Memudahkan urusan orang lain

Ketika aku menjadi seorang pelajar dulu, tidak pernah sekali pun aku lewat menghantar tugasan. Justifikasinya ialah mudah sahaja. Lewat hantar = tiada penilaian = tiada markah. Apa jua alasan yang aku berikan sekiranya tidak melibatkan hal seperti kesihatan adalah sesuatu yang tidak boleh diterima oleh pensyarahku. Aku tahu sebagai seorang pelajar, aku wajib menjaga adab berguru dengan mereka. Aku tidak boleh menyusahkan mereka dalam hal mengajar aku.

Dalam konteks sekarang ini, ada tugasan yang aku berikan yang memerlukan pelajar menghantarnya sebelum minggu ke 8. Akan tetapi kegagalan menghantar tugasan tersebut sehingga minggu ke 17 adalah sesuatu yang amat tidak munasabah. Adakah pelajar ini dijangkiti COVID-19? Tidak. Adakah dia mempunyai masalah kesihatan? Tidak. Adakah dia perlu menjaga ahli keluarga yang sakit? Tidak.

Alasan mendirikan rumah tangga, baru menimang cahaya mata adalah sesuatu yang aku rasakan peribadi dan tidak akan aku terima sebagai alasan untuk kelewatan menghantar tugasan (aku akan mencadangkan agar pelajar menangguh pengajian kerana ianya lebih sesuai dalam memastikan pelajar tidak terlalu tertekan dengan keadaan semasa). Pelajar ini tidak mempunyai isteri dan juga anak. Jadi alasan baru mendirikan rumah tangga dan menimang cahaya mata tidak boleh digunakan olehnya.

Aku berkorban banyak benda kerana menyambung pengajian. Aku faham tidak semua orang boleh membuat pengorbanan yang serupa. Tetapi, adakah aku yang perlu berkorban bagi pelajar? Jawapannya ialah ringkas dan mudah. Why should I?

Sekiranya aku telah menyiapkan penilaian, dan membuat laporan penilaian, aku tidak akan memandang belakang lagi. Dia yang baru menghantar tugasannya selepas aku membuat laporan di sistem OBE telah juga mempunyai markah yang aku telah isi di sistem GSMS. Aku telah menyiapkan laporan penilaian kursus ini.

Kepada pelajar ini dan pelajar akan datang, sekiranya anda benar-benar faham akan hadis Nabi Muhammad SAW tentang menolong orang bagi meringankan urusan dan bebanan mereka, sebagai pelajar, dengan melaksanakan tugas dan peranan anda sebagai seorang pelajar dalam kata yang sebenar, sebenarnya anda telah mengikut sunnah Nabi Muhammad SAW seperti yang dinyatakan dalam hadis beliau.

Kenapa?

Anda telah memudahkan urusan pensyarah anda menilai dan In sha Allah seperti yang dinyatakan dalam hadis Nabi Muhammad SAW, Allah akan memudahkan urusan anda. Proses dan tempoh penilaian selalunya mencabar. Bukan mudah. Ianya bukan sekadar mencabar ingatan terhadap konsep yang diajar akan tetapi juga melihat penguasaan pelajar terhadap konsep yang diajar. Proses ini memakan masa. Kelewatan penghantaran tugasan menyukarkan pensyarah menilai pelajar dalam keadaan yang tenang, dan tidak kelam kabut. Ketenangan diperlukan dan amat penting.

Capisc?

Mutiara sabah

“Dr. nak apa-apa tak? Saya kat Sabah ni” mesej yang diterima dari seorang pelajar. “Dr nak mutiara Sabah tak?” tanyanya lagi.


Aku melihat mesej yang dihantarnya malam semalam. Hati aku sedikit terhibur apabila ada orang masih mengingati diri ini ketika dia bercuti. “Mutiara? Mahal” balasku pendek. “Tak mahal. Murah je” dia membalas.


Mutiara kalau murah, dah lama Mikimoto tutup kedai” ujarku. Agak lama dia mengambil masa membalas mesejku kali ini. Mesti dia mencari maklumat tentang Mikimoto.


Tu mutiara lain. Ini mutiara Sabah” balasnya lagi. “Bila awak nak hantar RS2?” tanyaku mengingatkan dirinya tentang tesisnya yang belum dihantar lagi. “Ala Dr ni. Ingatkan saya pula. Saya dah buat pembetulan. Esok saya nak hantar. Nanti borang Dr tanda tangan ya?” balasnya


Dr nak tak mutiara Sabah? Saya offer ni?” dia bertanya lagi. “Tak payah la beli apa-apa. Janji awak hantar tesis esok” balasku.


Daripada mendapat mutiara darinya tetapi dia gagal menghantar tesisnya, lagi memeningkan kepala aku. Elok tak dapat mutiara tapi tesisnya dia hantar.


Nota: Ini adalah pelajar perempuan. Pelajar lelaki selalunya tidak akan menawarkan untuk membeli barang perhiasan sebegini. Hadiah dari pelajar lelaki yang aku pernah terima adalah buku dan penanda buku.

Hadis Rasullullah SAW tentang gila kuasa

Aku pernah ternampak satu hadis tentang tanda-tanda akhir zaman dan tentang zaman di mana ramai orang gila akan kuasa, pangkat dan status. Di era sekarang, agak senang mencari maklumat tetapi untuk mencari maklumat yang sahih perlu sedikit usaha untuk membuat analisa.

Alhamdulillah setelah beberapa hari, akhirnya dapat jumpa satu buku yang diterbitkan oleh seorang ahli akademik dari USIM bertajuk 40 hadis tentang politik dan kepimpinan.

Hadis pertama mengenai sifat manusia yang sememangnya suka akan pangkat, kuasa dan status. Boleh rujuk dari Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 7148.

Akan tetapi, Nabi Muhammad SAW ada berpesan supaya mengelakkan diri dari meminta untuk diberikan jawatan. Boleh rujuk dari Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 7146.

Dalam konteks sekarang, adakah menghantar permohonan untuk tujuan kenaikan pangkat atau mengisi borang untuk jawatan pentadbir dikira termasuk dalam larangan Nabi Muhammad SAW? Ini membuat aku berfikir panjang dan banyak kali untuk proses kenaikan pangkat. Ada yang mungkin berfikir, “Ala, apa yang nak disusahkan sangat? Tekan butang je dalam sistem. Apa yang diperlukan adalah berdasarkan penilaian tahunan dan bukti yang dimasukkan setiap tahun yang terkumpul seperti bilangan menjadi penyelidik utama, bilangan penerbitan dan sebagainya

Pangkat berbeza dari jawatan? Dari satu sudut, ianya adalah berbeza tetapi dari satu sudut lain, ianya merujuk kepada tanggungjawab dan kebergantungjawapan seseorang berdasarkan pangkat, jawatan, status (boleh melabel apa jua istilah). Mungkinkah ini yang akan menjadi penyesalan di akhirat nanti seperti yang dinyatakan dalam hadis Nabi Muhammad SAW?

Mungkin ada yang berpendapat bahawa terdapat nabi yang meminta diberikan jawatan, seperti Nabi Yusuf AS. Persoalannya ialah, layakkah kita hendak membandingkan diri dengan seseorang yang Allah telah menaikkan taraf dirinya sebagai Nabi? Bahasa orang yang biasa didengari: “Kena sedar diri la kan, kita ni siapa“. Akan tetapi ada kelonggaran untuk memastikan kepentingan masyarakat terjaga dengan “mencalonkan” diri untuk jawatan tertentu dengan syarat tertentu yang perlu dipenuhi.

Dalam apa jua keadaan, sekiranya kita diberikan jawatan, perlu dilaksanakan tanggungjawab dengan baik, dan tidak menzalimi orang lain dengan tindakan dan juga keputusan yang diambil. Dalam bentuk tulisan dan percakapan, ianya sesuatu yang mudah untuk dilaksanakan tetapi dalam bentuk perbuatan, ianya bukan mudah. Semoga Allah permudahkan urusan orang yang diberi jawatan untuk melaksanakan tugasan dengan adil dan saksama.

Guess who’s coming to dinner

It was the second of Ramadhan. Two days after I had my viva. How time flies! It has been nearly ten years since I had my viva. Feeling a bit overwhelmed with what I experienced two days ago and now, I was on my way back to see my family to share the good news. Well, technically they already knew the news immediately after my viva. Even though my friend, Putri lent me her phone to call my family back home but I just informed my sister using FB.

Normally, I would sleep throughout the journey but not this time. I was fasting and I decided to watch whatever movies available. I decided to watch “Guess who’s coming to dinner”. A classic movie. I was mesmerised with the story line. It is beautiful!

Sydney Poitier is a great actor. The story line and great actors and actresses make the movie a class of its own. It is a rare thing to watch a movie like that nowadays.

When it was about the time for me to break the fast, a stewardess handed me a tray of meal with few packets of dates and biscuits. I was so engrossed watching the movie that I finished the whole thing on the tray without realising it. When I wanted to return the tray, a stewardess asked me if I was still hungry. I replied sheepishly that I was still feeling a bit hungry. She gave me few packets of biscuits and chocolates.

After returning back to my seat, the guy who was sitting next to me asked if I enjoyed watching the movie. I just smiled while saying Yes. He told me that it is one of his favorite movies. Our conversation ended shortly after that as both of us knew that we needed to rest well. He fell asleep not long after that. I was fully awake. My mind kept on thinking about the movie.

Racism, social class, generation gap and parental concern are things that we find it difficult to overcome at certain times. But what matters most is to be open-minded and willingness to take a risk in life. Life is too short to be egocentric and not willing to take any chance that life provides.

COVID-19: Reunion

I am not that keen to have a reunion. But I just went along with the idea to keep in touch with my primary school mates. Alhamdulillah I got a chance to meet my former school mates after more than 30 years leaving school.

10 October 2020. It was a year ago when I had the reunion with my primary school mates. How time flies! Indeed.

What is wrong with this picture?

It was one of the days that I have packed schedule starting from 815am. Is it normal? It is normal but what makes it challenging is having to attend more than one event at the same time. Some people can do it well. I am not one of those people.

I had a meeting about a course and we needed to decide on the rubric etc. While attending that meeting, I also attended the Majlis Apresiasi FSSK. Using two devices, it seemed things could go smoothly. But there is only one “me” with one brain that needs to process overloading information at once. By 12pm, I was exhausted. Then someone asked me about a copy of course information that he cannot open using his laptop. I gave three versions: Words 2003, Words docx and PDF versions. He still cannot open any of the files. *sigh* My patience was wearing thin. I still remembered back in the days when I used a “dumb” phone. He chided by saying “Apa ni telefon cap ayam?”. I have the urge to say the same thing to him now “Apa ni laptop cap ayam?” but I bite my tongue and said “Try to open it again using PDF version and then you convert the PDF to Words”.

What makes me wonder is he taught the course last semester and thus it does not make any sense to ask me to give him the course information this semester. He should have the course information already since last semester. It is the same course information that will be used in the upcoming semester. I am not even the course coordinator. What is wrong with this picture?

COVID-19: Reading marathon

I bought some books. But never had a chance to really finish reading one book in one sitting. I really had enough of online webinars or whatever sessions. I feel overwhelmed with back to back online sessions. I feel I need to take a break from all those things, and read.

It is not easy to finish reading in one sitting. It has been a while since I am able to do that. Most of the time, I would be disturbed by “other” things.

Reading these two books make me review and reflect my life as a teacher and educator. I know that I am not Erin Gruwell. My students are not like hers. But a stint in a school for a year gives me a glimpse of what a teacher has to face on daily basis. It depends on the school and students that one might have. But at the end of the day, it will come back to the question of “What did I do to make a difference in these students’ lives?” That question has no single answer but it serves as a reminder than teaching is not for the faint-hearted.

COVID-19: Dear former student

An FB post that you posted on 21 September 2021 caught my attention. I could not stop thinking about your well-being. Being a mother of two young children is not easy while working at home to teach due to the pandemic. I know you are strong, but there are times when you might falter. It is just a phase. A tough phase to deal with by a tough lady like you. It is ok to be sad, frustrated and hopeless with certain things but do not let it drag too long.

Take one thing at a time. It is so common to hear people say that. But it is true. Sometimes, we need to break things down into manageable chunks that we can deal with. There is no need to rush on doing things.

I am so proud of you. With what you have done and accomplished so far, I believe and always pray that you will go far in your life as an educator. There were times when I was your teacher, but now, you teach me more than I can teach you. I learn from you and others so many new digital tools that I can use in my class. I learn from you and others to persevere despite the challenges that we might face in life. I know that you are a risk taker in changing hardship into success. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson said “To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often. Together in this journey as educators, you are not alone. We always have each other. We might have been through hell and back in life. But we have a choice not to remain there. If we choose to live in misery, we will be miserable in life. I know you will make a better choice than that. I pray may Allah ease the challenging process.

COVID-19: 2nd dose of vaccine

Unlike the first dose, I experienced more severe effect. I got my second vaccine on 30 August 2021 (Friday) around 1130am. I didn’t feel any immediate effects few hours after that. My body was aching all over after maghrib. It was getting worst around midnight. I had fever. I had taken Panadol before I went to sleep. But it didn’t help much to curb the feverish feeling that I experienced around midnight and early morning.

So, I ended up having trouble to sleep on the first night that I got vaccinated. The next day (Saturday) after Subuh prayer, I felt worst. My body aching did not go away. My body was aching when I was lying on my bed and it didn’t go away when I tried to sit. I felt light-headed when I was walking.

There was a session at 2pm (Saturday 20 August 2021) that I wanted to attend. I just could not miss this session. I ended up lying on my bed with my laptop on my stomach to attend the session and write a note using this blog.

I decided to take a leave on Sunday (21 August 2021). Even though there was a panel meeting on Sunday, I decided to skip it. I just needed a rest. I just ignore whatever messages that came in that day. But somebody called and asked me about something which is needed for auditing purposes even though the course is not audited yet (it is just offered last two semesters – a new course). I felt much better after Asar so I tried to prepare the needed document. Just do it for once and for all as I have deadlines for other that I need to do.

Based on my experience dealing with the side effects of vaccination, it gives me a time to think about my life as I was lying down on my bed, looking at the ceiling – doing nothing. All of this while, I realise that I take things for granted. Small things matter and I should not ignore when my body starts to show certain symptoms. I should not be guilty to take a rest or take a break. I deserve it. Indeed.

Sepandai-pandai tupai melompat, akhirnya ……

I purposely put the title in Malay using one of the famous idiom: “Sepandai-pandai tupai melompat akhirnya jatuh ke tanah juga”. No doubt academic status especially being a professor is a goal that some people set as academicians. There is nothing wrong in that but in the current practice of academia, sometimes to chase fame and glory, some people do not hesitate to cut corners and resort to unethical practice even. It is kind of shame such practice happens. One of the latest is by a renowned researcher (or known as one before he was caught), Dan Ariely. I first came across his name through TED Talk. Unlike some other well-known researchers in psychology like Phillip Zimbardo, Carol Dweck and such, he is not that famous when I was an undergraduate students.

Dan Ariely’s research was about honesty. It is really interesting to know what makes people to be honest or dishonest and can one’s honesty be “changed”? His research provides an insight about that but later on when other researchers tried to replicate his work, they found out otherwise. This is when some people start to dig deeper. Later on they found out that Dan Ariely concealed some data and thus, ironically when though his research is about being honest, yet he is dishonest about his own research. The evidence that researchers found about his work is compelling. Click HERE to know more.

So, I would rather be true and honest to myself and others than being famous or getting the highest position of academic accolade i.e. professorship. I create this post as a reminder that what is important that I should focus on and do not jump into the bandwagon of unscrupulous practice.