Monday, November 30, 2009

Perception or Illusion?

I was in the hotel room in Den Haag, alone and suddenly I had this thought that it would be wonderful if I can separate my vision from my body and see ME for the first time. Does that make any sense? All these years, we can only assume that we are people with certain looks and certain personalities. Of course we will be able to see at how we look in the mirror, but again it is only our perceptions on ourselves. Some people say that perception is merely an illusion. I believe that is probably true. For an example, I may never know what I am truly like because mostly every individual who have crossed my path came up with different perceptions or opinions on me. Over time I have been able to conjure interesting adjectives that are used to describe me. And some of those adjectives don’t seem to match my expectations of me at all. These descriptions never ceased to amaze me although at times they made me laugh (when they sounded so silly to me) or even angry (when they sounded so absurd to me). Wouldn’t it be nice if we can project the images that we wanted to, to our parents, lovers, kids, friends, colleagues, etc. without fear that those images would be distorted in some way or another by these peoples’ perceptions on us? Wouldn’t it be nice to see ourselves as the actors and actresses in the reality show so that we can do the evaluation on our looks and personalities beforehand? Well, one can only hope..

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Friendship Never Ends.

Wednesday: 11 November 2009
2.24pm

Nothing is more satisfying than having good friends whom I know will be there for me through ups and downs. Friends who don’t judge me blindly, but instead try to understand me. Friends who are supportive in whatever I do and who care enough to criticize even though the criticisms hurt in the beginning. And sometimes it’s the simple things that friends do that really touch me deep in the heart. Like today. We are on the final day of NLP Training in Eastin Hotel, PJ when I was surprised by the pure gestures of friendship. To Jo Ann, Serene and Tee, you guys really made my day. Words cannot really express my feelings at that moment. To Eton, it just feels good to have somebody caring whether I am happy or not, whether I am surviving or not once in a while. All in all, I just want to say that to have friends like you is one of the best gifts that I wish in my life. Thank you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Plagiarism - A Losing Battle?

Plagiarism:- "the wrongful appropriation or purloining and publication as one's own, of the ideas, or the expression of the ideas (literary, artistic, musical, mechanical, etc.) of another." The Oxford English Dictionary, Vol. XI, Second Edition.

Despite the lecturers’ efforts to continuously remind students not to plagiarize, I do fear that plagiarism in Malaysia is moving closer towards becoming a culture. These days learning is not a priority anymore. Most students focus on finishing their assignments and getting good grades only. But what is the worth of doing assignments if all the information comes from somebody else’s ideas? In the end, it is just a cut-and-paste job. Personally, I view it as an insult to my intelligence.

As their lecturer, I am not angry at them. I am more disappointed and sad. The English word doesn’t really describe my true feelings. The right word is actually ‘hampa.’ Their failure to realize how important it is to produce or submit original work based on their understanding towards the subject indirectly indicates my failure to educate them. It just feels like I am fighting a losing battle.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Thaqif.


Last Thursday was Thaqif’s birthday (08 October 2009). Feels like it was only yesterday that I first saw him and heard him cried. Time sure flies nowadays. At times I am afraid of not being able to remember all the important moments that I share with my children. A few months back, I wrote a story on my experience and sent it to one of the parenting magazines. I don’t think it will ever get published though. Too many competitions. (laughing...) Well, since it was already written, I am going to put it here for the purpose of sharing. Hope you enjoy it. And to Thaqif..Happy Birthday..be good and make me proud. I love you.


P/s: I am also going to say Happy Birthday to Ai Ling (Jo Ann’s daughter) who turned 3 years old on the same day.

THAQIF ANAK MAMA

"Genap aku hamil tujuh bulan, aku menerima khabar yang cukup meresahkan hati daripada suamiku. Dia terpaksa ke Brunei selama setahun untuk projek usahasama dengan Shell. Pada waktu itu, aku merasakan hatiku cukup sayu sekali. Amat sukar untuk aku bayangkan bagaimana untuk menghadapi saat-saat akhir trimester tanpa suami di sisi. Walau aku sudah pun mempunyai tiga cahayamata sebelum ini, bak kata orang, aku ini dikategorikan sebagai sudah berpengalaman, tetapi kehadiran suami ketika aku ingin bersalin amatlah kuharap-harapkan. Namun, aku cuba sedaya-upaya untuk bersabar dan redha dengan ketentuan Allah. Sepanjang ketiadaan suami, aku tetap melalui hari-hariku seperti biasa.

Apabila Ramadan tiba, aku bersyukur kerana aku masih dapat berpuasa penuh. Menjelang Syawal, aku semakin sarat dan cepat penat. Suamiku yang pulang untuk bercuti terpaksa mengambil-alih menjaga anak-anakku yang lain. Setelah berada di Malaysia lebih kurang dua minggu, suamiku kembali ke Brunei utnuk menyambung semula kerjanya. Tapi, rencana Allah tiada siapa yang tahu. Keesokan harinya tatkala aku bersiap-siap ke pejabat, aku melihat diriku lebih sembab daripada biasa. Aku juga merasa amat penat sekali. Aku membuat keputusan untuk tidak ke pejabat. Sebaliknya, aku ke klinik yang berdekatan. Apabila melihat keadaan aku, doktor terus mengambil keputusan untuk mengambil tekanan darahku. Ternyata tekanan darahku naik! Lantas aku dinasihatkan untuk terus pergi ke Pusat Rawatan Islam Az-Zahrah di mana aku dijadualkan untuk bersalin. Aku sebenarnya dijangkakan bersalin tiga minggu lagi .

Dalam kedaan terpinga-pinga, aku terus sahaja ke Pusat Rawatan Islam Az-Zahrah. Setiba di sana, Dr Fazlina telah menjalankan beberapa ujian ke atasku. Di atas nasihatnya, aku dimasukkan ke wad. Aku diberi ubat untuk menurunkan tekanan darah. Dr Fazlina memberitahuku bahawa kemungkinan besar aku akan diberi ubat yang akan memaksa aku bersalin setelah tekanan darahku stabil bagi mengelakkan bahaya kepada ibu dan bayi. Pada masa itu, laluan bayi aku sudah pun terbuka sebanyak dua sentimeter. Aku terus menelefon suamiku, memintanya segera pulang. Namun kerana suamiku bekerja di Brunei, dia memerlukan masa untuk mendapatkan tiket kapal terbang pada saat-saat akhir.

Pada tanggal 8 Oktober 2008, jam satu petang, Dr Fazlina memasukkan pil ke dalam pangkal rahimku untuk mempercepatkan bukaan laluan bayi. Sekitar pukul tujuh malam, aku sudah merasakan kontraksi yang semakin kerap dan amat menyakitkan. Oleh kerana suamiku belum tiba, hanya bidan di situ yang menemaniku. Aku tidak memberitahu suamiku tentang keadaanku kerana ketika itu dia sudah pun menaiki pesawat pulang ke KLIA. Pada saat itu, aku terasa-rasa bahawa Allah telah menetapkan bahawa aku akan menghadapi segalanya seorang diri tanpa suamiku. Pada lebih kurang jam sepuluh malam, Dr Fazlina datang dan memeriksa semula laluan bayi. Dia agak terkejut kerana laluan bayi kini sudah mencecah tujuh sentimeter. Aku memberitahunya bahawa aku sudah tidak mampu untuk menahan diri daripada meneran bayiku keluar. Dia kemudiannya mengarahkan aku dibawa ke bilik bersalin secepat mungkin. Aku terpaksa diletakkan di atas kerusi roda. Siksanya kurasa pada masa itu kerana aku sudah tidak boleh duduk lagi tanpa rasa ingin meneran. Air mataku menitis tanpa sedar. Segalanya berlaku agak pantas selepas itu.

Aku hanya ingat semua yang di dalam bilik bersalin itu sibuk mengadakan persiapan menyambut bayi kerana mereka tidak menjangka yang laluan bayiku terbuka sebegitu cepat. Apabila air ketubanku dipecahkan oleh Dr Fazlina, dia memberitahuku bahawa laluan sudah terbuka sebanyak tujuh sentimeter tetapi kala itu kedudukan bayiku masih tinggi. Namun, aku dapat merasakan seakan-akan bayiku ingin keluar segera.

Dr Fazlina akhirnya membenarkan aku untuk mencuba meneran keluar bayiku itu. Apabila aku meneran sekali, masih tiada apa-apa berlaku. Dua kali teran, aku terdengar seorang jururawat memberitahu Dr Fazlina bahawa kepala bayiku sudah nampak. Tiga kali teran, maka lahirlah bayi lelakiku seberat 2.6 kg. Itulah puteraku, Muhammad Thaqif. Alhamdullillah.

Walaupun hati sedikit terkilan kerana suamiku tidak sempat untuk berada di sisi, aku amat gembira dan bersyukur kerana segalanya berakhir tanpa apa-apa kesulitan. Aku juga amat berterima kasih pada Dr Fazlina kerana sentiasa menenangkan aku dalam menghadapi saat-saat kelahiran.

Ketika Dr Fazlina sibuk melakukan jahitan, aku tiba-tiba terasa amat lapar dan dahaga. Baru aku teringat bahawa aku tidak sempat untuk makan malam kerana pada masa itu aku sudah kesakitan. Aku dengan selambanya bertanya Dr Fazlina jika dia dapat meminta jururawat membawakan aku air Milo. Tidak lama kemudian secawan air Milo dan dua keping roti dihidangkan untuk aku semasa aku masih di dalam bilik bersalin itu.

Sesudah anakku dibersihkan oleh jururawat, dia diberikan sebentar kepadaku. Perkara pertama yang terlintas di dalam kepalaku ketika itu ialah siapa yang akan mengazankan anak aku. Dalam keadaan yang kelam-kabut tadi, aku juga tidak sempat meminta ibubapaku datang ke Pusat Rawatan Islam Az-Zahrah. Suamiku juga masih belum mendarat lagi pada kala itu dan masih lagi belum menerima khabar bahawa aku telah selamat bersalin.

Air mataku mula terasa ingin keluar semula. Dr Fazlina menenangkan aku lalu berjanji akan mencari seseorang di Az-Zahrah untuk membacakan azan ke telinga anakku. Dipendekkan cerita, anakku kemudiannya diazankan oleh seorang lelaki yang bekerja di situ. Kemudian, dia diazankan semula oleh ayahku yang datang melawat tidak lama kemudian. Akhir sekali, dia diazankan oleh suamiku yang baru tiba dari Brunei sekitar jam dua belas tengah malam. Doaku moga Thaqif akan menjadi anak yang baik dan soleh kelak. Amin."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Let's Walk Together.

With all the commotion regarding two UPM lecturers being hauled up over plagiarism, I just have to say something. Why was it that every time something happened due to the ignorance of a few people, the society immediately lashed on the whole community. Sigh. I don’t know the real reason behind this ignorance for thinking that a website is a public domain and for not citing the sources, but please don’t generalize. Kerana nila setitik maka rosak susu sebelanga. The system won’t be able to improve itself if we continue to lay blames on each other. Yes, perhaps the university should’ve done something different. There are always rooms for improvements. But two heads are always better than one. So help us with your constructive comments instead of crushing us. We are all Malaysians. I believe there are many academics here in Malaysia who considers plagiarism as a very serious offense. And many will continuously preach to students about the importance of citations. Most of us continue to do what we do because we believe that we can help make a difference. Therefore, walk with us through this journey. Let’s protect the candle from melting and its fire from dying..TOGETHER.

"Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Maaf Zahir dan Batin."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Mother's Fear.



In the past few weeks, in mostly every parts of the world, people are talking about Influenza A, H1N1. As a mother, it used to scare me very, very much for fear that it would attack any or all my children. It is always a mother’s nature to protect their children and to constantly worry about them. Why? Well, mainly because the children have been in my womb for 9 months. The bonds are simply unbreakable. The bonds are not easy to describe. If you are a mother, you would know by heart. As for me, I would rather have the virus attacking me rather than them. Simply because I don’t want them to suffer. I would rather suffer the pain on behalf of them. Come to think of it, I would rather suffer the pain even for my husband or my parents for they are also the most important people in my life. In fact my children, my husband and my parents are my life. Without them, I have nothing.

I was planning to go to Turkey for a conference in the third week of Ramadhan. It was funny to think that in the beginning I was actually very worried if I were to contract the virus there and spread it to my family. Fate obviously had taken a different turn. My eldest daughter was found positive of the virus last Monday. Chances are she got it from school. There have been issues where parents keep sending their sick children to school so that they can continue to go to work. Upon receiving the news, I felt like my heart just dropped. I couldn’t think straight for a while and I remembered my hands were shaking. Since I am just only a philosophical doctor and not a medical doctor (which at that moment I wished I should have been), my information about the virus comes only from what I read or hear in the papers and the news. And other extra information that I have just came from my assumptions and my paranoia over the unknown and the unthinkable. Having my husband in Brunei did not help the situation at all. But I know I had to be brave. This was not the time for me to panic. I kept reminding myself that qada’ and qadar di tangan Allah. I wanted to cry on my way home, but I couldn’t. So I prayed for her safety and I prayed for her to be well again instead. I was desperate to reach her, but my Waja did not seem to be able to move fast enough. When I finally arrived home, I barely had the time to think. I had to start the quarantine process, and had to take all the safety measures to make sure that the virus would not spread to others especially my other three children. I had to be calm for Yasmin and it was very difficult to do that. I didn’t want her to see how worried I was. The first few days when she still had her fever and cough and cold altogether, I had to monitor her closely especially for difficulties in breathing or continuous high fever. Luckily none of those happened.

Yasmin is now in the process of recovering. Today is her 6th day of quarantine and tomorrow will be her last. She seems to be in a stable condition. I have been working on and off since day one and have taken emergency leaves until the weekend. My husband also manages to do the same. He had come home earlier for Yasmin, and also for me. To my friends who are both medical doctors, thank you for your guidance. The knowledge that you shared with me helps me to be calm and prepared. To my colleagues who have been supporting me continuously, who have been concerned for Yasmin until now, and who have made this difficult journey somewhat easier for me, thank you so much. I owe you one. One thing that I can tell you though, having to go though this, to have experienced dealing with it face-to-face, somehow manage to reduce the level of fear that I had over this virus. The unknown now become a little bit known. I also realize that we can only pray and take precautions, but the rest is all up to Allah. I love you Yasmin.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Song to Remember.



The date was 24 May 2008. Hazim (my first son) was 6 years old. He did his pre-school at Tabika Kemas Sungai Sekamat. One day, his teacher selected him to sing in a Nasyid competition. There were about 10 students chosen for that competition. The morning of the competition, I almost didn’t make it on time to see him performed because I lost my way. Luckily when I finally arrived, he was just starting. I was so proud seeing him with his first complete purple ‘baju Melayu.’ He looked so happy to see me. Later, I learned from the teacher that before I came, he was the only student not accompanied by a parent. I felt so guilty. In the midst of his performance, I remembered thinking… ‘he is no more my baby. My baby has grown up.’ Somehow the song chosen by the teacher really touched my heart deeply. I always like the song anyway. To hear it sung by my son was such a blessing. To me the song is a very powerful song. It is a song created from the heart. It is a song that reminds me how fleeting my life is. That my days on earth are numbered. That life is just a journey, not a destination. The song that Hazim sang on that day was ‘Pergi Tak Kembali.’

Pergi Tak Kembali
Artist: Rabbani

Setiap insan pasti merasa
Saat perpisahan terakhir
Dunia yang fana akan ditinggalkan
Hanya amalan yang dibawa
Terdengar sayup surah dibaca
Sayunya alunan suara
Cemas di dada...lemah tak bermaya
Terbuka hijab di depan mata
Selamat tinggal pada semua
Berpisahlah kita selamanya
Kita tak sama nasib di sana
Baikkah atau sebaliknya
Amalan dan takwa jadi bekalan
Sejahtera bahagia pulang...ke sana
Sekujur badan berselimut putih
Rebah bersemadi sendiri
Mengharap kasih anak dan isteri
Apa mungkin pahala dikirim
Terbaring sempit seluas pusara
Soal-bicara terus bermula
Sesal dan insaf tak berguna lagi
Hancurlah jasad dimamah bumi
Berpisah sudah segalanya
Yang tinggal hanyalah kenangan
Diiring doa dan air mata
Yang pergi takkan kembali lagi

video

Rabbani lead singer dies


2009/08/13
KUALA LUMPUR: Asri Ibrahim, leader and lead singer of popular nasyid group Rabbani, died of heart attack yesterday. He was 40. He had collapsed at a press conference for RTM's Syahadah programme at Angkasapuri. He was rushed to Pantai Medical Centre, where he was pronounced dead at 11am. Asri, also a renowned motivational speaker in schools and universities, is survived by wife Haliza Shahadan, 39, and six children.Asri was born on Aug 3, 1969 in Klang, Selangor. With his nasyid group Rabbani, he had been at the forefront in popularising the nasyid genre in the country by introducing a new sound that incorporated modern beats. Rabbani has released 17 albums and won numerous awards for its inspirational music and songs. Among its best-known albums are Pergi Tak Kembali (1999), Intifada (2000), Yalla Beena (2004).

Al-fatihah…

‘Aku adalah pengejar syurga akhirat,bagiku dunia ini adalah tempat mempersiapkan segala sesuatu untuk meraih syurga akhirat;aku yakin bahawa syurga akhirat tidak akan pernah dapat aku raih kecuali aku boleh menikmati syurga dunia terlebih dahulu.Maka rumah dan keluargaku adalah syurga dunia paling indah buatku. Tempat kerja syurga dunia harianku. Tetangga, masyarakat,dan bangsa adalah syurga duniaku yang lebih luas.Ke manapun dan sampai bila-bila pun syurgaku selalu bersamaku..’ Asri Rabbani

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blast from the Past.

Terkenang zaman dulu-dulu...a short story written when I was in Form 2, "DEMI YANG TERSAYANG."

Dalam keindahan petang, aku melangkahkan kaki ke satu lorong kecil yang maha kotor lagi busuk. Suasana di persekitaran senyap sekali. Hanya derap sepatuku menghasilkan irama-irama sumbang. Namun walaupun begitu setidak-tidaknya ia berjaya mengurangkan keresahan yang sedang bergolak di dalam jiwaku. Kalau diikutkan hati mahu rasanya aku lari dari tempat ini tetapi demi orang yang ku sayang ku tahan jua. Sebentar kemudian aku tiba di sebuah bilik kecil. Pintunya dicat merah tetapi warna asal tersebut sudah mula merekah, meninggalkan tompok-tompok hitam yang menjijikkan. Cendawan bermaharajalela di bahagian bawahnya. Di sebelah kiri terdapat sebuah longkang yang dipenuhi sampah-sarap besar dan kecil. Bau busuk dan hanyir kuat menusuk hidungku. Aku seakan-akan lemas rasanya .

Tanpa menunggu lebih lama ku ketuk pintu itu. Senyap. Sejurus kemudian ketukanku bergema lagi namun masih tiada jawapan. Lantas ku tolak pintu buruk itu. Berkeriut bunyinya. Bilik kecil itu hanya berukuran 15 meter persegi sahaja .Tiada perabot, tiada hiasan. Hanya sekeping tikar usang penyeri lantai hitam yang kotor. Di satu sudut terdapat sebuah gelas yang telah retak, sebuah pinggan sumbing dan cerek yang bocor manakala di suatu sudut yang lain sehelai sejadah dan kain dilipat kemas. Dindingnya cuma dihiasi sebuah songkok hitam yang telah pudar warnanya. Ku halakan pula pandanganku ke atas. Atap zink itu sudah berlubang-lubang. Kalau hujan kiranya pasti ia menyerbu masuk menghentam tubuhmu yang kesejukan. Oh, daifnya kehidupan bagi yang empunya bilik ini! Berbeza sekali dengan pangsapuri mewah milik ibu, banglo dua tingkat kebanggaan ayah dan chalet-chalet sewaan mereka. Aku akhirnya duduk melepaskan penat. Kenangan tiga tahun lalu menghimbau kembali diingatanku .
~~~~~~

Esok keputusan SPM akan diumumkan. Malam itu ku lihat kau resah sahaja. Aku tidak hairan jika tidurmu malam itu tidak lena.

Waktunya tiba, kau pergi dengan seribu debaran di hati. Tetapi malangnya kau gagal mempertahankan status kebanggaan keluarga. Ibu sudah sedia menanti tika kau pulang. Nombor yang tertera di atas gulungan kertasmu nampaknya semakin membuatkan ibu geram. Pangkatmu hanya 3. Aku tidak tahu mengapa ibu marah benar sedangkan dia sendiri tahu yang kau telah berusaha sedaya upayamu. Kau bersengkang mata setiap malam hanya untuk mengulangkaji pelajaranmu. Kau juga sanggup berhenti dari segala aktivitimu di sekolah walhal aku tahu kau amat cenderung dalam sukan. Kau pernah mengatakan bahawa sukan itu duniamu. Ibu sepatutnya menenangkan hatimu bukannya memukul atau menghalau kau keluar dari rumah! Setahuku ibu hanyalah ibu tiri kita. Apa hak ibu untuk menghalau kau dari rumahmu? Sesungguhnya aku amat kesal kerana gagal menghalang kehendak ibu. Sakit akibat pukulan ibu turut aku rasakan. Cemuhan ibu terhadapmu juga memedihkan hatiku. Aku benci ibu! Tetapi kau tenang sahaja. Malahan kau menasihatkanku supaya jangan ingkar akan kata-kata ibu. Betapa murninya hatimu bang.

Kau pergi hanya berbekalkan wang simpananmu yang pada firasatku hanya 500 ringgit sahaja. Aku yakin wang sebanyak itu tidak dapat menampung kehidupanmu di dunia yang serba mencabar ini. Maafkan aku kerana tidak dapat membantumu. Hanya airmataku mengiringi pemergianmu.

Tiga hari selepas peristiwa itu ayah pulang. Sebaik sahaja mengetahui perkara yang telah terjadi, ayah terus berusaha mencarimu tetapi hampa. Sejak itu rumah yang dahulunya riuh dengan gelak tawa kita dua beradik kini berwajah mendung. Hari-hari yang ku lalui amat membosankan. Sementara itu, sikap ayah terhadap ibu adalah dingin sekali. Ayah hanya menegur ibu bila perlu sahaja. Syukur alhamdulillah, akhirnya ibu insaf .

Setahun kemudian aku menduduki peperiksaan SPM. Aku berazam untuk berjaya dengan cemerlangnya dan sekaligus menebus kegagalan kau dahulu. Dengan kehendak Illahi, impianku menjadi nyata. Kejayaan ini kembali mengingatkan aku kepadamu. Lalu dengan itu ku teruskan usaha yang terbengkalai dahulu. Ku temui rakan-rakan sekelasmu dengan senjuta harapan namun nasib nampaknya masih belum menyebelahiku. Tidak seorang pun di antara mereka yang tahu di mana kau. Aku tidak putus asa dan mula menapakkan kaki ke Rumah-rumah Kebajikan Masyarakat serta Pusat-pusat Pemulihan Dadah. Malangnya kau tidak pernah ke tempat-tempat seperti itu.

Malam 3 Mac, sesungguhnya amat bererti buatku. Secara tidak sengaja aku bertemu dengan Khairul, rakan karibmu dulu. Ku pujuk dia supaya memberitahuku di mana kau berada kerana ku pasti dia tahu. Pada mulanya dia enggan tetapi setelah melihatkan kesungguhanku akhirnya satu persetujuan dicapai. Aku tiba di lorong ini …
~~~~~~~

Pintu merah itu berbunyi laksana ditolak. Aku tersentak. Lamunanku terhenti. Seorang pemuda masuk membawa sebungkus nasi. Wajahnya cengkung tidak bermaya. Mungkin kerana kerja berat. Matanya membayangkan seribu persoalan. Aku kematian kata-kata. Hanya senyuman berbunga dan mutiara penghiasnya.

“Abang !” akhirnya keluar juga ucapan itu. Dia mula mengerti. Serta-merta wajah tampan yang layu itu kembali bercahaya.

“Dik!”
~Tamat~

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Farewell Yasmin.


Upon hearing the death of Yasmin Ahmad, I suddenly feel compelled to say my farewell to arwah. In every one of her creations, she managed to make the differences among us invisible. In every one of her creations, she lights up hopes that unity is indeed welcome. And true enough, in every one of her creations, she managed to touch my heart..deeply. The idea she lets across is universal. That all of us are one and the same. That the colorful nation has always been Malaysia’s destiny. It is just a shame that we sometimes failed to see our own best talent when others did.

So to Yasmin, thank you very much for reminding me of the little things that I always take for granted. We’ve never met. But looking back, it would have been an honor for me if we did. I will miss your commercials and short stories. Most of all, I will miss your words.

"In the end it's these small things that you remember with imperfections that make them perfect for you.."Al-Fatihah.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

X or Y?

When Douglas McGregor first came up with Theory X and Y, the idea is simple although the implication of the theories in our lives is far greater. Theory X regards people to be lazy, to dislike work, to avoid working hard, and to prefer to be directed. On the contrary, Theory Y regards people to be motivated to work; to feel unfulfilled without the opportunity to work and contribute to society; to prefer control over their work; and to take responsibility for their work. In general, when I think of an X person, I always think of direction..direction..direction..and spoon-feeding. However, if I think of a Y person, the main thing that comes to my mind would be independent.

What actually trigger my discussion on Theory X and Y? See, yesterday, while I was teaching, suddenly a question popped up in my mind. Can we actually say that the education system that we have currently in schools is based on developing students to be in the scope of X individuals and the education system we have in the university is actually moving towards developing the Y individuals. You may ask, why the transition? Because organizations want Y employees. Just browse through the job advertisements in STAR for an example to see the kind of applicants that these organizations want. ‘Performance driven and able to adapt to a fast paced working environment , ‘ ‘Independent,’ ‘Process oriented and meticulous with a keen eye for detail,’ ‘Consistently achieve their performance deliverables and add value to the organization,’ ‘Demonstrate capability beyond their current scope of function.’

In schools, students are given all the materials they need to succeed. Those who work hard will eventually score in exams. The moment they enter the university, they are required to actually take one step further. Success now will not only depend simply on the materials given. Instead success is owned by those who are independent. The end goal should not be just to get a 4.0 CGPA. The end goal should be to get a GOOD job. And keep on improving until you fulfill your self-actualization. To get a good job, a student needs to be an all-rounder. One general comment that we get from future employers is ‘yes, the results are a straight line, but other than that, they know nothing.’ This is a challenge. How do we get our students to think out of the box? I told my students, one of the simplest ways to start knowing is by actually mixing with people from various backgrounds. As students, they are faced with the opportunity to make new friends everyday in class. The problem is they normally come into class and sit with their current friends. Some have been sitting beside the same person since their first year in the university. Why? Why not take that opportunity to actually sit besides somebody new and begin the process of learning. Why not mingle yourself among people from different cultures. Everything actually starts with you. If you have the will, you will always find a way.

Monday, July 6, 2009

There's No Turning Back in Life.

Sometimes it was so frustrating to witness gloomy faces among students especially in the beginning of the semester. A student’s life should be filled with happiness and joy. It was such a loss to have not experienced all of those. Because looking back, you will wish that you would have done it differently. Trust me.

I remembered behaving totally different during my time in Mizzou. Everyday was like a journey to be discovered. And every morning (well most mornings actually) I woke up with such a high spirited energy. There was always something to do, something to explore. We bowled, we played roller blade, we barbequed, we jammed, we laughed and we cried. We did our laundry and went grocery shopping normally after midnight when there were less people using the services. We studied hard and played hard too. Everyday of the semesters we spent going to classes, talking to friends, getting to know our lecturers and giving them opportunities to know us, and of course..WORKING (this was mainly to pay for our travelling expenses later). Come exam week, we spent hours and hours in the library, stopping only for some fries and a cup of hot chocolate at Mc D just before midnight. We only went home when the library closed its doors around 3 in the morning. Sleeping was never a priority. After exam, well…this was the payback for our efforts. We travelled!!! One time, we travelled for 2 weeks straight..from Missouri to Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York and up to Canada (Niagara Falls, Quebec, Montreal) and finally back to Missouri. A breathtaking journey ending with me catching chicken pox! And I actually spread the virus to another three of my friends in Mizzou. Hahaha! That was a riot!!! Everybody cursed me back then.

Well, those are my memories, my stories. I keep reminding my students to enjoy the process of learning and of maturity. Being a student is a-one-in-a-lifetime experience. So please, grab it while you can…This is your time. Start creating your memories.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot. And auld lang syne?

All the marks are in for Organizational Behavior class this trimester. Phew. But at the end of the day it is still about knowledge. And it is about application of the knowledge. Somebody used to tell me that knowledge is not ours to keep. It is ours to share. So, start sharing...

To all my students; Amaliya, Eu Jin, Mingxing, Amin, Hawazin , Haneem, Oyin , Badri, One, Amelia , Yan, Roslinda, Voon Lee, Vincent , Yassar, Yvonne, Soma, Asmawati, Lailyiza, Pei Lye, Noraliza, Rashan, Sharis, Chong, Joyce and Leyla, I wish you all the best and keep up the energy that you showed in my class. It is as much a learning process for me as it is for you.

Thank you.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Room Painting.




I finally did it! I finally painted my room. I had talked about it for a long time, but it was only in the last few weeks that I had committed myself to doing it by taking the first step..buying the paint. Of course I had to buy the expensive type because that would be the only way to motivate me to use it. Otherwise, the paint would still be in the can until next year. Hah! I got to know myself pretty well now. Normally that is how I push myself forward…by committing first and then thinking about how to meet the deadlines later…and freaking out. Good strategy, eh. But very, very stressful.


Monday, April 13, 2009

A Welcome Gesture.

Last few weeks, I was in a very stressful mood most of the days. So many things had to be completed and the very fact that I always wanted to do the best in everything that I do made the situation more difficult. But there was this one time when I was walking up to my room and a former student of mine said ‘hi’ to me. He was standing near one of the offices; so, I sort of knew that he was actually waiting for one of his lecturers. Still, he came up to me and offered to take my briefcase. And before I could say no, he took the briefcase and just started to walk up to the third floor. At that point of time, my mood was suddenly improved. Simply put, I felt happy and appreciated. As a lecturer, I did not expect anything from my students. But, a gesture like this one, no matter how simple, was always welcome anytime.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

De-motivating Thought.

Hi everybody. It's been a while. I've been busy. I know, I know there's no excuse, but it's the truth. Anyway, I have been busy with all my classes, the preparations, the assignments and the exams. And I also have other tasks (??) to be completed. On top of that, there are the over-the-weekend motivational courses, workshops, seminars to be attended every once in a while.

Today, I just wanted to raise some issues on motivation. By definition, motivation is the process of arousing and sustaining goal-directed behavior. So, it should provide us the excitement to improve, to make us want to achieve something. But, sometimes organizations make mistakes by giving too many motivational talks or even workshops. The organizations can also make things worse by being selective on their participants. By not including all the members of a certain department in the motivational talks, organizations instead create dissatisfactions and stress. Although in the beginning people can be excited, those who are selected again and again for similar courses would start to question the real motives behind their selection. Are they chosen because they have the potentials to be the top performers or are they actually selected because they are not performing? And they also begin to wonder why certain members of the organization whom they view as non-active are not sent to such courses. Isn't one of the objectives of giving motivation is to make people more productive? Perhaps if the organizations would offer the non-active members an equal chance of attending the motivational talks, they might respond in a positive way. In addition, the act will also create a certain kind of prestige to these motivational talks.

As an advocate of Organizational Behavior study, I understand that motivation is very important to the successful of every organization. But, too many of these talks might in the end make the members de-motivated. Think about it.