I was searching high and low for my other handphone. I found it at last under my pillow on the bed in the master bedroom, not long after Maghrib. Oh my...there were 4 missed calls and a message written :
"Salam Madam..sorry disturb..r u at home? If yes, we want to come.."
The message I received at 10.20 am Dubai time (2.20 pm in Msia) but unfortunately I got to read it only after Maghrib. So, I replied to the sender right away, feeling so much guilty and apologising for not answering the calls and reading the message earlier.
The message came from Fariza, my dear ex-student from USIM (Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia) or previously known as KUIM (Kolej Universiti Islam Malaysia), Nilai, NS and the calls were from her and her few other friends.
"...yes Fariza, I'm at home but afraid that I'm too far away now."
"Td ktrg 5 keta beraya kat Selayang..ingatkan nak gi umah Madam td..tu yang call2 Madam tp x dapat2"
(What...5 keta??) "Aisey...ralatnya dgr. 5 keta pulak tu. Tq for still remembering me n sudi nak dtg beraya. But I'm no longer in Bangi...," I texted her back.
Fariza was surprised when I said I was no longer in Bangi. I felt so guilty for not informing them. But heyy...how would I know they wanted to come to my house because we've never met since end of 2006. I didn't even expect that they would still remember me, though Fariza and a few others were still in touch with me once in a blue moon. I taught them Listening and Speaking and, Reading and Writing when they were in their first year in USIM. Now they're all in their third year (am I right...?).
This bunch of students were once timid lots (still there were a few cheerful talkative ones though) but towards the end of the semester I could see their positive improvement. Not to say they were perfectly accurate but they'd become more confident when using English. Well, they had no choice as the medium of instruction in USIM are English and Arabic which I think would create a positive atmosphere for the students to use English more often, if not intensively. Most of them come from religious/Islamic school or colleges. That could be part of the explanation for their shyness especially their class rep, the guy named 'R.....'. See...Madam could still remember hik hik. 'R.....' ni I could say jenis yang tak pandang perempuan bila bercakap (Kecik ati Madam tau, Madam pakai cantik-cantik mengajar, you tak nak pandang pula...ha ha ha). Sorry guy, I'm kidding!
The whole class used to come to my house during raya 2006. It was our open house which coincided with Apit's 2nd birthday (Ibu's 2 days after). Silap la tak ambil gambar beramai-ramai masa tu. Madam could only get these two pics snapped.
That day I, together with hubby and father-in-law, had to fetch them from Stesen Komuter UKM. But today, they were in 5 cars...did you hear that? Whoa...another positive improvement, good he he. Bila nak bawa Madam jalan-jalan naik keta you all?
What I could say at the moment is I really feel so touched...for being remembered, I really didn't expect this. Anyway, thank you so much my dear ex-students. By just receiving your few sms-es and missed calls, it made my day! I really apprecate that. And this entry is especially dedicated to all of you for still remembering this Madam in this faraway desertland. KIT.
p/s - I shall say this again...I may not be a very good teacher, but when I am being remembered it does tell me something.