Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our event tomorrow

Ok folks, this is it.Our ICC09 will take place tomorrow.Tan Sri TPM dah tersangkut kat London lah pulak so he has kindly informed Datuk Seri Khalid to rep him besok punya launch.Anti-climax betul.But lega pun ada cos' the pressure mcm terangkat sikit.Cuma takut kena baling batu je besok cos' media dah announced TPM will come and ICC09 bertaraf antarabangsa.International links walaupun byk local companies. :)

But I think it is still amazing we managed to get a decent no of companies participating.Para peramal ekonomi dan penilik nasib employment meramalkan July would be hitting the lowest point of employment tapi demi Allah, kami telah mendapat pertolongan.The show goes on.Our last prayer will be we'd get a good crowd and young people will truly benefit and get employed.We have over 2000 cvs.Kita akan kira berapa ramai will actually get employed (last national career carnival, our number was 300 people got employed on the spot) Let's hope we do better this time.But we had double no. of companies dulu so I guess if we get 150 employed this time, we'd be lucky.

The experience has been priceless for me and my team.But cuba suruh kita buat sekali lagi, kita akan buat2 demam. For Dr A and me, we were juggling between examining theses (for me I had external theses kiri dan kanan.Lepas tu manuscript from USM).Nak kira pun tak cukup jari how busy we were.But I am so grateful of the teamwork given by all members of our secretariat.Wonderful2 people.Memang la ada masa macam nak bergaduh2.Yang ini salah buat, yang ini tak kena.Yang ini kenapa pandai2 nak sign.Yang itu mahal kenapa ambik juga (dan mereka akur..budget cut left and right nak jimat apa yang boleh).

We are also grateful to Dato Tahir who never once lost his temper with us although kita kadang2 lambat datang meeting dari dia.He kept us going. Rector pun monitor kita dari jauh dan tolong cari clients/sponsors untuk kita.

So dengan rendah diri, kami harap hasil titik peluh kami, tak tidur malam kami, sakit2 badan kami akan mendapat barakah dan majulah IIUM untuk negara.Terima kasih for those who are with us through thick and thin. Datanglah beramai2 memberi sokongan. Pls tell your young ones to learn how to write good resumes from jobstreet (free).Bagi SPM leavers, find out where to get s/ships after SPM.Tengok schedule kita di sini (click schedule of talks)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Instilling culture of giving

I was having a little conversation with Anas (my young Egyptian friend from ICT, a student leader). We tried to figure out why students are so manja and expect everything to be given on a platter.They just want to take but not give (ni I dah addressed in my Gen-Y talk at Segi).Then we got to discuss about fund-raising and how Egyptians are so generous with their money.Look at that cancer centre which provides FREE treatments to patients (it's run on wakaf money).And we know Al-Azhar has produced many great leaders around the Muslim world and it runs on wakaf money since its inception.So I asked Anas to tell me how an average Egyptian child is raised to understand Egyptian culture of giving.

Anas said kids were taught from young (aged 3 or 4) to be aware of rezeki from Allah e.g. if they see a cent (tak tau la its equivalent in Egypt), the child has to pick up the coin and kiss it, letak atas dahi and says alhamdulilah (all praise be to Allah) and put it aside/keep it.Likewise if they see food remains. Every Friday, a child is taught to give to the poor/needy.To do sedekah (parents will give a dolar or two and say give this to so and so who needs it). many of us do this to our child? Or do it ourselves? Kalau orang nak kutip sedekah for orphanage pun kita jeling2 dengan hujung mata kita and kata dalam hati, "ni sindiket ni..mesti ada dalang kat belakang nak tipu ni."
Biar beri sikit but consistent.Dan ikhlas.Tak perlu lah nak soal orang tipu ke tidak.Allah knows who is more sincere of the two: the giver or the taker.
That is all that matters.
Will you give, for my Nov. conference? :))

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Al-fatihah for Yasmin Ahmad

I think most of us feel the loss. Yasmin had agreed to speak at our Nov conference on Asia-Pac Literatures and Cultures. I remember on two occasions when I rang her up, her PA would always say she's in prayer.Yasmin seorang yang menjaga solatnya.May Allah berkati rohnya.

Yasmin juga cepat menjawab emails.I have a few from her on me.I'll keep them.
Baru malam sebelum Yasmin meninggal beberapa jam kemudiannya, I was at a dinner and a writer said it was pretty bad and that he didn't think there'd be any hope of her surviving.A few of us said miracles do happen and I was praying for one.

Allah knows better and Allah loves her more.

Al-fatihah, Yasmin.You had shown love and hope to us, through your art.There will be many little Yasmins in years to come.

Click here for Yasmin's blog.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Important to document this

It's going to be a busy day today.But I must write this down before I forget.

1. My Master's students are doing great.I have at least 4 thesis topics of great value and a Cambridge scholar has shown interest in one of them! I'm sure the other 3 pun will be great names cos' their research findings will add value to existing knowledge on Msian Lit in English, Malay Lit and HK Lit in English. Rasa nak menari2 happy! :))

2. Kena pi tempah kasut and baju Raya.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday blues

It's hard to finish up reading a manuscript, due soon. Selagi ICC09 is not out of the way, it's hard to do anything.And today I cepat nak marah (walhal I've started eating..maybe this is the reason.Kejap je naik balik my weight.Sigh)

Attended Prof Kamal's talk on role of uni.I don't know what to say.We all know there are so many things to improve but who are going to be responsible.The right people were not present.
But I thought the questions which came from students were really good.

Horror of horrors...Anas put me on hot spot.He said I was to give a welcoming remark to an event in the presence of Tan Sri Fuzy Abd. Razak and some other impt people from the industries.I didn't even know what the event was for.Kalut betul.Nak marah pun ada kat budak2 ni buat kerja tak senonoh mcm ni (beritau kita on the 11th hour).Anas said my name dah all over.I said no one told me anything.He said nama I dah kat prog book.Grrgh! Had to go.On high heels terhencut2.Tangga stage Main Audi tu looked like Mt Kinabalu (I was going in my heart: can I make it? can I make it?)Tan Sri pulak suruh I jalan dulu.I had to tell him about my spine problem and why I was walking so slowly on my hi heels.Aiyooo....but he was such a gentleman (Nik kata dia ni dulu with Kementerian Luar Negara) and waited patiently.I wish all men were trained like him.Berapa ramai sanggup buka pintu knowing di belakangnya seorang wanita?

Onstage, I had to think fast what to say without wanting to look or sound stupid.Kerja macam mine ni macam nilah.Semua mcm short notice.I'm only on this job for a year, you know.They treat me like I've been 10 years. But syukur, I think I pulled through.Gave a short one about a war out there in which companies fight for talents...and how students should take the trouble to get work experience through internships.That or be left behind.Sapa punya idea setting up this WIEF? Tan Sri kata it came out masa OIC meeting in KL some 6 years ago.I think it's really far sighted and whoever who thought of it was a genius.I thought Waled of Saudi belonged to this group too but apparently they all are independent organisations but Tan Sri wants to connect in due time.I hope they'll do it.Our students will benefit if they have experience working abroad.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

South Australian dinner pic

with flinders friends

Geoff sent me this pic (ada yang lain but I nampak gemok).

Day 6 puasa detox.Hopefully tmrw will be my last day going without food for 24 hours, 7 days on stretch (I wanted to do 9 but I miss my food/s ==> badly.Bob suspects it's emotional attachment cos' I am not hungry while on this detox prog.Cuma aku miss makanan Msia aku!!!)

Saw Bob and Mary today.Semalam pun.6 therapies, 12 to go.Alhamdullilah getting better each time.Can walk faster now.

Breaking fast

Yah yah..I told Bob I'd go easy on my first day.Oatmeal, fruits, soups.

Pagi2 lagi karipap kentang (well, I did have my oatmeal)
Around 10 am mee soup
And chocolate cookies.

I'm home. :))

Monday, July 20, 2009

Meeting of Academic Assocs with Minister

What can I say? I was only there for a short while yesterday but came back today to see if there's any new dev.Yesterday there were some 'shoutings' and bickerings over why we are doing this again and again (org dah fedup old issues are being raised again).Omar said he had raised almost similar issues with 9 different Ministers of Education but do we see any change.In the end he concluded that MOHE does not care cos' even teachers, police force, nurses have better deals than academics cos' their ministries fought for them.

And what's this move to sideline GERAK? (by creating a new body as the only official body which MOHE will lisaise with).Pulak tu macam2 conditions who should be in the Majlis.Ada ke pulak begitu?

Anyway, we voted Rosli as Prez (he's also orang kuat GERAK).But I think we should not be too bothered by names/labels.Yang penting whoever voted in must fight for the welfare of academics.I think we ought to work hand in hand with MOHE and MOHE janganlah pulak buat lip service je (sementara tunggu next election).

I'm happy Prof Raduan is Dato Khaled's special officer.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Life is a Rubik's Cube

Nasi Lemak Kopi O studio setting

Last nite this title came out as a title of a poem I wrote in my mind.

Life is a rubik's cube.

But I wanted to connect the whole idea with god-consciousness.You may twist and turn.But there's God everywhere (the answer of your cube's puzzle..the all white, or the all green or the all blue, yellow,red, orange)

All these murders and deaths you read in the n/papers daily...haiya...most disturbing is the murder of a student of an Islamic college.Apa nak jadi??

Anyway..I'm doing OK with my 3rd day detox.Was at (and on) TV9 to alert the public of our International Career Carnival at Mid Valley on July 31 - Aug 2. Nasib I asked the kind TV anchor what sort of questions she would ask me before we went on air (soalan kita prepared, depa tak ambik langsung) Haiyo..soalan tu semua utk career counsellor and I am not one.So I pun kata (off air)yang ini boleh tanya, yang itu tak payah.Hahaha.She's so kind.So dalam seconds I had to think of convincing answers.Nik was there.He said I lo0k pretty kena make-up (wei, tak make up lagi pretty lah) but thought I could have done better.Did I sound or look stupid? No, no..he said.You sounded like a Professor.Hahah.As supportive as ever.Thanks dear!!

But Aldila said she received ph calls and emails and sms-es after that.

That is all that matters. :)
Harap datang beramai2 and alert anak buah suruh pi Mid-Valley.Ada career talks (for SPM school leavers, parents, graduands), resume writing clinic by Jobstreet, career test clinics, walk in interviews.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


when you are denied good meals, you'd start to appreciate all the good lives you had before.

I'm on my Detox prog, folks.No food for 24 hours for the next 5-9 days (I vowed to go for 9 but after today's fast, I think I'd be lucky to make it to the 5th day.Laparlah!!!!)

It's a different kind of hunger.I think it's just the body missing food.Nothing to munch.A kind of emptiness. A kind of void. Rasa nak nangis.But for what? That's how I feel at the moment.I think it's just missing familiarity.Like someone pining for someone close who has just died.

But the 2 puasa ganti I did according to Bob's advice (no high protein at breaking fast) went well.Waaahh...baru terjumpa nikmat puasa after lebih 4 dekad! So folks, this Ramadan, make sure you do it the right way when breaking your fast.Badan rasa ringan, you'll have lots of good energy and basically, will feel fit.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It's all about trust

But where does trust come from? For me, testimonies from close/trusted friends, indicators from my solat/zikir and finally my gut feeling (which I take as valid after I'm convinced of the first two)

I'm talking about my alternative treatment. Azura rang up after she heard from Ruzy.Nak tergelak pun ada...kalau I kena's a domino theory thingy....and my network is pretty wide.Hahaha.

But I have seen Bob 4 times.Everytime I go home, I feel like a new person (dengan izin Allah).Let's hope after detoxification, we'll see more pronounced results (ie a slimmer me).I will tell you about the detoxification later.But you may know this:

1. When we break fast, do not eat high protein.Just berbuka with rice, sayur and fruits.We want our kidneys to rehat.

2.When we drink, drink ikut cara Rasulullah (seteguk, berhenti.Buat ni sampai habis air.Sebab too much will also damage your kidneys) We need a glass of water every hour.

3. Make sure you exercise enough to release trapped chi/trapped energy.Trapped energy ni lah yang jadi penyakit cos' of poor blood circulation.Do a lot of stretching exercises esp for neck (Mary taught me ninja turtle exercise which she discovered while watching ayam makan...kan lehernya kejap panjang, kejap pendek? She did this to help her vertigo cos' pressure kat neck yang cause benda ni).

Naturalists learn from nature and it's so amazing how they find how to cope with pain by observing Nature (dalam Quran pun macam ni apa.Fadhilat from madu lebah, etc)

I can go on but Bob tak kasi cakap banyak2 cos' kalau orang tak faham concept Isogai and total well-being ni..people will be put off.But I can say this: we can have so much money but kalau badan tak sihat...tak guna juga.And I think we need to respect our body.Dia bukan machine.When you are sick, the body is trying to tell you something: stop abusing me! (I have not taken any leave for a long time save the trip to Brunei last year...and I forget I am not getting any younger).

So to all you workaholics out there: love yourself, listen to your body.Give it a break! eat well, sleep better (6-7 hours is enough), drink enough and EXERCISE (isogai ones are simple and not too painful)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

TPM yang berani

I'm beginning to like our TPM.I think he's courageous to answer all criticisms with regard to the new decision on Math and Sci in Bahasa Melayu.And to go against Chet Det! Woohoo...berani.PM dah tak berbunyi (being the polite man he is).

I grew up in Malay medium.No prob what to pick up English Lit later in my life.The thing is our open mindedness not just to master English but other languages.But the way we English is the be all and end all. What we should teach our kids is to understand the advantage of learning more than one language.So yes, they must do well in English, Malay but they must also make an effort to pick up Chinese (or even Tamil or Urdu).For Malays, Arabic tu dah macam wajib dah.

But I kecewa mindset kita.Hanya nak zoom to one language (be it English ke, Malay ke, Chinese ke).The mind must open like parachute la beb.How is it in Europe, they can do 4 languages at one go?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

On my mc day

I saw Doc Bob Koh and his wonderful wife, Mary.Did more therapy for the leg using Isogai technique.My chi came back.Isogai believes that all sorts of ailment are caused by bad bone structure (cos' chi and blood circulation would be clogged).Not cheap but I thought better prevent than be a vegetable later. Watch me in 6 months if Allah izinkan (I had done solat hajat and zikir 5000 kali before I made this big decision cos' it meant parting with 6 years of my savings.I put my trust in Allah.Completely.Kalau tak menjadi, it's part of ikhtiar to feel well physically).
Tengah berpeluh2 buat exercise Isogai, Umaira rang.TV journalist from Gala TV Awani.Hahah, thanks Umaira for thinking of me and MJ! Initially I said No.Orang tua kerepot mana nak masuk Entertainment TV bercakap pasal MJ.Nanti Ustaz kat UIA kecam. Prof Aslam kata don't forget to brush my moonwalk when I text-ed him the funny news.I said tak pernah nak menjadi bila I tried. :))
But Umaira and her friend did a wonderful job (my garden will be featured.Thankyou thankyou!) and makcik pun ceritalah zaman makcik dulu.Then anak makcik pun kena interbiu.Pakcik tak mau sebab dia dah pakai baju melayu (lepas semayang maghrib).Pakcik pun boleh moonwalk zaman dulu2, kot?
What a day.It cheered me up.I'm happy for Umaira too.She's doing fine as broadcast journalist.I wish her well.Kawan dia pun sopan budaknya.Mungkin keluar Sunday ni jam 6 pm or next Sunday.Harap nonton and beritau sedara mara, yah.:)))

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Great time at SEGI

Meeting SEGI undergrads reminded me of my own time with IIUM undergrads (esp the year they organised a national English conference...) At SEGI, the Psychology students were solely responsible for bringing in speakers to speak on Creative and Critical Thinking Skills.When I first received an email invitation, I asked if they had confused me with another Faridah.I told them I was not a Psychologist (although I did take some Psychology courses during my undergrad years...partly sebab lecturer dia hensem, partly also a couple were great scholars).But the rep said they found my name when they googled Critical Thinking.Hmmmph..maybe the few topics I included in my PhD's IOK on De Bono's 6 Thinking Hats plus Jamal Badi's work on Critical Thinking in Islam. But then a Literature person, we do Creative and Critical thinking allllllllllllllll the time so yes..I qualify. :)) I'm glad the government is going to incorporate Lit classes in primary school.We'll breed nice monsters (who'll argue without to have conversations with etc etc)

Anyway, I had a nice time sharing findings of so many research projects on Gen Y.Frances (a CEO of some consultant company) was also a delight.I must invite her to IIUM.She's so funny and inspiring.And tak sombong.Kita sempat berbisik2 about how scary the world is with Gen Ys about to take over! And she said it was appropriate for me to talk on the topic before a Gen Y audience.And yes, we had fun. The other speaker (parallel session) said no one asked any question in her session.Mine also but you know the mak tiri I am...I cucuk sana, cucuk sini...and in the end, the kids came out and some important issues came into discussion.

One feedback I got: the kids said 1 hour tak cukup. nice.But the kids and I dah planned for something bigger (I'll rope in IIUM Psy Society.Biar mereka network and benefit from one another).

Watch this space.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

a lazy weekend

The leg's a bit better.I could jump and run a bit now but it could be the effect of the drugs given.
I'm waiting for a miracle to happen.Please O please.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Only in Malaysia

that patients return crying!

I can't believe in today's high drama. Memang lah I can be your drama queen sometimes.But it takes two to tango, kan?

Went to get treatment at a hospital close to home (I went cos' of distance not so much reputation of the hosp.Dah lama tau it ain't that great but ain't that bad either)
My leg problem ler. The chiro prog is very da slow.I thought: see an orthopedic and get physiotherapy done and this would solve the prob.

I ended up in tears, telling an orthopedic: I'm sorry doctor but I don't think I can continue this.I do not want to be treated by you. I want to see another dr.I find you rude, obnoxious and I don't like the way you speak to me.I don't feel your sympathy.

(I felt like I was in a courtroom more than in a hospital.Dia nak satu je jawapan to his question.Some I could not answer.Tu yang frustrating.Mcm nak jawab peperiksaan Add Math masa SPM! Very gruelling! Dia tanya pasal I je sakit macam ni.I kata people vary ..some jaga diet maybe.He said what has diet got to do with the pain I have.God! Either I was menopausal or he was!)

Dah byk hospital private and consultants I went to..this chap has bad bedside manner.Google and read the news on this lady who donated USD2 million to a hospital (after her death) to teach its student doctors good bedside manner cos' when she was diagnosed with cancer, the doc rang her up and told her that she had cancer and hung up on her!

I will not leave any money to any private hospitals.They have robbed me enough (MRI seribu ringgit lebih! The second Dr, although kinder than the first, tak cakap pun sebelum dia hantar I buat MRI it would cost me that much.I never know it's expensive cos' I biasa buat free! Satu, opis Nik bayar.Kali kedua years later, my nephew yang buat.He's with a uni hospital).You gotta observe your private doctors.If they are arrogant, tell them in the face. Dalam Islam, orang sakit mesti dijaga baik.Bukan nak tunjuk lagak "I'm the expert here, I know better and I have no time to listen." It's OK, I dah bagi feedback kat spital tu.If they want to be relevant, they better have the right attitude (doc ni look down on other medical approaches ie chiropractice.Walhal some new hospitals are hiring chiropractors in their hospitals and in the US/Australia, they are alternative treatments and insurance companies pay them.Dr binggung ni so judgemental and got when I mentioned the word) My take is: if patients choose to believe in Tok Aji ke, kiai ke, bomoh ke, chiroprator ke..that is their choice and it's how each deals with his/her illness (a healing process in itself).If this doc and this hospital is so close-minded mcm ni, tak lama bungkus la tu. You may disagree but you don't have to insult other approaches and be so judgmental.Binggung! I told Dr Rude that my chiro is attached to a reputable hospital then he started to membebel2.Like it's the fault of this hospital pulak to take chiros seriously.

Zul cakap pi je hospital Cina. :))

I took the case to the top management.Mana ada spital yang buat patient dia feel worse after talking to the doc?

For me ini satu salah laku professional yang serious.I hope it does not happen to others.
Maybe medicine schools must incorporate teaching bedside manners to their students as well.