All in

First Visitors of 2023

Our first visitors for the year were Teik Sing, Michelle, Ashley, Emma and Ezra. Day One As mentioned before, Teik Sing and I have been best friends since we were 7 years old at ACS Sitiawan. Here we are decades later – with homes timezones apart – still being friends, talking about ideas and stories, old and new. I wish I had the resources to someday visit his home and talk shop there. Because Ain had to take care of her parents who had been visiting since last month, Irfan and I went to their hotel to greet them. Coincidentally we were using similar models of cars. First of all, we went to have some lok chin along the Kuala Perlis shoreline. We talked and the kids got to know each other some more. En route back to Kangar, we stopped at Kota Kayang Museum, but it was about to […]

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Group Two group photo

BELSA 2022

Recently I was invited to join Phase 2 of BELSA 2022, the Basic English Language Camp Satun organised by the Language & General Studies Department at our university. The Fun Begins We welcomed them for the first day with a sukaneka, followed by a “Create Your Own Island” activity later that night. Check out the gallery below to see all six entries. They assigned me to Group Two. The students of Group two were quite creative in my opinion. They even planned their island and flag using a IbisPaint X on a tablet. During the event those who were more proficient in English helped those who were not. The next day, the students had to  fill in the blanks in an English song lyrics. They needed to listen to a song that was played thrice. Also, the groups had to create their own storybook cover and write microfiction using a […]

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Some guy in batik shirt

Anya in Alor Setar

It’s not every day Anya headed up north. So it was great to hang out with them when they came up north for the wedding of Ayah Cik Farid’s cousin. The wedding was held at Hotel Seri Malaysia in the middle of the city. Because Tok Bah and Tok Ma were staying with us, we all went for a jaunt to Alor Setar for the day. Here are some photos of the excursion:

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Anya with Cortex Prime books and dice

Cortex Prime: The Walker Files

Cortex Prime: The Walker Files Today Anya played Agent Walker of the town of Meepville. I brought Cortex Prime rulebook with me to KL to read, and upon reading some of the pages, expressed a wish to play. So, I came up with something simple for her to play solo. I also created an NPC for her who might seem familiar, but wears a fake thick mustache. Dramatis Personae Anya – Agent Walker Agent Walker’s superior Agent Zero assigned her to investigate a missing school bus with schoolchildren aboard. The bus disappeared along the forest road in the woods on the side of Great West Hill. Firstly, the young agent needed a set of wheels, so she went to her parents’. Her mom, Lily, was sweeping the porch when she arrived. She asked to borrow her Lamborghini, but her mom gave a resounding NO. She wanted to explain further, but […]

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The Intelligent Tree Whisperers

AOR: The Intelligent Tree Whisperers

AGE OF REBELLION The Intelligent Tree Whisperers It was mid-semester break. Although the students are on a week-long break, we teachers still have work to do. So we set up a Tabletop RPG Workshop for any teacher to join, stretch their imagination and communication skills and have a bit of fun. So I ran an Age of Rebellion roleplaying game session for my colleagues using the Beginner Box material. Dramatis Personae Fal – a Human ace pilot who once lived on Ryloth in the same city as Oskara. (Nana) Lorick – a Wookiee hired gun, whose family was taken to be science experiments and slaves to build Imperial cities. (Shih Min) Oskara – a green-skinned Twi’lek bounty hunter, whose home city on Ryloth was bombed by the Empire. (Farah) Pashten – a Human smuggler, who was rebelling against cruel Imperial taxes. (Faten) Reyhana – a Mon Calamari engineer, whose people […]

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Irfan's Great-grandparents' house 01

Our Grandparents’ House

By “our”, I mean Sila’s and mine, on Atok Irfan’s side. As children, when Sila and I balik kampung, one of the locations we would go to was to visit our grandparents. We would sleep over with our parents here, celebrate Hari Raya here with cousins, and it used to be surrounded by fruit trees. Coconut trees were of course plentiful, but there were mango, papaya, rambutan, jambu air and even nam-nam trees. We used to pick and eat the fruits off the trees. Some required a galah for us to reach, but some were accessible to us. Under the house, I used to fish for ant lions. Sometimes, I used tall grass or weeds. But sometimes, I used an actual live kerangga. There used to be a well behind the house, but early on when I was still a youngling, they built a proper bathroom. They also reared chickens and […]

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Purple voting finger

Purplish Finger

According to the online system, Irfan is registered to vote in Pandan Indah, Ain in Pasir Mas and I in Sitiawan. It appears they set our locations to default to the addresses on our identity cars. This is after I have changed my voting location to Perlis over the counter several years ago. In any case, we will need to change or addresses before the next General Elections. Later that day Ain and I caught up with our old friend Mei, who also returned to Sitiawan to vote. We saw Eva (and her little brother Connor) who last appeared in this blog when she was a little baby. At the time Eva had yet to develop locomotion. Then later that night we continued our gossiping at Chicketory. Why Chicketory? Because its name was Chicketory. We talked about the General Elections of Malaysia, old times, new times, a better Malaysia and […]

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FTK1 and FTK12 together again for the first time

First Face-to-Face Class Since March 2020

The last time I taught a class face-to-face in a classroom was March 2020. It is now November 2022, almost three years later. In the interim, I have had the Remote Teaching tag for all the online teaching posts in my blog. I cannot believe it had been so long. It was good to meet students face-to-face in class. For the longest time, I thought perhaps the students were all AGIs designed to fool teachers into thinking students existed (just kidding, my students reading this!) Click on the image below to expand it. We are still in blended teaching mode, so only 50% face-to-face. Most of the classroom teaching are weighted towards the end of the semester. But it is a start!

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Terry McAllister

A Vampire Librarian Named Terry

After the end of our mini Vampire the Requiem RPG campaign, in which our pregenerated characters won the civil war in Atlanta, we started making new characters for a new campaign. It is now 2032, 10 years after the Vampire revolution that overthrew the old blood… I now play Terry McAllister, a Mekhet librarian. He hails from Perthshire, Scotland but was turned while he was on a vacation to the United States. It sucks for him that he cannot return to his homeland… for now. But for the time being, he has a job with the library at Georgia State. Loads of students burning the midnight oil there, easily charmed for nourishment. He does not leave bodies as the victims are not killed. He sucks enough blood to survive, but leaves the students alive though dazed and charmed. Sometimes, he also helps them to study for their exams by pointing […]

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Hisham and Ain at Ana Burger

Year 22: An Anniversary

It has been twenty-two years since we got married. Nothing to report other than a family dinner. Earlier that morning we had breakfast at a new place that appeared from the abandoned site of an old. Located in front of a nearby orphanage, it has become our new go-to place for breakfast. Their nasi kerabu is delicious with a lot of very fresh chopped vegetables. That evening, we had dinner at Ana Burger. Here are the images of the event:

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The winning island is the Island of Mages, with magical schools and geographical features.

SCALLOP’s First Programme

And so it came to pass, a bunch of us teachers came together to form a team to do CSR for our department at the university. It took some time, but ultimately we came up with a group name: SCALLOP, short for Strategic Communication And Language Learning Outreach Programme. Our First Thingamajig Our inaugural site for our CSR programme was the secondary school Sekolah Menengah Sains Tuanku Syed Putra here in Kangar. We made arrangements with the teachers and administrators to have our event with the school’s Form 2 students. On the morning of the first of October, our team gathered at SMSTSP and proceeded to greet the students, then we split into three huge groups for further things to do, such as ice breaking. Irfan was on site to help me with photography. The big event was Creating Your Own Island, where the students get to use their imagination […]

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The home team

Two Decades of Irfan

It seems incredible. Our son is twenty years of age today. Where did the time go? Oh, I forgot. Time was sucked in and consumed by the singularity known as the Covid-19 quarantine, also known as the plague year. In any case, our mic testing, Vietnam roll making, galactic smuggler offspring has been alive in this space-time continuum for two whole decades. In any case, here are some photos of the celebrations tonight.  

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The GM with the Magma-3 crew

SWD6: Voyage of the Magma-3, Part 1

Once upon a time, I ran a Star Wars D6 campaign for cadet pilots at Perth Aerodrome while I was studying to be a greasemonkey. The year was 1992. The party created a custom freighter they named the Magma-3. In fact, a lot of details about this campaign has been lost from my memory. However, I have retained some notes and photos of our shenanigans from that time. Before I lose more details to the ravages of time like tears in the rain, I should transfer as much information I have from my notes to this blog post as capsule write-ups of each session. Caveat: I do not recall most of the NPCs, locations and situations in these sessions. Heck, I can barely remember the players’ names. Star Wars D6 Voyage of the Magma-3 In any case, here are the first four session. Episode 1 The Mining Cauldron Earl Metolkian […]

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TTRPG presentation slides

RPG Webinar for Mahsa University

After the meeting with MAHSA University last month, it was finally time to speak at the webinar that they organised entitled: Tabletop Roleplaying Games for Teaching and Learning Languages This was the first time I did an RPGs in education talk for an inter-university programme. Despite how I seemed,  I was nervous as heck and spent a lot of time coming up with the slides. A lot of the pages I wrote for it are brand new, requiring not just new text, but also new images. To view the talk on MAHSA University’s YouTube channel, click here. I hope this will be the first of many programmes where I attempt to convince educators of the benefits of employing RPGs as teaching tools.

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Mokti and Lepak King

Kangar Jaya After Dark

Tonight we went to scout the new township of Kangar Jaya at Seriab. We stopped for some ice cream at Mokti’s Signature, located beside Lepak King. Sometimes (well most of the time) there are no messages behind my posts, just pictures which I thought are pretty enough to be posted.

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Anya with Wonder Garden

More Aidiladha in Selangor Tales

After the MAHSA visit, it was time to take it easy.  The penultimate day of our visit we scouted Kuala Lumpur, checking out Pandan Indah though there were no photos taken there. We did have lunch at Burger King at the Petronas near Lotus Ampang (formerly Tesco). We also checked out the new (relatively new for us) KL East Mall where Irfan bought shoes and got some books. One of them was a gift for Anya. Then we visited cousin Razlyn’s house. We had not seen her for years. We expressed our condolences for the passing of her father and my uncle, whom we called Anjang. When I travelled to KL after SPM for various interviews and such, I stayed a lot with them. Anjang was nothing but kind to me. At home, I gave the book to Anya and that night we had a family dinner out in Nilai. […]

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