Tuesday, March 20, 2018


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

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!

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. 

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. 

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.

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.


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,


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,

Niena MS

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Autism #1

Autism is something that is getting more and more popular these days.

So what is Autism?

Autism is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors. Because of the range of symptoms, this condition is now called autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It covers a large spectrum of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment. ASD ranges in severity from a handicap that somewhat limits an otherwise normal life to a devastating disability that may require institutional care.

This is what the website says. Complicated? Yes, very.

The reason why I'm writing about this is because I want to share my symphaty and emphaty with these children and parents with these children. Ever since few years back, I've been really into this topic. I love knowing more and more about autism.

Raising an autistic child is never easy. Living with an autistic sibling too, is never easy. That also includes teaching an autistic kid. In my case, I'm in category 3. I am teaching autistic kid, in fact, kids. Yes, there are quite a number of students in my school who are diagnosed with autism with different spectrum. Yes, spectrum. Again, as the definition up there, it is a spectrum because one autistic child is not comparable to another. I mean, if we look at it this way, even we, 'normal' humans, are not comparable to each other. Some of us are tempered, some of us are quiet, some of us are loud, some of us are slow and things like that. What makes us different is the ability to control ourselves. For autistic kids, they can't control themselves and we can't blame them for that because that what makes them autistic.

As a concerned society, if you ask me how to understand autistic kids better, I would suggest you to expose yourself with this issue more. Try to find out more. I myself have read and watched and followed a few stories of autistic kids and I'd love to share with you. I've read a book entitled 'The Spark' and 'Saving Danny'. It was by chance that I happened to pick books about autism.

The Spark is written by Kristine Barnett, a mother of an autistic kid. Of course, this is a true account. In this case, his son was a genius. By genius I mean, he has an IQ higher than Einstein. He could even memorize and say the pi number easily. I mean, who on earth would remember exactly the pi figure. Basically, he's a genius in math and astronomy. He even knew the concept of 'volume' when he was a toddler. Despite his gifted-ness in one area, he was socially impaired to the extent that he stopped talking completely.

Meanwhile, Saving Danny is written by my all-time favourite author cum a foster carer, Cathy Glass. It's a story about Danny, a more timid version of autistic kid. He was sent to the foster care because the parents were frustrated and impatient dealing with him and thought it's the best place for him. Little did they know that their child is autistic. Danny's spectrum is more on living in his own cocoon, communicating with his pet-rabbit rather than humans whom he find hard to relate to most of the time. He is also good with routine and pattern and can be extra meticulous sometimes. Because of his inability to express himself to humans, he will end up throwing a fit.

Apart from books, I also watched this one Hindi movie called 'Taare Zameen Par' (Like Starts on Earth), which revolves around a dyslexic kid who struggles to fit in the school setting, what more the society. Again, in this movie, the parents and teachers got frustrated on him because of his 'dullness'. Little did they know that this kid has a dyslexia (most of them are not aware of this 'disability', not even heard one). He ends up surprising them with his astounding talent in art.

Not only them, I also enjoy following a few autism stories on social media, specifically Fynn Jamal's son, Juna, Adam Autism Family and Zarina Zainuddin. Seriously, they are all different to another. It will be unfair to me to tell who has the most challenges. All of these amazing parents are gifted with these special kids who become the source of them getting pahala. Wallahi, it's super inspiring looking at their spirit of raising these children.

Having said all these, I myself am dealing with autistic kids as I've mentioned earlier. Honestly, I can relate to all these stories I heard, watched and followed. Despite the challenge, I have to admit that they are my source of inspiration to come to school and teach. Everyday, I will always learn something new about them. And you have to keep trying with new methods. They are not the same as other children. Don't expect them to be the same. They are unique. But they are amazing in their own way. Yes, understanding them can be a very exhausting and frustrating process but as long as you can, don't give up on them.

Thanks a lot for reading this. I hope this will help you to understand autism at least 0.001% of it. Create awareness. Spread awareness. May Malaysia be the safe place for these kids. If you have any more good reading materials or movies about autism, do share with me.

That's it. Adios,
Niena MS

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

February Pressure is Real

This February will be such a hectic month. So many deadlines to be met. I haven't finished marking yet. Marking is so time consuming. I wish I could have one week without students at school just to finish my marking. *sigh*

Today is my worn-out day. I started my day marking some essays, then it dragged my energy because I was kinda disappointed with the way they wrote. Meanwhile, everyone else is having a good off-day at home. -_- I know right. It's Thaipusam so technically it's a public holiday but I did not have mine. 

Something weird is creeping in and I wish it will go away soon. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


So far I've been loving my work.

I admit there are some busy and rough moments but that's how life works. The older you get, the more you have to deal with things called problem.

However, hearing some people around me complaining sometimes makes me ponder. Though we all have the same things, but we all don't enjoy the same way.

The reason why I love my job right now is because I have more pros than cons and I believe those people who are unhappy with their jobs out there, their cons outweigh the pros. I feel sorry to those people and honestly, I hope you can do what you love one day.

You know, career sounds so appealing but being in it is like you'll get stuck to it for the rest of your life. So I personally find it worthless waking up in the morning, staying back late, getting stuck in the traffic for something you don't find the joy in. The solution is, make yourself love it or if you still can't, opt for something you love. At the end of the day, monetary reward is not all.

Most importantly, if we wanna talk in Islamic point of view, when we do something that we love, chances are, we are more likely to perform and insha Allah blessings will come along.


It's the key to a settled heart and contentment.

May Allah accept our ibadah in working, may Allah forgive our shortcomings and excessiveness in dealing with people around us. Ameen.


It's 2018 and I feel like I'm too apart from my old self in terms of writing here. I used to write short and brief and random and compact but now I rant too much. Another sign of adulting I guess. 

Niena MS