Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 In Memory

Same time last year, I would have just finished watching Iron Man and headed to bed, heavily pregnant with Sofiyah. Earlier in the day I spent my time at the office finalizing a few things before the new year break. Today, however, I decided to take leave and spent time with my family & finished off planning for 2016 at my parents instead. 

2015 has been a great year for me simply because I have had Sofiyah. She was a wonderful baby! She's adorable, never really fussy, and she is simply so bright - truly, she is the light of my life. She had started walking 2 weeks ago and now she wanders around everywhere like there's no tomorrow :-P If ever I were given a choice, I would have chosen to have her all over again :-)

But life in 2015 had been more than cute and adorable. We had finally tried to settle down in Seremban proper. In fact, come August this year, it's only our first anniversary at our humble abode in Seremban. Truth be told, we have another room full of boxes. But I couldn't really care less anymore, as long as we manage to get everyone to school, daycare and work and back safely, then that would be it for the time being.

Late September, my home was broken into while we were away in Sungai Petani visiting friends. It was an adventurous weekend indeed! I am still trying to report it in detail here. We lost the MyVi car and a 42-inch TV. Alhamdulillah, despite all odds, the police found our TV, safe and sound in November somewhere in Nilai and later earlier this month our car was found too, also in Nilai. We took back the TV, but have decided earlier on to forgo the car and simply claim the insurance.

In between, those months, we somehow manage to:

1) Visit Legoland and Kittytown some time in November during the Deepavali break

2) Revisit Sungai Petani with the girls so as to really catch up with Etty, since the September's visit was cut short due to the break-in.

3) Went along with Luqman's PASTI excursion. There's this place called Farm in the City somewhere in Puchong that we would not have known existed had we not follow the trip. And there's that Beryls Factory too, where I borong chocolates and cookies like nuts ;-)

And of course, I have done many first in my lifetime in 2015, including:

1) I was given the responsibility to lead a department sometime in June, I'm still learning at it. Sometimes, I am struggling, some other time, I think it's not too bad.

2) I received the '"Ibu Contoh" Award for having  fully breastfeeding Sofiyah exclusively for the first 6 months of her life time from the Hospital Tuanku Jaafar, Seremban. After 4 children, and the struggles in learning how to breastfeed all 4 of them, this award and how I was chosen was totally unexpected. But I was happy nevertheless to receive such appreciation, Alhamdulillah indeed :-)

3) I brought a student's trip to the Parliament. That's actually my first time planning it all. I thought it was alright. Not to mention - my former classmate is currently the LA for the Parliament, so I got to catch up there too :-)

4) I took the ETS for the first time when heading home from SP to Seremban for my revisit to SP. It was comfortable and reliable in terms of its efficiency. In fact it took only about 5 hours from SP to Seremban.

5) I finally manage to watch the National Symphony Orchestra play in Istana Budaya. Even better they were playing all the favourite movie themes, including Star Wars with Stephen Rahman Hughes and Jaclyn Victor as guest vocals for the night.

So, despite my grandfather's passing and also my aunt's husband sudden passing too this year, I think I have had many first in my life which I have managed to try to achieve in 2015. Next year, would be me focusing more on my academic activities. Ways of improvements in seeking knowledge and more networking and cooperation to plan on achieving more academic writing. I think if Sofiyah is cooperative, and I am more patient, there will be more proper writings and teaching innovations in 2016, In Sya Allah. Please pray I lead myself to the right path. Ameen.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

UiTM Rembau & UiTM Dengkil

I have been busy.

I wish whatever I deal with on a daily basis could be self written. 

Ohh maybe I just need a stenographer haha..

Anyway, here are some pictures of the upcoming UiTM Rembau that would be ready next year (mid or late 2016) and UiTM Dengkil which has already started its operation as the Pusat Asasi for UiTM. I went to Rembau on the 6th of December & Dengkil on the 17th of December.

I went scouting for both places to evaluate their distances from 'civilization' for future 'encounters'. I must admit that since I have set my eyes on Seremban 3 (since I am already there anyway), both campuses don't seem to be very appealing to me. If I were to move again next, I am moving my house postcode closer to no 50000. And that's that.

UiTM Rembau's grounds seem to cover a larger area than UiTM Seremban, however it will cater for less students due to the size of the buildings. I think from the stage of the construction, it will be definitely ready in 2016. In the near future, convocation ceremonies for all UiTM Negeri Sembilan students will be conducted here. The campus is somewhere in the middle of some palm oil plantation (more like middle of nowhere). However, it is located only about 10 minutes away from the Pedas/Linggi Toll exit. From Pedas to Senawang/Seremban, exit to exit is about 20-25 minutes.

As for UiTM Dengkil, it's only about 5 minutes away from Pekan Dengkil and 10 minutes to the back entrance of Putrajaya. In fact one can see the PICC building from the campus' grounds.  It caters for capacity of 5000 students.  All Asasi students for Science, Engineering, Law & TESL will be studying here. It's a beautiful campus. But part of its (outside) surrounding are still third party's constructions sites, complete with some sort of water 'lombong'. The management will need to be dealing with some of the health and security concerns due to the campus' surroundings in the near future, on top of dealing with the 'business-minded' concessionaires. In fact, UiTM Rembau too will have their own health & security issues considering their location, although it will be more of a nature sort of issues; mostly animals - monkeys, snakes, wild boar, not to mention insects and pests. So, coming from someone who've had to deal with PFI campus a few months this year, I wish both campuses - all the very best! ;-) 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

To boss or Not

These past couple of days had me thinking -

It's not easy being a boss, even if it's only for a small team. The hardest part is actually managing people of different characters and ‘catering’ to their different perspectives & expectations. At times, I simply shake my head in my mind & almost say it out aloud - "mcm ni punya org pun ada ka?"

My good friends told me I have it in me to be a good boss, and most times I actually doubt them haha... I just don't like to be someone who decides things for others. I used to do things because it's part of my responsibilities, my boss rarely need to order me up or check on me. So I thought when I'm the boss, that's how everyone should be? Right? So how hard could it be? Right? Then....I am in for the shock of my life. Yeahh I was a bit naïve, I know.

I think the difficult part for me is to understand the differences in people’s motivations in my line of work. Some have great passion for the job, the ones that soldier on, regardless of what the institution throws at them, and there are some others who are not even sure why they are here in the first place, and then there are some of the worst kinds: the selfish ones. I have met & dealt with my fair share of selfish people in my lifetime, but every time I encounter new ones, it never fails to amaze me at how oblivious they are of the fact that they are so self-absorbed. But then again if they are aware, they would have a different conscience.

While most people in this profession tries to be conscientious, they try not to, not so much for their inability to do so, but simply because they feel even if they did, it grants them nothing in exchange. In their life dictionary, in order for a certain act or task to get done, there must be a reciprocal reward, an exchange of value - for them. Or else, they are the ones that have been intimidated and bullied. They would claim that the institution is not worthy of them. However, when the table turns, they have no qualms in asking for something, reaping from others, not realizing that they themselves have turned into bullies too. 

The test is – how do I get this kind of people to ‘move’, getting them to achieve their fullest potential despite the limitations and constraints of the institution. It’s going to be tough. People never change unless they wanted to. The only person I am capable of changing is myself. If I am finding it difficult to be firm for fear of offending others before, then I have to learn to be firm regardless. If I am finding that they are taking me for a ride because of my niceties, then I will continue being nice but fair to all. If I am finding myself flabbergasted when they questioned any of my decisions, then I will remain steadfast unless there are any justifications or other solutions in changing those decisions. Sometimes, it had to be done. There’s no other way around it. 

My initial mistake as a boss was to think that everyone should be more like myself. Mostly, that’s not going to happen. I need to really take in this role as a manager of my team and improve as one, even if at times I feel that there are just too many things I still needed to learn on the job, not only as a team manager but also as an academic. So I will take on this role as an Amanah and challenge myself to be better at it. In Sya Allah, when the time comes for me to leave, I will leave a better team for my institution.

And oh, yes...I am leaving. Leaving what, or where to, remains under consideration :-)