Thursday, June 25, 2009

Food I can't eat

It's the 24th day of confinement period for me, only half way through. Time just passes so slowwwwwwwly to me.

I miss my regular food tremendously and I decided to share some of the pics of them with some story.

Two types of meals that we always have for quick dinner. Something I can whip up in 15 minutes.

Fried meehoon and cream-based pasta, preferebaly with lots of seafood and mushrooms. Yummm....why can't eat now? Too oily and fattening and seafood (except certain fish) and egg are on-no. They don't look beautiful but they stuff the whole family well for dinner on normal hectic working/schooling day.

My Iraqi student shared a quick recipe with me: marinate chicken, sliced potatoes, union and tomatoes in lemon juice, yogurt, salt and pepper for 2 hours and grill for about 1/2 hour. Simple food again and I just lurveeee it!

Why can't eat...lemon is citrus, mana boleh! Besides that's dark meat there. I'm only allowed white one.

But before I even cooked that, the student already did something for us. He came to see me just to pass this:

He said, he cooked for 5 people. It was soooo good but too much for the two of us and 4 little tummies. I wish he used lesser spices for the rice and pasta though. Mom would surely comes out with a reason for me not to eat this, I don't know what but she just got to have one! She might say, we don't exactly know what the Arab put in it, something that a mother in confinement should not consume...well something like that!

This one is just sinful. Dalca, a combination of beef, potato, long bean, tomatoes in curry. Look at the fat on the beef, that's my faourite....yum!

Mom always scares us with this story of a lady who ate a lot of that kind of fat during confinement. She (the lady) had her thing down there wet and smelly all the time till she got pregnant, gave birth and did the confinement properly all over again. And the long beans and brinjal must be avoided at least for 100 days.
Er...this one I never cook myself la, too much work for a mom with 5 kids below 8. Mom made this and I tapau from kampung one day.
I don't know if the fat really cause the smelly thing, that's mom's story and I hope I don't scare anyone
Look at this...sambal bilis and petai. A great combination with Dalca and hot rice.
Hubby does not really like petai in bilis, so that's another excuse I never made this also. This is also from mom.

Well not for me now as it's too oily again!

And petai reminds me of another dish. People say those who believe that "A way to a man's heart is through his tummy" should aim a little lower (I just love this joke...hehe). Even with that, in trying to be a good wifey, I just do whatever he likes in the matter how weird it is.

That's cili kampung, belacan, flesh of deep-fried fish (preferebly kembung) with some lime juice. Ok, sambal belacan is not weird but why must the fish be pounded together. I still don't get it.

And he must have this with raw petai, that's my man's favourite. With belacan, definitely not for me, but well I don't really miss it anyway;).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My teeny weeny effort to get my kids to read

There a lots of pics of my kids with books but I only found this one. An old pic of Bea2 when she was about 2 years old. She insisted to read while having breakfast.

Kids associate snuggling in parents arms, with a book with fun or maybe attention. I used to have my girls lining up in a queu, with a book in each hand the moment I lay the praying mat to pray. Think to them, it is nothing like being wrapped in the telekung on mama's lap and embarking in yet another adventure/laughter or whatever the books bring. I just love that.

Anyway, for this entry, just for the sake of recording and sharing (especially with moms with younger kids), I decided to blog about how I teach Bea1 to read. Nothing special about it, anyway.

Firstly, Bea1 always loves books since she was a baby. Being the first one, I had more time reading to her. Later with the other kids, I found it harder to have one-to-one session but I always try to read with them but not every night like most good parents do;).

Her kindy uses Peter and Jane to start off with serious lessons, so I just followed that at home. They only start using those books for 5-year-olds and only used the first two series and continue with other books. Yes, very late some of you may think. Not to get Bea1 to be bored at school, I also waited for the kindy to start with it. Ok, think I was also lazy;).

I'm not really proud of the way I did in the very beginning. I remember I was confined in a hotel room in Kota Kinabalu with 3 young bored kids. We followed hubby to his outstation trip. It was just a wrong timing but I decided to start off.

I ended up yelling at her (think it was more from the stress of being confined). I thought, how come she had just easily forgotten words that I just taught her seconds ago. I didn't think about the right approach, never made even a little research on how to teach 5-year-old etc.

And I scared my little girl that day. I still remember the expression on her face vividly now. And frankly I feel so bad about that.

Community message from mama23beas: Never engage in a serious teaching when you are under stress;).

I then took some time off. Even though she was taught in kindy, due to our hectic schedule we were late almost everyday and she missed her reading lesson and only attended other activities later.

So that made me think that I must do more at home. Then, trying to be relax, we resumed our reading session and I tried to take things easy.

Bit by bit, she finished series 1,2 and 3 before she turned 6. At series 4, she told me that the wordings were too small and she didn't like it. Nothing was wrong with her eyes, she just thought it took her longer to finish and small letters were too overwhelming.

Being a lot calmer, told her it was ok, we just continue with other books. We didn't touch P&J for half a year. And she made the first move to get back to them.

Now halfway through Primary 1, my girl is almost done with series 7. Yes, I know some kids finish all the 12 series at much younger age but seriously I don't have specific goal/aim. I just encourage her to read and it's up to her how fast she wants to do it.

She displayed some symptons for dyslexia when she was younger and I was always on the lookout if she would have a problem reading.

I noticed then, especially when she read fast, she would pronounce 'of' as 'for' or vice versa. And 'no' as 'on', and when I asked her to slow down and look again at the words, she got them right. She also wrote mirror images of some letters and numbers.

Called up a so-called expert and she advised me to get her to be evaluated. I was surprised when she said at that stage Bea1 should be able to read and understand instruction in Primary 1 books while a lot of people told me that in the first few months schools normally do some repetition of what is taught in kindy. After talking to another expert, friends and her teachers, I decided to wait. I was lazy also to spend some time for the test, but she has improved and looking at her progress in school now, think she is ok.

That's for English. For BM, the kindy starts even later (compared to others), halfway through kindy 2. In other words the kids have about 6 months to prepare for Primary 1. I was not too concerned about BM, thinking that it is easier BUT later found out that Bea1 needed my intervention hehe:).

In Nov last year, she still can't get all the two-letter 'sukukata' right. We did a little 'latih tubi' for about 1/2 hour a day during the school holiday in Dec. I bought a book that emphasizes on phonic and was meant for dyslexic kids (according to the author). One book that she really likes is a Malay-English-Mandarin picture dictionary.
I was surprised on how fast she caught up. To me it's all about constant effort. Frankly, this made me all 'kembang' as that's my effort too;).

Those of you who are familiar with P&J must know that the system emphasizes on memorization first, in the first few series. Later only, phonics come in.

I remember one day, she saw the word 'soon' the first time and took some time to read it. I asked her what she was thinking, she said she was trying to make the sound and had 'moon' on her mind. That was before I taught her phonics, and I was just glad that she was getting used to read new words on her own.

And before Atef was born, she must have all 3 books from a series of P&J and the dictionary just besides her pillow and read one page of all books before going to sleep. That's only for bedtime, she also reads other books at other time. She made her own schedule. Those 4 books on weekday nights, other books and computer games during the weekend;).

Now, our routine lari a bit lah with the new baby but I'm sure we will get back to it soon;).

Now with Bea2 think it's much easier. Normally younger kids will follow whatever the bigger one does. She was not much into books when she was younger, more into pretend-play but now she just follows kakak. She is now reading series 2, and when she got excited with new words that she could read she can finish a book in one go.

The thing is, it's the mother who can't tahan doing the "This is Peter, this is Jane.." over and over. Tried to create a buddy-system, asked (and bribed;)) Bea1 to teach Bea2 but they ended up fighting!

Anyway, Bea2 and Bea3 reach kindy on time now for the lessons. That makes my work easier lah but Bea3 has not started proper lessons yet!

One more thing I can't tahan is whenever a kid comes to me with a book, the other kids would also jump to me each with a book. Then they got into a fight for a place besides mama. Sounds familiar? A lot of times, I just gave up. That's why I'm happy with about two hours that I have with Bea1 during normal school day. At home, a lot of times when one or two kids nap, I would ask the other to get a book and read peacefully together.

Besides what I do, I also let the kids learn from some websites on the net.

Sometimes I wish I have geniuses. I watched this on Discovery or Nat Geo channel, a two year old girl asked her mom to read to her the same book for two weeks everynight and viola...she just broke the 'code for reading' and was able to read right away. Anyway that's some silly thought, there must be reasons why my life is not that easy;). Besides, of course moms to geniuses also have their own challenges.

For those of you that may wonder why I choose a kindy which is late in everything;). Well, that kindy is the first in Malaysia, been around for almost 40 years, the first one to use Montessori, has the most toys compared to the others that I've seen around here. It's very old obviously and run with heavy subsidy from the U but kids are fine with it and I'm fine with it too! And it's cheap;)

This post is like never ending...haha. Before I stop, some updates on the wee one.

It was only two years ago I held a 3 kg baby in my arms. With Atef, I had kind of forgotten how a 3 kg baby should look. I thought Atef was just too small and fragile. Now, after more than two weeks, I can see he's growing fast. Wrinkled skin all smoothen, chubbier cheeks and heavier! A pic of him with some milk drool, lovely!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Boredom kicks off!

Once during one of the confinements in my hometown, I received a call from hubby who was in PJ. He said without us around he didn't know what to do esp. during the weekend. He tried to drive around but ended up just driving around with no specific destination. The house was just too quiet. He could not hang out with friends as at this stage they also have families of their own.

And I also hated that, being away from him. And that moment I wish I have all the help to have my confinement at our place. And now with Bea1's schooling we have a reason just for that. At the moment mom and a sister are with us and I'm so grateful for that.

But mind is constantly thinking about work. I planned to leave the office as if I'd only return two months after that. I was sure that I would at least have another week in the office.

My ob said, I was just in denial and just brushed all the symptons as false alarms. I think she was right, I just had too many things to do!

Planned to get everything done and return to a very tidy office. Now I even dread thinking about entering it.

After I settled down from the surprises and the excitement of having the baby too early, I thought I was getting a nervous breakdown whenever I thought about the way I left a lot of things undone. That also means I need to get a lot of helps from a lot of people and I hate asking for help.

I sent hubby to my office room to get things but with the mess, it's just hard to instruct him to get everything I need.

I even feel sad when I saw my extra buttermilk expiring in the fridge. I planned to bake another cake with it.

I have a colleague who asked what she can do to help a few times. I received an sms on conference day from someone, telling me that my presentation will be taken care of. He didn't know that I had earlier begged another guy to convince him that he would be ok doing it and I managed to prepare the presentation right after coming back from the hospital.

I also asked a colleague to fetch Bea1 from KAFA and send her to school, and my sister to send and fetch her to/from the condo front gate. No choice for Bea2and Bea3, they have to skip kindy.

I finally gave a call to my student on Friday and asked her to come over to settle a few things. I'm supposed to submit a paper for publication to a prof for the first review on last wednesday, but I only have a few diagrams to edit and I don't have a particular software in my laptop. I may ask her to come again to get it installed by someone in the office.

And today, I reluctantly made another call again for some help. I was totally surprised of how helpful some of the staffs after knowing about my condition, even though we didn't know them well. And I was told to get more rest for the 1567th time today;).

And I think I have had enough rest and I start missing my routine again, no matter how busy it is. That combined with the unsettled works (and baking stuffs in the kitchen are tempting too) make me yearn to move around again.

But then again, once I start working...I'm sure I'd miss being home with the kids too. Normal for working moms, I guess;).

Even though mom and sis help, I still find it hard to ask them to do this and that. Mom won't be here for too long and my sister is waiting for a reply from a job interview. If she gets it, the other kids will go to the babysitter and I hope by then mom would allow me to walk up and down to the gate to fetch/send Bea1...or better still, DRIVE on my own!

See, confinement to me is like being half-paralyzed. Anyway, no matter how bored I am now...I remind myself that there are always things that make me feel grateful!

And we finally have a name...we were stuck with a routine again. Thought of sticking to Adel as first name, but I love Rayyan too much. And I don't really like the idea of calling the baby with the second name. After a few days of arguing, hubby gave Saturday as the dateline and we finally came out with this: Atef Rayyan

Atef means kind, compassionate or caring. And again Rayyan is the gate of one heaven.

Some progress: after birth till right now, he has not established a specific routine except for from 12 to 5 am, he would wake up to nurse 4 times *Yawn!*. He is just busy gulping milk and growing!. He has no problem, pooing 4 times day, never resurgitate (except for amniotic fluid at the hosp, I never put on any minyak telon and such on his tummy...I will surely kena if mom-in-law got to know about this, and the babysitter too!). He hates being bundled too.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Finally the pics of my sunny side up baby!

Fresh from the oven and weighing at 2.935 kg

He stayed awake for 3 hours after birth and observing surrounding with lines on forehead, just like Bea3 at this stage.

Macho kan, he resembles Charles Bronson, dulu-dulu punya cowboy actor but without the mustache. He must be wondering what's the black thing (the camera) that used to be mama's face.

That's the biggest he can do!

Blissfully home and...

being admired by big sisters

It's cute but can be challenging as they just can't leave the baby alone. Big bro Adel does not look like he is threatened by the wee one. And he can pronounce 'baby' now.

Some progress on nursing. He latched beautifully about 1/2 hour after birth. He didn't ask to nurse and also was not interested when I shoved in the nipple till about midnight. He just got distracted by sounds or movement around him. Then as if he had forgotten, struggled with me to get the latching right till about 2 am. Today, he nursed like a pro and I'm also already blossoming with milk. Nice!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Sunny side up baby!

I have everything ready to keep me occupied in the hospital...laptop, broadband, a camera, the baby;)...but hubby has forgotten the cable and jakun me does not know where to jolok the camera memory no pics at the moment still.

But I must tell is gorgeous, and a fighter too. That's what the pead told me, in a way to say that we have a heathy baby, Alhamdulillah.

But first...where were we?

Ok...the contraction that I had was constantly 10-min apart till about 6 am, and I was 5 cm dilated. Wheeled to the labour room.

If you think what happened this far is dramatic, wait till you read the whole birth story.

Around 7 am, even with tolerable short contraction I was dilated to 7 cm. I thought 5th baby kacang aje la...or maybe I was having mild contraction for a few days that my body was slowly preparing for the birth. I was calm and just recited prayers and doa.

Ob came for a while and said it was such a good timing, as she would be flying for a holiday in the evening. I just joked good timing for her, not really for me.

The nurse urged me to push whenever I felt it. 7.30 I was already 8 cm and started doing the pushing. Pain became more intense. She kept telling me I didn't push right and was not helping the baby. Then she pressed a certain area down there and asked me to push specifically on that area (that's what the instruction sound to me) but she pressed so hard that it was too painful that I could not concentrate on my pushing. That happened several times and I started to behave my worst.

8.15 am and she said baby didn't budge with all my pushing. I told her to just get the vacuum. She said baby was still too high so it was not possible. She stopped pressuring me and asked me to wait till 8.30.

No progress and I told her to get the doctor. I retaliated to the situation by just screaming at every contraction, I was no longer a cool soon-to-be-5th-time mom, I felt so frustrated, I was tired of pushing too much only to be told I was not doing it right. I never experinced something like this. I hated looking at hubby too.

The moment I saw the doc, I felt a bit relieved. Just upon a glimpse she said baby's face was facing up (that's why sunny side up), his head collided with my lower backbone (don't know the specific name) so he would not go down without some help no matter how hard I push.

She used the vacuum to turn his head while encouraging me to push. I thought it was never ending, I almost cried, I begged the doc to just make it fast but I co-operated by gathering all my strength to give the push that they all wanted.

The pushing ended at 9.19 when my baby was finally 'released'. I just felt so relieved and was a bit shocked with the new experience.

Doc mentioned later it that happens to first-time mom, she would easily end up with a c-sec.

While I thought it was all over, doc asked the nurse to give me the laughing gas as she said my womb contracted quite fast after delivary and now my placenta got stuck inside pulak. She has to 'dig' manually to make sure the womb was empty. Hate it but I kept looking at the baby throughout the whole process and that helped a lot.

I was just so exhausted but managed to get baby to latch on for an hour. I tried to get some sleep while hubby fetched the kids from the babysitter. He decided to balik kampung just after getting the kids see me for a while.

It was a short and sweet reunion. Bea3 made a joke by shifting my shirt to look at the baby (as she always did) and said "Baby dah takde!" as she knew the baby in the basinet was the one from mama's tummy. Adel looked a bit surprised but happy to see me.

I was a little worried that hubby only had a little rest but they safely arrived around 4pm. From two calls, I got the indication that kids are having so much fun and everything should be alright.

My parents, sisters, bros, in-laws came to visit. Mom will stay for a week at my place. I hope hubby will get enough rest. They will be back tomorrow and with mom around, we will somehow get the help to quickly settle down. In the meantime I will just enjoy being alone with my sunny side up baby and take as much rest as possible.

I reflected on how I behaved while welcoming my baby to the world, and was not really proud of it. Anyway, it is an undescribable feeling when it was over. I just love looking at hubby saying the adzan and iqamat at baby's ears, I thought I was floating in the air. Or maybe it's the laughing gas;)

Enough for now...thanks for all congratulatory smses. Be back with hopefully pics;)

Baby decided no kenduri for me!

And definitely bye-bye to the conference too!

Besides having mucus plug twice on Wednesday night and Friday morning, I had mild contractions in different intensity (of pain) but still manageable.

We were supposed to balik kampung in the Friday evening but I was not really sure about that. But I was moving around getting ready, and also cleaning up. Between 8-9 pm, I had contractions at rather constant intervals.

We loaded everything in the car as if balik kampung was still on, but I told hubby I was not really sure. I suggested we jst drove to the hospital to have someone have a look.

I was strapped to monitor the contractions at 11 pm while hubby and kids waiting in the car. At 11.30, the vaginal exam was done and the nurse gave the ultimatum "No kenduri for me!" as I was already 3 cm dilated.

I was told my ob/gy will still be around till tomorrow afternoon so she will attending to me.

I felt really guilty when I called the babysitter. She was so surprised as I didn't give her any clue that it was going to be this early but she would definitely take all 4 kids to spend the night at her place.

Hubby sent them there and got home to fetch my things while I was being admitted. He was here for awhile and now is out to get some food.

Being in labour is no fun, I'm having it every 10 minutes now, again of different intensty but more painful than what I had at home.

And I miss the kids, esp. Adel. This is the first night that he is away from me. I hope everything is ok there.

I tried to go to sleep but I just can't and decided to blog;). The only available room is 4-bedded and it is full. The staffs are moving in and out bringing babies to their moms for breastfeeding.

My parents are on the way from my kampung to originally attend the wedding;). I just pray that it is going to be fast.

I want to have my baby to be safely in my arms, see my other kids again fast, hopefully can be discharged tomorrow. And hubby still have the time to attend the akad. He told me that even he is the wali, it is ok if he is not there as the matters are all settled earlier but I feel bad if that happens.

The kenduri is on Sunday. I don't mind if I have to stay here longer and letting hubby and kids be in kampung the whole day. Adel will be ok with his papa. We will see what's the best thing to do.

For now, I must concentrate on my new baby. Been telling him I can't wait to see him and praying hard that everything will be smooth.

I can't believe that I'm blogging in labour. I had planned to bring back the laptop to kampung to prepare for the presentation and asked hubby to bring it to the ward.

I hope to be back with some pics soon;).

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Counting down.... the birth of our 5th baby, I realise more and more that time just passes us so fast. I wonder if I have enjoyed this pregnancy to the fullest, being always busy running around the other 4 rascals.

According to LMP, my due date is 10th (I feel jittery whenever it comes to mind), the first few scans when the baby was only a bud estimated 25th, 26th but the one done around 10 weeks, said to be the most accurate gave 20th. The docs agreed to follow that.

But even with that, I have never had 3 EDD before...and they are quite far apart. What to do, listen to the docs, it is 20th then.

I've also never been so unprepared before. In early Monday morning, I had some contraction, no specific intervals but it was a long, worrying kind of thing. In between sleep, I thought I might give birth at home as it was just too early to disturb the babysitter.

But it's gone when I was up. I decided to take the Tuesday off.

First I went to my regular ob/gy, bringing with me a reference letter from UMMC. She was surprised to see me (or rather my tummy). The last time I saw her was when she suggested D&C for the miscarriage and I asked her to give me a reference letter as I wanted to do it in UMMC to save some money.
She was flipping my files when I explained everything. I miscarried naturally eventually and didn't do D&C. Had only a period and that's it.

She laughed and said "Kalau dah subur tu, tak sempat nak buat apa-apa".

At this late stage, scan would only show the growth of the baby and we just stick to the 20th dateline. She said she would not be around from 6th to 11th, and I said it didn't matter. If the baby decides to be early, I will think of other plan. Being a mom 5th time surely makes me cool somehow.

It's not a good pic, but it's baby's face, he looks like he's sucking thumb. He also looks good and big, to me. Already 2.88 kg while I only gained 10 kg so far, enough to finally reach my ideal weight. Judging from the previous pregnancies, 70% of it will be gone a week after the baby's out. The rest will stay as breastmilk!

After the check-up, I went shopping baby stuffs, finally. Cheap but good stuffs definitely. After moving around the Curve, I have decided FOS is fine with me. I bought 3 long (1 for Adel, can't let him feel left out right?;)) and two short rompers for RM40. Good material and I can't see any defect. Love them! Got some Barbie shirts at 70% off for each of the girl too. Followed by a baby blanket. A little over RM100 gave me 10 items, this is the kind of shopping that I like!

To me, each new baby must have everything new at least when she/he returns from the hospital. But we have too many caps, mittens and booties that I just don't feel like buying them anymore, plus after a while we don't use them anymore. We have one set (of all the 3) that we used on all the kids at the hospital, and new baby will have that too. It is a routine now;)

Later, I did what I like most...moving aimlessly in Ikea alone, had my favourite Baked Salmon dish. So happy that they are having it now, normally only in Dec. I had that 5 times then. I just had my sweetest time alone, but I admit I missed the kids too.

I want to do a little bit more shopping if we have the time but in the meantime, I'm relieved at least baby won't have hand-downs from Adel as his first clothes.

Even with the 5th, the look at this rompers melt my heart. I don't know I was just attracted to yellow this time.

I have a lot of things to do still, hopefully before baby's out:
1. SIL's wedding this weekend
2. A conference on Mon and Tue. I will be presenting a paper. Hubby asked why I must have a presentation very near my due dates all the time. Told him, I committed myself after getting the first due date;).
I will dig in the hotel food as much as I can before my long, boring with lots of grilled fish (and only grilled fish for the first two weeks) diet confinement.
3. Spring cleaning for the apartment, and re-organise the kitchen. Off course I will get two helpers for this, hopefully next week
4. Continue writing for papers as much as I can
5. Bake as much as I can
6. Eventhough I planned to take early leave (as it is allowed now), think I will continue working till I pop

..and off course, the normal activities with the kids esp. now its school holidays.

Updated on Friday

I've been having brownish discharge or mucus plug. Suspen sungguh....still hoping baby's out at least after the wedding or the akad nikad as hubby will be the wali. It's 2 hours drive from kampung to the hospital. I can plead a colaborator to do the presentation for me at the conference. The rest can always wait.

I'll be bringing two cakes to kampung

The first is for the hantaran, and definitely not my own work hehe. It is from Lyza. The second is German Choc Cake that I baked yesterday.

Wish me luck!

Monday, June 01, 2009

It's all about grades!

It's the best time of the year, work-wise to me. The campus is quiet now that students are on holiday. And with the school holiday, lot less fetching and dropping for me and these few days will be spent writing papers for publicaton and a conference that will be held next week.

But something's just bothering me and think I just take a few minutes off to share with you.

We finalised the exams result last week. I have two students asked me "I got F for your subject, can't you at least make it a D?". Followed by their stories of how difficult the course for them, of how the F would effect their results overall...bla, bla, bla.

But neither challenged me (that's what they supposed to do), or asked me to go through their answers and discussed, or argued that they deserve better etc. And without that, I just have to leave it at that.

If for the students it's a matter of F to D, for Bea1's school teacher it's B to A.

But first, even before I met her to get the report card on the school Open Day last week, I really don't care about the grades. I know my girl is doing fine and I'm so grateful for that.

While going through the result, she actually apologised (to my surprise, really) and mentioned that she has tried to look for that one more mark to give my girl an A for one particular subject. Maybe because she thought that would spoil the rest of the results as Bea1 got all A for the others.

On second thought, maybe the reaction/treatment from other parents has made the teacher so defensive.

Anyway, I looked into the eyes of the young teacher, just like I do to my students when I'm dead serious. I told her that she didn't have to apologise as it didn't matter to me, and I mentioned as a mother I knew my girl is doing fine.

Then, I went on and on and on about my two students who just ended up asking for better grades without even doing anything to justify their request. About how we maybe stuck with the grading system that it must be all about grades or rather about As, even for kids as young as 7.

What is more important is a passion to learn (and indicated to her that she has a major role as a teacher to instil that in the young kids), or doing things with enthusiasm. Success will come maybe even before you realise it and maybe not in the form of straight As (Now it is obvious that I was not a straight As student...haha).

I was not really sure if she was ready to hear that lecture. My students hate me and now I probably made my girl's teacher hate me too. Great!

I hope I'm making sense here and those who read this knows what I'm talking about. I just wish I can write better. Anyway, I'm teaching hundreds of future-teachers in a year here. I'm sad to know that for most of them, being a teacher is the last resort. So question like "Will they teach with passion?" is always in my head. And the thought that I have let these people to teach my own kids give me a shudder sometimes. My consolation is the thought that I'd always actively involved in educating them, besides what they get in the formal school.

Anyway, read what a headmaster got to say about something related to what I wrote here. I could not agree more with him.

Ok, back to work now.