Sunday, May 16, 2010

The unobtrusive eyes that obstruct……………

I wish to share my taughts and reflections on one of the poems for my Form 4 students :
He has such quiet eyes
The first stanza reveals a woman’s life of attraction………. when she looks into the eyes of man, as he has such quiet eyes. His quiet eyes look so in offending and harmless to the extent that she was unaware of the two pads of lies= hidden, mysterious, enigmatic secret which can be illusory and misleading. If she is aware it would be easy to break the layered with thinnest ice and the man’s true nature of being a heartless man will be visible to her. The eyes are alive and pleading her renders him the pleasure his craves. Thus, the eyes mesmerize her and made her be so enamored without realizing it is a game of deceiving love by pleasure seeking guy.
As for the second stanza, it reveals the woman’s life of regrets ………after going through hurting and painful moments which ruin her reputation. She regrets for not listening to advice and act wisely to avoid pleasure seeking guys. If she had been deep-thinking, she would have resist the temptation and avoid the man who uses his eyes to lure her. Thus, she would have freedom from soul-searching questions due to her inadequacies if she had adhere to the advice of not to please a man who lures her.
The third stanza is a friendly advice from the poet to women to be careful when there are men who tend to be ‘nice’ to them. Love is like a gamble, be strong to face any consequences when we face love. Evaluate the man’s sincerity and trustworthiness in relationship in order to taste the true love.

Exploring and unveiling the insights ……..

It is an amazing experience exploring and unveiling the insights of the open-ended questions for short stories and poems during literature revision classes with my students in SAAS and my tuition students. It is inspiring when some of my Form 4 Amanah students prepared their answers in advance on the worksheets I gave them the previous week, and when they join in the discussion. I’m also inspired by my Form 4 Dynamic students, as usual being enthusiastic and responsive and not forgetting my Form 4 Harmony for being more attentive and it’s really touching when more and more students bringing their books and dictionary. Thank you to all of you for creating the blissful atmosphere during the literature lesson…you all are truly inspiring and awesome students!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Opening our eyes, hearts, minds and souls

This is my third week teaching in SAAS, I'm beginning to see the different attitudes of my From 4 Amanah, Form 4 Dynamic and Form 4 Harmony students..........

Form 4 Harmony consists of 48 students…….. drifting away in their own world, lack of self confidence, so dependable on teachers in learning. A problem class with no interest in English, but I accept them as a group of needy students ..........SOS...... they must be saved from drowning...... It’s a real challenge but a real joy to see them beginning to open their eyes…..hearts, minds and souls…….

Form 4 Dynamic has 40 students……….very attentive and responsive. They are willing to learn to be the best. Observing their actions, speech and thoughts is really inspiring.It really touches my heart each time when I watch them taking the initiative to break the shell and try to speak in English…….it’s a real joy to see them opening their eyes………..hearts, minds and souls………..

What shall I say about 4 Amanah which consists of 34 students? ????? Being a class in the top ranking doesn’t mean you can take things for granted……….be careful………you wouldn’t want to be like the hare in the aesop’s fable~The Hare and the Tortoise~………so open your eyes, hearts , minds and souls too………

Khalil Gibran said: “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I wrote this Literature component for secondary schools/short stories/Qwertyuiop/ revision notes specially for my students in Form 4 Amanah, Form 4 Dynamic and Form 4 Harmony of SMK Sultan Abdul AzizShah, Kajang and also for my tuition students. I'll write on the poems when I have the time, if God wills.I hope this revision notes i wrote will benefit my students and the others.
QWERTYUIOP (Vivien Alcock)
‘QWERTYUIOP’ is about a poor, young graduate named Lucy Beck who has just finished her ‘O’ levels at Belmont Secretarial College. She is a slow learner herself but she is determined to find a job in order to get out of poverty. Fortunately, she is offered a job by Mr. Ross, the Manager of Ross and Bannister’s. However, she begins to face problems from her first day of work. She encounters many peculiar incidents when she starts using the electric typewriter. Whenever Lucy types, the words “QWERYUIOP” which is on the top lines on the keyboards will keep on appearing. She is determined to keep on her job, so she tries to overcome her fear. Later, she finds out that there is a spirit lingering around the office. She finds out from that Miss Broome, a former secretary of the late Mr Bannister was forced to retire after working for forty-three years. That was why the spirit of Miss Broome is adamant in holding on to her position as the company’s secretary. Towards the end of the story, Lucy tries to get rid of the spirit that has been haunting that place for many years. She assured Miss Broome that the late Mr Bannister needs her in the afterlife. She managed to convince Miss Broome to leave and finally she could maintain her job.

The story was set in a small town, Belmont and it revolves around two main settings:
Ø Lucy’s house which she shares with her mother and her Uncle Bert,
In a poor neighbourhood
Ø The office of Ross and Bannister’s where Lucy works as a secretary.
It is a small firm which is over thirty years old.
The main character, Lucy Beck is introduced and she lives with her mother and uncle. She has completed her secretarial course and wants a job. She is tried living in poverty and wants to lead a better life.
Rising Action~
Lucy managed to get a job as a secretary at Ross and Bannister’s after being interviewed by Mr. Ross. Harry Darke explained to Lucy that she needs to use the typewriter to do her work. Whenever Lucy types, the typewriter tries to control her. The word “QWERTYUIOP” keeps on appearing each time she types. Lucy types questions in order to investigate the mystery behind it. Harry Darke informs her of the old former secretary, the late Miss Broome, who was forced to resign.
Lucy is determined to defend her job and she started to type another copy by fixing her eyes on the keys. She was surprised when the typewriter typed out a threatening note. Through the battle of wits between Lucy and the spirit of Miss Broome at the typewriter, Lucy managed to gather all her courage. She erased all the words and she managed to type all her letters and sent it to be signed by Mr Ross.
Falling action
Lucy feels sorry for Miss Broome after she heard about Miss Broome’s loneliness and depression after losing her job. She sympathized Miss Broome and tries to persuade her to leave in peace. Lucy convinced her that Mr Bannister needs her help in the afterlife.
Resolution -
The typewriter become silent and Lucy types a goodbye note to Miss Broome. There was no reply and Lucy was relieved as she has finally helped the spirit of Miss Broome to find peace at last.
A young seventeen year old lady who got a job as a secretary at Ross and Banister’s
She is a young, shy, a low achiever, not competent and highly qualified and insecure graduate of secretarial studies.
Textual evidence:
Lucy Beck was young and small and mouse-coloured, easily overlooked.
She had a lonely ‘O’ level and a typing speed that would make a tortoise laugh.
She has a very low self esteem, inferior complex, no confidence and pessimistic
Textual evidence:
She is wondering who will employ her as she is aware of her inadequacies.
Lucy assumes that there are more qualified and brighter people than her who are qualified for the job vacancy.
She became ambitious, determined and optimistic to change her life style.
Textual evidence:
Lucy is tired of being poor and she is fed up with macaroni cheese and baked beans. She is also sick of wearing second-hand clothes. She gathered her strength and determined to get a job to get out of poverty.
Lucy becomes enthusiastic and a quick learner when she got a job. She also became courageous when she has to face the conflict with the spirit of Miss Broom.
Textual evidence:
Lucy got a job at Ross and Bannister’, a small firm with a factory just outside the town. She is so excited so came to her work place on Monday morning, at ten to nine and waited as the door to the office is closed. She faces problems when each time she types, the word ‘QWERTYUIOP” appears on the paper. When she finds that it was the ghost of Miss Broom, she became courageous and keep typing and liquid the unwanted words and reached the end of the letter by triumph.
Lucy became sympathetic, caring, insightful and understanding after knowing Miss Broome’s history. She took the initiative to look for an amicable solution.
Textual evidence:
Lucy is shocked when she heard the news about Miss Broome from Harry Darke. She was forced to stop working after she had been working for forty three years. Lucy sympathizes Miss Broome
and tells her that Mr Bannister is only acting out of concern as he was worried of her health. Lucy managed to convince Miss Broome that the late Mr Bannister needs her help in the after life.
The spirit of Ms Broome who haunts the office where she once worked as she is so attached to her job.
Loyal, dedicated and took her job seriously at Ross and Bannister’s.
Textual evidence:
Ms Broome had worked for forty three years :girl, woman, old misery. She is unwilling to let go of her position and continues to defend her post, even after her demise.
Lonely as she had no family and friends.
Textual evidence:
The office was her home; the job was all she lived for as she did not have any family of her own. She had no place worth to go and she insists to stay on.
She is persistence, vengeful and also possessive over her secretarial job at Ross and Bannister’s.
Textual evidence:
Miss Broome dies but she does not want to leave her job and insist to stay on. She types nasty messages to new secretaries to instill fear. The typewriter rocked as if with laughter, its keys clicking like badly fitting false teeth. She creates havoc with intention to scare those who will replace her place at the office.
Finally she is convinced that she should leave as her help is needed.
Textual evidence:
Miss Broom leaves the office permanently after Lucy managed to convince her that Mr Bannister needs her help in the afterlife. The typewriter became silent, sunlight glittered on its keys making them looked wet.
Ross and Bannister’s handyman. He is an old man who has been working with the company for years.
Helpful and concern
Textual evidence:
He does all the odd jobs in the office and helps out new employees. He is helpful in giving useful information to Lucy regarding the spirit of Miss Broome and shows concern to her. He even told Lucy not to be like a frightened mouse, and not to worry.
A loyal worker at Ross and Bannister’s.
Textual evidence:
He has been working for thirty years with Ross and Bannister’s, retired with a silver watch but still can’t keep away from his job.
Encouraging and supportive to his colleague
Textual evidence:
He praises Lucy for her braveness and determination to keep on her job even after she has confronted the spirit of Miss Broome. He said that Lucy is no longer the timid mouse and she is a right little lion. Then he gives her chocolate biscuits with her tea as a credit and encouragement.
She is a patient and hardworking housewife who live a hard life. She has to support her brother.
Content with her status in life.
Textual evidence:
Mrs Beck is satisfied with her status, she said to Lucy that “We are jumble sailors on the rough sea of life.” Thus she accepts her fate and shows no actions or thoughts of wanting more than what she has in life.
Forgiving and compassionate
Textual evidence:
She had an argument/quarrel with Uncle Bert and had turned him out once. Six weeks later, she asked him to return as she sympathize him. She said he looks so lonely, so lost, living all by himself in a horrid little room with the worn lino and the curtains all shrunk.
Textual evidence:
Lucy could not help wishing her mother would sometimes lose her temper, shout, scream, throw saucepans at the spinning, grinning head of Uncle Bert.
Low expectations
Textual evidence:
She does not expect Lucy to get a job as she was not confident in Lucy’s ability.

A drunkard man who depends on his sister for support.
Dependable and irresponsible
Textual evidence:
He drinks heavily and borrows money from Lucy’s mother.
Textual evidence:
He is concern of Lucy and thought to prepare her supper since she is now a working girl.

Lucy’s boss
Accommodating and concern
Textual evidence:
He is easy to deal with, willing to help and even offers to do something about the typewriter if any problems continue.
Lucy has strong determination to keep her job as secretary of Ross and Bannister’s despite the supernatural forces that tries to fail her. Miss Broome’s spirit lingered in the room where Lucy works and demands her to leave but she shows no signs of giving up. Lucy is steadfast in defending her position as the secretary and she battled fearlessly with the spirit of Miss Broome who haunted the typewriter that Lucy was working on. Due to her strong determination, she managed to hold on to her job at the firm.
Lucy’s mother is a responsible lady who takes care of Lucy and her brother despite of the hard life they have to go through. She manages to keep the bond of family love by forgiving Uncle Bert and accepting him back into the family. Lucy also regretted for being rude to Uncle Bert when she sees his shaking hands and miserable eyes, she apologizes and maintain the family bond. Lucy loves her mother and shares her happiness with her mother when she was successful of obtaining a job as a secretary.
Lucy and Miss Broome are both committed and loyal to their profession. Lucy takes her work seriously and does the job of typing which was given to her successfully. She has to face the battle with Miss Broome who is still attached to her work even after her death. Lucy did not give up even when Miss Broome demanded her to leave. Miss Broome was so possessive towards her job
and also extremely loyal towards Mr. Bannister. Lucy managed to convince her that the late Mr Bannister needs her so she left the office in order to continue her service to Mr Bannister in the after life.

Miss Broome has no friends and family members, so she commits herself to her job seriously and made the office her home. She became so attached to her position in the office and the feel of possessiveness went beyond the grave. Uncle Bert also felt the loneliness in life and became so dependable on his sister, Mrs Beck.
Supernatural is being above or beyond what is unexplainable and natural by natural law. The character of Miss Broome in this story is presented as an ethereal entity. Her spirit lingered in the office where she used to work and haunts the new young secretaries who are supposed to replace her. She writes nasty messages and tries to drive away those who were choose to replace her. She instill the fear and eerie feelings in their hearts to frighten them.

The theme of compassion is revealed in the final confrontation between Lucy and Miss Broome. After hearing about Miss Broome’s life history from Harry Darke, Lucy became sympathetic and understanding. She interacts with the spirit of Miss Broome through typing on the typewriter and finally she managed to convince her of leaving the place. She told her that Mr Bannister needs her in the afterlife and the spirit left in peace. Compassion is also revealed by Mrs Beck to her brother who is lonely and needed a place called home. Lucy also had compassion towards her Uncle Bert and sympathize him as he is a lonely person who has no place to go.
Ø In order to be successful in life, we need to have a positive mind set
Ø On our journey to success, we need to have high level of positive self esteem
Ø In communication, be compassionate not aggressive as compassion heals while aggression causes hurt.
Ø Appreciate and compliment others accordingly
Ø Preserve the family ties and unity through understanding and forgiving
Ø Do not judge a book by its cover
Ø We should not underrate people and their creativeness or abilities.