Tuesday, April 28, 2009

There could be times where joyful things just roll into your pocket unexpectedly.

Today I had my last session with the students from the Foundation Program after being with them for almost 7 weeks.

Among the alkyls and halides, I taught them basic chemistry - both physical and organic chemistry - and I made them to understand certain concepts in science though it may not be as subtle as it should be/get, nor I actually equipped them with sufficient information regarding the subject. But I did my best, my colleagues did theirs and there we were at the end of the journey where our students part from us for more challenging world of academics to come.

And there is nothing else that could defeat the joy I had when I finally commenced the closing end for Chemistry II laboratory session of class January 2009 semester, when most of the students came forward to my table and offered their hands with smiles in their faces. How gladful I was when they thanked me for all I had given them, be it academically related or not.

The mixed feelings of joy and sadness somewhat somehow forced me into writing this as a step to reminisce the time I had with them students. It is not easy to letting go of the people whom you have taken care of for quite some length of time with all the carings that you can give, providing them with ample spirits and knowledge of academics and whatnots, whom in the end have to leave in order for them to level up one step to their self maturity.

I will have to stay to teach Chemistry II for the next batch to come.

And I know some of them will read this thing up, so I decided to leave them a short message.

Dear Students, I am glad that most of you find my class interesting, and I am glad that you all got through the laboratory sessions still in one piece each. I forgive all of your wrongdoings, and may you forgive me for my lack of sensitivity and my usual angst during the time I was teaching, for that my being mad was to only ensure that you people grow up with knowledge studded to your brain forever and not just stapled for only a couple of days. It was fun to see how you people growing up and improving each day we met, and I could never feel any better than to see you completed the syllabus in time, successfully. There will be more coming your way, and as we both know our formal education session has just ended. But never in intend to stop teaching and guiding you on things, should you need me to. My door is always open, and every foot stepping in will be entertained. We could even go to mamak sometimes, see?

I hope I would not forget your faces like the way you wouldn't forgetting mine. Do say hi whenever we bump into each other one day, for that my memory isn't that good anymore. I was always bad with faces.
I wish you luck and I wish you well. May God be with you in your every pace, and may success be showered upon you from now on. Thank you for attending my sessions, and thank you for enjoying every bit of it. In all seriousness, thank you very much.

And crap I'm gonna miss the hell out of you guys.

* * *

'The Early Days'
- The now-empty laboratory where I used to undergo my Chemistry II Laboratory sessions back in 2003.

'Sealed Memories'
- Just like everyone else, we box in our memories in our hearts, and we seal it with time.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"My, quite an accent, you. Brixton's?" the lady asked.

"No ma'am," I replied, facing her aging face, "Cockney's. With a bit of Welsh at some bitter points."

She smiled before sipping on her cup of morning coffee.

* * *

I got myself hooked up with British accent quite some time not very long before, when my mom was still working with the government, dealing with foreigners from Commonwealth countries and my dad was still with lines of British expatriates coming in and out from the country.

I found the accent, say, grandeurly charming? And I had myself loving the accent so much those days I nearly pouched a Macwilliams inside my pants, should I need a partner to practice my vocabulary.

As compared to the American's, I find British's somewhat attractive down to the last detail. Even their swearings seem to be joyful to hear.

I have always enjoyed listening to Britons having their chats, although I don’t think I ever thought of it as such; British accents have always been nice, but not really something I went out of my way to listen to on a regular basis, generally only if I managed to find at least one of them here in the motherland. But when I put some thought to it, it was an easy choice which I wouldn’t bore of, and would enjoy doing (and look forward to), only that the British had left this state (or at least Tronoh) quite sometime ago with their lads and lasses, leaving only dented metals and rigs from the Queen's missions party assembly to finding (and mining till the last drop of) tin ores.

Baby steps, though; I’ve learned my lesson from the years of debacle.

It is rather hard to speak one, let alone to understand the accent once listened to unless you have sharp ears and mind, and of course pretty much good English. And I could not help but to practice to enhance the Americans on my tongue than that of the BBC English, since we nowadays are fed with too much American soaps and series that suddenly everyone wants to go all Hollywood about their days. Since we're hitting these phenomena at the height of their popularity, we tend to use it out of context to communicate in everyday situations.

It is hard to converse in the accent I used to adore very much during earlier days, chiefly due to the point that some of us prefer nothing else but the mother tongue language ("Math and Science in Malay, hurrah!", they said). And I wouldn't want to drop the bomb and cause commonly unusual disturbances by merrily coming out with accents at people and cause them to be completely at surprise, like when a you roll on the pedal on the toy box and suddenly bam! a clown pops out and your friends laugh, your parents laugh, your pets laugh while you die a little inside. And in certain daily occasions when you speak in the 'orang puteh's' language, you might as well get yourself pie-ed out for being a showoff, at least not from your excellent way of seeing things.

But for whatever reason, I say, these British accent is positively divine! Excellent texture, provocative suppore, completely entertaining? Well, aren't I the wicked one?!

Friday, April 24, 2009

These days there were some people around me had themselves touched the very subjective field of love, on the way of understanding and conquering.

For example, Mr Silverleaf here asked me on making Love potion No. 9 while Mr Asyraf there wrote some close-to-poetic opinions on love usual phenomenons.

And I could not help but to write something on this issue, perhaps to give some joys to these disturbed souls.

The Theory of Relativity, of course, would not explain girls at all. It does not even explain men as well in the first place, since the theory describes only about time and space where light is the matter being discussed. But of course, I understood that what Asyraff was trying to say, that to him girls are unexplainable.

"What?! Women? Light is easier to be theorized out hahhahahaha goddamn my wife is gonna kill me but what the hell ahaahahhahaha"

Well of course. We agree on the fact that women tend to be so unpredictable that we men oftenly become confused because we fail to see the patterns of behavior we usually see in other men. And of course we, most of the time, will miss the hints women try hard to show to us.

"Choose your words carefully, or somebody might lose some balls tonight."

Picture a scene where a man and a woman in a relationship are having this chat during dinner:

* * *

Man: So how's your day, love?

Woman: Not well. There was this lady who was picking on me because my bag is pricier than her, which was so unnecessary of her, and there's this my friend whom her jerk boyfriend dumped her because he thinks she was being all lame and all, and then there's this one guy...(proceeding to endless yada yada)

Man: (Chomping on his food, thinking, "Why can't she just say her day was all but good?")

Woman: Were you listening?

Man: Well of course I was, and still am.

Woman: Do you have anything to do tonight?

Man: Yeah. There's this client who needed me to design some stuffs for him. I need to look at that later when we get home.

Woman: Hm. (Thinking, "Always work but never me. I had a bad day, why couldn't he be with me for a while? I need a hug. And a teddy bear. No. An icecream! But it would be bad on my stomach. A good warm bath would be fun. But he wouldn't be there with me. Why can't he just be there with me? Why? Why do I need to go through all these? Do I deserve all these?")

Man: (Noticing that there's some unfavorable face gestures in his spouse's) Why, is there something wrong?

Woman: Nope. (Supercold woman, now she is)

Man: Then why the face? (Starts to hit the panic button)

Woman: Nothing.

* * *

Here's where the man stops eating and stare at the lady, while the lady ignoring him totally and proceeds to her food instead.

And this is when the communication fails; the man will think that the lady was trying to ridicule him (because he mistook her gestures for something else) and the lady will think that the guy is just an idiot (because he cannot even understand what she wants).

So my point is, in order to understand a lady, communicate with her. Talk to her. Picture her as a mining spot - in order to harvest the information from her, you need to dig deep inside her (not THAT type of digging, you perverted morons!).

There's a reason WHY this book shows a freaked-out guy on its cover.

A woman for me is always so mysterious, individually and uniquely. It is hard enough to pattern out the behavior of women generally, so don't even think about to classify one down into detail - it would be even more disastrous. But we men just need to do it in order to keep the lady happy and the relationship healthy (read: to have some peace in our war-zone manly hearts). And we just need them women eventually, for, you know, stuffs.

*cough* I didn't mean that, seriously. I love you honey, seriously. Seriously I'm serious. :D

So listen up boys, we just need to learn the trick to get into a woman's heart (and stick in there). Because if you don't have the skills, life's gonna be a bitch for you, mates. Unless of course you're this guy who get women like lungs take to air:

"Fuck you all I'm filthy rich."

And sorry Silvy, no potion no. 9. My only formula is to go down into a lot of deep shitholes in the quest of understanding women, and eventually you will be polished out in the way out from the shitholes, only to realize that you are already becoming a master of women at heart soon enough before you knowing. But here's some hint: women only want to hear things that are pleasing in their ears, so improve your wordings, and come out with some talents.

Good luck.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It has been almost two semesters I have been teaching Chemistry 2 for Foundation Programme Students.

And some could not just stay silent but to ask in curiosity - why Chemistry 2?

"Ahhh...Welcome, welcome to my laboratory. I'm making some tea. Want some, you?"

Well why not?

Some said, and I answered:

1. You're a Mechanical Engineer not a Chemical Engineer. You should have taught mechanical subjects.
- Yes, by fact I am a Mechanical Engineer. But the field of Mechanical Engineering covers a little from every other engineering fields. We learn a bit of circuits (Electrical), some structure and stability concept (Civil), chemical reactions and environment (Chemical), and even a bit of hydrocarbon mining (Petroleum & Geo Science). So in a way I am able to teach Chemistry as well, since I was educated on Chemistry too not too long ago.
2. Chemistry is just way too easy to teach. It's no challenge at all.
- Try it. You might get away easily when it comes to explaining physical chemistry but when it comes to organic chemistry, that's where the game begins. Especially with the freshmen who do not have any engineering background at all.

3. It won't help your research at all.
- Says who? My research is 70 percent by empirical method. And gasification is all depending on thermochemical reactions. How does that not helping my research?

* * *

It has been two semesters. And I am enjoying every bit of it. Sure, it is not always sunshine and rainbows, but it really worth it.

Nothing makes you smile at the end of the day than knowing your students get along with you well. To see how they learn in the fun way than the usual formal with all seriousness.To see how they show their curiosity and ask endless questions to satisfy all the 'whys and whats' in their heads. To see that the end of the day, your students change because of what you have been doing all these times.

There is nothing more heartwarming than to have your students shaking your hands before leaving the laboratory. Or having them saying 'thank you very much, sir' with their smiles on their faces. Or seeing them liking to hear what you're saying in so much interest rather than just listening for the sake of it. And laughing at all your jokes.

No, I do not do this for the sake of money.

"...yep you were right sir, it has its own mind, this pee sample."

I do this because of what it gives me - some peace of mind. It makes me feel I am doing something good in my life. I don't even know if I am either a good or terrible teacher, but during the past laboratory sessions I tried my very best to explain all the information the students need to know, and all the side information that might keep them interested with what they're doing. I try not to put up anymore tension since these students need some time off from the tiring lectures and tutors, so why not let them play in the lab, having fun while doing something that matters?

These kids need someone who can teach them, guide them. They're only 18, some are 19 years old. If the exposure that they get at this age is not proper enough to make them ready for the undergraduate years, then they will face a lot of trouble once they make it into the First Year. That would be me and my fellow colleagues' responsibility in order to prep them properly for the next years to come, to expose them with the campus environment and how we do stuffs around here since the first two semesters are the most critical part of a student in order to adapt to the campus life. You screw the first two semesters, and it will be a dark future ahead for you. And we are trying our very best to avoid that.

But well, there is just another a week or two before the laboratory sessions for this semester reach the end. I hope my target is reached comfortably with less difficulty. And I could not express what I feel inside. I will sure miss those students I have been teaching. And nothing is more saddening than to miss these fun people.

But then like I said, people will eventually leave.

So what I am going to do is to enjoy the hell out in these two weeks to come before I officially commence the end of the laboratory sessions for January 2009 semester.

Hell yeah.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

...I wanna kick a male goat in the nuts.

It's a beautiful Sunday morning. Just without the usual sunshine.

Yeah. Nice start, day. Keep it going that way.

Awaken by the sounds of heavy rain outside, I sat down on my ass on the bed looking around the room trying to get every reason why I should bother to even wake up and move away from the bed.

Well there's a new spiderweb at the end corner of the ceiling that needs to be removed. Damn spiders, they just need to build in the open.

There's a portrait of Dr. Gregory House with 'Everybody Lies' written underneath it that needs a replacement. It had been already a year since I put it up on the wall.

And there's the electric guitar that needed a quick cleaning, leaning against the wardrobe lifelessly. Man she's sure a beauty, but I was not into her just yet. So I just left it there and proceeded to exploring the room for more.

Empty cups, three of them, all with coffee stains sitting in a row on my study. Then there's the electric kettle, coffee packs, sugar and some junk foods. It's a good time to have coffee now, but I was just too lazy to make one.

God, is there not a thing, anything at all, to make me out of the bed, really?

And there were Hifi, a short for Hiro and Fifi, the pair dwarf hamsters I kept as pets. And they're still sleeping, probably due to the cold air and pleasingly rain. They rolled themselves into somewhat fur balls, crashing into one another.

Guess I just did not want to wake up.

* * *

Today is supposed to be a happy day. Perak is having this three-days break in a row until Monday, and I planned to go to some places for a quick vacation. I need it anyway, desperately. Research did not go so well these days - too many stoppings already. Well that's the cost of research: an amount of scientifically-derived heartbreaks, meaningless frustrations, endless dead ends and sometimes a total madness.

But due to some certain unfortunate events that rose like unwanted, despicable fungus after the rain, the plan was cancelled in just split seconds. Sure, I am mad and all, but I just find it totally unfair that I was forced to cancel the plan over somewhat emotionally-driven splinters that turned out not as splinters at all but tumors; gigantic mass of tumors that grow at almost equal to the velocity rate of wind leaving the anal sphincter during events of delightful, voluntarily-done farting. As easy as that, the plan is canceled.

I just can't fucking believe it.

But who am I to despise the wantings of God? All I could do is to sit down here all day in front of the monitor reading 'Engineer's Guide to Managing Time', ironically, to kill the lots of time I have in abundance this very now.

Why, at every other time, at all the available time this world has to offer, that this life drama has to get on stage now? Why my plan has to be jejopardized because of this waayyyyyy too over emotional drama? Why? Why do I have to live in this whole crappy Hollywood? Why when I want to have some peaceful time, something will just have to pop up and crush it like a curious boy take to a helpless cockroach? Why?

Could somebody just tell me why?

Tell you why? Ghee I don't know, man. This question...well...err...can't we just proceed to the part where we're gonna kick those terrorists in the nuts now?

God, with all this dammed anger (refer to the post titled 'The Anger') inside of me, with the dam almost giving up; - the flow channels totally stuck, overflowing cases all over, cracks on the dam's wall, early signs of pressure-driven failures - all that I ask for is just a goat, so that I can, for my own amusement, kick it in the nut.


"Husband comes home from work and finds fault with wife, who answers impudently, or wife may make make the first move by being impudent, where upon husband finds fault. Their voices rise, and the clash becomes more acute. There are three possibilities: (a) husband retires to the bedroom and slams the door; (b) wife retires to the bedroom and slams the door; (c) both retires to each respective rooms and slams the door. In any case, the end of a game up 'Uproar' is marked by a slamming door."

Oftenly enough we lost our temper on things at times, from the smallest to the greatest on the scale. And every time we did, we became this selfish, self-centered persona surrounded with cyclones of hell fire, ready to strike. Out of a sudden, we got to be so in control in losing our own control.

And then we realized after some time, usually when we cooled down, that we were such monsters back then. And then we promised ourselves not to lose temper that way anymore, for monsters scare even the eldest. We told ourselves that we will not repeat such demeaning acts, and we crossed our fingers on trying to control our anger.

After few days, we became that monsters again.

"Ehmagawd I'm so damn sorry of what I said to you earlier dude..!"

* * *
I have called losing tempers at times are human - we just lose it. It is not always in agreement with me and some certain others that some people may have been able to hold their anger back, and get away with it. I find the fact somewhat misleading.

Human might have the strong will to be able to hold their anger back, but to see it in a clearer perspective we might visualize this like damming the water - holding back the water behind some sort of wall where the only way out are either through a controlled channel, or over-spilling, or worst, the dam collapses. Either way, the anger breaks lose.

Over management, one may be able to somehow control their anger, no doubt about it. But to me anger is an energy - you cannot just destroy it. Either you convert it, or use it as it is.

The necessity to perfectly dam the raging anger varies among the people. Some may be able to come out with such superdam where the water (I replace anger with water for imagination-friendly purposes) is geniusly channeled out, the case over-spill is close to impossible, and destruction of the dam is never going to happen. But there are also some who have dams like beaver's: made from branches and sticks with poor channelings, cause frequent over-spill and collapse when the water level rises only for a few inches.

It is really up to you to decide how do you want to build your dam.

But bear in mind - big dams, when they collapse, they flood not only the villages below it, but the whole nation.

....and here we go again Bob. What is it this time?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Well, hello.

Sorry it took me so long to update this page of mine. The campus had finally decided to restrict the usage of Google and any of its product due to the traffic condition. A very brilliant move.

Since I'm rerouting to using some other kinds of methods to get to Google again, you will be provided with many interesting & boring stories from me from now on starting at sometime as early as this evening. We'll see how it goes, alright?

See ya.

p/s: anyway, what do you guys want me to write about? Leave me a comment, I'll get back to you asap. Thanx!