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."