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.)

ASK ME ANYTHING!

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

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Asthma and Salbutamol

I have asthma. Ever since I was a little child, I have been experiencing shortness of breath and wheezing almost every year. This continues until today, and it makes me think whether this will ever go away.

My current treatment is Salbutamol, and I have been thinking how does this drug treat during my asthma attacks. It surely clears my airways and enables me to breath normally 5 to 10 minutes after it is taken. I cannot possibly remember what I took during childhood, but I have been taking this Salbutamol in tablets and only recently, by inhaler.

The inhaler
Reading some websites on this subject, I found a blog written by Katielase very interesting. She explains the process using analogy and makes me understand perfectly what is going on after the application of Salbutamol into my lungs. 

Now, I have to be careful of the triggers to my asthma. So far, I notice that I will have attacks at dusty places or whenever I breathe in very cold air. Thus, I have tried my best to avoid these triggers. However, many around me are smokers, including family and friends. Hopefully second-hand smoke is not one of my triggers!
  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cheating in Examination

Having already been warned in the mid semester examination, several members of the 4D class still cheated in the final examination. This has made me really upset. After vigorously searched for ways to make them learn their lesson, I finally thought of something which, in my opinion, would be beneficial for all parties involved. I asked them to rewrite 'I will not cheat in examinations anymore' 50 times and get signatures from at least 3 Form 5 English teachers. This is because the teachers will be teaching them in Form 5 and they should know these cheaters beforehand. 

Cheating in examinations is not a good thing to do. In fact, it is actually a big offense and must be severely dealt with. Those involved have come to me and expressed their gratitude for my stern action. Some of them, especially the girls, said that they cried when they get the punishment. They vowed not to repeat the offense, and I believe them. 

Hopefully next year they will come stronger and pass their SPM with flying colours. 

Thanks for the teachers also for your cooperation. 

Not quite the 'flying colours' I had in mind but still a beautiful one


Monday, November 02, 2015

GOOD LUCK SPMians!

The most anticipated time has finally come. Starting from today, SPM students will start battling their wits against the unforgiving questions while teachers anxiously watch from the sides. It is now up to the students to prove their worth, to show their keenness and to give their everything in an exam that could be the stepping stone to achieve their dream. 

As for the teachers, you have done well in preparing them for the exam. All that you can do now is to pray for them, because success is really in the hand of God, no matter how well the preparation is. Don't get upset when a student of yours cannot answer the papers; bear in mind that they have tried their best.

External and internal factors will always be there to determine the state of mind of the candidates. Even though he or she has very calm state of mind going to the exam hall, news such as the sudden death of family members will surely have the bearings on his mind. 

I am really sorry for one of my students who are currently in ward because of an accident, while his classmate lost all his family members in a car accident just two days ago.

May Allah grant them composure and courage in SPM.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Sample Answer for SPM Paper 1 Section B 2014

Using past questions is one of the way to prepare your students. I tried using the question from last year's SPM paper, and it worked out quite fine. We did it collectively in class before I asked them to continue the essay at home. 

Question 4: Write a story about a fisherman beginning with: "The wind blew strongly. Out at sea,.. "

Firstly, we discussed the possible draft for the story. For this, we used the timeline:

Exposition – fisherman on a boat, sea was rough, wavy
Rising action – the wave became bigger, rained
Climax – the boat capsized, the fisherman fell into sea
Falling action – floated at sea for 8 hours,
Resolution – another boat passed by, helped him


Then, the students started giving their ideas while I typed the sentences, showing them on the screen. We made corrections as we went through. This is the result:

The wind blew strongly. Out at sea, an old, grizzled fisherman wearing worn out Crocodile t-shirt given to him by his wealthy daughter-in-law was throwing his fishing net into the rough, wavy South China Sea. There was no sound except for the engine of his boat and the violent wave. He went to this area because he was told by one of his trustworthy friends that he caught big fishes there last week.

While he was waiting for something to get into the net, the weather suddenly worsened. There was thunder, and the sky became cloudy. The wave became bigger and more aggressive. He was hit by sudden fear of death, as last month, his best of friends died tragically in the similar storm.

To make matters worse, rain poured like bullets on the roof on his already leaking boat. He struggled to find cover, as the floor of the boat was slippery. He finally managed to enter his sanctuary, promptly searching for his 3310. Then, he realized that there was no connection for he was distant from the shore, so he grabbed the wheel instead and tried to navigate the boat away from the hazardous area.

Out of the blue, a 5-storey high wave appeared in front of his eyes which made him jump out of his skin. Consequently, the boat capsized, and he fell into the unforgiving sea. He struggled to get to the surface as the current was pulling him away from it. Once he finally managed to get out, he gasped for air and searched for something to hold on to but nothing was spotted near him. The boat was unreachable, yet there was something shiny which captured his attention. He swam towards it, and held onto it. He recognized it as some sort of wreckage either from a broken boat or aeroplane. He was pretty sure, however, that it was not from his boat.


Finally, I asked them to continue the story as they like. Hopefully I will get something creative out of those minds. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

I notice that the SPM questions have been changed drastically since last year's paper, and that the fifth question for Section B in Paper 1 has something to do with idioms and phrases. Here, I attempted an essay based on the idiom 'A friend in need is a friend indeed'. Hopefully it will be of some help to you readers.  

A FRIEND IN NEED IS A FRIEND INDEED

"Guys! Look at the house on that tree! Unbelievable!" I was studying Physics with 'Ammar, 'Afaf and 'Aasim when we saw the news about the flood in Kuala Krai. When 'Afaf exclaimed about the house, I was flabbergasted. I never thought that it was physically possible for a house to be sitting on top of a tree after a flood. 

That was a week ago. In the morning of 26th December, water was entering my house at incredible speed. Knowing that there won't be enough time to save everything, I opted to only take valuables: my wallet, my handphone and some clothes. The water was knee high when my family and I was getting out of the house after lifting everything onto the tables. 

We were ushered to SMK Chabang Empat, one of the school-turned-relief centres in Tumpat. Upon arriving, we were greeted warmly by the self-proclaimed leader there, Mr. Arasu. I remarked 'self-proclaimed' because later that day, I learned that that school was actually not one of the gazetted government relief centres, rather it was converted into one mainly because of the scale of the flood which exceeded normal circumstances. Therefore, there was no flood committee like those in the government funded relief centres, and we could live with him being in the front line, though, as nobody wanted to burden themselves catering for everybody's needs.

We stayed there for four nights, during which we endured living life like the unfortunates I have been seeing at the streets; no water, no food and no electricity. We even had to reuse our clothes as water was too precious a thing to be wasted on something other than quenching our thirst. Mr. Arasu, however, tried his best to organize his committee members to help us any way they could, so that nobody would feel obnoxious with the situation.

On the fifth day, while I was wondering whether we would survive another day or die horrible death due to severe dehydration, a familiar face popped out of nowhere. I still remembered clearly what 'Ammar was wearing: the blue t-shirt that he and I would be wearing whenever we went out together to Kota Bharu, when he emerged from his black-coloured Toyota Hilux. The t-shirt reminded me of the time when he said, quite persuasively, "We are friends, Azizul, very good friends. We should stick together through thick and thin. Our camaraderie should last forever, no matter what happens."

That day, my family and I was transferred from the relief centre to his home. We had a good, satisfying bath before the lunch, and I could not thank enough for his generosity. "Nah! You would've done the same to me," was the reply I got for my gratefulness.

I was informed that the flood was the worst since the Red Flood back then in 1926. However, his house was not infected as it was on a slightly raised ground. Mine, sadly to say, was flooded neck-high before the flood started to subside on the third day. He said that the first thing that came to his mind after that was to search for us because he knew our house was badly affected. When he heard news that we were transported here, he quickly came to the rescue.

It is true after all what they have always been saying; a friend in need is a friend indeed.   

 

Sunday, August 02, 2015

The Living Photograph by Jackie Kay

Today is the first time I taught the new literature components for Form 4. At first I was aghast because I saw three literature books consist of many poems, short stories and dramas. However, after learning that students have to study only a couple of poems and short stories, I was relieved. 

These are the compulsory components:

Poems

1. The Living Photograph by Jackie Kay
2. Charge of the Light Brigade by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Short Stories

1. Tanjung Rhu retold by Kay West
2. Leaving by M.G. Vassanji

Drama

1. The Right Thing To Do by Martyn Ford



The Living Photograph
by Jackie Kay

My small grandmother is tall there, 
straight-back, white broderie anglaise shirt, 
pleated skirt, flat shoes, grey bun,
a kind, old smile round her eyes.
Her big hand holds mine,
white hand in black hand. 
Her sharp blue eyes look her own death in the eye.

It was true after all, that look.
My tall grandmother became small.
Her back round and hunched.
Her soup forgot to boil.
She went to the awful place grandmothers go.
Somewhere unknown, unthinkable. 

But there she is still, 
in the photo with me at three,
the crinkled smile is still living, breathing.


There is a very good analysis done by an English teacher in her blog. I will not dwell too much on that because my analysis is more or less the same. For good students, I advise you to go to her blog and read the analysis because I think it is quite spot on although she admitted writing it before any reference book is out on the bookshop shelf.

However, I want to share what I did with my 4 Ikhlas class, which is quite mixed in terms of students' learning abilities. At first, I asked them to read the poem. The first read was unsuccessful because I saw so many blank faces all over the classroom. Then, because the class takes Arts, I asked them to draw pictures for selected words taken from the poem. Afterwards, I asked them to paste the pictures on the board before reading the poem one more time. This time, I saw some smile on their faces, mainly because they understand the poem a little bit. 


Nevertheless, to analyse the poem with this class is another problem. Let's hope they can get something from my next lesson.  

Friday, July 17, 2015

Selamat Hari Raya


I would like to wish all my blog readers a very happy and prosperous Hari Raya. Thanks for all your support and time spent reading posts in this blog. Hopefully I will find time to frequently write something here because here because so many things happened everyday around me.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Know Your Qiblah

One of the pillars of Islam is to pray five time daily. Therefore it is imperative that Muslims pray correctly so that Allah will accept their prayer. This includes praying towards the direction of the qiblah. There are many gadgets in the market to help Muslims check for the direction of the qiblah. However, they can also check it traditionally without using those gadgets twice a year. 

Today (16 July) at exactly 5.28 p.m. the sun will be exactly over the Ka'abah. It is a phenomenon called 'Istiwa al-A'zhom' and it is a golden opportunity for the Muslims in Malaysia to check for the true direction of the qiblah. Another date the exact phenomenon happens every year in Malaysia is on 28 May

Basically, what they have to do is prepare a stick and put it vertically at 90 degrees. The shadow which appears at the above mentioned time will show the true direction of the qiblah all over Malaysia. 

Here I provide some illustrations taken from Mr. Google:




Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dr. Cermin

My car was following a lorry when it happened. A stone was thrown as impact from the tyres of the lorry and it didn't take much to put a tiny hole on the windscreen. After asking around whether to repair the windscreen or to buy a new one, a friend informed me of Dr. Cermin (the mirror doctor). 




I browsed through its website before deciding to try its service. I found out that they have one branch at Kubang Kerian, in front of the castle. I also brought my wife's car, which had just been taken out from the workshop after a lengthy spell with the mechanic because of 2014 flood, because it also has a tiny hole on its windscreen. However, its crack has spread wide because of non-treatment. 



Knowing that my new hole would cost me RM90, one could only imagine how much my wife's car big crack would cost. Even the Dr. Cermin staffs were reluctant to treat its wound, suggesting instead for me to change it because the cost would be nearly the same.

So, four days later, I changed the windscreen, after 'shopping around' nearby and found LIM CLS Motorworks and Glass Supply to be the cheapest among the alternatives.  




Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat

Tuan Guru Dato' Bentara Setia Haji Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (10 January 1931 - 12 February 2015), is a name almost everybody, including myself, would never forget. However, it seemed that almost everybody, excluding myself, had the chance to pay him the last visit. I had to drive in the opposite direction the day of his funeral. A lot of cars were heading towards Kelantan that day when I was heading towards Penang. Only Allah the Almighty knew what was going inside my mind that red-letter day.



He was the Chief Minister of Kelantan from 22 October 1990 to 6 May 2013. His health became worse after he stepped down from the office and he subsequently died because of prostate cancer on 12 February 2015 at 9.40 p.m. He was buried near his house at Kampung Pulau Melaka, witnessed by more than 10,000 people including the Prime Minister, Dato' Sri Haji Mohammad Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak.


Some said that there was cloud hovering over during the funeral:

video

video


He left behind a spouse, Tuan Sabariah Tuan Ishak, and 10 children :

  1. Nik Aini
  2. Nik Umar
  3. Nik Adli
  4. Nik Abdul Rahim
  5. Nik Mohd Abduh
  6. Nik Adilah
  7. Nik Mohd Asri
  8. Nik Amani
  9. Nik Amalina 
  10. Nik Asma' Salsabila
Let us recite Al-Fatihah and pray that Allah bless his soul.


Monday, February 09, 2015

Lane Discipline for a Roundabout

My route to and fro the school where I teach involves several roundabouts. Therefore, I should know the correct lane discipline for a roundabout. Here is a good article on the topic: 

Roundabouts


Why Roundabouts Exist

This diagram shows the problem of having two busy roads meeting without the presence of a roundabout. The red car is finding it difficult to turn into the road on its right. (This may also lead to holding up traffic behind).
Cars emerging on to the main road will also find it difficult to make progress when the road is busy.
Crossroads
 
This diagram shows the benefit of having a roundabout.
Now the roundabout rules apply people only need to give way to the right allowing traffic to flow much more freely. The red car that was finding it difficult before can now go around the roundabout to turn right. The yellow car will now find it easier to emerge as the vehicles on the right will be blocked by traffic crossing their path.
Roundabout 1

Rules that apply

  • Follow the M-S-M routine on approach ensuring you position in the appropriate lane in good time
  • Give way to traffic that will cross your path from your right. (You must not cause traffic on your right to change speed or direction)
  • Keep in correct lane on the roundabout
  • Apply the M-S-M routine on your exit
The following diagrams show various roundabouts which will help explain how to deal with them and which lane to take.

Lane discipline

On a standard roundabout:

Turning left (red car)

Use the left lane as it is your first exit, signal left on approach.

Turning right (Exit 3 on diagram)

Signal right on approach and use the right hand lane and stay on the inside of the roundabout until you pass the last exit that is just before your turn (Exit 2 on diagram). Check mirrors and signal left to confirm your intentions to exit the roundabout.

Following the road ahead

On a standard roundabout (as blue car on diagram) you should use the left lane and stay on the outside of the roundabout. No signal will be required on approach as it is the second exit you require, check your mirrors and apply a left signal as you pass Exit 1.
Roundabout 2

Following the road ahead

If the layout was as below:
Approach on the right and stay on the inside of the roundabout until you pass the first exit, then apply the M-S-M routine for leaving the roundabout (giving a left signal).

Look for lane markings

Lane Markings If you are following the road ahead on a main route (eg dual carriageway) you can often go ahead in either lane. If you approach on the left then you should stay to the left in new road, if you take the right hand lane on approach stay on the inside of the roundabout and exit in the right hand lane in new road.
Roundabout 3

Following the road ahead

If the layout was as below:
Approach on the left and stay on the outside of the roundabout. As the exit you are taking (blue car) is your first then you can indicate left on approach to confirm your intentions.

Turning Right

If you are turning right (yellow car) use the right hand lane and stay on the inside of the roundabout until you pass the first exit. Then check your mirrors and apply a left signal.

Giving Way

Although traffic can come all the way around the roundabout from Exit 1 (ahead) you will mainly have traffic to give way to only coming out of one exit - Exit 2 that intends to turn right therefore the majority of the time they will need to approach in their right hand lane, the traffic approaching on their left should be turning left and if so you will not need to give way.

Looking for Lane Markings

Lane Markings If the lane markings show that you can use either lane following the road ahead: If you approach on the left then you should stay to the left in new road, if you take the right hand lane on approach stay on the inside of the roundabout and exit in the right hand lane in new road.
Roundabout 4

Lane Discipline

On this roundabout the road markings show that the left hand lane should only be used for turning left. This will normally be where the left exit is more of a main route (i.e. city centre route or leading to a motorway).

Following the road ahead (where the left-hand lane is for turning left only)

As the markings show - you will need to use the right hand lane to follow the road ahead. Keep to the inside of the roundabout until passing the first exit. Be extra careful until passing the first exit and as you exit in case other vehicles have followed the road ahead in the left lane, which is the case on most roundabouts.
Roundabout 5

Following the road ahead on a dual carriageway


Lane discipline

Here you will be able to follow the road ahead in either lane.
If you approach in the left hand lane stay on the outside of the roundabout and keep to the left on your exit.

Key Considerations

  • Ensure you approach in the correct lane in good time
  • Most dual carriageways are high speed roads - try to keep appropriate speed
  • Be mindful of traffic to your sides especially larger vehicles which may not stick to their lane
Lane Markings

Multi lanes

If you have three or more lanes - look for road markings for most appropriate lane to use.
Roundabout 6

Roundabouts - Making Progress

Take opportunities to make progress when traffic to your right will be blocked - here the yellow car can emerge as the traffic opposite, which is going ahead at the roundabout, is blocking the traffic to the right.
Roundabout 7
On this example the yellow car can take the opportunity to make progress when the blue car turning right blocks the traffic.
Roundabout 8
When the roundabout is big enough to allow enough room - if you are turning left (yellow car) and you can see traffic intends to turn right then you will not cause them to change speed or direction as you will be on the outside of the roundabout and they would be on the inside.
Roundabout 9
When vehicles are coming around the roundabout and you have not seen which junction they emerged from, you will not know which exit they are taking so will need to give way to them.
Roundabout 10

Mini Roundabouts

Mini Roundabout Sign
When dealing with a mini roundabout the rules are just the same as a standard roundabout where you need to give way to traffic crossing your path from the right.
(Because junctions are closer it is easy to give way to traffic you have priority over). Follow the M-S-M routine on approach.
Sometimes mini roundabouts are hard to identify early:- look out for the sign.

Example for taking a right turn


Priority

Here the yellow car has priority as traffic must give way to their right.

Key Points

  • When turning right ensure your signal is maintained (re-apply if it cancels) otherwise traffic may not give way to you.
  • Drive around the centre circle (large vehicles may have no choice but to drive over it).
  • When following the M-S-M routine on exit your left signal showing your intentions to leave roundabout will not always be important - apply if you have time. When turning right your steering will take priority.
Mini Roundabout 
 
 
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