Merry Christmas & Happy 2017

The year is coming to its end. Today is Christmas eve so I’m taking this opportunity to wish everyone who read (or stumble upon) this blog, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May the year 2017 brings you more happiness, better health, and greatness in your academic works.

As I continue to explore the academic world, year 2016 has brought me great many academic adventures and I hope I would do proper reflection after the holiday. Sadly, 2016 has also forced me away from the blog as times were never enough in academia. I hope I would master better time management and see you again in 2017. 


It’s September?

I bet this post title is a bit too familiar. I can’t believe it’s already September and I have totally missed August. Semester has officially ended, hence I’m back to this blog. I’m also trying something new, hence the appearance of this post.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I’m trying out another new wireless keyboard and I would say this is the most awesome one so far. It supports up to 3 devices at a time and switching from one device to another is just a push on the round dial on the far left. It supports almost all OSes from Android to MacOS and Windows, so basically all devices can work with this keyboard as long as it has bluetooth connecton. I’m typing this post using this keyboard and it’s simply awesome.

One semester has ended so it’s good time to catch up with reading before marking workload kicks in soon.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I miss you, Mendeley! I haven’t sync my iPad for some times and recently I have found new interesting articles to read that could shape my near future research direction. I’m also updating my research folders in Mendeley to sort out my articles better. I also found the new version of Mendeley for iPad is much cooler now. I will definitely share another post after I explore more new features soon. 

Until then, hope everyone is doing well. 

New Theme for 2016

I think I really enjoy browsing WordPress themes and it’s best to finally find one that I like. Of course, it must be blue. Haha! So how do you like my new theme? I think it’s just perfect for now. I can choose whatever blue I want and the pattern looks so cheerful. That makes me wish to write here more.

I have also added one new category called Jenn’s PhD Journey. I have great plan for sharing more about my eventual PhD journey. At this moment, it’s still quite hazy but I think a dedicated category in this blog will make this new journey materialises on its own way.

February is here and it’s the month that I’m looking forward to because I will take a week off for Chinese New Year next week. After the holiday, I will be back to another short semester before my great plan for a holiday trip with the husband in May. Together with the on-going public course on Saturdays, this coming semester will be another busy one. However, before I can enjoy my holiday next week, I still have a lot to do this week especially in tabulating the workload for next semester as part of the tasks of my new role as programme leader. To be honest, this task is not an easy one but I do learn a lot in the process.

Anyway, if I have no chance to update here before I go on holiday next week, wishing everyone who is celebrating Chinese New Year, a happy Monkey year. May you be prosperous and healthy all year long.

Where have all the time gone?

I have actually prepared a post when the semester just began in September but I didn’t get the time to finish the post. Now it’s already Week 12 out of 14. Two more weeks to end of this semester. Two more weeks to end of this year. I’m starting to panic. Where have all the time gone? So quick it’s end of December? It has really been a crazy and busy year for me.

Arrived at office around 9 a.m. today. Love this Momentum for Chrome. Every day I will be greeted with different scenery. Oh, I’m also trying to show off my cute blue tumbler. So in love with this blue. Hehe!

Today’s scenery is the Matterhorn in Switzerland. I’m feeling a bit nostalgic thinking about Switzerland. It’s been a year since my last visit. Although I haven’t been to Matterhorn, it reminds me of my trip to Jungfrau. More snow but still as beautiful.

Here’s one of the photos from Jungfrau trip on the train. I don’t fancy cold weather but seeing snow once in a while is good enough. I wish I have more chances to visit Switzerland again. Just keep dreaming and hopefully my dream will come true. Haha!

Okay, calling Jennifer back to reality! It’s nearly end of semester which means a lot of coursework grading. It also means time to prepare for another semester.

These books are waiting for me to start reading them. I have to prepare a new course about information security management and assessment. I have this love-hate relationship with new course. I love that I’m going to set my own direction for the course. I also hate it that I have to prepare everything from start to end because it’s new. Anyway, love or hate, I still have to do it. What am I complaining here? I chose this career path and this is just part of the job. Okay, back to work. Update more later. Oh, and thanks for dropping by to read my musings.

What a teacher can’t do

I know many people have this mentality that a teacher can do a lot of things. A teacher can teach, of course! (but not all teachers are good teachers). A teacher can motivate and inspire. A teacher can guide and advise. Basically, a teacher is so important in building the new generation. I actually get into the teaching profession, thinking it can allow me to do so much and make a difference. Yes, I still believe it’s all true but recently I started to see things differently.

I began to realize that there are simply many things a teacher can’t do. This new thought actually came to me after seeing one of my students whose behaviour has changed. She’s under my private tutoring group where I work as a volunteer tutor and although I only see her once a week, I could see a drastic change in her recently. I still don’t know what exactly happened to her but I do feel concerned but at the same time helpless. Here’s why I started to think what I can’t do.

  • A teacher simply can’t help a student who doesn’t want to be helped. When someone doesn’t want your advice or opinion, no matter what you say makes no difference.
  • A teacher can’t interfere with family issues. I know we can be an adviser or a counsellor but no matter what we can advise, if family members don’t rectify the issues that affect the students, nothing we outsiders can do. As a teacher is not a trained counsellor by profession, I don’t think we actually qualify to counsel much anyway.
  • A teacher can’t simply give advice based on own experience. I know it’s useful to share experience in the hope that your students don’t make your same mistakes. However, it’s simply not the same. We are not in their shoes to go through their emotional dilemmas, so we can’t assume our experience will work for them.
  • A teacher can’t give advice when not being asked. I believe this generation of students wish to keep their privacy from the teachers so they basically don’t want us to know much, even though we get to know somehow. So giving good advice when students don’t ask from you will turn your good deed to a bad one.

Do you think there are more things that we, teachers can’t do? Please share with me and we can learn together.

Anyway, I strongly believe a teacher can’t give up. If students need us, we will always be there to support them the best way we can. That’s what I still believe a teacher can make a difference.

[Note: This post was written one night when I suddenly got the idea while driving after the tuition class. I didn’t want to lose the idea so I wrote it in Google Keep right after I reached home. I thought this post is good for sharing.]

A simple blue update

Today is a public holiday for us here in Malaysia so I decided to switch on this Macbook at home and penned down some thoughts. Since my last post, I hadn’t have chance to properly update this blog and I felt truly bad about it. Okay, not many actually view my blog here but I do wish to update this as part of my journey in academia.

Don’t you think today I’m all matching with my Macbook and my laptop cushion. Haha! I live up to my favourite blue. I don’t use this Macbook often at home because when I come home all I can think of is my TV or novels. I normally spend hours in the office working on my computer so I don’t really want to work on any computer at home. The downside is I don’t get time to update this blog. I seriously have no time in the office to do so. Updating using my phone doesn’t give me the satisfaction or convenience. Anyway, I know I must revise my schedule to include more writing if I want to keep my writing brain working.

Let me update my latest news. After my official two years in academia, I have been offered a new leader role in my department. Although I had my doubt in juggling my already busy schedule, I thought this was a good opportunity to learn more in academia. Being an academic is not all about teaching, I started to realise now. The running of the academia is as important. The administration and operation of a department or faculty are crucial to the big picture. I began to see that this new role would definitely give me good chance to see things in different perspectives. Hopefully this new experience would make me a better academic as a whole.

Anyway, I’ll see how things go with this new role on top of being a lecturer and hopefully a better researcher and academic writer. Next semester I’m expected to do 2 different lectures for 2 different courses. It’s not easy but I’m always up to the challenge.

Teaching is like walking in Jurassic Park

I couldn’t believe it that May just passed like that. It’s now June. Half of the year is going to end very soon. The new academic year began in early May, hence my super busy schedule has kicked in after some break. I’m teaching two new courses this semester, but they are my favorite networking courses so I’m actually quite enjoying my classes. The only problem is I have to spend a lot of time in preparing the lecture and lab materials since this is my first time teaching these courses.

Anyway, I hope after next week when I have settled my final examination questions for these courses, I would be able to relax a bit and turn myself to write more here. For now, I just want to share this funny message I received recently.

Have you seen this before?

I still get people telling me that teaching is an easy job, but none of them is a teacher, by the way. I guess only teachers would understand this. Teaching is not actually like walking in a park where you can leisurely enjoy the scenic view or peaceful environment. Have teachers ever able to do that? To me, teaching is more like running around chasing little kids to make sure they are doing fine (e.g. submitting coursework on time and not failing). In some other days, teaching is really like walking in a park full of dinosaurs who want to eat you alive (e.g. harassing us for their coursework marks or tips for exam questions). Anyhow, teaching is not as bad as in Jurassic Park where you always have to run for your life. Sometimes I really enjoy walking in that Jurassic Park where I can learn about the different variety of dinosaurs who sometimes can really do things that amaze me.

So to teachers out there, what do you think? Is teaching really a walk in a park for you? Haha!