Malaysia is amongst the latest of many countries around the world to have imposed a 14 day Movement Restricted Order or partial lockdown where shops, schools and non-essential services have been closed and citizens are being asked to social distance and stay at home to help curb the on going Covid-19 virus.
I won’t lie, it is really tough, and this goes for all segments of society and the economy at large. Businesses are struggling, families are forced to stay at home and take care of their children while working, people are getting bored and the state of the world is just generally an unpredictable place.
Remember when I wrote this blog post during my first year in the news room? Not long from now, it’ll be my third. Three years a business reporter. Time sure flies.
If I could briefly summarize the past three years I would say that it got better over time. My first year was extremely hard because I made a lot of mistakes, typically careless ones and was called out for it. That was to be expected but I was extra hard on myself. I wanted to get it all right. But you can never get anything right without at least experiencing some sort of short fall.
Mistakes are still occasionally made but the more seasoned you become, the less tolerated the mistake. Nonetheless, the journey has been nothing short of interesting. Every day is new and filled with possibilities. I have learned so much along the way and continue to be stretched in different ways, all of which has contributed to my professional growth.
It’s been about 9 months since I made the decision to join journalism. A complete jump from my previous job, though I have no regrets. From naively thinking a good command of English and writing skills would be enough to equip me for the job, I have since been humbled by my lack thereof. In between unlearning and relearning different ways to write, I have also been learning more about how business and the economy works, making sense of numbers, juggling editors expectations, deadlines and just really trying to have fun in between.
I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far here, because really, no one talks about this great profession enough.
#1 – Get straight to the point, “this is not a law essay”
Basically what my editor told me on my first day when I was given my first announcement for the website. As a typical law grad, I had written a really long paragraph with long sentences that did not even address the issue. I was quickly introduced to the inverted-pyramid style used in journalism – salient points in first paragraph. Everything a law essay was not!
Flashback to December 2014 – Hanging out at the yacht club Langkawi before hopping on the day’s ride. Spent the whole afternoon cruising and there is simply no better way to unwind.
I recently signed up to join a volunteering program. Hosted by NRC11, #LoveMyEnglish aims to teach English through performing arts to a selected group of low income background Form 4 kids. I’m always looking out for an opportunity to give back and so a programme like this really appealed to me – what more through teaching English, my favourite subject! Hehe
This programme spans 8 sessions over 3 months and we’re recently finished our 3rd session. For 2 hours on selected Saturday mornings, these hard working Form 4 kids come to school to participate in this programme run and taught by Blu Bricks Organisation (they specialise in teaching through performing arts). Our job as NRC11 volunteers is simply to assist the teachers and help ease the learning process.
I’m enjoying every single moment. I generally enjoy volunteering but what is distinctly exciting about this programme is that because it’s spread over 3 months, you are able to see progression taken place in these kids. In the first session most of them were shy and kept to themselves which made things tough and nearly convinced me that it was going to take some perseverance. But 2-3 sessions later I’ve noticed some positive improvement – these kids are more trusting of us and are stepping outside their shell to speak out more. It’s really great and I’m looking forward to the next 5 sessions (imagine the improvement then!)
This programme is specifically tailored to teach English through performing arts so it’s not your conventional English lesson. This programme aims to instil confidence in the kids to be able to step out and speak out – through games and verbal exercises. So far so good, I can see the kids are enjoying themselves and showing more initiative to learn. I guess you could say that serves as a big compliment.
Besides doing our part to give back to society, what is motivating is knowing that there are like-minded people out there who feel the same way as you do about a certain cause. Thus is the beauty of volunteerism that keeps me going. I’ve met some great people in this programme and I’m grateful. It reminds me that for as caught up as we are in our lives and our problems, we make sure to place greater importance in giving back where we can. For that I am hopeful of a better nation.
Want to join? It’s not too late! 4th session is this Saturday at 9am. Refer to poster above to sign up :)
I love weekend/holiday trips around Malaysia. Sometimes you just need to get out of the city (KL for me) and take a breather, refresh your eyesight and explore a new place. So I was thrilled when the parents decided to spend this Raya Haji weekend visiting my brother in Johor Bahru. Makes our visit more exciting cos we have a tourguide!! A long and relaxed weekend, i got to see what Johor is about and appreciate the simplicity of its town and people. I also got to ponder on where new developments is taking the city, im thinking the next best hub in about 5-10 years time? Always exciting learning about the development of a city and society.
I didn’t take that many pics but here’s a pic of me having a plate of scrumptious local hainanese chicken chop in town. I haven’t had chicken chop in ages so having this in a city i’ve never visited made it extra special for me.