August 25, 2013

Nani yang satu dalam tujuh billion.

Doesn't take a freaking genius to realize that I've been rather non-existent lately. You guys can see for yourself - the dustiness of the blog and the tone that had been emitting through the posts for several months back. I don't even like how I sounded - confused and self-destructive. So I have officially returned to my true self - bookwormish and attention-seeking. Now I can hope to stay sane for a few more centuries.

Right, let's just talk about what I have been up to. In a few words - I've been enveloped in school. In more, I've been teaching, constructing exam questions, marking exam papers, grading, dealing with modern day teenagers who think they own the world just because their parents bought them smartphones, talking to modern day parents who don't really do parenting - just rearing, really, reading whatever junk reading materials I could get my hands on just to keep my sanity, re-watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy, reading my students' stories and writing comments and honest encouragements at the bottom, listening to Chrissy Costanza's covers, struggling to inspire the kids to read and write, re-discovering myself and the reasons I took up teaching, tweeting craps just to ease the cramps in my knuckles (I have been meaning to write - I just couldn't find the time to actually do it), stalking my favourite authors' timelines, obsessing over Lockwood & Co. and avidly reading the dictionaries (both Oxford and Cambridge) whenever I have time to spare.

You: Hold the entire clusterf*ck of the world's major f*ckeries up - reading the dictionary? You ran out of books that soon, Nani?

I know, right? God. It's OK if you think I'm losing it. Because I think so, too. I think I am. My vocabulary had stayed in its sad little size for years without much effort on my side to have it expanded and to actually have the realization shoved down my unwilling throat with an Oxford proficiency test was the kind of nightmare I hope nobody would ever have to endure. I wasn't even asleep when it happened - I just slipped into the ancient crack of English Vocab Mount Doom with my Smeagol of ignorance and the one Ring of self-worth. Now everything's gone.

Well, not really.

The fact that I am lacking in vocabulary skills is not new - the people closest to me know that well. Especially my mother. She knows how I often struggle with word choice and sometimes syntax, too - I have been struggling since my childhood, which is something many people find hard to believe 'judging from the way I write'. Now these people judge really, really badly and I won't apologize for saying so.

Let me shed a little light on that bizarrely common misconception - Nani Othman writes good English. I don't. And that's a fact. I do not write good English - I pen brutal honesty when it's expected of me and the rest of the time I just scrawl plain honesty. Not good English. Not yet. Just honesty - because that's one of the few good things about me that I'm actually proud to wear on my sleeve. And that's one of the few things I do well in life - being honest. So, no.

OK now that it's clarified, we can go back to my sob story of my tiny-ass word bank. My good friend suggests that I start poetry and that's a great idea. I have gotten myself a book to doodle and scribble my budding poetic thoughts in. The progress is infinitesimal, nothing significant but it's there. That's all that matters.

And I'd be ever so grateful if any of you who are still haunting my blog would offer me more suggestions - because I need all the help I can get. A language teacher with a limited vocab is unheard of and I do not plan to establish myself as one, so yeah, please.

Hit my comment box below, tweet me or just write your thoughts to me here: azhanee.othman [at] - I always write back, I swear. So, really, help me.

I'll stop here for now. I need to retire to my bed - tomorrow's coming in a few hours and I haven't ironed my cotton baju kurung. Will write more later, I promise.

Good night, people. Dream sweet.

August 3, 2013

How Afiq Ismail judged.

Me: You stay here.

Afiq: Yes, 'cher?

Me: Are you a judgmental person?

Afiq: (smiles) Yes, I am.

Me: Are you judging me, now?

Afiq: 'cher, it's passed the judging time already. (He has been at school for half a year now.)

Me: So how did I do?

Afiq: (hesitates) You did - quite OK. (laughs nervously)

Me: What's that supposed to mean? I did quite OK? What does that mean?

Afiq: I find you interesting. No, intriguing.

Me: Intriguing. Hm.

Now really, I am just wondering, what could possibly be the words to describe the teachers who did very well? A million miles downright amazing? Drop-dead outstanding and coming back to life a thousand times? Incredible-hulkly awesome?

Hm. Hm.

Ngeh, I am bored.

Going back to work.