Tuesday, March 24, 2009

When you can sink no lower...

Over the past few days I've been made aware of a certain blogger who has successfully irked a vast majority of the current BENL students. All because of a single blog post, BENL students have been instantaneously broken up into 2 groups: those who are enraged by it and those who stand firmly by the blogger's side.

So what's all the hoo-haa about?

A review. Or to be exact, a review on drama students' performances during a class assessment.

Now as an individual, I have absolutely nothing to do with this whole debacle. I am no drama student nor lecturer. Nor was I there during the performance night to actually form my own opinions about it. However, through sheer curiousity I found myself reading the controversial blog post that had pitted BENL student against each other. Now I shall not be revealing the blogger nor the blog to which I refer to as I would rather not have the situation to be further blown out of proportion. Yes, I do realise that by blogging about it I am somehow contradicting myself but with all these thoughts going round in my head the very idea of keeping mum about it would absolutely kill me. Thus to heck with contradictions and here goes.

DISGRACED. I am totally and utterly disgraced.

Disgraced by the idea that a petty issue like a drama review turning into a full-on verbal war, which I must state was read gleefully by numerous other readers from the public and various other higher institutions. As of now, the department is now the laughingstock of the academic society.

Am I blaming the blogger? No. The blogger is entitled to her opinions. The person actuallly raised up issues that even. I, myself sorely neglected throughout the duration of my teaching. I am a teacher of poetry in an Islamic institutions and yet I have failed to highlight the core concept of the institution that I am in; Islamization of knowledge. I have failed to teach my students to evaluate poetry through the eyes of a Muslim scholar. Thus, I am grateful to the blogger for bringing up this issue. To my students, I apologise greatly for failing you in this sense.

So am I blaming the commentors? No. They too are entitled to their opinions. They felt that they were scorned and thus they defended themselves. It is only natural.

So who's wrong?

They ALL are. The blogger for being glib, rude and insensitive. And the rest for being immature and mean. Realise people, just how powerful a blog can be. Imagine the conclusion people can come to concerning BENL students, no scratch that, the entire IIUM student body after reading that singular blog post. Is that the image that we all want to portray to the world? Is that how we wish to be seen? Do you not feel the humiliation when a student from another university wanting to turn the whole embarassing debacle into a thesis? How will we now hold our heads up high with people snickering behind our backs at the sheer stupidity displayed within that blog?

I. am. at lost. for words. I am disgraced. I have nothing else to say.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Poetry Night: Poetry Out Loud!!

Hear ye! Hear ye! Exciting night coming your way!!

If by chance you're bored, have nothing to do on Thursday Night then do come and check out IIUM's Poetry Night. It's a night when poetry comes alive and off the pages. Check out students performing self-written original poems as well as their renditions of poetry through the visual arts. Best of all, come check out IIUM's first ever POETRY SLAM! It's poetry slam as it should be. A battle of the poets and their words.

Date/Day: 19th March 2009 / Thursday
Venue: Main Auditorium, IIUM Gombak
Time: 8.30 p.m.
Admission is RM 1 and all proceeds shall be donated to the Gaza Relief Fund.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Note to self...

Dear Self,

If ever the need to splurge threatens to overwhelm, just remember...


Though in this colour...

So willpower, do behave.

Your Self.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hazlan Da' Slammer feat. Fynn Da' Performer

Saturday, 7th March 2009
Spoken Word Workshop
HS Square

As humble as the event was, it was probably one of the most fulfilling moments that I've had as a newbie lecturer in the department. Looking at how much fun the students were having during the session, and at how loud I laughed throughout the entire workshop I must say that I did good. Oh-kay... Sheena helped too. So WE did good. Poetry in IIUM will never be the same again after this.

Hazlan started out the session with a brief intro on poetry slam. It was 10am so due to the lack of nutrients in my tummy when the session started, my brain refused to compute the fact that I should've snapped a few pics of Hazlan as he was giving his lecture. So thanks to Google, this pic would have to suffice for now. Whoever out there that has a pic of Hazlan on that particular day itself do buzz me. I'd truly appreciate it. Plus Hazlan too would like to have some pics as mementos of that great day.

pic courtesy of thebookaholic.blogspot.com

Then it was Fynn's time. To describe Fynn, I must simply quote from one of the comeback queens of our time, Britney Spears. No other quote could ever describe her best. Spears sang:

There's only two types of people in the world
The ones that entertain, and the ones that observe

I guess I can say that I somehow belong in the second category. Although I don't feel like I belong there 100% but more often than not I find myself nudging the line of this circle rather than the other. But heck, in certain aspects I'm happy being there.

*forgive me for the poor pic quality. I just had my battered old handphone on me then. Am working on an upgrade soon. Wish me luck. Better yet, give me money.

Now Fynn on the other hand, un-doubt-ed-ly, belongs to the type of people who entertain. It's in her blood. And her personality shines brightest when she is in front of her audience doing what she loves most: Performing.

She definitely captured the attention of my students that night. As you can see from this pic, the students were hanging on to her EVERY word. And if they're not doing that, they were either laughing along to her jokes and her antics or simply immersing themselves in the happy spirit that was Fynn. What amazes me the most is the fact that she managed to convinced even the most shy and the most nervous of my students to turn into a full-blown performer of poetry with just an hour of lecture. You gotta give this gal credit, she was definitely born to teach the performing arts.

And I have to seriously figure out what this girl eats to get so much energy! Not only she was talking 100 words/ minute, she was all over the stage; tapping, clapping, jumping, falling (yes, she literally fell to her knees) just to explain the technicalities of performance. Most people would be out of breath by the time she's done with the lecture but noo, she picked up the guitar and started singing. Either this gal is in secret the bionic women or her family OD-ed her with multivitamins and chicken essence when she was growing up or something.

Here Fynn managed to drag Sheena and a student to join her for her freestyle poetry recitation. Sheena instantaneously became the 'cool' lecturer when she showcased her skills on the guitar whereas for that guy, well... he probably gained himself a couple of new fans after that impromptu show. Guys with guitars somehow always get the girls. As for me, well... I was happily nudging the 'observer' line. Poetry is SO not my scene. In my students' eyes I'm probably the 'boring' lecturer.

I wish I could show the going-ons of the first ever mini poetry slam that Hazlan held afterwards but I was too busy enjoying myself that I totally forgot to take pics. But no major loss. Thanks to Hazlan and Fynn, Poetry Night is going to be a bomb!! And with that anticipation in mind I've already acquired the services of a (free!) photographer. Poetry Night will showcase a proper Poetry Slam, and students performing poetry and if nerves don't get the best of me, I may perform too. Sheena talked me into it. She said something about poetry lecturer needing to set an example to their students. Plehh... I hate it when she's right.

But don't let my lack of talent stop you from showing up. It's for a good cause as we're collecting donations for the Gaza cause.

So here are the details:

IIUM Poetry Night
Thursday, 19th March 2009
Main Auditorium, IIUM Gombak
8.30 pm
Fee: RM1

Yeah, there's an entrance fee but it's only RM1 maaa. Takkan tak mampu kot? So come on folks, be there... or be square!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


It's done!!!

*do celebratory dance*

Finally... all the hard work, the blood (paper cuts can be lethal you know), the sweat and the tears have paid off.

Now, time to enjoy the little peace and freedom I have before I have to do it all over again.


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Masakini Theater's 'The 24 hour Project'

Masakini Theatre Company is producing the 24 Hour Theatre Project for the second year running. This Project expressly organized to encourage youths to develop their talents and understand albeit under duress, all aspect of theatre-making, will once again be held at Istana Budaya. While the young are encouraged to join in it is hoped that experienced theatre personalities will compete, not only to sharpen their talents but also assist the young ones with their wealth of knowledge. It is also an opportunity to bring the young and the experienced closer together.

The Project is a perfect vehicle for local actors, directors and playwrights to showcase their capacity for theatre-making in a unique format. The purpose is not to create something perfect but to experience the pressure-cooker intensity of writing and producing a 10 minute play in such a short time.

Last year about 52 people took part and some excellent scripts and performance were produced.

This year our Director-in-Residence will be Christopher Jacobs who has vast experience in directing. Mr. Jacobs has been living in Malaysia for the past 18 years and has been directing plays in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

Dear All Me,

Please be notified that you are registered for the 24 Hour Theatre Project under the Director category. Please acknowledge and we will see you on 14th March 2009, 7.00pm sharp at Istana Budaya, Bilik Sri Nilam. Actors do come with your one-minute audition for writers and directors to note your capabilities.

All participants, please ask your family and friends to come support this project by buying tickets for the show which are RM20.00 each. Tickets available at the gate.

Many thanks and see you there.

Sabera Shaik

*Woohoo!! Can't wait!! I miss theater like mad. And this time I'll be doing something in Istana Budaya!!!

Oh friends, families, readers, and anybody who just feels like laughing at amatuers trying their hands at theater, feel free to come by to Lambang Sari Istana Budaya on March 15th (performance night). The show will start at 8.30pm.

Flower bouquets are highly encouraged :D


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