Sunday, March 25, 2007


After that 'discussion' on acknowledgements, I had hurried out to go see 'Mukhsin'. A few friends have been talking about it, either good (Ana, Adi, Elie, Salimin) or bad (Jida sorang haha.. but somehow your comment on the pervert Mukhsin, intai anak dare orang, made me wanna go watch it to actually see what extent of pervert kot heheh..) comments..

Last week, I didn't get the chance to watch it as we had arrived at the cinema at 8.10pm and it started at 8.15pm. Won't be much problem if we had performed our Maghrib prayers earlier, takkan Mukhsin nye pasal, tak solat kot kaaann..

This week, I had noticed that Parit Buntar's Capitol was showing the movie, and at RM3.50 a ticket, I thought it'd be worth it to go catch it while its still here so at 9.00pm, I was already shooing Helmi off (he had come to use the printer) as I wanted to go catch the movie which was showing at 9.15pm.

I was a bit afraid of going alone at first. I mean, if its at Megamall or KBJ or even Kinta City, I won't feel so.. outta place. I mean, I'm the type who watches ANY kinda movie and not ALL my friends share this interest so there are times I go alone just to stubbornly still watch the movie. But at Parit Buntar?

Then I remembered, its not as if the WHOLE Pt Buntar knows me anyway hehe.. so, what the heck!! Still, I made sure I went as late as possible, as if I could make a quiet entry :D
I barely arrived in time. Missed maybe half a minute of it, only started watching at the part Orked chucked the bully's bag outta the bus.

All in all, I liked the movie. Quite pleasant and entertaining though at first I thought it was a bit berceramuk. But as the story enfolds, I found myself laughing out loud (quite embarassing when you're sitting alone hehe..) and trying to stop myself from crying at some parts (though this might be due to recent things happening in my life, and not much because of the movie :D). Its a good malay movie.. innocent gitu!

Made me think of my own childhood and my own so-called first love, a pot bellied 5-year-old named Mark.. or was it Paul, when I was 5 haha.. Yeah, I especially love the tagline.. "Everyone has a first love story to tell.." that is soooo right!

Coming back to school, I opened up Yasmin Ahmad's blog which I sometimes read and found this quote from her that caught my attention..

I feel it's an interesting human condition to look at, because I myself have never been able to understand how, sometimes, something as beautiful as Love can threaten to end something else that's just as beautiful - Friendship.

No comment on this though, as I myself have lost numerous friendships because of this.. some, I lose totally, some I lose partly, some which unfortunately I lose what special part of the friendship was while some I lose the part I don't care for that much.. Some I had greatly cherished, some merely aquaintances.. still no matter to what degree that friendship was, it hurts..

Anyway, I hope I don't do that to people if my time comes, huh?

Well, back to the movie.. for Jida, you should give it a try la :p I'm suprising myself with watching and admitting that some Malay movies are starting to buck up in quality and story line.. Instead of the typical movies that portray all Malaysians as unbelievably dirt rich, driving impossibly expensive cars and dining at remarkably high-classy places.. with every possible problems a human being could face being thrust only into the hero/heroin, you wonder why the actors don't commit suicide. Its a pity all those so-called riches can't buy them new ideas.. or better, a functioning brain that doesn't only think of cold blooded revenge or love triangles (or love squares.. or love pentagons)..

I think I'm being a bit harsh here haha.. but its just to persuade you la, Jida.. pi la try tengok :)

As for me, I'm ready for another dose of Malay movies here.. one which also actually HAS a story in it! So to Malaysian producers.. hey, we're starting to have faith in you, you know.. chaiyuk²!
Hmm.. suddenly I'm itching to go fly a kite :D
P/S for Ana..
Betul la Ana, nak tau gak ape dia tulis kat layang² tu..

The importance of the 'Acknowledgement'

Recently, our school had quite a number of vivas (is that the plural of 'viva'?) And as usual, with every viva, there's a story behind it so since a number of them have been happening, a lot of stories have also been circulating, especially considering ALL vivas have had the 'external examiner' from hell. I especially remember the soft-spoken Quazzi to come back from his viva with quite a bit of anger for his external, and thats a first. He's never EVER even raised his voice!

So just now, me, Abdullahi and Quazzi were discussing about viva and thesis writing. It was just a bit of sharing and gossiping (still about external examiners from hell haha..).

Now, first, let me say.. Despite the 'external examiners from hell' my fellow students had to endure, I was quite lucky. Apparently both my external and internal (whom I was quite afraid of since he's been known to be VERY strict) examiners liked my report. This doesn't actually mean that I did a superb job on it but I guess they felt good reading it haha.. what am I trying to say here, huh?

Lets put it this way, they liked it enough to give very minimal comments that both my supervisors and the deputy deans thought it'd be a breeze for me in my viva. Kak Ros even thought I'd manage to get '1' for my viva. Guess they might've forgotten how jittery and panicky I get everytime I have to talk in front of an audience heheh.. They didn't know that my 45-minute viva felt like ages as I kept stumbling upon my words and didn't actually answer the questions asked to me!!! And another thing is, I only knew WHY I got it easy after our 'discussion' just now which I'm about to write about..

Anyway, the morning of my viva, as I got outta the car, I was greeted by Dr Sanusi who commented that he'd bet my viva would be over in a matter of minutes (hahah.. the power of writing is not really as great as the power of actually defending your thesis!). Secretly crossing my fingers (hahah!!), I just smiled at him as the panic, which hadn't surfaced in the two weeks I had known of my viva, started to rise in me..

As I was starting to feel dizzy and sick in my stomach, he suddenly turned to me and said, "By the way! I really love your acknowledgement.. its like reading a story and I'm not the only one who agrees on this!"

For a while, I forgot about feeling sick!!



I mean, does anyone EVER read the acknowledgement? OMG!!!

To me, the 'acknowledgement' is the ONLY part of the whole thesis which is NOT technical and NOT academically inclined. Its something you write from your heart, the ONLY part which you can jumble up a few languages and be silly.. where you can be emotional or be angry.. where you try to make up to people (especially to your supervisor la..) or try to give a back-to-you to the father who forced you in the first place haha.. which unfortunately I did ALL!

AND.. I didn't expect the academic 'people' to read it anyway.. thought they'd go straight to the academic stuff..

Aiyak!!! Malu.. should've changed it and been more careful in writing it haha..

Fast forward to a few months later..

We were talking about the pressure in doing research and (I commented on) how important friends are when your family isn't here when Abdullahi laughed and asked me, "Just like you, ah?"

I was confused until he started talking about how afraid I was of using this room at first and had waited till the last minute to finally move down here from my room upstairs. I laughed as I remembered it and was surprised when Quazzi agreed and commented on how I had written about it in my acknowledgement.. which made me ask him, "You mean you READ my acknowledgement?"

He just laughed and told me, most people I know DO read my acknowledgement, especially since nearly everyone's name is in it haha.. but what surprised me was when Abdullahi told me, Dr Meor, my internal examiner, told him it was a very good acknowledgement (which made me wonder, what DID I write in my acknowledgement?)

Frankly, its just an eccentric kinda writing and I've been reading it a few more times after Dr Sanusi had commented on it and still feel there's nothing special in it, but I felt a bubble of pride surging inside of me.. for about a minute before Abdullahi burst it!!!

Hahah.. apparently Dr Meor had been talking about my writing with Abdullahi and when he talked about my acknowledgement, he told Abdullahi it was among the best he had ever read. Why? Because he said, it made him laugh.. he said, whomever read that piece of writing was sure to feel a dose of empathy and sympathize with me..


And he's sure, whatever mistake I did in my writing would be forgiven after people read my supposedly heart-felt acknowledgement as it made people feel like they wanna make me happy..

Uwaaaaaaaa.. I dunno if I should feel insulted or.. or.. or.. insulted!

Hahah.. and here I was, thinking that finally, my technical writing (which I've never been good at) is acceptable to the experts in the field.. sheesh!!! Talk about bursting your bubble..

Uwaaaa.. I finally find out I still suck!!!


So here's the conclusion I made to Abdullahi, something I have to remind myself when I finally pursue my PhD --> Take really good care of your acknowledgement to gain as much sympathy from the examiners. If it pricks into their supposedly heart of stone, you're safe! Don't EVER make light of your acknowledgement as (in my case), it could really save you! Hahah..

And I am humbled.. heheh..

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Farewell lunch (?)

Okay.. I should've written about this earlier, but very lazy maaaaa heheh..

Anyway, those who've been reading my blog know about my supervisor.. right? Alaaa.. a.k.a the dean of my school? A.k.a the person I've been playing peek-a-boo with all this while right up until I had submitted my final thesis? A.k.a errrr, ape lagi ek?

Anyway, he's moving to UNIMAS to be a lecturer near his home town and along with him, another 4 lecturers are also leaving us (Dr Hasnain, Dr Rezaur, Dr Shamshad and Dr Zaid).. since it seemed like a whole bunch of lecturers were leaving us, and with the prospect of maybe another whole lot of them deciding to leave us (okay, I'm exaggerating here!) the school decided to 'conduct' a farewell lunch for all of them. The method of preparation was a gotong-royong (btw, whats the english word for this, huh?) of the staff as well as forcing the postgraduates to pitch in haha.. okay, thats another exaggeration (ade ke perkataan ni?)! Truth is, since we were invited for the lunch, we SHOULD be helping too, right?

Anyway, it was held the day after our workshop and to tell you the truth, most of us were still exhausted from the joint 5-day efforts beforehand for the workshop (imagine cramming ALL preparations in those 5 days!!!). I, myself, even when I was dead to the world the night before, felt like a lazy bum when I remembered the gotong-royong right after I woke up that morning.. still, dragged my ass to the bathroom to take my shower and ironed some shabby clothes, expecting them to be dirty when helping..

When I arrived at the school, NO ONE was around! Cesss, felt a bit stupid for waking up early hahah.. should've stayed in bed like the others. But abg Fadzil had arrived, only missing in action. Erwan was here too but he was sleepy. Lie and Rashwan were invisible to me somewhere and the others were not here. I was about to go to the surau to catch up with my beauty sleep when Farah smsed me, telling me she had just started driving here so I waited for her.

We went down together. By then it had already started but since Farah wanted to check on her experiment, I went first. The first thing I saw was kak Ja and abg Mie frying omelettes. I stopped to talk to them for a while when kak Habsah saw me and assigned as the other 'omelette chef' haha.. only I got to do it inside the lab instead of outside like kak Ja and abg Mie.

As I was just getting the hang of it, Lie arrived and instantly appointed himself as the QC for the food but kak Habsah bought him back down to earth when she ordered him to help me haha.. So here's a blurred picture of us and the omelettes as well as Rashwan who was ordered (unfortunately by us) to go get us some drinks :)

Before long, we grew bored of taking care of the omelettes indoors. I mean, hey, the action is OUTSIDE where the curry and mixed veges were being made to perfection (exaggerate lagiii..). Then when abg Fadzil came with the camera, we left our current batch of omelettes and quickly went out to be in the picture. Even camera-shy(?) me ran out. It already felt stuffy indoors.

So here's another picture of us watching (mind you, we really were WATCHING.. not HELPING!) kak Ja and abg Mie.. and yes, we were conscious of the camera so this is actual acting-as-if-we-didnt-realize it haha..

Not long afterwards, all cooking activities started to end one by one. Then we were kinda ushered into the dining room to help prepare the room. The room was quite lovely, compliments of kak Shelly and abg Joe and abg Shidi. It was quite enjoyable being there where once again, pictures were taken but this time, I ran away from them :D

Before long, everything was ready. All of us who had helped went back to the postgrads room to rest before abg Fauzi knocked on the door asking us to go join everyone as the ceremony was about to start. And yeah, just as everyone was seated, in came Remy and Ashraf who were missing during the cooking session and they were bombarded with question of how they could smell the food hehe.. still, there were a lot of empty seats! :(

As usual, though EVERYONE was aware of how hungry everyone else was, all this was ignored to give way for speeches. With tummies grumbling and eyes darting towards the food, we resigned to having to hear all those speeches hehe.. however, the multimedia presentation caught our attention. It was made by abg Shidi for Dr Wan and it was really quite touching. Even when we were allowed to go get our food, most of us stayed rooted to our seats to watch it. Even Remy commented on how touching it was..

Well, the food was great, and we were left full! Chicken curry, mixed veges, ulam and sambal belachan, fried prawns.. the list was endless..

Then, we had a photo session with Dr Wan before going back to the post grad room for a photo session amongst ourselves haha.. So here's a picture of us contented with Farah and Fared dominating the picture and ME left behind haha.. Lie, for once hid behind the screen instead of insisting to be the main focus in every picture and Dgon here in baju kurung getting ready for her interview..

*sigh* I'm gonna miss all this.. :(

Friday, March 02, 2007

Thesis Writing Workshop

It started on Thursday, when we were suddenly informed about a meeting for the workshop..

Ok, ok.. it wasn't as if we didn't know AT ALL about the workshop, but I guess most of us didn't wanna 'waste' our time with something else other than things we already had in hand (as IF I had A LOT on my hands pun hehe..). Abg Fadzil had asked me to take care of the food, though in the end HE was the one who ordered the food and my job was to only remind him. Other than that, I was only asked to proof read the pamphlet (which I must've done half heartedly as we discovered a LOT of mistakes after that--updated: NO lah, they had changed the contents of the pamphlet *whew*)

Anyway, during the meeting, abg Fadzil was grumbling about certain secretariats that almost never came to meetings. Me and Dgon just kept quiet while smiling sheepishly as we ourselves had missed the last meeting (not our fault though, we really didn't know about it). After that we proceeded to form a new committee for the workshop. I was glad to escape the refreshments committee.. penat ooooo! However, I nearly had a heart attack when I saw my name on the emcee committee! I had just gone outta the room for 5 MINUTES to make tea for the meeting, and I guess they had scrambled to put my name right there and then so I couldn't protest when I came back. Luckily, Fared had the GREAT idea to ask Ashraf to emcee while I just became the 'text composer'.. bless him!

I'd only have to sit with Ashraf and compose the things he was supposed to say. The most easy job.. or so I thought! Oh yeah, I was also in charge of the souveniers (again!).

We'd promise to go through it during the weekend but then Ashraf went to Langkawi so I was practically goyang kaki during the weekend. Winnie was in charge of the files so she had work to do while Dgon was in charge of the certificates but like me, we had nothing to do until Monday.

Then, come Monday, there was the thing with the notice board I explained earlier. Then since we had asked the participants to pay ONLY on the day itself, funds were really running low. On top of that, a usually mild mannered committe member was suddenly being a bit.. well.. different, I guess (Thus, making kerek as the word of the week). So it was easy to say, not everybody was in the best of spirits. The only good news we got was that participation was more than expected, and we were ready to just get less than half of the supposedly expectations.. though, being used to be in charge of refreshment, I was a bit worried about the amount we ordered so abg Fadzil added a few more.

Tuesday was filled with going to and fro to buy certificates, files, check the food, cleaning the room used for our lunch break, rearranging the seminar room, photocopying the materials, buying ribbons for the souveniers, translating the questions for the questionnaires etc. None of us got the chance to sit down haha.. but somehow, it was fun. Reminded me of the time they helped me during CEC when we'd sit on the floor, wrapping around 40 mugs together.. :)

Then, Ashraf came and I suddenly remembered that we hadn't gone through the script yet and it was already 5.15pm at that time. Added to the fact that abg Fadzil wanted to conduct a rehearsal that night at 9.30pm, the only thing in my head then was, "Tak sempat nak makan malam dah niiiiii..". And this was supported by Ashraf who suddenly decided we should start our script writing at 8pm that night.. aiyak! It was already 7.15pm when I went home :(


The only comfort I got was that he was also hungry haha.. So that night, all of us did the finishing touches for the workshop and went home, undoubtly TIRED hehe..

The next morning, since I wasn't in charge of the registration, I decided to wake up late haha.. only arrived at the school at 8.41am. I panicked a bit when I realized the souveniers missing but it turned out that they were already bought to the seminar room. Then as I was going down, I felt as if everyone was calling my name asking for this and that! Aiyak patut la orang len sumer duk kat bawah.. duk kat atas asyik kena panggil je haha..

When the workshop started, I was a bit relieved, thinking that I'd only have to sit down.. but I wrong once again. There weren't enough files, the food was also just enough (Sheesh! What happened to extras, huh?), the certificates were also not enough with the printer going to slumber every now and then, hand outs were needed to be copied and bla.. bla.. bla.. On top of that, I had to now and then check upon Ashraf if he needed any editing on his script when as in his own words, "Dapat secretary, teruih tak tau nak karang sendiri!".You know, I could've lost a few pounds rushing up and down the stairs, as well as all the other committees who were doing their part of rushing here and then haha.. yup! Somehow, it didn't exactly feel tiring.. more hilarious than tiring, I'd say!

However, lunch wasn't exactly hilarious when some participants were left WITHOUT lunch. How embarassing.. and we had ordered 40 extra meals! Turns out, the foreigners must've not realized that rice is our staple food, while the chicken and all that are the side dishes. They *not saying who* took a dish each of the curry!!! No wonder there weren't any left..

Fared was a bit mad at the refreshment committee at this time and I had to listen to his ramblings as I was the only one in the pantry haha.. poor treasurer! However, him and the refreshment committee quickly decided to go buy extra food from outside for all of us as well as the participants who didn't get any food.

By then, EVERYONE was tired. The toll of working non-stop but still kinda frustrated in the end finally came over us so when the participants went for their last session, all of us went into the dining room to b**** on EVERYTHING haha.. about some people who had expected FREE FOOD (when the participants WHO PAID themsleves didn't get food), about the kerek committee member (pity him, though!), about the inconsiderate people who took EXTRA food.. before long, everyone was back in a jovial mood haha.. seems like a good b****ing session is just the thing for our souls haha.. the picture above was as we were about to start our b****ing session (with most people in the session not in the photo) :)

Somehow, we realized, everything wasn't at all THAT bad..

After eating and praying, we went down only to realize all of us missed a great session by Choong, thus prompting us to beg Choong to re-do the session just for us :) And like I said, by then, we were laughing and joking though we were already a bit tired now.

After the workshop ended, we had some tea for the participants. Then, all of us stayed back to help clean up the dining room for the farewell 'lunch' that was to be held the next day (Penat lagiiii.. us postgrads were supposed to pitch in with the gotong royong). It was 7.30pm when we finally headed back home. I had a class that night but the whole time I only thought of my bed. Went straight home after that and slept so soundly, I didn't hear the fireworks 'commotion' happening just outside my house.

All in all, I'd say it was a success, just like all of us agreed. Even the participants were impressed (except a select few la, but the praises were enough to help us smile till the end). Would we do it again, though?

Hmm.. Let us think about it first :p