Saturday, September 26, 2009

Life As A Poor Kid

I always contemplate my moments in life and go back to relive the events of the past. It is my way of dealing with my past that has some dark moments. I always feel that it’s not fair but at the same time try to be positive and look at it from different perspectives---they have a term for it ----blessing in disguise. Whatever! But for me the pain is real and the sadness is just never-ending. I hope the stories of my past conciliate me with the pre-determination of my life. In the end maybe I could accept the fate and be thankful for what that has been bestowed upon me . I talked about my My Dark Moments #1 (MDM#1) here---my experience in school; it did not end there but continued until I finished my secondary school. This time is about my childhood; way back in the 70s.

I just could not imagine how I survived in those days. Maybe God really works in mysterious ways. I was alone most of the time; playing around my house from dawn to dusk, every single day until I registered myself in the primary school. Mak and Ayah are busy earning money so I was there keeping myself busy with whatever we had around the house. Our family is well-known in the village for being big and poor; even as I walked down the street some people would ask if I wanted to come and live with them. “ maybe this kid has a brighter future with us”,they might say. I did not understand what they meant but I knew only one word to reply---NO!. as a 7/8-year-old I knew my Mak and Ayah and where my house was… and I was always welcomed there. I could rest myself in that house for the night although sometime my sleep was interrupted by the leaking roof that would be blown off during a storm. Find an empty corner in the house, get your bantal and selimut and there would be your bed for the night. It’s pathetic but that’s the life I lived for so many years during my early childhood. But somehow I survived; and my other 11 brothers and sisters survived that as well. Pretty amazing, I supposed.

I remember myself always sitting alone by the window and looking out at the other kids playing games. I never had an urge to join them because for me the games they played were all silly and made them dirty all over. I just did not want to get dirty. The games such as “petong tin”, “polis pencuri”, “bola awa”, “lawe guroh”, “buoh getoh”, and many more were the favorites----but not me. I also have never been to anywhere only an occasion trip to my grandmother’s. but I always wanted to go to that big mosque near my house. No one in my family was a mosque-goer; my parents would come home only when the night falls and would be busy with the house chores by then. But I did not do any chore but still could not get to that mosque. One day my brother was about to leave when I knew he’s going to the mosque. Maybe he had other agenda as I never see him going there before. Maybe there is a special event going on, I did not know. Can I follow you to the mosque? I asked him, looking at me with that annoying face he did not say anything. And for me that meant a green light. I tagged along before I knew he was joined by his friends---so something must be going on. I did not care what he would do with his friends, all I wanted to was to go to that mosque. And that night I finally did. The mosque was only about a 5-minute walk from my house. Literally –“depan tangga la” but nevertheless it was as if a journey of lifetime. I guess my brother will get all the pahala ever since he brought me there because that was the turning point of my life---the day I knew my Islam. I sat at the back while my brothers was doing stuff with his friends. Once in a while he would come and checked me out. I saw in the front a huge place(a mimbar/pulpit) with stairs going up. I thought that God maybe sitting up there and we all pray for him from down here. It was so strange for me but I liked it there and felt so happy being there. Can I go to the front and join those people praying? I asked my brother. No you can’t! just stay right there ! he gestured me with his hand. Why? I asked. Because your penis is so small that’s why, we grown up have big penis so we can pray at the front, my brother told me. And I believed him. So for the whole week I tried to make my penis grow big so that I can join the big people in the front row. I frequented the mosque after that where I learnt so many things. I did it all on my own and since back then everything was free at the mosque I was okay. I had never been to the Quranic lessons or tadika because they all cost money. Even though the kelas mengaji was next door taught by my own auntie. It was so unfortunate to be poor, I must say.

By the time I got into primary school, my life was pretty much a mess. Everyone seemed to know how to run my life. I would spent time with my relatives here and there for a short period of time like 1-2 months. I just did not understand back then as if there was not enough food at my house. My auntie was the one who persistently wanted me to be with her all the time. She was a widow with no kid. And as I remember her well she was very “bekeng” (strict and bossy)lady. Sometime it was too much to put up with her so we just ignored her all together. I told father that I would like to go home. He understood well. So one fine day I heard them calling names of each other on top of their voices…I knew father was trying to get me back. I remember to sit by the wall listening to everything that they had to say to each other; some of which I never got to understand the meaning of the words or what they were referring to. World had gone upside down because of me; I was so sad and felt it was all my fault. But from that day onwards I was back to my old corner in the house; the place I always called home. It was good to be back. My father was very concerned about my study. I ‘ve got no money or land to leave when I die so study hard to support your family…that would be the thing father repeats all the time like a lyric from a song. But he never had time to come and meet my teachers, well in those days parents were not that concern to drop by the school and say hello to the teachers. Ayah has to sign the paper, I told mom late one night so I can bring it to the school the following day.What paper? They both asked as if it was something they could not afford to commit. The school asked if I want to get into this express class or not; and ask your parent to sign if they agree. They had this express class program where some kids will do year 3 and year 4 in just one year. So I saved one year and got into secondary school one year earlier than everybody else. It was not that hard academically but I got into a lot of trouble socially. I guess one year makes a lot of difference in the growing up days. That’s why I hate my secondary school years a lot,

I grew up without a bicycle of my own or a TV in the house. I never complained or asked for one it’s just not fair that’s all. When our favorite show was coming on the air we would sneak out to the neighbor’s house. This had to be done discretely because otherwise the “small ones”—my younger brothers and sisters--- would follow; and that will ruin everything. I remember one night the neighbor gave us cookies instead so we can go home and do not bother them so much. So pathetic! But that’s the life of poor kids ---the ones that never understand why we were as we were. So for me a TV is not just a square wooden box with pictures and sound ; it was a symbol of freedom that can not be denied or taken away from me any longer. No one will give me cookies anymore to hush me away from my favorite program. So from the time I could afford to get my own TV; I’ve never been without it ever since. Even though I don’t watch it that often like I used to, the TV will always be there for me.

Travelling was another luxury thing back then when I was a kid. Father never had a car or motorcycle. He had an old bicycle once that he used to go to work. But it was not a problem for a poor kid like myself because I never understood why people go places anyway. “makan angin” they said, a phrase that had no meaning whatsoever to me. I would muntah2 when I travelled by bus until I hated doing that altogether. Never mind father I can stay at home, I remember responding when he offered to take us for our regular visit to grandma’s. And I stayed home minding my own business and playing around my house. I live with that habit for so long until I develop a phobia for travelling. Nowadays travelling will mean hard time for me; anxiety will come in and I would feel very much uneasy all the time. Never mind I can stay home. Indeed, I would rather stay home.
I had never wandered off to the town or anything so father was so pleased with me. When everybody was off into the kampung to play; I would stick around the house waiting for mom and dad to come home. “ a good little boy”---I must credit myself on this one---very proud of it indeed. But one time “BOBBY” was coming to town. That big blockbuster movie was coming to the Rex cinema in Pasir Mas—that old cinema is no longer there anymore. I miss that big painted poster as well; the one that was built at the junction near the bus station--- I would pass this junction late at night accompanied my auntie and used to stare at that huge poster under the street light---one day I will see that movie, I whispered to myself. But I never had a chance to go. This time I would go to see Bobby; so made plan with my buddy to get into the cinema. Being a good son, I asked my father for permission. He stared at me and said…what! And miss your maghrib prayers. The show started around Maghrib time and for sure I would miss the prayers. But looking at me maybe he felt the need for me to get some fun so he let me go with some money for the ticket. We could only get one ticket because the cinema was full. Never mind we could share the seat. I remember watching the movie with both of us sitting in a seat; we took turn to move in and out of that small wooden seat. That was the most enjoyable time of my life. Sadly I did miss my Maghrib prayers.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Quiet Hari Raya

This time around we celebrated Raya with strange mood and different thoughts. For the first time we set our own priority for visiting relatives; only close ones and no returns if the first call has no answer. Tough luck maybe next year. Two days at the kampong and we headed back to Shah Alam. The streets were still empty and shops still closed. My kids were confused but they just went along. Why are we back so early? asked one of them. I have no answer to that so responded with a blank stare back. I have to ask myself that question and look for an honest answer. Actually we have nothing to celebrate just a sad feeling of Ramadhan going away. We were so busy with work that Ramadhan were not spent well with full amal and ibadat. We should leave office for the whole month and work up the full spirit of Ramadhan. I guess time is running out for us being old and all; in a sense it's true but the interesting part is that I live to feel the sweetness of solat,siyam,qiyam, doa, sadaqah and good deeds, Alhamdulillah.All because of Ramadhan al-mubarak. And today all that is gone and not sure whether the spirit can remain in me until the coming Ramadhan; may Allah give me strength and courage. So this Raya that strong sense of loss overshadowed the bang bang of mercun or the delicious food that come in only once a year. The hectic shopping and kueh preparations are also low key. So it's okay.


Life is so cheap, don't you think?you do or do not do life, it's up to you. Big loss or great disappointment is only for you to measure. The sigh can be long or short depending on your effort. So I think live your life the way you want it to fulfill your dreams and needs; otherwise life can be such a waste. Life is a journey not a destiny(I think I read that some where…so true isn't it). There will be a point in time when you just could not car less what movie is coming on the first day of Raya or the second or the third…as long as they can keep the kids happy it's alright. So tired of showing off the new car every time you balik kampong;some people still do this,especially the young and stupid ones, so I just smile and look at the sky if lightning can strike now. The kids are getting bolder and bolder in asking the duit raya…..we don't know you folks but come for the duit raya, can or not? Isn't that like begging? But for the spirit of Raya we just don't bother…at least they know and have the courtesy to ask. I just appreciate that spirit, so here you go with my prayers and hope for your better future and good life.



Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eidul Fitr

ALlahuakbar ! ALlahuakbar ! ALlahuakbar ! walliLlahilHamd!
Ramadhan has officially come to an end. Some people celebrate the end of it while some others celebrate the start of a new dawn in Syawal. Some celebrate because no more puasa and some celebrate the successful puasa. Some celebrate for a new baju melayu while some celebrate for a new fashion of tudung. Whatever the reasons are, whether they are right or wrong, a sacred month of Ramadhan has again left us. We hope to see it again next year.
Taqoballahuminna wa minkum taqobbal ya Kareem

This Ramadhan saw a more peaceful world over. Or maybe that’s what I expected. Maybe people were tired of fighting and put up a rest for a while. For my family and I, Ramadhan brought a wind of change into our household. Something for the better and I hope to remain within our focus for the rest of the time. The country sees a more stable political landscape and productive economy ahead of us. I just hope for the future to be more certain for our kids to grow and have a good life of their own. But in Kelantan things have not change much. Life is hard for some as it used to be for many of us. People are poor and helpless as always where the old ones are stuck at home scrimping with the leftovers that life has to offer. We can see this on the streets, the surau and the masjid where most of them are; spending time to post hope and prayers so pains can be at least tolerated. But life in Kelantan has always been difficult so nothing is new. The society stands strong with minimum modern development and infrastructure for so long that the culture embedded unique characters deep into the society.

Have a safe and meaningful Eidul Fitr !

Di Pagi Syawal
Dalam syahdu bertakbir
Fikiran melayang ke bumi Gazza
Adakah anak-anak kerdil punya kemeriahan ini
Adakah muda mudi ilai keceriaan ini
Adakah bapa-bapa masih menagih syahid
Adakah ibu-ibu masih mengharap kepulangan
Kita menitis airmata kesayuan sedangkan
Mereka menangis bumi diambil orang
Berjayakah kita hari ini kalau ada yang merempat
Muliakah Islam kalau umat tertindas dan ditindas
Dalam syahdu bertakbir
Fikiran terus melayang
Ke pondok-pondok usang
Apa lah juadah dipagi syawal ini
Untuk mengubat hati yang pilu
Munkin sedikit wang zakat
Dari insan yang perihatin
Atau sekelumit doa dari hati yang bersyukur
Munkin juga sekilas sepi
Dari anak-anak yang tak muncul berkunjung
Airmata peneman duka
Merenung senja di kaki langit
Adakah mentari pagi kan menjelma
Menyapa insan menyuluh restu

Dalam syahdu bertakbir
Aku berfikir jauh
Menyelam sanubari
Mencari dosa kelmarin
Untuk disuci dan digarap
Agar diri ini khusu’ bersujud
Meminta dan merayu
Keredhaan serta kerahmatan
…..dari Yang Esa

Aku terfikir lagi ….
Adakah insan ini layak bertemu Engkau
Dengan secubit amal dan sekepal doa
Untuk mengetuk pintu syurga
Menagih rahmah wal maghfiroh
Wa itqan min an nar
Tiada apa yang nak ku sembahkan
Hanya taqwa dan syukur
Bagi kehidupan yang penuh nikmat
Hari ini kan ku raikan
Anugerah Ilahi
…untuk aku, alam dan manusia

eidul fitr
1 syawal 1430H

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Alamak kantoi!!!

Two UPM Lecturers Caught for Plagiarism

The case shows the state of our academic and the so-called academicians. One small picture of our academic landscape in a sorry state—the tip of an iceberg—one might say, that gives indication of the bigger picture. The "cut-and-paste" culture has been embedded into our academia for so long but has recently given a boost by the explosion of Windows95 and the internet. It has become a trend and soon the final year profjects, master's dissertation and PhD thesis  have found a new lease of life to grow and eventually would take the students out of the classroom onto the graduation stage. The question is how come they can get away with such an heinous act ? because their lecturers never read the damn report and never bother to check the references.It looks good then it's fine, weigh them by the kilos and measure the thickness of the report. Then off you go into the real world to do exactly the same thing as they have been doing in college. The stupid UPM lecturers are the victim of such circumctances. How come a professor never bother to ask the sources that his very reputation will be based upon. "It looked fine to me", he said.Yeah, fine in what? In print? In graphics? Or you are just too lazy to check things out. And they live with it for six years before being discovered....mybe he got the professorship out of this book. So another "cut-and-paste" professor from our good old institution of higher learning....I guess there must a lot more from where he comes from, so I wonder. The book is only 64 pages and they could not come up with their own pathetic. They definitely do not have what it takes to be academicians. I say, SACK THEM BOTH!!! And make UPM pay for this as well---for ruining the good name of our Malaysian academics, and that includes me of course.

Plagiarism crept into act out of desperation. Desperation sets in during the last minute rush to complete a task, a project or a report. And why things are done at the very last minute ?.....lazy,lazy,lazy…that’s the root of the problem. There is a book entitled –The Culture of A Lazy Nation---or something like that from our very own author (could not remember which one); I guess he was talking about this very issue. There is nothing wrong for being lazy but it is a start of a damaging character.

To act responsibly in an academia is to be honest---“jujur dengan ilmu” a phrase from one of my colleague in UiTM----it sums up the whole thing. Remember that every time you want to write or produce an academic work. But with the pressures from up above and all around things will get really nasty. The pressure now is to get into the ranking; from the top right down to the individual lecturer, everyone will get the score. Everyone is like “lipas kudung” rushing around to meet the deadline—ours is end of September, so I was told. There is a simple formula to avoid plagiarism --- tell everyone what is NOT yours as you explain your part--- that’s all. But if everything is NOT yours how come you will ever get a grade? Time and again it goes back to our own work and effort. Do not expect to get something out of nothing---there must be hard work and genuine effort. Be truthful to yourself. Be honest!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

aku menanti

Dalam termangu aku kesepian
Didakapi gelap malam yang penuh syahdu
Tangan ku tadah
Mendoa kerahmatan dan keampunan
Untuk diri yang berdosa
Yang Mendabik dan menyanggah
Keagungan Ilahi
Sungguh sial dunia ini
Menuba iman yang rapuh
Bagi santapan nafsu yang rakus
Solat diringan-ringankan
Puasa dilekeh-lekehkan
Qiam ditangguh-tangguhkan
Hukum Tuhan dipersenda-sendakan
Untuk apa hidup ini
Kalau hanya….
Sekelumit senyum yang pahit
Secebis cinta yang palsu
Seikat janji yang kosong
Sebaris pangkat yang dangkal
Sejunjung kuasa yang boneka
Kita ditipu buat seketika
Tapi tidur selamanya
Dengan mimpi dan harapan
Bagai bintang dan bulan
Indah menawan tapi luluh tergapai

Tapi kita punya Tuhan dan Rasul
Yang menyayangi kita lebih dari segalanya
Kita punya Kitab dan Sunnah
Yang bercahaya bak bintang-bintang di langit
Kita punya malam-malam yang indah
Untuk berdoa dan bertasbih
Menyuci diri yang berdosa
Kita punya malam al qadr
Yang menjanji seribu kemenangan
Ingin ku cari malam al qadr ini
Buat bekalan dihari esok
Bila bertema azza wajalla
Menagih syurga dan keredhaanNya…..

Aku menanti….
Moga malam ini ku temui al- qadr

Shah Alam
20 Ramadhan 1430H

Learning Tips #6


Kaedah menghafal adalah menjadi kegemaran para pelajar sebagai satu persediaan menghadapi peperiksaan. Walaupun menghafal tidak dapat menentukan seseorang itu menguasai subjek yang berkaitan , ia sedikit sebanyak membantu dalam menghadapi peperiksaan. Tujuan utama menghafal adalah supaya perkara yang dipelajari itu diingat semasa menjawab soalan. Jika hafalan disertai dengan pemahaman dan dibuat dengan lebih sistematik, proses ini akan lebih bermakna.

Kaedah hafalan :

1. Ringkaskan perkara yang perlu diingat dengan fokus kepada isi-isi penting.
2. Susun bahan tersebut dalam bentuk yang mudah seperti carta ataupun diagram.
3. Hubungkaitkan bahan tersebut dengan kehidupan anda seharian.
4. Jangan cuba nak ingat perkara yang belum anda fahami.
5. Hafal pada masa-masa yang agak tenang seperti selepas Suboh.
6. Doa.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Learning Tips #5

Begin With The End In Mind

(from Covey's T7HOHEP)

To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.

The most effective way to begin with the end in mind is to develop a personal mission statement. It focuses on what you want to be and to do and on the values or principles that you base your life upon. Some examples of such mission statements are as follows :

• Plan tomorrow’s work today
• Be sincere yet decisive
• Keep a sense of humor
• Be orderly in person and in work
• Do not fear mistakes
• Listen twice as much as you speak
• Hear both sides before judging
• I will study hard and ask questions
• I will always try to keep myself free from addictive and destructive habits

A personal mission statement based on correct principles becomes the same kind of standard for an individual. It becomes a personal constitution, the basis for making major, life-directing decisions, the basis for making daily decisions in the midst of the circumstances and emotions that affect our lives. It empowers individuals with the same timeless strength in the midst of change.

Take time to write down your own personal mission statement !

Sunday, September 6, 2009

44 Wishes for My Birthday

My wish list

44. Meet Obama.
43. Visit the Great Wall.
42. Cruise the street of Teheran.
41. Go up the Eiffel Tower(last time did not have a chance to go up only at the ground)
40. Buy groceries at muslim shops in South London.
39. Dine at Sima’s father restaurant in Colchester (Bangla dish).
38. Sunday’s car boot sale in Essex.
37. Drive through North Roosevelt in Wichita ,Kansas.
36. New York City
35. Pray at the mosque in Wichita (that we built in 1985)
34. Meet Mr Huff in Peoria.
33. Chat with my gay friends in Peoria (they must be damned old freaks now)
32. Cruising Chicago streets with my friend Ajax.
31. Walking down the leafy main street of Peoria.
30. Playing night tennis in the summer (in Peoria)
29. Meeting my old-out-of-contact-friend Tobiason.
28. Went to Louiseville,KY again where I met my beloved wife.
27. apply for a teaching post in UPM. The last time I waited the promised borang to come but never did.Why didn’t I just hop on a bus to Serdang and get the borang myself? I don’t know. I want to get it right this time.
26. my own wedding baju melayu. Last time, I borrowed from my brother. It was black so nobody noticed.
25. A bicycle for arwah Ayah. His bike was sold to pay off the tukang that renovated our house.
24. Those people in Dungun where I lived for nearly 15 years to have a better life. Feeling bad for haggling a cheaper price for a pot of fresh fish from the boat that came to shore every afternoon.
23. Have a small beach house along the beautiful beach in Dungun.
22. Jog along Jalan Pantai in Dungun one fine Friday morning.
21. camping in the jungle of Terengganu nearby the streaming waterfall.
20. crispy fried sotong at Pantai Kelulut.
19. Meeting my friend Hassan from Isfahan.
18. To have my Honda Integra back.Was sold to my friend in a hurry.
17. Visit Uncle Siddique and family in Braintree, Essex.
16. have a different supervisor during my Phd study.
15. Picnic at Castle Park on Sunday afternoon.
14. Design and build another house again. The one that we built in Dungun was sold when we moved to Shah Alam----a bungalow with an attic.
13. Return to Mecca and Madinah again.
12. Finish my swimming lessons.
11. Own a 10-acre kebun for my retirement.
10. keep my mom happy and healthy
9. make my brothers and sisters live a comfortable life
8. my children to have extra skills (other than academic)
7. my beloved wife to stay motivated for her PhD
6. manage my anger effectively
5. enough budget to sponsor more poor children
4. help more people using my knowledge
3. a kedai runcit of my own
2. be more approachable by other people
1. healthy and able for the remaining years of my life.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Learning Tips #4

Menghadapi peperiksaan

Persediaan Sebelum Peperiksaan

  1. Belajar dalam kumpulan adalah satu kemestian untuk lulus dengan cemerlang. Pastikan ahli kumpulan terdiri daripada mereka yang serius untuk belajar bukannya kawan rapat yang suka bersembang. Pilihlah mereka yang agak cemerlang agar anda akan banyak mendapat manafaat daripadanya.
  2. Diskusi mesti disusun dengan teliti agar pertemuan tidak disia-siakan begitu saja. Bincang sebanyak munkin masalah yang berkaitan dengan subjek Pastikan anda faham semua masalah dan jawapan yang diberikan. Jika ragu-ragu dapatkan nasihat pensyarah.
  3. Bentuk Nota Kecil. Buatkan nota kecil ini dengan meltakkan isi-isi penting berkaitan dengan subjek tersebut.
  4. Pastikan cukup tidur. Tidur yang cukup adalah amalan yang paling baik sebelum menghadapi saat-saat peperiksaan. Walaupun amalan ini tidak diamalkan oleh sebahagian besar pelajar, cubalah dapatkan seketika untuk melelapkan mata dan merehatkan minda. Luangkan masa bersolat hajat dan berdoa agar dilapangkan minda dan diberkati segala usaha kita.
  5. Bangun awal.
  6. Pastikan akan tiba awal di Dewan peperiksaan.
  7. Peralatan. Sediakan peralatan peperiksaan sebelum anda tidur seperti kad matrik,slip peperiksaan, pen,pensil dsbgnya. Persediaan kecil ini akan memberi sedikit keyakinan bahawa anda telah bersedia untuk menghadapi peperiksaan.

Cara Menjawab Soalan Peperiksaan

  1. Mulakan dengan Bismillah dan sekelumit doa semoga berjaya dalam peperiksan ini. Baca semua soalan sebelum anda mula menulis.
  2. Pilih soalan yang anda rasa mudah dan jawab. Teruskan menjawab soalan-soalan mudah dikuti seterusnya dengan soalan yang susah.
  3. Sentiasa aktif !!! Tulis jawapan anda secara berterusan selagi ada idea. Bila tersekat, fikir seketika dan jika tidak dapat juga tinggalkan soalan tersebut buat seketika dan teruskan dengan soalan yang lain. Jangan habiskan banyak masa mencuba sehingga tertinggal soalan-soalan lain yang munkin lebih banyak pecahan markahnya. Jangan termenung panjang bila anda tidak dapat menjawab, cubalah soalan yang lain dahulu.
  4. Tunjukkan jalan kerja dengan jelas. Pensyarah perlu melihat keupayaan anda menguasai soalan yang ditanya untuk diberi markah .
  5. Pastikan semua soalan dijawab. Jika anda tidak dapat menjawab pun cuba tulis perkara-perkara yang berkaitan.
  6. Tulis jawapan dengan jelas dan teratur. Cara-cara menulis jawapan munkin telah dibincang dalam kelas atau anda boleh dapatkan daripada skema jawapan yang lepas. Cara menulis jawapan yang berbeza akan mendapat markah yang berbeza.
  7. Tanya jika tak faham. Semasa peperiksaan dijalankan calon-calon boleh tanya soalan. Terutama sekali jika soalan yang diberikan itu munkin salah ataupu tidak cukup maklumat.
  8. Jangan panik. Jika anda rasa berpeluh ataupun resah, gunakan beberapa minit untuk rehatkan minda. Minta izin ke bilik air. Bila dah selesa, cubalah sambung semula peperiksaan anda.
  9. Jika ada masa, semak jawapan anda berulang kali. Jangan terlalu gopoh untuk meninggalkan dewan.
  10. Hantar buku jawapan anda bila masa tamat. Bisikkan pada diri anda bahawa itu adalah yang terbaik. Semoga akan mendapat kejayaan yang cemerlang. Raikanlah dengan penuh ceria kerana anda telah berjaya menjawab dengan baik.

Click image to see bigger pic.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Learning Tips #3

Be Proactive

(from Covey's T7HOHEP)

OK let's get back to our learning tips again. This time I would like draw your attention to a famous book by Stephen Covey. Maybe many of you have read this book. It has been around for a long time. One of the habits that he talked about in the book is being proactive, For students I am confident that this habit will effectively help in their learning as well. Being proactive means that as human beings, we are responsible for our own lives. Our behaviour is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We have the initiative and the responsibility to make things happen. It is the ability to choose your response.Highly proactive people recognize the responsibility. They do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behaviour. Their behaviour is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values, rather than a product of their conditions, based on feeling.

****click on the image to enlarge****

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Is there life without sex?

So ramadhan is almost reaching the halfway mark. Not that I am counting the days into syawal but my little buddy is getting restless already. It is not easy to keep him settled down there without love and care; knowing that he is one active little monster. But don't get me wrong, I love ramadhan as much as those aleem people do. It's just that when the qur'an is closed and you sit alone waiting for that emails to download the little buddy starts to feel warm and healthy. Oh No! Not in the middle of the day you freak! But what can I say, he is my best buddy. So the message is ---"Houston! Houston! We'v got problem!". So people say that life begins at 40, are you sure ? I think the right phrase is sex begins at 40! Yep! That's the right one. So those under 40 what you had was not was like you played with it a little,it got dizzy and vomited. Kahkahkah! OMG I am still puasa and this is getting dirty. My apologies. Seriously, the question is whether or not we can pursue life without sex ? of course not, we all know that.
But sex is so dirty how come such a neccesity in life is so dirty. Wait a minute....did I say dirty? Is sex dirty? Who said sex is dirty raise your little buddy? I don't think so. It is such a beautiful creation of Allah that put the excalamation to the life itself. Yes i want to live for it., don't you? But since the beginning of time the beauty of sex has been painted ugly and dirty. How hypocrites we are? I can't imagine those living without sex for even one day. Restless, loveless and hopeless...a recipe for a man who is about to go really mad. Have you ever seen a mad mating elephant? Running around with his little monster looking for a mate. That's what we all are without sex, isn't it?
The thing is that when people abuse sex for whatever reason, the beautiful thing has become so ugly and so dirty. The kids nowadays can do it whenever and wherever. No more respect to the essence of life. Marriage is nothing more than two horny grown ups agree to go at it, that's all. But it is the way we respect the beauty of sex and thus the life itself. The only way at that. Now gay couple starts getting married as well. Just to get that respect.....but wait a minute you guys abuse sex in other ways la! No! No! Little johny cannot play with little joey! Little johny has to play with little mary! That's the rule, otherwise everything will be ruined and spoilt. I just don't understand why some men like the other men for sex. I mean how can you find such an ugly ass so tempting? In the fb I've got a lot of this kind of people ( the so called my circle of friends) who likes to do nasty thing to little johny. Poor johny.

Anyway, the green flag will be up in a couple of hours. Enjoy your drive folks!

Learning Tips #2

Preparation for Listening

In order to take good lecture notes, you must give your full attention to listening. Anything that distracts you from listening will prevent you from taking the best notes you can take. The first requirement for listening is to eliminate anything that might make it difficult for you to concentrate on what your lecturers say.

Therefore, select seats in your classes to make it possible for you to see and hear the lecturer comfortably. The most distracting seats are usually near windows that give a view of activities going on outside of classrooms. The least distracting seats are ordinarily the ones in the centre and front of a room, because they usually provide the best view of lecturers. If you find yourself sitting near a student who annoys you for any reason, do not sit near that person.

Also, if you are physically uncomfortable, it will be difficult for you to concentrate on listening. Common sources of physical discomfort are being too warm or too cold, being hungry or needing to go to the toilet. You can eliminate these sources of distraction by planning ahead:

  1. Dress comfortably (according to the weather condition) but still observe the proper dress code
  2. Find a comfortable/suitable ‘spot’ in the classroom ( location of fan, air-cond blower, etc)
  3. Carry snacks to eat between classes, if there is no time to eat a proper meal
  4. Go to the toilet before class, or sit near the door in a classroom if you believe you may need to leave the class to go to the toilet

Ask permission before you leave classrooms for any reason, or at least give a gesture to the lecturer. If you know you must leave a class while it is in session, sit near the door so that you will not distract others unnecessarily when you leave.

Finally, it is not possible to concentrate on listening to a lecture if you are worrying or thinking about something that happened before class began or something that will happen after the class is finished. If you find your mind drifting off to thoughts such as these, refocus your attention on what is being said in the classroom. Some suggestions to help you focus your attention on lectures are :

  1. Listen for major points and details - clues given by lecturers are they may:
    • pause before or after stating a major point
    • repeat things that are important to include in notes
    • change the loudness of their voices for emphasis
    • look for details to include for a major point
    • use the board to help students directly state the number understand what should be included in notes
  2. Listen for definition and examples
  3. Listen for test questions

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Learning Tips #1

Characteristics of Good Lecture Notes

If you want to take lecture notes that are similar to the notes taken by most successful students, the notes you take will have these characteristics:

1. They are written on lined paper specifically A4 size because most students prefer notebooks of this size. Furthermore there are lots of files, folders, portfolio covers and cases of this particular size in the market.

2. The notes for each class meeting have a heading that includes
  • The name or code of the course
  • The lecturer’s name
  • The date
  • The topic of the lecture

Students write this information at the beginning of each class to put themselves in the proper frame of mind for taking notes on what they will hear.

3. The major points stand out clearly. They can either be highlighted or underlined and written farthest to the left side of the page.

4. The details are listed under major points in an orderly fashion, and the details are often numbered or sometimes bulleted

5. Notes include examples. Lecturers give examples to help students understand the ideas and concepts they explain

6. Notes do not repeat lecturers’ words exactly; they rephrase what lecturers say. It is not possible to write exactly what lecturers say. Good note-takers put ideas in their own words whenever possible

7. Notes include information that is put on the board. Lecturers use the board to write information that is especially important. Those who take good notes include almost everything that is written on a board.

Make sure your notes are complete. If you are aware as you are taking notes that they are incomplete, raise your hand and ask the question that will help you complete it.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Getting students to pay attention

The worst thing that could happen during a lecture is when somebody starts talking at the back. Sometime a lecturer can accommodate such behavior but there is also a time when it is just too much. When the situation has caught your attention and started to trigger your explosive anger, the first thing to remember is that, “I am not going to lose my temper here”. For whatever reason please do not show your anger and frustration in front of the students. Take a deep breath, stop the lesson for a while and excuse yourself. Reenter the room only after you have calm down. There are several reasons why the students lose interest in the lecture :
• They are tired and hungry.
• The materials are too difficult.
• They have some thing more important right after the class (tests,presentations etc).
• The girl sitting beside him is far more interesting than the lecturer in the front.
• They could not catch up with the lecture.
• The student has no interest in the subject whatsoever.

There are several possible ways to handle the situations:

1. TALK to the students and not to yourself or the white screen. Maintain the eye-contacts and move around to get closer to them.
2. If you caught someone did not pay attention (speaking or doing some other things than following your lecture) call up the name and ask him/her a question or suggestion regarding the topic. Start a discussion to pull everybody together.
3. If the whole class is getting noisier than you know the lecture has to stop and you have to start something else. Usually this is the best time to do group discussion or written exercise that you have prepared earlier.
4. Telling jokes could ease up the tensions in the classroom. Crack a few jokes if you have them but if you are not the jokes-telling type, just be cheerful and pleasant and just as much goodwill can flow from that.
5. Take a short break. The break is particularly necessary if the lecture needs to be done during the whole two hours.
6. If there is one individual student keeps bugging you and interfering with your lecture, KINDLY/NICELY (although your are burning with anger) ask him/her to stop and tell him/her to stay behind after the lecture has finished. It is important for the student to know what is bugging you and take an action if necessary.

The classroom should be a place for both parties to share knowledge in harmony. In addition,a fun and enjoyable classroom environment will enhance the learning experience and promote effective and quality teaching.

Priceless Moments with my EMBA students

EMBA(Executive Masters in Business Administration) students are among adult learners that we have in UiTM. The way to handle adult learners is a bit different from our regular, young and full-time students. I would like to share some thoughts and tips from my first experience dealing with them. The first group of students has always been special to me as we are all trying to be the best. For the first day, I was already down with a headache. It was not as easy as I thought. I was prepared to teach but a bit nervous to handle the “adult situation”. There were company executives, bankers, engineers and fellow lecturers. I was pretty shaken up and began to have second thoughts about going through the rest of the program. Eventually, I stayed on. I returned to the class for the sake of their commitment and respect. Not very many of us sacrifice the weekends to go to a class and learn something. It was definitely an effort worthy of praise. I persevered and before long, the relationship between us started to grow warmer. Some were skeptical and kept their distance, while others could not wait to buy me lunch. By then I was part of them and gained more confidence. Some of their questions seemed to me to be plain stupid but it turned out to be an excellent topic for class discussion. They liked to talk and jumped into discussions without much effort. Apparently, the class had become very lively and fun. For them, humor is something they never leave home without. Sometimes, the discussions were so hilarious that I could not hide my laughter. Looking back, I think they taught me far greater things than the stuff I churned out during the lecture – they taught me about life, friendship and respect. There are several basic skills needed to handle adult classes (Draves (1984)):

• Be a good listener.

Listening is important because learning becomes more effective when a participant is expressing an idea. Try to understand what is meant and respond positively. Contradict or refute only when necessary.

• Identify insecure or slow learners.

Most adult learners find some materials taught are difficult thus slow in trying to understand them. A lecturer should learn about this during the first/second meeting to fine tune the teaching pace. It is important also to build their confidence and keep the desire to learn alive. Some rewarding gestures such as a smile, nod or pat on the back should exercised from time to time.

• Do not punish students

Never punish an adult student. It is counter productive to learning. Punishment has inhibited learning more than any other factors.

• Do not be offensive.

When things are not right, do not offend the students. Instead of saying “ I’m really annoyed when people don’t hand in assignments on time “, say “ I really hope this work gets done by next week”. This sounds less offensive and does get the message across.

• Use humor.

Use humor whenever needed and without overdoing it. Bad jokes will turn the students away.

Bebaskan Selangor dari Arak !!!

For the good month of Ramadhan I will pray for Selangor to be free from beers and wines. For that big beer factory to be struck by lightning and turned into a monument so the dogs can go and kencing there. So when is it gonna happen…maybe not in this time dimension. No more excuse, please..just do it!. Get rid of those beer bottles from our convenient stores so our teenagers would not get them. I just could not put it any simpler. Everyday when I do my daily jogging, I will pass through a playground near my taman and see the beer bottles all over the place. As if they have been having a party of a life time. And the place is less than 50 meters from our surau. Can you see the disconnection there? I don’t want to spend my time praying when my young neighbors are getting drunk just a few yards away. You see in Shah Alam and my Taman in particular not many non-Muslim around and we all know them all very well. They would not do this for sure. I don’t really know what to do or say anymore, people have a lot of excuses for not getting it done. I hope in the month of ramadhan , Allah will bestow upon us His rahmah so we can see the good from the bad.

Free us from these evils.