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.)


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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.  


"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:


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


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.  

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