Saturday, September 3, 2011

An answer to WHY?

I find this very interesting as it tells us why we think and say things in a way that we ourself don't know why:

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof...
Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That ' s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.
Hence: a thresh hold.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would Sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and
prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they
realized they had been burying people alive... So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell . ..... .
Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting Married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.. Hence the saying, "Don ' t throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

I never know the reasons for all the above until today....

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Research Area

Suddenly many ideas emerged since yesterday about what I can do for my academia research area. Maybe all these while I was too narrow minded and thought that only Action Learning is the area for my research, but I should focusing on some niche. Niche area where there are limited findings of the outcome from hybrid fields. Hence, hospitality could be an industry to study on, using existing concepts and theories which were normally used for Business and Management.

Possible research areas:

1. The role of marketing in Hospitality and Tourism (could be more specific in terms of Hotels, Travel Agencies)

2. The differences in marketing orientation: Manufacturing based organisation versus Service Based organisation - A comparison between the marketing practices in general.

3. The impact of internal marketing in hospitality industry. - the study on human capital management or talent management.

4. Problem solving in service industry: an action learning approach (this could be a training based research to cultivate action learning methodology in hotel operation management)

5. The role of intermediaries in hospitality - the advantages and disadvantages (the study should focus on the major differences of channel of distribution for an hotel/airlines as compared to physical product based business or company; what are the related intermediaries and their roles).

6. New media in hospitality: the use of social networking and e-marketing.

7. Other areas could be identify looking at the constraint of marketing textbooks for hospitality and tourism.

That's all for now and these should be enough for time being. There will be lots of work to do if all these topic to be materialise either as conference paper of to come out with journals.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Where should I begin with my PhD journey?

It has been something that I have thought about for quite sometime, but yet still no decision made. Hence, today I finally went to visit Malaya University and attended their briefing session about their post-graduate studies. Everyone seem to tell me the same thing about pursuing a PhD; don't have to worry about money to pay the fees because most of the time, research work will be funded by grants (if you know how and where to apply). Also, many told me that research is not something difficult; we just need to have the passion and be consistent (with the right attitude).

Now, be consistent is what we have to be thoughtful about it. Perhaps, many may think that we will start procrastinating these advices, but we are just normal human with simple needs and wants. We want to achieve something, but yet there are much more opportunity costs that awaiting. Being in private sector of education industry, consistency and the right attitude tends to be a great challenge!

The fact that teaching has been perceived by many people as a job that are non-time consuming and very flexible; only work on the teaching hours assigned; and with minimum preparation work, one can just recycle the teaching material and go into the class to teach....

Being a lecturer, I can say that all these perception about lecturer are wrong! Sometime, it is impossible to even sit down for 30 minutes to think or read for research work. Why? It is because teaching workload goes beyond the number of hours we have to teach in the class. Preparation work include updating the materials, changing it to fit to the class environment, updating the articles or reading materials, create classroom exercises and activities, marking for assignment and exercises, counselling, setting exam papers, supporting other school or departments in teaching-learning, support in new course development, even in private sector, lecturers involves alot in marketing activities. Meeting after meeting and involvement after involvement into area that sometime deviate from teaching.

And the best thing now, research work becomes part of the KRA of a lecturer, which involves publications and consultancy work. Well, in the near future, I believe there will be more and more stuffs to be added on the shoulder of the educators. Hence, how many lecturer can really handle the stress and heavy responsibilities, and yet still able to perform the best in teaching?

So, come back to the and where should I begin? Too many turbulent factors affecting such a decision, despite of knowing the fact that it is not going to be difficult to conduct research and there are lots of grants available. This is the "real" world we are living now.

Friday, April 1, 2011


I read something very meaningful and I think it is a good lesson for us to keep remembering it whenever we face an insulting situation. Learn how to deal with insult and make sure we don't hurt ourself. Enjoy the below story:

The Buddha explained how to handle insult and maintain compassion.
One day Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him. "You have no right teaching others," he shouted. "You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake."
Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man "Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?"

The man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, "It would belong to me, because I bought the gift."

The Buddha smiled and said, "That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself."

"If you want to stop hurting yourself, you must get rid of your anger and become loving instead. When you hate others, you yourself become unhappy. But when you love others, everyone is happy."

The young man listened closely to these wise words of the Buddha. "You are right, Enlightened One, "he said. "Please teach me the path of love. I wish to become your follower."

The Buddha answered kindly, "Of course. I teach anyone who truly wants to learn. Come with me."