So what is your name given to you by your parents? I remember when my first son is borned, my mother-in-law visited me in hospital and when she first saw my son's handsome face , without much consideration she named her Yih Chun (毅 俊) and for my second son he is very active as a new born so he is named (毅 捷), the last character means fast and triumphant with success.


When a baby is born, parents often give him or her a "milk name" or "little name," such as Little Gem (小寶/ 小宝) or two characters that repeat (明明). But now we used to call the little ones as 'boy-boy' or 'girl-girl' and my husband still call my son#2 'baby ' eventhough he is now 21 years old!!

In Chinese name, almost any character with any meaning can be used. However, it is not considered appropriate to name a child after a famous figure as opposed to other race... I remember at one time there is a big boost in names like Osama, Yasser among my students. Sorry to say I haven't have any student named "Bush: yet though I do have a student named "Dick Cheney"

In Chinese names, names resonant of qualities which are perceived to be either masculine or feminine are frequently given. With males' names being linked with strength and firmness, and females' names with beauty and flowers. Females sometimes have names like Xiuxiu (秀秀) or Lili (麗麗, 丽丽). In males, names like 强 强(strong) and 雄 雄( hero)


Chinese personal names also may also reflect periods of history. For example, many Chinese have names such as strong country (強國, 强国) or eastern wind (東風, 东风).
People from the rural areas may have "rural" names like large ox (大牛) and big pillar (大柱) or even small pig (小猪 )
.

Many decades ago, when a family keeps giving birth to baby girls repeatedly, the parents may name her "comes a little brother" (來弟), "invites a little brother" (招弟) or "hopes for a little brother" (盼弟). Some other female names of this sort includes: 望弟 (hopes for a little brother), 牽弟 (brings along a little brother), 帶弟 (brings a little brother), 引弟 (attracts or leads along a little brother), 領弟 (receives a little brother), and even 也好 !!(it's all right too, to have a girl first then a boy later).

These names really show the sexism or male chauvinism in the older Chinese society where having a boy (who can inherit the family name and continue the family line, which is an honour to the ancestors) is better than having a girl ( who can only be other family's daughter-in-law to carry on other's family name).

Luckily my son#2 is not named Tai Mei(带 妹) by my MIL!!!


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Just finish marking all the test papers for the end of year examination. I just finished keying all my students' mark online into our School Management System. While keying in just now, the same old thoughts came back to me. I have always been thinking about this question: TO GIVE OR NOT TO GIVE for my past 27 years of teaching!

You must be thinking... to give or not to give what? Okaylar I tell you..if a student of mine gets 39 marks, should I give him just one mark extra when keying in his mark to help him to pass so that at least that mark will be shown in BLUE for pass and not RED as in fail?I know what you are thinking right now..Give him 1 extra mark lar, after all no big deal right?.....

Now I tell you, if I give this Boy A an extra mark to make him pass then what about Boy B who gets 38 marks le? By giving Boy A one extra mark to help him pass then what will Boy B think when he finds out that Boy A was given one extra mark but he was not given anything? And I tell you , in the best class one extra mark makes a lot of differences!!

I once have a colleague of mine who is also in the same dilemma like me. Hence to solve it his way as he claims - when he saw a boy getting 39 marks , to be fair he will give everybody in the class an extra mark for their History test. But my thought was, what happen if another boy who got 38 before that extra added mark, now gets 39 after the added marks ...then how le..do we continue adding and adding bonus mark until we see nobody gets 39 marks?

I know your next thought will be , manipulate a bit lar when marking the test paper, right? Okay I tell you ..if it is a subjective paper we can manipulate the marks here and there to help him to score up to 40 - the pass mark...but if it is an objective test paper then there is simply no way to add in extra mark for them.

After 27 years of teaching, I am still contemplating over that question....

TO GIVE OR NOT TO GIVE??

As teachers I am aware of the impact of the word "FAIL" to our students as shown by the writing below:



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I will always remember this beautiful love story related to me by my best friend, Mary in Singapore.

Mary, a single mother, has a 20 years' old son John, who was suffering from cancer. Because of his illness, John seldom ventures out to those shops near his flat. But one day out of boredom, he decided to go out for a walk in the neighbourhood. Then he passed a VCD shop and looking through the front door as he walked, he stopped and saw a cute , beautiful young girl about his age sitting at the cashier counter. He knew it was love at first sight. He opened the shop's door and walked in, not looking at anything else but her. He walked closer and closer until he was finally at the cashier counter where she was sitting.

The girl give John a very beautiful smile and asked, Can I help you? To John, this is the most beautiful smile he had ever seen .

Nervously he said Ooooh... Errrr... Umm....... I just want to buy a VCD. He picked one out and paid her. Would you like it to be put inside a plastic bag?,she asked, showing John her beautiful smile again. John nodded, so she very skillfully put the VCD inside a small yellow plastic bag and gave it to John. John took it and walked out of the shop. He went home and from then on, he went to that store everyday and bought a VCD. Everyday with fail, she will put the VCD in the small yellow plastic bag for John. He took the VCD home and put it in a box under his bed.

John was just too shy to ask the girl for a date. One day John picked up all his courage and went to the VCD shop again. He bought a VCD, like he did everyday, and again she put it in a small yellow plastic bag for him. When she wasn't looking, he quickly put a pink piece of paper with his house phone number and his name John written on it, on the cashier's counter....he left without saying a word ........

Weeks passed, one day John's house phone rang and Mary picked up the phone. the girl at the other end of the line asked for John. Mary cried and told her that John had succumbed to his illness the day before.The line was quiet except for the Mary's sobbing..

Months passed. One day Mary decided to go through John's belonging to clear John's room. Underneath John's bed , she found a whole box of VCD in its small yellow plastic bags. She took one out, and found a note inside...it says....Hi, U R cute, u wanna go out wif me? Love Lorita. She took another plastic bag, and again a note written...Hi, U R cute, u wanna go out wif me? Love Lorita.

Love is... when you've had a huge fight ahead of you but then you choose to put aside all your egos, but secretly saying to himself, Lorita, I Love You and I miss you.

I love to replay this romantic love story over and over in my mind.Hope you too,will love this true love story.


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My friend bought me this:



Being quite ignorant about fashion world and fashion bag, I didn't know that is a branded bag until I google search it. I thought it was just a slogan on the bag.

It was started by Anya Hindmarch whose aim with this project has been to use their influence to make it fashionable not to use plastic bags. ‘I’m Not A Plastic Bag’ was designed to be a stylish, practical, reusable bag that would raise awareness.



The bag project all started two years ago when David Robinson approached Anya. David runs a global social change network called "We Are What We Do". They are a fantastic movement who try to inspire people to use their everyday actions to change the world. He is very much of the belief that if everyone makes a small change and does their bit it can actually amount to making a big difference.

The first thing that they did was to publish a book, which was done in a really upbeat, unworthy way, called ‘How to Change the World for a Fiver,’ and it was very popular - organizations really embraced it and gave it out to their employees. It started with fifty actions that anyone could do to help - things like ‘smile at old people because they know lots of good stuff’ and ‘turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth.’But the first action was ‘decline plastic bags whenever possible.’ "We Are What We Do" was very keen to take the success of the book into a project.

Next they try out their really exciting project. They designed a bag which is big and easy and great for groceries, but will probably be used as a school bag or a gym bag. In that way we can save the world by using less or even no plastic bags when we go shopping. Very brilliant idea indeed!!

The bag was such a hit that hundreds of environment lovers queued up at 6 am just to buy that bag at GBP5. And it is a complete sell out.

I really didn't know there is such a long story behind that simple bag.

But now different versions of the bag comes into existence:














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Everybody loves those crispy fried banana fritters or crispy fried chicken. But after having heard so much about the plastic myth or fact from so many sources that nowadays whenever I eat those fried fritters I make sure that I have my own home made fritters rather than those sold at hawker stalls or shops. All sort of stories have been told. Drinking straws thrown into cooking oil, plastic bags with the cooking oil thrown straight into the frying pans, rafia strings into cooking oil...so scared to hear those stories because you are not only eating the fritters but also the plastic which they claim will make the fried food crisper.

Thanks to Borneo Post which did a lengthy experiment with 7 samples of different ingredients with the sample No 7 fried with cooking oil mixed with plastic. The result is all goes soggy even the one with plastic after half a day. Looking at their experiment,as a science teacher, I am thinking about the variables they are using in this experiment. are they using the same type of cooking oil for all the seven experiments? Are the oil heated to the same temperature as we know the hotness of the oil determines the crispiness or sogginess of the food. The conclusion of their experiment when I read between the lines is " plastics cannot be used in frying food because after frying the plastic smell is very strong and the food looks very plastic too"

My personal point of view is how much plastic was used ? Most probably they use too much plastic for just one piece of banana fritters since they know way ahead that they are not going to eat the one fried in plastic and they don't want to waste any food or oil. For those commercial sellers they probably just need a bit of plastic like drinking straws or rafia strings to get the desired effects. Moreover the sellers used the oil is repeatedly. Sometimes we even see the oil looking as black tar!!

After reading the article, I still will not buy any fritters sold in shops and hawker stalls. I remember during the last chang ( rice dumpling ) festival, my good friend offered me a chang wrapped with rafia string, I rejected the chang from her because I am imagining what type of chemical reaction has taken place when that chang wrapped with rafia string is boiled for 4 hours and where has the colouring of the rafia string gone to during that long process of boiling???



Maybe I was thinking too much as a science teacher........


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Chinese New Year came and went. Occasional holidays were taken. Extra holidays were taken. Replacement classes were held on Saturdays to make up for the holidays.

Hari Raya came and went. Occasional holidays were taken. Extra holidays were taken. Replacement classes were held on Saturdays to make up for the holidays.

8th November, Deepavali is here. No more occasional holidays to be taken. No extra hoilday will be taken. Those teachers of the Hindu faith in Sarawak are in a big dilemma.They are requested to take their days off from their special leave of seven days as festival leave. While others are allowed to keep their seven days for the ‘Golden Handshake’, Hindus have to sacrifice theirs.

Thought of The Day:
Why is it lidat le?


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I have this worrying thought for the last 2 months already. Okay, you will be asking what thought?

Since my friend told me about one piece hand luggage strict ruling in UK airport, I was thinking how to bring my laptop ( so important to me!!) and also my handbag with me. My handbag is too big to squeeze into my laptop bag and my laptop bag is too flimsy and small to squeeze in my handbag.

My present flimsy laptop bag with its only flapped pocket which has no security at all to put all my documents.



Where am I going to put all my travelling documents like my passport and air tickets? I have been hunting for a good laptop bag but they are way too expensive - some costing around RM 150 even!! Laptop backpacks are equally expensive too!






On Saturday after our very late lunch at Chicking, we head over to the nearby Trivillion and ta..ta...I managed to see this big and nice bag. I took a gamble that my laptop will fit in so I bought it . The first thing I reach home is testing whether the laptop will fit in or not. Yup..it fits in just nice. Then I tried with the laptop bag + laptop since the laptop bag will strap the laptop in place.... Yippee...it fits in perfectly too because the laptop bag is made of very soft material so it is very versatile. Moreover the new bag has 1 zipped pocket inside and 4 zipped pockets outside!!


( only RM 28)

Now I can bring my laptop to go places with me discreetly!!


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My group of colleagues prefer live to eat than eat to live. Hence we always venture around to look for new eating places in Kuching nearly once a month. The most recent place that we visited last Thursday was at The BanQuet 三川楼 which is a relatively new restaurant with those glass walls and super nice lightings at night.





We got ourselves a VVIP room for the night which looks super nice with all the mirror effects. Not forgetting to mention the 2 waitors stationed in that room just to serve us throughout the dinner



For the first dish we have shark fins( sorry shark !!)since one of my colleagues is so obsessed about shark fins that she thinks day and night about it and even dreaming about shark fins in her sleep continously for seven days and seven nights..


( Price: RM100)
Note: I didn't manage to take the photo of the shark fin in the big serving bowl cos the 2 waitors are too efficient.

Second dish we have the 5 combination cold dish which is made up of abalone, popiah, wasabi prawns, crab meatballs and jellyfish


( Price: RM60)

Third dish was sweet and sour midin..which is blanched midin mixed with sweet and sour sauce..very yummy and something different from the usual sambal belachan midin


( Price: RM20)

Dish#4 is deep fried Garoupa with chinese sauce, very fresh and yummy too!


(Price:RM 55)

dish#5 is baked lamb with special sauce. The lamb is tender, juicy and delicious. FYI that special sauce on the baked lamb costs RM12.


(Price: RM 60 + RM 12)

dish#6 is claypot prawns which is a bit salty but still nice to go with fried mantou and rice.


(Price: RM 50)

dish#7 we have cantonese duck which is ok lar, or maybe we were all too full by then ...


(Price: RM 40)

For last dish, Dish#8 we have mango with pamelo..( not pamela )which I didn't take cos it is a bit too sweet and my friends say it is not nice because the pamelo is a bit bitter!!


(Price: RM 40)

Okay now I show you the washroom at BanQuet:





After the dinner we still linger around here:





to enjoy this:



and to admire this wall fountain :



and to take photo with this:



Nice evening out, with nice friends, nice food and nice ambience.


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Everytime you go to the restroom did you notice those interesting signs on the door to the restroom? These are some very unique restroom signs.













Signs like this can be so confusing that there was once a joke like this:



A husband and wife have usually managed to decode the cute but confusing gender signs they sometimes put on restroom doors in restaurants ( Cylinders and Pistons, Buoys & Gulls, Laddies & Lassies, etc.), but every so often we get stumped. Recently the husband, Dave, wandered off in search of the men's room and found himself confronted by two marked doors. One was labeled "Bronco" and the other was designated "Cactus." Completely baffled, he stopped a restaurant employee passing by. "Excuse me, I need to use the restroom," Dave said. Gesturing toward the doors, he asked, "Which one should I use?"

"Actually, we would prefer you to go there," the employee said, pointing to a door down the hall marked Men. "Bronco and Cactus are private dining rooms."

so the clearest way to show it will be:



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One day as I was watching a petrol station staff measuring the level of petrol in the underground tanks by lowering a giant white measuring stick down into them. I asked "What would happen if I threw a lit match into the hole?"

"The match would go out," he answered with a very serious look on his face.

"TRUE?" I asked, surprised to hear that for my question. "Is there any safety device that would extinguish it before the fumes are ignited?"

"No," he answered "The force from the explosion would be enough to blow the match out."


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A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agreed that they had no other recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.

The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man's parcel of land remained barren.

After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing.

Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing.

Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife would leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island.

The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island. He considered the other man unworthy to receive God's blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered. As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven booming, "Why are you leaving your companion on the island?"

"My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them," the first man answered. "His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve anything."

"You are mistaken!" the voice rebuked him. "He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings."

"Tell me," the first man asked the voice, "What did he pray for that I should owe him anything?" "He prayed that all your prayers be answered."

For all we know, our blessings are not the fruits of our prayers alone, but those of another praying for us.


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Internet is a good thing in this modern age but do you realise how very vulnerable we are when we are online? Ever wonder how those junk mails gets into your mail box everyday about one of your relatives in UK or Africa has passed away leaving you a large sum of $$$ etc etc...

When online we are more vulnerable than we ever realize. Some people are too trusting and naive when it comes to personal information. Most share information that they would never give someone they met casually offline. Would you tell the person in the street your home address and phone number? Of course not, but it's no different than doing so in a chat room or forum , often unknowingly.


Many chat programs and Internet service providers ask us to fill out a profile about ourselves.


What most people don't know is that this information is frequently and easily available to anyone who wants to see it online. So if we fill out our profile with detailed information about our life, we are vulnerable to all the spams mails. Also, say you're chatting with someone and tell them your last name and which city you live in. All they have to do is search one of many databases available on the Net to locate more information about you. For example in the ever popular Friendster among youngsters, to search for somebody in the world wide web, we just need to type in your email under search and tata... we can see nearly everything about you unless you put your profile under for only for you and your assigned friends only.

Thus whenever we fill out any form online, check to see what the site's privacy policy is. Who will see our information? Will it be sold? If it's open to others' eyes, don't fill in the blanks. And if you've created your own website, try as far as possible not to feature any personally identifiable information.

There are abundant directories and databases online that list of addresses, email addresses and phone numbers. Several directories now boast reverse look-ups with the ever powerful software!! This is where they can type in your email address and find out who you are, or do the same with your phone number and address.If they are good they can even find out who your neighbors are. You can try by searching for yourself under google by typing in your name or your online nickname. If you can find you, so can they.



Students like to chat hours online, be it MSN, YM or IRC. The safest place to chat is in a chat room with people you know offline. This may sound odd, but students do this a lot. They get home and get online with the people they just left at school. Otherwise use a genderless, non-provocative screen name


and remember that the moment you get into a chat room with people you don't know, be careful. Keep in mind, these are strangers you're talking to. They may sound friendly, but online anyone can be anything they want. You shouldn't share confidences with them any more than you would with a stranger sitting next to you on the bus. If you do,remember you're putting yourself at risk.

Scary??



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One day a father and his rich family took his son to a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night in the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"

"Very good Dad!" replied his son.

"Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked.

"Yeah!"

"And what did you learn?"

The son answered, "I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden; they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden; they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard, they have a whole horizon." When the little boy was finishing, his father was speechless.

His son added, "Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are!"

Our outlook on life depends on the way you look at things. What others may think as riches, others may want. The most important things in life are our friends, family, health, good humor and a positive attitude towards life. If we have these then we have everything!


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Having been in teaching line myself for the last 27 years, I think I can also throw in my 2 sen worth of opinion on single session school which has been pursued by those people in the higher authority especially after the brutal murder of Nurin Jazlin. From what I interpret from the news - single session means that all students will be in school from morning till 4 pm.

1. Is it safer for kids if they are kept for longer hours in school?
My opinion is a BIG NO because as teachers we can ensured that they are in the school compound alright but what will they do at our back, like in the toilets , behind buildings. And do bear in mind that not all students are angels these days so the more hours they are in school, the longer hours the kids will be influenced by those bad hats.

2. Will the students be bored after staying from let's say 7.30am to 4pm ?
Yes, definitely because some of them will be in school as early as 6 am depending on where they stay.Hence from 6 am to 4pm is 10 straight hours with no bath in between. Most school toilets are scare what more to say bathrooms for the kids?? In the present system they only stay in school for 6 hours , the truancy rate is already so high...what more to say to ask them to stay for 10 straight hours!!

3.Will there be enough classrooms for everybody if it is single session school?
Answer: NO. We simply do not have that much $$ to built enough classroom for everybody to be in single session. That is the main reason why double session was started many many years back. As Malaysia population is ever increasing but not in proportion to the increasing number of new schools built so the main problem still remains...NOT ENOUGH CLASSES FOR ALL IN THE MORNING unless some classes are conducted in the school fields or basketball courts or any available space!!

4.Single session means they have to take lunch in school, can the school canteen caters for all?
Yes, if they take Mee-in-my-mug for lunch, nuggets, hotdogs and junk foods for lunch. That means lunch for 5 days a week and 250+ days a year, unless the parents are hard working enough to wake up at 5am to cook nutritious lunch for their kids to bring to school.

5. Next will there be traffic jams in front of schools?
Definitely, now with one session already jammed like mad , so in single session school the situation will be 2X as bad!!If only the school,can give staggered timetable to parents on when to sent their kids to schools

Then the good things they say about single session schools:
1. They say kids will be very safe under the watchful eyes of teachers. Nowadays even teachers are not safe so were kids be safe?
2. They say longer time in school, the kids will learn more.How long can you expect a kid to sit still and learn? How long is their learning span?
3. They say kids can take part in sports activities or extra curricular activities in the afternoon. Enough facilities for all?

If you are teachers you will know for yourself too how correct these statements are!


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Know how the star sign reflects us:
Myself: A Sagittarius



This Sun sign is probably the most delightful and charming companion (YA-RAP-PI) that you will find. Sagittarius is not only out to enjoy life (Yup I do like to enjoy life), but is imaginative( quite) and fun loving( very). One of their best traits is a good sense of humor ( some truth). Always filled with new ideas( true) and enthusiastic about each of them, this sign of the archer is ambitious ( so very ambitious 10 years ago but not now!!), generous ( depends on who ask for money, with my children and family I can be over generous), and most of all freedom-loving( WISH I COULD FLY).

Drawn to the excitement, passion, and the adventure of romance, this free spirit might find domesticity to be boring ( SHOPPING IS MORE INTERESTING!! ). The Sagittarian considers love a challenge, as well as an adventure ( NASI-WA-WOO JIPABAN)

Planning a date with a Sagittarius is easy. You don't have to go out of your way to impress them. They will enjoy almost anything, anywhere. While on a date with a Sagittarian you shouldn't have any trouble striking up a conversation as they have a variety of interests( WOW!! that is what my husband's niece overseas friends say about me). The Sagittarian is intellectually stimulating and fascinating to talk with ( but sometimes I do wish that I am as intellectual as Maverick , Helen or Ah pek - my cyber friends).

Although you may soon discover that they can be direct and straight forward( that I admit). On the most part, they say what they feel ( but now I have tuned down a lot cos even a fish knows when to keep the mouth shut , as one of the poster says), regardless of how it may sound. No harm intended though, they wouldn't hurt anyone on purpose ( nope , not true cos if we talk too much we are bound to hurt people's feeling and people's eardrum too!!).

Their main objective in a relationship, is loyalty to their partner( YUP, that is 100% true). However, if you're looking for a homebody, or you're the jealous type, then you might want to look else where.

They will not tolerate being trapped into a relationship that will infringe upon their freedom of adventure. Once they find a compatible partner, the deep passions that are hidden beneath the surface will be unlocked (WOW apa itu? Tidak faham!! Meaning too deep!!).

You too can find out how the star reflects about you in Pravs world.


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