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Friday, October 31, 2014

Descriptive Essay: My Mother

About seventeen years ago, a beautiful young woman, named Kari, was trying to adjust and understand the purpose of her life. She was a typical adolescent, making mistakes and hoping each lesson would guide her in the right direction of life. At this time, she was living in Germany, occupied in the US Army, on and off with a boyfriend, and fighting to keep a relationship with her family, through letters. It may not seem like an ideal situation, but everything in life has a purpose, the challenge is discovering it. Unlike most adolescents, her life was put into perspective very quickly. At the age of nineteen, Kari received results from a test, which changed her life forever. She was pregnant.

In January 1995, at the age of twenty years old, Kari gave birth to a baby girl. Her life now revolved around her child, Alexis. She got out of her relationship, got a job, and found a safe place for the two of them. Now living with her mom and step dad, working as a papergirl (newspaper delivery person), and fighting for divorce, Kari was struggling. It didn’t matter though; she made the best of it.

When Alexis was two, Kari married her husband, Mike. Together, they got a town home. Now, with a home and family, it may seem like times were great, but there was still a lot of life to be learned from. Mike was constantly traveling; in fact, he was in Utah for two years after they got married. Kari was now raising Alexis, working seven days a week, and working to keep her marriage healthy. As with everything in her life, Kari took sacrifices and made it work.

Fourteen years later, looking at this 36 year old, you would never realize the struggles she has faced in life. She is a beautiful, young, and caring, mother, friend and wife. She lives in a nice house, takes care of kids, home-schools Alexis and, her husband is home almost every night. She has many great qualities, but I think the characteristic that makes her the most unique and genuine person, is her love and creativity. She was, and is, able to take anything normal and make it enjoyable.

By now you have probably realized, I am Alexis, her daughter. I have a great relationship with my mom, something many girls, my age, are lacking. In some ways, it’s like we grew up together (although twenty years apart), best friends. She has always provided the loving, but strict mother figure, which I can rely on, in my life. Her creativity brought me lots of fun times, and cherished memories, throughout my adolescents. Her strong words and lectures, many she has learned from in the past, bring me wisdom and guidance for the rest of my life. And her open and loving heart, gives me a safe place to share my emotions. I never could ask for a better person to spend my memories with, for they wouldn’t be the memories they are, without her.

Informal Letter - Sample Essay: Directed Writing

Your friend in Singapore has written to you to inform you that his cousin in Penang was down with dengue fever. He would like to know the situation in Malaysia as he plans to bring his family over for the holidays in June. Write a letter to brief him about the current situation.

In your letter, include the following:
  •     express concern over the health of your friend’s cousin
  •     news about the situation
  •     steps taken authorities
  •     present situation
Do remember to:
  •     use the informal letter format
  •     use all the points given
  •     expand each of the points given
  •     write in paragraph
No. 34, Street of Fame,
Taman Bukit Bintang,
Bukit Bintang,
67500 Ipoh,

14 January 2011

Dear John,
            How are you? I’m sorry to hear that your cousin had dengue fever. This problem seems to have become very serious all of sudden. We always feel that the problem is not our concern until someone close to us is affected.

            My neighbour’s daughter who was in Standard 6 last year could not sit for UPSR examination because she was down with dengue fever on the eve of the exam. Fortunately, the authorities gave her an exemption so she is now in Form One. There were also a few students taking the examination in the hospital.

            According to the news, students made up nearly 30 per cent of the 1 500 suspected cases over the first three weeks of the year. About 53 per cent of 621 confirmed cases last year comprised children and youth under the age of 24. These statistics are quite worrying. This has prompted the health ministry to increase checks on aedes breeding grounds in school and public areas. The construction sites are largely to blamed. The problem is made worse by the rainy season. The stagnating water attract the mosquitoes to lay egg and breeding on the areas.

            The authorities have taken various steps to control the situation. Fogging has been carried out in many public areas and most of the housing estates. Contractors at the construction sites have been instructed to take appropriate actions and warned to clean up. They could be fined up to RM 3 000 for breeding aedes mosquitoes. Lot of campaigns through the television, radio and newspapers were taken to make people aware of the issue and take precaution rather than cure them.

            Before the long holidays for the Chinese New Year, schools all over Malaysia carried out a clean-up campaign of the school compound. The residents’ association in my housing are also organised a family day clean-up of the housing estate. There were huge piles of rubbish especially old tyres and containers littered by the hawkers near the might market site.

            The situation in Malaysia has improved since the end of January. There have been no reports of new cases of dengue. So, don’t worry. You can bring your family for a holiday here in June. I’m looking forward to seeing them again.

            Send my regard to your mom and dad. Do take care.

Yours sincerely,
Harun Din

A Horror / Tragic Story

I opened the door, to my horror, a few skeletons lay there, chained on the wall.

Okay, time to recap. I and my friends, Jack and Peter, were playing around an old, abandoned mansion. We were told that no one was allowed to enter. However, curiosity overcame us and we picked the lock, granting us entrance into the sacred lair of the unknown.

At the sight of the skeletons, the three of us were completely stunned. Our jaw hung wide open for a few minutes before we came back to our senses. My sixth sense told me that something was about to go wrong, so I urged the other two to back out of the mansion.

“Don’t be such a chicken,” said Jack, with a shaky voice.

“Aren’t you scared too?” I challenged him.

“Yes, but we might never get the chance to explore here again if we leave now.”

“…All right, but we leave as soon as the first sign of danger shows.”

We ventured deeper into the mansion. The design looked like some sort of torture room, or a prison. Even though I was afraid, I was eager to discover more. Throughout the lair, we did not lose sight of skeletons or spider webs. These were at every corner, at every turn. The occasional howls from a distance made the hair on our backs stand up straight. We finally arrived at a long hallway. Jack picked up a piece of wood and lighted it up with his lighter. The flame seared at first, but after it simmered down, I was able to see the walls clearly. There were ancient writings, the kind we usually see in an Egyptian grave robber movie. As the expert in history, Jack tried his best to decipher the carvings. Meanwhile, Peter leaned towards the wall to catch his breath. At that very moment, a cold chill went down my spine.

“Watch out!” I shouted.

Before he could react, that portion of the wall he was leaning against flipped, trapping him on the other side. All he could let out was a loud shriek and he vanished behind the walls. I pounded against the wall, shouting his name. Only then did I know what real terror felt like. However, the chance of rescuing him was bleak. I sank to the ground, desolated and hopeless.

“Let’s get out of here, we have to inform the adults!” suggested Jack.

I got to my feet swiftly and both of us sped through the building. My heart was racing. I knew that danger may be waiting at the next corner. I could hear blood pounding in my ears. Wait, was that a creak I heard? “Uh-oh,” I thought to myself. The ceiling began to crumble. My sub-consciousness took over. I sprang forward and tackled Jack. Both of us fell to the ground. Just as I thought that trouble was out of the way, the burning piece of wood slipped out of his hand and landed in a pile of grease. Fire started spreading like mad. I struggled to get up.

“Come on, there’s not much time left!” I screamed as I turned towards the exit.


In a split second, my head turned 180 degrees. A gigantic marble pillar fell on Jack. I mustered all the strength from every single cell in my body, trying to lift it up, to no avail. My eyes were watery. I was completely out of ideas.

“Save yourself, leave me, please,” muttered Jack, with a weak tone.

This was certainly a tough decision for me. All the moments we had spent together flashed through my mind. How could I leave him now? As the fire was close to sealing my only exit, I knew that I had to be rational. I dived for my escape route.

Tears rolled down my cheeks as the mansion erupted into flames behind me.

Haze: A Danger to Health - Sample Essay: Directed Writing



You are concerned over the implications and long-term health effects of the haze. Write an article to the local newspaper expressing your concern based on all the notes below.
  •     the reasons behind the haze
  •     role of government and society
  •     steps that can be taken
  •     give relevant examples of:
-       health complications
-       measures
-       roles of government and individuals

When writing the article you should remember:
-       to lay out the letter carefully
-       to use paragraphs
-       that you letter is to the press

Haze: A Danger to Health
            The haze is a constant phenomenon faced by Malaysia and her neighbouring countries. The haze is basically pollution of atmosphere, which is clogged with pollutants and other substances from forest fires.

            The haze is a direct effect of forest fire in Kalimantan and other parts of Indonesia due to slash and burn method of farming. The Indonesian authorities appear to have no power to control farmers from practising such methods. The haze is further worsened by open burning practised by most Malaysians. Open-field burning of rice straw by the rice planters and open burning of dried leaves and garbage done by the public are a few examples that done by Malaysian. Many are ignorant of the health effects of open burning.

            During the haze, hospitals and clinic often report a dramatic increase in respiratory problems, lung infections and asthma attack. The Air Pollution Index (API) usually indicates the hazardous and dangerous levels of pollution during this period. The haze has long-term side effects. Prolonged inhalation of polluted air will result in serious lung infection which particularly affects the elderly.

            The government must play its role to reduce the haze treat. It has to cooperate with the Indonesian authorities to stamp out forest fires. The culprits must be brought to justice, either through healthy fine or prison sentence. Constant vigilance would ensure the perpetrators do not repeat their offence.

The government should also raise the public awareness of the dangers of forest fire. Continuous campaign of the cause, solutions and steps-need-to-be-taken to reduce the haze need to be promoted through all types of social media like television, radio, newspaper and even via internet. The authorities should also provide assistance to farmers and introduce more sophisticated forest clearing methods.

            In Malaysia, strict laws must be imposed to penalise those who practise open burning. On-going campaigns on the dangers of open burning should be intensified. Individuals too have a role to play. They must participate in every campaign and stop burning. Students can advise their parents not to practice open burning.

            Every individual has to remember that we do not own the world, but instead we lent it from our future generations. We must protect our world so that our grandchildren woulh have a healthy earth to live.

Ahmad Harun bin Hashim
Seremban, Negeri Sembilan

Persuasive Essay Example: Cell phones - One of Our Greatest Technologies Misused

Cell phones have lost their meaning over the years. These small devices were once developed to get in contact with someone else in case of emergencies, and now talking on the phone while driving has turned out to be a way of life for millions of American drivers. More than 85 percent of the 100 million cell-phone subscribers frequently talk on the phone during driving.(www.smartmotorist.com) Talking on the cell phone while driving should be illegal, because of the dangers they cause. Driving while using the cell phone is one of the major problems here in the US. Cell phones should not be used while driving. This matter is too dangerous to let it go unnoticed.

According to the essay, Yes, Prohibit Their Use, which appeared on the congressional quarterly’s web site on March 16, 2001, the Harvard Center for risk analysis printed a study in 1999. They appointed a crash risk factor to using cell phones. In the summer of 2000 it came out to 450 to 1,000 fatalities each year. The NHTSH says that for every fatality, there are 666 property-damage and injury-producing crashes. There are about 300,000 and 650,000 different crashes due to cell phones! This same essay states that Japan is one of the 14 countries banning the use of handheld cell phones while driving. The accidents caused by the use of cell phones dropped by 75 percent the next month, proving cell phones are not necessary parts of the driving nature.

There are major dangers connected with driving and cell phone use. Drivers have to take their eyes off the road while dialing. Also, drivers can get so deep into their conversations that their ability to concentrate may be dangerously limited. This jeopardizes the safety of the people inside the vehicle, and the pedestrians outside. In order to drive safely, the driver should be able to put 100% of his or her focus on the road. Cell phones are simply a huge distraction while driving.

It is understandable that there are some cases where the use of a cell phone is needed. In these cases, I agree with the author of Yes, Prohibit Their Use, the driver should pull-over somewhere safe to use the phone. If someone receives an incoming call, he should wait until the car has come to a complete stop. Then he should proceed to use the phone. If he feels that the emergency is urgent enough to take action right away, then the person should use the hands free headset. Only in emergencies should cell phones be used.

Some people argue that there are other distractions other than cell phones. While using a cell phone when driving may not be the most unsafe distraction, studies prove that it is the most common cause of car crash accident, and common cause of death here in the US.

The use of cell phones while driving should be banned in Philadelphia, because many people die due to distraction of cell phones. Cell phone distraction causes 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the United States every year. (www.livescience.com/technology). Another reason to not use the cell phone while driving is devastating the many lives of the victims and their families in the case of an accident.

When driving, cell phones should not be allowed. Help the statistics decrease not increase.

A Road Accident

 Road accidents are reported in newspaper and on television every day. There are more frequently caused by reckless drivers rather than faulty vehicles. Last Saturday, while I was travelling from Ipoh, I witnessed a serious accident. The scene of the accidents was vivid in my mind.

            A motorcyclist was following behind was taxi very closely. He was so impatient that he was trying to overtake my taxi even near a sharp bend. At that critical moment, there was an oncoming car. The taxi driver swerved to the roadside and I got a terrible jolt. It was too late for the motorcyclist to avoid the car. His motorcycle ran against the bumper of the car and smashed its windscreen. The motorcyclist somersaulted over the car and was found lying in a pool of blood. It was a scene to chill the flesh! The car driver, who was cut by the flying glass, was in a state of shock. All that happened in split second and fear overwhelmed us.

            The taxi driver stopped his taxi and I quickly ran to the nearest to the nearest telephone booth to inform the police and the hospital. From a distance I could see some people trying to help the injured motorcyclist and the car driver. They carried them into one of the onlooker’s car and sent them to the hospital for treatment. Meanwhile the taxi driver tried to control and directs the traffic. Soon the police arrived and they promptly took some measurements and evidence. After that they moved the damaged car and the motorcycle to the roadside to ease the traffic congestion. They also took down the evidence provided by witnesses and onlookers. Some sweepers were clearing the debris and the blood stains on the road.

            When the taxi finally continued the journey, I silently thanked God for my narrow escape. I learned a good lesson that impatience and recklessness would bring harm and danger. I was happy to see that Malaysians are public-spirited and they render help to others readily. Since then I remember and follow the saying ‘more haste less speed’ and ‘prevention is better than cure’. I believe good road manners and roads safety campaigns can help to reduce the number of road accidents which cause injuries, loss and lives and properties.

Formal Letter: Letter of Complain

Raju a/l Lingam,
123 A, Lorong Bahagia,
Taman Sentosa,
07231 Bandar Baru Sentol,

The President,
Bandar Baru Sentol Council,
Kompleks Utama,
07200 Bandar Baru Sentol                                                                             16 JUNE 2011

Dear Sir,

Uncollected Rubbish and Clogged Drains
I am writing this letter is to attract your attention to the above title. As the representative of the community, I am calling to tell you that the 300 odd residents living in Taman Sentosa are extremely unhappy about the lackadaisical attitude of the local town council towards the uncollected rubbish and clogged drains in our area.

2.         The rubbish in our area has not been collected for more than a week. The rubbish is supposed to be collected on alternate days but this has not been the case. The town council workers collect the rubbish according to their own whims and fancies. The uncollected garbage has attracted not only flies and mosquitoes but also wild dogs which had attacked the residents on several occasions. These stray animals also scatter the rubbish and make the roads dirty and smelly. As a result, residents have to bear the discomfort of stench from the garbage and risk their health.

3.         We are also disappointed with the town council workers for not clearing the clogged drains which are filled with rubbish. The drains would usually overflow when there is heavy rain and the rubbish would then flow into the compounds of our houses. Besides, putting up with the unbearable stench emitted from them, the residents have to spend hours cleaning their compounds of rotten vegetables, food leftovers and other rubbish.

4.         Due to dengue outbreak recently, we are really concerned about the residents’ health especially the children. Fogging service also was not done accordingly to the schedule. The fogging authority only did their job whenever a case of dengue aroused. They even fogging the neighbourhood late at night that caused us to leave the residents. They need to consider the residents who have babies and also to those who need to wake up early in the morning for work. The fogging also caused the people to have breathing problem when we were not told the exact time of fogging.

5.         We have made numerous appeals to the Municipal Council to look into our complaints but to no avail. We have been putting up with this predicament for more than a week. We hope the health authorities would do something to check these health hazards.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Informal Letter Sample

You recently went an expedition with your classmates to Langkawi. You have been asked to write a letterto your cousin about your visit to Langkawi Island.

Rosni Alias
No.3,Jalan Sutera,
Taman Cempaka,
43600 Bandar Baru Bangi,
12 March 2012.

Dear Zarina,

        How's life? I hope you are in the best of health. How's my beloved Uncle Johari? I miss him too.The reason I write this letter is to tell you about my expedition to Langkawi. Guess what? We just came back from Langkawi . I went there with 25 of my classmates and my class teacher. Mr, Zaid had kindlly accompanied us for the 3 day-trip. You should have joined us. It was such an awesome experience!

        Well, on the first day, we arrived at Langkawi in morning after a short flight. Then, we were taken to Langkawi Geopark, a UNESCO World Heriatage Site where we could see magnificent rock formations. We were taught the history of the place and some fossils of fish could also be sighted. This is a wonderful opportunity to understand geogical aspect of the island at the Geopark.

        After visiting Geopark, we were taken to Pulau Dayang Bunting which about an hour boat ride. I forgot to mention that the boat ride itself was so exciting and adventurous. Upon arrival at the island, we were greeted by monkeys and soon, we saw a breathtakinng lake, with its gree clear water. Not forgetting the fish spa where thousands of catfish nibble at your feet when you lower feet into the water. Again, this is a new experience for me. Other than that, we could really enjoy the beautiful scenery of the island.

        The next day, we went to Underwater World where we saw the penguin, giant fishes, colourful onemones and all sorts of marine life there.I'm sure, it's heaven for fish lovers. One advantage of this trip is I could  learn about themarine life. Well, on the final day, we went to Mahsuri   Tomb and Padang Mat Sirat to relive the legend of Mahsuri. It was a good experience since I managed to see the historic sites and understand Mahsuri legend better. Other than that, I also learn about the importance of being true to our words and do not spread false gossips since these can lead to horrible consequences. I also managed to make friends with some other tourists visiting the site.

        Okay, I guess I have to have to pen off now. Hope to see you in the next letter. Please convey my love and regards to my uncle and aunti. Take care!

Love,                                                                                                                                                          Rosni 

Which do you prefer, living in the countryside or living in the city?

I think living in the countryside is far better than living in the city. There are numerous of reasons why living in countryside is the better than the city. The scenery, the streets, the people and the paced are totally different compare to the city.

The first outstanding characteristic about the countryside is that it is beautiful and peaceful. The air is fresh and the surroundings green. This is because the countryside is free from pollution, be it air, land or noise pollution. There no such perfect peaceful view that you can see other than in the countryside.

There are no crowded streets and heavy traffic in the countryside. Thus there are no fumes from cars and smoke from factories buildings to pollute the air. The trees surrounded the countryside help the people from inhaling the polluted air. The freshness smell of plant somehow helps the people of the countryside to have a healthy life.

Furthermore, people in the countryside are more conscious of keeping their surroundings clean and so there is little throwing of rubbish everywhere, only at designated places. This is unlike the cities where if the garbage trucks do not collect the rubbish disposed by household or restaurants, the city will be overflowing with rubbish! This will attract the mosquitoes, fly, rats and wild dogs to pollute their surrounding that will cause them to have diseases like dengue and cholera.

Thirdly, heavy traffic and crowded streets increase the level of noise pollution. The honking of cars in the streets is continuous and the crowds on the roads increase the hub of activity. There are also sound of the machine used in manufacturing factories, loud radio in and out the mall. These add to the noise of the city. Even if one lives in residential areas, one is never far from busy streets.
However, in the countryside, life is slow-paced. There is no need to rush around because there are not too many places to go. Most places are close by and people can walk or cycle. Less vehicle used, so less fumes is released.

The most heart-warming thing about the countryside is the attitude of people. People are friendly and helpful. If there are any happy or festive occasions, everyone pitches in to help. This feeling of cooperation and neighbourliness is what separates the countryside from the city.
In the city, people are too busy to take note of the people around. Some hardly even know their neighbours. So they would not even be bothered about what happens to people around. This is why the crime rate is increasing in the city because bystanders do not rush in to help if a crime is committed on the streets.

The pace of life in the countryside is slow so people have more time to enjoy life as the day goes on. Thus, for me to enjoy the quality of life, I prefer to live in the countryside.

489 words

In my opinion, one has not experienced life until one has lived in the city. There is so much to see and experience in the bright lights of the city that you cannot get in the countryside. Here in the city, you can learn about how to get along with people of different types, encounter varied situations and solve problems. All these help a person to grow in maturity. After all, experience is the best teacher.

In the countryside, however, you only move around people you are used to. So, you seldom encounter strangers or new and demanding situations. Life is more mundane and routine-like. Staying in a secure, safe place does not allow for one to gain new experiences and grow in maturity.

Furthermore, young people need a life that is exciting and pleasurable. It is the city that offers you entertainment- cinemas, parks and eating places. Here you can hang out with friends and family members. Life as fast-paced and this keeps you active and alert all times. And when it comes to educational opportunities, the city abounds in this. There are good school and libraries that are necessary for your mental development. Furthermore, there are places like museums and educational centres where you can go, to increase your knowledge.

Such places that offer you entertainment or learning opportunities are of course not available in the countryside. For entertainment, there is only the occasional festive celebration or marriage feast or fishing outing. Some may find this appealing but not me. Moreover, opportunities to widen your knowledge are limited in the countryside.

Another point in support of living in the city is the available of jobs. In the city, you can find a job that suits your qualification or interest. If you find a job unsuitable, you can always move to another. This, naturally, increases your earning power and you have better chances of a more comfortable life. Of course, one may argue that one can live in the countryside and work in the city but this will only incur extra expenses and unnecessary inconveniences.

Thus, for all the reasons mentioned above, I think that life in the city is better than living in the countryside. After all, you are young only once.

374 words

Persuasive / Argumentative Essay: Money

It is truly undeniable that in this science and technology millennium, we can hardly live without money. Even buying something small such as sweet will cost you some money. However, this does not mean that money can buy happiness, unlike the misconception of most people in the world. In fact, wealth is a far cry from happiness. If you disagree with me, let's look at the reasons for my stand.

Firstly, one of the main gates to happiness is to stay healthy. Maybe some people think that when one is rich, he can be healthy or it does not matter even if they have diseases because these rich men have lots of money to pay their medication. This is totally wrong. Good health is acquired from a healthy lifestyle progressively and not in a day. With lots of money we are tend to temp ourselves to exotic, luxurious food. If this food is taken excessively, it will let to obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension and other serious illness. Moreover, rich people are probably lack of exercise as they hardly walk outdoor due to 24 hours-service debar fetching them about causing them to be at a higher risk of getting these unnecessarily health problems. How a person can enjoys his life and feels happy when he is confined to a wheelchair or bed-ridden. He would not even be glad spending his money and time curing his sickness. Therefore, wealth cannot bring happiness.

Professionals like doctor, nurse, lawyer, engineer, food technologist and accountant earn a lot of money per month. They are considered the high class citizens who can afford large, expensive house with huge beautiful gardens. But do they really enjoy the pleasures of life? Most probably not because they are simply too busy with their work. They frequently burnt the midnight oil in their work place. It is even more miserable if they have to turn their home into a working place. Most specialists have to stand-by 24 hours in case of emergency calls from the hospitals. Hence, they can hardly spend any relax, restful night at their home even if they posse a huge two and a half storey bungalow with a beautiful garden and artificial waterfall. Successful businessmen may always have a chance of flying to all parts of the world when they go out station to make business. However, very few of them can really take it as a holiday as a treat for themselves for their schedules are always full and they are so stressful with their works. Even fewer businessmen can ignore urgent, pursuing calls from their clients or office when they are going for holidays or resting. In other words, one can make lots of money but he may not enjoy even the beauty of nature around them or the branded, expensive things with them. So what is the use of money when we do not even enjoy a meal properly and discontented with lives. One with a moderate income can feels happier if he leads a simple life and be grateful with what he has.

Finally, a children or a teenage brought in moderate family is better than in a rich family. As the sons or daughters of billionaires, their parents will give them whatever that they want in material. These children or teenagers get a lot of pocket money from their parents and can afford to buy many expensive things like branded, latest handset, expensive clothes and branded sport shoes. But the question is, are they happy if their parents are always working with only an Indonesian maid to accompany them. If they are asked to choose between wealth and love from their parents, I believe that they were undoubtedly choose love. A healthy family is not created for the children. These children mentally are not as healthy as those being cared and loved by their parents. Children need parents who can listen to their problems and give them words of wisdom, teaching then day by day. Parents who are not rich may not be able to buy branded things to satisfy their children but with more communication and understanding, these teenagers will understand the difficulty of their parents in earning money, learning to be thrifty. In short, money does not promise a happy, caring family.

Money may be able to buy a lot of things but not love, friendship, health and others. These are the main ‘ingredients’ for a happy life. Thus, it is a controversy if money can bring happiness. Even, if we can afford many things we desired with lots of money, we may not be happy and enjoy our lives if we are always dissatisfied with what we had, yearning for more. Thus, I stand firm that money cannot bring happiness.

My Most Embarrassing Situation

    Everyone has been embarrassed at one time or another. It is that moment in time when you wish the earth would open up and swallow you. The anxiety and discomfort felt during that time which may only last a few seconds feels like time has stood still.

            I remember so well when I had my most embarrassing moment. I was in Form 4 and it was during the school recess. The minute the bell rang for recess, I rushed to the toilet because I had been controlling my urges since class started. I didn’t want to miss class because the lesson taught that morning was to include tips for the forthcoming examination.

            Without realising, I had rushed to the girls’ toilet. The prolonged control and an upset stomach made worse by two glasses of cold milk in the morning made me grunt and groan in what I thought in what I thought was the privacy of the cubicle. I thought I heard giggling outside and wondered why the giggles sounded unusually near. A few minutes later I came out the cubicle and discovered my horror that I had entered the girls’ toilet. To make matters worse, the few girls standing outside didn’t even turn away when I came out. Instead they looked down at me, then only they turned quickly away. Horror of horrors, I had forgotten to zip up! No beetroot could have matched the colour of my face at this point in time!

            They news of my predicament spread like wild fire throughout school. I was truly the talk of the town. I felt like I could either walk around feeling perpetually self-conscious and embarrassed or I could turn the situation round, perhaps even to my advantage. I remembered my mother’s words that ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’. So I decided to make fun of myself, to laugh at myself too. It works. Everyone got bored after a while and nobody teased me after that.

            It was indeed an eye-opening experience for me. I have learnt that when people laugh at you, you should laugh along. You must not take yourself seriously. Learn to look at yourself through other people’s eyes and you will realise that most of the time when they laugh at you, they just want to have some fun. They mean no harm. If you can make people laugh, it’s like bringing sunshine into their lives and as someone said, ‘those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.’

Reflective Essay: What would you do if you had a lot of money

When I was small, I often dreamt about being rich as my parents were quite poor. We had difficulty making ends meet each month. So, if I had a lot of money, I would certainly fulfill my dreams.
First and foremost, I would buy a house for my parents, preferably a bungalow, in a quiet town. I would equip the house with the latest technology so that it would be a smart home. My mother would have a state-of-the-art kitchen as she loves cooking. I would also get a maid to help her with the household chores. I will ensure that my family is comfortably settled in this house.

The second thing I would do is to go on a world tour with my parents. I have never been overseas but I long to see the places I have only read or dreamt about. First, I would like to visit Europe, especially Italy, the city of romance. I would visit all the museums and buildings I have heard so much about. My next stop would be Hong Kong or China. There is something mystical about China and her people. This would be my dream come true.

Apart from that, I could finally go on a shopping spree, which is my favourite pastime. Thus far, I could only go window shopping and if I had a lot of money, I would go into these stores and buy whatever I fancy. Just imagine that for once in my life, I do not need to look at the prices of the items that I like. I could just shop till I literally drop. The salesgirls would be hovering near me with their latest outfits and my wish would be their command. Ah, I would not be ignored anymore as I walk into their stores!

Besides shopping, I would also remember the poor and the less fortunate. First, I would certainly build a better home for the orphans in my town. In fact, I would also sponsor their education till they could stand on their own. They would receive an allowance monthly and I would definitely take them shopping.

Finally, I would take the opportunity to further my studies. When I was younger, my parents could not afford to send me overseas. So, I would love to pursue a course in interior decorating in London and once I graduate, I would like to set up my own business with the rest of the money.
They say that a fool and his money are soon parted. Thus, I would be very careful with how I spend my money. I would invest my money with my parents’ advice and keep some for rainy days.

DIRECTED: FORMAL LETTER: Letter of Application

You came across the following advertisement for the post Accounts Assistant Clerk.
Text Box: Lim and Sons Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd. requires Accounts Assistant / Accounts Clerk Requirements • Female aged 24 – 30 • LCCI Higher • Preferably with more than two years experience in manufacturing field • Able to handle fullsets of accounts Interested applicants are required to write in with complete resume together with a recent passport-sized photograph to: The Manager, Lim and Sons Manufactoring Sdn. Bhd., Lot 123, Interstate Industrial Area, 76 001 Nilai, Negeri Sembilan 

Write a letter of application together with curriculum vitae to the manager.

In your letter, include the following:
-       your curriculum vitae
-       the reasons for your interest in the job
-       your ability to work independently
-       pursuing a degree in Accountancy

Do remember to:
-       use the formal letter
-       use all the points given
-       elaborate each points given

Chong Mei Lin,
40, Jalan Templer,
Taman Hati Bersih,
76 000 Seremban,
Negeri Sembilan

The Manager,
Lim and Sons Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd.,
Lot 123, Interstate Industrial Area,
76 001 Nilai,
Negeri Sembilan                                                                                             18 JULY 2010

Dear Sir / Madam,

Application for the Post of Accounts Assistant
I wish to apply for the post of Accounts Assistant as advertised in The New Strait Times dated 15th July 2011.

2.         I have the necessary qualifications as stated in my curriculum vitae which is attached to this letter. I have experience working in both food manufacturing and also auto manufacturing fields. I am currently working in Lazat Ice Cream Sdn. Bhd. in capacity of an Accounts Assistant and have been here since January 2008. Before this, I was working in TFR Auto Enterprise as an Accounts clerk. Since my present position offers little prospect for career advancement, I would like to be attached to a fairly large organisation such as yours.

3.         I would like to work in Nilai as I intend to further my studies and get professional qualification. I have registered with a college in Nilai to do ACCA on part-time basis. With this high additional education level and knowledge, I can perform better in applying the accounts knowledge in the future job.

4.         I can assure you that I am capable person who can work independently. I am able to handle full sets of accounts, up to three sets at a time. I am interested in working with a company like yours as I feel I can grow well with the company. I am a team player, adapt easily to any working environments and can work with people from all works of life.

5.         I was active in extra-curricular activities and was considered as responsible and dedicated worker. I led and organised many activities for the school clubs so I am confident that I can be an asset to your company in this capacity. Furthermore, i have a good command of English.

6.         In view of my qualification and experience, I would expect a salary more than RM 2 000. And since I have my own car, I would have no problems travelling outstation should the job require.

7.         I look forward to hearing from you and I am fully prepared to attend an interview at any time convenient to you.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

A Holiday I Would Never Forget

A holiday I would never forget
Holidays, a time everyone gets hyped up over, parents planning activities for the family to spend quality time with and school children ( as well as teachers) jumping for joy. Hello, waking up late, celebrating, goin for tuition and best of all, vacations! In myy case, a holiday I would never forget is a fruitful one I expereinced five years ago, where my family I spent six days in the land of K-Pop and ' kimchi '- Korea.

        Finally, after ages of waiting, our family arrived in beautiful Korea. Stepping out of the plane, we could feel the chilly weather to our bones. Never experiencing that kind of weather, my siblings and I were totally excited. Passing through immigration and baggage claim, we were talking animatedly about our new surroundings. Since we went with tour group, we knew we were in good hands.

        Incident number one. We were supposed to take a bus to check in at the hotel, as instructed. I guessed I was overeager and without thinking. I ran to a random bus and knocked on the door. The young bus driver opened the door and looked at me with a puzzled expression. He started asking me something in Korean, which of course I did not understand. I tried to reply in English, but before I could make the attempt, my father quickly apologized to the driver and walked me back to the tour group who was watching from afar, shaking with laughter. It turned out that the bus I was running to was not the bus we were supposed to take. I dismissed my burning cheeks. I was glad I could be the butt of everyone's jokes on my first day in a foreign country.

        It was a bit past lunch time when we were done checking in our hotel. Not doubt, everybody's stomachs were grumbling. Thank God after checking in, we were going to have our lunch and do a bit of sightseeing. While waiting for the others outside the hotel, we walked around nearby. There was a row of vending machines that sold various snacks and beverages, including Haagen Dazs ice-cream , and instant noodles. My mother had a craving for Nescafe, so she spent her first Korrean money on that.

        At the restaurant, a delicious meal was already spread out for us. That was the first time we all tried kimchi, a spicy  and sour vegetable side dish.I did not think it was horrible,  buut I preferred the fish kimchi much better. We all ate using chopsticks, so that was kind or awkward for me  and  my siblings, as we were not skilled at using them yet. Being Malaysians, we were used to rice, so it was a good thing that the Korean meal included rice and a few other side dish, eaten from a Bento box. It was weird though, the rice was stickier compared to the rice  we eat at home, mainly to make it easier to eat using chopsticks. There was also hot and scumptious miso soup together with the meal. Since my sister and my brother did not like it much, I finshed up theirs. I gulped the warm soup down my throat- a nice connntrast from the shivering weather outside.

        One of the highlights of our activities that we did in Korea was skiling. Everybody from the tour group was looking forward to that, even the 52-year old couple traveling with us. Since it was'nt fully snownig yet, the hill was coverred with artificial snow. After grobbing our ski gear, we listen to a briefing by the instructor. He was very help ful, especially with us kids annd the elderly couple.

        Feeling jumpy and hyperactive, me and my sister made our way to the cable car and successfully skied down a slope. I thought, " We're natural at this," and my sister could not agree more. When we came to see how our parents and brother were doing, my brother started to throw a snowball towards me and my sister. It hit me, and we started having a small snowball fight of our own, just like in the movies! I guessed we got a bit out of hand and my sister accidentally hit a woman's back. when she turned around, she had this angry look on her face and started to walk towards us.I hurried my siblings to continue skiing with our parents,and we ran away before she cold catch us. Breathless, we giggled innaivety as we recapped the moment.

        In a way, skiing is like swimming. Why do I say so? Well, when swimming ,you do not feel tired , but you would see the effect when you get ravenous and eat more after a session or when you aintend to tke a nap, but it is extended to long hours. The same goes to skiing. When we arrived at the hotel after skiing, we were drained out and starving. Instant noodles saved the day! We all ate curry-flavoured Maggi together, savouring the memontary pleasure. We also dozed off quite early that night , right after going for a walk to enjoy the amazing night view of th mountains, and breathing the cool, fresh winter air.

        Shopping in Korea was also different compared to Malaysia. Its malls were packed with small shops or stalla on every floor. Big boutiques were not seen as much as the quaint kiosks. Nevertheless, I found shopping at their markets more enjoyable, especially because you could haggle the price. Their specialities   were crystals, fabrics and outerwear. Apart form that, I also liked their wet markets , mainly because they were very clean and they did not have that fishy smell. I remembered a shocking incident when walking through the stalls of the wet market. A large fish jumped  out its aquarium  and onto the floor. I stared at it and suddenly, I saw a huge cutting knife slicing through the fish's neck! It was the owner of the stall's doing. Then, the owner left the fish flapping around lifelessly without a head.

        There was also a treasure trove among the stalls of the wet market- a tiny shoop which served grilled seafood. My family stepped into the shop and ordered some grilled fish and cockles.

        After saying our prayers, we devoured our mouth-watering find of the day. Dripped in a type of souce, the seafood was the best I had ever eaten, as you could taste the freshness. Or maybe I was just hungry after  a full day of activities.

        If it was up to me, there were so many things to write on my memorabe trip to Korean. Not onli we got to spend quality time together as a family, but we also learnt countless new things and even discovered hidden talents. My father always said we should travel with an open mind and an open  heart. This is when you get to see your capability to adapt to changes. Just enjoy the simple things in life and be thankful of what you have. So, do just that. Who knows you might discover a part of yourself you never know existed?   

Narrative Essay: Forgiven

I stood motionless and looked at the solid, dark brown wooden door. The house was painted white, and black on the wooden beams and window panes. It looked huge and expensive from the outside. I had to make my mind up whether to knock or press the bell. I turned to face the garden. I thought about going back to my car and drove home. Home. That was where I wanted to be; or was it where I would be after I knocked the door? I sighed and walked to the side where there was a wooden bench by the beautiful garden. I could see that the woman in the family loved the garden. The smell of white lilies reminded me of the florist down the road on Sixteenth Street. I sat on the sturdy looking wooden bench, trying to figure out what I would say if someone was to open the door. I wished I did not find out where she was so that I would not have three sleepless nights thinking of why she left me, whether she was looking for me or whether I should be angry.

I was abandoned at Bliss Home when I was barely four. They said they found me playing joyfully in the playground, innocently thinking that I was sent to school. After three years, I found out that my mother left me at the orphanage because she had to go and find my father who left us when I was two. I was devastated, knowing that my mother left me to strangers. Funny, I thought, how manipulative and contradictory adults could be when it comes to giving advice. Those at Bliss Home took good care of me and made me realise that I was still lucky to be able to enjoy life. Sister Lisa was one of those who managed to make me see that I should make the most of myself than being miserable, grieving my unfortunate life; thinking nobody loved me. I stayed there till I was 12, when I was then transferred to Rouston Public School. Well, Sister Lisa thought it was a good school. Spurred by Sister Lisa’s determination to give me ‘life’, I did my best in Rouston and would go back to Bliss Home during semester breaks or Christmas to be part of the family. Well, I was not sure whether I knew the meaning of that word, but Sister Lisa convinced me that I was part of them when my presence was usually welcomed by freshly baked apple pie and mince meat. Then we would all sit in our warm huge and rather aromatic dining hall. I could still smell Martha’s mouth-watering Yorkshire pudding and roast beef in the kitchen whenever I visited Bliss Home. 

It was 8 years ago when I started digging files and tailing endless documents to find out who my biological parents were. Blessed, I found where my mother lived but was reluctant to go and see her. I knew it would shake her down to her knees and she would beg forgiveness for leaving me; that she was young and naive; that she would not have managed looking after me on her own. Even worst, my presence would stop her heart; that she would collapse unconsciously, leaving me feeling guilty instead. Sister Lisa was the one who insisted. At the end of the year, I eventually gave in but forbade her from calling Mom to inform that I was coming; in case I changed my mind. She gladly agreed and even packed me cheese and tomato sandwiches for the journey. I was skeptical when she said that Mom would be waiting for me. If mom knew where I was, why didn’t she come and find me?

My thoughts were interrupted by a butterfly flying right in front of my nose. I looked back at the house to see if anyone noticed my presence. Silence. I glanced at my watch but I forgot what time I arrived, so I did not know how long I was there. I stood up and walked back to the sandy path leading to the house. I stopped at the wooden door again wishing it was an automatic door so I did not have to decide. Spotting a shadow by the window on my left, my heart pumped. Somebody was at the window and was walking towards the door. I found it very hard to swallow a big lump in my throat as my heart thumped against my chest. I thought that I was the one who would be unconscious.  

“Hi, can I help you?” asked the girl who was standing in front of me with a huge grin. I swallowed hard while admiring her curly blonde. Seeing that, I knew she must be Mom’s daughter. She looked 15, lean and has beautiful brown eyes. Pretty.

“Yess.. Ermm yeah.. I was looking for Mrs Collins. Hmm well, is this Mrs Collins’s house by any chance?” 

“Ohh yeahh.. Hmm..Mom’s upstairs. And I think she’s expecting you. Aunt Lisa told mom this morning.” She smiled pleasantly holding the door. Despite the dazzling big smile, I could see the quizzical frowns on her forehead. I wondered whether it was because I frowned first. Obviously Sister Lisa must have had said something to Mom. 

I waited. Looking for words, 1 folded my arms unintentionally and looked away at the lilies, biting my lower lips. I thought of saying that it was a big mistake and should just walk back to my car. After all, it had been 25 years since she left me. It would not change anything, would it?

“Owh well, you must be freezing. Please come in, she’ll be down in a minute”.

She opened the door and took my left hand, looked at me in the eyes as if to ask for permission and pulled me inside. As I dragged my feet down the hallway, I could see a family picture on the wall. Something stabbed me, right on my chest. Deep. I could feel the pain that I felt years ago when I found out I was left on my own, and was on the verge of tears. Again, I thought of walking back to the door but I brushed the thought away when I heard the footsteps. It happened so quickly, I was not sure whether I was actually there. My stomach tightened when I saw the hopeful look in her eyes.

“William, ohh it’s you. I’ve been waiting for you for what..like..30 years? I knew you would find me. See, it’s in your nature. Being curious, that is.”

Well, as if it was my mistake that she had to wait so long. I thought I was supposed to wait for her to find me, or at least she should have gone to Bliss Home to find out. Silence. I could not say anything looking at her fragile face. I noticed that her daughter was standing by the small coffee table, looking out of the window expressionlessly, pretending we were not there. 

I looked at Mom pityingly and sighed. I was unsure of what to say. As if to wait for me to invite her in her own living room, she stood by the door and smiled awkwardly. Despite the quivered smile, I could still vaguely recognise those beautiful brown eyes when she smiled. Then, she looked down at her hands, which she clenched and unclenched nervously. I presumed that she was as uneasy as I was. After a moment, I cleared my throat and forced a weak smile. Seeing that, she ran towards me and hugged me. Sobbing. Tears welled in my eyes. I closed my eyes, afraid that anyone would see me, but I knew she was forgiven.