A.K.U.G.U.R.U. actually means 'I am a Teacher' (Aku guru in Bahasa Malaysia). It contains all the items related to my profession as a secondary school English teacher which includes my English lessons, my interests, my passion for Liverpool FC, and also my family affairs. Hope you enjoy your reading!

(The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of information taken from this blog.)


Type your question here and I will find the answer for you.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Resolution Review

I stated 5 resolutions at the start of the year, and today is the best day to review whether they have been fulfilled.

1. I will start the year at my new school, SMK Chabang Empat, Tumpat, being an exemplary English teacher for form 4 and 5 students.

Well, I think we have to wait for the SPM results before deciding whether academically this resolution is fulfilled. As for the Form 4 students, their final exam results will be the decider. In terms of their interest in learning the language, I think that I had decently done my job. They surely got something from my lessons, although their daily usage of English is nothing that I should be proud of. On the whole, I have yet to change the school's culture in learning English as second language.

2. I will upgrade my daily usage of English.

So far, I only use English when speaking with the English teachers. When my students came to see me in the teacher's lounge, however, I tend to speak Malay with them to accommodate them. Worse, I used Kelantan dialect when speaking with other teachers.

3. I will try to improve my chess knowledge in order to become a better coach.

I have read some books and articles (mainly from the Internet), played online games, watched videos, and also entered tournaments in order to improve my skills. I also read a book on coaching in general, not specifically for chess and presented it in my in-service training.

4. I will shed some kilos (hopefully 1okgs) by the year end.

Negative result. My weight is still the same as the start of the year. No gain, no loss. I think this is because the fat has become very stubborn, and I need a major change of diet and a lot of exercises in order for me to get rid of that.

5. I will better my devotions to the Almighty

Insha Allah, I hope that all my prayers, recitations of the Holy Qur'an, and other devotions are accepted by Him. As a Muslim, I must continuously improve in this matter in order to become a better servant.

So, the result?

I will continue all the resolutions for this year, and will achieve a better result by the end of 2011, especially for the number 4, insha Allah. I will keep tabs on my weight and jot down under each of my upcoming posts to monitor the progress. You are also invited to monitor it with me if you want (*-*)

For the start of 2011, my weight is...

83 kilograms

Monday, December 27, 2010


I felt really angry today. But I don't know to whom I should be angry with-myself or that #$@p!##@!. The story began in October. I received a message from #$@p!##@! offering me a phone if I 'use' a minimum of RM120 each month for the next three months until December, terms and conditions apply. During that time, my wife's phone was having some problem, so I thought 'Why not?' I rang the #$@p!##@! careline and a guy answered my call. I asked about the offer and its terms and conditions, but he couldn't tell me. Up till that time, I never reloaded more than RM100 a month, but for the offer's sake, I reloaded RM120 for that October, the subsequent November, and this very month. Today, I rang the #$@p!##@! careline again to ask if I am eligible for the phone, but to my surprise, the person who answered my call again didn't know about the offer. She took a lengthy time to check about the offer, but half an hour later, she returned and asked to make more investigation. She offered to call me back, and I duly agreed because I had something to do at that time. After 20 minutes without receiving any phone call, I rang the #$@p!##@! careline for the umpteenth time. This time, another person answered. I asked to talk with the previous person, but without knowing her name or ID number, I couldn't. Thus, I told her about my plight and she told me that I had to 'use' RM120 by calling or text messaging, but not sharing the reload with somebody else. I replied by telling her about my first call to that guy asking for clarification about the terms without success, which in turn made me to misunderstand the true meaning of the word 'use'. Then, she told me that my usage for each month was not enough for receiving the phone, so that's that.

To show you what I missed, here is the picture of the promised phone.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Why English is so Hard

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
Neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England.
We take English for granted,
but if we explore its paradoxes,
We find that quicksand can work slowly,
boxing rings are square,
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing,
grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?

Doesn't it seem crazy that
you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends
and get rid of all but one of them,
what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables,
what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the folks
who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people
recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out,
and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And, in closing, if Father is Pop,
how come Mother's not Mop?


(This poem is taken from 'Mind Our English' section of The Star, Friday 3 December 2010)

Sunday, November 28, 2010


How long does it take for a group of piranhas to finish off their meal? This and many other marine-based questions will be answered in the Aquaria situated beside the KLCC. There are many kind of fishes on display, among them the large Arapaima, the giant sharks, and the huge ray. You can also see the fishes being fed by the divers at the Aquatheatre. But, the piranhas are being fed separately, for they live in separate aquarium. Therefore, make sure that you enter during the feeding schedule for your utmost pleasure, so that you get your money's worth.

And remember also to bring your finest camera, because once inside, no flash is allowed. ENJOY!

For more information, click the official website here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I played a logic game I have in my laptop. It is a good game testing your deductive ability. I just have to guess the right features which includes the hairstyles, the eyes, the nose, the mouth and the clothes of what was behind the curtains. Most of the time, I got it correctly in 6 or 7 guesses, but this morning, I got it correct in just 5 guesses. I got a title "Champion of Logic". Haha.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Holidays and Good Luck SPMians and STPMians

Happy holidays for those who are holidaying, but for those who are having their exams, especially the SPMians and STPMians, I wish you all good luck. After stopping blogging for a while due to my first sleepless experience of marking public exam papers, or PMR to be exact, I am back at my keyboard typing something, which may or may not be of interest to you. Nevertheless, I'll share with you some traditions at my new school which I did not previously experience during my 4 years at Gua Musang.

1. Graduation

There was actually a graduation for the would be SPM students, to commemorate the end of their study in the school. All the students wore a robe and a graduation hat before taking their scroll from the principal. I know that many other schools also have their own graduation, but for me, it was my first time. I could see happy faces receiving the scroll, but sadly, I didn't know if they will actually be happy when they take their result next year. I will surely be praying for all of them, but still efforts must be made to make the exam a successful one.

2. Knowledge Blessing

Actually, I had experienced this event at my previous school, but unlike this event, it did not have a bathing session. Yes, the teachers here bathed the candidates with water from their parents' Solat Hajat. They merely poured the water on the candidates' heads after they drank some of it, not on the whole body. This was inclusive of the female candidates, who were poured water on their scarves by the female teachers.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I am at the receiving end of my latest Scrabble game. My opponent is a Singaporen girl named Idilina Kamis. She has AI on her rack, while I am left with CNOUU. The Us make my move difficult. This is what the board currently looks like:

Now, I have several options, all of which will lead to my defeat.

1. Put CH, COL for 16 points and leave NUU (3 points) on the rack. My current points are 312, so 312+16-3=325 points. She may put PIA for 15 points and that's it. 316+15+3=334 points. 334-325=9 points difference. WORST.

2. Put COUP for 11 points and leave NU (2 points) on the rack. 312+11-2=321 points. She may put VIA for 7 points. 316+7+2=325 points. 325-321=4 points difference. BETTER.

3. Put UPON for 18 points and leave CU (4 points) on the rack. 312+18-4=326 points. She may put VIA for 7 points. 316+7+4=327 points. 327-326=1 point difference. BEST.

All these, of course, with the assumption that she will put the AI in one move. Hardly a miss.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Kelantan 3 - Selangor 0

Simply outstanding. Breathtaking. I was simply out of superlatives to comment on Kelantan's play this evening. All the goals were beautifully taken. The first goal came out of nowhere, but credit to Norfarhan for his effort.

The second showed that Akmal Rizal still has the talent in him which made him one of the feared strikers in Malaysian League. Oh, and what a good ball from the captain.

The third one was simply the icing on the cake. It surely calmed my nerves after Selangor seemingly got a grip of themselves with their bold subtitutions. Once again, Akmal Rizal was at the centre of things, squaring the ball to Badhri Razie to slot it home. Bravo!

See you in the semis, Kedah!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mum is covering her face during the fogging


My neighbourhood, as recently as last week, had been fogged following a confirmed case hitting my neighbour's daughter. My advice:


Some interesting facts:

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Yesterday, my colleague asked me to look at her problematic laptop. What happened was the occurrence of a black screen with only a movable cursor after booting Windows 7 Ultimate. When I googled the problem, the term 'Black Screen of Death' appeared. It seemed that the problem has been troubling users for some time now. Many solutions offered, but none of it could be used to solve her problem.

I used my laptop to surf for solutions. I surf websites, and even youtubes. One of the websites I found detailed the fix, but it was useless for this laptop. This is because I had to pop open the task manager, whereas I could not do so because, after hitting the ctrl+alt+del keys simultaneously, the options on the screen just read = 1.Lock this computer, 2.Switch user, 3.Log off, and 4.Change a password. Then I restarted the laptop and pushed f8 while the Windows loading so that the Advanced Boot Options screen appears. I tried each boot options including last known good configuration, safe mode, safe mode with networking, etc and still left dumbfounded. Then I tried the option Repair your computer, eventually a screen appeared. I tried Startup Repair with no luck; it scanned and finished without repairing anything. Then I tried System Restore also with no luck because, sadly, there was no restore point. When I came down to the dreaded Command Prompt (I said 'dreaded' because I never learn how to use the command; I grew up with Windows), I managed to open the task manager. This was only after I learn some commands from the Wikipedia. I typed explorer.exe in the new task box, but a dialogue box appeared saying 'Windows cannot find explorer.exe'. I tried a suggestion from this youtube also, but to no avail.

It seemed that I had failed to find the solution, and had to return her laptop as is.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

School Hari Raya Celebration

We wore our Raya clothes to school. We brought some cookies and cakes. We studied in the morning. We started the celebration at 12.00 p.m. We ate with teachers and friends. We dispersed at 1.00 p.m. We were happy.


1. What is the basic form for the above verbs in red?

wear, bring, study, start, eat, disperse, are

2. How can we make the story more enjoyable to be read?

by using connectors (e.g. then, after that, finally), adjectives (e.g. beautiful, shiny, yellow) and also adverbs (e.g. happily, also, approximately).

Example of a better writing:

Today, we wore our beautiful, shiny, colourful Raya clothes to our school. We also brought with us some delicious cookies and cakes. As usual, we studied attentively in the morning. We only started the celebration at 12.00 p.m. Then, we ate heartily together with our teachers and also friends. Finally, after enjoying ourselves, we dispersed at approximately 1.00 p.m. We were very happy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Sultan Kelantan Proclaimed

The is only one thing in my mind when the new Sultan of Kelantan was proclaimed yesterday - Are we still going to have two days off for the Sultan's birthday? We have had our holidays on the 30th and 31st of March every year, but the new Sultan being born on Oct 6 raising the question in some, if not all, of the Kelantan people. Nevertheless, congratulations to Sultan Muhammad Faris Petra for the proclamation, and I will support you all the way, as well as wishing you a successful reign.

Daulat Tuanku! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!

Friday, September 10, 2010


We wish you a prosperous and happy Hari Raya

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Student's Common Mistakes

I'm halfway from finishing marking Paper 1. Here, I will compile some of the common mistakes made by my students in their essays.

1. Writing a sentence too long.

Lastly, thank you to all because success the speech today because you all hear the speech because it was boring.

This sentence consists of 4 basic sentences, and all the sentences are connected by the word 'because'. It is better for the student to write shorter sentences to minimize grammatical and structural mistakes. The above sentence could be written "Lastly, thank you to all. Today's speech is a success. You all listened to it even though it was boring."

2. Using wrong connectors.

I think the maintaining good discipline at the school is very important. However, it also can make (a student) become good forever.

Connectors add information, introduce a similar idea, give an opposite idea, and introduce the result. Using wrong connectors will disrupt the flow between sentences. The word 'However' in the second sentence above is wrongly used. It denotes that the idea in the sentence is a complete opposite from the first, although idea of making a student good is stressing the first idea of maintaining good discipline. Thus, the appropriate connector should be 'Moreover' as in this correction "I think maintaining good discipline at the school is very important. Moreover, it can also make a student to become a good person."

3. Confusion in placing the adjectives.

The problem discipline is the nail long, the hair long and other.

Adjectives are words to describe a noun, and they are always put before a noun they are describing. In the above sentence, the adjectives are put after the nouns. The students probably confused with Malay language which put the adjectives after the nouns - nail long (kuku panjang), hair long (rambut panjang). Even 'problem discipline' (masalah disiplin) is a confusion. The sentence should be correctly written as "The (examples of) disciplinary problems are long nails and long hair."

4. No finite verb in a complete sentence.

I the president of the Civics Club.

The golden rule is that in a complete sentence, there should be a finite verb. There is no finite verb in the above sentence. I (a pronoun), the (an article), president (a noun), of (a preposition), the (an article), Civics (an adjective), Club (a noun). The correct sentence is "I am the president of the Civics Club."

5. Disagreement between the subjects and its verbs.

We arrives at the market. I is very excited.

This is the most common mistakes of all. No matter how many lessons stressed on this particular grammatical problem, the students never get it right. They are still confused where to put 's' and where not to put 's'. Singular and plural are the same to them. The obvious correction for the above sentence is "We arrive at the market. I am very excited."

Friday, August 20, 2010


It was an unfortunate paper 2 experience for the students in my classes. The so called 'graphics-short texts' questions were full of texts only - no pie charts, no cartoons, no nothing! Even my brightest student only managed to answer 10 out of 15 MCQs correctly (I teach middle classes students). Most of the texts require the students to know synonyms, and considering the facts that these students are weak in their vocabularies, I am not shocked at how poorly they performed in Section A for paper 2. Section B was not kind also, it deviated from the usual 5 headers 5 short descriptions into 1 header only - TRISHAW - making it difficult for them to transfer the information from the longer description. For Section C, the text was an ordinary one - not too easy and not too difficult - but the students need to show some effort in order to answer them correctly. And for Section D, my targeted poem did not come out, instead it was substituted by The Road Not Taken, whereas the story Looking For A Rain God appeared as predicted. The theme 'greed' for the novel has been taught to the students, but as I have yet to mark that section, I can just pray that some of them do remember their lesson.

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