How to be happier in learning

While I’m still on training this week and still have the mood to write, let me share about my way of learning. I guess we all would agree that how we learn makes a big difference in our learning experience. I find that getting into a particular learning process that you are comfortable with, would improve your learning experience. For me, my stationery contributes a big part of my learning process. Although I’m in the IT field and obviously I have so many gadgets to help me in my learning, I’m still kind of old-fashion in certain way when it comes to my learning process. I still need my colorful pens, notebooks, and other cute stationery that keep me motivated in learning. If you know me well by reading this blog, you should know my number one requirement for my stationery is BLUE.

Here is my precious blue notebook that I bought quite some times ago. Originally, I was keeping this for my eventual PhD. When I was getting ready for this week’s networking training, I was searching high and low for a notebook so that I can start my own ‘network bible’. I used to have one simple notebook for my previous networking lessons last year and that notebook has already run out of pages. So, I decided to use this precious blue notebook for my ‘network bible’ as I think I can always get more blue notebooks for my PhD later. Haha!

Anyway, what I really want to say is everything blue makes my learning happier. Other than the topics and the way the lessons are delivered (which are not under my control most of the times but they are still important elements in learning process), getting stationery you like can improve your overall learning process. At the very least, you should be motivated to learn by looking at the things you like, right? Of course, that’s not all you can do to improve your learning process. Learning is simply so subjective and it varies from one person to the other. Finding the right way for yourself is essential for success. Motivation is the key to keep you on the right track. Hence, it is very important to find the right things to keep you motivated and happier so that you are always on the right track in your learning.

Do you have better ways that make your learning happier? Do share with me.

Keep calm and just write


I know I haven’t been writing much here and I feel so bad every time I visit my own blog. Seeing that my blog’s stats still continue to increase makes me feel even more guilty for not sharing any new or interesting topics. To be honest, I really have a lot to share, especially after a year in academia with so much that I have learned and experimented. I have used my new found autonomy as a lecturer to try new teaching and learning tools as I conduct my courses. That experience alone is worth sharing but I just don’t know where to start writing about it.

Anyway, I hope with this post, I will be able to start writing and sharing again. With the semester ended and while I’m doing my marking of examination scripts, I hope I can write bits and pieces soon. I hope your writing is doing much better than mine. Let’s us keep calm and just write… 

Make it works

It’s not always a good day but when it is, I feel so energetic and motivated to do a lot more. Although I may only work on tasks that are not considered writing, it’s still required tasks for whatever I want to achieve. Crossing out tasks from my list does always make me feel good. Sometimes it’s really hard with a hectic working day in the office (so not much time for writing) and most of the tasks for the day are office work related but I know too well that everything’s possible if you are determined. I just need to find my determination and motivation back in order to achieve my writing goals.

And I found them in my new gadget 😛


It’s my new Rapoo’s Bluetooth headset for my iPhone. It comes with microphone so now I can listen to my favorite songs and answer calls too when they come. Of course, it’s at least a bit blue. Now I have more reasons to be more productive (I hope!). I already felt being more productive using this headset since yesterday. Haha!

So if you think your days are not as good as you hope for your productivity, try something new today. It can be anything you like; be it a new gadget, a good walk, a nap, and etc. It will definitely help, I promise you! Most importantly, just keep going and stay motivated!

#FollowFriday #2

I have wanted to write this second #FF months ago but never get to it. I sincerely share this #FF today because these people are great inspiration to my #Acwri (academic writing). I hope you will follow them (if you haven’t already) and find great inspiration as well in your writing.

@ThomsonPatDr Pat Thomson is the most resourceful person when it comes to writing. She always shares great advice, useful tips and insights about writing. A must follow if you want to improve your academic writing.

@gradschoolninjaProf Susan Nance is another great person who always inspire (with lots of great advice/tips) to become a better writer and better graduate ninja – the only way to survive graduate school 😛

@tanyagolashbozaProf Tanya is the author behind Get A Life, PhD. I have been following her blog since the beginning of the year and found her posts so inspiring and motivating that have become my resources to actually keep myself pushing forward and complete my dissertation. I just realized while writing this post that I didn’t follow her on Twitter. I have clicked Follow as I write.

@thesiswhispererDr Inger Mewburn is quite famous among the academic tweeps. I first followed her blog (quite early during my journey) to get insights about writing or rather get writing started. Now her blog provides various advice about everything academia.

That’s all for today’s Follow Friday. Hope you have a great weekend ahead.

Inspiration: The writing environment

The one thing I’d love to have when I was writing my dissertation was a comfortable writing environment. Imagine the number of hours one spends during the writing process, getting comfortable will definitely inspire the writing process and eventually improve one’s productivity.

I came across this photo in my Pinterest and it’s become my inspiration of my future writing desk at home. If only I can get a nice window’s view around the house, I’d be very happy to write…forever. Hehe!

There are more nice photos and great tips in the author’s blog post on 10 tips for your home office. I can just look at the photos for a long time and imagine getting my own one day 😛

The Successful Ingredients for Completing a Dissertation

While I’m waiting for concluding the final submission of my dissertation, I’m spending my break time writing guest blog posts. My first guest blog post was published yesterday here. It’s really an honor working together with Gradshare‘s editor, Devin McGinty on my post. It’s more fun writing guest posts than writing chapters or journal article. Haha! When Devin posted to invite graduate students to become guest bloggers for the site, I was excited to try. I’ve been following Gradshare’s updates since I began my dissertation and I’ve benefited a lot from that site. I thought it’s time for me to contribute back some sharing and help others.

On that blog post, I share about my reflection on completing my dissertation and what actually drives me to such success. I hope my sharing can inspire many as nothing is impossible if you really want to succeed. Do read my post and tell me what you think.

I’ve also written another post for PhDPublished that will be published next week. I’m looking forward to write more if I’m given more chances. I can’t believe I’m actually more productive in writing when there’s no due date for submission. Haha! Anyway, hope you’ll stay tuned for more of my guest blog posts soon 🙂

Importance of 3 months notice before submission

Dear Postgraduate Research Students,

The Importance of ‘Three Months Notice Before Submission


Greetings from the Institute for Graduate Students, University of Malaya!

Welcome to the second semester of session 2011/2012. I hope everything is fine with your postgraduate studies and you are progressing well in your research.

I would like to remind research students to submit their ‘three months notice before submission’ early to avoid delay in the examination process of your thesis/dissertation. If you are not able to submit within the three months, please appeal for a three months extension. During this period, your respective faculties will process the appointment of your examiners.

You are strong advised to submit your thesis/dissertation for examination by the end of April if you wish to convoke in October this year. This is to take into account the examination process which would normally take between two to four months.

You are also strongly advised to plan the preparation and submission of your thesis/dissertation with your supervisor(s) to ensure timely completion of your postgraduate training.

With best wishes,


Institute for Graduate Studies

Received this email today. I’m ecstatic that there’s still hope to graduate this year. This is great motivation for me to complete the manuscript by end of this month, which will leave me enough time for editing in the next month. I’m sure there will be editing to do after I submit to my supervisor and before the submission to examiners. Time to work extra hard…

Yes, I can do it!