01 February 2010

My Way – Introduction

Three months ago Pakcik had that Bell’s palsy which turned my face more ‘attractive’ than usual. People gave long looks at me – admiring, wondering, maybe? Even Makcik, in spite of having chalked up more than forty-five years of living together, could not resist studying my face – tenderly and lovingly, of course - anxiously hoping that the look on Pakcik’s face would not last too long.

No sooner the Bell’s palsy had disappeared than a charming couple arrived. For the first time Pakcik and Makcik met Dr Umi Kalthum Ngah, a Professor Madya and a writer of at least five interesting books for children, and her husband, Sofian, both of whom are with a well known university up North. They had driven all the way to K Terengganu. Apart from a nostalgic journey to the East Coast which they had planned, they were intrigued by the work of Almanar. They wished to know ‘my way’ of achieving my objectives at Almanar. Both are dedicated educationists who have spent a great deal of their time on voluntary work for the less fortunate in their area. What is ‘my way’?

They returned home and Umi Kalthum unexpectedly posted in her blog, Hues of dewdrops, and its Malay version, Biasan Embun , an unnecessarily flattering description of our simple retiring home - ‘That white house beside the beach.’ That, I suppose, is her way of thanking us for accommodating them and for the simple meals - which we enjoyed having with them.

This week, three months later, we hosted the famed Wan A Hulaimi, now better known as Awang Goneng the pen-name of his popular book Growing Up in Trengganu (and his Kecek-Kecek blog). Unlike Umi Kalthum, he was alone because his beloved wife - now best known for her Kak Teh’s Choc-a-Bloc Blog) - chose to return to London from KL and by-pass K Terengganu, probably after having heard and read enough of the famed ‘bandaraya persisiran pantai’ and its world-class miniature mosques of Pulau Wan Man, and the ultra modern sports stadium with its ‘collapsible roof’.

During the short stay of Awang Goneng, Pakcik managed to pick his brain on a number of points on teaching of English and creative writing. I could not have a better opportunity and a better person to ask. On blog writing, he suggested that I spend some time on highlighting problems faced in running Almanar and the way I had attempted to overcome them. So it is another ‘My Way’ of doing things in this sleepy town.

Having two parties who talked of ‘My way’, insya Allah, Pakcik will make this a mini series like ‘Pakcik Reminisces’ and ‘End of the Tunnel’. To the couple and Wan Hulaimi, the two of us must register the pleasure we had of their company.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan


Anonymous said...

I dont know much about terengganu as i have never been there(actually i had, my mom told me i used to visit a family member in uitm dungun when i was 2 years old) and seems like the place has changed a lot.

but i hope people, people like you are still there and more are to come back to their own town and making contribution without mengharapkan sebarang balasan*suddenly i run out of vocabulary and tired thinking in english*

p/s: cant wait to read your mini series and my url : azieinwonderland.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum Pak Cik,

This is my first time here. It has been a month since 2010 new year and I hope that it is not too late for me to wish to Pak Cik and family a Happy New Year. Hope that this year would be much more cheerful and healthier for you. Thanks Pak Cik for teaching me lots things from the very first day I stepped my feet on your class. I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity to study there.


Al-Manar said...

From your blog I learn that you are at University Malaysia Pahang in Gambang, right? That is not far from Terengganu border. Keep writing to improve yourself.

Al-Manar said...

It is nice to hear from you. I would like you to visit Almanar when you are home to give a talk on Geology - what it means to your career. Very soon many will have to choose what to study after SPM. You have successfully gone through a course that many do not know about, and I have never regretted for recommending you to go for that. Hope you are well.

Anonymous said...

i cried each time i read your blog..your kindness and the comment from the ex student really touched my heart. I wish i can visit Al Manar and of course you and your wife one day.


cikzaa said...

i get to know the background of "lighthouse" better tru wan a. hulami's article. keep going pakcik! only God knows what u have done to the Anak Bangsa. what u give u get back !


Al-Manar said...

Of course you are welcome to visit the beautiful east coast and us. Just email almanar@pd.jaring.my

Al-Manar said...

You must not believe everything you read. Kadangkala indah khabar saja.

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum Pakcik. It has been a long time since I last saw you though I live close by. Hope I can see you this Chinese New Year holiday

Al-Manar said...


Yes we love to see you, perhaps, in uniform for a change?

Anonymous said...

So long I have not gone to see you.. Actually I keep thinking of you all these days. I am planning to pay you a visit but I am scared!!
I dont know why, maybe because you don’t really like me(I guess,hahaha)however, I have a story to share with you.
I have just completed UPU form. I choose 'diploma TESL' for my first choice, next 'asasi bahasa inggeris' followed by 'diploma perubatan'.
I am not sure if it is the right choice. I am not sure about my SPM result.

Naughty student of yours-idora-

Umi Kalthum Ngah said...

Dear Pakcik and MAkcik,

Thank you for mentioning the two of us and my blogs in your entry..

I have tried to use 'your method' to one particular student from the Middle East who is pursuing his Ph.D here at the campus. We do have lots of problems (written and oral English) with students from that part of the world. Writing a thesis is no joke...and reading one that is poorly written can trigger a migraine attack (at least to me).

I do hope your method will work on him (as my first case study)...we will see...

Thank you for sharing all your knowledge.

May Allay bless you...

Al-Manar said...

Not for a moment I regret for that scolding that made you cry - remember the resaon behind it, not just you being naughty. If you are not in KT email Pakcik almanar@pd.jaring.my

Al-Manar said...

Not all patients need the same treatment and medicine. At Almanar we use 'jampi-jampi', 'minum air kelapa muda' etc. and it works sometimes! I wonder what you do up north and what you should do for that Middle Eastern national. We must not fault for lack of trying.Good luck.
Salaam to all in the family.

Anonymous said...

Assalamualaikum Pak Cik
First of all I congratulate Pak Cik for teaching until today tirelessly. I am proud of you. As your students we appreciate you. I am sorry for not seeing you for so long. I remember you and Mak Cik and the moments at Almanar. I liked to share my difficulties and hear your advice. Thank you Pak Cik
- ain hamzah

mekyam said...

dear pakcik,

i caught the first line of your update at kakteh's and lompat maut here fearing to hear the worst abt your bell's palsy.

alhamdulillah, you appear to be okay again. *phew!* wish you and makcik the best of health always.

i read at AG's kecek2 about what's happened to some of those cherished places in KT that he immortalized in GUIT and it is really such a shame.

hope you and he and your other recent visitors had happier things to talk abt as well when you met.

Al-Manar said...

I wonder why you have simply vanished. Give Pakcik a call because I truly have questions to ask. Will you, please?

Al-Manar said...

All is well but I have been wondering over your silence - obviously busy over the cloud beyond. Fly through and make a visit to this part of the world to see how much this good earth has been transformed - or deformed?
Hope you do not work too hard. Life is too short to dwell on work and work.

Memorable trails... said...

Salam Pakcik.
Havent been here for quite sometime to "pick ur brain".Too busy...well when you are new,they seem to dump everything on you,regardless of ur seniority,leaving u out of breath!So how s ur streamyx?

Al-Manar said...

madam gold,
Hope you can keep your cool against the work-load. It would not be long before your fine kids are safely placed in their respective IPTS or IPTA. And before you know it they will be professionals. Then you can call it quit and start twiddling your fingers, counting the days when the next generation of madan gold will emerge in twos and threes! Isn't this marvelous and a cheerful thought to keep you happy?
Salaam from Pakcik