All entries for April 2008
April 27, 2008
I stayed in a hostel located in Sursee, Switzerland on 15/4 and 16/4. The attitude and behaviours towards environmental protection shown by the lady boss of the hostel, greatly impressed me.
According to her, Swiss voluntarily work for environmental protection since their primary school time. They collect old newspaper in the form of donation. Whenever they are aware of a particular method or product which can help in saving our Mother Earth, Swiss are willing to spend money for installation or to practice the proposed method. Regardless of the economic benefits gain or loss; as long as there is some or even little contribution towards environmental protection, they are more than happy to support.
What a respectful Swiss, bravo!
学问，就是学会如何问。The Chinese phrase of 'knowledge' means ‘learning to ask’ in wording. I raised up this matter during Prof David Wray's lecture on Discourse Analysis. According to Flander's research on interaction analysis between teacher and students in classroom (The Two Third Rules), 2/3 of the classroom interaction is teacher's talking; 2/3 of the teacher's talking is asking questions; and 2/3 of the questions the teacher asks are answer-known. Thus, the art of asking questions is really important in the teaching and learning process. I don't know how many research projects were carried out to study this topic, but what interests me is the analogous context happened to the way Confucious gained his knowledge before he became a teacher. His attitude towards knowledge acquisition and sharing through teaching greatly influenced my study as a life-long learner and my career as a teacher. I do not learn Confucianism specifically throughout my formal education in Malaysia. It was the practices and the behaviours portrayed by my teachers in primary schools that directed me towards Confucianism. Although I memorised a few quotations of The Analects to pass Chinese Language exams throughout my study in Secondary School, I started to gain interests on Confucianism after I started my teaching in Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL). It was June 2004, I was appointed as an Instructor at Institut Infotech MARA, UniKL. This particular branch of UniKL was located at Pertama Complex, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. Pertama Complex is actually a shopping complex with a bank and office spaces. This was a temporary campus for the institute before its move to UniKL City Campus at Vision City, Jalan Sultan Ismail in June 2006. So, my first two years of teaching life happened in this complex. I usually had my lunch alone in Chinese restaurants in Pertama Complex. I was the only Malaysian Chinese staff there and I do not eat beef. That’s why I seldom took Malay food with my colleagues because most of the Malay restaurants serve beef or mix beef in their serving. There is a Buddhism book store located next to the Chinese Restaurant which I visited frequently. I knew the boss well and we sometimes spent hours discussing issues on religion, social development, politics and education in Malaysia. I bought (sometimes got for free) books and VCDs on Buddhism and Confucianism. I was more interested in Confucianism rather than Buddhism. Hence, I began to self-study Confucianism in serious mode. Occasionally, I attended seminars on Confucianism in Kuala Lumpur. I found out that different scholars (sometimes opportunists) interprets Confucianism differently, according to their background and knowledge capacity. Such scenario is very similar to interpreting research studies done by others. Thus, I need to learn how to judge the quality of research as soon as possible to be able to select references for my literature review.
The design of toilet bowl doesn't need to fit the size of everyone's bottom; when it is in need, everyone will make sure his/her bottom fits the design of the toilet bowl.
April 24, 2008
I started to nurture the so-called multi-tasking characteristics after I owned my first desktop computer in mid 1999. It was a multimedia personal computer (MPC) with Pentium III 450MHz processor, 6x CD Burner, 15 inches Monitor, Stereo Speaker, 10 GB of hard disk, and 64MB of RAM. As a creative multimedia student, my main concern about the PC was RAM, the larger the size of RAM, the more tasks can be done simultaneously. Time was really crucial throughout my undergraduate study; numerous assignments and one after another deadline. I was deliberately trained to be multi-tasking, so that I can meet several deadlines in one time. As I grew from one trimester to the other trimester, the RAM of my PC grew concurrently. I saved money from study loan and part-time works to buy RAM.
After I chose my major, which is 3D animation, my multi-tasking skills reached the peak. While rendering (generating still images or video) animation, I chatted with friends, researched for design assignments, did part-time research assistant work, listened to mp3, replied emails, read newspapers… Phew~ Thanks to my first computer and may it rests in peace somewhere in the recycle centre in Malaysia.
Now I carry such multi-tasking characteristics to my pursue of PhD study here. It is rather problematic, as described by my senior, I have made myself looked energetic, but as a matter of fact, I am not. I always manage my “To do list” using the four quadrants method:
The most important & urgent.
E.g. studying for tomorrow’s exam or working for tomorrow’s submission.
Not important but urgent.
E.g. assisting friends to meet their next hour’s deadline.
Important but not urgent.
E.g. Studying for next week’s exam or working for next’s submission.
Neither important nor urgent.
E.g. sleeping, doing exercise, travelling, watching movies
This becomes problematic only when I misplace tasks into inappropriate quadrant. Anyhow, I am not a computer or robot, mistakes and misjudgement do happen, unintentionally and intentionally.
April 23, 2008
I visited Chipping Camden this afternoon. This trip is organised by International Office, University of Warwick.
There were nine international students joining this trip: Dana, Jie, Flora, Min, Shruti, Wenli, Winston, Mr K. Zhang and me.
We had an unguided tour around the town then we were invited to the house of Mrs Angela Stancer (a graduate of Warwick) for a tea party. The weather was very nice and we had a very happy experience of English hospitality.
April 18, 2008
Day 1 & 2 (14 Apr - 15 Apr): Geneva
Day 3 (16 Apr): Luzern & Rigi Kulm
Day 4 (17 Apr): Golden Pass Train & Interlaken
Day 5 (18 Apr): I am very grateful to be able to reach the "Top of Europe", Jungfraujoch today.
April 13, 2008
Yes! I found out that there is a Karate-do Club in University of Warwick (Shotokan Karate). I'll try to get my Gi from Malaysia and join the training session here. Before that, I'll start to get myself ready physically.
The last time I practiced Karate-do wearing my Gi was November last year. I really miss the training session with my Shihan and Sempai. The warming up session, the stretching, Kihon, Kata, Kumite, and the philosophy of Karate-do, which accompany me since I was fourteen years old.
After watching a REAL Karate movie--Kuro-obi, the flame and passion of Karate-do in my blood were ignited. Anybody out there (in University of Warwick) want to practice Karate-do together?
The farmers who plant shoots in the paddy field always move backward instead of forward.
To avoid ruining the work in progress, perhaps I should learn from the farmers.
April 12, 2008
Writing about web page http://www.kiterunnermovie.com/
This is the first movie I watched in UK, at Warwick Arts Centre. The storyline is great and the flashback scenes are touching. The theme for this movie: 'there is a way to be good again' is gently expressed through the friendship of two kids. The design of title sequence which blends the Arabic calligraphy with Englsih alphabets is beautiful and suits the production design.
I like this movie.