Today is 1st January 2019. I am writing this piece of entry at my class 4 Bayu in SK Serendah. This year I am 35 years old (although of course, I still have another 6 months to be a legit 35 years old but I guess it is better to acknowledge that and embrace that. Haven’t y’all heard Hermione Granger (in the movie) or Dumbledore (in the novel) said “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself”?); also it is my 9th year to serve as a primary school teacher; and my 5th semester in my PhD journey. I am looking forward for another tremendous life journey in 2019 but of course 2018 was somewhat a year of Savoir Vivre! Just as I predicted a year ago, 2018 was indeed an “experiential, varicoloured life” (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2018/01/27/myn-2018n-ressoolutions-the-year-of-savoir-vivre-the-experiential-varicoloured-life-good-childlike-gone-bad/).
So, a 35 years old, huh? My hair is whitening. Haha. It is God’s gentle reminder that I am no more a youngster. Who am I kidding? Have to embrace the fact.
Looking back, there are of course ups and downs throughout 2018. For personal associations, I admit that this year was somewhat an experimental year for me. I am no saint and neither an angel. The wanton alter-ego was a domineering persona and I admit I had fun to commit all that “persuasive games”. To be entangled with those who are already in legit matrimonial relationships – would that make you a harlot? But well, it takes two to tango. Nevertheless, I intend to cleanse myself in 2019. This year, I am going to treat my body as my temple. Hopefully, I can be “istiqamah” on that. Amin.
As for PhD journey, I am quite nervous. After meetings with my lecturers, there have been so many drastic changes. Only early this March (my second Committee Member Meeting) after 4 semesters that my lecturers decided studying Angelina Jolie’s speeches would not resonate strong academic contribution as opposed to other credible speakers, for example Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/my-22ndd-research-committee-members-meeting-the-phd-research-diverged-rhetorical-criticism-focus-group-discussion-approach-goodbye-angelina-jolie-hello-dr-mahathir/). So you could imagine the topsy-turvy situation! I have to re-unearth the possible research angles as well as the possible speeches to be analyzed. On top of that, my writing is still quite amateurish and non-academic as it lacks “critical thinking” values. Sure, I have a lot of citations but those are meant to be peripheral statements as opposed to the “critical analysis.”
I passed my Comprehensive Exam!
Nevertheless, of course if I were to rant on my “self-criticizing” moments, that would be endless, no? On the contrary, I do have good points throughout my PhD journey this year. For example, :-
- I’ve managed to ace an “A” in my Advanced Qualitative Research Methodology subject (which I thought was freaking difficult!);
- I’ve presented a paper in 12th Biennial Convention of the Pacific & Asian Communication Association (PACA) 2018 in Universiti Malaysia Sabah at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/suunn-sea-studyyy-sabahhh-my-virgin-communication-convention-12th-biennial-convention-of-paca-2018-universiti-malaysia-sabah-ums-the-spontaneous-island-experience-manukan-island/); and
- I’ve also passed the dreading and difficult PhD Comprehensive Exam which comprises Oral and Writing tests (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2018/08/15/4th-semeester-shaahrills-rrror0oad-to-phd-passing-the-comprehensive-written-oral-exams-acing-advanced-qualitative-research-methodology-exam-presented-paper-at-first-communication-conve/)!!
Before entering the examination room! I was nervous!
I also managed to get an “A” for my Advanced Qualitative Research Methodology.
When I reminisced that all these were achieved as a person who pursues PhD while working full time – I am quite satisfied and feel that I need a pat on my own back. I should minimize that sense of “self-criticizing” and starts to focus on the positive sides rather than dwelling in the negativity. Looking back, I feel “-
“Hey, not bad for a person who has to juggle time working full time and on top of that, being entrusted with quite heavy responsibilities at working place, no?”
With the Philippines’ delegates.
I presented a paper in a convention. I guess it was OK for my virgin experience as an amateur who also work full time while pursuing PhD.
As a school teacher, I have been entrusted with a few heavy responsibilities throughout 2018. Usually, a teacher is to teach only one core (UPSR) subject to the year 6 pupils but I didn’t know why that the school had asked me to teach both English and Science?! This meant that in comparison to my other colleagues, I had to put double effort to :-
- attend the weekend additional classes almost every week (since Science and English are in separate weeks; English+Malay slotted for 1st week whereas Science+Mathematics on the 2nd week);
- school holidays programmes (Kem Menjawab Soalan Peperiksaan);
- UPSR Gerak Gempur activities (Permata, Berlian, Champion, whacchamaccalit)
My 6 Samudera 2018 pupils. Great kids. I am going to miss y’all.
And on top of that, I was also chosen to be the class teacher for Year 6 Samudera. I am the only teacher in the school who was chosen to be the class teacher and also to teach 2 core UPSR subjects!!! Being the class teacher for Year 6 means that there are tonnes of documentation stuffs you have to settle for your pupils as they were about to migrate to the secondary school – so you have to attend to their :-
- the “Sjil Berhenti Sekolah”;
- health books;
- teeth cards;
- counselling profiles;
- immunization papers;
- their Dana Tahun 6;
- the NILAM records, etc.
I have to be honest. It was suffocating. And I felt like the school didn’t show any mercy towards me although they know that I am pursuing PhD which is a total different game than degree or Master’s degree (I am not being pompous but that is the truth). But since the school revoked my post as the PIBG Treasurer 2017, I accepted the new posts as token of gratitude. It was an unspoken “barter” / give-and-take” common sense. But it wasn’t easy. But indeed in the end, I am glad that I accepted the challenge. My 6 Samudera pupils who are the “academically-abysmal” lots did their best in UPSR. There were only 5 pupils with all Es (6E) in comparison to the previous year in 2017 with 8 6Es. So, in a way, this helped the school’s percentage and I am glad that my pupils tried their best. Certainly going to miss them as I have been their class teacher since 2017. Overall, it was a fruitful year as a teacher for me.
During announcement of UPSR results.
I also had the opportunity to travel twice to Thailand this year. The first one was to Phuket with my sister’s family and the other one was my spontaneous solo trip to Bangkok. I didn’t even had the time to blog about my Bangkok trip! I went there after Aidiladha just to experience the Islamic culture there. I booked the renowned Islamic hotel al-Meroz and went to the nearby Bangkok Islamic Centre which I first saw in Mizz Nina’s Instagram account. As a historical freak, I also went to the Grand Palace and really, it was a mind-blowing experience and I felt like Anna Leonowenns! I also made new friend on the way to Suvarnabhumi Airport. I am proud of myself for doing this.
Exquisite Grand Palace at Bangkok!
Islamic Centre of Thailand. Subahnallah! Great place.
At Patong Beach, Phuket with my sister and my two nephews. My brother-in-law arrived a day later.
So, what’s up with my new year resolutions? I have fulfilled 90% of my 2018 resolutions as per below:-
- To solidify my PhD journey – Yes, I got an “A” for Advanced Qualitative Research Methodology; I presented a paper in conference and I passed my PhD Comprehensive Exam!;
- To give my best as a teacher – I managed to help my pupils to reduce the number of 6Es candidates and helped to boost the school’s percentage;
- To read 6 celebrated books/novels – I didn’t achieve this. I merely read 5 celebrated books according to my Goodreads account (“Natrah : In The Name of Love”; “Rosemary’s Baby”; “Robert Kuok : A Memoir”; “Empress Cixi : The Concubine Who Launched Modern China” and “Billion Dollar Whale”.)
- To participate in 3 running events – I didn’t achieve this! Did not participate any running event at all!
- Travelling @ Wanderlust (Domestic/Abroad) – Went to Thailand, twice!
So for this year 2019, what are my goals? I intend to :-
- Publish an article & accelerate the progress of my thesis ;
- To excel as a teacher (Class Teacher of 4 Bayu, Ketua Panitia Pendidikan Moral & Ketua Penasihat Bulan Sabit Merah Malaysia) ;
- To read 5 celebrated books/ novels;
- To travel @ wanderlust – or perhaps visiting Makkah again for Umrah? Goodness knows;
- To dedicate more time with my parents ;
- To be a better Muslim by cleansing myself from any vile attractions.
- To participate in at least one running event.
On whole, I hope to become a better version of myself this year and to be a better Muslim. I think it’s already enough fooling around with all the experiments. It is time to cleanse myself and draw myself closer to spirituality and piety. So, 2019 is going to be the year of Spirituality & Epistemology. Amin.
Amin, hopefully 2019 will be the year of spirituality and epistemology for me.