Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tumblr Revival

I just revived my dead tumblr site.

Image representing Tumblr as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

Will probably be mostly about my photography and stuff I find interesting on the net. And maybe some math stuff.

Do check it out if you want to, at And if you are a Tumblr user, do follow mine ok?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Math Stuff - [For My Students] Some Topical Exam Questions with Marking Scheme

My dear Secondary 4 students,

Cikgu Rohani, my former Additional Mathematics teacher has prepared some topical exam questions that you might want to try as a preparation for the exam on Wednesday. These questions also come with the marking scheme so you'll know what the examiner looks for in your working and which steps matter more.

screenshot of

To download the topical questions prepared by my Add Maths teacher, you can go to the links below:


Quadratic Equations

Simultaneous Equations

Indices and Logarithms

Please do not hesitate to contact me via twitter, sms, email, or the comments section below should you have any questions. All the best in your exams!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Math Stuff - Simultaneous Equations Solver

I have prepared another Wolfram Alpha widget and included it on the sidebar to the right. It is a simultaneous equations solver.

You can use it to solve a system of two equations with two unknowns. Just type in the equations, making sure that a maximum of two unknowns or variables are in the system. The solver will give you the solution (if any) and also an implicit plot of the solution at the bottom, for your reference.

I hope this helps students who are doing practice questions or mathematics exercises on simultaneous equations. You can use this widget to check if you have obtained the correct answers, and also to see how the equations intersect (if they do) in the Cartesian plane.

Thank you for using the solver and please do give me feedback if you have any.


Friday, May 06, 2011

Oh Winter How I Miss Thee

Oh my, Malaysia is such a hot country, I almost forgot that I used to live in a place where it's cold 7 months of the year. A place where snow could fall even in May, and rain is like a mist spray to the face.

Ann Arbor, Michigan would rank as one of my favorite places to live over in the States. There's hardly any serious crime, the traffic isn't that bad, public transport is efficient enough to take me where I want to go. Everyone's friendly and welcoming, and the ethnic diversity is such that people who are racists are a minority.

One of the things I miss most about living in Ann Arbor, or a four-season location for that matter, is the snow. Here in Malaysia, people have to pay to get to experience snow. Actually not even snow, but fake snow. Back in Michigan, I remember when I used to be so excited over the first snowfall of every year, and getting sick of snow after two weeks. Back then I took snow for granted, especially my first two years of living abroad, until my third year when I first took up snowboarding. The wintersport pastime made me appreciate snow much more during my last few years, and now that I live in a country where snow is almost impossible to be found falling from the sky, I miss the powdery icy cold hexagonal minute microscopic crystal precipitation even more.

Photo above was taken during a trip back from Indianhead Mountain, where I spent a weekend snowboarding with my friends. I was standing on the shores of Lake Michigan which was frozen and covered in a thick layer of snow such that the boundary between the shore and the lake was invisible. At the time, the temperature was not that cold, probably around -1 or -2 Celsius, so I was able to stand outside without a winter jacket.

Some of you might've seen this photo of me before in another post. This was taken when I went snowboarding on Mt. Breckenridge in Colorado, winter of 2004. I was lucky that day to get to borrow a snowboard instead of renting one, which would cost me more than a day's worth of decent meals.

My fifth trip to Chicago was during winter of 2007, and it was my last Spring Break trip with my good friends Kristen, Cassie and Ivan. This photo might probably be my last photo with the Chicago skyline, taken in front of Adler Planetarium.

Oh, and when you live in a country with an Equatorial climate, you don't get to see this phenomenon happening:

Grass and trees encased in ice. What happened was that it was raining the night before, then somehow the temperature dropped such that it became cold enough to freeze everything that was wet or covered in water. That morning I woke up to a crystallized icy wonderland, almost everything that was out there was encased in ice, the result of a freezing rain - something that I probably will not get to experience here in Malaysia.


Frozen berries!

And icicles everywhere.

Oh winter. How I miss thee.


Disclaimer: All photos were taken by ihsankhairir or taken by someone else using ihsankhairir's camera.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


I did not expect the seriousness of the sunburn I got when I was baked under the sun for four straight days last week until I saw this photo of my left forearm.

Should've taken my students' offer to use their sunblock before the basketball events. Anyway the sunburn did not feel as painful as it looked, and I'm already healing, so it wasn't that bad. But I have obvious tan lines and I look like a panda if I remove my shirt. Wonder how long it would take for those to fade away...


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

A Road Already Taken

Today, 3 May 2011, marks the first anniversary of me being employed here at Sri KDU.

I still remember getting that phone call inviting me to come for an interview. I did not apply for a position here, instead they called me to see if I can replace Mr. Chong to teach Mathematics to form 4 students.

I was desperate for a job at that time, because for the whole of January until April 2010, I was working without pay as a research assistant. Basically the research fund ran out, but I still stayed and worked without receiving any salary for four full months before that fateful call from Sri KDU came.

To tell you the truth, I also got offered a job at Help University College the same time as the offer from Sri KDU. Given a choice, I was leaning more towards Sri KDU, but being such a filial son I decided to let my mom have a say, and she suggested Sri KDU. And that's how I ended up working here.

Before coming to Sri KDU, I already got to know or known of some particular students from my incessant blogwalking trips. Chien Teng was the first Sri KDU student I got to know from these blogwalking trips, and I once randomly commented in Tiffany Khoo's blog. I also knew of Ysabella and Waihowe because Chien Teng mentioned them in some of her blog posts. All these students I managed to meet during my first day of school because I ended up becoming their Math teacher. It felt a little bit weird seeing these students in real life, since I've read bits and pieces about them for almost a year before coming here, and yet they knew almost nothing about me.

First few months of school was tough. I was immediately in the middle of Mid-Year exams and had to mark tons of papers with little preparation. Preparing the comments for the reports proved to be quite a challenge since I did not know most of the students. After that came Paramount Championship finale and Winners Nite, and then preparations for Shine the Musical began. I was in charge of the combo band, which I feel I was very unqualified for since I know almost nothing about how to play any musical instrument, let alone how to manage a band. But Melvin Chong and Mr. Andrew was quite helpful and they did most of the work, which made me feel redundant and useless, but nevertheless I learnt a lot from that experience.

But the icing on the cake was that I was given the task of taking photos for the event, which I gladly took with pleasure. Being able to practice taking photos of an actual stage event with ever-changing lighting conditions was a great learning experience. I learnt to change settings on-the-fly using two cameras, a Nikon D90 and a D60. I took more than 2000 photos that night, although only about 30% of them were usable. Prior to the event I also got to have one outdoor and some green screen photoshoot sessions with the cast and crew.

Towards the end of the year came the interclass competitions, for which my class, 4 Aristotle, won overall champions. We won champs for basketball (the whole team consisted of school team players, duh) and creative arts, and also the overall championship. I remember feeling so proud of my students when we received the many hampers we won for the interclass events.

This year has also been quite eventful, with me suddenly being appointed Housemaster for Blue House and teacher advisor for the school basketball team. So much had to be done in order to prepare for Sports Day, and all the hard work by the students and the teachers paid off when Blue House became Sports Day champion this year. The basketball team managed to go further this year than they had ever been, and they received medals for making it to the semifinals.

My class this year, 4 Mozart is full of amazing and talented students. They compete in almost all of the Paramount Championship events and won medals for quite a number of them. They are also the favorites to win the singing and band events, and are contenders for the upper secondary Champ trophy. I feel so thankful and blessed to be given the opportunity to be the homeroom teacher for this group of young and talented students. They never ceased to make me proud every day for their many impressive achievements.

Anyway, beginning today, the cycle repeats for the first time. Mid Year exams is coming soon, the preparation for which was exactly the first thing I needed to do the first day I arrived here last year. So from today onwards, I have no excuse for being a newbie. Beginning today, I no longer tread on fresh ground. Starting today, I walk on a road already taken, with a year's worth of experience to guide me.

May this year be as eventful and as amazing as the past 52 weeks I had in here Sri KDU.


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Ping Your Podcast