Monday, December 1, 2008

Creating histories ....

I was so busy the past 2 weeks - marking the exam scripts...Come to think of it, I only had a day off before I started with my marking. A few weeks before that I was marking tonnes of assignments (and who says lecturer had an easy life! *sigh*)

The end of semester is always a stressful time for us at the faculty. We were issued datelines after datelines. datelines for submitting grades, the next dateline if you missed the first datelines and so on ...This semester, for the first time since joining the faculty, I had FAILED to submit my grades on time. I created history (yeah!)...they must be joking if they think i can submit on time considering i had 159 students for one class (each have to answer 3 essay questions - out of 5 questions) and another 45 students for my shared courses (which I only have to mark 44 scripts). You do the maths...compared to those who only have 50 students and only teaching one course, i am doing a lot of work...and even have to stay up late in order to catch the datelines. Not to mentioned losing my weekends, missing lunches and missing quality time with Airell. The most irritating thing is that we (the slow markers!) were reminded time and time again ...and that really irritates me!

Anyway, I am done now. Yesterday (Sunday) I was at the office keying in my marks. I found out that 22% of the students failed my paper. And this is again, a new record for me! And not only that, my shared course with Lina also showed a very high failure rate - nearly half of the students failed that paper. 44.5% is a very high numbers (and another new record!) Looks like I might be running for the "killer lecturer" award this semester ...*sigh sigh sigh*

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lessons I never learnt!

Everytime I went out with Lina, we always encountered something or someone really funny along the way. We would end up laughing or making fun of the situation - and when we started, we just couldn't stop ourself....the jokes would go on and on and on ...each one would come up with outrageous comments! And, without fail, we would be "punished" for our actions ...

Case #1: Lina, Wan and I were on the way to Pending (or was it somewhere else?) to get Bemen's results. ON the way, we saw a guy riding a motocycle - he looked funny - the way he rode the motocycle made him looked unbalanced (a bit loopsided!). Hence, a lot of comments were made, lots of laughters followed ...and the result was we missed the turning to our destination...hey, fair, we had to drive up to make a u-turn but little did we realised that we had a very long drive to get to the right turning. Moral of the story: don't make fun of people!

Case #2: Lina and I were on the way to Pizza Hut. On the way, we saw a collegue in front of us. Someone (i am not saying names here!) made a comment and, again, we burst into laughters and other stupid (but hillarious) comments followed. The result was, I missed the turning at the roundabout and ended up following our colleague who, by the way, was going at a completely different direction to ours! We ended up being late for lunch! Moral of the story: same as above!

Case #3: We sort of learnt these lessons (well, sort of!). On the way to a meeting earlier today, we saw a number of PALAPES students jogging round campus. Lina saw this guy (in a yellow shirt) who looked really worn out. She was tempted to say something but managed to refrain from doing so...i was about to comment on something as well but thought better of it's so happen that we both refrain from uttering a single comment coz we know we had to go to an important meeting and not wanting to jeopardize anything. We don't want to be late. Anyhow, we got a text from our donkey master to say that he left his pen drive at home - and our slide presentation was in there. Hence, Lina & I have to make a detour to his home while he try to delay the meeting, saying we are stuck in traffic! The result was: we were late for the meeting. Moral of the story: even though we didn't make nasty comments out loud, we are still being punished - to a certain extent!

But thank God the meeting went well - and we didn't have to "rescue" our boss!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mini break in KK

I recently went to KK on business, but because my boss is very understanding we combined the business trip with a bit of R&R. Hence, we went there earlier with the intention of having a few days to ourselves. White water rafting and snokerling were high on the agenda, but unforseen events curtailed the plans.

Despite the slight hiccups (i.e. a detour to the A&E Dept of Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Sunday morning), i had a great time. The business meeting and field trips were a success. I had my doubts regarding some aspects of the trip, namely our trip to Pulau Gaya - which is rather notorious - but it was all in our mind. It was an eye opening trip - we get to see the schools in Pulau Gaya and its nearest surrounding settlement. We didn't venture out to the other settlement as our so-called tour guide believe that they cannot guarantee our safety if we go unaccompanied into those settlement. Scary huh?

Apart from that, most of my free time were spent in the pool. It was a pure bliss! Woke up, and heading straight to the pool....and after finishing whatever i was doing in the afternoon - be it our meeting or shopping trips - i always ended up in the pool till 7 or 8 in the evening. I really wish i didn't have to go home. and another highlight of the trip is our lunch at Krisha's ... a much awaited trip coz Krisha was closed when we went there the first time. It was worth the wait, and worth the trip ...hehehe and definitely will be among the top 3 in our priority list for the next trip.

It was a great mini break for me...and the good thing is that we (the boss, lina and i) will have to go to KK again very soon. Yipee .....and i bet this time, we will make time for a bit of snokerling!

This is where I spent most of my free time! Nice pool - and very quiet and peaceful ...

Sunset: View from the poolside

Pulau Gaya at the background. Only a boatride from KK jetty

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Good friends are hard to find ...

I was so down yesterday. And my friends, near and far, without fail, were there for me. As I know they would. They consoled me, they encouraged me, they were there for me...and most important of all, they cheered me up. Ita, especially, with her brand of advice which were ladden with humour - were very effective in making me laugh (ketawa dalam tangisan is more appropriate to describe it!). Liz and Fend with their advice, which were laced with swear-word (hehehehe), scarcsm (not directed to me, of course) were very comforting indeed. My dear moi was also there for me, well i sort of just bursting into her room with my box of tissue, one look at me and she knew i wasn't ok. And Wan also called to ask if I am ok.....

I really appreciate your friendship, and your support....good friends are hard to find, and I am glad I have friends like you!

Monday, September 15, 2008

poisonous darts ...

I thought things are ok now. I thought it is all sorted, pending my "appointment" after Raya, of course. I thought I am free. And I thought, I got rid of the scumbag and all those heartaches, the misery, the uncertainties, and most of all the unpleasantness that often comes with IT. Today, a bombshell was dropped, poisonous darts that zeroed on my life...i was very contend, happy with my the way my life is turning, but that darts of poisons had turned my world upside down once again. The uncertainties were brought up (yet again) and with it comes the unpleasantness that left a really sour taste in my mouth. And without fails, it bring along tears, swearing, anger and a feeling of being utterly useless coz I can't control the situation.

Then I would start to question myself...have i been that bad that all these things are always coming back to bite me, am i that bad a person? I hope I am strong to overcome this. My friends seem to think that I am. Perhaps they are right, I am not so sure any more. I hope this is sorted without involving me - coz the implication is to great for me to bear. Am making a mental note to myself as I am typing this - NEVER EVER BE A FOOL AGAIN..DO NOT BE TOO TRUSTING!

Friday, September 12, 2008

If money is no object ...

I got my credit card statement yesterday and I was thinking when am i going to clear all those debt. I really want to clear it all off (if possible!) before my Bandung trip. So, that gives me roughly 3 months to do so - a virtually impossible mission I would say!

And it got me thinking - if money is no object...what would I do with my "newly acquired" purchasing power. If I am making a list, i reckon it would be endless! But would this unlimited flow of cash make me happy or happier than I am now? I would love to be happy, and not worry about finances. Who wouldn't?

There were times in my life, when money were so tight, that I really have to count coins just to makes ends meet. I even work two jobs! There were months when I didn't receive any salary coz it was yet to be approved (I was working part-time then). but the rent, the car loan, the cost of fuel still have to be paid. I had to resort to borrowing money from my pensioner dad (imagine how sad and small this makes me feel!) and a dear friend (whom I just known less than a year then! Thanks Moi...). Those were the lean time and thank God I got through it all ...

Back to the rhetoric question: what would I do if I have unlimited money? First of all, I would say I clear all my debts - mortgage, car loan, study loan etc. I'll definitely pay my brother and sister's loans as well...and then I'll fly my friends and assorted handbags for a trip round the worlds - first class accommodation all the way! On second thought, I'll buy my own plane so that we have more space and privacy:-))

And Moi Lina, Iris, Moi Next Door, amber ann and ian - we'll go anywhere in the world except Alaska ok...I am sure by then, I'll have enough money to bribe somebody to send you know who to Alaska! And we'll leave her there for good :-)

If only these were true! But then again, after what I saw during my site visit yesterday - I am grateful for what I have. Sometimes we just need to be reminded how lucky we know that you have family and friends who are there for you - through thick and thin- are comforting. so, my dear friends, thank you for being there for me...and yes, if I have unlimited cash, I would definitely shower you guys with gifts and take you with me for holidays anywhere you want...but remember, this is only an angan2 mat jenin!

Monday, September 8, 2008

direct translations + idiotic answers = migrain

I was marking my students' mid-term exam over the weekend. Needless to say, i end up with migrain -from trying to dechiper what they were trying to express - and to read really terrible handwritings. But when push comes to shove, I don't mind bad handwriting. Trying to understand what they are writing about is harder - especially when their command of the language is not up to the standard. Personally, I think the University is already quite lenient that they are allowed to write their answers either in BM or English. What really made me cranky is that they can't even write in ONE language properly...i remembered a time when we were not given any choice in this matter when it comes to answering exam questions. And one would try the hardest to improve on that particular language!

This is, in my opinion, the problem of today's student population - they are always mixing up their languages, and consequently, fall under the trap of "direct translation". I hated this type of thing..And another common occurrence in those exam scripts are the use of short-form. This is the influence of technological advancement and globalization. (Who says technology always bring out the best in every situation???? helloooooooo have you tried to read student's essay filled with short forms, direct translation and mixed languages????) They texted so much that when it comes to exams, they did the same (perhaps not deliberately or not realizing that they are doing so)!

I only finished marking a set of 44 papers over the weekend...and tonight I am going to start on my other set. This one has 156 students.....i can feel the migrain coming already!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sleepless nights: Dejavu all over again...

Life is funny, life is unpredictable, and life is not fair...the most common things people say about life. One of my ex-lecturer, whom I admired very much, always say "Who says life is fair?" when we complained about our assignment loads ..emm being a planning student is synonym with overworked with assignments, burning midnight oils, not enough sleep - just to name a few! I remembered those days very well - we were in our studio from 8 am till 8.00 am the following morning - just to finish whatever projects we were doing at that time. But, don't get me wrong - it was kind of fun as well coz were we surrounded by friends who were also in the same boat! I really hate my drawing board, my Rotring set, my T-square when I was so overwhelmed and stressed- which was more often than not...but at the end of the day, we graduated (June 1996)...yipeee...

and i looked back at all those experiences and stress and pressures to succeed with a bit of nostalgia and fondness. It has made me strong...and now I kind of doing the same thing again, staying up late - to prepare for lectures, to mark assignments and exam scripts. I was frequently reminded how hard life is for a student - struggling to pass an exam, doing assignment last minutes (am guilty of this so many times over the years!), having a blank moment during exams...and i am thankful that during my college days, I did ok and also had the time to enjoy myself! That, I think is the most precious experience one can have...

Monday, August 25, 2008

My favourite guy...

Meet Al, the favourite guy in my life right now. Isn't he sweet? He is my nephew, who just turned 1 last July. I am bias (me think!) but he is just so adorable...

I have great plans for him, hahahaha....the new CEO for SALCRA in the making (if I have my way!). I know his dad does not like the fact that I always give in to Al's demand. The case in point, Al was with me last weekend and for a little boy, he is very bright. He knew I am a sucker for sweet smile and always demanded me to carry him around. Which I did! and this really annoyed my brother ...hehehehe sorry! I tend to give in to his every whim ... i know I shouldn't be I cannot help it ....

Here's more photos of Al

This was taken last May, when he was admitted for mild frail looking isn't he?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Samarinda - the photos (finally!)

One the the shopping malls in Samarinda, located at the "better" part of the town. Sadly, I only went here on my last day there!

Street cleaners working at 3.00am at Soekarno Hatta Airport (Domestic Terminal) - never seen anything like this anywhere else!

I found out that Samarinda (or KalTim to be exact) is very much influenced by Dayak design/motifs - very much similar to the Iban of Borneo...cross-border communities and inter-ethnic relations sprung to my mind!

The view from my hotel room!

Nasi ayam penyek ... at Samarinda Central Mall

On the way home - at Bandara Sepinggan, Balikpapan

Monday, August 11, 2008

Stuck in a lift in Samarinda!

I was in Samarinda last June - attending a conference. It was a great (although tiring) trip. It was my very first trip to Kalimantan, despite the fact that I live in Borneo! An eye opening trip in many ways for me...

The journey itself was long and at times seemed like forever. Our flight took off from Kuching just after midnight and arrived in Jakarta at 2.00am. We had to spent the night at the airport coz our connecting flight to Balikpapan was at 6.00am...and from Balikpapan we had to take a cab to Samarinda - a 3 hour ride which costed us Rp250,000. The ride itself was scary - I am shocked at the way they drive -ignoring traffic lights, honking hons everywhere, and people crossing the roads without looking left or right...

The Conference itself was fun! Trying to catch what the presenters were saying was quite hard - they presented in Bahasa Indonesia...and some of the terms were really unknown to me...for example, i was reading a paper on "perencanaan wisata" and it turned out to be a paper on "tourism planning"! Meeting people and networking one does in any conference kept me busy. But most of my free time were spent in the shopping complexes!

But the most memorable event for me was the fact that I was stuck in a lift during a blackout! I was in the lift for 15 minutes before they rescued me! But i have to say that the hotel staff was very nice and calm during the whole thing ...i was the one who nearly went berserk! but then again, so would you if you were in my place!!!

Will upload some of my photos in Samarinda in this blog later!

Thank God the Conference is over!

I was at a conference last week, and it was a really hectic week. As part of the Organising Committee we were constantly reminded to always smile and not answer a question with "Sorry, I don't know..." Throughout the conference, I had my "plastic" smile ready and (hopefully) with a friendly look ...i felt that i qualified to work as air stewardess after that! Good morning sir, madam, prof, doc ....can i help you? yea...i'll show you to your seat ...or, i'll be back in a moment and get the booklet for you, sir you cannot present your paper today because your were supposed to present yours yesterday ...hahahaha ...a bit hard to maintain a perfect (albeit fake!) smile when you are facing funny and silly requests most of the times. Yeah, it is an international conference and the participants also have different requests - although most of them are really sweet and endearing, but there are a whole lot who are just plain demanding, bossy and with an attitude to match! Granted that they are the leaders in their own professions, but still, a little bit of politeness can go a long way!

I also had the chance to catch up with old friends at the Conference - Asmah flew all the way from Melbourne to present her paper, and Wan the jejaka few from KL for the same purpose. Sadly, the new mummy couldn't make it - we miss her!!! Plus there were other people whom I have met in previous conference in Samarinda as well as previous colleagues. All in all, it was a great conference - my paper was presented on Wed 6th August - with lively discussion afterwards, initiated by the Dean himself! I was so nervous before that but thank god, things went on smoothly ...though, on hindsight, I should be more prepared!

Monday, August 4, 2008

a week of upsets and misery!

I had a tough week last week. Things didn't go to plan last week. I am a trained planner, and am well known for my organizational and planning thing. My week was screwed because a person whom I hope to make me a "free person" decided to use his 5-min earlier than anyone else's watch ...and resulting in me being upset...very upset because I already plan my celebratory dinner hahaha, that will teach me never to count my eggs before it hatch!

I am cranky the whole week, and my weekend was not at all nice. But one thing for sure, despite my crankiness, life goes on. I still have to attend a committee meeting on Sunday...all work, work and more work. Work as a panacea for all my misery?emmmm, maybe, perhaps...and today, again we have to attend a meeting, and the much awaited conference will start tomorrow. So, it'll be a busy week for me! I am presenting my paper on Wed afternoon, and as of now, I am yet to prepare for my presentation!!! Dont know why, but i am taking a very laid-back attitude this time. Normally I would be preparing like mad by now...maybe coz Moi Lina is not here to push me???

I hope i wont be too tired tomorrow......we are supposed to be at the hotel by 7 am ...and that is very early by my standard!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Searching for rainbow...

I was scratching my head thinking of a title for my personal blog. I wanted it to reflect my life, my personality - hence, my past, my present and my future. I wouldn't be where I am today without my past, and what i do today will definitely affect my future...

and the phrase "searching for rainbow" comes to mind...we are always looking for something in life. ...Searching for that one person for us, searching for the most suitable job for ourselves, searching for happiness, searching for something for the perfect life...i felt that this is an apt title for my blog coz I am in that stage of my life, where things have stated to unravel, and am searching for something - and to be honest, right now, I don't know what I am searching for ....and it could be a very long journey..and this blog will be where I can share my hopes, my dreams, my striving for what I am looking for...

Does that make sense? I hope it does ....