A week before the recent school holiday started, my school was given another week off as a safety measurement against the H1N1 pandemic that was attacking the country.
60 of our students had been going to the Klinik Kesihatan that was around the corner over a period of 2 days which alerted the doctor to carry out check-ups in the school hall when another 40 students came down with fever the following 2 days. That was when the PPD finally declared our school grounds unsafe and we were put into quarantine. There were mixed reactions between the teachers and students upon knowing about these sudden days off. Some were put into a state of euphoria for it meant extra relaxing time as the school holidays would continue immediately after the quarantine period but for others it meant far beyond that, something as close to a death threat. Personally, it meant a bit of both.
Today, no more students come to school with temperatures that reach 39.8 degree celcius and today there is no more relaxing time but today we were given a shocking news. As usual, I would reach school at 7.25 (which is considered bloody late, but hell I need to settle my kids first)just in time to miss all the long announcements and presentations during the morning assembly. As I was emerging from the corridor, everyone was in a state of lunacy. Teachers were talking among themselves with serious looks on their faces and hands waving in the air gesturing the seriousness of their speech, students who cared nonetheless about the announcement, were giggling as if they had found a sack of gold and the Vice Principal was telling the students to calm down only to fail in vain.
Oh, no! I said to myself..thinking about one possibility that turned instantly to Oh, YES! Yes again! Are we on another week off? Come on, let's bring out the champagne and celebrate!! To think of the late morning wake-ups and still be lying in bed at 10.30 managed to put a disgusting grin on my face when a colleague of mine took a jackhammer and shattered those fine thoughts to tiny little pieces when she said, "Fida, do you know that we have to replace 4 school days because of the H1N1."
What??..replacement for days off that we never applied for? Well, that's typical. This isn't the first time that the government has given us surprises as such! Remember the time our state minister announced a public holiday because the state won in a soccer tournament? Remember what happened after that? A replacement day! So this 'shocking news' failed to amuse me, but what is with all the fuss? It's not like it's the end of the world. Yeah, I know that replacing school days is such a nuisance for us and it means our rest days are cruelly snatched from us, meaning less time spent for children and all and it is more so depressing that we had NEVER applied for the leave but was ASKED to go on leave but what kept me unperturbed was the fact that I have learned to handle these situations calmly based on previous experiences. I now hold on to this rule of thumb, when you are a civil servant, ALWAYS expect the unexpected!
Look on the bright side, if it were not for the H1N1 holiday, we wouldn't have postponed the examinations to commence this week to the end of next. And that means no teaching with a loud voice to avoid your students from becoming sleepy, no chasing around after scoundrels or even repeating yourself over and over and over again for at least one week and a half during the fasting month which means a whole lot than to use up 4 of my Saturdays to replace the lost school days and it means a whole lot more considering the fact that this is Ramadhan. Knowing the students in my school, since 2 Saturdays will be used during this fasting month, I dare bet RM1000 to say that only a bunch might come so, not much teaching again. Isn't that something positive to look forward to?
Frankly speaking, I would rather replace those lost school days than not being able to satisfy my thirst completely after my throat has been dried out by teaching with a cold and sweaty, tall glass of iced lemon tea especially when the days are scorching hot . Would you not agree?
Well, this is it for my plain ramblings today.