21

Better late than never

Yesterday, I stopped by Audrey’s place to visit baby Fighter for a bit, which has become my favourite hobby these days. Tim came home and we started talking about blogging for some reason, and he tried talking me into blogging again. I got inspired a little but that fizzled out as soon as we ended the conversation. But tonight I’m home alone, and I have Spotify on (bought the monthly subscription – best decision ever!) and I don’t know why but the songs that are playing now are setting a very comfortable and conducive mood to blog. So I guess here I am, finally!

It’s really such a pity that I had to write a whole paragraph to justify why I’m blogging, but it just feels so weird to be writing again after 2 whole months of not doing so. I’m sure those of you who are now taking time off blogging will know exactly how I feel. You know, blogging has consumed a large part of my life since I’ve been blogging since I was 16, and it’s so funny that I couldn’t care much about it now. And when that decline has begun, it’s extremely hard to want to do it regularly again :(

Anyway, what’s up everyone? It’s been a pretty good year for me so far, with my new job and new office and somewhat new life. I’m no longer teaching, no longer traveling back and forth for hours every week to my rural school, no longer living in a completely different environment, and honestly, it does take some getting used to now that I’m finally living in KL for the first time in a very long time (4 years in the US, 2 years in Jelebu)

You know, I don’t even know what to blog about anymore! Last time, I could talk about anything I want because I was a student and had no restrictions. Then, I could talk about my experiences as a teacher cos it’s super exciting and I had tons to share. But now that I’m an average person, who is a working professional so can’t be as stupid and silly as before, I really don’t know what to talk about anymore.

That’s one of the biggest reasons why I’ve stopped, but I’m going to try starting again, one step at a time. I actually really love to write, and ever since I’ve stopped, there’s this lingering sense of emptiness trailing behind me and I feel like there’s no way to get rid of that until I actually start writing again.

So yeap, I guess this is a start :) I’m so serious about this that I’m literally putting it down in my weekly goal – to blog at least once every week! Once I start, I’m sure the writing mojo will come flying back!

p.s:

IMG_4558

I finally have my long hair back again! After 4 years of cutting my hair super short, the day is here :D

Video
737

Thank You Teacher promo video

I was very very fortunate to be approached by NTV7 a few months ago to do a documentary on a teacher’s life. The producer for the show interviewed me early last year for Malaysia Hari Ini and thought it’ll be nice to do a longer feature!

Honestly I’ve been super stressed up about this since the filming took about two weeks (spanned over a few different months) and already I was super busy in school. But I’m glad I did it cause it pushed me to try harder for my kids and of course I could also use it as an incentive.
“Do better cause you’ll be on TV! Do you want your family and friends to see you not putting in your absolute best??” and it REALLY worked!

It’ll be shown on NTV 7, 7.30 pm, next Tues 10 DEC. The promo is out for it too!

I won’t be here next week (going to Cambodia for a week!!) so let me know how it goes :)

p.s: yes I cried A LOT during filming hahaha. Emotional lah this teacher.

p.p.s: please ignore my fat face and pimples T__T

261

A rendering for Cikgu Li

Got a really amazing poem from one of my readers the other day so I thought I’d post it up here. Also because I’m too tired to blog…… (ehem lazy ehem) (but actually I’ve been getting only 5 hours of sleep lately so I’m feeling quite dead also) (need to drink some ayam brand essence)

So! This reader has emailed me a long poem he/she wrote about me before and I absolutely LOVED it. Didn’t think that he/she would write me another one, but this poem is way more awesome and really good! Thank you, whoever you are, for taking the time to write this! I feel very very flattered and blessed to have a whole poem written about me :D

Like the placid stalk that holds the proud leaf
Through storm, wind or nightly breeze,
So is a teacher who molds the mind patiently;

But there is one suave Li who is learning not
Just to mold minds but inspire lives lovingly.

Like those tidal shifts that occur when the
Sun, Moon and Earth are jilted by gravity,
So will teaching have its set of difficulties;

But there is one cikgu Li who will persist
Unwaveringly as long as she can patiently.

Winter has its summer, Spring has its fall
Through yearly seasons they come withal
So is a teacher’s career that is a tall order;

But there is one sweet Li who will brave
Each season and leave a mark on pedagogy.

~

Teach! Oh teach, pretty Ms. Suet Li!
Teach until you would have inspired
And changed minds, lives and society.

Teach! Oh teach, young Ms. Sweet Li!
Until you see the child before you set
On a path of success and meaning.

Teach! Oh teach, mighty Ms. Sweat Lee
Until you would see a small spark
Ignite itself in the little growing mind,

~

Some days will leave you weary from
Planning each lesson meticulously
Only to realize they are not learning.

Some days will leave you excited from
Meaningful questions that are posed
In the way they ought to be.

Beyond this, you have the power
And capability to mold each mind
Patiently just by inspiring them
In each lesson constantly.

~

Teach! Oh teach, feisty Ms. Suet Li!
For you maybe on Earth for reasons
Beyond your understanding
But your student will always
Remember you for inspiring!

~Fashionablehost

390

Redefining priorities

Haven’t blogged in forever again. I have to really stop saying that before I start my post everytime but I can’t help it!

To all my readers who are still faithfully clicking on my blog link every few days hoping for updates, I thank you for your devotion. I hereby promise for the millionth time that I will update every few days. PROMISE ok if not you can come ta my si fat.

Let’s see what I’ve been up to…so many things I don’t even know where to begin actually! In terms of work, it’s been quite crazy lately. If you don’t remember, I’m currently interning with Teach For Malaysia to help them with recruitment for their first cohort. Personally, I’ll be joining as well next year to be a teacher in a high-need and challenging school.

I’ve probably talked about it a million times now, but if you’re new to my blog or have been missing out, Teach For Malaysia is basically a 2-year leadership development program that aims to end education inequity by placing 50 of Malaysia’s top talents in underperforming schools for two years. In that two years, these Fellows are expected to not only significantly raise academic achievement of children who have long been neglected and have always been told that they’re never good enough, Fellows also have to work closely with corporate sectors to run community projects.

It’s an amazing platform for anyone – those who have just graduated and are looking for something meaningful, fulfilling and challenging, and those who have been working for a while and are looking for a fresh new challenge. We’re also looking for experienced teachers to be part of our training team, so if you know a reallllllly good and dedicated teacher, DO LET ME KNOW!

I’m so excited to start teaching actually!! I just visited a school last week and I got really scared at first because the teachers there kept warning us that it will be incredibly hard to teach in high-need schools, what more really making significant changes. But I later thought to myself, of course it’s going to be hard! If it was easy and if the job only entails going into a classroom of children who are all super eager to learn and to be inspired, then who am I kidding! What’s the point of me being there then?

It’s extremely daunting but exciting to note that next year, we’re really starting a social movement. Because education is a business of multipliers and ripple effects, we will definitely be changing more lives than we can imagine. Maybe we will inspire all the students in our classrooms, or maybe we will only change ONE life, but can you imagine the impact it’ll have on that student’s family, and his future family, and their future families?

Who knows, maybe we will really achieve that systemic change we’re aiming for. After that two years, I’m sure all 50 of us will go on to do great things in the education sector, leveraging on our hands-on experiences in these challenging classrooms. And then the next year, another 50, and another 50. Who knows what all of us will be later on – teachers, principals, policy makers, lawmakers, ministers or even prime minister! The possibilities are endless! And I haven’t even started talking about the possibilities for these children whose lives are changed because they’re finally given equal access to excellent education.

*suddenly get all teary

The hardest part for me right now is to remain positive about things despite the looming cobbled path ahead. I’m sure I will face not only resistance from these children, but also from teachers in these schools as well. But I’ve already signed up for this so just have to pretend sand got in my eyes everytime a kid bullies me to tears T___T

Also have to stock up on my baju kurung. Who got leftover baju kurungs that they don’t want, sila donate to a good cause. I wore baju kurung to my school visit and immediately all the teachers knew I was going to be a teacher too. Wah confirm it’s gonna be my uniform from now on!

Crazy amount of people waiting for the train the other day. After a while, commuting to and from work with the KTM doesn’t seem that bad anymore. How privileged I’ve been, complaining about the train when people are sooo accustomed to it. I usually read my Kindle in the train, but sometimes I rather people-watch and study the demographic of the other commuters. I’m extremely humbled by all of you, and as a kind gesture of humility, I will remember to spray perfume before I go to work (but not too much).

This is my colleague, Fareeza, who’s about the funniest person I know. She was so proud of her reverse parking until we came out and saw that it was completely senget -______- this is her going “aiya ok what”

I spent last weekend (before Bersih weekend) at Genting with my high school friends. It was incredibly fun cause we spent the whole day at the theme park!!! ^_^ I’ve never played bumper cars before so I kept driving the car round and round the outer area, completely avoiding the massive orgy of collisions in the center area, cos it just feels so liberating to drive the car! I don’t know why!! People who were watching us must have thought I have never driven a car before, so jakun and weird that I’m not bumping my car with the rest but I was happily driving around them on my own wtf

My most favorite ride ever!!!! I’ve completely forgotten how it feels like to be on this thing, and was pleasantly surprised that it feels so goddamn good!!! I love thrill rides, I would love to go ten more times but the queue was painfully long :(

We took tons of purikura pictures after that ^_^ So fun I love you guys!!

Very sad cos mom strictly prohibited me from joining the rally >=(

Jiameei and I got new nail colors! I love my purple ones but really wanted to get yellow too!

Alex sent me a bouquet of roses last week. I guess it’s quite romantic…………if only I didn’t have to take the train with it! Somemore it was exceptionally packed that day and everyone was staring cock at me for taking up so much space. Doesn’t help that the leaves kept tickling their faces hahaha wtf

Ok the end of this week’s updates. I WILL BLOG MORE AFTER THIS PROMISE! I give you full permission to ta my si fat (beat my backside) if I don’t blog in more than one week.

OH YEAH, I’m a very happening person this week!

1. Dominic gave me two tickets to watch Dreamgirls by Broadway Academy this Wed!!! SUPER HAPPY!!! Will definitely talk about it later :D

2. Going to Urbanscapes too! Who else is going? See you there :)

3. Going to talk to Taylor’s students this Sat about Teach For Malaysia! If you’re from Taylor’s and would like to know about the program, come for the info session this Sat 10am-12pm! Not sure where wtf go ask your office

Ok the end babai

p.s: for some reason, comments don’t show after you’ve submitted them. will fix it soon.

621

Moo

So my promise to blog every few days has failed miserably :( but I’ll start NOW!

I’m sick of coming to my blog only to realize that I haven’t written a new post in more than a week. For some reason I kinda expected a blogpost to miraculously appear out of nowhere wtf. I wish someone would invent an auto blogging mechanism and embed it in my head so while waiting for the train or while taking a dump or while staring into space, I could just go “ok start recording. Today I feel a little blabla…blabla…blabla..end. Post” and tada it’ll be typed and posted on sweatlee.com

HAHA omg that’s such a good idea! Can do the same for emails and texts and basically everything in life. So the tagline for the product would be “Control everything in your life, from the confines of your mind”

Tsk tsk, such reliance on technology scares me. (wtf so contradictory)

Anywayyyy I’ve been busy with work lately. Have been working from 9 am-8 pm everyday, and they were telling me that when my fellowship starts end of the year, I’ll have to work even harder than this. Whaaaat! I immediately went “but what about my life?? I won’t have a life anymore!” and Dzameer, one of the cofounders, said, “Yeah you probably won’t for 2 years, but think about the many children’s lives and the impact you’ll make”. Grr I hate him for putting things into perspective for me :(

So yeah, the end of today’s short post. In the meantime, here’s a picture of a baby calf I stole from somewhere while googling image for “baby calf”

Moo, I’m so cute look at the heart shaped sign on my head!

309

Lean on me

When I was very much younger, I once had a friend I practically worshipped. She was beautiful, tall, intelligent, she was almost perfect. I wondered everyday why she would pick me, a nobody, as her friend. I was short, fat and I once got 78% in Science.

We shared everything about our lives and she would often show me a side of her she didn’t show anyone. Every single stolen minute I had with her made the young me incredibly happy, it was as if we were in a world with noone else but the two of us. We spent hours lying on the grass talking about our deepest darkest secrets, sitting on the sofa exchanging stories of crushes and giggling uncontrollably when her cats lined up to listen to our stories. It was a beautiful friendship, if only she wasn’t so caught up with the whole popularity race.

In school, she was undeniably one of the most popular girls. Guys would constantly try to get her attention while girls would die for her to write in their cute autobiography books. When she was surrounded by these people, she would pretend I meant nothing to her. She would pick on me, call me mean names, make fun of me while everyone laughed along.

It was alright for a while, because I secretly knew deep inside she loved me the most and would do anything for me. But slowly, my self-confidence plummeted. Sometimes the jokes would get too far, and I would sulk and not talk to her for days. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her my issues because I didn’t want to be petty and lose her, so I would avoid her and she would get mad and accused me for being a bad friend.

This weird friendship went on for a while, and we would ping pong back and forth between whispering secrets and giggling, to being mad at each other for days on end, to hurling insults at each other.

One day while we were with a big bunch of people, she jokingly told everyone a secret I had only told her in utmost confidence in the comforts of her room with her cats watching. I was dumbfounded but I laughed along when everyone turned to me and laughed. I kept telling myself that she meant no malice, that she must have in the heat of the moment thought I could take it. I couldn’t, but I kept it inside me.

Our friendship ended that day for me. In my eyes, she was no longer the perfect girl I had loved. The days of lying on the grass became a painful memory instead and I started inching away from her. She had built her confidence at my expense, and I felt utterly stupid for sharing all my secrets with her.

I haven’t spoken to her for what seems like an eternity now, but I realized in that time that maybe if I had confidence in myself to begin with, I wouldn’t have allowed the hurt and hatred to manifest inside me. Maybe then, I could have somehow salvaged a friendship that I had cherished so much before.

But it happened, and I’d lost her. Maybe in another lifetime, we would find each other, lie on the grass with the sun shining brightly above us, and be in our own world again.

820

Blowin’ in the wind

Alright, so my self-proclaimed hiatus and all that “I’m not going to blog anymore/I don’t want to reveal myself to the public anymore” was short-lived wtf. Now that I’m back in Malaysia and have been more happening and cheerful lately, I keep coming back to my blog and thinking of new things to talk about.

Truth is, I have a million things to talk about! I’ve spent many afternoons on my own now, mulling about the house alone indecently dressed in torn oversized tee and shorts, sprawling flat on the cold marble floor to cool off, lying on the couch like a sloth reading a chick lit, catching up on personal blogs I’ve stopped reading for a long time, listening to old songs from CDs I never knew I had, sitting by the window watching kids scream playfully in the pool, rummaging the fridge and every cabinet in the kitchen for food and then suddenly remembering that I’ve gained so much weight since I’ve been back so I keep putting back the food while giving them a “sorry I can’t eat you today” look, helping my mother with household chores which sounds really filial of me but in actual fact said chores only include hanging up the clothes to dry, taking them back in and folding them (also proud to admit that I’ve mastered the important skill of taking more than 10 hangers of clothes at one time with the stick thingy, which is worth boasting about because it takes great wrist flexibility and upper arm strength to be able to maneuver the stick with such precision) (but sad to admit that I cannot fold clothes for a living, mom always comes back from work to see such ugly folded clothes and have to refold them again ;_;) – okay, lost my train of thought from too much digression, totally don’t remember what I wanted to talk about.

Anyway, that’s not the point at all. The point is, I’ve become a much happier person lately. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m in my comfort zone now in this familiar territory, or the fact that the weather has been extremely kind to me, or the fact that I’m fatter (from the happiness? happiness from food?), or the fact that I actually have friends again, or..the fact that I’m in love with someone amazing.

So this is something I’ve been hiding from the public for numerous reasons ranging from the potential harsh judgment I might get for moving on from my previous breakup so easily to dating someone who seems unconventional for me and thus breaking whatever societal norms/rules there are out there. It’s been six months so if you want to judge me for moving on and for being happy, then screw you. All I know is I’ve been trying to make amends for the pain and hurt I’ve put the people who love me through, and whatever that happened should only concern the people who were involved.

I guess in some ways, I’ve come to terms with having people judge me anyway so why not clear things up myself rather than being speculated mindlessly about. Yes, I’ve moved on and have started dating again. Yes, I’m a cruel person for moving on so quickly when I should be mourning for an indefinite amount of time and be all miserable and sad. Yes, I actually allowed myself to find my own happiness, hence increasing my Cruella Devil-o-meter.

In the pursuit of my own seemingly selfish happiness, I may have been branded many ugly names but so be it. At the end of the day, those names will be mere whispers and will be blown away by the wind, the people who throw ugly glances at me will be mere faceless shadows, but I will still remain happy.

Do you want to know a secret?

You have no idea how amazing it is to be back home. I don’t feel like going back to that dreaded place again, the place I never really belonged to. This is where I should be, this is where my heart lies, and this is where I shall return to.

Nothing anyone’s gonna say will make me change my mind.

713

A new beginning

Hello everyone!

Happy new year! Happy 2011! As for me, happy finally-going-to-graduate year! I’ve been waiting for this year since forever and I’m so glad it has finally arrived. But now that it has arrived, I’m actually feeling uneasy because it means it’s my final few months of being a student.

Oh well, brand new adventures ahead! That’s if I won’t end up as an unemployed bum living off my parents when I graduate….which could very well be the case hoho.

Anyway, I don’t have anything to blog about nor do I have any amazing pictures of my life right now, so here are some camwhore pictures.

I LOVE BEING HOME

Look at how awesome my skin is in this humid weather! Screw expensive and overpriced facial products, all you need to do is move to a tropical country :D

I want to blog about my 2010 but I feel so lazy now..I’m sprawled flat on the floor reading newspaper and eating papaya and watching Shin Chan dubbed in Malay on TV and listening to my mom gossip about people I don’t know. I’m having such a great year already! Haha.

Happy New Year again everyone, may you all have a greattttt year ahead cause I know I will be! Although I may officially be classified as UNEMPLOYED soon, I’m sure there are always things for me to do. Suddenly I’m engulfed by this overwhelming feeling of excitement, a feeling that anything is possible as long as I feel like it is.

Can’t find a job? Go travel around the world and take time to figure out what I want to do! No money? Start saving now and travel cheap! Can’t find a suitable job? Make a job for myself!

I’m sure things will be fine and will be sorted out in time. I have a feeling.. that this will be an amazing year for me :)