Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Read To Succeed

Alhamdulillah, lega sket. Tadi SV masuk, so aku yg x brp keruan sejak smlm terus attack psl bar chart aku tuh lah. Mengikut pandangan dia, x de masalah, asal aje graphs tu semua dilabel dgn betul dan relevan dgn eksperimen yg kita buat. Cukup la buat aku lega sket. Apapon, aku still bersyukur, dgn sbb attend kelas smlm, aku tgk balik graf2 aku, mana2 yg weak aku betulkan biar jd more clear and concise, and clean up sket2 design yg nmpk semak. Yg tunggang langgang (line graph), pon aku dah alter bg best-fit line, nmpk zen sket dah skang, heh.


Hati dah tenang bolew letak gmbr ceria2 sket. Smlm muka mmg berkerut2, tergaru2 kepala, konfius. Hari ni sekolah Aisyah ada Book Sale (second hand books), so aku dan parents lain dtg memborong right after school. Mana x nya, SEMUA buku 20p ajor, and mmg good condition, cuma ada sesetengah tu mcm berdebu sket (mungkin tersimpan lama). Check them out. Rasa nya x sampai GBP3 pon beli buku2 ni. Gmbr2 kat bwh ni dah kurg sgt dah org nya, awal2 td nak tgk rupa buku pon x nampak, sbb org penuh keliling stall. Nak push kang, kuang hajor plak, dah la budak2 sekolah pon sama memilih ngan mak pak diorg kan. Nama pon pendek, tggu je lah org2 dah kurg sket baru ambush.





Taktik aku, duduk kan Aisyah dkt meja (dalam hall yg sama) and belikan dia fairy cakes and juice (ada jual2 snack skali td), bagi dia mkn, then pergi berhimpit pilih buku. X bole dibawak sama
budak Aisyah ni, ntah hapa2 buku dia nak kang. Overall, puas hati la, sbb aku ngan buku mmg mcm isi dgn kuku (perasan). Buku2 kat UK yg baru pon x mahal mana, tp sesekali dpt yg 20p mcm menggila jgk la tgk. Dgn novel2 dewasa skali aku sebat. Buku 'Ugly' tu dah lama aku aim, duk pegang letak, pegang letak, kat kedai, last2 ada jg rezeki. X sia2 bersabar...



Ada bbrp org tanya, aku ada masa ke baca buku2 cerita, at this stage of the PhD. Err.. jawapannya, mmg ikutkan masa tu xde, tp kawan aku Che Fadh (now Dr. Che Fadh) dulu pernah inspired kan aku suh cari gak masa, utk meningkatkan vocab and hilang stress. Plus kalo mmg dah bangsa yg minat kan, x de masa pon ada jgk. Tp aku kalo baca mmg bkn habis in one go lah, kdg2 3 minggu baru habis 200-page book, sbb baca like 10-15 minutes before bed je, then stop. Gitu la kekdah nya... Mula2 wat gini rasa tension jgk, sbb masa anak dara dulu I kategori beli pg, ptg dah khatam punya org, so stress sbb x ingat jln cerita, or baru nak naik sheikh, dah kena stop sbb dah ada anak kan, mcm2 la obstacles nya. Tp skang dah ok. Apatah lg skang lebih cenderung ke Self-Help nya buku, so baca per chapter (or sub-chapter), supaya senang digest sket2 at a time. Kalo novel ada jgk terbabas masa lebih masa, tp from experience, lagi lama baca, lagi lambat tido, lagi lambat bgn, lagi letih esoknya, lagi lemau buat keja... so sendiri mau ingat laaa... Ada jgk yg aku beli2 tp x sempat baca, which aku x kisah pon, sbb nak wat balik Msia, insya Allah, so sambung baca nanti hehehe


Ok nak sambung keja. Release tension jap penat rehearse part aku kena present esok utk kelas GTA (kali ni group presentation). Padahal 2 minit je ayat aku, tp nak kasi fluent dan stay under 2 mins without berckp mcm keretapi laju adalah agak mencabar. Jap lg nak sambung sket lg nak alter graf2 nih, tp aku dah janji pada diri sendiri esok last kot wat keja2 cosmetic ni, sbb nak fokus perabiskan this part of the experiment, then nak get on with the design and implementation of performance study (ye, ada lg, last dah harap2 nya). SV aku td dah push2 jgk, suh buat secepat mungkin benda2 ni, and tanya tesis camne, tesis? Sesak nafas kjp. Hujung bulan 3 ni dia nak jumpa. Bunyi mcm lambat lg, tp sejam lg dah masuk March 1st, OMG!


 

Carta Terunggul


Sempat menghadiri satu sesi menarik ttg thesis hari ni. Cumanya, hati agak gusar sbb penceramah tu berkata, kalo byk bar chart dlm tesis itu bkn lah tesis yg bagus, kerana bar chart adalah utk budak 12 tahun. Dia actually pernah bg comment mcm tu dkt pelajar PhD yg dia examine, dan dia ckp, mmg student tu sgt sentap dgn dia (penceramah ni background pure sciences, if anyone needs to know).


Belek2 balik kerja, hmm.. bole tahan byk nya jg bar/column chart yg aku ada so far ni. So, terpaksa tangguh kjp kerja at hand, and study balik jenis2 chart and how to create more professional-looking graphs. Blog entry pon sama, habis hilang mood nak letak gmbr2 happy yg telah di pelan, sbb, well.. I just don't feel that happy sgt nih hah...


Anyway, for my own notes, and kot bole tolong sesapa, here's a gist of what I gathered today. I put the links instead of copy pasting the diagrams on their web here, because I had learnt from my GTA class that it is wrong to copy (it's plagiarising) diagram/photos sesuka hati even kalo dah bg kredit pon in the end, kalo imej itu tiada Creative Commons licence. Oleh sbb malas nak bg kredit / cek status imej sesatu, I buh links je lah ye. Anyway, from the keywords pon dah cukup utk Google dan sendiri teroka, Insya Allah:


1. For long labels, change orientation of bar graph - read more here


2. Sort labels by values, not arbitrarily or alphabetically - read more here


3. Try using single clustered bar chart - read more here


4. Alternatively, can try using dot plots instead of bar chart - read more here


5. Even better, try using multi-panel dot chart - read more here


6. Start bar chart from zero baseline to avoid misguidance of data - read more here


6. Remove non-white pixels on graphs - read more here


7. For line graphs, never connect the dots, but give best-fit line instead - read more here



Those yg kalo mmg byk bar chart, I'm not saying it's wrong, heck, I have quite a substantial amount of them, coz I thought they would make the examiners' lives a lot easier kalo senang nak interpret, but I'm going to have to discuss this with my SV first and see if he can give me an HONEST opinion of what he thinks of my 'primitive' charts. So far dia OK je, but I'll discuss with him later once I have done some adjustments to them, to see if he thinks they are better after being 'fixed' and 'fancifed' (the latter is not a word, btw).


Harap2 aku bkn sengaja mencari keja extra x pasal.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Colours of Life

Miscellanneous pictures snapped from my camera over the past few days. They looked like a myriad of colours to me, so nak post kat sini. Pendek kata, caca marba nya entry lah ni hehe


[1] Made rojak mee last week. Version tangkap-muat-apa-yg-ada



[2] Pokok sudah berbunga

[3] Books on offer. Yg Aisyah punya tu, GBP2 for 2. Mine, GBP2.99 each. Bargain giler, sbb buku 'The Power of Now' is retailed at GBP8.99 everywhere else, and 'Don't Sweat the Small Things' plak is a 3 -in-1 (Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff At Work', 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff about Money'. Most curious psl 'Voices of Titanic'. Did you know that April this year marks the 100th anniversary of Titanic's maiden voyage? And also, did you know that the English survivors were returned to the UK and brought in through Plymouth on the 29th April 1912? Klik di sini utk membaca sedutan akhbar tersebut (Manchester Guardian, 29 April 1912). Psl tu ada mcm2 events arranged for April this year in Plymouth.






Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wayang Kulit

Some of you might now that I took a 6-weeks teaching course (GTA). It's only 3 hours a week, but it is quite intensive. I'm glad next week will be our last, not coz it is bad, but it is quite time-consuming. But very beneficial I feel, so Insya Allah byk manfaatnya.


Did my micro-teaching session on the 16 February, and my chosen topic was 'An Introduction to the Malaysian Shadow Puppet (Wayang Kulit)'. It was a subject I am very passionate about, even masa Master pon jenuh collect recording of wayang kulit ni sbg salah satu drpd 10 genres of traditional malaysian music aku nya dataset. I was really excited/nervous to present it to the group. I thought I did an okay job, but I wished I wasn't really distracted by the fact that I only had ten minutes to cram everything in. Also, my audio was a little all over the place (slight technical glitch), so I got panicky and that showed, I think. Otherwise, I got some good comments, and would like to share what some people wrote on their feedback sheet to me, so that I can improve:


***

"... sometimes using too many tools in a short period of time can be disjointed"


"You tend to read of the slides - just use the slides as a prop"


"Started clear and slow, but speed up too much as you went along"


"Don't rush the audience during question time"




But I had also had many encouraging comments too, which was nice:


"I liked the top banner which let us know what we had covered"


"Open and friendly body language"


and one that made me feel like I've done something good for my country!:


"Very interesting. Would like to visit (Malaysia) now"


***

Kak Mazni was kind enough to snap a pic of me 'teaching', so I'm posting this up for my own keepsake, coz what's a blog without pictures, right?




Sebelum kelas, of course kena prepare material dulu. What's a wayang kulit without a puppet kan? So sehari sblm presentation, masa tu Aisyah tgh half-term, ajak dia gi kedai arts. We got some sticks, card and split pins utk buat joints puppet tu. Balik rumah, tgk2 gmbr di Google Image cari idea, last2 terhasil lah 'Arjuna'.



Ok la kan? Aku bersungguh cari template, ingat nak print and gunting aje, tp x de. So with my limited artistic ability, tercipta lah yg di atas.


Rupanya fun jgk wat puppet ni. Buatkan satu yg mini utk Aisyah. It's quite easy, so those yg ada toddlers kat umah, bole try buat sama2. Diorg gerenti suka punya la. Hours of fun ok. Time taken utk buat ni dlm setengah jam je kot, tp puppet ni self-amusing i.e dia bole main sorg2 and kita bole wat keja dah lps tu) adalah 2 jam lebih jgk (tgk attention span dia lama mana la).




Masa dah siap tu Aisyah dah seronok2 dah main, sbb bole gerak2 tgn kan. Skali bila mlm menjelma, apa psg lampu dapur (lampu living room tutup), aku tunjuk shadow yg terhasil drpd puppet dia, kemudia bersinar mata dia, seolah nya mcm 'magic' gitu pada pandangan dia la hehe...


Ni anak dara aku being exposed to the fast eroding art of Wayang Kulit. Ada bakat Tok Dalang x? ;)

video


Dialog kami:

Aisyah: Hello!

Aku: Hello! What's your name?

Aisyah: My name is Aisyah. I'm going to the shop, alright?

Aku: You're going to the shops now?

Aisyah: Yeah

Aku: Can I see how you're going to the shops?

Aisyah: {RUNNING}

Aku: Oohh.. you run very fast!


Tok Dalang kecek Ore Putih deh... Biso x biso. Payoh nok temu tu... :P



Pesanan dari penaja: Cintailah warisan kita



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Our Spring Half Term Holiday

This is a chronology of how Aisyah and Mummy spent the half-term holiday (11-19 February 2012). This is us ready2 nak keluar.






[1] On Monday, we went to the library and did some colouring. We also checked out two books for the very first time using Aisyah's library card, how exciting it was! Oh, and I am mighty proud that she is very good at spelling and writing her own name now.






[2] Tuesday, we visited the Museum instead. The Scott 100th Year Journey to the Antartic Exhibition was on, and there were lots of programs for children such as hunt, cratfs, etc. Aisyah was again, hooked on colouring, so colouring we did. I mean, I would be too, if there was that many colouring pens you can choose from! When she finished colouring, Aisyah decided that she wanted to play by the Play and Discover Box instead of looking at the display, so layan sahaja lah...







[3] On Wednesday, we had a playdate with Ja*mie and her Mum Li*sa, so we went to the museum again. Today, they were doing crafts. The children looked really2 happy as they could use all the materials they wanted and make a mess without an adult telling them to stop. Aisyah made a little frog, as well as a collage of something. Aisyah and Ja*mie hugged each other before parting - so sweet. Both girls are of the same age, and goes to the same nursery class, and Ja*mie is half-Indoensian, which is probably why dua2 org ini sama tinggi dan have the same built. Budak2 lain dlm kelas mmg lebih besar physically.






[4] Nadya who used to babysit Aisyah had given birth on the Tuesday, so on Thursday we went to visit her and cute little baby Addin. Mum and baby are doing well. Aisyah was a little apprehensive around the little newborn. I don't quite know what to make of that yet hehe.



[5] On Friday, we went to the library again. Aisyah returned her two book borrowed on Monday and checked out five new books. She has shown that she can take care of her books well, and we would like to continue making the visit to the library as a staple weekly activity. At any one time, she can borrow 12 books, but I am making the numbers grow gradually coz I don't want to lose track if we borrow too many books in one go. She insisted on wearing her crown. Ye lah, your highness...



On the way back, she asked if we could stop at the museum, so I said yes. She happily did some more colouring. Afterwards, we went for a little tour in the museum, and we found this game in the African section - Mancala, or we Malaysians would call it Congkak. Introduced Aisyah to the concept of the game, and she quickly picked it up. I won the first round (ye la, Aisyah mana pandai congak biji guli lg, plus it was her FIRST game). Second round, dia dah tahu siapa paling byk guli dalam 'rumah' adalah pemenang, and had even exhibited cara2 mengelat utk menang. Ada satu kes, guli dia tinggal sket, dia langkau lubang belah dia supaya guli dia masuk jg dlm 'rumah' dia. Satu lg kes, masa aku punya turn, dia siap tuduh, "Don't take my beads", masa 'lalu' dpn rumah dia. Ingat kita main tipu nak amik guli dia kah? Haih... competitive betul... Maybe she is ready for board games too, but it was fun main dgn budak2 ni. Even budak2 omputih lain pon termenung tgk kitaorg main. I don't think parents diaorg tahu sgt game ni mcm mana, tu psl sblm ni x de sapa main sgt.





[6] Over the weekend, Hubs joined us. Pegi town, pastu Aisyah nak naik carousel. I wasn't in the mood for it, tp naik la jg buat teman.




That wraps up the outings we did together. Cuti Easter this April is for 2 weeks. Haih, nak plan apa ye?


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Discarding My Complaint-Based Life (A Little At A Time At Least...!)

Alhamdulillah...


Byk benda aku kena bersyukur hari ni:


1) Kusut kepala psl masalah programming sudah terlerai. Well, x la setel, tp setelah berbincang dgn sorg sahabat baik ku yg telah terdahulu melalui proses PhD, aku mengambil langkah tinggal dulu and buat benda lain yg lebih produktif in terms of finishing in time. Certainly picked up my mood and smgt juang itu datang kembali. Sekiranya aku masih berdegil nak siapkan jg, tentunya aku bertambah2 tertekan dan bad mood.


Alhamdulillah Allah berikan ilham melalui sahabat.

Alhamdulillah Allah datangkan sahabat yg ikhlas menolong di saat susah.

Alhamdulillah Allah hilangkan kekusutan jiwa (dah 2 minggu kepala dan hati tidak aman, tidur pon susah nak terlelap sbb otak terlalu ligat mencari2 penyelesaian, tp x berjaya pon lg).



2) Baru balik mendengar syarahan awam mengenai: Journey Through Sound.


Alhamdulillah, Allah bg telinga yg berfungsi baik

Alhamdulillah, Allah bg vocal chord yg sempurna, bole berbicara, menyanyi, mengaji

Alhamdulillah, Allah bg kefahaman dlm kelas td. Perkara yg diajar adalah perkara basic sound, tetapi bagus utk menguatkan ingatan, apatah peringkat menulis thesis ni mmg perlu panaskan semula bab2 sound...



3) Berazam utk mengamalkan sepenuhnya makan ketika lapar, berhenti sebelum kenyang dgn sepenuhnya. Alhamdulillah, Allah berikan tubuh badan yg sihat lg sempurna. Sayangnya aku dah mengabaikan sket2 amanah ini dgn let go mentekadarah x ingat, serta tidak mementingkan penampilan diri dgn alasan student. Jgn sampai PhD menjadikan aku begini hendaknya, nauzubillah...



Alhamdulillah, Allah bg fizikal yg sempurna

Alhamdulillah, masih ada peluang utk reverse damage2 yg berlaku

Alhamdulillah, rezeki makan yg Allah bg tidak pernah tidak cukup, malah berlebih2 lg...



OK, akhiri hari ini dgn nasyid 'Aku Ingin MencintaiMu' daripada group Edcoustic. Syahdu...




Monday, February 20, 2012

Winter Break - Disneyland (Part 5)

Last day dah kat Disneyland Paris. Untungnya bila amik pakej ni, walaupon kita kena kosongkan bilik by 11 am, beg2 kita tu, masa checkout bole serah dkt baggage room, and diorg akan hntr direct ke stesen Eurostar. Masa nak board tren Eurostar nanti, bole collect. So memandangkan train ke London berlepas pada jam 6.17 ptg, ada one WHOLE day lg utk spend kat Disneyland, minus the bags... :)


[1] Masa checkout tu, terserempak dgn Donald Duck kat lobby, so amik peluang bergambar...



[2] Hari ni mmg habiskan round Disneyland Park sahaja, dah x masuk2 lg Walt Disney Studio Park. Yg satu ni pon, x berabih2 lg tawaf nya.




[3] It was FREEEEEZING cold okeh, pagi tu. Of all the 4 days yg kami berada di situ, that was probably the coldest, altho matahari memancar2. Standard la, langit cerah, mmg sejuk sampai tulang. Kitaorg x larat nak jalan sejuk2 gedi ni, naik la train from one spot to another. Check out Aisyah yg mengokol2 dlm pelukan Hubs. Korg nmpk x breath yg kuar drpd mulut diorg? It was THAT cold. Muka aku pon x byk yg ada dlm gmbr taken pada hari ni, sbb nya, Hubs malas nak bukak gloves. Aku je buat2 kebal for the sake of pictures hehe..




[4] Dgn niat suci murni nak meng-happy-kan Aisyah semata2 je hari last ni, kitaorg mmg spent masa dkt Fantasyland aje lah, sbb semua rides dia utk budak2 kecik.



[5] Pastu dah dtg Disneyland, x sah la kalo x bergambar ngan Princess kan. So masuk la beramai2 beratur dlm Princess Pavillion ni. Masa ni dia tulis, queuing time is 75 minutes. Nekad, uols, nekad!!! Sbb sejuk pon ye jgk. Beratur dlm tu panas, sedap sket badan. Hubs plak dah tergeliat urat kaki, so dia nak beratur ngan Aisyah je dlm tu. Aku je la, resah jap. Part of me nak gi main adult rides sorg2 (Hubs kasi green-light ajor), but there was another part of me mcm teruja nak tgk Princess jgk hihih... Last2 beratur sesama la, bak kata Jack Dawson, 'You jump, I jump'. Beratur tahap kronik sampai dah jd rupa pelarian dah semua.. tergolek terguling nak tggu queue bertemu tuan puteri...





[6] Giliran kami pon sampai. 1st princess - Ariel. Kuciwa sket, sbb smlm dah jumpa dah (cheh, memilih plak)



[7] Princess kedua, Snow White. Ni ok sket, plus gaya dia sgt penyayang dgn Aisyah, so aku pon cair sama... Yg best nya, Aisyah betul2 percaya, ni lah dia Snow White, the one and only... padahal, dia pon kerja ikur shift agaknya kan...




[8] Gmbr dgn Princess, besar 8x10 kot. Harga dia? EUR30 ok. X beli.



[9] Pastu layan Aisyah naik Mad Hatter's Teacup ride.



[10] Naik Dumbo buat kali kedua. Yg babai dari kejauhan tu x naik, layan kaki dia yg masih sengal, kesiannnn dia.. huhu. Tp mungkin sbb sejuk sgt kot, cuba korg tgk gmbr di bawah tu, siap ada icicles lg ok, so mmg sejuk aku pon x gheti nak citer dah mcm mana masa tu.






[11] Sbb sejuk, byk spent indoors. Like shopping and round2 kat dlm kedai2 dlm Main Street tu.




[12] Or cari mkn kat dlm cafe.


[13] Agak2 dah warmed up sket, pegi masuk Frontierland, sbb nya, ni last bhg park yg kitaorg x masuk. X syok la kalo x sempat say helo2 gitu, at least.



[14] Ni roller coaster aku x sempat naik, agak ralat. Sedihhh...



[15] Tp x pe, dpt masuk rumah hantu. Aisyah terdiam kat sini. Dia takut kot.



[16] Hah, ni ride paling best pada hari last ni 'Pirates of the Carribean', sbb naik roller coaster dlm air, so time dia menjunam ke bawah tu, agak terpercik2 la air ke dalam ride kitaorg, dah la dia bg seat paling belakang skali (konon terpercik lebih la ni - ye ke teori aku ni?). Risau gak aku sbb time dia turun x warning2 dulu, tau2 dah terjunam ke bawah (dah la gelap dlm cave), aku ni plak pesen taksub amik gmbr pirate yg menghiasi gua tu, so mmg it was an 'opocot-mak-ko-moment' la for me. Syukur lah x tercampak kamera dalam air... Ni lah ride yg last skali kitaorg berkesempatan naik.. sob sob..




[17] Then it was time to march to the railway station dah, kena check in. Masa ni org tgh ramai nak get ready tgk parade, kitaorg terpaksa miss sbb takut terlepas train, ralat!






[18] Bye bye Disneyland Paris! Sekian sahaja cerita kembara musim sejuk kami. Dgn izin Nya, sampai jg kami ke Paris, and dgn Alhamdulillah, Dia telah memelihara kami dlm perjalanan dan semasa di sana sebaik2 nya. Kalo ada rezeki dan umur yg pjg, insya Allah sampai lg di lain kali. Tidak di Paris, mungkin di Hong Kong, di Japan, mau pun Florida. C'mon, positive thinking, people! :)