Friday, April 3, 2009

Killing Two Birds With One Stone

Well, it seems like this is the last entry for my blog. This will be the reflection of my own true feelings towards posting blogs. Well, at first, I really thought writing blogs is a burden to me to me because I hardly blog and never have had a blog spot. I have a secret to share with the reading of this blog. Well, it is quite embarrassing to share actually but since this is the last entry of my blog for EDU 3217, there shouldn’t be any harm sharing this secret. When Dr. Edwin first started to ask use to create a blog spot, I was so eager to sign up, and guess what, instead of typing, I actually typed I actually signed up for that website and I had a hard time wondering why I couldn’t change settings or even post a blog. I looked at my roommate’s blog spot and I was shocked!!! I actually felt so silly, like what Dr. Edwin always calls us, “dummies”. I really felt like a dummy, a real dummy. Anyway, I managed to sign up to

At first, I felt burden about writing blogs. But as time went by, I started enjoying blogging. Before that, it took me one a month to actually manage to post 2 blogs, and as time passed, I started to get active in posting blogs. How do blogs contribute to reflection on this study? Well, I actually felt more freedom writing blogs because writing blogs aren’t the same as writing an academic essay. Blogs are personal and we can write whatever we wanted to. And I realize that posting blogs is better than posting forums because blogs can be edited if we find grammar mistakes or etc. Forum seems dull and uninteresting. I really enjoy blogging now. I am actually thinking about creating a new blog spot for my personal blogs, but still in the process of deciding because I will not be able to online back at home. Well, this issue can be discussed some other time.

Besides, blogging has actually contributes a lot to my learning for this course, EDU 3217. How do blogs contribute to my learning? This is a good question. The true is, I am not a very hardworking person, meaning that I hardly do research for information. So, when Dr. Edwin gave this blogging assignment to do, I was actually forced to do research and read a lot. For example, Teiresias, I have to actually go online and read and blog about it. Isn’t that amazing? I am actually doing assignment and also doing revision for final exams at the same time when I blog. Dr. Edwin is a very dedicated and creative lecturer. If you ask me again, “Is blogging a waste of time?”. My answer will be, “No!”. I am actually killing two birds with one stone; doing assignment (blogs) and doing revision at the same time. I really think that posting blogs has contributes to my reflection on this study and help in my learning for this course EDU 3217, “Teaching The Language Of Drama”.

Ahem...Good Morning Class!

This semester is quite heavy for me because I had to actually carry out three micro-teaching/ simulated teaching. First, I presented a micro-teaching for EDU 3204 Teaching of Reading Skill. It was not a successful one and I realized much weaknesses and little strong points. Then, I presented for EDU 3208, Teaching of Literature in ESL, which I think was a quite successful presentation. The similarity about these two courses is that they both require us to write a lesson plan before we carry out our micro-teaching, which I think is dull and hard.

And then, it reached the time for me to carry out my simulated teaching for EDU 3217, Teaching The Language of Drama. This course did not require us to write a lesson plan so we can actually change our lesson easily without headaches. But, we were expected to fill in peer evaluation forms which everyone thought was a something not fun. It is not easy to evaluate on your friends, but the experience of evaluating is unspeakable. When you are evaluating on your friends, you are actually identifying their strong and weak points; and then from that, you can reflect it on yourself regardless whether you have presented or not. If you have not presented, you can make adjustment and changes to your simulated teaching to make it better. That was what I did!

Carrying out a simulated teaching is something that should be done often. I do not mean that it is something fun or something enjoyable, and I do not mean that it is something not fun and not enjoyable. Confusing? You should. Well, the real reason is that, simulated teaching provides us with the appropriate practice and experience so that when we finally go out to teach, we will be more prepared and more presentable. Am I right? I am sure I am right.

I really hope there will be more simulated teaching in the future although it requires hard work. What I see is that, practice makes perfect. I rather I suffer now, rather than have to suffer when going out for practical and posting. I cannot imagine myself losing sense of direction during practical. That is why I hope that there will be more simulated teaching or micro-teaching in the future before my practical actually started.

Simulated teaching really gives me a lot of experience and practice. I hope my stage fright and nervousness will slowly diminish through drillings and practices. I cannot wait till the day I am free from nervousness and stage fright during teaching. I am waiting for that day to come. =)

The PLG, Then The Madman's Diary

Watching a theater should be something interesting to try. When I started our lesson with Dr. Edwin for the course, EDU 3217: “Teaching the Language of Drama”, Dr. Edwin actually asked who have watched a theater before and guess what, less than 5 people actually raised up their hands. It had never crossed my mind to actually make an effort to go and watch a live theater. I did watch my seniors performing their theaters and Dr. Edwin actually commented that those were not considered as theaters at all. This had made me wanted to watch a real theater. Thanks to Ziham Fatimah that some of us managed to actually watch the theater, “Puteri Gunung Ledang” at Istana Budaya.

We managed to get cheap tickets, only for RM 24. I think the ticket was reasonable and worth it. Although it was a Malay language theater, I think that it actually brought the same effects. We were seated on the top floor where we could hardly see the stage at all. But, the theater was amazing! I love it. They spoke so well and sang so beautifully. Only then I realized what the meaning of being a professional is. But, it was a pity that just a few of us went, not the whole class. The experience and pleasure of being able to watch the theater, “Puteri Gunung Ledang” made me wanting to go for more theaters. Maybe at KL Pac. That would be nice.

Then, Dr. Edwin actually informed us that we were supposed to blog on our experience of watching a theater. But, we did not manage to watch a real English theater, because of my own mistakes and own faults. I did not put in efforts to go online and google information of interesting and possible English theater that we could watch. Maybe I should blame myself for my own laziness. Luckily, recently, my course mate, Samantha Yong found a theater entitled, “A madman’s Diary”, which will be on show from 6th April till 9th April 2009 at KL Pac for only RM15. We managed but to buy ticket for the whole class. Thanks to our group leader, Farah, that we were able to get to watch a theater as a class activity. Thank you, Farah!

Although it was a little too late to watch the theater as we have to hand in our blogs assignment before our final exam which is on the 6th of April, I am still looking forward to watching the theater. I hope we will be able to book UPM bus to KL Pac. I am already very eager to go and watch the theater. I cannot stop thinking about it. I wonder if my other classmates think the same too.

Too Fast Too Furious!!!

It was such a rush presenting our pre and while reading activities for our simulated teaching today. But, thankfully it is finally over. I actually thought that I would only be able to present my simulated teaching for pre and while reading activities next week, but it turned out that Mr. Harold wanted to rush everything through. I was lucky that I had prepared my worksheet and activities earlier. Therefore, I did not rush anything that night before my presentation.

But, it turned out to be an oxymoron. We had to actually rush my simulated teaching through. It was like "Whaow"...So rushing. I could still remember Yvonne's reaction when she was presenting her simulated teaching. Mr. Harold said, "Ok, conclude your lesson." Yvonne actually said, "Huh? So fast conclude?". She looked so blur and confused. I couldn't help but kept laughing, looking at her innocent face. Haha. Then, I told myself, "You are dead Hui Nee, you have group work and a lot of worksheet. How can you make your lesson short?". I was totally lost. And guess what, I really fast forwarded my activities because I could see my friends getting frustrated and busy with the evalution forms. I did not follow what was written in my teaching procedures, But I guess, it is alright because I managed to convey my message to the class and managed to inform the class about the main them in the plat, "Selfish Mr. Pederson". As long as the message is conveyed and the students understand what is being thought, everything will be just fine. Think positive!

To make things worse, we actually had to rush through filling peer evaluation forms. I felt like I was almost going mad; right hand aching, right wrist aching and neck aching terribly. Before I could even finished evaluate on one, another was up to present. I was like, "I am giving up!!!!". But did I? Of course not!! I couldn't because I would fail my friends if I do that. Evaluating peers' simulated teaching isn't and easy task. It requires full attention, observations, and PATIENCE!!!, which I do not really possess. ;P But, no matter what, I managed to finished up with the peer evaluation forms. It was actually kind of fun to see everyone acting crazily because of trying to finish up the peer evaluation forms for each other.

Carrying out Simulated teaching for pre and while reading are actually something fun and enjoyable. I enjoyed watching my friends carrying out their activities. And when I reflected back on my simulated teaching I could not help but laughing at myself. This is for the first time that I did not feel stressed or pressured for presenting lousily and rushing through the whole lesson. Maybe this is a good sign for me, because simulated teaching is meant to be a practice for becoming a more creative and more experience teacher, not a stressful teacher. Don't you agree?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Meeting A Malaysian Writer

Today, I feel honoured that I am able to meet Kee Thuan Chye in person. great! It actually feels so great to actually meet a famous playwright actor. I learnt alot from the session with him.

His views about things is very different from any other Malaysians. It might be a little too sensitive to actually talk about it. But, the fact is that the things he said really make sense. He talked about issues of history, and issues of politics.

How far is our history true? How much truth are there in the history we have learnt? Who wrote them? Are they really reliable? Are they really believable? How much should we trust them? Should we actually listen and pass on the history we have learnt to our next generation without knowing its real values?

He actually told us about his backgroud; how he started writing, what at the few first writings he wrote, and so on. And then, he opened up my mind about the issue of politics. What do I know about politics? I am a person who do not care much about politics therefore, my schemata is equal to zero. He posted politics questions to us such as, Did Anwar Ibrahim really commited sodomy? Is there such things as sending you to ISA for your own protection? Did Answar Ibrahim commited the 2nd sodomy? His questions actually make me think. I mean, really think about politic. There are things and opinions that I wish to share, but not in this blog. It will be too risky and I might be send to ISA for my "own safety". Hahahahaha...

Meeting Kee Thuan Chye really change my view about things. I never really like history. I scored lousily for my sejarah in SPM so I don't expect myself to know much about history. But, I am so interested with his books and I actually bought all 4 that he sold. Amazing. The books are "1984, Here and Now", "March 8, The Day Malaysia Woke Up", "We Could **** Mr. Birth", and "The Big Purge".

I hope I will be able to enjoy his books. I will spend my coming holidays reading and analysing his books. =)

Thanks for the messages and signatures you wrote on my books, Sir. =)
And thank you Dr. Edwin, for taking up so much trouble to let us meet up with Mr. Kee. =)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"The Streetcar Named desire"?????

I spent my last weekend's nights reading "The Streetcar Named Desire"by Tennessee Williams. Well... I can say that the play is quite easy to understand. The language is more straight forwards and more to our daily everday language. The book seems thin, but the content is actually quite long.

I realise that the beginning and the middle of the play is quite easy to catch. but, towards the end, i start to feel confused. What actually happen to Blanche at the end? Is she caught and send into a mental hospital? And what actually happen between Stanley and Blanche when Stella is in the hospital delivering the baby?

What I understood from the play is that at the end of the play, Stanley rapes Blanche and Blanche is called as a mad woman and Stella actually believes that she is mad.

I actually think that this play brings some irony. Why? one of it it goes... At the beginning of the play, Stella and Blanche actually trust each other. No matter what Stanley says about Blanche, Stella never believe. Stella only believes Blanche words, but, it is an irony that Stella at the end choose to believe Stanley, rather than Blanche. What actually makes her act this way? Is it because she believes Stanley more than Blanche? Or it is because of the baby?

Next, I really agree with the proverb, "Do not judge a book by its cover". Why? throughout the play, Stanley protrays his dislike toward Blanche and how he despises her lies and actions. But, in the end, it shows that he actually has aome feelings towards Blanche that he would actually rape her. Is it because he has feelings towards her, or is it because he is jealous? or he is trying to get his revenge on her?

Maybe I need to read the play again to make me more clear about the story. Or maybe, I think it would be better to wait for Dr. Edwin to explain. Seriously saying, the play is very different from the other play that we have learnt. This is more applicable to our daily lives, compared to the other plays.

I think it is time for me to start thinking of the possible connection between the plays that we will be attempting for my final exam. A group discussion would be the best way. =P

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Shakepsearean's Plays

Macbeth The Movie

When I know that we are going to watch 'Macbeth' the movie, I was expecting the same movie that I warched when I was back in Institut perguruan Temenggong Ibrahim. I did 'Macbeth' when I was back in that institution. That play is tough. I really had a hard time studying the play. And I was kind of surprised that we had to watch the movie. Watching movie is not as interesting as reading the text itself.

King Lear

It isn't a surprise that the play 'King Lear', which we are doing right now, is hard for me to tackle. I did not really understood the dialogues of the play. It is so obvious that the Shakespearean's language is not my type. I really rely on Dr. Edwin's explaination to understand the text.

Both the plays, 'Macbeth' and 'king Lear' are plays of tragedy. Both the plays invlove in the reversal of fortunes. King Lear changed from a great king to an old foolish man. That was the point where he reached his reversal of fortune. He went against the natural order that the God had planned for him and that was why he suffered. He gave and divided all his lands to his two unfilial daughters and disowned the only daughter that really loved him. And in the end, King Lear and his three daughters died. Isn't it a tragic? In the play, 'Macbeth' on the other hand, he is bound by the fate that is casted upon him. He was given a prophecy; he would become the thane of cordor, then, he would become the king, and then Bonquo's son would become the king. He was also as ignorance as King Lear. He wanted to be the king and killed Banquo and his whole family to save his throne. But in the end, he too met his doom. He was killed and that was his reversal of fortune. He tried to change his fate but he failed and died.

The language used in the plays are hard to be understood but when I finally understood the story, I realise how tragic the stories are and how brilliant Shakespeare was in coming out with stories like these. Tragic stories aren't easy to write. maybe someday, I mean, maybe, I may want to try and crack my head and write a tragic story like what Shakespeare had written. ;P

The Swordfish, Then The Concubine

"Take out a piece of paper. Write down all the characters in the drama," Dr. Edwin said.

I was totally stunned. First, he asked us to write down the scenes and act including prologue. That was still considered as an easy task. But the listing of the characters was not as easy as if seemed to be. I remembered how well I re-write the list for 3 times, making me feeling frustrated and losing my patience. But, frankly speaking, this is something new and freash. I was thinking that maybe someday I can use this method in school if I ever to teach dramas or plays. Besides, this activity had actually given me an idea for my pre-reading activity for my micro-teaching. I was having a hard time thinking of what to be done for my pre-reading activities, but I guess this is a great idea. I will see and think through again before setting up my mind to using this idea.

The drama the Swordfish, Then The Concubine seems to be and easy drama, but it isn't so for me. Maybe it is because of the fact that I not good with politics and hot issues out there. I have never thought that Awang in the drama represents Mawi. The underlining meanings of the drama are not easily understood. For example, I couldn't figure out the significance of both the characters Ris Kaw and Logod. It was Farah and Bruno who explained to me about their opinions. I was totally....... slience....... "What are they talking about?"..... This is so embarrassing but it is the truth. They told me that Ris Kaw and Logod are people who travel from the 21st century to the 16th century, something like the movie, "Travel Back to The Future". Interesting huh?

Dr. Edwin finally explained. The puzzle in my head is solved. And Bruno and Farah were actually right. Brilliant!! Ris Kaw and Logod are; 1) time traveller, 2) They are people who seems not to be in the part of the play, 3) They seems to be telling us what to look for, and 4) Their job is to alert us, represents contemporary voices. Interesting, isn't? Kee Thuan Chye is indeed creative and also good at making me puzzled. Haha. ;)

All these actually make me to realise that I need to pay alot of attention to the significance and the underlying meaning of each of the speeches in the drama to get the underlying meanings. And most importantly, I must get rid of my ignorance towards the current issues in Malaysia. Maybe, the next time I read the drama "The Swordfish, The The Concubine", I will be able to see more from in between the lines.

Isn't it interesting?

Oedipus The Movie

At first, I thought I would be enjoying the movie 'Oedipus Rex'. It was a led down. I seriously enjoyed reading the play 'oedipus rex' compared to the other 2 books (play) that I have read. I really had high hope and looking forward to watching the movie. But, it was a sad thing that I did not enjoy the movie at all.
There are many things that I realised while watching the movie. They are:
  1. Oedipus the king does not have a club foot.
  2. The king is younger than I expected.
  3. The king's costume is not suitable at all. He wears as if it is a pyjamas (this is so suprising because I realise Creon wears more proper than Oedipus does).
  4. The character, Oedipus is not portrayed well.
  5. Oedipus in the movie does not really speak like a King.
  6. Oedipus in the movie does not sound caring or concerned at all towards his people compared to the text.
  7. The most obvious difference is that the setting: The setting in the movie is at a colloseum, whereas in the book, the setting is in the castle.
  8. It does not make sense that Oedipus can run up and down the stairs of the colloseum when he has a club foot.
  9. Teiresias look very big in size, not exactly what I have had in mind. He actually reminds me of Hagrid in 'Harry Potter'. Haha.

The movie has actually made me more confused with the drama. The movie is not adopted fully from the original text. The producer actually edited the story. Besides, the movie is not at all attractive. Both the audio and visual system is not good. The speeches are unclear and the movie is blur. I lost my interest to continue watching because I can hardly hear what they are talking about. The charcters in the drama are not portrayed well enough. Therefore, I still prefer reading the original text than watching the movie again.

If the movie is ever to be produced again, I hope they will improve on the speeches and the characters portrayal. The characters play a vey imprtant role in making a movie attractive. Besides, I hope, the porduct will follow exactly what is in the drama, especially the fact that OEDIPUS THE KING HAS A CLUB FOOT!!!

Don't you agree?

Will both be effective and be praised?

Do I enjoy micro-teaching? Seriously saying, I am not that kind of person who really enjoy micro-teaching. I do not dislike it. I just have some fear for it. Why?

1. Simply because I have stage fright.
2. I fear that I cannot well and make a fool of myself in front of the class.
3. I fear that my lesson plan is not good enough and odes not reach the tutor’s criteria.

My presented Induction (2nd prepared set induction)
Recently, I have just presented my set induction. I have chosen do the play ‘Selfish Mr. Pederson’ by Rheitta Desmond. I showed a short video entitled ‘Presto & The Bunny’. Then, I paused my video a few time during my process of teaching to ask the questions based on the video. Students have to predict what would happen next and what they could see from the characters in the video. My focus is on the word, ‘selfishness’. I wanted the students to identify the word so that they would have a rough idea that the lesson will be about the issue of selfishness.

(I have problem uploading the video so I will just omit it)
My Unpresented Set Induction (1st prepared set induction)

The video viewing set induction is actually my 2nd set of my prepared set induction. I actually planned to do a set induction based on a series of comic strips. I adapted the idea from Mr. Harold. The procedure will be almost the same as the video. I will let the students see the first part of the comic strips. Then, I will ask the students to predict what will happen next. The process will carry on and I will ask students more questions that will lead to the issue, ‘selfishness’.
What do you think the boy will do next?

What do you think will happen next?

What kind of characteristic does the boy portray?

What do you think the comic strip is trying to portray?

Why Did I Choose The 2nd Set Induction?

At first, I was confused which set induction to use. I had a lot of worries. Set induction 2 was an idea given by my coursemate, Jasmine. At the beginning, I was worried that the movie would be too time consuming. Thanks for Jasmine's power of persuasion, I finally made up my mind to use the 2nd prepared set indcution. I was expecting scolding because the video is of a little too long but, never did I predict that my tutor actually praised my set induction. I really have to give credits to my friend, Jasmine for her help and guidance. She is the source of my success in set induction presentation. This is my first time being praised for my micro-teaching. Thank you.

Sometimes, I do wonder what will happen if i have carried out my first prepared set induction instead of my 2nd prepared set induction. Will it bring the same effects?; 1) Attract the students' attention, 2) get praised, and 3) make the students enjoy the lesson.

What do you think my friends? ;)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Queen Elizabeth

Before I watched “Elizabeth” the movie, I really have no idea what the movie is all about. But, after I have watched, I realized that I know who Elizabeth is. She is King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s daughter. Anne Boleyn was executed because she was found guilty of treason. For that, Elizabeth was called a “bastard” and sent away from the kingdom. But after King Henry’s death, Elizabeth was coronated to be the Queen because King Henry VIII had no son and she was the next to the throne. I get to know about this story through watching Tudors and my classmate, Azhar Khan’s explanations. He is really good at the history of King Henry.

The movie is really interesting and I really love it. I was disappointed at first when halfway through the movie, Dr. Edwin forbid us from watching anymore because of some problem. I was really upset that I did not manage to finish watching the ending. But, luckily, kind hearted Dr. Edwin lent us the DVD again to continue watching. I learnt a lot from the movie.

Elizabeth at first was unsure of her new role as a Queen. She had feelings towards one of her most trusted friend, Lord Robert Dudley. Lord Robert Dudley considered Queen Elizabeth as naive.

Queen Elizabeth Tudor who donned the English coronation in 1558 was a great politician who was not afraid of her power and knew how to use it. She learnt from her father’s history and knew too well how dangerous even a slight personal or political misstep could be. Elizabeth’s strength of character came from her survival of being the only child of Anne Boleyn, “The Great Whore”. Besides, Elizabeth was taught by the finest teachers to be a true Renaissance princess. By the time she came to her throne, she could spoke fluent Latin, Greek, Italian, and French.

Her throne and her country were threatened when the Spanish wanted to have a war with her. To my astonishment, Elizabeth actually joined in her army to fight the war. I could not imagine myself doing that if I were in her shoes. She was indeed a brave woman. With the help of her best friend, Lord Robert Dudley, she won the war and England gained peace and harmony for centuries.

The history says that Elizabeth lived and died a virgin. It is difficult for people to believe that Elizabeth lied and died a virgin. Yet she did. How do we know that? As the movie shows, spies in any court in Europe were common. It was their job to report what they see to their masters and much of that writing survives. No one ever wrote about anything more than rumours. We must also keep in mind that no one, not even the monarch, slept alone. There was always at least a servant sleeping in the royal bedchamber, no matter what was going on in the royal bed. Thus, not unlike our times, there were no personal secrets of any monarch could keep. And Elizabeth’s virginity was everyone’s interests.

What I really like about the movie is that:
- The costumes are pretty and unique.
- The dresses were elegant and intricate.
- The background of the movie is very beautiful.
- The real story behind the movie is an attention grabber.
- The characteristics of Elizabeth was shown clearly; naive, brave passionate and uncertain.

What is the difference between Elizabeth and other Plays such as Macbeth, King lear and Oedipus rex? Can you see the difference? Well, Elizabeth is a woman while the others are men. King Lear, Macbeth and Oedipus the King met their doom and suffering. It was what we called as tragic plays and a reversal of fortune. For Elizabeth on the other hand, it was not a tragic story, It was a comedy instead. Even his father, died without leaving any boy heir for his throne. Interesting isn't it? Isn't it an oxymoron? A woman can rule better than men.

I really enjoy the movie and hope to get to watch more of this kind of movies in the coming days. :-)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles


The study of Oedipus Rex have opened my mind about understanding a real tragedy play. Oedipus The King or Oedipus Rex is an Athenian tragedy written by Sophocles. Oedipus gets his name through a complex pun. Oedipus also means “swollen foot” or “clubfoot” pointing to the injury sustained in the title character’s infancy when his ankles were restrained together like a goat's.

The play begins with a King (Oedipus Rex) talking to his people and his priest about the plague in Thebes and that is when he came to know about the murder of Laios, the previous king before him from Creon. Oedipus wants to know about the truth very much and so he summons for the famous Teiresias, who is blind but can see the future. Teiresias hints Oedipus that he himself is the murderer but Oedipus is ignorance. In the end of the story, Oedipus finds out the truth. The prophecies that are cast upon him have came truth.

The prophecies:
1. Oedipus will kill his father.
2. Oedipus will marry his own birth mother.
3. Oedipus will have children from his own mother’s womb.

Locaste, both Oedipus’s mother and wife, kills herself. He cannot continue seeing his wrong doings so he blinds himself and becomes a beggar.

The truth of the ending of the story is a tragedy. That is when the 'Fate' issue comes in. Oedipus faces a reversal of fortune and ends up being a beggar. We can never escape on our fate that is fixed for us. How do I feel for Oedipus? I pity him. He does not kill his father or marry his own mother intentionly. Everything is fated. That is when he says:

"It was my fate to defile my mother's bed,

to bring forth to men a human family

that people could not bear to look upon,

to murder the father who engendered me."

King Oedipus is known as the famous King who solves a famous riddle that also brings him to the dead end and blinds himself.

"This is the king who solved the famous riddle

and towered up, most powerful man.

No mortal eyes but looked on him with envy,

yet in the end ruin swept over him."

I have always believed in fate. I believe everything we get and face in our lives are fated. In the play, we can see how powerful the word 'FATE' is. When your fate is there, We have no where to hide. Challenging the God's power and plan is useless. We can never avoid the fate that is set upon us, "You can run, but you cannot hide". But I personally believe that Fate can be changed. There are certain things we can changed. I am not saying that you can avoid fate. What I mean is that some things are meant to be changed if we try harder. For example, if we keep getting low marks in exam, we cannot blame entire at our fate right? nor luck. We should blame ourselves for not studying harder. Therefore, we can change our fate by studying harder, not baliming entirely at our fates.

Don't you agree?

My Experience in Writing "A Fat Soul"

"Your first assignment is to write a drama script in a group of 2 to 3 people", Dr. Edwin said.

Arghhhhhh....... script? Writing a script? Script? I have never seen myself as a potential or possible script writer for anything. It just seems so hard to me. I could not even write an interesting short story or essay so I kept thinking, "How am I going to cope?".

It is somehow a good thing that it is a group work. There are pros and cons of writing a script in a group. The pros will be that things will get done faster when there are three brains thinking and while the cons will be that there will be clashes or ideas and complains of who does the most work in the group. It is a good thing that there are no quarrels between my group members. There are Jamine Wong Xin Yee, Ho Jia Yiing, and i myself, Lam Hui Nee.

The first thing I did when the task was given was THINK!!! Think of what? The storyline for the script of course. It was tough though. But, Jasmine, my group member, also the head of the group, came out with the theme, 'love' and named our drama, "A Fat Soul". She started off with the script. She wrote the first 2 scenes and Jia Yiing wrote the 3rd and 4th scenes, while I wrote the next last two scenes. This sounds crazy, but it is really how we started of with our script. The reason? To be fair and square.

When the script was done, Jasmine read through and thought that the script was not appealing.

"Nee, your dialogues are lengthy and wishy-washy." Jasmine commented when she came to read the script in my room.

I was so sad, not because of her comment, but because I did not really help in making the script a good one. Jasmine edited the storyline and I was there watching as while. I really have to give special credit to her because she did the most work in the group.

We handed in our first draft without the teacher's guide part, but Mr. Harold said our script is interesting. We were so happy. There were little grammatical mistake.

I felt guilty and because I did not do well for my part so took the initiative to write the teacher's guide for the drama script. It was hard to write a two paged teacher's guide, but i managed to do it and passed to Jasmine again to edit. She did the edition and I printed the work as the second draft.

We are lucky that Dr. Edwin marked our script but we are unsure of the real situation. He just gave a tick on the front page without leaving any comments. We are actually in a mixed feelings. Who knows he actually did not finished reading our script. I hope that is not true. Anyway, we are waiting patiently for our thrid draft to be given back.

Throughout the process of writing the script, i have learnt few things:

  1. We must be ready to accept ideas of group members.
  2. We must not feel hurt and keep grudges when people commented on your writing.
  3. We must take other people's comment as a guideline to improve in our writing.
  4. We must sit down together as a group and discuss how our storyline should be before start to write the script.
  5. Group work is important.
  6. Every members in the group has the responsiblility to read and check the script from time to time for grammatical errors and sentence structures errors.
  7. Writing a script is a good way in improving our understanding on drama and play because;
  • We learn how a drama should be like.
  • We learn how to choose the setting so that the written drama can be used in a classroom activities.
  • We also learn that the characters we have chosen for our play must be suitable for a classroom activity.
  • We learn that the stage direction should be in present simple tense only!

I have gained much experience and I really enjoy writing a script. It is a way to improve my understanding of a drama and also to improve my writing skills. I learn from people's comments and reflect on my weaknesses and hope to improve fro the better. I believe that this experience can help me in my teaching in schools for the future. I will be able to choose a an appropriate drama as a class activity next time. And who knows, I might use this script that we have wrote on as my classroom activity in the future.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Teiresias (Tiresias)

While reading, “Oedipus Rex”, by Sophocles, I came to know of Teiresias, also known as Tiresias. Teiresias, a blind soothsayer appeared in many Greek stories such as Oedipus Rex, Antigone, Odyssey, and etc. In the story, “Oedipus Rex”, by Sophocles, Teiresias was from the city of Thebes and played a major role in the story of Oedipus. Teiresias is an old man, a very wise old man, when we meet him in the Oedipus tragedies of Sophocles. When Oedipus asked Teiresias how to lift the plague from Thebes, Teiresias replied that Oedipus was the cause of all their problems. This answer would had caused cost Teiresias his life but Oedipus had sympathy for Teiresias’ age and blindness and spared him. Besides, Teiresias was asked by Oedipus of who the murderer of King Laios. Teiresias did not tell the truth as King Oedipus was the murderer he was seeking. He did not tell because he knew he would either bring trouble to himself or to the King. There is said to be ironic as Teiresias, who was blind could see clearly, while Oedipus, who had the sight could not see the truth clearly. In the end of the story, Oedipus found out the truth that he was the murderer of his own father, Laios and even married his own mother and children. He could not stand to see his wrong doings and so he blinded himself and lived a life as a beggar.

In Greek Mythology, Tiresias (also transliterated as Teiresias) was the most famous soothsayer of Greece, was born at Thebes. He was the son of Eueres and Chariclo, and the descendant of Udaeus of Sparti. He was blinded for his seventh year but lived up to a very old age. There were many versions of stories and beliefs to how Teiresias was blinded.

Firstly, Teiresias was believed to be born with the gift of foretelling. The gods feared that Teiresias would see too much that the gods wished to keep conceal. So the gods took his eyesight, depriving the soothsayer of physical vision.

Secondly, according to the poem Bath of Pallas by Callimachus, Teiresias was believed to have been blinded by Goddess Athene because Teiresias saw her bathing. She could not remove her curse so she in return gave Teiresias a seven generation long life, the power to understand the voices of the birds, and gave him a staff, with the help of which he could walk as safely as if he had his eyesight.

Thirdly, Teiresias was believed to be blinded by Hera because Teiresias did not side on her but on Zeus. The issue was that whether male had the most pleasure in sex or a female. As Teiresias had both the experience of being a male and female, so he was questioned. Teiresias agreed that female had the most pleasure and it was believed to have offended Hera and so Teiresias was blinded but given the gift of seven long generation of life.

How was it that Teiresias had both the experience of being a male and a female? According to the more popular version by Hesiod and Ovid, It was a belief that one day, while Teiresias was out in the country, at the foot of Mount Cithaeron, he came upon two snakes mating. With his staff, he killed the female snake, which caused him to transform into a young woman. For seven years, he lived his life as a woman, married and had children. Then he came upon the same snakes, and this time, he killed the male snake instead and was immediately transformed back into a man.

Teiresias had a daughter named Manto, who was also a gifted seeress.
Teiresias died after he was struck by an arrow of Apollo after he drank the water from the spring Tilphussa.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Memories Of Zapin

I went to my sister’s national service campsite when I went back for my Chinese New Year holidays. The trainees had actually prepared performances for the parents to watch. While watching them dance, I suddenly remembered my on experience on the Zapin Dance I did almost two years back at Danga Bay, Johor Bahru.

The most memorable dance for me is the Malay Zapin. Zapin Dance is one of the Malay traditional dances. This dance is introduced by the Arabians and is believed to be originated from Yaman. This dance is then practiced in the West Malaysia, Borneo Island, Singapore and Indonesia. There are five types of Zapin dances; The Arab Zapin Dance, The Johore Zapin Dance, The Lenga Zapin Dance, The Pekan Zapin Dance, And The Tenglu Zapin Dance.

In my opnion, Zapin is a dance that requires cooperation and team work, but individual hardwork. The steps are easy because it only requires repetition of steps with different styles. I remembered very well that the intensive practice of Zapin dance for the National Day Performace at Danga Bay is really a hardwork. We had to get bare footed on the muddy grasses and danced under the rain because we were running out of time.

Outdoor Practices

Indoor Practices

Our hardwork was paid off. We were on air and we enjoyed ourselves. Cooperation and team work are important in Zapin Dance. It is interesting to learn others cultural dances. I really enjoy learning the knowledge of this dance.

The Day of Performance

The few days’ intensive practices and staying together as a group strengthen our bond. I learn to work together with people around me. I learn how unique the Zapin dance is. One simple step brings many colours to the dance. And a simple dance can bring everyone together as one.

Our memories

Thursday, January 8, 2009

my first drama class

Greek theatre...Roman Theatre... Medieval Theatre..Restoration drama...18th-19th century drama... 2oth century drama.. tragedy... comedy... tragicomedy... farce... Aristitle.. and Brecht... all these words are playing around my head, like the ferry wheel goes round and round. This is the second week for my lecture life in UPM for this semester. Today is the first class of EDU3217, Teaching the Language of Drama. At first, I thought everything will be the same like what i have learnt last semester, Teaching the Language of short story. i thought what i will be learning and doing for this course will be almost the same, but it did turn out almost the same but not exactly the same.

The first lesson with Dr. Edwin is kind of a shock and at the same time an interesting one. He actually taught us about the overview of the history of theatre. History? Theatre? What did I know before the lesson? ........... Nothing......... And now? ....not so sure...I realise that I am still lost somewhere in the middle of a jungle, searching for a way out to the main road although I have attended the class. I have never been to a REAL theatre before and was never been exposed to the history of theatre, therefore, this class make me stunned and confused. I kept thinking to myself, "Dr. Edwin can you please slow down a little?". I had a hard time making sure that I am still in that class. I was lucky that Yvonne was sitting beside me so I managed to copy things that I have missed out. Although things seem in a mess at that time of the class, I believe I will be able to cope with it in my next lesson with him. I am looking forward to learn more new things in the next lesson with Dr. Edwin again. let’s talk about the assignment part. Last semester, we were assigned to post forum and guess what, this semester, we are to make and write blogs! Isn't it interesting? Isn't amazing? It is so cool. I have never known that I will own a blog spot too. besides, we are to do micro teaching and written assignment exactly like what we did last semester so that is not really something new except that we will be getting a Chinese tutor. :-) I am looking forward to meet this tutor and I hope the lessons with him will be fun.
I really hope I will learn and gain a lot from this course. the most important thing is that I want to make sure that I enjoy this course, teaching the language of drama till the end of this semester, bringing with me great memories and experience and not forgetting, new knowledge that I can bring to my teaching life in the coming years.