Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Jenny's Pride

Not only I miss the kids, but I also want to meet the teenagers even more. I once had a story with Jenny, a 13 to 14 yo girl. She was SWAG! Well I don’t really know the definition of SWAG but somehow she fitted that term. Jenny came from a very wealthy family, but from what I heard, she was not in a good term with her mom, which was typical problem for my students there.
Jenny really loved Lady Gaga. She could spend a whole day talking about how great Gaga was. She said she loved coming to my class because she hated coming home.
Jenny was always lazy when it came to studying. She would always showed her signature remark “Aaah ms, let’s just talk, okay, let’s just share story, okay…”. My challenge was how to balance her story time and the lesson, which was my, no, our priority.
I grew fond of her. She told me that her mom kept making her do things she hated. She wanted to learn guitar, but she had to take a piano lesson because he mom thought that guitar would ruin her nails. She loved futsal and soccer, yet her mom made her join a swimming club because swimming was so much more girly. But it was normal. Teenagers (from what I learn) were in the phase where they tend to rebel rather than negotiate. When they’re older, they will learn how to get what they want with negotiation and without confrontation.
Several terms had passed when I finally had to leave her class. My principal said that it was not healthy anymore. For her, I was too lenient on the kids and it could spoil them. After that, I got another class as the substitute and Jenny got a new teacher. A month and two, I kept getting message from her telling me to come back. She said she would study harder and stop playing around. What could I do… after what she called a nice way to ask for me back, she threatened to quit. I tried to assure her we could still talk outside the class. Glad she hung on.
The time when she had her school group holiday to Bali, she bought me a T-Shirt saying “I’m sorry I couldn’t give you better stuff, FYI I didn’t even buy anything for my mom”. 
Well, I got it. I felt I was important for her.
One day, Jenny’s teacher came so angry. Her face was all red. In teacher’s room, she said Jenny was way too hard to handle. “How dare she call me dog? How impolite and look very uneducated!”. We consoled the teacher that day. It must be hard on her. Being called names by students (especially not kids, must be hurtful).
Well to cut the story short, it was probably the last time Jenny came.  I never saw her after that, so I decided to contact her. I asked her what happened; she replied and made me speechless. “You know I love Gaga, you know how hard I persuaded my mom to let me buy the ticket to her Jakarta concert, you know how happy I was when my mom gave up and said yes, but when Gaga canceled her concert, I told Ms. X (the teacher in her class), you know what she said? She laughed loudly at me, pointing her pointed finger saying how poor I was. It hurt me a lot; she didn’t know how bad I felt because I couldn’t see Gaga after all the effort I did.”
It was like I was slapped on the face that day. No matter how I hate some cheesy actors, I never stated it in front of students who liked them. 
You might think that Jenny was overacting that time, but for me, no. teenagers are like that. They are very vulnerable. When you insult the thing they like, it feels like you and the world are against her. Their pride is important and they don’t need you to love the thing they love. I felt her.

I Miss Maxi

Although I’m not teaching anymore. There were moments I want to remember, I want to treasure as it is a very happy or sad memory. A month or two after quitting, receptionist at the place I used to work texted me, telling that one of the kid’s moms, Maxi’s mom, asked for my number. I was surprised because I have never personally talked to her. I only met Maxi in the last 2 months of my teaching. I told her I didn’t mind giving my number.
Maxi was almost 5yo that time. He was still in kindergarten. When he first came, his mom told me he hates his previous English class because it was too noisy and they played too much in class. I was amazed by such a remark from a 5yo kid. I found out that Maxi was brilliant; he spoke well for a toddler and a non-native speaker.
Maxi was way too perfect as a kid. He was clean, he was tidy, he was nice, he was smart, and he has no flaw for a kid like him. He used to have problem making friends before he came. In my class, I was trained to deal with such kid; I tried my best approaching him since he first looked like he didn’t believe me. It didn’t work out well, but I believe in process and I understood that time worked better.
One day while the kids were doing written tasks, I hummed a song unconsciously. I actually had this bad habit of humming while teaching. I hummed some of The Scripts’ songs. Suddenly, Maxi stood up and continued singing the song I sang. We ended up singing “the man who can’t be moved” together. When we finished, he laughed widely that I also wanted to laugh looking at his smiley eyes and his shoulder shaking because maybe he thought that it was ridiculous we sang that song together. Maxi looked so cute that day. He said that he really loved that song. Since then he got a lot closer to me and he opened up more to other friends. His mom also stopped standing in front of the classroom door (she did stand there because Maxi didn’t want to be in class unless she did).
A week after the call from the receptionist, I visited my previous working place. She asked me whether Maxi’s mom had contacted. I didn’t think I get any messages. I asked her what happened. Well, it turned out that after I quilted, Maxi kept asking for me, “where’s ms wida? Why she is not coming? I want ms wida, can she come? Why not? I miss ms wida, where’s ms wida?...” there the questions goes back and forth. I felt like crying for that. From Maxi's mom, I heard that Maxi had changed a lot since he came to my class. after lessons, on their way back home, he would talk a lot about me to his mom. At home, he would tell every thing, what I told him, how we played, what we learned, from A to Z. Coming to our class was always exciting for him. This made me feel relieved and sad at the same time. relieved for we both did well, sad for the fact that I wouldn't know when I would meet him again.
Maxi was one of many adorable kids I met during my teaching career.  Now that I look back, those times with the kids were very precious. Kids are honest, kids are pure. They have no hatred that no matter how annoying they gets, I can never be mad at them.
Ah, what I am blabbering about. I might just MISS Maxi and other Maxis too much.

After A Year

It’s been a year since I last taught formally in class. I MISS teaching, I miss standing in the middle of our small cozy classroom, I miss sitting while observing my students, I miss listening to their complaint as soon as they arrived from office/school, I miss arguing with the kids just because they held their pride up, I miss telling story as the bridging to the lessons, I miss preparing teaching aids, I miss writing down my lesson plans, I miss preparing all the steps and procedures, well more than that, I miss MY STUDENTS.
When I first decided to leave teaching out, It didn’t just happen in a blink of an eye. I got a month to fix things. That one month was the most miserable month in my life. You know the feeling of meeting those you would leave after in a month. It was really painful. Whenever I saw the kids, I felt a pang in my heart, especially when they sweetly said, “thank you miss, I love you…” over little things I did in class. Or even when they bawled, “aaah miss, I’m so tired, I don’t want to do this…”. I, that time, wondered if the new teacher would understand them the way I did.
The fact that a year has passed makes me believe that I’m more than I think I am. This past 12 months, I could bear all new things. I have been trying my best to love what I’ve been doing. Teaching is  my thing, but working as an employee is another thing. There was a time I compared them and ended up hating myself because what I want is not what I need. There was a time I thought I made a great choice quitting, but then ended up questioning whether that was what I really wanted.
Despite all the struggles and all the doubt and the fear I have in my head, I have passed my first year. Going back to the way I was last year is definitely not a choice. I’m not ever coming back although I keep reminiscing on how lovely those days were.
The place where I am now is my choice. Whatever might happen is the consequence of it. I’m sure I’m going to accomplish whatever it is.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


They say that time flies, but you keep breaking its wings -Tablo


I was sleeping a while ago when firework attacks here and there noisily, then I got up and didn't know what to do, until I remember I have abandoned this blog for a long time. Busy? it's a lie. Really busy? It's an excuse. Truth is I enjoy my life too much out there that I go home sleepy everyday. I planned this blog as a place for me to tell things I couldn't tell in real life at first. I'm not good at expressing myself. one thing I hate the most is getting angry and let my emotion control me. This blog has been such great help to release them.
Well, go back to reality, another year has just passed. Many things happened this year. I'm sure I've accomplished things beside the fact that I also forgot (didn't really put effort) for other things.

The first thing that makes me proud of (at least) myself, I (think) I finally let go of the past. I've had enough of being sad over unfinished things. When I write this, I have no hard feelings. Friends are getting married, having babies, getting scholarships, and other so called achievements, but me, I honestly am grateful with only how I finally feel since I need long way to go to this point of thought. I finally know how it feels to love my own self. I finally realize that I was too hard on myself. I never enjoyed myself the past recent years. I want to catch up on things I should have done before, it's never late for that.

The second good thing about this year is I finally got a job I'm sure I could develop myself with. I'm still learning here and there, I start from the bottom again. Something I didn't even ever imagined I could do.I'm so thankful of my supportive mum, sisters, and former students who were THERE, as my shelter, during my struggle and my transition. I didn't know how to go through that without them. It looks easy as how happy  I am now, but if you happened to see me six months ago, I might have looked lifeless. I had countless sleepless night thinking about this. I was afraid too, I was scared that I would never be as happy as I was that time anymore, BUT, they made it possible. Now  here I am, learning new things happily. Do I miss teaching? YES, a lot, but not to the point where I would regret my decision. I'm grateful for my job now.

The third thing this year is that one of my sister finally (almost) finishes her uni days, she's going to have her defense day this January. It's wonderful to be her keeper and see her til this time. My dad starts nagging on how I should settle down now since my sister will soon be independent, and how my mom, in the contrary supports me to pursue things I've dreamed of this whole time. It's funny how cool every of us arguing over this, I'm glad for my understanding mother, and I'm grateful for my thoughtful father for he's the most realistic person and he filters me. 

About what my Dad told me, to be honest, I've been thinking about it lately. I feel terrible too when I can't do things I want just because I'm like who I am now. When I want to go somewhere, there's some voice scolding me "It's time for you to have someone going with you.", when I enjoyed watching movies, there's voice yelling at me, "Rather than getting immersed on story on screen, think of your life!" well, fyi, I call it a 'life' too. When I say I don't want to know someone further, there's voice telling me, "You don't want to end up alone, DON'T YOU?", how tiring. When I buy stuffs I like, "Buying clothes? how old are you? what are you doing while others are buying baby clothes?". when I spend time  with guys I know, there's voice again scolding me, "They have girlfriends, what are you planning to do with them???", well this is the most irritating. Never once in my life I felt so desperate and planned on snatching what someone has. I have my moral too. just because I'm not in any relationship, just because I'm not married, it doesn't mean that I'm a threat and immoral. If they think that way, they don't have enough trust on me, which means we are finished. These little things might justify my father's demand on me. He's right, I must soon settle down, but not that  fast, daddy ;)
The fourth thing is I found myself having butterflies in my stomach. To cut the story short, It didn't end up well, in fact I was only played for a fool, but no the point is not like I broke my heart and felt depressed, big no. I want to emphasize on how grateful I am to still be able to feel THAT. I thought after all I've been through, after I realize that I should love myself more, I would never be able to have that feeling again, but now I'm more confident that I can. When it didn't end up well, I didn't cry or blame my stupidity, well I felt stupid, but just that, not more, now it feels like it never happened.

The fifth thing is for TONS other things  happened this year, I might write until next week to tell you all of them. 

It's still awkward to write 2015. 
It's another January. A month which was usually spent for I wish, if only, and if. it's been 12 years since that very gloomy January. I learned this year that no one could replace him. I wished he were here, in any form or any way. I met students whom I felt soooo close with that I considered them as him in other forms, but not, we were close but there were to much limit telling me that they could be close to me, but they're not him. Some friends were too close that I was overly happy thinking that it was a chance to feel him around, but not, if it were him, he would never misjudged and hurt me badly, I would never be hurt as we are bonded by blood. I realize that he is NOT here, as in my reality, but no doubt, he is always in my heart and I won't ask for more. Happy January, dear little one in heaven. I love you and always will.

I'm not going to burden myself with useless thought this year. I'm positive. People hurt us, but well people love us too. Problem appears, but see how better days come afterward.  All is well.


Monday, February 24, 2014

I don't want to get married!

Well, this is not about me, I want to tell about a kid's cuteness. So here he is, an 8 yo cool kid named Vixing. He likes anything boys like. He can't stand cuteness while in fact he is so cute.
One day he and a younger girl called erin came early. They stood up next to me who was busy setting the multimedia. He stood too close that I couldn't connect the listening cable, I looked at erin then she poked his shoulder signaling him to move further. He felt offended and frowned. "You angry just because I poke you?", erin asked him. "Yes! Why you poke me, I don't want you touch me because you are a girl, I hate girls, I hate GIRLS!!!", he even raised his voice at the last word. Erin sat down pouted.
I bowed at vixing, smiling at him, "wow, I've just heard that you hated girls, whyyy? Girls are cute", I teased him. He frowned more, "girls are noisy, they are noisy, they are not fun, thats why I don't want get married later, I will neveeeeeer live with a girl in future, I will live alone!", he crossed his arms.
I just nodded and asked them to sit. An hour had passed when we began to do writing exercise, being a smart student he is, he finished earlier. He started wandering around having nothing else to do until he finally came to me. I was busy checking his task so I ignored his presence. He tried to gain attention by taking my pencil case, I was still, he took one of my marker then drew gumball and darwin on the whiteboard, his others friend chuckled but I remained still with his book. He looked upset, so he came closer to me and poked my shoulder. I turn to look at him, then I turned away purposely. He started getting furious, he poked me twice, then he tried to tickle me. I stood up laughing, "why are you disturbing mee?", I hid my smile. "Why you ignore meee? You hate me?", he answered me with a question.
I went back to my seat and coolly replied, "I don't, but you said you hated girls because they are noisy, so I thought you hate me too, I'm also girl and I'm noisy", I tried hard to be serious.
His eyes rounded and he blurted, "of course I don't hate you, I hate other girls, I hate erin I hate girls in my school, I hatee my sister at home, they annoying but you not".
I grinned widely so he slightly regretted what he told me before.
"Oh really? If you don't hate me and I'm not annoying then it means you like mee, oh that was touchyyy", I wiped my imaginary tears while other kids laughed. Vixing, being a cool kid with a very high pride he is, stood up and tried to explain, "noooo, I don't say I like you", "so you hate me?" I stopped him from talking. "Noo, okay, I don't hate you, but I don't like you too". I put on sad face, "class, vixing doesn't like mee, he hates girls". Other kids started to comfort me, "I don't hate you ms", "I like you ms", and so on. Vixing felt bad and he raked his hair in frustation, "fineee, okay, I don't hate you, I don't hate all girls, some girls are not noisy, but not all, you are not, okay..."
I tapped his head, "nah that's better to say, what about your mom? do you hate her too because she's a girl?" I slightly blinked at him.
He was surprised at my question and directly answered, "what? Of course I love my mom the most although she is a girl, my mom is the best girl, but my sister is not, I still hate her because she always take my toys, she plays my ipad, she throw my legos, and she always shout to me ask me to do this and that, I hateeee herrrrrr!. He shook his head as other kids who had finished with their tasks started comparing how they hated their their sisters and brothers too. I gave them time to share and let them be for I knew no matter how bad their assumption of their siblings, I believed that they wouldn't end up as enemies.
Well they reminded me of my childhood, I used to hate my sister and we used to fight alot, now we still fight but never once I hate my sister again.
There's only one relationship lasts our entire life, "family", no matter how much we hurt each other, we would end up embracing each other again.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

11 Years

It's another January, which means another year has just passed. it's been 11 years. 
I learned that 11 is the time to understand the world and start to feel things. There are a lot of things I wish I could tell you. Well,I would definitely want to tell you later.
11 is also the time I start to forget, which makes me afraid that I will not remember that you were once here with us. I want to always remember you even until I get old, please let me at least do that
Another January means another happy birthday to you!
This year, I don't know how I manage to find another related song again, I've been watching this video these days and it feels heartbreaking so this might somehow tell how we feel, no? :)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

When I'm Bigger, You're Much Older, Ms.

Still related with my holiday, the kids were always excited every time I told them about my holiday in Vietnam, not only that actually, whenever I went to a new place, I ate at a new restaurant, I met a new person, they would like to know about them all. It must have been amazing for them to know that I had experienced a lot of things. Yup, being adult seems so promising for the kids.
Kid: Ms, I envy you a lot. You can go anywhere you want. If me, my mom I think will not give permission.
Me: That's normal, when I was at your age, my mom did the same. Don't worry, when you're bigger, you can travel by yourself
Kid: Impossible, you don't know my mom, last time I want arung jeram when in Bali, my mom angry, so how come I travel by myself???
Me: long waaay to go, just wait  ok.
Kid: can I have friends for traveling like you and your friends later?
Me: Sure, you will do.
kid: But my friends at school are lame, they don't like traveling
Me: Maybe not yet now, later you will find some, or when you're bigger, contact me, lets travel together, ok.
Kid: ahhhh how comeee, ms, when I bigger, you must be older, if we traveling together, then I will take care of you, no fuuunnnnn. *pout*

As usual I smirked and laughed at her silly thought :))

I Am Rich

I don't know when this started or neither I know what I've done wrong that my kids think that I'm a superloaded young lady. One day I was shot with a weird question. I knew it was going nowhere so I just answered blindly without thinking. I truthfully didn't want to talk about it longer.
Kid: Ms, you are rich ya?
Me: Ah, no, I'm not.
Kid: Lie! why do you think you are not rich?
Me: Well, look at me now, I'm here teaching you, working, earning money, If I'm rich, I will just spend my day freely, traveling around the world, in fact, I can't do that so I'm not rich now.

I thought the kid would stop asking, but, to my surprise, she shot me a death glare instead.
Kid: What? I don't believe it, that's stupid idea! If you are rich, don't stop working, if you stop working, later you kehabisan money, you must be peminta-minta, you can't be like that ms!

The kid was fuming because of my blind answer, she even mixed English and Indonesian without asking. I patted her back and just nodded signaling an 'ok, get it'. Her parent must have thought her well :) 

After some time, I finally found out what made the kids think that I was rich. It was because of my holiday to Vietnam several months ago. It was a big deal for them since I didn't join any tour (while they were always going with tour), they thought I was amazing since I went to Vietnam, a country which they rarely heard anyone visited. They have been to Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Aussie and many other countries, but not Vietnam. In their mind, Vietnam might be beyond their reach so they thought I was pretty awesome going there by my own effort.

Kid: you must be very rich ya because you went to Vietnam
Me: You don't have any idea how long I had saved money before I went there and it's not expensive to go to Vietnam.
Kid: Look you have galaxy tab and blackberry
Me: You have Ipad which costs twice my galaxy tab, and blackberry which also costs twice my very old blackberry and what more, you have your ipod which costs maybe ten times my mp3 player by the way.
kid: But still, you went to Vietnam! I only went to Singapore Singapore Singapore, boring!
Me: Well, I guess she's the richest here then (I pointed at another kid in the class). She has been to almost all European countries, She has been to Japan, Korea, China, Macau, Hongkong, Brunei, ahhh, she has been to countless country.
The other kid: What? me? I'm not rich ms, my parents also not rich because we never go to Bandung, my friends all often go to Bandung but my family not, so we are not rich.

Ohkay! I choked a laugh. I guess I'm really the richest since I went to Bandung more often than them :)))

My Mom is So Generous

One day, a 9 year old kid came to my class pouting. I smiled at her asking what was wrong. She murmured then muttered when I widened my eyes giving her a whats-wrong-look. "My mom is so generous", she said, still pouting. "That's not a problem then." I replied simply. She continued whining, "You don't understand, I don't likee it ms...". "Why not? don't you get things you want easily since your mom is generous?", I asked back, couldn't understand her.
She then grumbled, "That's exactly the problem! she's only generous to herself, never once she bought me toys I want, she only buy her make up make up make up, bag bag bag, ahhhh!". I smiled looking at her frustrated look and laughed together with another kid's comment, "Not only your mom, my parents too only generous to them, but stingy to me!". Then they started comparing whose parents are more stingy, and no one wanted to lose, each of them thought that their parents are the best penny pincher, what? is that even an achievement? :)) 

If I could, would I?

Another thing I love about kids is what they could come up with, they would surprise me with different genuine thought each time we meet. This is one of dozen stories I've witnessed.
One day we talked about imaginary situation, about dream for the future.
In the presentation, a kid was asked, "If you could be anyone, would you be a king?". 
My kids are around 8 or 9, I expected they all wanted to be a king, well for kids, it should have been fun. 
Out of my expectation, a young girl, Kekei, answered with a shocked face, "What? a king? no way and never! its so lame being a king, you only sit, order here, order there, lamee and I would not." It led me to small laugh.
The next question was, "If you had a chance, would you have the immortality?". This question surely would brought vary responses from the kids, I thought, but again, I was surprised by another young girl, Jojos, she confidently answered, "No, I don't want, I don't want to be immortal, I still want to die to be able to meet God, if I don't die, I can't meet God Ms...". Well, such a tactful kid :)