Sunday, November 19, 2017

What We Can Learn from Children's Annual Concert & Graduation

El Nino D's kindergarten hold the annual concert & graduation last Saturday.
It was the 2nd time he participated in the concert. (It will be his 3rd and final year next year:) )

Last year, when we handed him over his teacher at the backstage, imagine that he stood at the corner, biting his thumb, look straight to the wall, and nobody else. In reality, the room was filled with the noise of the children. In his mind, it was all about "running away but I have to be brave" because he was not familiar with the new place.

We trusted the teachers and knew he was going to be alright. "What if he did not want to dance on the stage" was not in our mind. Teachers put lots of effort to motivate the students to prepare for this big day.

We waited and waited. In the end, he went along with his friend, poured his effort and passion to dance happily. 

This year, he did not want to go to the changing room first, until he saw his class teacher. Then he followed her and picked his rhythm on the process gradually.

I am thankful to attend the children's annual concert and graduation because the children teach me to be brave to present ourselves before the audience.

At home, El Nino D always practiced the dance (Bollywood, Chinese, Malay, English). He was not afraid to express his passion and dance in front of anyone of us. When my cousins/brother turned on the song, he danced based on his teacher's instruction. When we paused the song, he also "pause" and never get angry. Then he continued the step again.

During the concert, the children aren't afraid to dance before the audience. They will scan through the hall, identified their family's location and put the big smile to wave them Hello.

The families are more like their fans: whenever the kids went to the stage, we shouted at their name to give them moral support.

This concern shows that when you enjoy the dance, the stage, you will love the performance.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

More Than Just The Portuguese Egg Tarts

It's Saturday, it's family day today. Spending time with family is precious.

Initially, I wanted to buy a slice of cake. Then, inner voice told me to buy Portuguese Egg Tarts as I got to share with my mum and bro (because my mum hardly eats cake, yet my bro eats everything).

Today, I remember the 1st time I came across Portuguese Egg Tarts. The story started almost 20 years ago, when my kao-mo (a.k.a aunt/ my mum's former sis-in-law) introduced this food to us (the cousins) when we were kids, back in hometown.

We went to the bakery shop which located very near to our housing area (definition for very near: We could all hold hands, walked to the shop that took us less than 15 minutes). When this Portuguese Egg Tarts was first introduced to the shop, the aunt brought us there to try the tarts. It was all love at first sight.

Apart from introducing this delicious food, the aunt was very kind to everyone. She is a career woman, a busy person whom we hardly saw although we were all staying the same row. She would always invite us for good food and put big smile on her face.

Although she no longer my mum's official sis-in-law, she would always let us stay her place whenever we go back to our hometown.

She is such a humble person.

Fast forward 20 years, we're still eating those tarts, and remember the love from the wonderful person :)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Endless Toastmasters Meet Up- New Friend

"Hi, I'm from UTC Toastmasters batch 1994"
Someone whatsapp-ed me last week.

1994? She was the 1st batch for UTC (University Toastmasters Club)? The profile picture is her picture? How does she maintain her youthfulness?
I wondered as I was from the batch of 2010. This is amazing.

When I finally met her this afternoon. 
My first question was, "How does you stay so young if you are from the batch of 1994?"
She replied, "I was born in 1994. 1994 is the year I was born."
Today's meeting uncovered my mystery: I have the wrong interpretation.

It's nice to meet up with new Toastmasters family. 
We shared the experience on 
  • how we were so green in expressing or delivering our ideas via public speaking
  • how our nerves ran up when it was time for impromptu speeches which we still need to improve on 
  • how we look up to members who are so calm when delivering the speech.
She just completed her degree life this year, and was curious on how Toastmasters skill helps in our life?
To me, it does make a big difference in my life. 

The basic steps of mastering speech structure, body language, facial expression, vocal variety, straight to the point, use visual aid as your assistance instead of conquering your presentation, think before speaking to ensure the ideas are there, help each other to be better.

Most importantly, we realize how meaningful the workshops prepared by Toastmasters members. The best part is that, they will still be there to give us advice when we face obstacles and need guidance on decision making.

Thank you for making your time for this brief meeting. :)

Another soon-to-be University Toastmasters Club's alumni and I in 2017. (yesterday)

The last gathering was in 2015, in KL. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

His 2nd Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration in School

El Nino D's school held the Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration last night. It was also the 2nd time he celebrated this special event there.

Time changes a person. 

Last year, when El Nino D celebrated this event, he was scared of strangers, afraid to play with his classmates, and did not join any of the game sessions. He glued to us 24/7. He only joined 1 activity: Lantern Parade (and was happy about it).

This year, he glued to us when we reached there. He broke the "comfort zone" after joining the lantern parade with everyone, walking around the taman with his friends. He jumped in immediately when it was game time!

Here's a list of things I've observed and learned from the celebration

1. Kids love cheering for their friend
When it was their buddy's turn to play game, they will join the crowd, shout their buddy's name and cheer for them. 

The smile on their buddy's face is precious when they know their friend cheered for them.

2. Variety of delicious food
Each parents brought the food to the potluck dinner. There were fried rice, curry chickens, ketupat, fried mee hoon, cakes, jelly mooncake, mango mochi and etc.

Mango mochi caught my attention and I would like to try to make it at home (First time came across this food) :)

3. Bridge the relationship between teachers and the family
Kindergarten teachers are amazing. They able to tolerate, teach and guide the kids with patience and love. They observe the kids' behavior and guide them based on their personality, weakness and strength. 

El Nino D has improved lots after going to the school.

Thanks to the school for giving us a chance to enjoy the celebration last night.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Jamie the Shiny Straight A's and Kind Person

Jamie the Shiny.
The cousin is leaving us to study abroad next month. In Leo+Lum family, she is the 2nd youngest among 10 of us.

We're excited for her because she is the 1st one to study abroad.
We're excited because we know she is an intelligent girl since she was young. She scored straight A's for her UPSR, PMR and SPM.

Jamie is an awesome person. She knows what she wants. She is a highly focused and talented person.
She hardly let anyone to influence her decision, and would go for her direction. The awesome part is that, she is a kind person.

Happy Lunch Gathering last Saturday
Before leaving us, her parents hosted a lunch gathering in our hometown so she (Jamie) could meet us before leaving. Look, she will be going for 3 years. It's OK, we can contact her in real-time using technology, and take note of the timezone first :)

Jon replaced Jamie to give a speech during lunch gathering
The aunt (Jamie's mum) asked her to give a brief speech during lunch. Without hesitation, Jon (our cousin) stood and give his speech because he is also leaving us to work in another country.

We're fine with that as he comes back every month. :)

Triple J: Left: Jocelyn, Jon & Jamie
Say hello to Aunt Jamie!
She is going to be an aunt soon! Her niece will born in November but she will be leaving next month.
At least Jamie had the change to touch the belly and say hello to this yet-to-name baby.

3 years later, the niece can say hello, walk and play with this Aunt :)