Thursday, August 30, 2007

Regarding Interview...

I had an interview this morning for the post of a lecturer because I had gone to further my study under a tutor scheme. Since they said it was just for formality, 4 of the tutors from my faculty were interviewed simultaneously. We had a good discussion and I just want to share some of the things mentioned. We were told that as academicians in a research university, one of our responsibilities is of course to teach. But lecturers' main task is only to facilitate learning, not spoon-feed the students. I know students will be frustrated to hear this, but it is actually necessary to prepare them for the outside world. Students need to learn to be independent. Believe me, it is for your own good.

The second thing is we have to participate actively in research activities by publishing our work (the more the better..), not just presenting in conferences. We need to start climbing the hill immediately so that we would be able to reach the top (being awarded full professors) as soon as possible. Publications would enhance our credibility in the research world.

Finally we have to provide services like consultancies, etc if required.

The interviewer stressed on the importance of working passionately. With passion comes determination, and with determination, comes success. He said we should enjoy doing what we chose to do (unless we don't intend to be academicians in the first place).

Coming out of the Bilik Sidang (the room where we had our interview), I began to judge myself. Do I have the passion? Do I have the determination? Do I have the time? For me, time is my biggest obstaclelah...but I know I have the required passion and determination. The only thing that I am not sure is whether my passion and determination are enough. Hmm..I guess I just have to strive hard to meet the expectations. So, pray for me people and wish me luck...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Regarding UPM 31st Convocation Ceremony...

Yesterday at 2pm, some of the junior staffs of the Faculty of Economics and Management were invited (emm...I think forced is a better choice of word..hehehe) to attend the 31st Convocation Ceremony of UPM including me. Actually, I was quite excited when I got the invitation. You see, I was not able to attend my PhD graduation in Reading last time because I just couldn't stand to prolong my stay there. It was so depressing. And of course there was the money factor (the airline fuel charge has increased dramatically since 2003, and accommodation in Reading is very, very expensive especially after the football team has managed to compete in the Premiership league). Why use up so much money just for a day of graduation? I figured it wouldn't be memorable anyway without my husband and my kids. Sadly, I was also not able to go for my Masters graduation in Malaysia because it took place just a month after my departure to Reading (again...plane ticket was soooo expensive!). So, my only memory of graduation was just for my Bachelor Degree in Missouri-Columbia, USA. But, it was also my best (cause that's where I met my Columbia...hehehe).

Anyway, going back to the original was quite nice actually to be able to walk into the Dewan Besar with my PhD graduation gown. For the first time since I graduated, I feel proud of myself. But with pride, comes sadness. I would be lying to you if I say all the sacrifices mean nothing to me. Still, deep in my heart I do believe that everything would not be in vain.

As I looked at the graduates walking down the aisle, I prayed for them to never stop believing in themselves. Remember, you set your own limitations. It will be you who ought to remove them. So, for all the graduates, I wish you the very best of luck in your future. ‘Ingat, berjalan mesti ke hadapan...' Congratulations!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Regarding PhD...

My 'PhD' daughter; Kamalia....

I have a student coming to see me last time who was overly impressed of my achievements. And what I told her was simple.. ‘you need not be a genius to do a PhD, what you need is just determination.’ And I think confidence.

Frankly speaking..I never thought about furthering my study this far. Even when I was in TKC, I never know for sure what I wanna be. I was never the ambitious one there. I was busy with my handball, netball, etc. Looking back at my grades there..ouchh..that’s a very sensitive issue...definitely very bad as compared to all my friendslah especially Elma (she was TKC's best student for both SRP and SPM for our batch). I am sure none of my teachers back then remember me. Hmm..and my mom refused to believe that me and Elma were quite close just because our results differed..big time! Years back, my main aim was to get thru SPM, get my degree and work. But, after graduation, after I started working, little by little, my perceptions changed. I wanted to work..true..but I wanted the time to be flexible. I wanted to learn and at the same time be given opportunities to move up the ladder without any restrictions. I wanted freedom in completing my work. So, I applied to work as a lecturer and was lucky to be accepted as well. The rest is historylah..

To me, there's nothing fancy about getting my PhD (although I did manage to get another daughter throughout the process…hehe). I am still me. Yes, it's an achievement especially when I have to tolerate struggling to end it alone without my husband and my kids for 3 ½ years, when I have to lead a life that was full of ups and downs (one phone call a day to Malaysia and a few pages of Quran reading kept me sane). But the moment I passed my viva...I just didn't feel a thing. Until now pun, I still feel kind of numb. When they sent me my certificate, I kept wondering..‘all those hardships and tears just for this piece of paper?’ Funny, isn't it?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Regarding OGA Dinner...

Last Saturday was quite memorable for me. It was the Annual Dinner for MGC/TKC OGA members. I have been a member for quite some time, but I never had the chance to participate in any of the events because I was away, studying for my PhD. Now that I am back, I thought.. hmm..dinner..why not. Although I did not know most of the people attending the dinner, the bond was clearly there...we were all ex-TKCians after all (except for the husbands and the royal guests of course..) and we know it. We've been to the same school and subjected to the same experience. Most of us talked about the past rather than the present. Somehow the past seemed to be more significant for the occasion. Some of us haven't had the chance to meet for the last 16 years. The grand ballroom was so noisy of the members’ chit chatting that even the famous Mahathir Lokman had trouble in organizing the event. And it was fun to see the prominent members of the school talked about similar experiences during the multimedia presentation. Some common topics include the 'nasi kawah,' 'nasi daging' and 'ikan jeket.' There were also talks about house keeping that every one of us were required to do every weekend. About having to wake up very early in the morning to serve for breakfast, the fight for nice breads for the seniors, the rule of one finger when arranging the coffee cup. About being lectured by seniors. About all our pet sisters, 'cobweb,' 'toeng,' 'friends..' About the teachers..the things we did during April Fool...hahaha. Well, hope the friendships long as the students keep singing the song...

"Kolej Tunku Kurshiah,
Kolej ulung di negara Malaysia,
Kami pelajar bersumpah,
Akan teguh patuh memeliharanya..

Kolej Tunku Kurshiah,
Kolej mulia berjasa,
Moga-moga Tuhan memberi rahmatnya,
Sentosa Kolej Tunku Kurshiah!"


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Regarding Introduction...

This is me writing on my second blog actually. My first one was created solely for the purpose of releasing the tensions that I felt while dragging myself to finish my PhD. This second attempt is hoped to provide a platform for discussions..on..well..on anything and everything. For those who have supported me throughout the journey cited in my last blog, thank you very much. For those who have just joined me for my upcoming's a pleasure...