Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Prayer for the sick...grateful in strengthening friendship

Our nephew who was hospitalized because of an accident..ever since wnd of March this year..has at last been released to get back to home..sweet home..All Praises be to God..

We pray that he may fully recover in due time..Also that God may bestow upon his parents..heaps and tons of patience in enduring these trying times..Aamiin..

Since we have arrived at this place..not been there for quite a long while..I thought that maybe we should divert a little further towards the coast to spend some time with afriend of mine since yesteryears...when we were in early secondary school..Forms 1 till Form 3 (1971-1973).been such a long time since we.. last met.

So...with my other half at the wheels..we pushed through..nearly missing her

abode...since to get there..the car needs to be manouvred through a small lane just enough for just a car to pass through...

My friend and her husband..both retiree teachers are having a whale of a time..enjoying their lifes to the full..their senic home..beside the Cove..you could just stretch and put your feet in the sea water splashing and rolling beneath the platform of her home..

Picturesque views...from morning till night..changing colours of the horizon..the sound of waves and the waters breaking...very therapeutic...truly..one cannot ask for more...

Fishermen bringing in their catch..fresh from the sea...for dinner, our gracious friends served us simple fried rice, grilled fish, steamed , coccles, and loads of other sea food which they  obtained from the fisherman who has done his catch and was on his way home..Simply marvellous and what a luxury!!

We intend to drop by some time in the near future..this time we will not resist our friends' insistence for us to spend a night at their amazing abode... 

May God bestow and shower upon you His blessings...Thank you so much..my dear good ole friend and your spouse..Aamiin..till we neet again...God Willing..

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Last Thesis

This will be the last Ph.D thesis that I will be marking as an Examiner...will be calling it a day after 34 years with the department, with this university... 

Am very glad. Indeed! Time for me to make way...time for the younger ones to take over...time for me to enjoy my golden years...with my other half who has already retired two years ago..time for us to do the things we did not get to do while busy raising our children..attending to the affairs of work..time too to spend with our grandchildren..watch them grow up while we still can..

Good theses are hard to come by. Throughout my years as an academic and scrutinizing these thick compositions, those that are a pleasure to read..are only a handful.

Most are difficult to comprehend. Mostly because of grammatical mistakes, organizational aspects, objectives not clearly defined, gaps in knowledge were not clearly identified, methodologies unjustifiable and not clearly explained, repetitive sentences and facts, textbook materials... and numerous other annoying weaknesses.

Part and parcel of being a good supervisor for one's own postgraduate student is to ensure that, during the writing process of the thesis, his or her students are properly guided throughout the duration and the thesis then thoroughly checked.

A good supervisor takes pride in having his or her students' thesis readable and projecting a good impression to the examiner (be it the internal or external examiner). If the examiner is happy, there are higher chances that the students' viva session would be a smooth one...and not a heartache...adding more stress to the anxiety faced during the defending session.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

To be remembered...

A few years ago, A, a young colleague of mine who has just completed his Ph.D, from my old place, (Sheffield, United Kingdom) came up to me and said, “Somebody sends his regards,” smilingly he added, “he still remembers you, you know?”

I was flabbergasted and so I asked, “Who?”

“B, my supervisor while I was doing my Ph.D,” his smile getting wider, “he is a well known consultant to well-known companies now, back there.”

“Okay, thank you!” said I, “send him my regards in return, the next time, you get in touch with him, all right?”

“Fine!” said A, walking down to his office which is right down the corridor.

A few seconds later, my mind which was in the playback mode, suddenly stopped short. Of course! I remembered B, a young man back during the days when the campus was at the present site of UTP. Who wouldn’t?

I taught a common course, where all students from the different engineering schools would have to take. B was from another school. Not from Electrical & Electronic Engineering. That fateful day when he saw me, his face was full of distraught. I could tell that he was not happy.

“I would like to take up Electrical & Electronic Engineering. But I was offered another course,” B said.

I sat in silence, listening for more. To provide him a chance to pour out all his feelings. After he fell silent, I suggested that he meet up with the Dean of our school. A few days later, B was back, his face gloomier than ever.

“Any luck?” I said, to trigger words from his mouth.

He gave a wry smile, shook his head, and dropped his face to the floor.

“Okay...You reaaaalllyy, reaaalllly want to do E & E, right?”

“Yeah!” B said, his mouth curved downwards.

“Then, by all means, try going somewhere else.”

His eyes opened wide and so I sprinkled some spice, “Why not?”

A few months later, B came to bid goodbye. I was so glad to hear that he could get to do what he wanted so much to do...that was the last that I heard of him...the year...in the early 1990’s.

I am really grateful that B still remembers me, after all these years. I am glad too that he has achieved his dreams..and to be really successful in his field. And not only that..most of all, to be able to produce more electrical and electronic engineers himself..up to postgraduate level..

Truly...to be remembered...after such a long spell...is the greatest gift in life...Praises be to God...

Monday, December 22, 2014

Out In the Wild

It has been a long time since I have been to a forest...Well! Nearly like one...Taman Negeri Bukit Panchor, Seberang Perai Selatan, Penang... SignALS (Signs of Allah From Science) Programme..half day event.

A highway of huge ants...making their way across the grounds...a giant millipede which curled up as my feet nearly stepped on it, while getting the necessary stuffs from the boot of my car.

The children were so happy. Cute faces, laughing and having a good time...learning about Science. Pondering and reflecting about nature and Greatness of Allah, The Creator..Alhamdulillah...

Concepts of Bernouli’s principle (blowing balloons using some chemical reaction stuff).. Balloons which will not explode even when placed atop a lighted candle, and balloons which act like magnets..recycling from nature craftwork...it was really great!

The half day ended with bangs... balloons exploding here and there...by happy children.

While on our way home, we got the biggest bang. Was driving the car when something suddenly moved on the windscreen. Lo and behold! A snake! (Must have slithered down the branches of trees where I  parked the car in the shades.)

Good thing I did not jam on my brakes. All three of us just screamed our heads off. Seeing a group of Indian men waiting for a wedding feast at a small village, I pulled the car to a stop and sped across the road, leaving my two friends still screaming with fright. I must have sounded very scared because, about 20 or so of them came running to help. A swift blow with a stick and the snake was flung off a nearby ditch.

“Good thing you did not land this car with you in it, in that ditch!” one of the merry men roared with laughter.

We waved goodbye to them frantically..ever so grateful for their concern and kindness...

(No photo was taken..how could we? Our hands were trembling too much!)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Thank you, Allah…

It rained last night…yes! Alhamdulillah…

Thank you, Allah...

For an hour or so, it went. Heavy and strong…..

My other half and I were so happy, we went out, to have a feel of the heavenly drops on our heads, even though the clock showed that it was a quarter to midnight…our neighbours might have thought we have gone crazy…we did not care…

It was such a wonderful sight! Our droopy plants because of the long duration of heat spell, suddenly became alive and swayed in the winds, amid the pitter patter, as though they were enjoying themselves…singing and dancing, full of praises to the Bringer of Life…

This morning, we had a garden breakfast…taking in breaths of fresh air (which days before were affected by the haze).

Last week, we tried or hands on playing badminton (not because someone said something about the game, which became an issue, okay? :-) ) but because we just wanted to loosen our hinges and get our sweats out. But then, only for a few minutes. The sweltering heat pushed us back indoors. But at least we still had the opportunity to enjoy breakfast in the garden.

We moved into this new abode of ours just a little over a year ago. 

Since then, it has given us countless moments of pleasure and serenity…

Talking about the recent bouts in Dengue Fever…This morning, I made some cuttings of the tiny blue flowery fragrant leaved plants which I bought from a flower garden at Sungai Buloh quite some time ago. The lady who sold it said the plant is from China and loves the sun. “It is a natural mosquito repellent, you know?”  

I think I believe her because there are hardly any mosquitoes around the garden here. The cuttings were for my colleagues and friends…easy to propagate. Just place the cuttings in soil and watch the leaves unfold…Insha Allah…they add a vibrant colour to your garden too!

Thank you Allah, once again…for everything…

Saturday, February 22, 2014

............................Hello! I am back!

Salams to all!

 It has been such a long time…really!

Actually, I went into hibernation…to pen a new book then…to transform a Ph.D thesis of a student of mine whom I co-supervised, into a book that a man on the street would be able to digest.

The manuscript was completed in about 4 months. However, all the ding-dongs took a whole lot longer…and I was on the verge of despair…

Then, I vowed that I would not update my blog until I get the book published.

It has been 3 years now…the book is nearly ready to be published…all the red tapes. Plus the difficulty in identifying a capable illustrator. 

Then, there was good news. An excellent illustrator was found! My co-author and I were absolutely thrilled and dumbstruck by the results. We decided that the illustrator deserves some portion of the royalty when the book is out. We were very excited too…because we are nearly there…the dream to see the book on shelves of bookshops. However, at the last minute, after proof reading and looking at the wonderful drawings, some adjustments need to be made…and we still have to wait…too bad! Sad…

So, while playing the waiting game…and seeing an old blogger of mine has suddenly come ‘back alive’ (she has been ‘dead’ for longer then I did (4 years)), I decided to be like her too! To be alive and kickin’….

So, I am sharing this little girl’s blog (my first grandchild Nuha Insyirah Mohd Khalil Izwan, her mum Nusaybah Mohamad Sofian – The Little Storyteller  )…Enjoy!

PS. Not bad for a little nine year old, eh? 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Will be missing them very much...

I will always treasure this little face. Cheeky smile, radiant eyes, beautiful dimples…

His name is ARS. His father – a Ph.D student whom I co-supervise. His father S, has just passed his viva with flying colours, Alhamdulillah…

What is so special about ARS, his father, his mother and 2 other siblings?

As a start, they are from Gaza, Palestine. Let me share the story. The beautiful moments, the opportunity that Allah gave my husband and I, to be able to get to know them, to interact with them, to share meals with…and many more…

And then, it is their hospitality, humbleness, steadfastness and piousness. I have been to their abode a couple of times. Each time, Samy’s sweet wife R, would prepare sumptuous food. So delicious that I have asked recipes from her. Delicious spreads on the table and healthy food too! No oil, no frying. Just baked, boiled or prepared fresh…

We were there for iftar during Ramadhan last year. I felt very humbled, the fact that S and R are able to maintain their wudhu’ (ablution for prayers) for hours on end. While my husband and I had to wash and take our wudhu’ for prayers, S and R were ready with the prayer mats all laid down. Deep down, I felt a little ashamed… While ARS and his elder brother M would follow behind S and my husband who led the prayers, R would be holding little baby N on her waist while we did our prayers together. N sort of understood that her mum was doing the solat, while ruku’ and sujud, clasping awkwardly on to her mum, quietly…no complaints…unlike other babies we normally see…crying their hearts out while mum is praying.

I did ask S how he would be able to cope when he gets back home. Here, all the facilities are well provided for. S just shrugs his shoulders and would say, “We will get by. We are used to it. The children will be trained in time. There, water supply is only a few hours per day. Electricity too, only 1 hour a day. But, never mind, no worries, we will be able to cope, Insha Allah.” I just cannot imagine. I realize that we are really spoilt and taking things for granted here in Malaysia.

S’s presence here at the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, USM Engineering Campus, has brought me much joy. After all, it is very seldom that you get to receive from students whom we supervise, right after any consultation sessions, messages such as “May Allah bless you, my kind Dr.,” or “Thank you very much for your doa. May Allah bless you and your family.” What more coming from God fearing and very highly motivated Palestinians. Whenever, I do receive such messages from S, I would respond with frantic “Amin, Amin”…May Allah grant all the good wishes he has sent…

S has finally wrapped up his thesis correction a few days ago. It was refreshing to note that the internal and external examiner’s comments were very good – “Reading the thesis was a pleasure, well written, no grammar mistakes, clearly explained.” Most Middle Eastern students’ theses are a headache. Mainly because of their poor background in English and another fact – most are quite stubborn to accept advice and criticisms. Especially when the supervisor is a woman lecturer. But not S, who was a fast learner and very receptive to comments.

When S was asked by the Viva Chairman right after his viva, “What will you be doing after this? Getting a job here in Malaysia?”

S answered with a beaming smile, “I will be going back. My country needs me.”

Straight answer and very succinct. He knows and is aware. His sense of purpose of coming here. And never forgetting his roots.

And so, it is with great pleasure and I share the happiness of his success. However, having to come to terms with the fact that I have to let S and his family go, a little sadness creeps in my heart. Will our family get to see each other again?

One thing is for sure….I will miss the company of this family, S’s humble inquiries, questions and his thirst for knowledge, R’s wonderful cooking and…ARS’s beautiful, sparkling eyes and glowing smile…

May Allah bless the whole family and protect them when they get back home to Palestine and its people too. Grant them their long awaited freedom..Amin Ya Rabbul Alamin…