Awesome kids are awesome

A few updates:

1. I’m making a more concerted effort to blog more again for several reasons. Firstly, it doesn’t actually take thaaat much time and I’m a lot more free these days (kids are having their exams next week!) so no excuse not to blog!

Secondly and more importantly but shamelessly, I need to start writing advertorials again to earn my side income so I have to blog more to maintain/increase my traffic. Recently, we TFM fellows got a pay cut. Seriously don’t ask why, I don’t even know why too. All I know is we had to resign a new contract, got a pay cut AND worst of all, have to pay back for the increment we got since January. It’s a heck lot of money, money I don’t have. So don’t mind me if I start putting ads again on my blog ok? A teacher’s gotta eat.. (though I’m trying to lose weight these days..)

2. I learned how to ride a motorcycle!!!!!!!

I’ve never really wanted to learn before but recently, I’ve been peer-pressured into it. Well, peer pressure is the wrong term to use because my kids are the one that influenced me, so it’ll be like…”student-pressured” into it? Haha. ALL the kids here can ride a bike, and they made fun of me for not being able to ride one!

“Hahhhh how can teacher? It’s soooo easy!”

“Teacher, you can’t be like us kampung people if you can’t ride one!”

“What?? Even a 10 year old can ride a motorbike!” (it’s true)

See, such bad influence!

Anyway, I’m actually pretty good at it now! And the worst part is, it’s super addictive! Hahaha this sounds like a vice already. But after learning how to ride one, I really get why my kids love to ride around the village “just for fun” because damn, it’s so freaking fun! The wind blowing in your hair, the adrenaline rush, the DANGER, the power in your hands…

So, I’ve been grabbing any motorbike I see and begging the owner to let me ride. They let me use it all the time cause I’m a teacher ma, and they respect me a lot here. Then, I’ll bring a random student to ride around the paddy fields and the village to sightsee, and we’ll talk about all sorts of profound and thought-provoking things like the latest gossip in school and how their lives are like.

It’s really moments like this that I will remember for the rest of my life once I leave this place.

Me, riding a motorbike around the village and in the woods, with teenagers, who would have thought?

3. Speaking of kids (am I not always talking about them anyway?), I’m really REALLY sad today. There are these two girls (who are sisters) whom I’ve been hanging out with everyday, playing badminton or basketball, or just talking about life. I know their whole family and I’m like the resident guest in their house. Their mom cooks for me and gossips with me, the baby of the house clings on to my leg when I visit, and they always fling the door open excitedly when they hear my car engine outside.

I found out today..that they are shifting away next month T____________T

I was so upset when I heard it because they’ve become my best friends here. They confide in me all the time and I would always talk about life with them. I’ve shown them my pictures overseas and shared with them all my experiences. They’re only 15 and 16, but seeing their excitement and love for me everyday makes my day.

And now they’re moving away forever T____________T

I was seriously going to cry when I heard it. I’m never supposed to invest my emotions so heavily on my kids but it’s hard when you live in a place where there’s no one you know with no family. They ARE my family.

I think I’m going to cry buckets later when I bid them goodbye. I HATE losing my kids, can’t imagine how I’d feel next year when I leave.

4. This is a bit of a good news to end the post. Recently, our school’s choral speaking team was invited to perform for the Teach For Malaysia 2013 Cohort’s opening dinner! When I told my kids, they were ecstatic!

“Teacher, we’re good enough to perform for people!”

YES you are! So proud of all of you :)

So we’ve been practising everyday with the script I wrote from scratch. It’s been quite tough because their exams are next week and the performance is in 3 weeks! But we still have to use a new script anyway cause half the team consists of new members who begged me to let them join in after seeing how fun it is.

The best part of my week today is when this boy (who joined the choral speaking team that won the district championship last time but didn’t want to join this time) came to me and said this: “Teacher, can I join the team? I told my dad that I didn’t join this time and he scolded me. He said I must join because I can improve my English!”

It completely makes my day because it means my effort to build relationships with the parents have been worth it! I’ve spoken to his dad before and have said many good things about his son, and how he should be proud to have a son like that and how he has done a good job raising him. So for him to actually tell his kid to join despite the exams shows that he really believes in me to help his kid’s English :D :D :D Can’t stop smiling!

The kids have also been working very hard. I’ve started putting my dictator face on again so every practice has been quite challenging for me and them. I need to be hard on them because I expect so much from everyone and I know they’ll do amazing.

Then, a girl who just joined the team told me today that choral practices are what make her days now. She’s having so much fun and although it’s tough but she loves it! These kids hardly speak a sentence of English in real life but they have to speak FIVE pages of English confidently and enthusiastically now.

Haih just talking about how awesome they are makes me want to weep like a baby now.

Sorry for this really long post but I hope you enjoyed reading about what I’ve been up to!

p.s: thanks for subscribing to my mailing list! Will definitely try to write more protected posts so you don’t sign up in vain :P