Friday, July 20, 2012

During my absence.


How long has it been since a proper post again? Ah, too long.

What did I do during my absence?

12th-14th June - National Level Public Speaking Competition
6th July - Spell it right + High Table for the annual Open Hostel Week
7th July - committee member for SMASZA(L)'s Family Day + my birthday
12th-14th July- Trip to Kenyir
18th July -  School's annual race
18th-19th July (today) - Konvensyen Pembudayaan Koperasi

National Level Public Speaking Competition

I thought it was supposed to be in August, so truthfully I haven't really started preparing myself that much for that. I didn't go completely unprepared, though. On the 12th of June, Teacher Akmal and I boarded a bus together with other contestants for the National Level English Carnival 2012 in Kedah. A number of competitions were held in that carnival. Namely, public speaking for primary and secondary schools, story telling (primary) and action song (primary).

The competition was on the 13th of June, so the day before and after was the journey to and back. A bus with 15 noisy kids who didn't know the meaning of sleep. I was so annoyed! but hey, I was like that once. I was the noisy kid who didn't know how to shut up, and I still am :P

I booked a tailor-made blazer and a black skirt to wear during the competition, but it wasn't finished in time. I told the tailors I needed it by August. Oh well. I had to borrow a prefect's uniform. I hate having to borrow other people's clothes urgh >__< I just got my blazer today by the way, and I love it! :P

back to the competition. I was contestant number 10, out of 15 contestants. Everyone did a great job. For the prepared speech, personally I think Aqilah from Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur had the best speech, and I'm sure the other contestants would agree with this. Her speech was entitled "You are worth it", and it was really inspiring and entertaining. Throughout the speech, people were nodding and laughing to everything she said. She opened with "When was the last time you walked in front of a mirror and thought - WOAH! was that Beyonce, or was that just me?" and she ended with "So the next time you hear "grab somebody sexy tell them hey!" - grab yourself".For the impromptu section of the competition, the topic was "Mother Nature Needs Help".

Long story short, Thevesh Theva from Penang was the champion, Abel Law from Sarawak got 2nd, and Sandhya Prem got 3rd (It was her 8th time at nationals btw! :O). Everybody else (including me) got consolation prizes. Although I didn't win, I really enjoyed the experience. I learned a lot by watching the other contestants, and I also got the chance to meet these people and make new friends. I hope that wasn't my first and last time at nationals. I hope I can manage to reach that level next year, insyaAllah. :)

Spell it right + High Table for the annual Open Hostel Week

That day was hectic! I was the emcee for the High Table Dinner, with Faizal (that dude from the debate thingy).

But before that, we had to go for the State Level for the RHB Bank Spell-It-Right competition which started at 3.30pm. It was held at the Terengganu Equestrian Resort. At 5.30, the competition wasn't even halfway done! It was still a long time until my turn, so I decided to withdraw from the competition because I knew I'd miss the dinner if I stayed longer. We haven't even rehearsed for that night's event. I know spelling isn't my best skill, and I wasn't really hoping to win, too. Besides, you can't change the emcees on such a short notice. Faizal already passed his turn, and didn't get through to the next round, so he was good to go. We rushed back to school with 4 other participants who already took their turn, and we left 3 participants who decided to stay until the competition ends.

The event was scheduled to start at 8.00pm, but we had the be there at 7.30pm to prepare. That was impossible! We reached school at 6.50pm, and went straight to rehearsals. We stopped rehearsing, and went to get ready at 7.25pm. I managed to be ready by 6.50pm, which I think was a very good achievement. Hahahaha!

The members of Batch 36 looked stunning! Everybody wore black and red, according to the theme "black and red roses". I, myself sported a red sequenced modern baju kurung with flare cuffs . Now that the event is over, I don't know where to wear it again :P Maybe I should keep it safe for my future daughter lol. The event went smoothly, and I think the guests enjoyed themselves. The dining hall was decorated beautifully with red and black balloons and fabric. The VIP guests were escorted into the hall on a red carpet. We had lit candles, and turned off all the lights except the fancy yellow ones. A few problems came up, but we managed to handle it all.

Overall, I think the event was a success. InsyaAllah we will be able to handle more events better next time. :) I don't have the pictures with me at the moment, but I'll put them up soon.

committee member for SMASZA(L)'s Family Day + my birthday

This day was more relaxed. 10 girls volunteered to be committee members for Sekolah Menengah Agama Sultan Zainal Abidin Ladang's family day. It was fun :)

That day just happens to be my birthday. My mother came to visit me at the hostel in the evening. My dad was in The Philippines at the time. My mom bought me a really cute white blouse with floral design by Noor Arfa as a gift. She also brought me cookies and cream ice-cream :)

So that was probably it.

Trip to Kenyir

This was awesome! Thank you Firdaus Yahaya (a.k.a Pidah Ayam) for inviting me, although I am not a member of the UNESCO Club :P

19 of us + 4 teachers + teacher's son + boat crew stayed on a house boat for 2 nights. This was my first time really experiencing Kenyir Lake. It's very beautiful. The mesmerizing water, the fantastic view, the everything. It was amazing. I get this feeling whenever I am near water. I get lost in thought. It happened on the boat too. Most of the time you would see me sitting in one spot for long periods of time, just watching the water. The islands are actually mountain tops, they're all that left from mountains which are half-immersed in water.

The first night, we stopped at Pulau Petang. We had time to do an activity called "water confidence" which was basically a lesson in the water to teach us the be confident (WOW can I be anymore obvious?). I'm not used to being in fresh water, I forgot that the water isn't salty. My mind kept thinking "Why isn't it salty?" and "Oh right, fresh water. Not sea water". One of us gained a new experience because it was her first time playing with water. I think she learned the most from this activity. In the morning we explored the island a little bit. There's a resort on that island, but we slept on the boathouse, just FYI.

Then we made our way to a Kelah Sanctuary. The 45minutes of jungle trekking was so tiring. I had minor slips here and there, nothing serious. That was the first time I did such an activity. When we reached Lubuk Kejor, we get to be really close with the Kelah. Really close. I mean, I kissed a fish. A few fishes even swam into the boy's pants.Yeah, that close. I think this was the best part of the trip. Whilst playing with the Kelah, the tiredness disappeared.

In the evening, we went to Gua Bewoh. We had to brave steep wooden stairs which have been built for God knows how long. It's very dark (yeah no duh). Lucky a few of us brought torchlights. Inside, we saw stalagmites and stalactites. Other than that we also saw bats, and huge spiders which can only be found there. It was really awesome! Walking was a challenge, though. Good thing I had Hazeem in front of me to give me warnings of steps and what not. :) It was here that I learned that one of our guides, also a former teacher of my school is actually my parent's ex-student. What a small world.

After that we made our way to Sungai Cacing. We stayed there for the night. Everything was very chill. People casted their fishing rods, but the fishes weren't really biting that night. The students slept late (as in 6am) talking, eating and just chilling. I went to bed early though, because I was tired.

The last day was the journey back home. We started the journey back at 6.00am and we reached the Sultan Mahmud Hydro Electric Power Station located at Kuala Kenyir at 12.00pm. That was the end of our trip.

It's a shame I didn't bring my camera. Next target: Pulau Bidong. InsyaAllah.

SESMA Annual Race + Konvensyen Pembudayaan Koperasi 

My job at the annual race was to take pictures. That was until I had no camera. At first I was helping a friend take pictures with her camera, then somebody else took it before it ended up being with her again. Then I borrowed Hazeem's camera, but then this kid came and took it. Had fun screaming and cheering, hehehe :P

The event ended in the afternoon and students went home for the (extended) weekend, except for four students, including me. We had to stay at Permai Inn Hotel for a night to compete in Konvensyen Pembudayaan Koperasi Peringkat Negeri 2012. We were the 4th team to present our product. A total of 8 teams took part, and the competition was divided into two sessions. We were the last team to present during the first session, right after the briefing. The remaining four teams presented the following morning. I think we made a pretty good presentation, except that I stuttered and we surely could've done better during the Q&A session. They gave us a room to share for two, which was very decent.

We won 2nd place, but the marks were really close. Prize money for 1st place was RM1500, 2nd place RM1300, and 3rd place RM1000. Consolation (which every participating team, excluding the ones which got placings got) was RM700. Not only that, all the participants will be brought along to see the national convention, and other places. We also got a free bag, and a bottle. I mean, just by participating, at least you'd get RM700, a night's stay at a hotel, freebies, and an all-expenses-paid trip! It's not everyday you find a competition with such big prizes. 2nd place is actually good enough since we didn't even have the chance to practice presenting our product, and it was our first time competing. 1st place went to SM Agama Sheik Abdul Malek by the way. They will represent the state at nationals.


So now I'm here back home. I have to go back to the hostel on Sunday evening.

Since Ramadhan is around the corner, I would like to wish all Muslims a  Ramadhan filled with blessings. InsyaAllah, Allah will give us strength to endure Ramadhan this year, and strength throughout our whole life. May this year's fasting month be better than past years', insyaAllah.

Salam Ramadhan Al-Mubarak and Assalamualaikum.

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