Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Kehidupan

Just another life reflection today.
Same place won’t remain the same with different people. 
Sometimes it’s better
But we’re afraid that it gets otherwise.

A few days ago I posted about one bitter reality of life, 
About friends
People we need on a daily basis to keep our days going
They come and go
As life goes on
We grow up
We change places
We change faces

Keeping in touch is plausible
But it needs 2 to tango
If one tangoes
She will get tired to play both roles eventually

Losing friends is hard
Especially when it happens too naturally
That you don’t even realize the point of you losing
Sometimes, you’re losing your own self

Am I being selfish that happy is not the first reaction of mine when I hear good new?
I had to settle the monster inside myself to bring happiness forward
And line other emotions behind
So they will all get equal chance, just not the first. 

I failed a lot. 
Too many times. 
But nobody knows. 
Because I played it cool, too cool.
No one knows that deep inside I am hell shy and awkward. 

I am a different daughter, different worker, different friend, different teacher, everything’s different. 
But we share the same physical, Niena. 
At times, they are conflicting. 
Especially when the heart governs them. 
I know I have to make my heart and brain work together.
Harmoniously. 


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Keep calm and rant on

Assalamualaikum

So today’s entry is not gonna be about any particular topic. It’s just gonna be me ranting on. 

So this week we had a training. Honestly I always loook forward for training though it means our 2 weeks of holiday will be cut to only 1 week but I mean, let’s not set my mind 2 weeks in the beginning. So no disappointment. That’s how I do. So I am a person who’s positive with the idea of training because sometimes I’m tired of teaching at the front, I still need that student side of mine. 

Ok so my point is, yesterday we had a talk on this topic ‘coaching’. Honestly throughout the talk, I felt so disturbed. There were a lot of things that I personally find going agaisnt the principle of teaching. But that doesn’t mean I reject everything the speaker was saying. There were some parts that I have no issue at all. 

Then we had this one activity that we have to stare into each other’s eyes. To make it worse, we were paired with a different gender on purpose. What the hell. Not funny mann. Honestly I was so rebellious inside. I mean, how could you ‘force’ us to do such task when looking into someone’s eyes without a single word spoken is so hell awkward and what more with the opposite gender. I know
he asked us to make dua for that person inside our heart by looking into their eyes but I mean cmonnn, I can make dua without doing that. Just because I could not do the task successfully (cause I was too shy to look into my colleague’s eyes and when I tried I giggled cause that’s my defence mechanism. Yes exactly!), doesn’t mean that I’m being playful about making dua. Donyou get what I mean? We don’t do that in real life pun. I really hate to be treated like kids, being forced to do something that is against my principle. To begin with, I’m not someone who can look someone into the eyes. I got very conscious myself when people look at me right in the eye. I mean natural gaze is different than that creepy so-called meaningful stare. Ughh. 

Surprisingly, there were a number colleagues of mine who ended up being so emotional about it. I was like what the heck? Am I that heartless. But luckily I’m not alone. There’s another person who was in the same boat with me. 

Thing is, I like listening to talk. But I really hate to be manipulated, to be asked to parrot whatever they said just because THEY think it’s pleasing to see us doing those things. I like something genuine. I am an adult so I want to be treated like one. 

Sincerely, 
Active participant

Sunday, March 25, 2018

(un)spoken words

I know writing this will make me vulnerable but I think I’ve gathered my guts and I’m spilling them out now. 

You know how life cycles. Born day to being a toddler to being a student to being an adult and then motherhood/fatherhood takes place and next would be your old day. 

So here’s my situation now. I’m 25 (turning 26 this year). I have 2 older sisters and they are 28 and 30 respectively. We are all single, unmarried. So these few years have passed by so quickly and happily Alhamdulillah, except for one thing. All of us can’t seem to have found our life partner yet. We are fine. Totally fine though deep inside, who doesn’t wanna get married but I mean we are leading a content life. 

However, once in a while, I feel so sad on behalf of my parents. I know how they want to see us happy. They keep mentioning about how sorry they are for us because everyone else has moved with a family life and we are still here, stuck, no idea where and when is our day gonna be. The thing is, we feel sorry for them cause we can’t still find a person to introduce to, what more to give them grandchildren. This moment of life can get me really emotional. My parents are getting old and so I understand they wanna have what friends at their age are having. 

Sometimes, because all of this pressure, we had a cold moment with our parents, especially my mum. A few times, she tried to matchmake us with some random guys. However, all didn’t work. Honestly, we are not being choosy, it’s just that they are not the ones. You know hearts and feelings, they are very complicated. Sometimes I question myself, am I really being picky? I believe I am not. Everyone wants to have a happy life. So do I. So do us. If people ask me, what do I look in a guy? Honestly, I don’t have an answer. For me, once I like him, I have all the reasons to like him. But liking someone is not as easy as it seems. Because Allah, Ya muqallibal qulub. 

I am really glad for everything that we have. Wallahi, what I have today is so much more than what I asked for. I believe, Allah tests us in this matter just to keep us reminded of her. 

I know I’m not the only one in this situation. I know there are still a lot of people out there, male or female, are in this situation, thinking about this everyday. We feel guilty making our parents have to answer all the questions from the curious society whom we cannot blame them for their genuine curiosity and concern. Sometimes, they just ask out of love I know.  

So, to all of you who have found your other half, I wish you a happy and blessed marriage. Please pray for us, for my parents especially. I wanna make them happy, just like you made your parents happy on your big day. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Failing

I failed
I failed a lot of times in life
More than I wish I would
Despite the failure
I see the silver lining
Sometimes more than just silver
I once saw gold.

Everything’s changed now
720 degrees
I thought I would struggle to adapt
But not a single bit
Alhamdulillah.

Just when I thought I have gone out of the maze
I realized
I still can’t seem to find the exit
I just wish I would never be in the maze in the first place.

Now I found another light.
Not sure whether it’ll lead me out of the tunnel.
Or just another firefly giving me a false hope.
This is not the first time the firefly deceives me.

All emojis.
I’m all of them now, at once.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

National vs. International school

So that would be my topic for today.

To be honest I did not wanna make the title as such actually. The use of the word 'vs.' there somehow implies that they are rivals. Well, of course if we're talking about marketing point of view, they are rivals. But my point of writing here is not to say one is better than the other. I'm just gonna reveal, from my experience and observation, the difference between these two institutions. 

Another reason why I'm writing this is also to enlighten people about these two educational institutions since maybe there are a lot of people out there are curious but just don't bother to do research. I mean, I'd be one of you guys too if my profession has nothing to do with education hehe. 

So let's get into it. 

Curriculum/ Syllabus
Of course, this would be the major indicator that differentiates these two institutions. 
National school is using the national syllabus obviously. So, if we're talking about primary, they will be using the KSSR (Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah). Basically, the kids will be sitting for UPSR (Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah) and secondary will be having the main exam - SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia). Meanwhile, in international school, the curriculum used is CIE (Cambridge International Curriculum. So the main exam for primary would be Primary Checkpoint whereas for secondary would be IGCSE (k malas nak tulis nama panjang dia. sila google haha). However, even among international schools, English subject can vary. Some schools take English as the first language and some take as the second language. 

Wait, before we move on, lemme just tell you that we DO have national schools in Malaysia (a few MRSMs to be specific) that adopt both curriculums and I was just like whaaaatttt? So basically they take all sorts of exams in secondary. Checkpoint in form 2, PT3 in form 3, IGCSE in form 4 and SPM in form 5. No kidding guys. I used to teach in one school with double curriculums like this. My conclusion is just, way too ambitious maan. But kudos to all my kids who made it. Teacher loves you!

Funding
Well, I guess this is quite obvious. National schools are MOSTLY funded by government whereas international schools are self-funded. The reason why I capitalized the word MOSTLY is because not all national schools are funded by government. Of course you heard a lot about private schools right. Yes. So there are a lot of national schools who are self-funded. On the other hand, as far as I'm concerned, all international schools in Malaysia are self-funded (private). But please correct me if I'm wrong if you happen to know any international school built by the government. So, in short, you gotta pay a fortune to send your child in an international or any private school, but public school's fees are a lot of mercy. 

Nationality
I guess this is what distinguishes international school from national schools. In international schools, the ethnic diversity is more varied as compared to national schools which are mostly attended by the locals. That's the reason why they are called international school. Basically, students and teachers consist of people from all over the world. Plus point? Maybe? Depends on your preference. For me yes it's a plus point. 

Auxiliary Language (Lingua Franca)
In international school, obviously the auxiliary language is English because students and teachers are from different nationalities, so you gotta make everyone understand man! That includes all the official documentation of course. 

Behind the Scene
*Actually I can't quite find a suitable heading for this one*

From my experience, in international school, parents are the backbone of the school. That is because of course, parents are the clients of the company and at the same time, they are the source of ideas when it comes to the growth of the school. Parents' feedback is highly important in order to ensure that the needs of the children are catered. But then again, this can be debatable especially when we have thousands of parents with different types of kids, we can't expect each individual needs are catered but then again, the effort is always towards there. 

In contrast, for national schools, most of the time, we have to abide to the standard procedure of Malaysian curriculum. In short, parents (or even teachers) can still give feedback and criticize the system but they might just have to wait until rabbits rain from the sky for the change to happen. But then again, we are talking about thousands of schools and students to be catered by one ruling organisation, so fair enough if the waiting game is killing you. 

Learning/ Teaching Style
This might be another significant difference of both schools. National or public schools mostly focus on the exam or what we always heard an exam-oriented system. We all used to be there, done that. And I admit we have a loooot of papers and worksheet just to prepare us for the exam and getting As is all that we value. However, I can see that this trend is slowly changing. Nowadays, public schools have been focusing a lot on soft skills too (but that doesn't make them any less exam-oriented though.)

In international school, assessment is not 100% on paper. Classroom participation, group work, presentation, homework submission, project and whatnot are part of the aspects being assessed. 

Facilities
Since international schools are self-funded, so this point is in favour of international school. 

Added Programs
Both national and international schools have these actually. For example, Islamic program (if it's an Islamic school), financial program, robotic program and stuff like that. Heard of Sekolah Integrasi? It is a national school but it has an added program too. Yes so that's what I'm talking about, some added programs that make the school unique. Chances are, maybe programs added to international schools are more because they have more capital? Maybe?

School Holidays
Just like how government companies and private companies have different holidays, the same goes to national and international school. Most international schools will follow the UK system. So they have those summer break, winter break bla3. 

Ok I think that is all from me. So national schools and international schools are equally great. It's just, if we have more money, of course we can opt for international school but if we don't have, national school is never a bad choice. We all came from national schools and hey! look at us. Aren't we cool? *shades on*

So bye for now.

Adios, 
Niena MS

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Happy Anniversary

Yes, happy first anniversary to me and my work place.
Am I the only one who actually keeps track on the date I first started working?
Haha I don't know but I think there's a sentimental value in there and it is a date to be remembered. It was the date I was officially employed and earning my own money for living.
It has been a great journey. Alhamdulillah. I am blessed with what and who I have today.

Anyway, these last few days have been so tough. One is the because of the workload. Report card day is coming up so yeah we were all so busy preparing for it. But that doesn't really bother me. I mean I'm fine being busy though of course it's tiring. But that's all.

The thing is, there is this one issue that appears out of sudden and it really bothers me. I wish I could share here but nah, I'd rather not. How I wish my journey could be as easy as other people. But who am I to argue Allah's planning. I know He has the best plan for me.

I don't look for the look.
I look for hard work.

I don't look for compliments.
I look for complement.

I don't look for credibility.
I look for compatibility.

I don't look for someone who likes what I like.
I'm looking for someone who has interest in what I like.

I don't just look for someone to listen to.
I look for someone who I want to listen too.

I am not picky.
I am just  being careful.

Because this is going to be a lifetime decision.

Please make dua for me.

Adios,
NienaMS


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Perlu dan tidak perlu

Terkadang rasa bicara yang keluar normalnya lebih laju dari tarikan graviti.
Dan selepas manusia bertindak balas baru kau sedar sebenarnya kau silap dan kau tak perlu ungkapkan kata itu.

Dan kemudian kau rasa bersalah meresap dalam setiap lapisan kulit.
Dan kau terus berfikir kesakitan penerima ungkapan itu.
Tapi sayup sayup ada suara yang menyangkal sakit itu.
Dan kau cuba berfikir oh sebenarnya tiada apa apa yang perlu dirisaukan.
Semuanya baik baik aja.
Tapi kau tahu kau tak mampu tipu diri sendiri.

Dalam masa yang sama kau meletakkan diri kau dalam sampan perasaan si penerima.
Mungkinkah dalam lukanya?
Atau padanya seperti angin lalu sahaja.

Dan begitulah kitarannya. Kau meletakkan diri kau di tempat kau dan di tempat dia pada masa yang sama.
Pengakhirannya, kau naik gila.
Kata bahasa kedua,
OVERTHINKING.

Batin

Rasa siksa batin hari ni.
Kenapa perlu ada perasaan begini menyinggah?
Habis seharian emosi aku kacau.

Is it time of the month?

Aku sangkal.

25 tahun.
Masih begini reaksi aku.
Aku pun tak yakin bila aku mahu bangun dari mimpi ini.
Cukuplah Niena seksa diri sendiri.

Dan sekarang episod 1 drama tv3.
Selalunya aku memang susah nak layan drama pukul 7 tu.
Meluat ada lah.
Tengoklah kali ni apa tindak balas aku.
Kalau tak best aku tukar channel lain.
Atau aku terus main handphone.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

NZ Travel Tips and Tricks - HOW TO CUT YOUR BUDGET

Hello guys!

Finally, it's this! I've been wanting to do this since forever but I only got time and mood to write about this today.

So yeah, as most of you are already aware, I was in NZ for 4 years for my undergraduate studies and so I've traveled to quite a few places there. Almost all parts of NZ. Not ALL as in ALL of course.

To begin with, New Zealand is such a beautiful place. Like seriously, if you have the chance, please go there at least once in a lifetime. It's like a perfect place where you can have all that you need. I am not exaggerating, this is an honest experience and you can ask those people who went there and 99% rest assured, they'd answer the same.

Ok as you may read in my post title, it's basically tips and tricks on HOW TO CUT YOUR BUDGET. I understand travelling will require a lot of money, especially if you're travelling to a country that has a higher currency than your country. So what you can do instead is try to find ways on how and where to cut your budget. So for New Zealand, I'll share with you some wheres and hows on that. So let's begin!

Flight tickets - Oh yes yes yes this is where you could first save. Lucky enough now we have Air Asia to NZ. Before Air Asia commenced their trip to NZ, the cost was double or triple than what we can get today with Air Asia. How cheap can it be? You can get as cheap as 1k for a return ticket. Yes, seriously. Just keep eyeing on your date in Air Asia website 1 year before you start travelling and Insha Allah you'll be lucky to get that price. As long as the price is less than 1.5k, you may proceed buying. More than that, you might wanna wait first. I usually use Airpaz.com to keep my eye on the price.

Itinerary - If you want your vacation to be smooth and less hassle, please please please come out with the itinerary first. Itinerary should be done once you've locked the date for your vacation. Why do you need itinerary? Because you wanna know where to stay which night. When this is sorted, then you can then book your accommodation. And to get some rough idea on what you're going to do there and where to slot in your wishlist. And most importantly, you'll get the picture of your overall budget so you can prepare enough money before you go there.
Mine would usually look something like this. You don't have to be this detailed. As long as you get some ideas how you'd spend your days there is good enough. 

Accommodation - This is the best part for me. Once I've arranged my itinerary, I will straight away proceed with the hotel/motel/ whatever you call it. I will do my booking at booking.com. Why? Because it's free cancellation. So fret not! Just book the accom of your choice within your budget on selected dates and you're safe! You don't have to pay anything because (ALMOST) all is upon arrival. The choice ranges from backpackers to high-class hotel. If you're travelling in a group, I'd recommend you choose motel because it's cheap yet convenient. Backpackers would suit those who are travelling solo or duo and would like to make new contacts. Just read the description thoroughly in the website and make your choice based on what you prefer. I changed my accom a few times just because I found a cheaper option after I made my first booking. I mean, like I said, it's free cancellation so nothing to worry about, you can change as long as it's within the cancellation date (which lasts up until few days before your check-in date).

Activities - Yes, if you go to NZ, of course you have a few activities to do in your head. Do whatever you can and get as many experience but do it smart. How? By checking and taking advantage from this website called bookme.co.nz. They would offer daily deals and again, keep eyeing on it every single day and once you see the one that you want, go ahead and book! How cheap can you get? Ok example, usual price for Milford Sound cruise would be NZD80-90 per head but if you get it on a deal, you can get it for as cheap as NZD20-40 per head.So imagine, if there's 5 of you, how much have you saved? You do the math. They classify the activities based on region. So you see, even easier for you to check on what you want. So go ahead and make use of that website!

Transport - This is another way you could save your budget significantly. Like literally significantly. How? However possible, try to use RELOCATION CAR. What is relocation car? Ok gimme 2 minutes to explain to you before we proceed with the next process.

Relocation car is basically a company's initiative to have a win-win situation between their convenience and customer's convenience. Ok you see, one rental car company has a lot of hubs across New Zealand. Let's take one company. Jucy.co.nz. So let's say Jucy has 12 branches across New Zealand. So it's very normal for them to transfer their vehicles from one branch to another branch. Therefore, instead of hiring a manpower to do so, they open it to the customers. So, if let say, they need to transfer this car from Auckland to Wellington on the 22nd until 25th of April, they will offer this to the customer at a crazy price. Instead of booking a normal rental car at $60 per day (for sedan. Insurance excluded), you'll get the same ride at $1. Crazy enough? Yes I know right.

So now you know what relocation car is, you can view it here at this website called transfercar.co.nz. Insert your preferred dates and just find the vehicle that you prefer. Even campervans are available. Just be sure to check all the details like what are included (insurance, fuel etc), price per day, transmission (auto or manual) and mileage. I usually would go for relocation car offered by Budget company because their cars are top-notch, they give us full tank and we can return empty tank and they won't force us to take the insurance. So I literally paid $1 per day guys.

Whenever relocation car is impossible for my schedule, I'd always opt for this company named rentadent.co.nz. The reason is simply because their service is AH-MAY-ZING. Never had I ever have bad experience with this company. Their price is also cheaper than other companies. Other companies available are jucy.co.nz, hertz.co.nz, ezi.co.nz, apex.co.nz, budget.co.nz and just a lot more. I'm listing them here just in case you might wanna compare the price. Generally, all companies are good. NZ people are very friendly and welcoming but I just personally love Rent a Dent the most.

Mobile Carrier - This is another must-have for travelers nowadays. What is travelling when we don't have enough data right? So if you ask me, what's the best carrier for travelers, I'd choose Spark. However, I'd usually opt for normal package as supposed to travelers package because it has more data capacity hewhew. Just visit their booth in the airport upon arrival and ask for their advice. Other options would be Vodafone and 2 degrees. I've used all carriers when I was in NZ but I'd say Spark is the most convenient. But then again, there's only a slight difference between them so the choice is yours!


Food - Food is a must-try whenever you go travelling. Not much can I say here on how to cut your budget here. For me it's quite significant because I'm not a big eater. If you're like me, never order one meal for yourself only, instead do SHARE! Because the portion is BIG! It's double triple my portion. So there already save your pennies maaa. But if you're a big eater, skip this part and let's move on to the next.

Shopping - If you're a sucker of gifts and souvenir, my advice is never ever do your souvenir shopping in Auckland (unless Auckland is the only place you go so what can you do). Instead, shop for souvenirs in Queenstown. Wellington and Christchurch would do too. Just not in Auckland. One, the choice is limited, second, the price difference is significant. So be wise.

Well I think these are all. Bottom line is, pre-book everything! Cheaper and easier. Instead of wasting your time queuing to buy tickets at a normal (expensive) price, you just show your printed pass. I hope it does help you getting some ideas on how to plan your trip to New Zealand. I'm happy to take any questions if you have. I can be your unpaid consultant. Gittew.  Till then,

Adios!
Niena MS