Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Monkey Story

"If you can’t cope, leave the profession."

That was what they told us in their two days talks on coaching and mentoring school leaders. And that was how they answered those who had a lot to complain.

The words stunned me and hurt me deeply, though it was not directed at me in the first place.

I enjoyed the talks and the various areas of considerations.

But I didn’t like the way the messages were delivered.

I never like negative answers, or any similar answer with impolite criticism.

I believe professionals are very easy going people with good personality, mature and charismatic with positive outlook on life. But I couldn’t see any of the good quality.

Undoubtedly, the visiting officers were under a lot of stress and they were venting their anger for some strange reasons.

I studied and examined them, wondering how they would deal with their own family, friends, and colleagues.

Bad habits die hard and it is difficult to change overnight.

True enough, as I continued to hear from them, they finally revealed to us that was how they worked in the office.

I smiled inside. Now I understand how the monkey becomes king when the tiger is away.

All of a sudden, I overheard one officer said, “You are my monkeys. You must listen to what I say.”

A good joke, I smiled with my mouth covered. "The big monkey is telling a bunch of small monkeys what to do."

I smiled heartily throughout, not believing I was listening to a monkey story in the middle of the day.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Many Things Right On The Head

The Quality Assurance Sector from the Education Department is paying the school a visit on Monday next week.

The head of department of every subject is busy getting ready their documents; they are required to hand in their files today.

A room has been set aside for the purpose of sorting out and arranging the files.


When the news first reached the staffroom, the teachers concerned shook their heads, frowned and mumbled. Not again, their cried.

We are having our term exam; the teachers are busy marking the exam papers.

And we have just celebrated our Teacher’s Day.

A whole hectic week and now the officials from Headquarter are coming to assess us.


The Management Committee of the school requires every head of department to submit hard copies of their teaching plans, activities and attainments.

Many have practiced to keep soft copies of everything in computers, thumb drives and hard drives. Some have even published them in various websites!

Now, come the breaking news! Send hard copies only!

Gone are the smiling faces; worry and anxiety are written all over the faces.

Sigh! They have to work through the night, yet again.

Do you still think teaching is easy with all these sudden disturbances?

Oh yes, many have suggested that teachers must concentrate on teaching and learning only, not administration. When? When will that happen?

It is not unusual for many "important" things to come together on the same date for teachers.

But who will know, and who cares?

Now which to submit, soft copies or hard copies? How?

The teachers smile in tears, and their children cry along.

Oh please don’t cry; it’s Happy Teacher’s Day.

Now I wish you well – when you have so many things right on the head!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Had Forgotten My Watch

I had forgotten to put on my watch today.

I only realized it when I reached my workplace 15 minutes later.

I shook my left hand, suddenly felt very uneasy without my wrist watch.

My mind went blank. I forgot my next course of action; I just didn’t know what to do.

I hesitated in my van, very anxious to go home.

It was a good looking watch and I loved it very much. And it was a gift for my excellent government service in 2001.

It was not pricey but it was meaningful to me. I had kept it clean and shiny, and I had not dropped it at any time.

It was still an accurate mechanical watch. The only problem I faced was to adjust the date, since it had 31 days every month.

I finally made up my mind: I must go home.


I believe when we get used to certain things, we simply cannot live without them.

They mean so much though seem so trivial.

In the course of time, they become indispensable and essential; we just don't know what to do without them.


Life is not simply to have more of everything we want.

It is also how we value, treasure, and cherish them.

I miss my watch; without it, life is incomplete.


Now that I have put on my wrist watch, I walk with confident and a smile.

My watch may be ordinary, but it helps to keep and maintain my dignity.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother Day

I never know it can be like this,

That my love can become a habit, my habit a routine,

And I have forgotten to express my love for my Mother for so long.

I never know it can be like this,

That my love for my Mother can be like the air I breathe,

So plain and ordinary, and I have never detected its presence.

I never knew it can be like this,

That I can leave our wonderful relationship, and go for another,

Like the water we drink, that comes and goes.

And so as we grow over the years,

And our mother continues to get older,

We have left her, more and more,

And we have become cold, and neglect our roles as children.

Until that day,

When our mother becomes ill,

And lies down in hospital,

We feel panic, upset, and most of all, unprepared,

And we have the deepest concern, sorrow, heartbreak, regret, and grief.

We look at our mother and feel her helplessness,

Our only wish is for her to get well and stay well.

Please, Mother………………

- Dedicated especially to those who still have their mother with them.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Labor Day Sale

It was 2010 Labor Day Sale.

The newspapers were advertising a one day’s sale in the supermarkets, hypermarkets, department stores, and shopping malls.

The roads were congested with vehicles from everywhere. Everyone, including me, had to drive at a snail’s pace. It would be okay if everyone followed the traffic rules. As it was, I had to deal with reckless drivers around me.

The eatery outlets were packed with people, so were the shopping complexes. It was a Saturday weekend where family and friends gathered together, and enjoyed a break from the daily routine, doing shopping, sightseeing and everything else under the sun.

I was on my way to a bank to withdraw money from the ATM machine for our weekly expenses. It was only upon my second trip that I managed to find an empty parking space. And it was a distant away! I sighed.

I rushed to the bank, sweating profusely. The ATM room had been expanded and renovated. It was spacious and comfortable. The air-conditioner was very cold. I loved the new design; it looked unique and appealing, suited to my taste. It was only a matter of minutes before I walked out of the room with my desired amount of money.

I walked fast to my van. My wife and my two daughters were waiting patiently. Our next trip was to a supermarket to buy our daily needs. I started my engine and maneuvered my way through the traffic. Another round of chaotic traffic woes began.

I dropped my wife and daughters in front of the supermarket. Then I looked around for another empty parking space. After some trying, I finally gave up. The parking lot was 100% full. So I stopped the van to shelter under the awning of a shop that sold mobile phones.

Lately, we had made it a rule to buy only what we needed. We had enough of extravagant expanding. We decided to save up for raining days, especially since the economy was still not that promising to recover.

It took about half an hour or so before my wife and daughters emerged from the supermarket with our needs and wants. Now it was time to make our way home.

Looking around at the people carrying lots and lots of things, we shook our heads. Is all that necessary? But we could anticipate the common responses: it was cheap; it was necessary to keep a few extras at home; oh! I had been eyeing it for so long. I looked at my wife and my wife looked back at me, we smiled together. we knew how difficult it was to break away from the spending habits.

The shoppers were smiling broadly, so were the shop owners. In fact, I didn’t notice anyone showing a sad face at all.

It was a 2010 Labor Day Sale, a happy day for everyone.

Who could deny it?