Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sumpah Marina

Sang suria menyapa sepi
Merentas gelombang selat Melaka
Dalam termenung di kamar sunyi
Aku berbicara dengan sang bayu
Kenapalah aku di sini
Datang lagi membawa diri dan sanubari

Untuk dikenal dan mengenali
Merintih kasih membelai faham
Dalam berlari dan bermain-main
Mendaki bukit menurun lurah
Selagi kudrat ini terkandung badan
Dan kaki ini larat berlari
Kan ku tempuh semua ini
Biar ditawakan ulang kali
Mencemuh dan mencemeh
Macam orang tua nak mampos

Ku datang ada hajat
Ku pergi ada sebab
Ku kembali ada matlamat
Ku pulang dengan sumpah….
Akan ku bina bangsa ini
Agar mampu mendongak melihat alam
Mendabik dada menyata rasa
Mendokong cita-cita

Akan ku isi jiwa-jiwa yang kosong
Dengan semangat juang yang
Mampu mengharung lautan
Bisa meredah belantara
Bercita menggapai bintang-bintang
Ku tiupkan ruh iman dan islam
Agar terus memamah pahit kehidupan

Usah dikira wang dan ringgit
Usah dikira keringat yang menitis
Usah dihitung masa berlalu
Anak-anak sedang menuggu
Untuk belajar dan berbicara
Tentang hidup dan kehidupan

Akan ku jadi bak pepohon
Menghijau dan melata
Meneduh dan melindung
Insan-insan dari keperitan hidup
Moga dedaun kan terus merimbun
Sumpah berkelana
Untuk ribuan tahun lagi

Marina Cove
24 July 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Surau

A very unique indeed to this year’s teambuilding. There was a dedicated surau for us to pray and hold kuliah. Congratulations to the AJK for putting this extra effort forward. I know there must be some cost involved to rent the room but the availability shows our concern to the better and bigger spirit of teambuilding. There would be a time when the surau is one of the venue for the activity. I hope this trend will continue in the future. Looking at the usage of this surau, the best term to describe it is the word pathetic. Just like in the kampong, surau is for the olds and retired persons only. If this old man can monkey-jump sideways,hug the smelly guy on the giant slipper and coconut bowl like you don’t have enough change to go to the bowling alley, then those young ones can sit down with us and read something like they have just lost a handphone to play with. 

Teambuilding is about understanding each other and that is to understand what the others are doing. We had a full schedule at the surau but everytime it seemed to be half-full (well half-empty is more like it). Maybe the program was not suitable for the young ones, maybe the program was as “old-fashioned” as those olf folks, or maybe people just find an excuse for not going. Whatever it was, I think it is a good start and we must remember the next time we plan the teambuilding program---never to overlook this spiritual event. If we could utilize a couple of hours in the early morning to set our common goal in life and connect everyone with the faculty in a religious context , we might find a key to our solidarity as one faculty. Religious sensitivity in the faculty can also be tolerated by having understanding on our practices. This is not only between Muslim and non-Muslim but also among Muslim ourselves. We have different views on Islam and practice differently according to our own understanding of Islam. The thing is that it is good to go back to Islam but we want everyone to understand what we do, for everyone to avoid overlooking Islamic practices when a particular program is designed. When we hold meetings at all levels, the agenda must include doa pembukaan ,doa penutup and observe the prayers time. The outdoor activities must observe proper dress codes, strict gender interactions, and prayers time. The understanding of all these requirements won’t be exercised if everyone is ignorant of the need and importance of the practices.

I would like very much to see spiritual empowerment being nurtured in the next teambuilding program. Program Qiam to be one of the activities in the agenda to train the hearts and the minds sensitive to iman and islam; which has a powerful binding medium between differing and contrasting souls. I hope someone will understand all these and put them into real events.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Movie

Tn Hj and Abd Rahman were busy editing the montage

 In the evening, Tn Hj Shafie set up our teambuilding mood with a brilliant movie “Lashkar pelangi”. It’s about a kampong life in Belitung Indonesia and how this remote community struggled to save its dying sekolah agama rakyat. The story is about the realities of life and how each of us struggle to live and make a living; in the end some survived to live up to their dreams and some did not.The story is about the dreams we all have when we were kids like the rainbows in the horizon; so beautiful and colorful splashed across the sky. One character in the movie is the  anak pesisir (anak nelayan), a genius kid, registered himself at the school and struggled to keep up with the school as he had to tend his small siblings because his father went off to the sea. That’s similar to our humble beginning and how poor we all were living in the 60s and 70s, but with the dream we struggled and make a better life. True enough, as in the movie, life does not always turn out to be as expected, the genius one was forced to be with his family while his friend had a chance to be in the place he always wanted to be ---Paris. They all seemed happy though no matter how bad life has treated them. 

The ladies and I

The lady teacher, in another scene, sent a more direct message to us—“aku bukan impi ingin kahwin saudagar, Pak.....aku ingin jadi guru, dan di sini aku boleh jadi guru”. The school was a run down kampong house with no floor, no electricity or fancy cabinet; and yet this beatiful lady teacher chose to be there with the kids. The whole story was very emotional and touched deep inside; the tears trickle  down my cheek as the movie went on. I saw this movie many times before but this time the atmosphere is different---there is a purpose behind the emotions. I guess this time the teambuilding event will be different from the one I used to attend before. I can start to smell the essence of academia and the connection that I need to mould between these strange faces. All of the sudden I felt a need to sort out my emotions and put them in proper places; I need to know some people. Looking around the hall, I was taken aback of how little I know these people...the names and faces look familiar but that do not seem to be enough. 

Ice-breaking session

getting to know each other

fitting in sometime makes you bored

There is a gap between the olds and the young ones; there has always been a gap but this time this gap-thing has to go one way or another. I was very skeptical about it but again , if not now, when would be the right time to abolish this gap. The very young ones speak a different language, they really do, and most of the words are not in my vocabs. My children teach me a lot of these words; their meanings and the proper context of use. They have developed a whole new culture that without much effort to know them , they will drift away from “our society” and set  their own world with separate values and norms. I consider myself “old” because it is easier  for myself to be old rather than young. I  “failed” my youth and have no plan to go back and reminiscence the “bad and dark” old days. We were young once and every one  of us know how it was in the old days...very hard and brutal. But that’s a different story. For me it’s a big deal because I am not good with people; everything involves other people will make me lose some sleep at night. A man cannot be an island, they said; but for me it could be the best thing that can happen to a man like me. Anyway, we were assigned an apartment with 3-4 other persons. I was with Mr Lau, Adzhar CTN and En. Juhari; we have never sit down together and talk so I guess this is a very good opportunity to get to know each other better. And we did. Things will be a lot different  later when we go back to the faculty.
My roomates : Azhar ,me and Juhari

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Trip

The trip to Lumut took about three hours;three long hours. Maybe less I did not really care because it was one of those trips that would take you to the world of misery. Is it me the problem here or someone else? I asked this question because the aim of every teambuilding event is to make everyone understand each other; so we can work together with each other instaed of making each other miserable. I don’t feel to have any problem with my colleague except I hate that guy, one bitch over there and the stupid loud mouth over there....hhmmm I guess I do have problems with people, OK then let’s go and do this quickly. My mind went overdrive during the long hours of the trip. I didn’t feel like to chit chat but instead put on my earphone like a miserable teenager, pulled my cap down, crossed my arms tight and flew with my thoughts. I digged deep into the issue of why should I do this ? you know going down to Lumut and be with people. I wanted to blast some little balls and embrace the flight that will take my worries away. I wanted to smell the grass and the trees and the anxieties that came with it. But instead I have to sit here like a dork waiting to reach a destination that I knew I would not like. Life is again punishing me, so I thought. I just could not bare it anymore; I wish I could scream so the time stop going and the world stop moving and this pain could go away. People say to be positive with your thought; OK then I will be positive....maybe there is a cure to this pain over there at the place they called Marina Cove........

I guess this bus ride is the same as our “journey” at the faculty. A journey to fulfill our dreams and expectations in life. Some of us really believe this bus will take us somewhere to the better place; so they seem to enjoy the trip. There is also somebody that never believe in that nonsense; the ride for them seems long and boring. And there is also a group of us that not really going anywhere just to enjoy the bus ride ; they seem to enjoy themselves. I guess deep down I do believe this bus will take me somewhere, but I don’t really think about it because the place seems remotely far away. This bus ride is so bumpy; maybe because it is old or it’s just me thinking negatively again. I looked around and saw colleague; we were together in this bus but strangely enough we were doing our own chores; reading, sleeping, eating, day dreaming, and there was someone just looking so bored. If this bus ride would take forever then someone will die a loner, I can tell you that.

The bus went through the coastal areas of Selangor and Perak. I have passed through this road before during my last trip to Lumut and everytime the whole stretch of kampongs and kebuns remind me the hard life of our regular folks in this land. How these folks are struggling to make the ends meet while their leaders are negotiating some billion dollars project with some foreigners ? my enquiring mind wants to know....

Despite the bumpy ride here and there we reached Marina Cove ahead of schedule. Alhamdulillah. So this is the place...hmmmm...I reserved my comments.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Workshop on Genetic Algorithms

Today has been a good and fruitful day for me at the faculty. My friends and I have conducted a workshop on " Using GA in your Research".About 30 people attended. The workshop started and ended beautifully without any hitch. Thanks to Mohd Razif and Latiffah Adam for the help.
Latiffah in action during the lab session.

Razif conducted the lab session

The nation is mourning  the loss of a great politician(Almarhumah Dr Lo' Lo') an MP for Titiwangsa. My prayers are with almarhumah and the family.

I missed the meeting again today. But I did not know there was a meeting in the first place, so that's a challenge to keep up with the meeting call.with the workshop I could not attend the meeting after all.