Thursday, August 29, 2013

#MRSM Kepala Batas: Studious Students

Click this link for Part 1 of my Ulul Albab adventure :)
Form 403 students.
    Tonight, I would like to elaborate about my students of MRSM Ulul Albab Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang and their journey throughout finishing the "Short Film and Photo-Story" project. As an intern at that school, I was assigned with Form 203, 204, 403 and 404 students and I managed to sneak into their classes when their English teachers were not around. I was very fortunate that the teachers were very cooperative and they let me take their class session every once in a week. Form 4 students were in-charge of the "Short Film" project so I went into the classes assigned to me and discussed the theme, the story-line, let the students draw the story-board, draft the script and other technical matters as well. 
    My Form 403 students were excited when I entered their class and I just have to give minimum guidance because they were very independent. In fact, some of the students are in the "Drama Team" of the school so we had no problems with the actors and actresses at all. The problems that I faced were the short of time to record our film and the technical glitches on the videos recorded. Vocal projection of the casts was not very clear despite the very smooth and interesting story-line of "Raya Preparation" the class was portraying. Nevertheless, I am still very satisfied with the performance of my students because they can act and the whole class gave their cooperation during the recording.
Form 404 students.
    My Form 404 students however were very naughty in class; they were so passive during my first session with them but I understand that they just want to test a new teacher like me. I did that a lot in school too so I get back whatever I did in the past hehe *karma. The boys and the girls were reluctant to mix with each other so it was truly difficult to get them discussing about the short film. They planned to do a parody of "Running Man-MRSM Kepala Batas version" so we started filming the following week. The video turned out to be quite monotonous and flat to me so I told them that they might have a slim chance of winning. Upon hearing that, they gathered and came out with another idea at the very last minute. I was happy to see that they were cooperating and discussing for ideas as compared to the first video. The second video turned out to be really interesting as they mix the element of dancing and humor together and I am seriously proud to watch the end result. 
    That is all for tonight and I will upload the videos here soon after the "Inter-MRSM Short Film and Photo-Story Competition" prize-giving ceremony session is done. Yes, I forgot to mention that the videos and comic strips produced by the students will entitle them to represent their MRSMs for this national level of competition. Let us hope that one of the videos and comic strips from MRSM Ulul Albab Kepala Batas will bring back some of the awards and therefore uplift their spirit to use English more often in daily life. I will continue the journey of my Form 2 students on my next blog post so until we meet again, I am Mr. Azham, signing off...I mean..."punching out" the attendance card hehe!

P/S: I miss the usual welcoming and ending greetings by the students.

Teacher: *walks into the classroom.
Class monitor: Class, stand up!
The students: *stand up very lazily.
Class monitor: Assalamualaikum/Thank you Sir!
The students: *repeats in choral speaking and recite the du'a.
Teacher: *cries at heart on his very last day!

Monday, August 26, 2013

#MRSM Kepala Batas: Ulul Albab

    I am yet to write about my experiences serving for a one month of industrial training at MRSM Ulul Albab, Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang right? Well, let me begin the toughest step so far since my laziness got the best of me. Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) are very supportive of each other in developing various methods and approaches with regards of education, especially in English. My lecturer, Prof. Dr. Jayakaran a/l Mukundan and Mr. Mohd Amin Bin Din, Deputy Director of Language, Secondary Education Division of MARA work hand in hand to provide the best of environment for the students to communicate and indulge in English language. They started the "Short Film and Photo-Story" project at MRSM Kuala Krai Kelantan, MRSM Alor Gajah Melaka and now it is being promoted to mostly all MRSMs around Malaysia and TESL students of UPM are in charge.
    We are sent to the MRSMs involved for a minimum period of one month with no payment and we have to fend for ourselves to the gravity of teaching profession. Sounds dramatic but that is the truth. Rina, Hasanah and I were sent to MRSM Ulul Albab, Kepala Batas for this program and we conducted "Photo-Story" with the Form 2 kids and "Short Film" project with the Form 4 students. Here are the reasons how this MRSM gets the recognition of "Ulul Albab":

-It combines existing science stream subjects with religious programs such as "Tahfiz Al-Quran".
- Each student must memorize 30 juzuks of Al-Quran while studying there.
-It develops a culture of "Quranic Scientific" with ICT as a catalyst.
-It aims to produce professionals and skilled technocrats that are also competent in religious fields (Ulul Albab generation).
-It builds an environment based on the principles of Ulul Albab within the college compound.
-To produce MRSM students who excel in academic, Quranic topics and personality, have resilience, competitiveness, fighting spirit and showing the basic characteristic of entrepreneurship.  
The teachers at "Jabatan Bahasa".
    This MRSM has a large number of "Ustaz and Ustazah" that they have their own department, "Jabatan Pengajian Islam" and they will conduct their religious classes in the afternoon. I hope that I have cleared the questions of "What is Ulul Albab?" and "Is it related to Ahmad Albab?" that I received in a Facebook comment last month. Well, too much information already at this stage? Wait until I reveal more about the school, the teachers, the students, their expectations and some of the problems we faced on my next blog post. Take care and God bless.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

#ExquiSeed: Dr. Ezani Farhana

Dr. Ezani Farhana is a truly interesting personality that works her wonders with cooking and dental health; two areas that are related together when it comes to foodies and eatery. The winner of the first season of Masterchef Malaysia cooking competition held by Astro proudly joins Universiti Putra Malaysia since January 2013. Let us go through the profile of the latest addition of “Who’s Who” of UPM before we go any further. 

Full name  : Ezani Farhana Binti Md. Monoto
Birth date : 11 May 1985
Origin     : Muar, Johor
Hobby      : Cooking and scuba diving
Educational background:
-Sekolah Tun Fatimah, Johor
-University of Adelaide, Australia.
Position  :Dental Officer, University Health Centre.

Dr. Ezani Farhana, who signed a three years contract with Astro delayed the posting of her position as a dentist with a government hospital in Sabah upon winning the title as Malaysia’s first MasterChef. She then joins UPM and her celebrity status gets her going well as the staffs welcome her warmly and the patients are glad to receive such exclusive treatment from Dr. Ezani Farhana.

“Some of the patients that recognize me from the reality TV show would approach and take photos but some who are shy just keep quiet”, when asked about the reaction of her patients when they met her eye to eye in the treatment room.
She took part in MasterChef Malaysia Season 1 because of the encouragement from her friends as she enjoys cooking especially pastries and never thought that she would end up winning the competition. This larger than life persona grew up in a family of teachers and has a great affection for dentistry since small. She pursued her dream ambition in Australia under the scholarship of Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam Malaysia (JPA) and now serving full time as a dentist in UPM as well as a celebrity chef for various cooking shows broadcasted on Astro.

“Becoming a celebrity chef means that I have to sacrifice my free time but there are satisfactions in both fields that I am involved in”, said Dr. Ezani Farhana whom can be met every weekdays by appointment at the University Health Centre of UPM. She is also active in giving talks about oral hygiene and motivation and had once spoken for the “International Women’s Day Forum”.
When asked about oral care for university students in Malaysia, Dr. Ezani Farhana mentions that it is normal for students to eat for too much but they need to put extra precautions on their dental hygiene.

“Do not rush when brushing your teeth; take some time to pamper your teeth and gum and be aware of the signs of dental damage”, she adds on.

Among the treatments offered at the Dental Clinic of the University Health Centre are scaling and polishing, permanent tooth extraction as well as wisdom teeth surgery for a very affordable price for students and staffs.
“It really is cheap here compared to private clinics out there but some of the students refuse to get help. Students will only be charged for as low as RM 3.00 for tooth extraction”, she explains further.

UPM students can register their name at the counter and they will be treated by the dentists there in less than 30 minutes.  Each treatment will not take longer than an hour unless in severe cases like tooth extraction.

“What matters most is your awareness to take care of your oral health and get the precautionary treatment before it is too late”, she then concludes.
:The End:
#ExquiSeed is a newspaper pullout of a joint collaboration with New Straits Times and Universiti Putra Malaysia; exclusively distributed around UPM campus only :)

Friday, August 16, 2013


Salam Aidilfitri everyone! Alhamdulillah we are able to celebrate Eid Mubarak in peace and harmony despite the few glitches we hear on the news everyday; annual road accidents and the recent killing and shooting spree that saddened most of us. I believe that Malaysia is still a safe country to live in because the police and army forces are doing whatever they can to help curb these threats. It has become a trend among the criminals to shoot and kill the citizens nowadays; back then it was a trend to rape and kill women or splash acidic liquid to road users, do you guys and girls realize this?

I seriously think that the Immigration Department, Police and Army force should be stricter in enforcing the laws at our borders and gateways to Malaysia. This is based on my visits to the national borders in Pengkalan Hulu, Perak. We had no passports at all and we did not sign up for any papers at the Immigration centers but we managed to pass the checkpoint just by lifting our hands, nod our heads and smile to both Malaysia and Thailand officers. My mother was driving at that time and of course, that happened approximately 10 years ago. I would like to highlight on how easy it was ten years ago for us to go through the national borders without proper checking and this may be one of the causes for the smuggling of weapons. Well I seriously hope that the government takes precautionary measures to stop and curb this incidents from becoming epidemic. The world we are living is getting scary and dreary; look at what happened in Syria, Palestine, Egypt and many other parts of the world and that is why I would like to dedicate this blog post for those who had lost their family members in the recent killing, rally and road accidents this festive season all over the world. My heart goes out to them and I pray that their soul rest in peace insyaallah. 

Have a great Eid Mubarak everyone, but please consider those who are suffering while we are happily celebrating. Staying modest in this holy month is the best and noble thing to do; take care and God bless :)

P/S: Al-Fatihah

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Eid Mubarukh

Happy Eid Mubarukh everyone! I would like to apologize for my wrongdoings and for the words being spoken too much that it hurts the people I love. I would like to say sorry for my misbehavior, for my misdeed and for my mistakes ever since we get to know each other virtually or in real life. I truly appreciate the friendships built between me and my blogging friends; may Allah bless us all. Have a blessed celebration, drive safely and please be extra cautious of your food intake this festive season okay! See yea soon insyaallah, Kelantan...wait for me on Friday :)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hello Bro...Tolong Masak!

Salam Ramadan to all my beloved blog readers! We have come to the final week of this holy month and Syawal is approaching soon. I hope that all of us manage to perform our ibadah to Allah and insyallah our good deed this month is accepted by Him. Well, I was invited by my friend Mubarak to attend the recording of a show "Hello Bro...Tolong Masak" produced by Celebrate TV last month in Bangsar. It was a special episode of dedication for Hafiz's fans; Hafiz called Chef Nik Michael and Chef Fikree to prepare dishes for moreh for all of us that night. The show was aired on Astro Ria last Wednesday at 9 PM but I was not able to view it.
The re-run of the show will be aired this Sunday at 2 PM if I am not mistaken on Astro Ria as well. Insyaallah I want to view that final episode of "Hello Bro...Tolong Masak" and witness with my very own eyes my two-seconds fame on the screen. Based on our conversation on twitter, Mubarak sadly said that our moreh session was cut short by the production but I was expecting that to happen actually. The spotlight was all over Hafiz, Chef Nik Michael and Chef Fikree because they are the shining stars but I am still thankful for the chances given by Allah. After all, that two-seconds fame was enough at the right prime-time airing slot and the right TV channel hehe; perceive things with positivity and insyaallah you will not get so frustrated. If you feel like watching the re-run of "Hello Bro...Tolong Masak", tune in to Astro Ria this Sunday at 2 PM. Please support our local TV production, film and music; take care and God bless :)