Friday, July 24, 2009

Freaking Friday

I woke up this morning to the smell of stinking shit….my cat Ruffy got some stomach problem and shit all over the living room. Bad Ruffy!.and who do you think has the honour to clean it up.Well the master of course..and that’s me!. Not a good start of my Friday. Everybody likes to play with the fur but no one likes the dirty job of cleaningn up the smelly shit…not even the bibik!. I went looking for her all over the house this morning but to no avail….maybe she knew the cat is bad this morning. So there goes my breakfast…just could not swallow my toasted butter with all the smelly shit. And when I looked at him (Ruffy the cat) with my smoking ears; he knew I was mad so he scrambled away and hid outside. Somehow the communication is going across maybe at the minimum level…well what do you expect, he is a cat. Ironically I was not aware that sometime I talk to these cats. They look into my eyes as if trying to say ….so what! I am a cat , can’t help you bro…..they are great sometimes but when he ate something bad then this will happen and I feel like kicking the ass out of that stupid cat.

So I went off to the office without breakfast and a face that Picasso would not even put into his drawing. But today is Friday , it’s okay ,things will get better. They usually do but not this Friday. I went off early with the guys for lunch but we got I just could not pick the lauk; I kept smelling that stinking shit from this morning. OMG! When is it gonna end! I ended up with a bowl of bubur kacang from yesteryear ( well it tasted that way ). Then the khutbah was so boring talking about somethings that have been repeated a million times…I just could not remember what it was all about. So stinking boring!. Finally the time for solat and soon off we all go. During the solat , all of the sudden there was this guy getting out of his place and pushing in between myself and the next guy for a way out. Must be the lunch , I thought. Oh No was I wrong… the guy pee during the solat. Can you believe it……..the stupid guy pee in the middle of the mosque during the solat, and he was in the front row just behind the imam. You can imagine how far he has to drag his wet –pee-all-over feet all the way to the toilet. In a way I pity him as he might be suffering from some bladder disease…but…hello…you don’t have to squeeze yourself to the front row also. Take the back row so you excuse yourself if anything happens.Perghhhh…some people just could think properly. See how much damage has been done on the carpet alone…soaking wet with his stinking pee.

And as I drove back to the office, the news came ……..

It’s official. UiTM Shah Alam is closed due to the outbreak of the swine flu virus. After the campus clinic being swarmed in by the students yesterday; the campus is no longer safe and I guess the flying pigs are here. We have been attacked. So everyone has a one week break. Not sure whether that’s a good news or a bad one. I am freaking up already.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A New Era For PAS?

not sure what the letters say...........

Location : On the bus to KB from Kuantan.

“Mana mau pigi?”

Maanik ulai !

Ooooo tempat mengundi tu ek?

Lu tatak pigi aah?

***speechless***lu nak buat apa sana?

Tolong tolong itu olang aah …

Oooo ada kenal orang kat sana?

Tatak kenai sapa-sapa…..

Jadi nak tidur mana malam ni?

Mana-mana laaa....itu tempat misti ada tempat tido....

Nak makan camana?

Aiyaa...makan laa apa yang adaaa......

Hmmmmm***speechless again****

Lu tau macam mana nak pigi maanik ulai?

Hhhmmmm ***trying to cover up *** nanti saya tanya drebar....

Sapa bayar lu pigi ni?

Tadak sapa-sapa……saya sendiri punya duit…

Lu keja apa?

Jual sayur kat pasar…..

Hari ni tak keja ke?

Tak..sebab saya nak pigi sana maaanik ulai....

Ini kenapa pakai baju pas?

Pas misti menang oooo......

Kenapa PAS kena menang?

Sebab aaa....itu BN aaaa.................and the rest is history.

I do not know what to say but our country is changing fast. The socio-political landscape is turning into something unimaginable. It’s like something is waiting to happen……only God knows.

Friday, July 17, 2009

RU Or RU Not?

That’s the latest catch phrase in UiTM….a bit late , I think. But not too bad still have time to catch up. The next two spots will be up for grab and UiTM is desperately seeking the edge to get it. The deadline is end of August and everyone is urged to dig in and find something to boost the figure (at least to score 75). During the last exercise we scored less than 50….that ‘s the reason why UiTM was not in the list. So everyone is busy like the mother chicken preparing the hatching eggs. Digging here, digging there, digging everywhere to find that paper virtually lost in the pile of dusty waste. What a pity sight!

Look! I am as exciting as everyone else to know that UiTM is going for it; but we have to be real , wake up and smell the coffee. Are we really up to it? Is everyone ready for whatever circumstances that will come henceforth? From the figure I doubt so! Not that I am being pessimistic but rather practical. Not so long ago we were an institute doing the second class courses for some bunch of exam losers. Then the announcement came that we are now a university and now we are going for this research university (RU) status. The development is positive, okay so fine enough. But the thing is that as we move from one status to another “the game” will also change. Can you play a good game of soccer when the goal post keep changing? You can of course but not a happy one at it , don’t you think? Soon you will be very tired indeed. And that’s exactly the case with UiTM right now. The rules keep changing because we like to change. I am just getting tired catching up with all these. It is just not a fair game.

I would like to see UiTM to develop at its own pace. We are big so in a way we do things differently. A good foundation will support tremendous growth in the future, I do believe that phenomenon. Even more so as we are an academic institution where the enhancement of knowledge is subtle yet robust with a good combination of features. Patient is the order of the game really. But some people want to see results fast without any second thought. The road ahead seems certain paved along the ivory walls; but is it really? Have we pause for while and look back? Maybe not because we are busy planning ahead.

RU or not the culture of research should be there already. Otherwise we have failed miserably to deliver. But looking at the current scenario, we haven’t got mush space to move….with the teaching loads going over the top, crowded labs for undergraduate and no facility for the PG. what really are we talking about? Will RU change that for the better? I have no authority to change all that, or to influence those people to reconsider. We are in the society where orders come from the top and not rise up from the bottom. When the ship sets sail you are gone with it, whether you like it or not. But I want a choice. Give reasons for me to choose.

Anyway, I am working to get my impact score. The real face of my academic soul. I pray for worthy look.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Back To Undergraduate Lectures

A lecture is a teaching process. It does not conform to the literal meaning of “teaching” but consolidate other learning processes with it. A lecturer will deliver his lecture and students are expected to sit, listen and take notes. It takes a matured person to do that and absorb the contents to understand . At the same time lecturer will play his/her roles during the delivery period. I have been given one undergraduate class this semester and I went in happy because the subject seemed to be “an easy programming course” but came out rather speechless. The thing is that lecturing an undergraduate course requires special motivation,skills and patient---none of which was present during my first class. I thought I was away not too long but it was long enough for the skills and patient to evaporate. I was shocked to the fact that I have to adjust myself a lot to get leveled with them and get my points across. I was shocked for not having enough resources for the learning to be more effective ; in addition to the fact that they were badly depending on them. I was utterly surprised to find out the digital knowledge that these students have as we are living in the 21st century. Anyway, I am overly concerned with my lecture rather than their incompetency. I have to relearn and revisit my old and dusty programming files to recover my teaching methods.

I remember that when one is set to go for a lecture and deliver a subject there are two things of great importance : organization and attitudes. A lecture should be organized in such a way that comprehension and retention can be the outcome at the end of the day. The objectives must be determined and spelt out clearly. What is it that you want the students to take away with after the lecture has finished. The objectives may be to help students learn how to solve problems, comprehend a major framework or demonstrate the ability to analyse and criticize . The mistake always happen when we make that the lecture to tell about something…it is obvious isn’t it ? But rather think that the lecture should be about what I want my students to learn. It’s like between giving facts about a story and telling them a short story. A story is not complete without an intro, a body and a conclusion. A good lecture is similar to that; start with an introduction that tells them what would be the order of the day, then give them the story and at the end of it conclude wisely to wrap up the lecture.

I guess teaching is not as easy as it seems; but on the other hand it is not too difficult to handle also. Life is always like that, don’t you think so? As long as we put our mind into it nothing seems difficult. It could be a lot of fun. Most people say teaching is for the ladies and only sissy men would stick around to endure the job. Well whatever it is I love this job and it seems to fit me very well. Sissy or not you can come and see me; maybe I can rearrange the way you spell the word "sissy" properly.

Losers in Manek Urai

Another PRK another celebration in Kelantan; does not matter who wins a celebration is like a wake up call in the sleepy little town of Manek Urai. We passed MU the other day a few days before the campaign started and all we saw was empty tents and deserted kedai kopi…well of course then because we reached there at about 2 am in the morning. But the point is without big event such as PRK nothing really moves in MU. A place spelt unreachable with modern transport a few years ago. This sleepy town sleeps a little bit over 10,000 dwellers that mostly do some farming for a living. They are somehow isolated and passed-by by the road users traveling along GM-KK highway on the busy hari raya trips. It is interesting to see that these people have spoken to the world through their votes…courtesy of modern democracy. Local MU saw people come and go with their slogans and noisy ceramahs. Choked their dusty roads and filled the deserted kedai kopi. They came and then went home with stories for more kedai kopi sessions. Kelantan people like that kind of festival; maybe some looking for some fun and make up some reasons for it. The people of Manek Urai will stay for another work day in the field with what ever promises that may never be realized. You see people in Kelantan have experienced the election promises one too many…….but those fools from the big city still came with the same old stories. They might be Kelantanese but they aint no fools.
But the interesting part is that the election results have shown that both candidates have failed to deliver ( I agree with Dr Abu on this analysis). The small majority speaks for itself. How come PAS struggled so badly on home ground !?.....not a good sign I supposed. I smell an internal fight is brewing. The heat of the last Muktamar has not yet settled. Although some PAS leaders are playing the wayang kulit; we know for a fact that things are not normal. The Nasha case is still in the air and so does the Unity nightmare. And what about that “UMNO is ajaran sesat” statement by TGNA. Abe Uji failed to maintain the big majority left by the legacy Pak Su Weil and Tuan Aziz failed to push for a clear victory as done by some of UMNO candidates before.
Nevertheless, a win is still a win and Abe Uji will head for KB soon to take oath as the new ADUN. Can he stand and argue for MU people in the state assembly is a completely another story. But he certainly is the man they trust. We pray that he can deliver.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The fruit season is here !

sweet and juicy


ready in a week


The fruit season is the most colorful time of the year in Malaysia. All type of fruits will be emerged in abundance all over the kampungs. My recent trip back to Kelantan last weekend saw some of the fruit trees were heavily produced and would be ready in a week or so. The durians are coming down faster than the others this time around. Everyone has been showcasing the king of fruits along the way from KB to KT and on to Kuantan. I wish to drive a pick-up truck so can pick each and everyone of them.

They taste differently I am sure and out of the world of course.Aaaaahh……just could not get enough of that soft silky goldie skin of durian. Thank God I am here, in Malaysia. One of the things could not get anywhere else in the world. And that night when the durian came down …gggedebooom…it happened that the tree’s just next to my bedroom….I was all excited…waking up everybody to get that durian….until my daughter said ---- cool down one gonna take that durian away. Yep I forgot that it is right in our backyard---no one gonna come snooping around looking for that durian.; besides everybody has their own durian trees so they might be fruiting as well. I settled myself down and tried to get back to the book I was reading.

But my mind just went off to the time when I was a child in my grandmother’s orchard (I have an entry on this in “ Remembering Ayah”). I would follow my dad to the orchard and sit in that little barn ( the “bangsal durian”) for hours on end….waiting for the durians to come down. That little barn was made of smashed bamboos and nipah leaves. Not that comfortable just good enough to escape from the falling durians. It was so quiet and hot and sticky……only the sound of the crickets. Then …. gggedebooom… the durian came crashing down…the sound of glory and sense of worthiness even though I hated the bugs that kept biting my neck. Usually the durians come down a lot late in the evening but I did not dare to go there at night as other creatures might come out as well. So I was told. Any way I think they the older guys were trying to keep me the little one at home as there might be a lot of fun at night over there in the orchard. I think smoking was in the agenda as I just could not think of anything else.
For the village folks this is also the time to get some extra money for the mighty durians, especially early in the season as people started to get the taste of it. Nowadays durians come in many names---but “durian kampung” is the dearest. I hate the ones that start with the letter D—D20, D22,D24 etc…..they are so artificial. But of course the smell is so extraordinary; the whole car would smell for weeks and each day it will be getting masamer and masamer(rotting). And don’t go to the surau after your durian meal; because when you burp someone will drop dead----so stinky. And if you are kelantanese like me; you will eat durian with budu(fish sauce)----nothing beats that I tell you! If you want a few tips on how to rid the smell; here they are :
1. To avoid the car getting so smelly, put something like bread or arang near the durian in the car boot. Unwrap the bread and let it absorb all the smell.
2. To avoid yourself walking around smelly, eat some other fruits after the durian like rambutan or banana. Black coffee will also do the trick.

…but whatever it is never give up the durian, the taste and the smell that are so Malaysian. where did I put my durian shots! never mind you know how they look like,right!