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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Goodbye

6 30PM, IFL.

This is my last day as a full-timer at IFL, and strangely I am not feeling sad nor happy. A few days ago, I was all overwhelmed by the impending goodbye, but now that it has finally arrived, I am at the complete loss for words to describe my emotions.

Have I enjoyed teaching at IFL? Yes, definitely! Two of my favourite subjects are Literature Studies and Writing Skills. Through both, I managed to flaunt my creativity as a teacher, and also my skills and knowledge. Though over the years I was required to teach pretty much the same subject matters--though with a vast variation of techniques, I still indulged in getting to know my students individually on a more personal level. Of course, I was nowhere near perfection, but I believed I managed to inspire some students in positive ways, and to realize that you could be partly responsible for someone's motivation and growth is definitely a blessing! 

However, I have a dream. Yes, a dream! This dream is so big that IFL will not be able to help me realise. After a while, despite being a happy teacher who enjoys teaching his classes, deep down I feel this is not enough, and therefore, I admit I have to look for an opportunity that can potentially land me where I would love to be. Then with a stroke of luck, this new job comes along. Well, to be very honest with you, it is not all luck! Though as far as I am concerned the new job is more promising, I do have doubts and concerns and insecurities about it. But then I know I can no longer stay put at IFL! I do not feel a sense of belonging anymore. As a matter of fact, there have been a lot of reforms, most of which are so drastic they shock me! Also, lately I have felt discredited on many occasions and little has been said about my contribution to the school. Again, I have never been perfect! But one thing for sure, care deeply for my students' learning, and when this is supposed to be something I get credited for, I don't!

In fact, it has been a bittersweet experience for me. It has enriched me as a person, and though the job I am going to be involved in demands virtually a different set of skills, there is no denying that teaching is my stepping stone! I know what I am doing is a risky investment, but it is worth a shot. Teaching can be fun and easy, but if you lose track of time, before you know it, 15 years will fly past, and as a result, you will be left with nothing but a few choices.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Be NOT Who You Are

"Be yourself." "Be happy with who you are." "Never try to be someone you are not." "People who matter don't judge; people who judge don't matter." And the list goes on.

Well, personally, I think we have subconsciously absorbed the whole be-who-you-are ideology through American movies. 8 out of 10 American movies place a significant emphasis on this ideology, and yes, I think the Americans themselves have done a pretty remarkable job living up to the expectation of "being themselves". They fail a Math test, but it is perfectly okay because they can draw! They leave home at the age of 18 and hate their mom, but it is perfectly okay because they are being themselves and they do not have to worry about what their mom think! They are self-centred, selfish, and egotistic, but it is okay because they are just being themselves!

We, Asians, or more specifically Cambodians, have been exposed to this contagious ideology for so long and so often that it has become an integral part of our lives--especially the teens. And yes, because Cambodians hold onto the misconception that anything European is good and that anything American is better, it is hauntingly true that such quotes about individualism are well put into practice and become an integral part of our everyday life, ranging from daily personal updates of Facebook statuses to major life-changing decisions about relationship breakups.

As far as i'm concerned, quotes are created for the purpose of backing up one's stance in an argument. Chances are that no matter what situation you are in, bad or good, it is likely that you are able to find at least one quote that seems to perfectly add flowers and sunshine to your point. Likewise, the same goes for the whole be-who-you-are concept! In other words, to me, those quotes are apparently just excuses to not being committed to changes for the betterment.

It is ironic that people who stand up and go, "I am not going to change for anyone, because I am the best by being myself" surprisingly change both in appearance and attitude when it comes to striving to win a hot chick's heart and--possibly--body! But when their parents want them to be a little more industrious at home, they will just somehow shrug their shoulders, and go, "I'm sorry. I'm different. Accept me as who I am." How hypocritical! 

The Americans who are responsible for spreading this ideology to every living human being across continents end up labelling some of their people as "psychopath", "stalker", and "slut". Apparently, shouldn't they be offering hands of support to those people too who, obviously, embrace individuality remarkably well. 

My point is I admit I sometimes stick to the ideology too--in the form of those quotes, but that is just my way of finding an excuse for not committing to better changes. So, every time I see people plaster across their social networking sites with those quotes, my blood boils!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mines and Gold

Well, it is like reaching the end of one gold field with mines. Naturally, you would feel relieved and thankful that you make it without losing a few arms and legs or even your life even though it means continuing on with your journey, goldless, but little do you realise lying ahead of you is another gold field--and yes with mines again. Would you take the risk and set off on your excursion in search of gold though you might end up getting your head blown off?

Yes, I am stuck there now!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

From the inner self

Dear Vendy:

I know you have taken excessively large amounts of caffeine lately--whether they are found in tea or coffee, and this is probably why you are feeling that you are being anxiety-stricken. I just wanna let you know that the problems that are in your head right now are 10 times bigger than they actually are in real life! It is just your head--and yes, the caffeine--playing tricks on you! You are gonna be fine! Of course some of the things that you are required to do are things you are not familiar with or things that put you under pressure. But don't you get worked up about them! You will go out there, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and do what you can do! If you screw up, it is okay! Lessons learnt and just move on! Remember, Vendy, both you and I want the best for you, and to reap the most out of this experience, you need to step out of your comfort zone, but you can take your time doing it! There is no need to rush! And don't you worry about the future! Nobody knows what future holds! Yes, you may wanna get prepared for it, but stressing yourself out about the uncertain, fickle future will only do you more harm than good. Do what you can do, and let the river take its course! Remember, Vendy, you have been through worse! In fact, whatever you are gonna go through now is so promising you should not be worried about it at all!

Criticisms! Yes, some of them are harsh, hurt you, and leave scars! But detach yourself from PERFECTING everything because it is impossible! Accept the fact that you are lazy, imperfect, and sometimes stupid, and just live with those criticisms because venturing into the larger world, you have to learn to shrug things off and manage to enjoy yourself amid all the stares and glares. I need to make sure you know that you are one heck of a worker! Whatever it is that you set your heart and mind to always results in excellence--if not perfection! And some of the people who have experienced your work know it well! While deadlines are inevitable, you just need to sit down and manage your time a little better with a pen and some pieces of paper! Yes, pen and paper!

This month is probably one of the most challenging for you in the recent time, Vendy, I can tell, with all the possible transitions! Yes, there are moments--popping up quite often now--when you find yourself being dragged into self-doubt about a lot of things: whether it is the right decision, whether it is  YOUR thing, whether you can bear with it, whether it is even worth it, whether it is for the better or for the worse ... You need to know this, Vendy! You deserve this transition, and you can do it! Yes, things might seem a little awkward for you at first, but that is how it is! You will learn, and you will adapt! You have the whole family backing you up, remember? You can do this, Vendy! You can't just let the fear keep you from getting there! You need to take this chance, and we are talking about a good promising chance here that not many people are given! That's life, Vendy! Don't you always want to venture into some sort of business? Exactly! This is how it is supposed to feel!

Okay! So now, go to bed, have a nice sleep, wake up tomorrow, do what you have to do, and you will be amazed at how nice things can turn out for you! Conquer your fear, Vendy, because that is the only way to get rid of it once and for all!

Good night!

Inner Self

Monday, April 28, 2014

Hope

The thing about life is one moment you are so hopeful for one thing, and the next you witness your dreams being shattered to pieces right before your eyes. And then before you can properly grieve over the failure, another door of opportunity pops up with its welcoming arms. And from there, you start scrapping the ashes of hope off the earth surface and trying to glue them together to make one complete hope again. 

The moral of the story is no matter how likely something seems, it can come crumbling down with one unexpected blow. Likewise, no matter how impossible something appears to be sometimes, you have to cling onto hope and faith and believe that bubble gums can rain from the sky. We are supposed to be ready, and as cliche as it may sound, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Just like Ted once said, "Sometimes things have to break apart for better things to happen."

I myself have been there and done that. I have been hopeless about things that are just within fingertips, yet I have rejoiced in watching the impossible stripping itself off the "im" and become possible when I least expect it. And through these experiences, I have, against odds and adversities, held onto hope. Hope that something breaks and falls into pieces because it is not meant to be. Hope that something better and nicer is just around the corner. Hope that keeps life worthwhile.

Once upon a time ...


Once upon a time :)


Monday, March 31, 2014

... the smell of April

Well, if you have read my blog long enough, you probably have come across an article about my belief in Fenghui. Yes, that's right--Fengshui! Judge me all you like, but I have been there and done that--I used to be the so-called "man for himself" believing in hard work and commitment and judging people who embrace superstition and Fengshui as people with excuses. Now however, I have let Fengshui become part of my "life manual". I don't necessarily put my future solely in the hands of Fengshui. Of course hard work and committment play a larger role. But I now believe that there is a higher power, power beyond anything human, power that affects--though not necessarily controls--life. Anyways, to cut a long story short, the Fengshui book has said that March is a month of misfortune and April is when everything falls into place and my life hits a jackpot.

It's the 31st of March, and though I am just about 9 hours away from the dawn of April, I already feel energetic and positive in so many ways. I have got some good news along the way, and what appeared to be a knot in my head yesterday, so dark and so negative, somehow has been untied. It's like, I woke up this morning feeling that I can face and solve any problems, any problems at all in the world. March? It was a living hell for me! My aunt passed away. My mom got surgery. I got some problems at work. I was the loneliest I could be in recent time. Argue all you want about Fengshui, but you gotta admit that there are certain days that nothing seems to go right for you, and that you start to wonder if it is some other dark force that is responsible for this. 

Anyways, I have a really good feeling about April. I can't wait for it to unfold itself into actuality with all the blossoming flowery good things that are in store for you.