Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So! What can it be?

Yesterday, classes started in full swing.  From 9.00 to 11.00; 12.00 to 2.00 and 3.00 to 5.00.  This semester, I have 2 classes - 5RM (2 hours of lecture and 2 hours of tutorial/workshop) and 5QM (2 hours lecture plus 2 hours lab work). On top of that, a dissertation. Since lectures, tutorials, workshops and lab work are only for Mondays and Tuesdays, I have the rest of the week to work, I mean to really work on my dissertation.

But then again, though I have started looking for the suitable topic since last year, I haven't really decided on which yet.  I want a topic that will keep me going.  Something that can prolong my interest at least until I completed the whole thing (yep! Right to the References).  Something that I can nurture with growing interest each time I work on it.  Something that can be a beginning to a new study later on.  Something benefitful to the society or at least something which can be referred to in future. Well, I know it sounds like I am embarking on some major research work but I am not! It is just a dissertation which I need to complete within a three-month time line.  But, to me, no matter how small or how insignificant it may be to others I want it to be a good paper - something that can give me a good credit for my efforts (after all, I need a good grade don't I?).  And for something like this I can't lose interest halfway. I have to fight till the end with enthusiasm, with devotion and of course as few grammar and spelling mistakes as possible.

Yesterday when I told my friends Monica and Rizal (a PhD student from Aberdeen - somehow he has to attend classes at Dundee - a special Departmental program between the two Universities) of this problem of mine, with a smile Monica said, "Maybe you can continue with Corporate Governance?  Not many are doing a paper on it." And Rizal was telling me,"You have no choice but to choose one.  If not, you are in big trouble. Focus. Just pick one and never lose focus on it." Hmmmph.... I know he has a point but I want to focus on something that I really really like.  But which?  Among the topics that I have in my list are :

(i) complementary currency (if DrSam is reading, yes..., the rubbish thingy)
(ii) interest-free banking
(iii) the Malaysian Corporate Governance
(iv) something on Emerging Markets (but I have scratched this off - there are already a few who wanted to do this.  So, if I join in then there'll be something generic about it).
(v) something on Efficient Market Hypothesis? (Oh I have a lot to say about this! But for sure that is not enough!)

So, you see what I mean?  I can't remember since when I become one very confused lady - All I need to do is to pick one topic and stick to it. (Though I still have to get Dr. Burton's go ahead first!  Actually he has already given me the go ahead on the 3rd topic but I found myself not as excited to work on it anymore!!!)

Well, as I was leaving the Tower Building yesterday, I heard my friend Mokhtar called me (remember him? from My Dear Friend? The one who have his own version of my name?).  I asked him how he is getting along with his research paper (Oh yes! He is working on his PhD).  Oh Dear, I think I have a much lesser problem when he calmly said, "I am not sure of what to do yet. I haven't decided." And he registered about the same time with me - last September!

Is that supposed to be a consolation to me??

(Source of images : both Mortarboard and Blue flowers are from www.upload.wikimedia.org)

Monday, January 25, 2010

In Session : Reading

An avid reader myself, I always encourage my children to read.  More often than not, I will read for them (especially for the two younger children) or read together with them.  However, there are times when I have a new book which I am dying to read and of course! I want to read alone.  So, in times like this, they have to do it themselves.

The good thing here is that a child as little as 3 year old (of nursery age0 can borrow a book each week from the school library.  So, each week everyone will have a book to read. And as for my children they have 4 books to be shared among them.  So, at least I have some quiet time - and that is Bliss!

Friday, January 22, 2010

School, Here I Come!

At last! Since Monday this week there is no more fight-war-battle in the morning.  Aqil is already one happy wee boy excited about going to school.  Here are some of the snaps taken of him on his way to school.  Hmmmm... what relief!!!

So, let me leave you with these inadequate poem of mine dedicated to Aqil and other children who have excuses the first few days of schooling.

My tummy ached so
My head doing a calypso
Last night was a nightmare
Going to school is not my fare

Mummy please understand me
I would rather be with thee
For school is not as fun
When at home we can always sing and dance

Oh Mummy dear
At school there may be a  Monster
One so big might even have me for supper
You don’t want that to happen do you? Mummy dear?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's Burns Week Next Week

"Dear Parents,

As you know, next week is Burns week in school.  Children across all stages should learn Scottish poem with the infant classes learning a simpler poem which is not Burns!  There will be a competition at each stage group and although all children should learn our poem they can choose to not to enter if they are particularly nervous or shy.  Our poem this year is Cat and Mous by J.K. Annand.  I hope you will help the children learn their poem and best of luck to all for the competition."

Mia handed me the above message from school yesterday.  And attached to it is the poem which she is supposed to learn :

Cat and Mous

Said the poussie                                  
Til the mousie,
'Let me intil
Your wee housie
We will play
And we will sing
And we will dance
A jingo-ring.'

Said the mousie
Til the poussie,
'Ye'll no get
In my wee housie.
Ye are BIG
And I am wee
And ye wad eat me
For your tea.

A very cute little poem isn't it?

Sources of images : Siberian Cat from www.catsfact.org; Guinea pig from www.commons.wikipedia.org

Sunday, January 17, 2010


A Dug A Dug  (by Bill Keys)

Hey, Daddy, wid ye get us a dug?
A big broon alsation ur a wee white pug?
Ur a skinny wee terrier, ur a big fat collie?
Aw, Daddy, get us a dug.  Will yi?

Whit! An' whose dug'll it be when it durties the flerr,
An' wets the carpet and messes the sterr?
Its me ur yer Mammy'll be tane furra mug
Away oot'n play.  Yer no getting a dug

But daddy thur gi'en them away
Down therr at the RSCPA
Yu'll get wan fur nothin, so ye will.
Aw.  Daddy, get us a dug, Will ye?

Dji hear um?  Oan aboot dugs again?
Ah think that yins goat dugs'n the brain
Ah know whit yu'll get : a skite oan the lug
If ah hear ony merr aboot this bloomin dug

Aw, Daddy, it widny be dear tae keep
An'ah'd make it a basket fur it tae sleep
An'ah'd take it fur runs away over the hull
Aw, Daddy, get us a dug.  Will ye?

A doan't think thurs embdy like you :
Yi could wheedle the twist oot a flamin' corkscrew
Noo! Get doon aff my neck.  Gies nane a yur hugs
Aw right.  THAT'S ANUFF. Ah'll get yi a dug.

Aw Daddy.  A dug.  A dug.

Well, this poem is sort of Hakim's homework last week.  I like it somehow - I can visualize the children asking, begging their father with pleading eyes to get them a dog.  And not let it go until they get under his skin and finally let them have their way!

And for his effort of memorising the first two paragraphs, Hakim was rewarded a pencil and eraser from his teacher, Mrs. McEwan.

Oh ..... Not So Smooth 2nd Day

I saw it coming.  Right from the moment we (Danish, Hakim & I) woke him up. He said he had tummy-ache.  He said he's tired. He said he wanted to go back to sleep. But none of us buy it.  We almost dragged him out of bed.  We cannot succumb to his wish.  We have to be strong for his sake.

We finally managed to get him ready.  It was already late for the three elder children so I asked them to leave first.  Mia insisted on waiting for him.  Finally, at 9.10 we managed to get him out of the house.  We made a very slow progress - half walking, half dragging.

I didn't send Mia to the door as usual. I just watched her from the gate.  Once the door was opened and she was lost from my sight, I continued to the entrance of the Nursery.  Our progress much slower. With him giving every reason to make me turn back to the comfort of home.  But I was very determined.  Send this boy to school I will.

The door was already locked when we arrived. We pressed the bell and waited.  Out came Mrs Ross.  And he started crying, pouring his heart out.  He cried and fought when we tried to take out his wellie and change to his ordinary shoes.  He struggled to be set free - but none of us were capitulated.

Mrs Ross took him from me. She picked him up and hold him tight.

"You just leave, OK? We have to be cruel to be kind. He'll be OK shortly. Just leave." said Mrs Ross to me all the while holding my struggling son. I did. I left - half walking, half running but trying to avoid the slippery hardened snow. Never turned my back.

And when I picked him up that day, he was one very happy kid. Forgotten were the drama he created that morning.  He ran to me excitedly showing the piece of paper with a report of his activities for the whole 21/2 hours. The report said :

"Hakim (for Hakim Aqil) settled as soon as he came into the nursery.  It will probably be the initial separation from Mum.  This may last a few days.  He seems happy enough when he is in nursery."

Well, sound familiar anyone? :-D

Friday, January 15, 2010

First step

After sending the children to school today and almost fell flat on a few occasions in the process, I came back to an empty house.  Normally I will come back together with Aqil but not today and not anymore. Suddenly the word "empty-nesters" came to me. The emptiness of home gives a very unsettled feeling - may be I need some time to accustom myself to this.

We have applied for Aqil to enrol at the St Ninian Nursery since September last year.  However as the intake is only twice a year - on August and January and there is no vacant place at that time we have to wait until January.   When the Spring term starts on January 6, we were informed that there is no place for Aqil. So, we have to wait until August.  I am quite OK with that, actually. Aqil is a shy kid and somehow I have a feeling that he's not ready for school yet (even if it is a Nursery!). He has never been separated with me. And when I go for my classes, his father will be home with him. I'm secretly smiling when there is no place for him yet.

However, two days ago (Tuesday), I received a call from Mrs. Longmuir informing me there is a place for Aqil.  So, yesterday I went to see her and Mrs. Ross (the Early Years Practitioner) and came back with a stack of forms to fill in and a handbook.

And so, today I sent my wee boy to school.  I left as soon as I could after a few words with the teacher (and leaving my contact no just in case). I walked home alone.  Snow is already melting and so the pathway is very slippery.  I hoped for him to be OK. It's his first step in education. His first step for whatever he will be in the future. And I, have a mixed feelings.

When the phone rang at 11.25, I was almost jumping! It's my kindly neighbour asking whether I am going to fetch Aqil.  Opps! I jumped into my coat and boots and ran all the way to the nursery! Trust me to be engrossed with something and forgetting the time.  I have planned to leave the house at 11.20 but.... I reached there breathless but I saw him happily playing with the slide with Mrs Ross watching him.  They were laughing in fact. And he looked happy.  When I asked him whether he enjoyed himself, he said yes but he said "Why is it so long before you get me back?" I just have no answer for that.  Instead I asked him "Did you cry?" His answer was "I did, just a little. Three times. I put my head down every time." I smiled. "Would you like to go again tomorrow?" "Yes!" He said.  Syukur Alhamdulillah - that's easy for a first day. I hope he knows how proud I am of him.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Oh... Dear, Dear....! Today is January 6, 2010.  Sixth day unto 2010.  Already? That fast? Hmmmm.... could someone tell me that it is still 24 hours in a day, please.  Or has it been lesser.  It feels such! Two things due today :

(i) Mia will start schooling again (after the long Christmas break) - which I detest. No! Don't get me mistaken! I am all for education. I will not be here if I don't encourage that! But the thought of braving the bitter cold, never mind the crispy air! We'll both be frozen before we reached school! Never mind it's only 200m or so from home! Well, I may be exaggerating! But honest! As I am writing this, it is -7 here with a forecast of -13 tomorrow. And, from Reporting Scotland yesterday, this is the coldest winter in 10 years - and yes! I chose this time to come over! Bravo to myself!!

(ii) House Inspection - The Agent will be coming at 12.00 today to check whether :

     * we are settling down fine
     * we are keeping the house in order (cleanliness is no. 1)
     * we have any request to make (oh yes! a humidifier/dehumidifier sounds good?)
     * there is any maintenance work need to be done

Would be nice if this could be done back home too. At least it reduces the possibility of landlords/landladies having heart attack after the tenants left. Anyway, this is not a regulation here.  It is just happened that our Agent is one of the more prudent - protecting the rights of both the tenant and the landlord. At least at the end of the term, we can be assured of the return of the deposit.

Well, I must go now. Have to wake Mia up. Or she'll not be ready on time.  But as announced in Radio Tay yesterday, we have to listen for announcement whether school will be open or not - Oh... Yes!... I'm not kidding! The weather is as bad as I make it sounds.

Have A Good Day Everyone! :-D

Source of image : www.newsimg.bbc.co.uk