positive results for our children's future. We want our future leaders to be at par, if not better than other leaders internationally.

Learning grammar is important. We need to know how the language works, so we need to start from the basics. The same goes when learning Bahasa Malaysia or any other language. We need to learn the grammar part of it too. Once we get the hang of it, everything falls into place. We just need to have the right attitude and approach. So, no matter what others might say, I personally feel that we should take English seriously and that it should be made compulsory in the SPM to entitle one to a certificate.

jennyiyan's recollections...

Monday, June 8, 2009

English and the SPM

Should English be made a compulsory paper to pass in the SPM? For me it's definitely a Yes! Yes! and a Yes!! I first saw it posted on Twitter just now and then I read about it on the NST online. Our DPM, who is also the Education Minister is asking the public to give their views on this matter and he said that he was surprised that it is not compulsory to gain a pass in the subject to be given the certificate. I feel that it is time the government and education ministry look seriously into this matter. I'm sure they would have come to the realisation that many of our students in schools and graduates from the higher learning institutions cannot really converse well in the language. At the same time, there are some parties who are trying to ask the government to abolish the teaching of Maths and Science in English (PPSMI) and to revert to the old system. Excuse me, are they in their right mind? Can't they see the disaster that would happen if they abolished the present system? As it is, the students are not doing very well in English and by abolishing it ... I dare not imagine. With PPSMI, we see that our children are at least putting an effort into learning the language because they know that if they do not learn it, they will be at the losing end. How are they going to compete with others at the international level? There are times when I went to the shopping mall and I needed information on certain products and had to ask for assistance from the promoters, more often than not I would end up being disappointed because these people would fail to give me the information that I needed. So, should we abolish PPSMI? Should English be made a compulsory subject in the SPM? I still stand firm by my opinion.

jennyiyan's recollections...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Best Aunty Award

It's the school holidays again and I get to spend a lot of time with Iyan and Ilynne, especially Iyan. Though it's the holidays, he has to attend a holiday programme for writing and today is the last day. He happily announced to me, 'Finally, my holidays begin'. Now he is so into football and for a seven going on eight-year old, he knows a lot about the game. You can mention a name, and he'll tell you which team the player is from. I'm amazed at his knowledge. In fact, I've learnt a lot about football from him. His favourite team is Chelsea and his favourite player is Frank Lampard. Besides this, his command of Bahasa Malaysia, which he had zero knowledge until he went to school last year is also improving. It's funny listening to him speak the language. He would say, 'Popo, ada orang di outside .' Yesterday, he told me, 'Taiyee, you are the best aunty in the whole wide world.' Imagine my pride at that moment. If only there was an award for that category, I think I would have beaten all the other contestants flat. That made my day

jennyiyan's recollections...