Tabi basa and greetings family and friends,
Previously I have written about the ladies working offshore, in my Dayung Laut-related postings. This time, I want to write about a profession so close to our heart, teachers. Featured in this session are five teachers from Serian’s area, all from Bidayuh ethnics, same like mine. Therefore, to make the photoshoot today special, these ladies wore Bidayuh traditional attire.
Venue: Ranchan Waterfall
But first, let’s talk about the venue. Back at Miri, I my venue of choice is Miri Public Park or Tanjung Lobang because those are the place that I think is beautiful at Miri, unless my client requests for a different venue, perhaps at Tusan cliff or even Canada Hill. Those are among the inconic places at Miri peoples.
Since this time I am at Serian, the photoshoot is done at the famous Serian Ranchan waterfall, a place where many families come to wind down during the weekend, or even young lovers from Serian to have their first date. Usually it is quiet, especially during weekdays because not many people are available. That means it is a good time for photoshoot, especially when all I need is as little interruption as possible.
In this photoshoot, I am using my favourite gears, my Leica M10-P black and APO-Summicron 50mm and my lighting of choice is as usual the Profoto B10 and octa-light modifier, because it is portable and easy to handle. I have a Summilux 21, but it ended up in my bag most of the time because I just love 50mm focal length.
My advise is, if you want to buy these kind of items, be it Profoto or Leica, don’t talk about it to someone else and just go buy it. Otherwise, if you delay it, you will not be buying because 1) you will talk yourself out of it, or 2) someone else will, or 3) you will use that capital for something else. Either way, just don’t be a victim of G.A.S (gear acquisition syndrome). Just buy the thing that can last a long time. In that way, you will buy that item and will not waste long hours reading reviews, which is an even greater loss because unlike money, time cannot be gained back.
There is something about Leica that I am always passionate to tell about to others. For me, I just love to be part of the history of Leica. Period. Of course, there is a lot of camera gears out there that comes with its own bells and whistles, that can do ultra-fast frame rate, that has blazing speed auto-focus, but none can give the experience that my Leica M gave. Only Leica can fill the vacuum in every Leica M shooters. That probably is another reason why I never bought any SL because all I want is an M. For me, M9 is good. I love the colour. However, after 10 years, it requires an upgrade. Having skipped M240, I opt for M10 instead. I never regretted it. It is like an M9 on steroid, with a permanent effect. M cameras are small too. It is dicreet enough to be carried here and there. Some might argue point and shoot like Ricoh GRIII is the best, but for me, M gave the best experience. To each their reasons, I do love my M.
The thing about using a manual camera, or any other camera, we need to teach our camera how do we see the final images. Our perception has an auto-correction that is done real time, such as auto-colour temperature adjustment, auto aperture control or even auto-ISO control, which makes our eye as the best photography tool ever existed, and inspired the birth of many cameras. That is why we do final touch-up in our post-processing, because, for various reasons, the camera did not managed to produce the image that we see in our mind. Hence, need to tweak it a little bit. But not too much though, otherwise it will look fake.
The photoshoot today is challenging because none of these teachers are professional or have an awareness in modelling. Nevertheless, I used my experiences thanks to my previous collaborations with Divabiz Ambassadorz led by Priscilla, Christy and friends, and Trisha. One thing to note is to warm up the environment first, which is why ice breaking is a must and a necessary part to do. It may look trivial, but it is important. Otherwise, the session would be a long one, and none of you guys are comfortable with the session. It is called Relativity Theory. You can ask Mr Einstein about it. Thankfully, the session went smoothly and no mishap occurs.
Interviews with the Teachers
Throughout the photoshoot also I managed to interview these teachers. This is to enable me to understand more about these teachers. In case you are wondering, I choose teacher’s today because I felt like I want to write something fresh from the working level. All this while, there are a lot of opinions voiced from the teachers, but one thing I notice, it is from the teachers from the urban area, since it is the most accessible to lots of mass media. Of course, for mass media, I would want to find something that is relevant for me and will fetch a high market due to its popularity. However, that means the teachers from rural area are being left out. As a product of rural areas, I felt like these teachers teaching at rural areas also should be heard.
For me, teacher has been a profession that is close to my heart because there is a lot of stories that can be related to it. Out of many teachers, the one that I can really call a great teacher is Cikgu Julia, a Sabahan lady, teaching at SMK Tebakang. I always wonder, why her accent sounds different. Back then, I had no exposure at all to Sabahans, and therefore I had no idea. All my life, I am surrounded by Bidayuhs. It was only when I left my village to got to Labuan I do realise, that is how Sabahan sounds like. It is a unique accent indeed. I also realised, my ways of pronunciation is somewhat similar to theirs, albeit strong Bidayuh accent (aga kai boh).
Probably next time I pay a visit to SMKT to meet Cikgu Julia once again. Her name is also the main character in Nineteen Eighty-four: Julia and Winston – two lovers that was doomed to be separated due to the military state led by the ever-watching, ever-observing Big Brother.
First Teacher: Beppy
The first teacher to be interviewed is Beppy Stella anak Girim from Kpg Paon Gahat. She is a Bachelor’s Degree holder with Honours in Education (Counselling). She has 9 years teaching experiences. According to her, the biggest challenge that she faces thoughout her career is when dealing with students, colleagues and the community around the school. It requires her to be adaptable as each has their own package of attitudes. Also, another challenge that she thing is worth to highlight is the additional tasks and surprise assignments given unto her. No speciifc name was mentioned but it is worth to note that being a teacher doesn’t mean everything that is written in the job description will get to be done.
Her advise for those who wants to take up the teaching profession is to be prepared physically, mentally and emotionally. It demands the best from each individuals to be an educator nowadays, so unlike the yesteryear teachers. Also, there is a need to draw a line between personal and working life, which can be blended due to unavoidable reasons. Those who want to be a teacher also should have a high curiosity, always learn and don’t be shy when facing difficulties in completing an assignment. A teacher-to-be also has to be jack of all trades, and can do various tasks, apart from the one mentioned in the job description.
True to her look, she is a passionate make-up artis. Do check out her Instagram account, @muasbg, which is her passion.
Her life’s motto is everything is a choice. Be grateful and never give-up because great thing takes time.
Second Teacher: Malisa
The second teacher to be interviewed is Malisa Catriona anak Asan, holder of Bachelor’s Degree. In Education (Literature) from USM, majoring in Malay language. Coming from Kpg Slabi (and her father from Kpg Bengoh, Padawan, that makes her a Biatah), she has 12 years’s experience, and currently teaching at SMK Gedong.
According to her, among the key challenges faced are the requirement for teacher to master a lot of field and not to lose track of the development in education issue or policy, brought upon by the 21st Century educational wave. She also pointed that teacher are still doing clerk’s job that takes up a lot of valuable times until it disrupts the teaching process. Apart from that, teachers nowadays are faced with social and discipline issues that originates from the explosion of limitless world of information, where everything, be it good or bad, are simply a click away, thanks to smartphone or gadgets. Lastly, she mentioned that there is a borderless on-duty timing, where teachers has to teach, and at the same time be part of the commitee members when there is a program at school, since the key thing is to save cost.
Her advise to person who is taking up teaching profession is to prepare physically and mentally, with the assignment that was not even being taught in university classroom. The person also has to be highly adaptable with the community that consists of students, parents, and people that lives around the school.
Malisa is a Freelance (ZIN) Zumba Instructor. You can find her at Zumba.Com and follow her IG , mellyscat.
Her life motto is “you can’t stop the wave, but you can learn to surf”.
Third Teacher: Ginny
The third teacher to be interviewed is Virginy anak John Burung, holder of Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Technology, from UTM Skudai, whom has been teaching for 8 years, with current school of SMK Gedong, just like Malisa. She is from Kpg Temong Mura, Tebedu.
Among the challenges that she faced at school are the ever-increasing workload other than base-load, e.g. school shop teacher, dormitory warden, society advisor teacher, and doing all of the clerk works. She also mentioned that teacher also has to be able to adapt to the globalisation-related waves, including the usage of all new gadgets in teaching process, aside from the ever-changing education system. Apart from those, she points out about the Student Development Processes that each teacher has to take care of, which includes doing post-mortem everytime there is an internal examination of public examination. Teachers are often being blamed if the student did not achieve school target. Also, she mentioned that teachers has to face more and more students that has gradually lose respect to teachers, unlike the good ol’ yesteryears.
Because of these issues, she advised that teachers’ to be must be prepared mentally and physicallly and has to be multi-tasking as well has a high patience level.
She is a mother and a wife of a beautiful family. For her, family is everything. Her life’s motto is to stay positive. The things you are praying and hoping for tends to arrive at the most unexpected moments.
Fourth Teacher: Mobory
The fourth teacher to be interviewed is Mobory, or simply Bory from Kpg Munggu Kupi, Serian. She is a graduate from IPG Tun Abdul Razak Campus and has 6 years teaching experiences. Currently she is teaching at SK Sg Rimu.
Behind the ever-cheerful face, there lies a story about the challenges that she faced, including ever-increasing and changing workload, changing education systems, society viewpoint on teachers and lastly, diminishing respect to teachers, especially from the younger generations.
Because of this, she advised that whoever is taking up the teaching profession to be always love their career, sincere in giving knowledge to the students, prepare to face various challenges and always be patient.
She believed that God will not test us beyond our limit. Therefore, learn to appreciate and be thankful becasue we only live once.
Fifth Teacher: Patricia
The last teacher to be interviewed here is Patricia, or simply Pat, a teacher at SMK Tebakang, teaching Chemistry, who is a holder of Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Education (Chemistry) from UTM Skudai. Coming from Kpg Riih Mawang, she has been teaching for 8 years.
Thoughout those years, she has been facing a lot of challenges, namely the various attitudes of the community. Not everyone is angel, or demons. Aside from teacher’s baseload, teacher has to do miscellaneous work such as special tasks, sports and clerk works. To form a student is another challenge of its own. She also pointed out that sometimes she work beyond 8 hours, especially during examination times.
Therefore, for the teacher’s-to-be, she told them to be prepared mentally, physically and spiritually. There is always a need to be an excellent multi-tasker and a jack-of-all-trades. They also need to be able to adapt quickly to the surrounding, including students and colleagues. A teacher in the future also has to have a good general knowledge, while at the same time good in own major subject, e.g. Chemistry. Most importantly, love your job. Love is the best motivator.
Taking off teacher’s mantle, she is a Zumba Instructor, and you can find her IG: patricia_pete. She believed that we should always be grateful and embrace the bad and good things that happen in life. Do your best and let God do the rest. Be humble and kind always.
With the interview from Cikgu Pat, that marks the end of the interview session. The rest of the session was only photoshoot that takes place around Ranchan area. The photoshoot, as usual, draws attention from Ranchan-goers, but it is to be expected because there is only a few occasion you will see ladies wearing Bidayuh traditional dress. ALl of the teachers that I have intereviewed are Bidayuh, but that doesn’t mean that the theme are not applicable. In fact, the things that they have said are real, and every teachers across the nation shares the same challenges and dilemma. However, that should not be stopping us from trying to do our best to contribute to the betterment of the nation. We can do our part, no matter what our profession is. But I think all of us can agree that teacher’s of various education level played a big role in our knowledge-gathering processes. With that, let’s give them a virtual three cheers for these teachers. Tara Tara Tara!!!
Special Thanks: Lady Starlight
Thank you to my cousin, Tania for becoming my lighting lady for today. Without your help, the photoshoot will not be a success.
Your Tukang Rantek,
Note: Claudius Weson is a “tukang rantek” (photographer in Bidayuh Pichin) based in Miri, mainly doing portraiture (indoor / studio / outdoor photoshoot), weddings and event photography.
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