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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

When The Tutor Has Gone 'Wild'

Lovely to see you again. Thanks a lot for stopping by. Ha! Still remember my failed teaching-related theory which I wrote it out the other day? Hope you still do. Atau dah nyanyuk? KWANG3x…

Let’s go straight to the point, shall we? This evening for a million times, I got assigned to take over two tutorial classes at CT Tutorial Center. This time around, I got Year Six students for both slots. In other words, they’re this year’s UPSR (The Primary School Assessment) candidates. And my duty this evening was to teach them the English Language – the second language. Wanna hear how ‘HORRIBLE’ everything went? Aha.

The manager, Mr Kamarul dropped me a line a little bit late in the afternoon, I mean, not as he most typically does. The thing is I wasn’t available when he called (Frankly I was in the bathroom taking my shower). Whoops. Shouldn’t have told you, anyway. I kept him in touch back just after I checked out the missed call in my cell phone. This tutoring thing really matters to me at this second! There’s where I can earn some money. My part-time job (But seems more like ‘community service’ for the sake of my future Malay generation).

Like I said before, I’m not a kind of low-class tutor who’s forever counting on the centre to provide all my teaching learning resources. Excuse me? Am I ever so unintelligent? I had better have my own teaching resources, though. 5 P.M. appeared a bit too late for the preparation to me – but nevertheless, staying focused on my work managed to get my materials all perfect on time! Plus I hate being a late comer either.  Looks like a loser or something, you know.

Once bitten twice shy – and sure enough, I’m not repeating the same mistake. Shall never let the history repeat itself, ever! I’ve learnt the hard way enough. The failed theory, remember? This time around, I showed up at the centre with a sort of serious, firm tutor. With a three-page English worksheet (My actual preparation which I’ve been talking about), I walked into the first Year 6 class in silence. However, I seemed rather nervous, dunno why. Maybe I quite assured, possibly because of my new theory. Yes, this theory could probably bail me out and then redeem all of my past mistakes. I supposed.

Mr Writer Wannabe’s new teaching theory:
 Motivation + firmness = success

I thoughtlessly passed the worksheets to all students. Not doing it all myself, I asked the students to lend me a hand instead. Not trying to be lazy but I wanna save more golden time – and act (allegedly) much more professionally. Very unexpectedly, a few male students were starting to make monkey noise in class. Guess what? Directly ‘a lion roared’ and yelled loudly before them, “You wanna talk? You wanna talk? Go stand up in the front and talk!” Then, all kept quiet dramatically. At the moment, they’d have known who I am! The best actor in the world. ROFL.

I spoke in English, pretty appropriate with the subject being taught – the English Language. The students’ first task was answer the first four Malay questions in 10 minutes’ time. Sounds slightly weird when, as a matter of fact, I wasn’t even teaching Bahasa Melayu. Ya, I realised what I was up to. The truth is the first page was more like a motivational session. My very intention was to enable them to put their thinking cap on and reflect by themselves who the hell they were. Only ten minutes got allocated for this ‘special’ session.

Shortly, the discussion got started. One student got pointed to give an honest answer. I had already informed them there’s no correct/incorrect answers. All I cared was a sense of honesty. That’s it. First of all, many of them responded ‘dishonestly’. As they kept giving all silly, unwanted answers. Fine! I then started nagging at them like a mother. Like hell! Well, it was a mere motivational session, like I previously explained. Nagging is very essential indeed, isn’t it? A credit was only given to any expected responses. I mean, all HONEST responses. Honesty is the best policy, right? I was forcing them to be thinking of what’s the main factor causing them to respond all this crap:

“English is a hard language because I can hardly understand it.”
“English is boring too.”
“I’m lacking of English vocabulary.”

Of all the answers I heard, what amazed me a lot when I heard this student’s response:

“I’m a Malay. I needn’t learn English, need I?” (This was when I said, “Wow!” – the most honest answer ever! Very good.)

Shortly afterwards, I reached a conclusion. I got them awake, shamefaced and humiliated but all in a positive way. “Don’t tell me a white lie, you little kids. I’m not as dumb as you might be thinking! How come you very much like pointing a finger on others for you own bloody fault?! Wake up kids! You know what? You’re such an asshole! – this last one only I forgot to mention in class. I shouldn’t have to, should I?  The motivational session eventually ended up with one ugly confession. The ugly truth was:

PS: I got them repeat this kind of confession many times! HEH HEH HEH

OK. NICE! So nice! Think I just did it! As soon as this motivational session thing ended, I assigned them to give their best shot answering the following seven-question-idiom-based questions on the next page. The students were actually ‘dealing’ with ‘keep an eye’, ‘get into hot water’, ‘lend a hand’, ‘give a shot’, ‘pull my leg’, ‘build castles in the air’ and ‘keep in touch’ idioms. Yet, I didn’t let them spend a plenty of time for this session ONLY?! Their honesty was my priority. So one question I posed straightaway. “To be perfectly honest, can you exactly get all the questions answered?” Can’t believe my ears with their one-voice response – “Nope!”

Strictly speaking, this is so cool! I whispered to myself in silence. My preceding motivational session really was a huge success! I did it at last! Yeah I did it! My theory is so right after all. Alhamdullilah. Oh my God. I’m completely brainy, am I not? Incredible! I grinned alone. Happiness.

Let’s not to get them into hot water any longer, okay?  All of us began talking over each of the idiom-based questions in the worksheet. Gradually. Slow and steady wins the race, get it? What made me feel somewhat uncomfortable when these students pretty much refused to think out of the box! All their trial answers didn’t even make sense at all! Absurd, ridiculous, illogical, bullshit, you know! Mercifully, I wasn’t an idiot.  Never curse before them or else they all would label me a bad tutor. Lucky devil!  

After this idiom thing, we moved to the last-but-not-least part consisting of eight proverb-based questions overall. Proverbs such as ‘let bygones be bygones’, ‘do as you would be done by’, ‘opportunity seldom knocks twice’, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’, ‘many hands make light work’, ‘it’s no use crying over split milk’ and ‘time is money’ were all counted. By the time the class was over, they’d have gained all these proverbs as well as idioms. Or otherwise they’re such a loser!

My students at SMK Sungai Pusu, KM 11 Jalan Gombak, 53100 Kuala Lumpur

Every so often, I include my personal experience-based stories in teaching. This is all crucial so they won’t get fed up but concentrate more instead. Besides, I too make lots and lots of jokes so their boredom will automatically disappear. Since I most frequently communicate too much before students, I think I’m just ‘registering’ myself into a kind of chatterbox club. Ah, no way! Teaching does make you talk a lot more. And I so adore this world I’m living in! Happily ever after like the story of ‘Cinderella’. And I could be the Mr Cinderella, anyway. Why not? HAR HAR HAR....

Wishing for a better tomorrow! =)

The end.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Failed Teaching-related Theory Of Mine

Assalamu`alaikum w.b.t. (Peace be upon you)

Hi, there! Got this sort of idea. Urm…lemme rethink of what I’ve been up to all day long. Should sound as fun as I’m wishing. Where to begin, huh? Morning. Yup definitely! Hang on. What time did I wake up this morning? Oh boy! Was it still called morning, anyway? Never mind. Didn’t count.  

Of what I can recall, upon getting up of bed, I took ‘breakfast’ in the kitchen at _________ (censored). Took my shower. Subsequently performed Zuhr prayer. Good Muslim. The next activity I did was reading. Ya, I’ve been reading quite a number of chapters already. It’s a Sophie Kinsella novel entitled ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’. Really, I’ve had so much fun reading it up lately. Sophie Kinsella’s an international best-selling author, no big deal!

This best-selling novel was written by a British author, Sophie Kinsella

Meantime, I’d been pretty much anxious thinking of what topic I should be teaching this evening at CT Tutorial Centre. Well…my part-time job. And this time around, my undertaking was to take over a Science class that I get used to ever since I’ve been employed (by the centre).

Take it easy, sweetie. Science is currently taught back in our mother tongue, Bahasa. Still, I feel slightly more comfortable to speak both languages interchangeably in my class. At least, my pupils needn’t have to miss my so-called English-speaking voice a lot. Oh really??? Or a kind of lame excuse of mine, no?

I was a bit late, showing up 5 minutes after 8 P.M. Unforgiveable! I knew I was supposed to get there in time. As I usually was. I need the time to select the topic I’m gonna teach unless I’ve already gotten my own teaching learning resources, then it should be fine. Strictly speaking, that has never occurred in a Science class, ever except for English classes, as yet. I just did a quick glimpse, choosing the first topic of all. Pretty sure I could handle it well. I whereupon headed to Year 4 class on the first floor. (Smiling with enthusiasm. Go Mr K. You sure can do it!)

I ‘shooed’ some kids a.k.a my Year 4 pupils to enter the class immediately. These kids are constantly playing outside the class. And, that tells us something. Their main motive of turning this evening’s class up is to play with their buddies as though there’s no more tomorrow. “Come in, please! No fooling around.” I had them come into the class. The door got shut shortly.

Giving ‘salam’ and asking them after is what I normally do. Began my lesson that evening as usual. The difference was I brought with me my new teaching-related theory in the hope that it would work out pretty well. So, the theory is as follows:

“Pupils would rather study with their teacher sitting much closer to them. Meanwhile, they must be able to laugh out loud together. Because fun is what they’re after in learning. And always keep in mind, they’re just kids, anyway.” Khairul Anuar ©

The topic I was teaching that evening was Basic Needs. It discusses all a human or plant’s very basic necessities to keep on survival. Like, plants require water, air, sunlight for survival. While humans are water, food, air, home. Stuff like that.

On top of that, I too drew a clear simple painting consisting of the blue ocean, tall and short green trees with no specific name, land, the snow-white clouds on the whiteboard. Nonetheless, I didn’t have each of them coloured. What is all this junk for? I then clarified, explained to them how water from the ocean is scientifically ‘transferred’ to the trees by the sunlight. Are you with me? Good. We’re done with that. Sorry, I’m not teaching Science out here, am I?

At the end of the lesson, my random reflection said everything turned out just alright. So much pleasure and I was OK with that. They did make so much noise, however, I believed in my theory – they’re just small kids people! And kids are very keen on making things noisy, aren’t they?

Anyhow, hope none of other next-door teachers felt annoyed with the noise these pupils made. Well, really hope so! Maybe their pupils were even worse, making a whole lot of noise, too. Who can say? No comment I heard, either. Means it’s cool.

After a quarter past nine, the second slot got started. That also signified I was going to teach another class, namely Year 5. The same subject except the topic chosen could be impossibly identical.

Not so fond of wasting my time so I walked up to the following class ASAP. The class was upstairs. They all had had a 5-minute recess already. I supposed. Well… time is money. They could simply take a lot more rest at home after class, anyway. Moreover, I’m paid. Not pretty good to linger with my undertaking. ALLAH disapproves.

Whilst walking up, I saw few female pupils staying outside. Being a busybody, I asked them, “What’s the matter? Whatcha doing out here?” They said the male pupils had gone nuts. Oh my. Once the door was open, yeah obviously, they just told the truth! My eyes caught one ‘batman’ pupil climbing up the back wall of the class. “What the hell are you up to, honey?! Get down!” I growled in silence.

Just then, I came into the class right away and each pupil started taking a seat. As soon as I gave ‘salam’, the unstapled sheets of Science note + exercise question papers were distributed to every one of them. I instructed one pupil sitting in the front row, “Will you please help me pass these worksheets to your friends. Thanks.”

My set induction was actually the notes of some nice pictures on living microorganism. Indeed, that’s the topic I was teaching them. By provoking a number of questions on this microorganism thing, this enabled them to put their thinking cap on. Although for a very short second.  At least, stop talking bullshit to their fellas or posing me illogical questions. You should know that the answers given were all absurd! Didn’t make any sense to me. Their responses piss me off every so often.

Yet again, you know, they’re just kids (Remember my theory?). What’d I reckon, anyway? Kids are always responding with such silly answers. Still, only can I accept with one or two responses. Imagine by yourself, what if they keep talking crap? Tend to lose my temper sometimes. Thus, I was starting to explain the notes all myself.

What took me aback was when the class turned to be out of my control. Just like observing them playing in a playground. The male pupils seemed to be making a whole lot of monkey noise. Thank you! Due to my strong belief of the theory I created, I didn’t tell them off. Instead I let them be, enjoying their childhood. I was also pretending extra hard to put me in their shoes. Does it work, anyway?

Ironically, what exactly took place was the other way round! My firmness I thought was a must. Subtly I told them to keep silent. Yeah, they sure did. In less than 2 minutes, they started doing it all over again. Occasionally, I feel as if I don’t even know them. I was thinking, what if I stood behind? They would shut their mouth up and then stay more focused on the lesson, the thing is, would they? With a little expectation I moved to the back. But then, my hypothesis went totally wrong! They became way obstinate. Getting much more mischievous.  

I then walked back to the front. Knocked the teacher table so hard. They kept quiet all on account of the dramatic knock. After a second, they’re starting all over again. That made me a little bit speechless. “Do I really need to scold them so they can remain silent?” I inquired myself. Alone.

My mind said: “Never! They’re just kids, Bro. No good to get emotional toward a small kid like them. They seem to have no emotion and proper understanding of what you’re feeling. Very innocent. So, hang in there. Take this as a challenge instead.

The pupils got several minutes to get the exercise finished. Astonishingly, many of them took the exercise for granted. Just circled any answers they liked. Didn’t even read each question as expected! Urgh, damn it! You think this is a game show or what? I sighed deep in my heart. My patience was getting freaking tested, I knew. Compose, Mr Khai! Compose! ‘As-sobru minal imaan’ (Translation: Patience is a part of faith).

We did manage to discuss all the answers no matter what, disappointingly in a half-hearted way. When one pupil was asked to read a question and answer, so many of the rest felt so eagerly like giving an answer as well! Things are so much different to the pointed pupil. H/She would reluctantly do. I was actually attempting to have their mouth zipped. Guess what? They closed their ears to my instruction. Shit! “Should I get angry with them now?” I asked myself. So good had I got a cane and they’d, of course, be listening to me attentively.

Come on, they’re just small kids people! (The theory reminded me one more time) They’re trying to make fun of you, I mean, in a good way. They wanna get more friendly with you. S’okay. Just be tolerant with their no matured characters. Just let ‘em be, Khairul! Cheer up, then. 

OK. I’ve got several questions for you my dearest reader. How do you feel when your student asks you all the following:

“Sir, glad if you could just let us know the answers instead of explaining each question.”

“Sir, I wanna go home. So drowsy at the moment. Huhu.”

“Sir, this girl/boy sitting next to me just said blah…blah….blah….”(Irrelevant with your recent discussion)

“Sir, may I go to loo, please?” (Then guess what the best reply of mine would go, “So keen on that Satan favourite place, huh?” By saying so, some of them whereupon called their intention off to toilet. KWANG3x… serve them right!)

“Sir, wanna go downstairs for a drink, may I?”

“Sir, let’s have a quiz instead?”

Must be damn depressed, right? Because these were amongst their most frequent, popular demands as I’m excitedly teaching. When somebody spoils your mood, you sure can predict how it feels, can’t you? Feel like slapping their face thoughtlessly! No way, so cruel!

Shortly, a couple of female students sitting on the first row chairs grumbled to me like a two-year-old kids. “Sir, hurry up, please. We’re bloody thirsty. Wanna go down for a drink pretty soon. Let’s finish all this Q-and-A session quick.”

Getting fed up with that, I allowed all of them to go down for a second to have a drink. A glass of sky juice. So that nobody would kick the bucket in my class later. Allegedly, they were sort of fasting but AT NIGHT???!!! Come on. No fasting at night in Islam.

Before the male students exited, I overheard something that pissed me off! “Guys, there’s a football match live on telly. Let’s go watch it, okay?” They turned so very ecstatic and energetic. But…this dramatically? Seemed so uninterested in my lesson just now. Oh God! What am I to do, then? I’ve a brainstorm right here. FYI.

About 20 minutes left before the class ended, I had first no idea what to do. The first worksheet got all answered. After flipping through few pages, I discovered a kind of inspiring topic in Chapter 3. Well…it only inspired me, to be perfectly honest, not the students themselves who’re supposed to be. I made my mind up teaching the topic. More precisely, refreshing what they’ve already learnt back in school. They said they had already studied the topic in school. So that would be great! But guess what they all said, “No new topic, please! We’re begging you. Wanna go back home.” I almost lost my temper, you know.

But then, one male student was being rude. Hold on a second! No, he wasn’t. He’s just a small kid. Still remember my theory? He’s merely being stubborn hiding himself at the back of the class. Behind a chair. I didn’t notice him in the first place ‘cause he’s somewhat small. I had him get up and be seated. He obeyed like a slave, somehow. Good boy! I smiled.

The two male students in the front seemed to be conversing with one another. I was trying to interrupt their ‘conversation’, by asking “What’s really so interesting over here? Mind sharing with us, too?” They refused, for sure. And kept quiet. Oh God! I got annoyed again!

In less than 30 seconds I was about to move back to the front, they both were starting that stupid thing once again. How frustrated I was! My patience was being challenged pretty hard. I can tell. Lucky them. They got such cute faces and that called me off yelling at them. LOL.

Checking the time out, still got 10 minutes off. (I often turn my cell phone alarm on so I shall never let them disperse too late. Or otherwise their parents might probably complain later to Mr Kamarul, the tutorial centre manager). I decided to carry on teaching the new topic entitled urm… I’ve forgotten. Sorry, my bad. A female pupil sitting quite at the back was assigned to go down for a photocopy.

Shortly after that, the photocopied worksheets were distributed to all of them. The pupils were answering very quickly. Still, they’re mucking around. One of them was reading his question too loud. Did I ask you to do that, little jerk?! Were he not Cikgu Usop’s son, I’d have him stop on the spot. Frankly, dunno I find it a little awkward to treat him like many other pupils in the class. Just because he’s a son to my Dad’s good friend’s colleague. The girls were busily ‘gossiping’ with their buddies next to them. As if that counted much more than the exercise sheet itself. OK. I had had it! Having them shut up, but then they didn’t even listen to me, either!

Eventually I surrendered. Merely read the answers as quickly as possible. They didn’t even want to learn. All what’s on their mind was going home! Home sweet home. Know what I told them in earnest? “Wanna go back home? Just get out! Not gonna be accountable to you.” That’s killing me enough, you know.

A half past ten. Time to disperse. Can’t ever let them leave on time. Better 5 minutes late. By doing so, this enables the class to redeem the five-minute recess (Prior to the second slot). Gonna be much better when, by the time they leave the class, their parents have been there to fetch them. The question is, “Is that what’s on every pupil’s mind?” “I’m afraid not!”

Just after we’re done with the exercise answers, I said, “You may leave now and thanks for coming.” Before exiting, one or two male pupils shook and kissed my hand. Full of courtesy. But me, I was still in the class feeling fucking frustrated! After a while, I left the class and went down.
When I was about to step the stairs down, I happened to overhear a son-to-a-mother conversation. “Who taught you just now, son?” asked that mother a.k.a a tutor at the centre curiously. That son a.k.a my pupil replied, “There he was!” – pointing to me straightaway with his finger. That caused me to stop in the middle of the stairs. I looked at the teacher with an insincere smile. At the same time, I really had a bad feeling about this.

She got me shaken up all of a sudden for inquiring me an unexpected question. “Your class sounded real noisy, you know.” I cleared my throat. Deliberately. “Yeah, it did.” I replied with a desperate answer. Didn’t end it right there, I continued explaining what the hell actually came about in the class. She advised that I be a lot more firm with the pupils next time (that I already knew it). I nodded my head, symbolizing my agreement. ‘Thanks for the advice.”

At downstairs, the manager handed me over a small brown envelope of RM50 + RM10 notes as my salary. By the way, before I forget, most typically, I’m paid right after both slots are finished. Two slots per night. I get paid as much as RM35 per slot. Generally got two slots a night. One slot takes 1 hour and a quarter. That means, my one-night income reaches as much as RM60 per night for two slots. That’s for primary pupils. They pay me more for secondary students when I’m in charge. It can reach RM70 at times. Quite a lot for me.

A few minutes after that, without further ado, I asked for the manager’s permission to head home directly. Showing our politeness and courtesy absolutely matters, doesn’t it? On my ride home, I was ‘torturing’ myself with lots and lots of questions. “What the heck was I up to?! Can’t believe this is the worst night ever! Never underwent this sort of state of affairs unless a boring Form 3 English class I used to take over, once last year. That one, I confessed myself, my obvious fault for changing things to be a kind of lecture room. Ah, forget it.

Now, I’m getting perplexed. So extremely puzzled with myself. “What the F have I done? Damn upset! What a bloody class! As a matter of fact, I’m getting confused with my own theory. I thought it surely worked out. Now, evidently, it didn’t work at all! I’m feeling a bit shamefaced. I failed in class management. Oh NO!

Enough! Shouldn’t let the history repeat itself next time. If there’s really a next time. But, I can’t get it. Were I a pupil, I dreamt of a very nice, friendly teacher. That’s me in the few years back. As I was thinking of the good things to do so the pupils would have a really good time during my lesson, I came out with that unsuccessful, dumb theory. As you can see, the theory is a complete failure. Incredible!

Now I’ve got to agree that a teacher can be friendly with his pupils, but nevertheless, still firm in instruction. I’ll stick to this. Forever. For life. Once bitten twice shy. I screwed it up once. I looked so dumb. I wasn’t smarty pants after all, was I? T_T

That’s all till now. Till we meet again. Good day!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Just For Who Cares About Patriotism

Stolen from Google

I’ve just discovered a new way to make you a patriot. Toward your beloved country. In my case, Malaysia for sure! As I know sharing is caring. Plus there’s no good for me not to expose this so new discovery to you guys out here. AHA. One question: How much do you love your country?

I know the government has been giving their best shot, just to get us all patriotic toward our country. Thanks Gov for making the effort – really appreciate it.

Well… I know this might sound a bit odd to you, really. Only did I learn the very meaning of the word ‘patriotism’ ever since July 2006. Don’t get puzzled yet. That’s actually when I first migrated to Petaling Jaya in the state of Selangor. More precisely, I took Foundation of English at Centre for Foundation Studies (CFS) of International Islamic University Malaysia, Pee Jaay campus. Its location is somewhere at Section 17, Jalan University. Full stop!

Now I figure I’d never know how much I love my state, Terengganu if I didn’t pursue my studies. Since it’s so much accurate that one gets loving someone/something once they’ve lost them all. Too good to be true, anyway! And that’s when one begins to realise they’re already too late to get ‘em back. There’s no use crying over split milk, right?

As a matter of fact, I’d been to Kuala Lumpur for, at least, four times prior to that huge migration. Recalling the past all my way to the Gate of Garden Knowledge and Virtue (IIUM), it’s initially more like a trip. Sort of a family trip.  

Moreover, I felt thrilled to bits, I think, to further my studies. Looked way impatient to be a part thousands of varsity students that I forgot the coming ‘risk’ I gotta undergo later. Wake up Mr Khairul!

The day before my registration day, we stayed overnight at my Mom’s neighbour’s son’s at-the-village rented house in Rawang, Hulu Selangor. Slightly miserable to tell you he passed away a few years ago. Al-fatihah. I feel sorry for his family too. Everything was just fine. That night, we had dinner at a restaurant nearby. Surprisingly, my Uncle living in Hulu Klang was down to come over on his own. Thanks Uncle for the short visit.  

Next morning, we’d stopped by at somebody’s house before leaving for Kuala Lumpur. To be perfectly honest, he’d been taking the driver over all the way to PJ. First of all, we headed to Ampang. What the hell were we up to? We went to the National Zoo for a couple of hours. By noon, we started moving to Kampung Baru in the city centre for lunch. My registration was actually scheduled at two P.M. Still got a plenty of time.

By 2 o’clock prompt, we then headed straight to CFS IIUM in Section 17, PJ. Took about an hour long for me to go through the kiddy registration process. And the next thing we had to do was carry all my stuff into my hostel room. All in hands! Holy shit. My room was in the fifth floor (Called Level 4). Guess what, there’s nobody in and really thought I was just in time OK. I wasn’t the early bird caught the worm after all. Sigh.

Shortly afterwards, my parents told me they’re gonna leave so they wouldn’t get stuck in traffic jam. They must get themselves out of KL before 5. And that’s when I was feeling rather sorrowful, suddenly. Just like everything occurred too fast. Time flies, indeed. Then I knew I wasn’t yet ready for all this new world, was I? I wept like a little kid that evening. In my room. Alone. Don’t tell anybody, promise?

No next-door dwellers. No-one to chat with. No-one! Only the white-painted wall and dusty furniture. It freaked me out! I cursed the university management for placing me in that wrong place. Alone? On the fourth floor? Later on, I found out there’re few other dwellers whose rooms were about 10 doors next to mine. Bloody hell! OK. Don’t wanna talk about that. Seems I missed up pretty bad! Let’s get back to the main topic, shall we?

One year or so in PJ made me a new KLite. I never had chances to explore the Capital City myself previously, ever! Only did I begin exploring KL on my own since then. I ‘studied’ about LRTs, commuter, monorail routes. Reckon it really counts for newcomers or visitors like me to get familiar with all train-stop stations. Need to sort of memorise a little.  So one won’t get lost in the middle of the city! Or somebody, HELLLLPPP MEEE!!!

Aha. Know I could get pretty shamefaced if I filled you in with all this. But, it’s fine to me. Anyway. FYI, I’d been in dilemma for approximately 3 months on campus in 2006. All I knew was I wanna go back home! I mean, my home in Terengganu! I couldn’t stay there any longer. Since I became a victim of the very lousy varsity management. They’d apologize to me for that unforgiveable mistake! Ya, it’s truly a mistake!

I was constantly dropping my family a line, asking for their permission so I could go home? When I’d gotten desperate enough, my ex-schoolmate helped keep me company and we both went to KL Sentral. What’re we up to? Believe it or not, I bought Airasia flight ticket for me. And that’s the first time I did that kind of crazy thing. 

I let Mom know soon after that and they could well accept my decision. Or they had no choice? I already purchased the ticket. What else were they to do, then? Asking me to call my ticket off? That’s bullshit! Impossible!

To tell you the truth, I never got on a plane but yeah, being on board used to be my dream as well. After a while, I couldn’t believe my eyes that state of affairs helped me realise the dream. Oh my God. So thankful to Allah for the miracle. Yes, kind of.

Although I was home for only 2 days and a half, in less than 36 hours, things turned out just fine since then. I didn’t really miss Terengganu so much that time but my family. Eh? Or maybe I was actually escaping from…. urm, scratch that.

1 year in PJ and another 4 years in Gombak seemed I spent my whole time outside the state of Terengganu. As though I was no longer a Terengganuvian, was I? If I’m not mistaken, the saddest moment happened just last year. I was on Airasia flight and the plane was about to touch down at Sultan Mahmud Airport in KT. The reason was I guess that’s the longest time I’d been out of town. I mean, I was in UIA, so far from family. I was doing my teaching practise.

I was supposed to be home over the CNY break but I didn’t. As I just had a three-month holiday that moment. And after the first week of the practical elapsed, the CNY break then got started. It could be a huge waste of money for a two-way express bus ticket, could it not? Mom too hardly supported me to have a homecoming either. Plus I intended to spend all the week long studying. Yes, I really did!

With the more excellent WiFi available in my quite lucky room, I got connected to the world at all times. I facebooked, read people’s blogs, of course googled all literature stuff online. Got to make sure I must’ve properly comprehended and read all of the literature texts for lower and upper forms so I could go teach well. 

At least, I’d be well prepared with what I would be teaching in future. The students wouldn’t think I was dumb or whatever. The literature textbooks were new. All of the poems and short stories written in were all new to me also. I didn’t even study that stuff back in my high school OK. Thinking I’d tend to be a busy bee when the school commenced, so staying on campus all week was such a great idea after all! Hey, I was real smarty-pants. LOL.

Can’t tell you a lie that I was suffering too over the whole week! What’s wrong? Cause there’s only one male café open. I had no problem with that – but what pissed me off was the food! Sorry, no local food available. Damn! How can I tuck me in all the week long? Having this Mediterranean food? I’m sorry, ain’t one of ‘em! My tongue is so Malaysian. I can’t eat the food. I can’t! Oh come on! This isn’t funny. I missed Malaysian food since then.

So at the end, what came about? I ended up having Mediterranean food for lunch. Oh God! I felt bad. I felt like vomiting whilst having the meal. Shortly, I left the remainder just like that for I didn’t wanna let those foreign students around know I disliked their tasty food. Really had a bad feeling about that. What was I to do? 

I had no motorbike. Couldn’t get Malaysian food off campus. Should I catch a bus and have meals outside? At Mc Donald’s? At any restaurants? Mamak stalls? JJ maybe? Urgh! No way!

I spoke to the owner of the café, Sis Azah and begged her to serve local food. I was fucking ‘starving’ for that. Thank God, she listened. She convinced me the local food would be served on the following day. Alhamdullilah. No more problem!

When the school break was over, I seemed to be getting busy with my hectic schedule. Lesson plans, record book…formal attire? Definitely, I wished I could wear T-shirts to school every day. May I? Just because, frankly speaking, I loathe ironing clothes. HEH HEH HEH. So irritating.

My concentration was all upon the teaching practise thing that I forgot how long I had been there in KL. Counting back the grand total of all practical duration… oh dear! Been almost 5 months already. Completely incredible!

Freshly keep in my mind, obviously when Airasia was about to touch down at the KT airport, I burst into tears, turned gloomy dramatically. Dunno why. Maybe, yea, I’d missed my family as well as Terengganu so much! It’s 5 months people! A very long time. Nonetheless, hey, I didn’t cry. Hello, I didn’t yet go mad, guys.

Hmm….why have I to tell you all this, anyway? Because…uh, you know what? That’s when I knew I am a patriotic guy. I adore Terengganu much more. As if I wanna spend the rest of my life in this wonderful state.

Thus, in my two cents, suppose you wanna ‘measure’ how much your love is towards your own country, I’d love to recommend that you go abroad. I’d like to go abroad too. Someday. Every time you’re away from your beloved country, then you’ll realise how much you love your country. In other words, how patriotic you are.

Sounds strange, at the moment, I’m stuck here at home, getting freaking fed up. What’s up with me? I’ve stayed at home for nearly 8 months already! I repeat, 8 months! Such a long time. Now, I miss this state no more. That urges me to think of going sightseeing. And, you know what? I shall!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Jodoh Saya

Versi Bahasa Melayu:

Keputusan Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) sudahpun diumumkan. Harapnya, masih tidak terlewat untuk saya merakamkan ucapan tahniah kepada semua yang cemerlang. Syabas! Anda berhak menerimanya kerana anda senantiasa sedar bahawa ‘Usaha tangga kejayaan.’ Sekiranya gagal, usahlah berputus asa tetapi usaha lagi!

Di kala ruangan ini dikarang, saya tidak sesekali meletakkan sasaran pembacanya yang dituju khas buat lepasan STPM atau Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) sahaja, bahkan lepasan Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), diploma, asasi dan kolej matrikulasi amatlah dialu-alukan. Saya berbesar hati mempelawa anda meluangkan sedikit masa emas dengan membaca isi hati saya yang tidak seberapa nilainya ini.

Siapa mampu menduga? Berkemungkinan besar ruangan ini dapat mengubah persepsi anda setelah selesai membacanya sekejap sahaja lagi. Seandainya institusi pengajian tinggi awam terbaik ialah apa yang sedang anda tercari-cari, membaca ruangan ini barangkali dapat membantu menyelesaikan segala kekusutan yang ada. Ayuh!

Sebelum itu, apa kata, luangkan masa anda seketika dengan menonton video korporat UIAM ini. Barulah syok sikit nak baca kan?



U-I-A. Siapa tak kenal UIA? Jika anda seorang dewasa berstatus warganegara Malaysia, anda harus tahu apa itu UIA atau UIAM. Sekurang-kurangnya, seorang pemandu teksi di sekitar Lembah Kelang cukup kenal bahawa ianya ialah singkatan nama sebuah universiti terkemuka yang wujud di daerah Gombak, Selangor.

UIA atau UIAM kedua-duanya ialah singkatan kepada Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia. Golongan mahasiswa antarabangsa lebih mesra mengenalinya dengan singkatan IIU atau IIUM yang diterjemahkan International Islamic University Malaysia dalam Bahasa Inggeris.

UIA merupakan salah sebuah universiti awam yang cukup berprestij dan disegani di negara Malaysia. Ia ditubuhkan dengan kerjasama lapan buah negara OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) termasuklah Pakistan, Malaysia, Maldives, Egypt, Turki, Arab Saudi, Bangladesh dan Libya. Keistimewaan ini tidak dapat dikongsi oleh mana-mana universiti awam di Malaysia. Bertuahnya UIA!


Bertaraf antarabangsa dan berkonsepkan Islam. Itulah salah satu ciri ekslusif yang agak payah untuk dilihat pada 19 institusi pengajian tinggi awam (IPTA) yang lain. Sudah tentu, memang ada pelajar asing yang juga menuntut di universiti-universiti terkemuka yang lain. Tidak dinafikan, UIA sangat terkenal dan mendahului jumlah para pelajar antarabangsanya. Statistik kemasukan pelajar antarabangsa ke IPTA dari tahun 2002 hingga 2007 telah membuktikannya! Dah bermacam-macam rupa dan warna kulit yang ada kat UIA sekarang. Dari sehitam tahi lalat hinggalah seputih salji.

Berdasarkan statistik, jumlah pelajar asing yang mendaftar di UIA adalah yang tertinggi. Jumlah pelajar asing yang mendaftar di UIA pada tahun 2007 sahaja mencecah seramai 3, 353 orang. Sekiranya perbandingan keseluruhan dibuat, ini menampakkan lagi jurang perbezaan yang cukup ketara sekali antara UIA dengan IPTA yang lain! 

Universiti tertua di negara kita, Universiti Malaya (UM) hanya berjaya menarik seramai 2,242 orang pelajar asing pada tahun yang sama. Sementara itu, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) mencatatkan seramai 2,178 orang, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) dengan 2,018 orang, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) dengan 1,490, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), satu-satunya IPTA bertaraf Apex University hanya mencatat jumlah seramai 1,422. Nampaknya, terbukti UIA telah menjadi pilihan utama pelajar asing untuk melanjutkan pengajian mereka. Tahniah UIA!

Hakikatnya, UIA meletakkan kuota pengambilan pelajar antarabangsa saban tahun sebanyak 30%. Tidak hairanlah apabila UIA dikatakan mempunyai pelajar asing paling ramai berbanding IPTA yang lain. Mari kita teliti pula statistik kemasukan pelajar asing pada tahun 2002, enam tahun sebelumnya. Jumlah pelajar asing yang berdaftar di UIA hanya mencecah 1,838 orang. Walau bagaimanapun, pada ketika itu, UIA masih mendahului IPTA yang lain di mana kesemua jumlah kemasukan pelajar asing masing-masing di bawah angka 100.

Maaf, saya sendiri tiada informasi berkenaan statistik terkini jumlah pelajar asing yang menuntut di UIA. Pada tahun 2007, ketika minggu orientasi dijalankan (Dibahasakan ‘Taaruf’ di sini), kami dimaklumkan bahawa UIA telah berjaya menarik pelajar asing dari 106 buah negara untuk mendaftar sebagai mahasiswa di universiti ini. Lebih mengejutkan lagi, pada tahun lepas, 2011, info terkini yang saya peroleh dari sumber yang sahih menyatakan bahawa jumlah tersebut telah meningkat secara mendadak dan sudahpun mencecah 140 buah negara. Sekali lagi, syabas UIA!

Bayangkan, hanya dalam jangka masa kurang dari 5 tahun, UIA dengan jayanya telah menarik sebanyak 66 buah negara luar dari seantero benua di dunia!!! Rekod yang begitu cemerlang sekali! Dengan ini, saya yakin, jumlah ini akan kian bertambah dari masa ke semasa. Ini akan menjadikan UIA lebih ‘antarabangsa’ dari sekarang, Insha-ALLAH.

Meskipun UIA bukanlah sebuah universiti penyelidikan (Kini sedang menjurus ke arah status tersebut) dan bukan jua Apex University yang dibangga-banggakan, namun universiti ini telah pun membuktikan kepada 30 juta rakyat Malaysia hari ini akan keistimewaannya tersendiri yang mendorong beribu pelajar asing untuk memilih UIA sebagai tempat pengajian tinggi. Apatah lagi UIA pun masih muda dan baru mencecah 27 tahun usianya.


Agak kecewa dan terkilan apabila saya sendiri terdengar gosip yang mengatakan semua kos di UIA cuma ditawarkan kepada pelajar Muslim sahaja. Walhal, ini tidak benar sama sekali! UIA turut menerima baik pelajar bukan Islam. Segelintir rakyat Malaysia yang berbangsa Cina, India dan kaum bumiputera yang lain pun menuntut di universiti terkemuka ini. Apatah lagi saya sendiri pernah sekelas dengan mereka! Perbezaan pegangan agama bukanlah penghalang untuk mereka memohon dan menjadi sebahagian daripada warga kampus UIA.


Lokasi strategik masjid empat tingkat bernama Masjid Sultan Ahmad Shah yang betul-betul lokasinya di pusat universiti secara tidak langsung menceritakan seribu keunikan universiti bertaraf antarabangsa itu. Seolah-olah anda berada di sebuah negara asing terutamanya ketika menunaikan solat Jumaat berjemaah pada hari penghulu segala hari.

Oh ya, pelajar dari Universiti Kuala Lumpur, SMK Sungai Pusu dan International Islamic School juga adalah antara berpuluh ribu jemaah yang sering hadir menunaikan rukun Islam kedua itu di kampus UIA setiap minggu.


Harus diketahui bahawa khutbah Jumaat di kampus ini disampaikan dalam dwibahasa, Bahasa Inggeris dan Bahasa Arab. Untuk pengetahuan anda, Bahasa Inggeris merupakan lingua franca (bahasa pengantar) universiti manakala Bahasa Arab pula ialah bahasa kedua universiti. Bahasa Kebangsaan kadang-kala digunakan dalam penyampaian khutbah tetapi tidaklah sekerap Bahasa Inggeris dan Arab.

Secara amnya, jika khutbah pertama disampaikan dalam Bahasa Inggeris, khutbah keduanya pula dalam Bahasa Arab. Jika khutbah pertama disampaikan dalam Bahasa Jannah itu, khutbah berikutnya barangkali dalam Bahasa Melayu ataupun Inggeris. Tiga bahasa utama ini digunakan secara bersilih ganti saban minggu.


Sekiranya anda berpeluang menginap dan bermalam di Mahallah (Asrama) Zubbair Al-Awwam, pilihlah bilik di tingkat 4 yang menghala ke arah Banjaran Titiwangsa yang sentiasa menghijau dengan bukit-bukau dan gunung-ganang. Pasti mencuit kalbu akan keindahan ciptaan Yang Maha Kuasa! Pada waktu malam pula, anda akan disajikan dengan permandangan yang begitu mengagumkan berlatarkan City of Entertainment, Tanah Tinggi Genting atau Genting Highland. Seolah-olah anda sedang menyaksikan sebuah kota terapung di awangan.

Tanah Tinggi Genting


Senibina setiap bangunan dan fakulti di kampus kelihatan sungguh gah dengan atap berwarna biru turquoise. Senibina ini tentu sekali tidak boleh ditandingi oleh mana-mana IPTA yang lain yang lebih bercorakkan senibina moden dan kontemporari. Tahukah anda? Saya sudah mula jatuh cinta dengan UIA pada pandangan pertama.


UIAM adalah antara universiti mesra pejalan kaki dan inilah jawapan kenapa setiap fakulti dibina begitu hampir antara satu sama lain. Dengan harapan agar ukhwah dan silaturahim akan makin kukuh dan teguh di antara para mahasiswa, mahasiswi, pensyarah serta kakitangan universiti. Ini menjadikan UIA lebih unik berbanding IPTA yang lain. Bas universiti turut berfungsi sebagai kemudahan pengangkutan disediakan untuk mahasiswi memandangkan sebilangan asrama perempuan lokasinya agak jauh.


Soal makanan tidak perlu menjadi persoalan terutamanya buat pelajar asing. Bukan sahaja masakan tempatan, malah masakan Mediterranean juga mudah didapati di kampus. Dengan ini, pelajar asing akan berasa seolah-olah berada di tempat mereka sendiri. Bukan sehaja di pusat universiti, malah masakan Mediterranean turut dijual di kebanyakan kafeteria dan kedai runcit asrama. Mungkin ini merupakan salah satu kelebihan dan tarikan UIA pada kacamata pelajar asing!


Pernahkah kalian mendengar Al-Aqsa Friends’ Society? Persatuan yang diterajui oleh pelajar kelahiran negara Palestin adalah di antara persatuan yang sangat aktif di kampus. Selain itu, pelajar asing di sini turut mempunyai persatuan negara masing-masing. Saya sendiri pernah menyertai tazkirah pada bulan Ramadhan Karim anjuran Persatuan Negara Yaman. Bolehkah anda merasai pengalaman sebegini di IPTA yang lain?


Harus diingat! Kewajipan menutup aurat bukan merupakan peraturan ditetapkan universiti tetapi lebih tepat lagi perintah ALLAH S.W.T. Perkara ini tidak sepatutnya dipertikaikan lagi. Mahasiswi wajib menutup aurat sepanjang menghadiri kuliah, program dan sebagainya di kampus. Mahasiswi bukan Islam pula digalakkan memakai skaf bagi menghormati status universiti Islam. Inilah yang membezakan UIA dengan IPTA yang lain.

Di samping itu, begitu banyak sekali program berunsur Islamik dianjurkan setiap semester di kampus. Tahukah anda? UIA ialah universiti tempatan yang terbanyak menganjurkan program setiap semester, dianggarkan sebanyak 300 program setahun. Dari ceramah agama, pesta, karnival, bazar hinggalah konsert termasuklah nasyid.


Lazimnya, sepanjang bulan puasa, pihak masjid ada menyediakan makanan PERCUMA untuk sahur dan iftar jamaie kepada semua mahasiswa. Qiamullail merupakan aktiviti tahunan masjid untuk mahasiswa Muslim yang berhajat meningkatkan lagi amal ibadat kepada Tuhan Maha Esa di bulan yang cukup mulia ini. Adakah situasi yang sama dapat disaksikan di IPTA lain?


Bergambar dengan pelajar UIAM dari negara Turki

Berpeluang memakai pakaian tradisi perkahwinan Uzbekistan ketika mengunjungi booth mereka

Berkesempatan melawat booth negara China

Tarian mahasiswa-mahasiswa dari tanah Arab Saudi ini berjaya menarik tumpuan ramai

Bertenaga: Dua orang mahasiswa kelahiran Azerbaijan turut membuat persembahan untuk 'Cultural Night'

Kenangan manis bersama rakan dari negara Syria dari jurusan BHSc (Hons) (English Language & Literature)

Seronok ketika bertandang ke booth negara Eritrea

Dihimpit mahasiswa UIA dari negara Myanmar ketika di booth mereka

Dihimpit mahasiswi Arab dari negara Libya. 

Tinggal kenangan: Bersama blockmate dari negara Somalia

Tika berada di hadapan booth negara Arab Saudi

Memori indah semasa di booth negara Azerbaijan

'Pose' menarik bersama rakan-rakan dari negara Chad, Afrika

Sebahagian daripada barang dapur tradisional yang terdapat di booth negara Libya

Selain kustom tradisi, cenderamata berwajah Firaun juga dipamerkan di booth negara Egypt

Turut bertandang ke booth negara jiran, Thailand sambil memakai pakaian tradisi Thai. Sawadikap!

Bergambar dengan mahasiswa UIA dari negara Uzbekistan di booth mereka

Bersama seorang rakyat Uganda yang sedang menuntut di kampus UIAM Gombak

Bersama seorang mahasiswa UIA dari negara Sudan

Bersama rakyat Comoros yang juga merupakan mahasiswa di kampus UIAM Gombak

Mahasiswa UIA dari negara Guinea juga tidak mahu melepaskan peluang keemasan untuk turut mengambil bahagian dalam program tahunan terbesar ini

Gambaran keadaan sebenar gurun di negara Djibouti yang menjadi tatapan pengunjung di booth negara tersebut

Sebahagian daripada ribuan pelajar antarabangsa UIAM yang hadir menyaksikan persembahan malam kebudayaan yang cukup mencuit hati

Kostum menarik di booth negara Afghanistan

Ketika melawati booth negara Yaman

Sempat juga berkunjung ke booth negara Palestin

Memakai pakaian tradisi Iraq di booth negara Arab tersebut

Satu-satunya program tahunan terbesar yang tidak ada di IPTA yang lain dan hanya dapat dirasai di kampus Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia ialah Ummatic Week. Biasanya, program ini diadakan di Main Hall, Cultural Activity Centre (C.A.C) di kampus induk Gombak. Aneka booth mewakili pelbagai negara dibuka bermula awal pagi hingga lewat malam. 

Bukan sahaja pelajar asing berpeluang mempamerkan budaya, pakaian tradisi dan kraftangan negara masing-masing, tetapi sesetengah mahasiswi asing juga sudi membuat kuih tradisi mereka sendiri sebagai hidangan istimewa buat tetamu yang bertandang ke booth mereka bagi merasai dan menikmati sendiri keenakan kuih traidisi mereka.

Cultural Activity Centre di mana program seribu budaya, Ummatic Week diadakan pada saban tahun

Menariknya, setiap negara yang mengambil bahagian juga turut tidak melepaskan peluang membuat persembahan ‘Cultural Night’ yang diadakan selepas Maghrib di atas pentas berprestij Main Hall setiap malam. Belum pun sampai 24 jam lamanya, anda sudah dapat ‘melancong’ ke beberapa buah negara seantero dunia. Pada tahun lepas, antara 44 negara yang mengambil bahagian termasuklah Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Singapura, Arab Saudi, China, India, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Iran, Turki, Comoros, Uganda, Vietnam, Indonesia, Algeria, Myanmar, Palestin, Azerbaijan, Bosnia dan banyak lagi. Seronok gila beb! Tak caya kena datang sendiri la weh!


IIUM Gombak = UIAM Gombak

Penyanyi Maher Zain ketika membuat persembahan di C.A.C, UIAM Gombak

Satu penghargaan besar buat UIAM kerana dalam 20 IPTA yang wujud di bumi Malaysia, UIA telah dipilih menganjurkan konsert mini penyanyi Sweden kesayangan ramai, Maher Zain pada malam tanggal 6 Oktober 2010. Konsert tersebut amat sukses dan berjaya menghimpunkan sekurang-kurangnya 3000 peminat termasuk pelajar asing dari UIA sendiri.

Pada malam bersejarah itu, mahasiswa dari IPTA lain turut dijemput untuk memeriahkan lagi konsert tersebut dan tidak dilupakan orang awam sekitar Lembah Kelang dan ibu kota. Penonton bagaikan diserang histeria sejurus melihat jasad Maher Zain secara langsung di atas pentas C.A.C sambil mendendangkan lagu hit beliau, Barakallah dan Insha-Allah. Nak tonton, carilah kat Youtube.

Okaylah. Malas nak cerita panjang lebar macam novel. Apa yang pasti, saya berasa lebih bermotivasi untuk bertutur dalam Bahasa Inggeris di universiti ini. Boleh dikatakan sudah menjadi rutin harian buat saya menggunakan bahasa antarabangsa tersebut ditambah pula dengan suasana kampus yang mendorong kuat mahasiswanya untuk lebih kerap berkomunikasi dalam bahasa kedua negara itu. Nama pun universiti antarabangsa kan….haruslah! 

Pendek kata, sekiranya anda berani memperkecilkan atau memandang rendah kepada UIAM hanya disebabkan statusnya bukan universiti penyelidikan, anda silap! Namanya cukup gah sekali di mata rakyat Malaysia. Malah, UIA juga ialah impian kebanyakkan lepasan SPM, STPM, STAM, diploma dan kolej matrikulasi bagi meneruskan hasrat mereka menjadi insan berilmu, berakhlak mulia dan berpendidikan tinggi. Percayalah!