Friday, July 30, 2010

Terlalu istimewa....

This post is dedicated to all of my students; now and then...

p/s - I am utterly thankful to have you guys in my life.

So special...
So deeply in love...
The flame..
Keep it on.

You never fail to put a smile on my face,
never fail to paint my days; green and blue
You make me cry sometimes
and the wall turns to red...

Allah is always there...
helping us when we are in doubt...
never stop trying,
never give up.

You spoke unimaginable words..
"Buyed", "eated", "fantasi", 
You mispronounced these words,
"Sword", "develop" and "career".

But who am I to judge...
Who am I to castigate?
for I am just a minute person..
who often makes abundance of mistakes.

Please hold my hands...
together we can pull it through...
for you are my special ones..
and you are my summer breeze.

I believe in you!
I believe in you!
I believe in you!
Help me to help you!

Thank you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Colorful path of teaching...

12 July 2010, Monday.

Hello! What's buzzing out there?

As usual, my life as an educator offers me a colorful walking pavement which I am enjoying it so far! ;p Today, I had classes for BEL311 and BEL011. The first class with my part three students was amazing! They participated and engaged themselves actively during my lessons. Today's topic was about "Making Generalization from the Text". I also taught them on how to be critical and how to cite sources (references). It was fun. Those kids are clearly young with fresh ideas inside their minds. It was amazing that some students managed to discuss about complicated things. Most of them still have problem to narrow and have a strong focus about their topics. Nevertheless, it was fun teaching them the theory behind APA references. The class went a bit 'overwhelmed' just now. I did a language game with them. Today, we have played "Funny Story". They gave me a topic which is; "Pimples". From there, we started to write sentences on a piece of paper. Then we folded the paper so that the rest cannot view our sentences. The trick is to write whatever comes to their mind, without focusing too much about the topic. At the end, we are supposed to have a series of unconnected stories which form the "Funny Story". It was fun. At the end of the class, I have selected some students to read the story out loud. Come to my surprise, the story has nothing to do with "Pimples"! It was funny. Some students wrote about "Nasi Lemak", "Wild imagination", "Heading to Bandar Jengka after class"….and the funniest was when a boy honestly wrote about his hidden feeling towards a girl in that class. It does not make any sense at all but that is the purpose; to create a funny story. Boy, you should look at their expression while presenting the story!!! They also learned on how to appropriately include the connectors etc.

I was a bit disappointed with my second class. The reason being is; there were some students (boys) who refused to participate and support each other. What happened??? I thought we are one family?! There was a moment when I felt like crying and I expressed my feeling by telling the class how sad I was for not having relevant support from them. It was also unfair for the rest of the class since everyone must present their speech. It's ok….I hope you guys can cooperate and help each other ok! As far as I remember, you (the responsible lads) still owe me the debt…I will claim it later. Other than that, I was also flabbergasted by some students who portrayed their bravery and tried to present in front with confidence! Congratulation guys! Credits go to Venesse, Kadijah Farah Farhana, Syimir, Ismail and basically everyone from that class…who have presented their insights! Kudos guys! I wish to see more courage from the rest of you guys! I also played a language game (Funny Story) with this class. Their topic was about; "Shoes". Only the difference is; they focused too much about the topic rather than writing from whatever comes in their heads… Yeah, we managed to pull through and have fun with each other. I just hope those boys can cooperate and participate during the next lesson. Or maybe my approach was not reachable to those kids???! (Sigh). I start to wonder…could it be that they just did not understand what I have been saying and that's why they did not participate? Perhaps. I MUST DO SOMETHING!

I still love both of my classes and there will be plenty of time to explore their potential individually! I wish you guys all the best and may you succeed in life, ameen.

Ok, moving on…I still have not found a decent place to stay. The hunt is still on. I just hope to get a nice house to live before the semester ends.

Today's lesson in a capsule: "What kind of room which has no doors and windows???" The answer is: "MUSHROOM". LOL.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Me as a ‘PTPTN’ officer, my Official favourite dish and my 1.45AM SMS from a student.

Yes...and it is official. It has been ten days already since I first started to work with UiTM (1 July 2010). Living in Jengka has opened my sight especially on how people can be so money-oriented. Gosht, people here are so acquisitive!!! I am yet to talk about stuffs to buy at the mart(s)/supermarket(s). I was referring to the house-to-look-for. So far, we have no luck of getting a nice and decent house. For many of us, it is just a predicament as we start our career life. As for me, it is still a basic necessity so I can plan and produce more industrious lessons for the kids. I need a proper house. This is not a complaint. It is more like an expression so that people know how hard it is to stand on our own when we just walked into the working path. I am sorry if I sound a little bit of whining, here and there. Nevertheless, I managed to pull through and enjoy myself here in Jengka. 

One of the reasons is because of the food. I have always been a food lover when it comes to "fish". It is so gratifying to just have plain fish (served... either fried or steamed or boiled) together with my plate of rice. Yummy! On top of that, the ease of availability for specific fish, namely; "Patin a.k.a Silver Catfish" really makes me happy. Just looking at the size of "patin sangkar" and also "patin sungai" pleases me! Now imagine, those "patin-s" are cooked with "tempoyak"!!! Burp! Alhamdulillah…. Ok, now it is official, "Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak" is my favourite dish….next to the so famous; "Singgang Ikan of Terengganu"!!! I simply love it. So far, I enjoy eating at a restaurant next to Agrobank Jengka. They serve the best "Patin Masak Tempoyak" so far. Bwekk…the truth is, there are many places which are yet to be discovered. I am waiting for my paycheck and also my free time to explore more about "Patin" dishes. In UiTM, the cafĂ© also serves "Patin Masak Tempoyak". They prefer to use "patin sangkar" but the size is rather small. ;(… However, it is still worth it and the PRICE is…KNOCK! KNOCK!, CHEAP!

Ok, enough about my hankering of "Patin" fish. Now, I would like to write about one funny thing. About 4pm (10 July 2010), I had a phone call from a parent of one of my students. He was asking about PTPTN. It seems that he had this confusion which might lead to misguided information. Basically, it was regarding the online application and also a printed letter which he had just received from PTPTN. I was surprised, honestly. Do I look or sound like a PTPTN officer, for that matter? Hmmm…I had no idea why that student (from Civil Engineering Program) passed my number to his father. As far as I remember, I clearly told them to text or call me if they have problems regarding academic matter and not during weekend or outside office hour. However, I was glad that the father contacted me (I sounded as if I am an important person, am I?!hehe) LOL. Anyway, I gave the information which might be useful and based on my experience as a UiTM student.

Last Friday, a student texted me; "Salam Mr. Niza, I want to ask you whether we have a class tomorrow or not. I was informed that all lecturers will have to attend a staff meeting tomorrow. Please reply me…" Again, this is a bit hilarious…since I do not have any class with them on Friday. He was asking about BEL011 class. I only have one class on Friday which is BEL311. I have no idea where did they get the idea of me teaching them BEL011 on Friday. Then, I took it as a misunderstanding. The student replied; "Oh, sorry sir..". Why "Sorry"??? Jeng, jeng, jeng…1. He was misinformed about the class and 2. He texted me around 1.45AM!!! My goodness!!! I was almost having my forty winks before I was dead to the world that night! But, of course I replied politely…since he is just my student…who is eager to come to class and learn. Cool. (Lucky that I am still single and not having a family yet) ;p

I guess, that is all for now. I will try to update myself on my colorful experience as an educator here in UiTM Jengka. Till we meet again, toodles Mr. Blogger. ;p

Monday, July 5, 2010

of the headlines and my first day impression....

Assalamualaikum and Salam 1 Malaysia.

I am writing from the Lecturer's Lounge, UiTM Jengka Pahang. It is hot outside so I have decided to land my feet on in this cold and convenient room.

Read the news today...seriously, what's with this ulama' changing parties thingy and ulama' changing the state laws? It is all politics...I don't like the way we are heading because religious matters should not be played according to the current political game scenario. But then, who am I to say because I play the minutest role in this. In fact, I just signed up for the voter's list, huhu...;p To top that up, I must say, I am a bit blunt with our latest political scenario.

Flipping over the pages has made me feel nauseous because it is almost the same news and things reported everyday. Politic and pro-governments issues are filling the front pages...almost everyday. I am bored with it already. Somewhere inside the pages....there's a news about Terengganu beaches. It mentions that almost 10 couples are caught naked everyday at Terengganu beaches. WOW! That is bizarre....LOL...

The news about a Chinese guy who died after donating his blood for the 45th time struck me a bit. I was a bit moved by the news since I have never donated my blood. I hope I can become like that guy who constantly donated his blood whenever possible, except the 'death' part. I think it's noble.

Another news is about a letter to Utusan's editor. I found it's funny as it specifically mentions UiTM Jengka in the letter. The sender (Mama E-Dora) complaints about how UiTM treats her child by making her share the room with six students. She claims that it is unfair for her daughter because by right, the room is supposed to cater four persons. Over the limit eyh?! Dear Mama E-dora, first and foremost, you must understand the major problem which UiTM is facing. Abundance of students!!! UiTM has this policy to take more and more unfortunate students to be given the luxury of education. Not to mention the underqualified students who have been given a second chance to study and also the "Destini Anak Bangsa" program. Where do you expect those unfortunate students to stay if it's not at the hostel???! That is why, UiTM is forced to ask your child to move out and become an NR student. However, the problem is extremely hard...wait, it is almost impossible to find a descent and cheap houses here in Jengka. I am facing the same problem too. In fact I am still looking for a nice place to stay.

Today (8-10am, 10-12pm) was my very first day teaching. The first group I have met was a group from Civil Engineering program. The code is BEL311 and they are in part three. I must say, I am delighted with my first impression upon this group. They are just supportive and cooperative. They responded quite well. Overall, in my humble opinion, they just need a little bit polishing for the grammar, speaking, writing and reading. Other than that, they are moving to the right direction. I am just glad that most of them (94%) were responsive just now. On top of it, I am proud to say that most of them have clearer vision and goals on what to be expected from me and also from BEL311.

The second group which I met was a group from Pre-Diploma in Accountancy program. Errrmm...there is not much to say about this group except they are a bit passive and less responsive compared to the other group. Of course, how can I compare these two groups? Obviously, they are from different levels. Most of them  have problems comprehending the message I have been conveying. I did a lot of simplifying with them to the extent of using very minimal (4%) of Bahasa Malaysia in my lesson. I am aware of the negative impact which it carries but what other options do I have? I am referring to that time-line. One thing I have noticed about them is they responded quite well when I asked them to present a short role-play or sketch. It was worth of my time asking them about their expectation from the course and also from the lecturer (me). Most of them have problems using proper and appropriate English with correct mechanics and tone. Most of the time, they prefer to remain silent and not responding to the instruction given. Through games and role-playing, I learned that those students engage themselves in the language use even if it is minimal. At least, they are trying to fulfill the task given. Therefore, congratulation to them for making their very first day of class at UiTM.

I still have not figured out what tomorrow has to offer me. I hope, the next groups will be more cooperative and also responsive. InsyaAllah, I will try my best to make the lesson as fun as possible! ;p

So far, I found that I love my students and I really hope I can do something to help them improve their competency as well as their proficiency of the language.

I think that is all for now. Till we meet again, toodles.

P/s - I am anxiously waiting for my "Surat Pengesahan Senat" from UiTM Shah Alam....urgh....

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dogma...avoid being trapped..., vision, please come clearer and nearer to me, please....

People around me seem to have clear goals which keep them moving smooth all the time. Sometimes, I borrow their tenets to be adapted with my lifestyle. Most of the time, it works but I am not sure if I am happy or not. I have this question in my mind all the time; "Am I doing the things right?" and "Am I doing the right things?". I wish I can succeed without having such questions or doubt about my credibility. But...(sigh)..

Successful people would have certain principles for their daily routines. I have read several books (not that I don't like reading, I am just too lazy to put my glass on..;p) on how to live a successful life or how to walk and talk with wisdom bla bla bla... None of those books compels me on how to have my own stand and not following others....

What? All this while, I have been living my life according to other people's standards!!! If I am too blunt to know the message, I would be saying; "What's wrong with that??"

Today, I have encountered a brilliant advice which says; "Do not be trapped with dogma!"... It simply means: do not over-follow principle of other people or you'll see yourself a loser. Somehow, I see the truth in that. By following others, I don't see myself standing tall on my own. I am living my life, aren't I???

Thus, starting from today, I will step-by-step try to carve my own path by drawing my own line, even if it means my lines to be a bit lower than others. At least, I set my own standard! Wohoo. It is good to have a hold on principle of others. Don't get me wrong. I am talking about guidelines that really serve as a guide rather than a benchmark.

Learning how not to be trapped by dogmas is a bit tricky. First, I need a goal. A clearer goal! I need to have my vision, clearer version! I am still thinking it over and over (for the past four minutes). All I have is big dreams and hopes. That is not a vision. I still remember about 'vision' (according to someone who gave an interesting talk at U8B's seminar). Vision is specific goals to be achieved according to plan. It must be specific! Yeah....

I need to spend more time thinking and less time of napping to have a specific vision, perhaps. I will do that...immediately! I will...I am doing it...NOW!

Vision, vision, please come to me and knock a portion of my brain clearly please....please..please....Naah, that won't do it.... I need fresh air.... Hopefully, before I close my eyes tonight, I will have my own dogma and principles...Hopefully.... Hey, I WILL! Yes, I WILL!