Saturday, April 4, 2009

So long my almost lover...

This is my last entry for this blog, quite sad, because honestly I have never been so 'passionate' in creating blogs before. It had been a wonderful experience. I have found myself always checking on my blogs, waiting for comments, because I really want to know what people thought about my blog. However, sadly, I got very few comments, maybe for the fact that people does not know my URL, and lets not go there now.

The thing is, I am quite sad that the blog work had ended because it symbolizes that my time with EDU 3217 has ended. I had such a great time studying Drama, because I really like theater. I would like to someday write and direct a play. Yes, EDU 3217 had definitely helped me grow with the maturity of how to do a play.

Now, getting back to the blogging thing, I had some blogs before but all were only devoted for my poems, now I think I will create more blogs and be more open of the things that I would want to write. Blogging for EDU 3217 was fun, for the fact that Dr Edwin forced us to do it, I am kind of thankful for that, since i can indulge myself with blogging and can do more later.

I am also sad that Dr Edwin will be leaving UPM, I know that Dr Edwin does not need his students to say he is good, but my God he is good, his was the only lecture that I actually listen to and make notes. His was the only lecture that i enjoyed.

I would miss blogging and EDU 3217,

and I will write more blog, more interesting ones,

And I am really sorry that Dr Edwin is leaving UPM.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A made up love story for the Ledang Princess

The whole thing about the theater Puteri Guning Ledang were great, except for the storyline, I am not saying that i hate it, but i don't exactly love it. It is a simple story about love, and how it goes in the way of honour, it is just too 'chick-flick' for me i guess.

Well, that is just about the story (don't even let me start about the historical accuracies of the theater), the thing that i really impressed was one; The acting, my god, i am actually surprised why all these people (even the extra dancers) did not get any more recognition that it is. I was SPEECHLESS! Speechless I say! Two; the props! The magnificent props! I dont know how they do it, but they actually use the same steps-like blocks to create the Gunung Ledang, the waterfall, the Majapahit Palace (or Keraton) - i mean, that was downright creative. Third; the songs, i watch the theater a month ago, but i can still remember the songs, it was just right, everything was just right. I wish they had a more powerful storyline though, rather that a 'boy meets girl' thing.

The thing is, the theaters have given my ideas, how could a play be presented to audience, i can now imagine how the play like streetcar and such can be brought to life. Right now, i am wishing to own the script.

All these hiatus about the theater thing have made me more eager to watch more. Next week, our class will be watching 'A diary of a mad man', my whole class is going, that would be my first English theater. I hope i will enjoy it and get more ideas from it.

A weird teacher teaching

Mr Harold said that my pre and while reading activities were weird...

I have spent so many times thinking about the things that i wanted to do in the micro teaching, and again i failed, i even got the word weird this time.

Again, like i have said before, I am not actually worried of the result of micro teachings (even though i am, for the shorter run) but i am looking at the bigger picture, days of when i become a teacher later - if i repeat the same mistake again... who knows? maybe i will not get better?

My friend have told me stories of how he tried to teach a bunch of girls economics that day, now, he doesn't have things like pre reading or while reading or whatever, but he had his own strategies but it failed. I am thinking if the same thing happen again, how i am going to come out with better activities for them to do?

I failed two out of three micro teachings this semester, and right now i know i have problems, and i need to do something about it, not that i am not trying, but i do try... not hard enough.

The good news is i have still my final year to brush up my teaching skills, i will die trying!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Women who brought down the house!

It is very frustrating reading all these plays, it is really different from the script of a TV show or a movie, there is a difference, but if a play is a tragedy, then it has to be extremely tragic which would leave me thinking that there is no point of living, if it is a comedy, then it could only be a satire or a political parody.

I have finished reading the play King Lear, and also reading the sparknotes on it, the frustration that I acquire after reading this play is more overwhelming than me naming myself 'Melancholic Fool'. Let me tell you what happen after I finish reading it. I stared into a blank space thinking what would happen to me if I was Lear. I put the book aside and I went online reading the notes. I pushed the lid of my laptop down, and I stared at the wall in front of me and said - why?

Why do shakespeare need to write this kind of play? It is like 'terlampau malang' case, it is like worst than the worst case scenario. All the while I was reading it, I cant help but feeling angry with Shakespeare for ever creating the character Lear - he is his own villain, he brought every misfortune with his ambition to have a peaceful life without any obligation, he broke the covenant with God, he was at fault.

The character of Goneril and Regan, how could they do that to their own stupid father, is is not like having a Kingdom could help you be rich or whatever, to sell your own father - however stupid he may be - was a really bad thing to do. And there is foolish Cordelia, to stand there, and speak her mind was what malay people called 'Poyo'. I think she should have relax and say what was the right thing to say at the time, she should have lie thus saving her father from his unnatural ending.

Cordelia, Goneril and Regan was a justification from Shakespeare that how woman can brought down even the most powerful empire, say, The ancient Egypt fell under the rule of the sexually driven Cleopatra, Troy was sacked because of Helen, French Monarchy burnt because of Marie Antoinette, and England broke off with Rome because of Anne. I think all these women was potrayed by these three women, which was actually responsible to the fall of a King and a Royal Family.

The inspiration, the swordfish, the concubine then a Kee Thuan Chye

I cannot believe that I have met, spoken to, even take picture with the person that – I should say – living my dream.

Kee Thuan Chye came last week, and believe me I had fun hearing him speak. What marvels me is that, he came from a background that is just painfully ordinary. I always thought that people who ‘made it big’ had the basis of their birth to stand on and reach for the one thousand stars on the ceiling of victory.

Kee Thuan Chye made me realise that I HAVE NO MORE EXCUSES, I too can make it big. When Istana Budaya refuse my entrance for their script writing competition that day, I thought, that was IT, I am not meant to be a writer, never meant to.

Now I know that I have to try, Kee Thuan Chye was so inspirational that I even think to start another blog, and talk about things that I want to talk about – MY truth, and if I got detained by any legal bodies, (of course I don’t want to) that would be an achievement… (or like Lear, right down FOOLISH)

Talking about legal bodies and foolishness, Kee Thuan Chye made me realize the importance of a writer that could change the perception of the public. Growing up being not so Indian and not so Malay made me live a life of very quiet desperation, I had a lot of things to say about racial and harmony and prejudice and stereotyping and stuff, I could create even a satire now – thinking about doing it for theatre course next year.

And then he talked about the play, swordfish then the concubine – I mean come on! Whole my life I have been studying literature, I always say that I wish Shakespeare is alive and I can talk to him about the plays he wrote – or even smacked him on the head for creating such stories (maybe this is the point why he is already dead). However my point is, I could, then, ask him about the things that I found weird and confusing in the play, sadly I had only twice talked to him (by which, he called me a smart reader! Kee Thuan Chye called me a smart reader!!!), there was a lot of things that I wanted to ask him, like his latest involvement in 10 minutes scriptwriting competition – the play that he created, about a journalist named Moomtaz, it depicted the real life as it is, though he left the play quite ‘tergantung’, I wanted to know what HE thinks happened to Moomtaz. Also, why did he chose the name Nurhalisa, a really modern name for a setting that is legend-like. I know his play was only a parody, but why there was only one modern name in the whole play?

Maybe there will be other times that I can annoy him, not that day but nevertheless, Dr Edwin, if you are reading this – THANK YOU for bringing him to UPM, thank you so much.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The induction, that is to be setted...

I have done my set induction that day, and I am glad that I got positive responses from the students – who are also my classmates. However, doing all these things with the videos, and games and stuff, just to get students to warm up with the upcoming lesson was – I should say – tedious. However, who am I to judge a thing that have been researched thoroughly and established by experts in teaching.

My set induction was a video, I spent more than three days to look for the video, download it, cut it to pieces that I think is appropriate for students to view it. After I had done showing students my set induction, then Mr Harold Pong commented, and my set induction was apparently not good enough, I am not questioning Mr Pong’s opinion, however, I wonder if I am doing the same thing when I am teaching real students, and Mr Pong is not there to tell me that my set induction is not good, then my effort for three days might result into nothing – so I am worried, even though I have still another year and a half to brush my skills up, but going into a class full of 46 14 year olds scares the hell out off me.

My two other micro teachings, all my set inductions were videos – and I got bad remarks for them, I even failed at one of the micro teachings. What baffled me was that, when I did my micro teaching for the reading class, the lecturer told me that I have teacher presence, and I am good in controlling my class, but when it comes to literature class, the lecturer said that I didn’t have teacher presence, and I don’t know how to control my class, and when it comes to drama class, my tutor said that my activity was weird. Was I good in a once-in-a-blue-moon basis, or was I having my bad day on the two other micros? I will never know.

All I know is now, I am buying a lot of books regarding teachings and how create activities, I hope I can be a good teacher, and I wish I could be my own critic, so I can better myself, not depending on lecturers to point out what I did wrong.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I too can command the wind sir!

Queen Elizabeth is famous for her long reign and an era that had (and still has) been called Elizabethan to this day. It was interesting the way I see the movie portray her life as a queen. The way they speak, they were arguing but still their language were like so decent. If it was us who were arguing, we are certainly going to throw abundance of vulgar words here and there. I remember how the Spanish ambassador accusing the queen of her adulterous behaviour with the English pirates, well they were shouting, but Queen Elizabeth still calls the accuser 'sir'. It was really interesting and it is etched in my mind...

I too can command the wind sir! I have a hurricane in
me that will strip Spain bare if you dare to try me!

And just before she shouted this to the Spanish ambassador, the ambassador actually bows as a mark of respect just after insulting her - Funny.

I dont know whether to say that they are truly being polite, or just hypocrites.

Also, i cant imagine the fact that in another few years time, Shakespeare will receive her patronage and she will make him famous. Because the Queen favours poetry and plays. I thought it was because she was bored of sexless life because she never marry - but then again she was the queen and she did have many favourites amongst the men of court and she was her mother's daughter (Not trying to point out that Anne Boleyn was actually a whore) - and then again - she was called the virgin queen. Well, putting the idea of her affairs with men to rest, she did exposed Shakespeare to the word, by giving him much encouragement.

It was interesting to see the life at English court operate and revolves around each other, it certainly was. I have clearer idea of the the courts of King Lear revolves - it was fun.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Melancholic Fool tried to be creative

I have written plays before, but after learning the language of drama, I wanted to write something that at least resembles the brechtian plays. However, i realized that to write a brechtian play, it requires more intellect than my small brain could muster. So after a few days of thinking and after being pushed by my group members, i resort to the usual plot structure.

The last play that i have written was staged in IPP Penang, it was an adaptation from the Hang Li Po's love affair with Hang Jebat. It was fun, with a lot of funny lines and dancings, the title was scandal in the palace. It was not brechtian either, but i think it was better than the one i have written for the assignment.

My group members, bored that they have to wait for me to get an inspiration, they came up with a plot, and all i had to do was to realize it in the form of a script. So my intention to write a brechtian cant be fulfilled. However, i learn how write so everyone can understand the story, since most of the time i write something to messy and people just cannot understand. So all the comments that i got from my friends have helped me level my writings to a more normal one.

The Weird Ancient Greek Life

The Teiresias that I know is only in the play Oedipus, and there he (who used to be a she, and also a mother) was treated like this all-knowing wise man, very mature and intelligent, but later when I goggled him, I was so shocked with his story, what with the stalking Athena and hitting a couple of snake who were having sex (and got transform into a girly girl – is it just me or everyone can't see the connection of how being transformed into a girl can be a retribution from hitting snakes having sex?)

The myth of ancient Greeks have this reputation, full of sex, lust, fools, over-achieving man, out-of-your-mind punishment. I think Teiresias is all reputations rolled into one. One big reason for this is that he came out in a number of different plays so probably he needs to develop his characters more. Probably, the ‘tukang karut’ of ancient Greek have ran out of ideas so they decided ‘hey, why don’t we make him blind and after a few more stories, we could change him into a woman and he could bore sons!’.

However, there could be a lot that we can learn from him, one of it being discreet on things that he 'sees'. I mean, when he sees something, he refuses to tell, i think he realized that by saying a prophecy out loud, people would tend to fulfill it. Maybe he had seen what would happen to macbeth in a few centuries time.

Prophecy is not a good thing, i think teiresias, ironically, being a prophet himself, sees the worst in saying about prophecies, that was why he decided to keep quiet of saying who is the murdered of Laius.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

They Produce Offspring??


exactly what i was thinking when i've finished reading Oedipus Rex. I mean like, it could be exciting to stage a play with so many dramatic suspense on a stage, i would love to be the director, but i still cannot pass the fact that Oedipus produced sons and daughters through his mother...

I know i have to be professional and accept the storyline, however, i guessed i am too far traditional or maybe even close minded to actually wriggle in thoughts of vomit whenever i read about the character Jocasta. But i cannot deny that the suspense were fitted to the plot impeccably, i can imgaine if i actually attempt to stage it, i would have to muster a lot of energy to explain to my actors of how it should be acted, and it would take really good actors to act in this plays, preferably those who can get pass the fact that oedipus slept with his own mother - and produce offspring.

The language in the play was surprisingly easy to understand, so i think to actually teach using this play was not impposible, however, to expose students with

Sunday, February 8, 2009

one and two and three and turn!

Dancing, i will never understand that kind of art. I can never get the concept of shaking/wiggling/dramatizing(?) your body in front of people - i would never do that, but i did(!) it anyway!

Of the three years i lived in Johor Bahru i have danced Zapin three times, and indian dance twice, and sarawakian ethnic once - all are different. Where zapin is aggresive but graceful, indian dance is just aggresive (not in a bad way), and sarawakian ethnic dance was downright interesting. Sadly to admit, i enjoyed dancing.

Zapin had a disciplined about it, you have to tilt your head a certain way, not too much becase it would destroy the whole concept - just tilt your head a certain way - it can't get more ambigous than that! Everyone in the number have to move in the same place and at the same time, which was really hard to do because coorperation is something rare to find nowadays (as rare as the sumatran rhinocerous - interesting analogy).

Of course after doing the Zapin i got laughed at by my friends because in a way dancing may have unmanned me, but i have to say, to see your hard work practising to be greeted with applause was a great feeling. Being the only indian in a traditional malay number was so malaysian - as my lecturer put it. I may have developed a certain liking with malay culture since i cant stop imagining that two thousand years ago (or maybe a bit more recent than that) - zapin is their television!

Indian dance is where i let go, seriously - there was a lot of jumping and twisting and stuff. It was like as though you moved your body vigorously and suddenly you felt - light, as though you are a feather, indian dance help me let my insecurities go!

Now with the sarawakian ethnic - this was really interesting because i did this dance as an act for a thetre. I wrote a theatre and it was staged in IPP Penang, i got this idea that when the characters in the play was about to engage in a catfight, dancers (myself included)come out and did the dance - it had colourful musics and weird steps which i found suitable to portray the anger of the characters. Even when at the time of staging we had some technical problems, but if there were none, it would had the effect i wanted.

From what i have learnt from dancing - moving/shaking/wiggling/twisting your body with music help discipline/calm and portray your emotion - but i doubt that the whole point of traditional dancing!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Wither Shall I wonder?

By: Muhammad Azhar Khan b. Ashfar Ahmad

I love histories, all those things about greek tragedies, roman bloodbath, terrible Tudors, madness of Qin - Everything - I was elated to learn the histories of drama (because I have never read about it) but my excitement were gone because - I did not know that Antigone was pronounced Anti - Go - Nee!The first class of Drama and there is already a thing that i don't know. (not to mention other scores of things that i don't know - who knows that Gladiator originated from a form of theater?)

To live another whole sem with 5 hours of bafflement every week... there got to be more energy that i could muster to go through this. When i was listening the lecture about how theater originated, I didn't know that there were more to theater than Tiara Jacquelina over-publicizing herself in Istana Budaya.The whole time that Dr Edwin was lecturing my head was spinning with the nursery rhyme -'goosie goosie gender, wither shall i wonder'... not because of that 'not saying the prayers' part, it was about the wondering part, and the going upstairs and downstairs part because I felt like my mind was scampering through my brain in hopeless attempt to find the intellect to grasp all these new facts, and some familiar facts too - the fact that I have to learn more Shakespearean English was and always will be a challenge to my little tiny brain.

Hopefully i will make it through this course, or every time Dr Edwin lectures, there will only be the sound of goose squawking in my little tiny head.