Wednesday, 14 November 2012

From KL to KR (10-11 Nov 2012)

The brief trip to Kuala Rompin, Pahang to attend a friend's wedding was unexpectedly interesting and fun-filled. It was a completely new experience to travel on a road with a stretch of greenery on both sides.

It has been quite some time since I last travelled long distance in a car. I enjoyed the scenery and our convoy actually crossed the borders of 4 states - Federal Territory KL, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Pahang.

The Convoy
None of us was sure of which road to take but one of us had her father draw a map as a guide. We passed by all the landmarks drawn until we reached at a juncture of uncertainty, whether we were heading to Rompin, Negri Sembilan or Kuala Rompin, Pahang. It was fortunate that  my friend who was driving realised it soon. After making a few phone calls, we managed to get back on the right route heading to Kuala Rompin.

We stopped at Kuala Pilah for breakfast. Everyone was thinking of Nasi Lemak, Fried Mee or the normal menu that we choose from for breakfast when in KL. However, we ended up eating freshly cooked white rice with gulai lemak rebung + daging salai, lemak patin and lemak pucuk ubi. They were indeed delicious...How unfortunate that I forgot to capture the dishes with my camera so that I have a lasting visual memory of them. That was my first time eating dging salai and I liked it a lot.

We finally arrived in Kuala Rompin around 12.30pm and checked-in at Rompin Beach Resort around 1.00pm. The first thing I did was to take a bath, solat and then napped for almost half an hour. I felt revitalized after that.

Ombak Rindu 2
Before lunch, I took a quick stroll on the beach. It's scenic but there was only one man strolling along the beach. My friend and I made up a story...he's heartbroken and contemplating suicide. When we arrived, he changed his mind and therefore, we were his saviour...haha. A story with a simple plot.

Since the akad was taking place at night, my friend and I decided to ricky the road to the bride's house. We were indeed glad that it's only about 7 minutes away from the Resort we were staying in. 

L-R: Aliza,Nik, Nik's Mum, Hawa
We were very happy to meet Nik and her family, especially her mum. Nevertheless, it is sad to find out that her father was admitted to the Pekan Hospital a few days back. He was unable to be the wali for Nik but all arrangements to replace him went quite smoothly.

After having some kuih and a cup of Nescafe, we went to the jetty nearby to see if we could buy some ikan bilis and perhaps find out where we could purchase udang galah before we leave home the next day. We did not find out anything much but we were happy with the view that we saw. It was picturesque and made me feel calm. 

The akad ceremony was brief and simple. With one lafaz, Nik was officially the wife of Abdul Razak. Alhamdulillah...

My prayers go to her with hopes that she will finally find her happiness eternally.

We left Kuala Rompin Sunday morning after we managed to buy 2 kilos of lobsters.  We thought it was a good bargain. We hoped it was indeed!!!

The trip back home was smooth. The weather was sunny and bright. I enjoyed the scenery along the journey all over again, the way I did when we were going yesterday.

A brief but memorable trip indeed.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

The Celebration of Taking Pictures

Each year the celebration of Eid Fitr has become more and more of a grand scale photography sessions for many families. The advancement of technology has given people the opportunities to keep their memories for a very long time. This is to the advantage of the future generations, who will be able to look back one day of how our celebrations are held today. There is no need to own a DSLR camera or any other sophisticated camera to capture moments nowadays. Suffice if one has a hand phone with a camera. Every movement made is snapped in order not to miss any memorable jiffies.

This year taking pictures has become a routine. You are the odd one out if no pictures are taken. I guess I have been the odd one for the past two years.  I learned that what is shot in a second does not reflect the truth of the circumstance. Those smiles captured are for that moment for the sake of the photo session(s). Aside from that, there is already a trend of being showy. The intention of taking photos is no more mainly for
reminiscences but to post them on social websites for the whole world to see. It's like a silent competition among these people to compete with one another through those postings.

Some even went to the extreme end of photographing the ugliest look one can make. And thus, there are group photos of people in their Raya outfits looking like a bunch of quirks. I am sure they have reasons for doing that but then again, off late, people don't seem to need any reason to do anything.

For those who are in the "lovey dovey" mood, they will capture themselves (using their hand phone) looking into each other's eyes or just their hands clutching (anyone can claim those are their hands). These are private affairs but they desire for the world to see them in such state by posting those photos on FB.

I hope one day these people who take too many unnecessary pictures will stop and think of those unfortunate ones who will never be able to understand even the joy of living. In whatever we do, the best way is always to be moderate.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Gaining and Losing Interest...

Five months have passed since I last wrote here. I have not lost the interest in writing but the work load doesn't seem to unload from week to week. So much to share with so little time at hand and thus opportunities slipped away with much regrets.

Ramadhan 1433H has left, leaving so many good memories to be kept close in my heart. What I have determined to do for quite some time, I managed to make it happened in that month. Alhamdulillah, Allah has given me the NUR to live the rest of my life the way it should be. I extend my prayers everyday now that He will not take that NUR away from me until my time is done here.

Throughout the month I have also managed to lose my interest in hoping for a friend to be fair in the friendship that we share. The hope has hurt me deeply but not anymore. If others do not see my worth as a friend to act fairly in upholding a good relationship, then, I have made up my mind that the friend is not worth keeping. Ramadhan this time has taught me acceptance in the truest sense, without the slightest despair.

What I gained is much more precious to what I have finally lost. Alhamdulillah...

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Reviewing Student Discipline Approach: An Effort Worth The While

Disciplining students at Ilmu Khas Campus can prove to be very challenging and presents some of the most perplexing issues that the Institute faces. When given the trust to oversee the students’ discipline three years ago, it was nightmarish because a thorough review of student discipline approach was very much needed to ensure the rules and regulations of the Institute is observed comprehensively and abide by the students all over again. This is indeed, retrospectively not an overstatement.

An effective philosophy of student discipline must have several components. First, the philosophy must include a way to inform the students of the Institute rules and expectations. Second, the philosophy must include a way to remind students of the policy and enforce the rules. Finally, administrators and lecturers must collectively be prepared to discipline the students should the need arise.

Executing the first and second component was expectedly uncomplicated and effortless since the rules and regulations are already documented. Nonetheless, it was like waking up a herd of tigers when the “DOs” and “DON’Ts” were accentuated to ascertain that the rules be heeded appropriately. Students with habits of arriving late for the first lecture were among the first to make strong protest when their first hour was marked as absent even though they were physically present for 45 minutes. Majority of the students (lecturers inclusive) objected the implementation of this rule emphasising on the issue of “unfairness”. Fortunately, administrators and colleagues who share the same sentiment of wanting to see changes in students’ behaviours supported the action taken and by the end of two semesters, there was significant number in reduction of late comers. The obstinate were identified and made to register themselves at the Student Affair Department daily for certain duration until they were able to consistently arrived for lecture at least five minutes before 8:00am. After three semesters, the number of late comers was trivial.

Attending lectures have a positive impact on learning and progress for the students.  The Institute must have effective systems and procedures for encouraging regular attendance and investigate the underlying causes of poor attendance which should be set out in an attendance policy. These systems should be reviewed regularly and modified where necessary to reflect the circumstances of the Institute. Being absent for any lecture is not of any student’s choice. If the circumstances are unavoidable, absence must be accompanied with an official document to affirm the reason. Personal claims like stomach cramp, migraine, visiting a sick uncle at the hospital or paying last respect to a dead relative are among the popular vindications used to qualify their absenteeism from without cause to with cause. However cruel it may seem, their nonattendance would still be forfeited unless they go through the proper channel, fill out the exemption forms, informed their Mentors and Student Affair Department before taking their leave. Objections for such tedious procedure were countless when the rule was first earnestly imposed but it was a matter of time that everyone became familiar and receptive of it. Majority of the students developed awareness of the need to validate their absenteeism which resulted in the decrease of truancy.

Students need to be aware of clear, escalating consequences for inappropriate behaviour. Firstly the student should be warned if their behaviour is incongruous and made aware of the consequences should the behaviour persist.  If the behaviour continues, the consequences need to be immediately enforced. Should the student continue to be disruptive the next step should be to contact a parent or a guarantor and make them aware of the trend of the negative behaviour.  Finally, if the student is unable to modify his behaviour, the Act 174 should be exercised as a deterrent to the deteriorating demeanour.  These punitive actions, however, should be employed only after all avenues for minimizing the opportunity for disruptions and attempts at individualized instruction have failed. This procedure is aimed at executing the third component of the student discipline approach where administrators and lecturers jointly uphold the officially employed rules and regulations of the Institute.

Learning invaluable life lessons, developing character and integrity, and understanding one’s responsibility to the larger community embody the values of the Institute discipline process. Everyone is responsible in promoting and encouraging good attendance and punctuality among the students. When these two aspects become a ritual, they will foster good attitude and conscience. Other commendable traits will develop further within these students, provided there is ample monitoring and reviewing of the student discipline approach from time to time by the assigned authority.

Relentless and constant observations and supervisions of student behavioural patterns are much needed to ensure wrongdoings are kept at bay. The process can drained anyone in-charge but indeed after three years, the effort is worth the while.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

It gets to their head

We have achieved our independence for almost 55 years now and indeed our country is standing with its head up looking proud in the eyes of the world. No one in the era of YM Tunku Abdul Rahman, our first Prime Minister, would have imagined that we could come this far and be recognised around the globe. We indeed owe it all to our 4th Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir.

We are no doubt catching up with the developed countries in infra- and info-structures; and we definitely top the list among the developing countries. Nevertheless, the mentality of majority of our people remains underdeveloped and is far from having achieved its "independence".

I don't have to look far to prove my point. Looking at my own students, a particular group of them who have the opportunity to do the twinning programme with an Australian University, is enough to confirm the matter. And these are youths whom we hope to exhibit zero sign of colonised minds for the future of the country lies in their hands. Regrettably, only with two years abroad to be among the "mat salleh", studying at a "mat salleh" University, having "mat salleh" lecturers, they have come back to try to sound and behave like the "mat salleh". They have become unnecessarily critical over petty matters because it's not like when they were in Australia. Born and bred in Malaysia all their life and the two years changed their perspective of their own country. Their minds have become more colonised than those who have lived through the years of the British rule.

With many English words still mispronounced and some English sentences used are still grammatically wrong, yet they have actually came back with an attitude. The journey of their life has hardly begun. The criterion of becoming a successful teacher has never been where one is trained or educated. It's what lies within us. If one begins with forgetting one's root too easily, the journey may not be an enjoyable one after all.

Tun Mahathir never studied in any "Mat Salleh" country in his life, yet he became the Prime Minister of Malaysia for 22 years and brought us to where we are today...a proud nation envied by the rest of the world!!!

Friday, 3 February 2012

It's already the second month of 2012 and work has resumed full swing since the new semester started on the 4th January. My expectations to see some changes in my favour do not seem to show any sign of being fulfilled in the near future. I have, however, brace myself so as not to anticipate anything to avoid disappointments. This is the time to practice what I always preach to my students.

Speaking of students...I am entrusted with two groups of Guru Sandaran Tidak Terlatih (GSTT), one the Program Persediaan Ijazah Sarjana Muda Perguruan (PPISMP) and the other Diploma Perguruan Lepas Ijazah (DPLI). These programmes are newly introduced and they cater for those who have at least two years experience teaching in primary schools as untrained contract teachers. It's an advantage to teach them because of their teaching experiences. They are able to relate easily to classroom situations. Given the correct and ample guidance, they should perform well in their practicum and later as trained teachers. My anticipation is more on their academic performance.

Another group is the same group which I taught in 2010 when the students were doing their preparatory course. Now, they are already undergraduates. I enjoyed teaching them then and they were already at home with me. Thus, teaching them again for another two semesters this year would be like resuming the relationship and rapport that we have built with each other. They have a commendable attitude towards learning and teaching them gives me a lot of pleasure.

Numerous new events and involvements are anticipated this semester. My hopes are that I will be able to live up to others' expectations of me and fulfilled my duties as a lecturer, facilitator and administrator effectively and commendably...Insya'Allah.