Sunday, May 19, 2013

MUET ESSAY : Preserving the environment is more important than economic development. Do you agree?




Preserving the environment is more important than economic development.
Do you agree?

Agree: Preserving the environment is more important.

Points:
 1. Environment: levels of pollution are high; resources will be irreplaceable if depletion rates are not lowered.
-If the current levels of pollution are left unchecked, the planet may not be able to sustain life in a few generations' time.
-Economic development and affluence would be valueless then.
-The loss of clean air and water and the depletion of sources such as food and fuel, together with drastic climate changes will make survival very difficult, if not impossible.

2. Preservation of historical sites: Loss of culture and history.
-If sites and buildings of historical significance are sacrificed for the sake of new developments, part of the history and heritage of place will be LOST, and such loss is irreversible.
- People gradually lose their sense of history, identity and belonging as their city looks more and more like any other city which is bent on development and modernizing.

3. Demolishing old buildings may eventually cost society more than embarking on a new development
- Preserving old buildings can create more employment and increase local household income more than the building of new developments.
- The employment created can be of longer term benefits as related industries such as heritage tourism can flourish.

4.Disregarding environmental preservation affects economic growth
-How much society can sustain economic growth actually bears a co-relation to environmental preservation and prudence in the use of resources.
Environmental degradation can result in high costs to economic growth.

MUET ESSAY : Was life for young people in Malaysia better in the past than it is today??




Was life for young people in Malaysia better in the past than it is today??
Clarification of terms

-life: standard of living/ way of life
-young people: children, teenagers, young working adults
-better: comparative term>>> one is superior to the other
-past: period which is not recent

Possible points
Yes, life for young people in Malaysia was better in the past than it is today
Life was less stressful and moved in a slower pace.
Higher stress is linked with not only physical but also psychological ailments like depression, hence the incidences of young people committing suicide due to inability to cope with studies, relationships, etc.
Work: The working environment was less competitive. Today, though jobs are more specialised, the truth is people need to be able to multi-task in order to stand out among others.
The cost of living is lower in the past as compared to the present.
Young people were contented with the simple pleasure and entertainment in life.

Yes, life for young people in Malaysia is better today than it was in the past.
Due to globalisation, Malaysia is influenced by trends in other parts of the world and has become more opportunities now. There are more opportunities open to different sectors of the youth population.
Education: Many educational initiatives introduced to empower the young in this modern age.
The standard of living is higher today.
Ease of spending: many young working adults own credit cards.
Though life may appear more stressful now, the range of entertainment and leisure activities that young people can choose to engage in has increased.
People are more able and willing to pamper themselves.

CATCH US IF U CAN SAMPLE ANSWERS




CATCH US IF U CAN SAMPLE ANSWERS
Using details from the novel you have studied,
• describe a close relationship between two characters
• explain why you would consider them to be very close Support your answer with close reference to the text.

GUIDELINES
• Name the novel and the author that you have chosen
• Choose and write the names of two characters from the story • Describe their close relationship
• Explain why you would consider them to be very close

SAMPLE ANSWER
In the novel “Catch Us If You Can” by Catherine MacPhail, Rory McIntosh and his grandfather share an inseparable bond.
According to Rory, they are “like a double act”. His father abandoned his mother and him, so when his mother died, he was taken care of by his grandparents. The death of his grandmother had left him with his grandfather. He called him „Granda‟ and Granda had looked after him all his life and now it was his turn to look after Granda. However both of
them were incapable of looking after themselves because Granda was too old and sick while his grandson was too young to shoulder the responsibility of looking after himself and his forgetful and sometimes disorientated grandfather. Whatever the difficulties, Rory and Granda refused to be separated. Rory argued that sending Granda to a home would kill his grandfather and forcing him to stay in a children‟s home would be unbearable. That showed how close they were and how emotionally dependent they were on each other.
Rory loved Granda so much that he was prepared to make a lot of sacrifices for the old man. He let go the chance to be in the school football team because he needed to look after Granda. He had to run home from school during lunch break to bring Granda lunch. On several occasions, Granda had unwittingly „lost‟ or „misplaced‟ Rory‟s homework and that had earned him the wrath of his teacher, Mrs Foley. Besides all these, he had to think of the little precautions to take to keep Granda out of harm. Still, he did not want to part with his Granda who would have been better off in an old folks‟ home. Granda felt the same also. The bond between the two was a special one. However, events took a decisive turn when Granda accidentally caused a fire in the kitchen of their flat. Granda was taken to hospital and then to Rachnadar, a home for the elderly. Rory ended up in Castle Street where he met the troubled Tess and fought with her.

He was miserable there. Granda fared no better at the home. Rory felt that they had been cheated by his social worker, Val Jessup. He plotted on the run while the police launched a hunt for them. The news of the runway pair was everywhere on television but they managed to evade the police with the help from sympathizers along the way. They suffered a lot of discomfort while on the run and the old man‟s condition worsened but they seemed happy. Being together has become a source of strength to them. They were finally persuaded to go and see Rory‟s long-lost father, Jeff McIntosh, who had been traced to Liverpool as a result of the publicity. But before they could do this, Jeff came for them. They ended up together again, and this time in a flat near where Jeff and his new family lived. Jeff was finally ready to assume responsibility for his father and his son.
Rory and Granda were inseparable. It looked as if only death could separate them. Nothing mattered as long as they were together.

4.3.2 PRACTICE 2

Using details from the novel you have studied, write on the theme of happiness. Use evidence from the text to support your answer.

GUIDELINES
• Name the novel and the author that you have chosen
• Choose evidence from the novel which relate to the theme of happiness • State the characters
• Explain what the characters do to be happy
SAMPLE ANSWER

In the novel „Catch Us If You Can‟, Rory McIntosh has been living with his grandfather since he was a young boy. On the surface, this arrangement such as theirs cannot be a happy one because Granda is old and sick while he is too young to be able to look after himself, let alone his forgetful and sometimes disorientated grandfather. Granda would have been better off at Rachnadar, a home for the aged where his needs will be taken care of by professionals and Rory would have been able to lead a more normal life at Castle Street Children‟s Home. But they refuse to be separated. Despite the difficulties, they are happy together. In their own obstinate way, they are guarding their right to be together and be happy.
However, when Granda causes a fire in their flat, the social worker assigned to them takes Granda to Rachnadar while Rory goes to the Castle Street home. Rory is upset and so is Granda. Rory believes the home is killing his Granda. Then, Rory decides to run away from the home, „rescue‟ his Granda from Rachnadar and they would run away from all these meddling people. They are on the run for several weeks and the television is full of news about them. A
massive search is launched for them. Ironically, while on the run, they experience some of the happiest moments of their lives, with the help of sympathizers like Darren, his best friend who steals his mother‟s caravan key to let them hide temporarily, Sammy and Ruby who shelter them when the police close in on them. Then, there are the sympathetic petrol station operator, Rab and his girlfriend, Annie. Their run comes to an end when Granda becomes ill
and causes concern to Norma, Annie‟s cousin who is helping them to get to Liverpool to find Rory‟s father. She calls the police. All‟s well that ends well when McIntosh‟s long-lost son, Jeff, who is also Rory‟s father comes for them. He is ready to assume his responsibility as a son and father.
Rory and Granda are basically searching for happiness whether as a stubborn pair fiercely defending their rights to stay together in the flat in the face of insurmountable problems or whether as runaways, oblivious to the frenzy they are causing through their actions. They sincerely believe that they are looking for happiness. After all, nothing matters as long as they are happy because life is a quest for happiness.

4.3.3 PRACTICE 3

“The title suits the story perfectly”

Using details from the novel you have studied, discuss whether you agree with the statement above. Give reasons for your answer. Use evidence from the text to support your answer.
GUIDELINES
• Read and understand the statement given
• Name the novel and the author that you have chosen
• Explain how the title suits the story
• Use evidence from the novel to support your answer
SAMPLE ANSWER

The title of the novel “Catch Us If You Can” by Catherine MacPhail is simple and catchy that suits the novel perfectly because it captures the actions of a grandfather and a grandson who cause a frenzy when the police launch a massive search for them. The grandfather has run away from an old folks‟ home he hates and the grandson has escaped from a horrible children‟s home.
The title has the semblance of a challenge to the people tracking down the pair. It sounds cheeky, insolent and child-like and it reflects the character of the runaway pair. The grandfather, suffering from age-related ailments can be childish and does not realize the implications of what he has done. In his pursuit, he has caused bodily harm to a youngster who recognizes his grandson, Rory, from the news on television and wants to turn them in. Then, he steals a car to get away. All these can be considered criminal but he is happily nonchalant or ignorant of all the legal implications. His grandson and accomplice, Rory, is a child who knows no better. The expression „If You Can‟ is not only tongue-in-cheek, but also suggests that tracking them down can be difficult. One would think it would be easy to catch them but it is not. Although what they are doing is unbelievably crazy, they have earned the sympathy of
many people along the way and this has helped them to evade the police for so long. First, Darren, Rory‟s best friend, plans the first lap for them when he steals his mother‟s caravan key for them to hide out while they think of a better plan after they leave the homes.
Then, they meet Sammy and Ruby who offer them help as the police are closing in on them. Next, there is Rab at the petrol station who gives them a respite and convinces them that they should go and find Jeff McIntosh, Rory‟s father, in Liverpool because it is time for him to do something „in his whole useless life‟. After that, there is Annie, Rab‟s girlfriend, who hands them over to her cousin, Norma. Norma finally brings the whole saga to an end when she decides to call the police because she can see that the old man really needs medical help.
The title suits the story perfectly because it is a story about a grandfather and a grandson on the run. It is also a reflection of what the story is – the police are not looking for regular criminals but just two ordinary people whom the police do not want to apprehend but to protect and keep out of harm.

4.3.4 PRACTICE 4

Using the details of the novel you have studied.
• describe a decision made by any one character in the novel
• do you think the decision was a wise one?
Support your answer with evidence from the novel.
GUIDELINES
• Name the novel and the author that you have chosen
• Choose a character from the story
• State the decision made by the character you have chosen
• Give your opinion whether the decision made by the character you have chosen was
a wise one
• Use evidence from the novel to support your answer
SAMPLE ANSWER

In the novel „Catch Us If You Can‟ by Catherine MacPhail, I would choose the decision made by Rory, when he decided to get Granda out of Rachnadar and run away.
After the death of his mother, Rory lived with his grandparents. When his grandmother died, his grandfather, whom he called Granda, looked after him. Rory and Granda were very close to each other that they had become inseparable. When Granda became sick and his memory began to fail, it was Rory‟s turn to look after Granda. One day, Granda accidentally set fire to their flat. This brought the authorities to step in. Finding Granda and Rory incapable of taking care of each other, they sent Granda to an old folks‟ home, while Rory was sent to a children‟s home in Castle Street. The authorities had no choice but to do this for the safety of both Granda and Rory. Granda might pose a danger not only to himself and Rory but to those around him.
Rory felt he was wrongly torn away from his Granda. Furthermore, Rory knew that Granda hated being in Rachnadar, the old folks‟ home, and Rory himself hated it in Castle Street. So he made the decision to run away with Granda so they could be together.
I can understand Rory‟s position but I do not see it as a wise decision. In the first place, he was too young to make a huge decision like this. At his age, he should have thought about school. He should realize that he was incapable of taking care of his old and sick grandfather. Granda was too old and frail to go on such a challenging and demanding journey. Moreover, Granda needed his pills to sustain him. Besides, Rory did not know where he was going to. Where could they go when they had no place and no one to care for them? Rory, too, asked himself the question whether it was a wise decision. People may say that those who love each other must stay together but this is based only on emotion. I think Rory made the decision because he had no one else in his life. It was not only because he loved Granda so much, but also because he did not know how to live without his Granda because all this while, Granda was always there for him.
To make decisions, we must be objective. We must think rationally. Seeing the unpredictability of things and the health condition of Granda, and Rory‟s immaturity, I strongly feel that Rory made an unwise decision in running away.

4.3.5 PRACTICE 5

Using details from the novel you have studied, write on the theme of forgiveness OR reconciliation.
Support your answer with close reference to the text.
GUIDELINES
• Name the novel and the author that you have chosen
• State the characters
• Choose the events from the novel which highlight the theme of forgiveness or
reconciliation
• Explain what the characters do to show forgiveness
• Support your answer with evidence from the novel
SAMPLE ANSWER
In Catherine MacPhail‟s „Catch Us If You Can‟, Rory has been cared for by his grandfather whom he calls Granda for as long as he remembers. According to Granda, his own father was a spoilt brat of a boy; just mentioning him would make Granda angry. He grew up to be someone who did not appreciate what he got and left Rory‟s mother who later died of heartbreak. And that was when the senior McIntosh decided to cut all ties with his son. He is adamant that the only son he had is Rory and he can very well take care of the boy.
The irony of the situation is, Rory has been looking after his Granda who is not well and needs medications for all sorts of ailments. As a result, Rory has to look after him, take him to the doctor, prepare his lunch and make sure he takes his medicines – all too big a responsibility for a young boy like him. Despite the difficulties, both Rory and Granda refuse to be separated, as any solution would entail sending the old man to a nursing home and the boy, a children‟s home.
However, after Granda accidentally sets fire in their flat, he is sent to Rachnadar, an old folks‟ home and Rory to the children‟s home in Castle Street. They cannot bear being separated. Rory takes Granda out from the home and both go on a run. Soon, the police is looking for them. News about them appears on the media. Rory and Granda manage to
evade the police because they get help from people who sympathize with them along their journey.
Investigations reveal that Rory‟s father, Jeff Mcintosh is in Liverpool and they are advised to go and see him. While on their way to Liverpool, Granda becomes too sick. The police is informed by one of the people who helps them, Norma, who feels that the old man needs immediate help. Jeff, with the help of the authorities, arrives to take his father and his son with him. Both father and son are reconciled and Rory finds his long-lost father. Jeff is ready to take on his responsibilities as a son to his father, Granda, and as a father to his son, Rory.
The story ends with a reconciliation between the ageing and ailing father and the son he has vowed to disown, Jeff. As for Rory, it is a happy reunion with the father he has never known.

4.3.6 PRACTICE 6

From the novel you have studied, what is the most important lesson you have learnt? Support your answer with close reference to the text.
GUIDELINES
• Name the novel and the author that you have chosen
• Think of a lesson you have learnt after reading the novel
• State the characters and the hardships they go through that have an impact on you
• Explain how the story affects you
• Use evidence from the novel to support your answer
SAMPLE ANSWER
From the novel „Catch Us If You Can‟ by Catherine MacPhail, an important lesson I learnt is to be persistent and determined when facing challenges. Often, persistence leads to better results than losing hope easily. Two characters in the novel, Rory and Granda, handled challenges with determination. Rory knew that he must be strong and determined in order to withstand the rigours of the escape. There was never a time he felt like giving up and turning in to the police. It was the strong sense of perseverance that helped him bear all the hardships. It was the same with Granda. When things got difficult, he was even more persevering even though it was hard for a man his age to be on the run. He knew he needed to be strong so that he could be together with Rory.
The escape got very arduous and tough at times. The police were always after Rory and Granda. There was a wide TV coverage on them. But Rory and Granda were determined to pull through. They knew they would be together and not be separated as long as they continued to run. From the way they went through their escape, I learn that challenges should be dealt with determination. One must not easily give up hope and accept defeat. As long as one has the chance, one must keep on going till success is met.

4.3.7 PRACTICE 7
The characters in novels often face problems. Some solve their problems but some do not. Using information from the novel you have studied, show how
• one character solves his/ her problems
• one who does not solve his/ her problems
Support your answer with close reference to the text.

GUIDELINES
• Name the novel and the author that you have chosen
• Choose a character, state his/her problems
• Explain how the character solves his/ her problems
• Choose another character and state his/ her problems
• Explain why the character fails to solve his/her problems
• Suggest what the character should do to solve his/ her problems
• Use evidence from the novel to support your answer

SAMPLE ANSWER

It is true that characters in novels often face problems. Some manage to solve their problems but some do not.
In Catherine MacPhail‟s „Catch Us If You Can‟, a character who manages to solve his problem is Rory. His apartment is burnt down due to Granda‟s carelessness. He is then forced to part with his Granda. He is sent to stay at the children‟s home in Castle Street, and Granda is sent to the old folks‟ home in Rachnadar. Being very close to Granda, Rory can see that Granda is miserable at the home. Rory can sense that Granda has lost interest in everything and it breaks Rory‟s heart to see Granda like that.
So, Rory comes up with a plan to run away with Granda. He knows, by doing so, he can always be together with Granda. As long as they are on the run, they will be together. It can only be for a few days or a couple of weeks, but to Rory and Granda, their time together is precious.
On the other hand, Tess, a girl whom Rory meets at the children‟s home, fails to solve her problems. She has a sad life. Her mother is in prison and all her relatives reject her. Being homeless and unwanted, she is sent to Castle Street. Instead of making the best of her life there, she worsens it by becoming a bitter, angry and violent person.
Her violent outbursts become so bad that she loses control of herself and her actions. She injures others, making them keep away from her. She fails to make friends and so, remains lonely and friendless. She cannot overcome her loneliness and sense of rejection. If she had chosen to be more positive, she would probably have made some friends who can help her instead of feeling rejected and unloved.

4.3.8 PRACTICE 8
From the novel you have studied, write about an important moral value you have learnt. Support your answer with close reference to the text.
GUIDELINES
• Name the novel and the author that you have chosen
• State an important moral value you have learnt after reading the novel
• State the characters and the events where the moral value you have learnt is
emphasized
• Use evidence from the novel to support your answer
SAMPLE ANSWER

From the novel „Catch Us If You Can‟ by Catherine MacPhail, an important moral value I have learnt is that family relationships should be nurtured and not taken for granted. Granda looked after Rory after Rory‟s father walked out on them. Since Granda was old and forgetful, Rory took it upon himself to look after Granda. Nobody forced or told him to do it but Rory felt it was the right thing to do. He was willing to forego things that teenage boys should be doing. He did all the household chores, made sure Granda took his medication and had his meals. He even kept Granda‟s pipe to make sure there wasn‟t any untoward incidents. Granda and Rory did not take their relationship for granted. Granda, on several occasions, had expressed appreciation to Rory for always being there for him while Rory felt proud to have Granda as his grandfather. Rory was protective and defensive of Granda.
They nurtured their relationship right up to the end even when they had a family, Jeff and Karen.

Sammy, Ruby and Tyrone also showed a strong family relationship. Sammy and Ruby were free and easy but respectful with each other. Ruby would tease Sammy and vice versa. But, when it came to making decisions, Ruby left it to Sammy, showing him respect as the head of the family. Tyrone was respectful and obedient to his parents, Sammy and Ruby.
All in all, I have learnt from the novel that family relationship should be nurtured and not taken for granted as family happiness and stability depend on this positive attitude.

4.3.9 PRACTICE 9
From the novel you have studied, write about the plot of the story and state what you think of the plot.
Support your answer with close reference to the text.
GUIDELINES
• Name the novel and the author that you have chosen
• State the main characters and the important events in the story • Give a brief summary of the story
• Give your opinion of the plot of the story
SAMPLE ANSWER
Catherine MacPhail‟s novel „Catch Us If You Can‟ revolves around a teenager, Rory, and his grandfather whom he calls Granda. Rory and Granda are on an escape adventure from their hometown to Liverpool because they do not want to be separated from each other. They have cared for and looked after each other for a long time and with Granda getting on
in years and becoming forgetful, Rory takes over the responsibility of looking after Granda on his own initiatives.
One day, when their flat caught fire due to Granda‟s carelessness, both Rory and Granda are placed in a children‟s home and an old folks‟ home respectively. Granda is badly affected as he becomes withdrawn and lost. Rory knows that Granda is slowly dying in Rachnadar, so he decides to run away with Granda. Rory and Granda make the great escape but with no destination in mind. They only want to be free and to be together. They spend a few happy carefree days at the caravan site. When the police catch up with them, Rory and Granda are helped by Sammy who gives them shelter.
Their journey is a struggle to stay free. Strangers help them all the way, giving them shelter and making safe plans for them. Rory has doubts about whether he is doing the right thing. All doubts are dispelled as Granda looks happy even when he is exhausted.
Eventually, Rory decides they would travel south to Liverpool and look for his father, Jeff McIntosh. Granda objects and rages about this when he realizes what Rory‟s plans are. The climax of the story is when Granda almost loses his life in the cold bus shelter. After that, they end up in Liverpool. It is a happy ending as they meet up with Jeff and become a family again. The plot runs in chronological order. The reader can follow Rory and Granda‟s interesting and sometimes heartbreaking journey from their hometown to their final destination. Rory as the narrator projects a solid account of their thoughts, feelings and gives good descriptions of the setting. The approach makes it easy for the reader to understand and appreciate the story. I think the plot is simple and relevant to our society where young people tend to forget their obligations to the old.

4.3.10 PRACTICE 10

Who is the most interesting character in the novel that you have studied? Give reasons to support your answer.
GUIDELINES
• Name the novel and the author that you have chosen. • Name the character that you consider interesting.
• Explain the role of the character in the novel.
• Give evidence from the novel to support your comments. • State your opinion again.
SAMPLE ANSWER
In the novel „Catch Us if You Can‟ by Catherine MacPhail, I think Granda is the most interesting character in the book.
Reading through the novel, I found out that he was a caring and kind grandfather to Rory. The fact that Rory was to return the favours implies that Granda must have been a good man and good grandfather. His love for Rory is absolute. Also, Granda finds it hard to bear that Rory has to be in a home and wants to get out of hospital to take Rory home. This shows how much he cares for Rory.
Granda is also a charmer. It is because he easily compliments others especially women not only for the looks but also for their talents as he praises Ruby for her cooking. All the times he remains the perfect gentleman, like opening the door for the young mother at the clinic.
Other than that, he is quite a fascinating character. He knows a lot about films and film stars. His love for movie stars makes him even name his son and grandson after some film heroes of his time. Also, he loves singing and has no inhibitions about singing some old songs, however badly, in front of others.
With all the above, I believe that Granda must be an interesting and remarkable man.

4.3.11 PRACTICE 11
Based on the novel that you have read, write about an incident that changes the life of a character in the story. Give evidence from the novel that you have studied.
GUIDELINES
• Name of the novel and the author you have chosen. • State the incident you have chosen.
• Give reasons why you think this incident changes the life of the character.
• State your opinion again on the importance of the incident to the life of the character.
SAMPLE ANSWER

In the novel „Catch Us if You Can‟ by Catherine MacPhail, an incident that changes the life of the character is the great escape that Rory and Granda undertake. Rory decided to run away from the town he lived in after taking his Granda out of the local old folks‟ home. The escape took them to many places and they met many different people who
helped them on their journey. Rory learnt valuable life lessons from meeting all the different people. From the travelers, he learnt about compassion and kindness. From Rab, Annie and Norma, he learnt about people who offered help sincerely and treated them kindly. Also, Rory‟s life would never be the same again. It was because, his father turned up to help him and Granda. Finally he had a father, a stepmother and two adorable stepsisters. He had a family and that was a life-changing moment from him.
Rory was worried about his Granda earlier but then he didn‟t have to. It was because things started to fall into places for him. Certain services provided for the elderly made life better for him and Granda. The escape exposed some of the problems that the elderly and their caretakers faced in the course of their daily life.
With all the above, I believe that all those changes would not have taken place if not for the great escape.

4.3.12 PRACTICE 12

Using the details of the novel you have studied,
• Write about the moral value that has impressed you the most. • Give evidence from the text to support your answer.

GUIDELINES
• Name the novel and the author that you have chosen. • Name the moral value that you have learnt.
• Give examples from the novel to support your answer. • State your opinion again
SAMPLE ANSWER

In the novel „Catch Us if You Can‟ by Catherine MacPhail, I learn about compassion for fellow human beings. Many characters exhibit compassion for each other and act in a kind manner because of their compassionate nature.
Rory and Granda care for each other and there is compassion in their actions. For example, Rory cares for his grandfather‟s well-being. For instance, he makes sure his Granda takes his medicine. Moreover, he always rushes home from school to ensure Granda takes his lunch. Moreover, Rory protects his Granda from anything he considers bad,
offensive or dangerous. Rory even keeps Granda‟s pipe to make sure there isn‟t any untoward incidents. Granda tries his best to help Rory and unfortunately makes mistakes, but there is still compassion. He strongly says that no grandson of his is going to a home for as long as he is around.
In addition, Dr Nicol insists that Granda and Rory get a home help. This is because he believes that Granda and Rory are not capable of taking care of each other. Val Jessup, the social worker, also shows compassion. She shows enthusiasm to help Rory and Granda. When they are on the run, Val Jessup pleads on television for Rory and Granda to come home. The police and the nurse also act compassionately towards Granda and Rory. They are affected by the dilemma of an ageing man who is so dependent on a young boy and therefore do what they think is the best.
Besides, Darren, Rory‟s close friend offers his mum‟s caravan to them because he cares for Rory and Granda. He warns them about the arrival of the police.
With all the above, I believe that we must be compassionate to people. This quality keeps us humane and make the world appear kinder and the troubles bearable.

4.3.13 PRACTICE 13

In the novel you have studied
• Pick any one decision in the novel made by someone or some party that you disagree • Explain why you disagree.
Support your answer with evidence from the novel.

GUIDELINES
• Name the novel and the author that you have chosen. • State the decision.
• Give reasons why you disagree with the decision. • State your opinion again.
SAMPLE ANSWER

In the novel „Catch Us if You Can‟ by Catherine MacPhail, there is one decision in the novel that I disagree with. It is the one taken by the government to separate both Rory and his grandfather.
Rory and Granda are very close and each depends on the other for love and comfort. They are family, a “double act” and one cannot survive without the other. When Granda accidently starts a fire in the flat, the State makes a decision to put him in a home because he may endanger himself and others. I was so mad with the State.
I can understand that the State has the interest of Rory and Granda at heart when it makes this decision. But, what makes me disagree is that it regards them as only a “case” on which it needs to act, not as people with feelings. It is because each citizen has a right to run his or her life the way he or she wants to without outside interference. Unfortunately, it did not happen that way.
In addition, no discussion has been held with Rory and Granda how best to solve the problem. When the two run away, however, the police go after them as if they are criminals. As a person interviewed on a television rightly said, the police are wasting their time hunting down an old man and a young boy instead of chasing criminals and fighting the gun culture. The way the State tackled the situation pissed me off.
As a conclusion, people should be treated with greater respect and compassion and not like “cases” to be solved.

4.3.14 PRACTICE 14
“Faith in the God is essential”.
Using the evidence from the novel, explain how this is shown in the novel you have studied. Support your answer with close reference to the text.
GUIDELINES
• Name the novel and the author that you have chosen.
• State the character who conveys this message.
• Give examples from the story to support your answer.

SAMPLE ANSWER

In the novel „Catch Us if You Can‟ by Catherine MacPhail, “Faith in God is Essential” is one of the messages in the story.
Rory‟s prayers are in the form of warm and friendly conversations with God, which he addresses as „The Big Man‟. Rory is a character who has faith in God. Rory promises to be good and do good things if „The Big Man‟ would make Granda wake up when he sees his grandfather‟s face pale, his mouth open and he is hardly breathing. In addition, Rory believes that „The Big Man‟ wanted him to escape as things go smoothly. Rory promises to collect money for the Salvation Army if „The Big Man‟ keeps Granda safe. Rory tells „The Big Man‟ that they both are having great time and Granda is no trouble at all.
The other evidence that resembles Rory as a person who has faith in God is when he and his grandfather did not crash since Granda cannot drive well. Due to that, he believes that „The Big Man‟ is looking after him.
As a conclusion, prayers play a vital role in keeping Rory‟s spirit up and prove that faith is essential in life.

4.3.15 PRACTICE 15

“Love, compassion and family relationship are important in one‟s life.”
Using the evidence from the text, explain how this is true. Support your answer with close reference from the text.
GUIDELINES
• Name the novel and the author that you have chosen. • Discuss the different aspects of love.
• Give your views with examples from the text.

SAMPLE ANSWER
Catherine MacPhail put the elements of love, compassion and family relationship in her novel, „Catch Us if You Can‟. From the beginning to the end of the story, those three elements hold the story together.
The love between generations shows that love is continuous and never ending. For example, Rory‟s love for his Granda is unconditional and vice versa. He is ready to sacrifice anything so that he remains united with his grandfather. The grandfather, in turn, has devoted his life to bring up the child from birth and his whole life revolves around him.
Love in a family and the power of love among family members are also portrayed in this story. For example, Sammy, his wife, Ruby and son Tyrone portray a warm and loving family. Besides that, Bernie, his wife and daughter are equally warm-hearted and helpful. Rab and Annie are loving and caring too.
Love and respect among Rory‟s friends also keep him from troubles. They look upon Granda with great affection. Darren, the one who is the weakest in the class, shows much compassion for Rory and helps him as much as he can. Mrs. Foley also shows sincere, love and care for Rory. She shows her concern towards Rory when Granda is admitted into the hospital. She realizes that Rory should not be in the children‟s home.
As a conclusion, the concept of the elements of love, compassion and family relationship bring beauty to the story.

Credit to:      http://englishsifu.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

MORE ON STEP BY WICKED STEP




Sample Answer (Step by Wicked Step)

Compare and contrast 2 characters from a novel you have studied. With close
reference to the text, give reasons to support your answer.

I choose the novel Step by Wicked Step, written by Anne Fine. I am going to
compare and contrast Claudia and Pixie. There are similarities and
differences between them which can be observed clearly throughout the
story.

First of all, Claudia and Pixie share similar fate where their parents are
divorced and their fathers live with another women. Claudia's father lives
with his girl friend named Stella. Sometimes Claudia spends her time with her
dad and Stella even though she hates Stella. She refuses to enjoy her stay
with her dad out of loyalty to her mother and she also ignores Stella. In
Pixie's case, her father marries Lucy who has two daughters, Sophie and
Hetty. Pixie hates her step sisters. Her father promises that she would have
her own room whenever she stays with them but later her step sister, Hetty
moves into her room after having a fight with Sophie. This really makes her
mad and she tries many ways to get rid of Hetty. Life is miserable for both
Pixie and Claudia.

However, the biggest difference which can be observed between Pixie and
Claudia is that they have different approaches in dealing with their problems.
Claudia is fair and sensible. Even though she hates Stella, she does not blame
the lady for her parents' break-up. She is more gentle in her actions. For
example, at the dinner party, she thinks that the guests are rude for not
appreciating Stella's hard work. She realizes that ignoring Stella would not
help solving matters between her parents. Feeling sorry for Stella, she
decides to help her get accepted by showing off the green pyjamas which
Stella has given to her.

On the contrary, Pixie is more aggressive in her actions. In order to get Hetty
out of her room, she creates stories that her room is haunted and when that
fails, she tries to irritate Hetty by asking her to help with her maths. Finally,
she tries the silent treatment on Hetty and that makes the girl tell Lucy
everything. When Lucy confronted her, Pixie refuses to submit but instead
she stands up for herself and expresses her feelings. She hates to pretend
that her family is normal and she could not accept strangers as family.
However, after they both pour out their frustration, things become better for
them.

In a nutshell, Claudia and Pixie have both similarities and differences
between them. I learn many lessons while reading the story about them and
the other children in this novel.

Sample Answer (Step by Wicked Step)

Based on one of the novel that you have studied, write about a memorable
event and how the event affects one of the characters in the story. Support your answer with close reference to the text.
I choose the novel Step by Wicked Step written by Anne Fine. The memorable
event from the novel is the honest conversation between Pixie and her
stepmother Lucy. I think that the conversation is important because it affects
Pixie's life.

First of all, I think that the conversation is important because Pixie has a
chance to tell the truth about her feelings. Pixie tells Lucy that she hates to
pretend that their family is normal. It is hard for her to accept strangers as
family. She dislikes her stepsisters. When Hetty moves into Pixie's bedroom
after quarreling with Sophie, Pixie is very angry. She tries many ways to get
rid of Hetty.

Apart from that, I think that the conversation between Lucy and Pixie is
important because Lucy also gets a chance to express her feelings towards
Pixie. Lucy hates being a step mother. It is very hard for her to take care of
someone else's child. Lucy is angry when Pixie when Pixie tries to get rid of
Hetty from her bedroom.

Last but not least, I think the heart to heart conversation is memorable
because it improves the relationship between Pixie and Lucy. They
understand each other better. at the end of the conversation, they are crying
and hugging each other. After that day, their relationship becomes better and
they are more like a normal family.

In a nutshell, I think that the honest conversation between Lucy and Pixie is
memorable because it improves the relationship between Pixie and her step
family. I learn many things from this novel.
Sample Answer (Step by Wicked Step)

Sample Question:

What is the most important moral value that you have learnt from the novel
you have studied? With close reference to the text, give reasons to support
your answer.

I choose the novel Step by Wicked Step written by Anne Fine. The most
important moral value that I have learnt from this novel is honesty. There are
many examples which show the importance of honesty throughout this novel.
First of all, we can see that in this novel, parents are not being honest to their
children. They do not tell their children what is happening between them.
This causes the children a lot of stress and worry. For example, Lilith Harwick
does not tell her children that their father is dying. We see how distressed
Richard is when guessing the truth about his father's condition. When Colin's
mother decides to leave Colin's dad and move up north, she does not explain
the reason to Colin. Colin does not like his new life and misses his dad a lot,
but his mother does not seem to be aware of how he felt.

Apart from that, the parents' lack of honesty makes the children keep their
thoughts and feelings to themselves. This is bad because it may cause the
children to take the wrong action. For example, Colin stops talking about his
dad to his mother, but plans to run away to find him one day. However, when
parents are honest about their feelings and open up to their children, their
relationship will get better. This can be seen in the case of Lucy and Pixie.
After they burst out and tell each other their true feelings, their relationship
improves a lot. Pixie respects Lucy and Lucy gives Pixie time and space to
adapt to her new family.

In a nutshell, honesty is the most important moral value that can be learnt
from this novel because it helps to heal and rebuild relationships in the
family. I hope everyone can practice honesty in their lives.

Sample Answer (Step by Wicked Step)
Sample Question:

Choose a character that you admire from a novel that you have learned in
Form 5. With close reference to the text, give reasons to support your
answer.

I choose the novel Step by Wicked Step, written by Anne Fine. The character
that I admire is Claudia. There are many reasons why I admire her very
much.
First of all, I admire Claudia because she is a gentle person. Listening to
Richard's sad story, makes her weep. Besides, she is loyal to her mother. She
tries not to sound too happy when speaking to her father because she does
not want to hurt her mother's feeling. She rejects Stella and refuses to enjoy
her time with her father out of loyalty to her mother. She knows that her
parents break-up is serious even though her mother sounded cheerful.

Apart from that, I really admire Claudia because she is a fair and sensible
person. She does not blame Stella for her parents' break-up. At the dinner
party, she thinks that the guests are rude for not appreciating Stella's hard
work. She realizes that ignoring Stella would not help solving matters
between her parents. Feeling sorry for Stella who is being ignored by the
guests, she decides to help her get accepted by showing off the green
pyjamas which Stella gave her.

In a nutshell, the character that I admire from Step by Wicked Step is Claudia
because she is gentle, loyal, fair and sensible. I think we could learn a lot
from her character.

Analysing the Characters in Step by Wicked Step
Claudia
Claudia is a gentle person. Listening to Richard's sad story, makes her weep.
She is loyal to her mother. She tries not to sound too happy when speaking to
her father because she does not want to hurt her mother's feeling. She
rejects Stella and refuses to enjoy her time with her father out of loyalty to
her mother. She knows that her parents break-up is serious even though her
mother sounded cheerful.
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Claudia is a fair and sensible person. She does not blame Stella for her
parents' break-up. At the dinner party, she thinks that the guests are rude for
not appreciating Stella's hard work. She realizes that ignoring Stella would
not help solving matters between her parents. Feeling sorry for Stella who is
being ignored by the guests, she decides to help her get accepted by
showing off the green pyjamas which Stella gave her.


Analysing the Characters in Step by Wicked Step

Richard Harwick

Richard is a loyal person. He is too loyal to his father that he becomes so
angry with his mother for betraying his father's memory by marrying
Coldstone. He hates his stepfather and calls him a black bat. He also thinks
that his sister is disloyal for getting along with their stepfather. He refuses to
listen to his sister's advice to make peace with their stepfather.
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Indulging too much in his own grief, Richard becomes an irresponsible and
thoughtless person. Feeling that no one cares about his feelings, he runs off
to the sea and explores the world. Disappearing without a word, Richard has
caused his mother and sister much grief. He does not even realize the
damage that he has done to these two people who really love him until it is
too late.


STEP BY WICKED STEP -STEP BY STEP


STEP BY WICKED STEP ( SAMPLE QUESTION AND ANSWER )

Sample Question:
Choose a character that you admire from a novel that you have learned in Form 5. With close reference to the text, give reasons to support your answer.

START YOUR ANSWER BY 
WRITING THE
TITLE OF THE NOVEL 
AND THE PERSON WHO WROTE IT {I choose the novel Step by Wicked Step, written by Anne Fine. } {The character that I admire is Claudia. There are many reasons why I admire her very much.} [ AT THE SAME TIME ANSWER 
                   THE QUESTION IN ONE PARAGRAPH . 
                   IN THIS CASE THE CHARACTER YOU ADMIRE THE MOST ]

[ GIVE YOUR REASONS IN A NEW PARAGRAPH AND
START YOUR SENTENCE WITH SOMETHING LIKE
FIRST OF ALL OR JUST AS EASY AS FIRSTLY ]  {First of all, I admire Claudia because she is a gentle person. } {Listening to Richard's sad story, makes her weep. Besides, she is loyal to her mother. She tries not to sound too happy when speaking to her father because she does not want to hurt her mother's feeling. She rejects Stella and refuses to enjoy her time with her father out of loyalty to her mother. She knows that her parents break-up is serious even though her mother sounded cheerful.} [ GIVE PROOF TO YOUR REASON 
                            AND IT MUST BE TAKEN STRAIGHT FROM THE NOVEL 
                            THIS IS DUN TO SUPPORT YOUR REASON . 
                            MARKS WILL BE REWARDED FOR CONTENTS ]
[ START WITH A NEW PARAGRAPH
FOR THE 2ND REASON AND 
AGAIN START BY WRITING SOMETHING LIKE  
APART FROM THAT OR OTHER THAN THAT OR 
ANYTHING THAT IS SUITABLE ]   {Apart from that, I really admire Claudia because she is a fair and sensible person.} { She does not blame Stella for her parents' break-up. At the dinner party, she thinks that the guests are rude for not appreciating Stella's hard work. She realizes that ignoring Stella would not help solving matters between her parents. Feeling sorry for Stella who is being ignored by the guests, she decides to help her get accepted by showing off the green pyjamas which Stella gave her.}  [ GIVE A FEW MORE PROOF FROM
                                  THE NOVEL TO SUPPORT YOUR REASON ]

[ TO END YOUR WRITING 
GIVE A CONCLUSION 
BY COMBINING THE REASONS 
THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN ]  {In a nutshell, the character that I admire from Step by Wicked Step is Claudia because she is gentle, loyal, fair and sensible. I think we could learn a lot from her character.}
    .........END OF ANSWER.........

A

http://english-corner101.blogspot.com/2011/07/step-by-wicked-step-sample-question-and.html

Sunday, May 12, 2013

PMR/SPM ESSAY : DEVELOPING IDEAS FOR WEAK STUDENTS


My birthday party

My birthday party was very great. [Main idea] [How many attended?] It was attended by more than 200 people. [Who were they?] All my classmates, teachers and relatives came. [Where was it held?] My parents organised the party at a five-star hotel. In fact, the party was beside a huge swimming pool. [What was special?] My classmates conducted a few fun and interesting games. There was also a karaoke singing session. My father sang his favourite evergreen song to all the guests. [How many presents?] Before the party ended, I thanked all my guests for their presence and kindness. I received 88 wonderful gifts. [When did it end?] By 6.50 p.m., the party came to an end. [How was my feeling?] Though I felt a bit tired, I was extremely happy.

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SPM Essay : Colours


1. Essay question: Colours

1.1 P1- My self (write on your own)

1.2 P2-My school - I am a form 5 student at SMK Jaya. SMK Jaya is a great school. My school is one of the best schools in Penang. Many students are smart and hardworking. Every year, all students will pass the PMR and SPM examinations. There will be so many students who would get all As in the examination. My school is not that big. There are three classes for every form. The classes are named based on three colours which are Red, Blue and Green. All the clever students are in the Red class. The average students are in the Blue class and the weak students are put in the Green class.

1.3 P3- When I was in form 2, I was in the Green class. Most of the students were naughty. They liked to make a lot of noise. They did not like to read books. (add 3 more negative behaviors in class). I did not like the class at all. I wanted to get out of the Green class. Therefore, I studied hard for my final examination.

1.4 P4- When I was in Form 3, I moved to the Blue class. The Principal changed me to the Blue class because my examination result improved. In Class 3 Blue, I met new friends. (write about 4 new friends and their characters).

1.5 P5-Last year, when I was in Form 4, I joined the students in 4 Red. I was very happy. I wanted to be like Ray, the best student in school. I studied hard days and nights. I paid one hundred percent attention in class. (add 4 more positive actions taken to get ready for examination). At the end of 2011, I scored 5As and 4B+ in my Final Examination. I was very happy.

1.6 P6- Now, I am in Class 5 Red. I will make sure I study hard because I do not want to be in 5 Blue or
5 Green. I Like Blue and Green but I love my colour, Red.

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SPM SAMPLE ESSAYS


Write a story beginning with, “I was happy to be in Group 10.......................”.
I was happy to be in Group 10. There were six members in my group. There were three other boys and six girls. All of them, just like me, were happy to take part in the district level language camp. The camp was held at a two-star hotel in Ipoh. We did not have to pay anything. Everything was sponsored.
The members in my group came from different secondary schools in the district. But all of us were form 5 students. We were chosen to join the language camp because we had the potential to score an A in the SPM 1119  examination.
Seri, from SMK Seri Permai, was our group leader. Seri was a very pretty girl. I had a crush on her. I knew the other boys also admired Seri. We named our group Seri Bombastic. In the first activity, we created our group’s logo, motto and song. When we presented our song everybody liked it. Then there was a talk on how to answer examination questions.
On the second day, we had several language games. We had spelling competition, vocabulary game, sketch and many others. Our group won the sketch competition. We presented a very good performance. We presented a story about a princess who fell in love with a fisherman. Seri played the role of a princess and of course I was the poor but handsome fisherman. The activities went on until 10.00 p.m. We were very tired but enjoyed ourselves a lot.
On the third day we had a jungle trekking in a forest nearby the hotel. All instructions were given in English. We also had to solve some problems and answer tricky questions throughout the trekking activity. It was very challenging.
The camp ended with a simple closing ceremony. Each participant was given a certificate. After going through all the activities I felt more confident that I would be able to get an A for English in my SPM. I would also miss my group members, especially Seri. I would never forget them. We promised that we would continue to contact each other. Seri also promised to help me improve my English.                                                                               [358 words]

A Visit To A Hospital
Yesterday, I followed my father to visit my uncle who was hospitalised at a private hospital. We left home at about 5.00 p.m. and reached the hospital at 6.15 p.m. The private hospital was a new hospital. It was opened two months ago.
My uncle suffered from chronic diabetes. Two days ago he came to the hospital for his regular check-up but the doctor had to admit him because his sugar level was very high. The doctor had to monitor him all the time. He would be allowed to go home once his sugar level stabilised.
My uncle’s ward was at the fifth floor. The lift was very spacious and fast. A nurse, who was my mother’s old friend, greeted my father. She told us that my uncle was doing fine. After talking to the nurse for a while we went to Room 515. My uncle was very happy to see my father and I. A young Egyptian doctor was examining my uncle at that time. The doctor said that my uncle was getting better and he would be discharged soon.
My father chitchatted with my uncle for almost one hour. I felt bored so I went out of the room to explore the new hospital. I went to the hospital lobby. It was like a hotel lobby. There was a long list of specialists and their academic qualifications on the wall. Altogether, the hospital had 35 specialists and some of them were foreigners.
Then, I went to the cafe. I was surprised as the cafe was like a five-star restaurant. They served a variety of healthy dishes. But I would not eat there on my own as a plate of fried rice alone was RM7.50! Even a glass of plain water cost RM1.00! Initially, I planned to have something there but I just walked out as I only had RM2.15 in my pocket.
When I was waiting for the lift to go back to the fifth floor, a woman cried hysterically with her daughter. From her words, I understood that she had just lost her husband. I did not say a word but I sympathised them, especially her cute and charming daughter. I wish I could console her daughter. But before I could offer some help, the door of the lift opened and my father appeared. He indicated it was time to go home so I just followed him. I walked to the main entrance while my eyes still looking at the girl.                                               [414 words]

My Favourite Restaurant
Last week, the SPM result was announced. The night before, I could not sleep. I was very nervous. I was scared I did not get a good result because my parents were really hoping that I could go to university. I went to school to collect my result with my parents. My hands were shaking when I held the result slip. My class teacher congratulated me. I looked at my result and hugged my father and mother. I got 5A+, 1A and 4A-. Even though  I was not the best student in my school, I was very happy with my result. My parents were very proud of me.
That night, my father took me and the rest of the family members to my favourite restaurant, Bamboo Restaurant. It was only five kilometres from my house. The restaurant was opened three years ago. I liked the restaurant very much because it offered a wide range of local, Thai and western foods. I would always try different dishes each time I went there. All the customers said the restaurant was very spacious. Some said Bamboo Restaurant was the biggest restaurant in town.
When we arrived at the restaurant, I saw a big crowd. My father took some time to park his car. My mother said, “We have a surprise for you!” I insisted my mother to tell me about the surprise but she just asked me to be patient. My family and I walked to a room which my father booked for us. The room was quite big and it could accommodate more than 50 people. When I opened the door, I saw many people standing while clapping their hands happily. They were my grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins and immediate neighbours. I was really surprised to see my girlfriend with her parents too! Everybody congratulated me for my SPM result.
I was deeply touched. I hugged my parents for organising such a dinner to celebrate my success. I sat beside Mimi, my girlfriend. She gave a gift but I had to promise her to open it at home. My father ordered my most favourite dish for all of us – chicken chop with black pepper sauce. We also had garlic bread, salad and crab meat soup. I always told my friends to come to Bamboo Restaurant if they wanted to taste the best chicken chop in town.
It was a long night at my favourite restaurant. My cousins sang a Justin Bieber’s song for me. My grandparents sponsored prizes for lucky draw. In short, we had so much fun at the restaurant. It was really a memorable night.                                                            [435 words]                                              

The Day When Everything Went Wrong
I had just started working as a despatch boy at an international company in Kuala Lumpur. The job was not great but I accepted it after failing to get a job in my hometown, Kuala Nerang. Actually, my neighbour’s son who was staying in Kuala Lumpur recommended me for the job. Living in a big city was totally different from living in Kuala Nerang. But, whatever it was, Kuala Nerang was still in my heart.
After six months working, I began to fall in love with Lisa, a clerk at a primary school. One day, I approached her at a coffee shop. She was having lunch alone. I joined her. She was very happy and really welcomed me to accompany her. Nothing much happened on that day but we just talked. We got to know each other better. After lunch, I asked her if she would be interested to watch a movie with me on the coming weekend. I was surprised when she gave me a definte ‘Yes!’. From that day, we became closer and love bagan to bloom between us.
Lisa confessed to me that she was worried about what some other people might say to me because she was ten years older than me. But I convinced her that age was not important to me. What was more important was her sincerity and happy-going attitude. Lisa believed in me. She knew I truly loved her. So, one day she asked me to meet her parents.
On one Sunday, I went to Lisa’s house. I was supposed to be there at 9.00 am. However, I only reached her house at 11.00 am. My motorcycle broke down once I left my house. I did not know why I was so stupid not to take a taxi but waited for two hours to get my motorcycle repaired. It was supposed to be an important day in my life but everything went wrong. I also left my mobile phone at home. I borrowed the mechanic’s mobile phone to inform Lisa about what happened to me but I just could not recall her contact number. My mind went blank.
When I reached her house at 11.00 am, I could see her parents’ unhappy faces. Their conversation with me was very limited. I was confident they were not listening to me when I was explaining about what happened to me. To make it worse, I left a box of chocolate, which I promised to give to Lisa’s mother, at the workshop.
I knew Lisa was frustrated with me but she still treated me well. Lisa served tea and some curry puffs. I was very hungry as I missed my breakfast so I kept eating them one after another. Lisa’s parents were speechless to see my act. When I saw their shocking faces, only then I  slowly put back the curry puff in my hand into the plate. It was the last piece.
After that, I asked for permission to go to the washroom as I really had to answer nature’s call. I was too clumsy. I fell in the washroom as the floor was slippery. My pants were soaking wet. I did not know what to do so I stayed in the washroom for about fifteen minutes. Finally, I came out with my wet pants. I quickly said goodbye to Lisa and her parents and left the house. It was truly a day when everything went wrong.                                     [573 words]

Examination
This morning I sent my son to school. It was the first day of his SPM examination. My son, Dean, was a diligent boy. Unlike me when I was his age, he did not need any motivation to study for examination. He was able to manage his own time very well. He made his own timetable. Dean knew when to study, play, watch television and go out to have fun with his friends.
I really saluted him for his independence and maturity. I respected him because I was very much different from him when I was 17 years old. When I was in Form 5, I was a lazy student. Perhaps, the laziest in my family and in class. My parents especially my mother was always angry with me when she came back from work and saw me sleeping in my room.
Even my teachers in school did not know what to say to advise me to study for my SPM examination. Mr. Nick, my History teacher, always punished me for my laziness. I had never completed his History notes and exercises. My Chemistry teacher, Madam Beh, could not even look at my face. She gave up on me.
I really did not have any idea how could I prepare for my examination. I realised I could not blame anybody but myself. I was the one who refused to listen to all the advice given by my parents, teachers as well as friends. Even when the school organised motivational talks and study skills seminar, I would find ways and create excuses not to attend the programme.
I only picked up my revision books and began to study two months before the examination. My mother was surprised to see me with SPM books around me. She just could not believe her eyes. She did not say a word but gave me a hug while shedding tears. I promised her that though it could be too late for me to prepare for my SPM, I promised my mother that I would still try my best. For two months, I did all I could for my SPM examination.
The result was announced several months later. Of course, I did not get straight As but I did not fail in any subject. My parents were not happy with my result. Me too. I learnt my lesson well.                                                                                                                          [393 words]


http://www.kedah.edu.my/akademik/index.php?option=com_phocadownload&view=category&id=15:bahasa-inggeris&Itemid=55#




















GREAT STORY FOR GREAT SCORE (GS4GS) SPM


GREAT STORY FOR GREAT SCORE (GS4GS)

Developed by
Mr. Zanurin bin Mohamad Safar
Guru Cemerlang Bahasa Inggeris,
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Kulim, Kulim, Kedah

ESSAY 1:

POSSIBLE QUESTIONS:
1.      Shopping
2.      Change
3.      A memorable gift
4.      Write a story beginning with, “I have all the money in the world but.....”
5.      Love
6.      Family
7.      Describe an incident that changes your life.

Source:
http://nicefun.net/very-touching-storyon-the-last-day-before-christmas-vt6281.html
On the last day before Christmas, I hurried to go to the supermarket to buy the remaining of the gift I didn't manage to buy earlier. When I saw all the people there, I started to complain to myself," It is going to take forever here and I still have so many other places to go.

Christmas really is getting more and more annoying every year. How I wish I could just lie down, go to sleep and only wake up after it..." Nonetheless, I made my way to the toy section, and there I started to curse the prices, wondering if after all kids really play with such expensive toys.

While looking in the toy section, I noticed a small boy of about 5 years old, pressing a doll against his chest. He kept on touching the hair of the doll and looked so sad. I wondered who was this doll for. Then the little boy turned to the old woman next to him, "Granny, are you sure I don't have enough money?"
The old lady replied, "You know that you don't have enough money to buy this doll, my dear." Then she asked him to stay here for 5 minutes while she went to look around. She left quickly. The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand.

Finally, I started to walk toward him and I asked him who did he want to give this doll to. "It is the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much for this Christmas. She was so sure that Santa Claus would bring it to her." I replied to him that maybe Santa Claus will bring it to her, after all, and not to worry. But he replied to me sadly. " No, Santa Claus cannot bring it to her where she is now. I have to give the doll to my mother so that she can give it to her when she goes there." His eyes were so sad while saying this. "My sister has gone to be with God. Daddy says that Mummy will also go to see God very soon, so I thought that she  could bring the doll with her to give it to my sister."

My heart nearly stopped. The little boy looked up at me and said, "I told daddy to tell mummy not to go yet. I asked him to wait until I come back from the supermarket. "  Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me, "I also want mummy to take this photo with her so that she will not forget me." I love my mummy and I wish she doesn't have to leave me but daddy says that she has to go to be  with my little sister."

Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly. I quickly reached for my wallet and took a few notes and said to the boy, "What if we checked again, just in case if you have enough money?" "Ok," he said. " I hope that I have enough." I added some of my money to his without him seeing  and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll, and even some spare money. The little boy said, "Thank you God for giving me enough money."Then he looked at me and added, "I asked yesterday
Before I slept for God to make sure I have enough money to buy this doll so that mummy can give it to my sister. He heard me."
" I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mummy, but I didn't dare to ask God too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and the white rose." " You know, my mummy loves white rose."

A few minutes later, the old lady came again and I left with my trolley. I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started. I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind. Then I remembered a local newspaper article two days ago, which mentioned of a drunk man in a truck who hit a car where there was one young lady and a little girl. The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-assisting machine, because the young lady would not be able to get out of the coma. Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the newspaper that the young lady had passed away. I couldn't stop myself and went to buy a bunch of white roses and I went to the mortuary where the body of the young woman was exposed for people to see and make last wish before burial. She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest.

I left the place crying, feeling that my life had been changed forever. The love that this little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to that day, hard to imagine. And in a fraction of a second, a drunk man had taken all this away from him. [913 words]





ESSAY 2:
POSSIBLE QUESTIONS:
1.      Flowers
2.      My regret
3.      Love
4.      Family
5.      Describe an incident that changes your life.
6.      Anger
7.      Sorry
Source:
http://www.rogerknapp.com/inspire/Child.htm
I ran into a stranger as he passed by, "Oh excuse me please," was my reply. He said, "Please excuse me too; I wasn't watching for you." We were very polite, this stranger and I. We went on our way saying good-bye.

But at home a difference is told, How we treat our loved ones, young and old. Later that day, cooking the evening meal, my son stood beside me very still. As I turned, I nearly knocked him down.

"Move out of the way," I said with a frown.
He walked away, his little heart broken. I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken.
While I lay awake in bed, God's still small voice came to me and said, "While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use, but the children you love, you seem to abuse.

“Go and look on the kitchen floor, you'll find some flowers there by the door. Those are the flowers he brought for you. He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue. He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise, and you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes." By this time, I felt very small, and now my tears began to fall.

I quietly went and knelt by his bed, "Wake up, little one, wake up," I said. "Are these the flowers you picked for me?" He smiled, "I found 'em, out by the tree. I picked 'em because they're pretty like you. I knew you'd like 'em, especially the blue."
I said, "Son, I'm very sorry for the way I acted today; I shouldn't have yelled at you that way." He said, "Oh, Mom, that's okay. I love you anyway." I said, "Son, I love you too, and I do like the flowers, especially the blue."

Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our own family - an unwise investment indeed, don't you think? [362 words]

So what is behind the story? Do you know what the word FAMILY means?
FAMILY = (F)ATHER (A)ND (M)OTHER, (I) (L)OVE (Y)OU! [394 words]

ESSAY 3
POSSIBLE QUESTIONS:
1.      Describe an incident that has changed your life.
2.      Write a story beginning with, “I was happy to drive my new car....”
3.      Choices of life
4.      Time
5.      Window
6.      Describe a valuable lesson you learnt from someone
Source:
http://www.indianchild.com/wait_for_the_brick.htm
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighbourhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and spun the Jag back to the spot from where the brick had been thrown.

He jumped out of the car, grabbed some kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing?!" Building up a head of steam he went on. That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?"

"Please, mister, please. I'm sorry, I didn't know what else to do," pleaded the youngster. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop..." Tears were dripping down the boy's chin as he pointed around the parked car.

"It's my brother," he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up." Sobbing, the boy asked the executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He lifted the young man back into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief and wiped the scrapes and cuts, checking to see that everything was going to be okay. "Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child said to him.

The man then watched the little boy push his brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long walk back to his jaguar....a long, slow walk. He never did repair the side door. He kept the dent to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention. [347 words]

Lessons from the Mail:

"God whispers in your soul and speaks to your heart. Sometimes when you don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at you. It's your choice: Listen to the whisper - or wait for the brick."
ESSAY 4
POSSIBLE QUESTIONS:
1.      Love
2.      Man
3.      Marriage
4.      Life / realities of life
5.      Body / Heart
6.      Control
7.      Give and take
8.      Happiness
9.      Write a story beginning with, “I knew it was my fault. …” / “Lisa left the house in tears….”
Source:

http://www.smsrule.com/love-stories-sms/a-girl-in-love-asked-her-boyfriendgirl.html

A girl in love asked her boyfriend.

Girl: Tell me. Who do you love most in this world?
Boy: You, of course!
Girl: In your heart, what am I to you?

The boy thought for a moment and looked intently in her eyes and said, "You are my rib. It was said that God saw that Adam was lonely. Hence, when Adam was sleeping, God took one of his ribs and created Eve. Ever since then, every man has been searching for his missing rib. It is said that only when you find the woman of your life then you'll no longer feel the lingering ache in your heart."

The girl was extremely touched at his reply. Before long, there were married. After their wedding, the couple had a sweet and happy life for a while. However, the youthful couple began to drift apart due to the busy schedules in their lives and the never ending worries of daily problems. Their life became mundane. All the challenges posed by the harsh realities of life began to gnaw away their dreams and love for each other. The couple began to have more quarrels and each quarrel became more heated.

One day, after a particularly heated quarrel, the girl ran out of the house. At the opposite side of the road, she shouted, "You don't love me!" The boy hated her childishness and out of impulse retorted, "Maybe, it was a mistake for us to be together! You were never my missing rib!"

Suddenly, she turned quiet and stood there for a long while. He regretted what he said but the words spoken are like water that was thrown away, you can never take it back. With tears, she went home to pack her things and was determined to breakup.
Before she left the house she said, "If I'm really not your missing rib, please let me go." She continued, "It is less painful this way. Let us go on our separate ways and search for our own partners."

Five years went by. He never remarried but he had tried to find out about her life indirectly. She had left the country for a while but returned eventually. She had married a foreigner and that relationship ended with a divorce. He felt anguished that she never waited for him.

In the dark and lonely night, he lit his cigarette and felt the lingering ache in his heart. He couldn't bring himself to admit that he was missing her. One day, they finally met each other by chance at the airport, a place where there were many reunions and goodbyes. He was going away on a business trip. She was standing there alone. They were separated by the security door. She smiled at him gently.

Boy: How are you?
Girl: I'm fine. How about you? Have you found your missing rib?
Boy: No.
Girl: I'll be flying to New York in the next flight.
Boy: I'll be back in 2 weeks time. Give me a call when you are back. You know my number. Nothing has changed.
With a smile, she turned around and waved goodbye.
Goodbye...


One week later, he heard of her death. She had perished in New York in the event that shocked the world on September 11. Once again on another dark and lonely night, he lit his cigarette. And like before, he felt the lingering ache in his heart. He finally knew. She was the missing rib that he had carelessly broken. [584 words]

Sometimes, people say things out of moments of fury. More often than not, the outcome could be disastrous and detrimental. We vent our frustrations 99% of the time at our loved ones. And even though we know that we ought to "Think twice and act wisely", it's often easier said than done. Many of the things which happened each day are beyond our control. Let us treasure every moment and everyone in our lives. Tomorrow may never come. Give and accept what you have today



















ESSAY 5

POSSIBLE QUESTIONS

1.      Smile
2.      Courage
3.      Love
4.      Beauty
5.      Wish / Unfulfilled wish
6.      Write a story beginning with, “I was too shy to talk to the girl….” / “I took out the money from my pocket…”
Source:
http://www.inspirationallane.com/SadLoveStories3.htm
A boy walked into a CD store and saw a girl behind the counter. She smiled and he thought it was the most beautiful smile he has ever seen before and wanted to kiss her right there. He said "Uh... Yeah... Umm... I would like to buy a CD." He picked one out and gave her money for it.
"Would you like me to wrap it for you?" she asked, displaying her cute smile again. He nodded and she went to the back. She came back with the wrapped CD and gave it to him. He took it and walked out of the store. He went home and from then on, he went to that store everyday and bought a CD and she will have it wrapped for him. He took the CDs home and put them in his closet. He was still too shy to ask her out and he really wanted to but he couldn't. His mother found out about this and told him to just ask her out.
So the next day, he summoned all his courage and went to the store. He bought a CD like he did everyday and once again she went to the back of the store and came back with it wrapped. He took it and when she wasn't looking, he left his phone number on the desk and ran out...
!!!RIING!!! The mother picked up the phone and said, "Hello?" It was the girl!!!  She asked for the boy and the mother started to cry and said, "Don't you know? He passed away yesterday..." The line was quiet except for the cries of the boy's mother.
Later in the day, the mother went into the boy's room because she wanted to remember him. She thought she would start by looking at his clothes. Hence, she opened the closet. She came face to face with piles and piles of wrapped CDs. She was surprised to find all those CDs and she picked one up and sat down on the bed. She started to open the wrapped CD.
Inside, there was a CD and as she took it out of the wrapper, out fell a piece of paper. The mother picked it up and read it. It said, “Hi... I think you are really cute. Do you want to go out with me? Love, Jacelyn.”
The mother opened another CD. Again there was a piece of paper. It said, “Hi... I think you are really cute. Do you want to go out with me? Love, Jacelyn.” [423 words]
ESSAY 6
POSSIBLE QUESTIONS:
1.      Write a story beginning with, “You must believe in yourself…” / “Nothing was impossible in this world….”
2.      Dark
3.      Reality of life
4.      Confidence
5.      A test of love / Power of love
6.      Loyalty
7.      Senses
8.      Practice makes perfect
9.      Lucky / Luck
Source:
http://www.spiritual-short-stories.com/spiritual-short-story-62-The+Blind+Bus+Passenger.html
The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the driver and, using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he'd told her was empty. Then she settled in, placed her briefcase on her lap and rested her cane against her leg.
It had been a year since Susan, 34, became blind. Due to a medical misdiagnosis she had been rendered sightless, and she was suddenly thrown into a world of darkness, anger, frustration and self-pity. And all she had to cling to was her husband, Mark.
Mark was an Air Force officer and he loved Susan with all his heart. When she first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despair and was determined to help his wife gain the strength and confidence she needed to become independent again.
Finally, Susan felt ready to return to her job, but how would she get there? She used to take the bus, but was now too frightened to get around the city by herself. Mark volunteered to drive her to work each day, even though they worked at opposite ends of the city. At first, this comforted Susan, and fulfilled Mark's need to protect his sightless wife who was so insecure about performing the slightest task.
Soon, however, Mark realized the arrangement wasn't working. Susan is going to have to start taking the bus again, he admitted to himself. But she was still so fragile, so angry - how would she react? Just as he predicted, Susan was horrified at the idea of taking the bus again. "I'm blind!", she responded bitterly. "How am I supposed to know where I am going? I feel like you're abandoning me."
Mark's heart broke to hear these words, but he knew what had to be done. He promised Susan that each morning and evening he would ride the bus with her, for as long as it took, until she got the hang of it. And that is exactly what happened. For two solid weeks, Mark, military uniform and all, accompanied Susan to and from work each day.
He taught her how to rely on her other senses, specifically her hearing, to determine where she was and how to adapt to her new environment. He helped her befriend the bus drivers who could watch out for her, and save her a seat.
Finally, Susan decided that she was ready to try the trip on her own. Monday morning arrived, and before she left, she threw her arms around Mark, her temporary bus-riding companion, her husband, and her best friend. Her eyes filled with tears of gratitude for his loyalty, his patience, And his love. She said good-bye, and for the first time, they went their separate ways. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday... Each day on her own went perfectly, and Susan had never felt better. She was doing it! She was going to work all by herself.
On Friday morning, Susan took the bus to work as usual. As she was paying the fare to exit the bus, the driver said, "Boy, I sure do envy you." Susan wasn't sure if the driver was speaking to her or not. After all, who on earth would ever envy a blind woman who had struggled just to find the courage to live for the past year? Curious, she asked the driver, "Why do you say that you envy me?"
The driver responded, "It must feel good to be taken care of and protected like you are." Susan had no idea what the driver was talking about, and again asked, "What do you mean?"

The driver answered, "You know, every morning for the past week, a fine-looking gentleman in a military uniform has been standing across the corner watching you as you get off the bus. He makes sure you cross the street safely and he watches until you enter your office building.
Then he blows you a kiss, gives you a little salute and walks away. You are one lucky lady." Tears of happiness poured down Susan's cheeks. For although she couldn't physically see him, she had always felt Mark's presence. She was lucky, so lucky, for he had given her a gift more powerful than sight, a gift she didn't need to see to believe - the gift of love that can bring light where there is darkness. [748 words]








ESSAY 7:
POSSIBLE QUESTIONS:
1.      The power of love / Endless love / Unconditional love
2.      Hospital / A visit to a hospital
3.      Marriage
4.      Describe a married couple whom you admire
5.      My best gift (my marriage is the best gift)
Source:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/gavon/the-tragic-inspiring-story-of-cancer-patients-in

Rodney Conradi and Lynse Rainford met in 2010 at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle while they were both being treated for cancer. Rodney, 19, had Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that causes bone tumors. Lynse, 20, had leukemia, the cancer of blood cells. "He acted, like, goofy all the time," said Lynsie of Rodney. "He didn't really care what other people thought at all. That's what I liked the most probably. He just didn't care what other people thought."
Rodney and Lynse began dating in 2011. Lynse had finished her chemo and was in remission. Rodney appeared to be turning a corner. "We talked about moving in together and just having a normal life finally," said Lynsie. "Pretty much through our whole relationship one of us has been sick or we've both been sick. We never really had a normal relationship."
Rodney's cancer returned in late 2011, more severe than ever. He was admitted to the Yakima Valley Hospital for aggressive treatment. It was becoming evident, however, that Rodney didn't have much time. On Valentine's Day of 2012, despite being in agony and with the bones in his legs devoured by cancer, Rodney got down on one knee and proposed. "He was really, really sick, and he was puking," said Lynsie. "That's what made it special; even though he was really sick, he still wanted to do it right."
Rodney's condition continued to deteriorate. Time was of the essence. Two days after Rodney proposed to Lynsie, on February 16th, 2012, they were married in the basement of the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. Rodney, barely able to stand, walked down the makeshift aisle with his I.V. bag. "He had a goal: 'I'm going to marry that girl before I die," said Rodney's father, Kirk Conradi. "She's the love of my life. She's my soul mate.'"
Later that night, Rodney's pain became unbearable. Doctors sedated him to help him cope. Although he was mostly unconscious in the days and weeks that followed, he had moments of lucidity in which he would recall his improbable wedding. "He kept saying, 'That's the best day of my life,'" said Kirk Conradi.


On March 11th, 2012, Rodney Conradi died. He was 21-years-old. He was surrounded by his family and his wife whom he had married less than a month before, Lynsie. "It was what they wanted and nothing was going to stop them, no matter how painful it was," said Emily Conradi, Rodney's sister. "The power of love was enough to get through."
"It was the best wedding I could ask for," Lynsie said. "Magical, kind of."
[432 words]