Part One of My Working Life During Covid-19

What is Covid-19? Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus [1]. This disease has several symptoms, like fever, dry cough, and tiredness are the most common ones; difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, and loss of speech or movement are serious symptoms [2]. To get ourselves be safe, always consult the medical doctor or health facility if feeling unwell. Besides, wash hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with an alcohol-based hand rub, social distancing, wear masks, and stay home [3] to reduce the chance of getting infected.
On the first day of my working life, it was necessary to wear a mask and the Covid-19 already existed for more than 9 months in Malaysia. The most challenging task is to give lectures on online platforms, not only using e-learning but also need to use Google Meet, Cisco Webex, and so on. Before this, we joined the classes and attended the exams in the traditional way which is face-to-face. But, now, everything is online. We get to notice the trend of using online tools and platforms increase abruptly due to Covid-19. This trend not only exists in education, but it also happens in our daily life, like online food ordering and delivery, online shopping, etc.
Teaching and learning through online video platforms is the most difficult to get understand and communicate with students if technical problems happened, especially internet connection lost. There are many possible issues that may happen during online classes. Also, not all the proposed solutions can assist instructors and learners to solve their problems. There is no doubt that self-motivation, concern, and communication are important during online classes.


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My Study’s Life @ University of Technology Malaysia

Let’s flashback to the first day of entering UTM, and it was taken an hour journey from my home to UTM. How could I survive from my bachelor degree until my PhD? Why did this question pop out? This is because I am a quiet person, and there were lots of group assessments need to do instead of individual assessments. Unbelievable! Everyone has their story included me too. Four years of a bachelor degree, two years of a master degree, and 45 months of a PhD for my student’s life in this university. Wow, nearly ten years in UTM. Haha, there is no end to be in UTM after I graduated with my PhD. It was a surprise, and I continue to stay at the same school, same faculty, and same university for my first permanent job. There is no doubt that the most challenging journey is postgraduate life, especially research-based. Every day and every night, I faced the squared screen with doing research and running experiments; it is the same as working life. Because of the course, we always closely approach computers, smartphones, and other related technological devices because of the technology.
The most unforgettable moment is research attachment at the University of Salamanca, Spain. It was my first time taking more than 14 hours from Changi, Singapore to Doha, Qatar, then transit to Madrid, Spain. Haha, luckily, I was not alone to go there. Most Spanish couldn’t communicate with us in English, so how? Google translate is the most powerful app to help us to communicate with Spanish. Fortunately, our Spanish supervisors, professors, and friends speak English to us. We also noticed that the most common culture is “Hola” to greet anyone and not care where you are, even in the washroom. They are friendly, and their lifestyle is relaxed, unlike our lifestyle is a bit stressful. Another unforgettable moment is having fun eating and drinking with a group of “sisters” in bachelor degree’s life. After the bachelor’s degree graduated, everyone has started to strive for their life goals at different places worldwide.
My late grandma and my mummy always told me that “learning from mistakes” and “always remember who lent you a helping hand before”. In the end, I would like to gratefully thank those who always guide, support, advise, lead, concern, encourage, and help me, including my parents, my godmother, my brother, my academic advisor, my final year project supervisor, my master degree supervisors, my PhD supervisors, my Spanish supervisors, and my colleagues. The most important is, “Thank you, Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia and UTM Zamalah”, to support my postgraduate studies.

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