Thursday, February 28, 2008

First Year Report

I'm still high on strong votes of confidence from my two supervisors. Today I created a basic skeleton for my first year report. It gives me a clearer picture of what to aspire for for the coming few months.

When I report this kind of achievements, I'm not being conceited and showing off. Far from that. I want to express my happiness and satisfaction. I want you, Marwan, to know what I'm doing. Another good reason for recording these milestones is to be an evidence when it comes my turn to supervise a PhD candidate.

My attachment with Zhulian had taught me a lot. One of the lesson that stick in my mind is, 'if you want to guide other people to be excellent, you yourself must be excellent'. In other words, you'll be a great Zhulian leader and guide your downlines to be excellent if you have an excellent track record yourself. The promotion from a mere distributor to Sales Executive (SE)can take time. If you can do it in one month, then you can convince your prospects and downline that they can do the same. Some distributors ascended the ranks in amazingly short period of time. One guy, based at PJU if I'm not mistaken, became a Diamond Sales Manager in 6 months. That means he was able to 'create' 6 SE in less than 6 months. Amazing.

Now, apply it to the world of academia. If I can finish my PhD in 3 years, then I have (1) a bragging rights, and (2) a reasonable excuse to push my supervisee to achieve the same. Malaysia can always have more people with PhD.

For You, Baby


Many good things on the work front had happened to me. But, the enjoyment of the bliss is reserved, at best. I felt something is missing. Its not fun being happy if I can't share it with you. Without you, my life is incomplete.

I wait for the day we're reunited. And This I Promise You.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nice Finding

Does 'Perak' in the pic above refers to my homestate?


Alhamdulillah .... I really felt the weekend marathon was really worth it. I submitted my second essay on Monday, and this Wednesday morning, my supervisor (Sue) returned it to me. (cepat & pantas... kena align speed dgn SV).

On the cover of the essay, she wrote: "Excellent essay. A few minor corrections only"

Alhamdulillah. I pray that a similar comments will be given for my thesis in 2 1/2 years time. Amin.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tiredness Can Kill

Tired is how I'd describe myself now. However, it won't, nau'zubillah, kill me; unless I decided to be behind the wheels on the motorway. That being said, I noticed that I'm more a klutz when I'm tired like this. The door stopper can attest to that observation: it was accidently kicked twice within 10 seconds.

So, what made me tired? Work, of course. I've been up all night Saturday and Sunday to finish my second essay. In terms of the number of words, my final output is close to 2,700. Combined with my first essay, I already have about 8,000 words. All that in the space of less than 4 months. The target for my first year report is 10,000. So, I'm very optimistic that I can achieve that target. Of course, not all of the 8,000 words would appear in my first year report. But I'm happy to have enough materials to cut down, expand, elaborate, and modify that the 10k target does not seem to be that far away.

So, the tiredness is worth it. I'm tired, but happy.

And sleepy.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Conference Savings

I've mentioned before that I'll be a member of the secretariat for Ergonomics Society Annual Conference 2008. I have also registered for the Improving Patient Safety Conference in July. Here, you can see the financial implication of NOT being a secretariat member.

ESAC 2008
3 days' attendance and 3 nights' accommodation plus the Annual Dinner: ES members £599.25 (£510 + vat), non-members £716.75 (£610 + vat)

IPS 2008
Full package 3 days 2 nights: ES members £569.88 (£485 + vat), non-members £687.38 (£585 + vat)

By becoming ES member (£63 per year), I get a total value of £1286.63. Is that a good investment or what?


Today i made a delightful dicovery. I found on online presence of Ustaz Hasrizal whom I knew back in 2000. I used to attend usrah/tazkirah that he led in London. I was attracted with his thinking and the way he conveyed his messages. You can see what i mean by reading his articles at

One particular article, Sepinggan Dosa Berulam Pahala, is directly related to my experience. I can totally relate to his reactions to the female student who wrote to him. Basically, the sister is trying to get his opinion regarding her pre-marital love life.

"Semakin ramai siswa dan siswi cuba menjustifikasikan bahawa cinta mereka adalah suci kerana mereka ber’sms’ hal-hal iman dan amal, sedangkan yang terangsang bukanlah keinginan untuk beribadah, tetapi gelodak nafsu yang licik menipu."

How true. In my own experience, I was 'proposed' to marry a student because, apparently, she got the sign from Allah. Even an ustaz agreed with her. He asked me to make solat istikharah to further confirm her 'vision' in her dream. The ustaz also mentioned that her intention to marry me is not based on her desire, but based on a religious duty. She wants to be a solehah wife and to help me ('doing' counseling?) be a better muslim. I wish I can believe all that.

The sceptic in me, however, believed in something else. I would not be totally surprised if she falls into the group of students that Ustaz Hasrizal described in the article. I wish I have his eloquence to respond to this female student. Ayat power!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Physical challenge is the theme for me these past few days. On Saturday, I got bruises in paintball combat. Till now, my tigh is stilll sore from sliding a-la Rambo to duck behind a barrier and avoid being shot.

On the way back home, I walked past by a rugby game with Loughborough team playing host. I don't really understand rugby's rule. There wasn't much that I can understand and remember from that game. But I do remember one player laying on the ground. The team's official called for the ambulance, and the man in the ambulance came to the field with an oxygen tank. While waiting for the oxygen to arrive, she gave a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the player. After getting the oxygen, he stirred, and soon was helped to walk out of the field. Alhamdulillah, fainting on a field was not my physical challenge.

Later that day, signs of an immenent cold loomed. On Monday, my body was weak. I was burning up. I fell asleep at my desk in the evening. When I went home, another physical challenge awaited me.

Trying to get bits of food unstuck from my teeth, i felt a big chunk fell on my tounge. I thought, what the heck! Could it be a piece of nut? When I extractred the chunk from my mouth, I was stunned. It is a dental filling. My tounge quickly went to an auto mode; probing the reopened hole in my tooth.

Today, I went to the dental practice on campus. I booked an appointment with Dr Ida. Yes, she's Malaysian. I hope I can get the hole refilled on Thursday. It will also be the day that I have to part with £43.60. Imagine, paying around RM300 for a visit! When I got my tooth filled the first time (at UIA), it cost me RM0.00. Wow! Negara kebajikan ke?:-)

Penawar Rindu

Tawarkan rasa rindu ini
jangan sampai lidahku berat
dan tenggorokku tersumbat
menelan rangkaian kata yang kau utus padaku

ringankan beban rindu ini
jangan sampai bahuku jatuh
dan dadaku roboh
menanggung jauhnya hari untuk bertemu

malam ini
izinkan aku memadam mimpi
sebelum harapanku hilang
diratah mentari pagi

Monday, February 18, 2008


Praise be to Allah, He who is the Provider.

I had a meeting today with my supervisor. She wanted to get my comment and input on a teaching materials that she wanted to distribute to her students. She had invited me and a friend to assist in two lab sessions where the teaching materials will be used. She gave me a nice surprise by saying that I'll be paid for that assistance. Apparently the assistance is a job.

What's nicer is that she's offering me another job. It will be two paid hours to deliver a lecture on situation awareness. Basically, I will have to present my first essay/literature review for the class. So, I have the materials already. It's just a matter of preparing the PowerPoint slides and adding additional information. My supervisor also said that she'll consider me for other teaching assistance job in the future.



Sebelum engkau pergi
tinggalkan padaku sebuah lakaran
untuk aku perindahkan waktu aku melayan rindu

Sebelum engkau pergi
tinggalkan padaku kudup harapan
untukku lihat ia berkembang waktu aku di landa sayu

Sebelum engkaupergi
ambillah puisi ini untuk membantumu mengimbau kenangan
waktu kau rindu dan suaraku tidak lagi menjengahmu

Friday, February 15, 2008

Winter Going to Spring

A bloom embraced by frost, courageously soaking up the sunlight.

A bunch of flowers bathed in sunlight, cooling the eyes that gaze upon them

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Cover to cover

After I have discovered I do NOT to read books from cover to cover, I am more willing to pick up a book with the intention to 'read' it.

Recently, I read these following three books, and guess which one that I actually read from cover to cover.

Attractions in Sheffield

It was a short visit, but I did managed to see interesting places. A highlight of the visit is the Winter Garden.

Snow in Sheffield

I went to Sheffield last Friday. The next morning, I was treated with snow - the first time in the UK for me.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Morning Call

This morning daddy got a call from Sharon. She wanted me to attend training sessions on Monday and Tuesday. I will start working on Wednesday, insyaAllah.

May this (part-time) job brings a lot of benefit to me; physically, spiritually, financially, and socially.


Want a drink?

Look... I'm drinking. It's delicious.

Why do I feel sleepy?

Let me nap for a while.

Playing with Shadows


I'll be setting my feet again in Nottingham come April, insyaAllah, for the ES Annual Conference.