Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Hari ni, 29 Januari 2014, genap setahun kami menjejakkan kaki balik ke bumi Malaysia for good. Cepatnya masa berlalu!
Aku x nak la jadikan blog ni asyik2 mengungkit benda2 yg berlaku tahun lepas masa kat UK, tp asal nak tulis (between the viva post and today), ada mcm2 hal, x sempat nak update blog. Tau2 dah 29/1, so haruslah mention. Especiallyb sbb last year aku mcm x wat entry pon psl balik dsb nya, sbb x sempat and also nak surprisekan family keadaan aku yg masa tu sarat pregnantkan Zayd, hehe...
So yeah... last year aku balik Msia 4 hari je lps selesai viva. Gila hectic. Tapi visa kitaorg pon dah nak expire pada 31 Jan 2013 masa tu, and also nak bg sempat naik flight. Masa tu 34 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Last boleh naik flight, 35 weeks, provided ada surar doktor. Gila gamble. Alhamdulillah, semua OK. Risau sgt2 sbnarnya, kalo bleeding or ada complications sah doktor x endorse (and mmg patut risau sbb I did have complications with Aisyah dulu2 warded seminggu kat Hosp Serdang, so pernah ada history). Kalo doktor x endorse, stuck dkt UK x leh fly, tp visa nak expire dah. Visa expire = no free medical care. Duit mmg dah x de so camne nak beranak ni? Tapi Maha Suci Allah, He took care of everything.
Here are some pics to reminisce. Paling sedih gmbr reunited with my fam bila dah sampai kat KLIA. Everyone was sooo happy. Little did we know, ada few months je after that with my Mom. Then she went away forever... T_T
Friday, January 24, 2014
This time last year, aku mmg debar2 spjg masa x senang duduk.
Mana tak nya, a year ago I defended my PhD thesis. My PhD viva voce was scheduled for 24 January 2013. Tarikh yg aku rasa payah nak lupa la kot. It will stay in my memory, much like the kids' birth dates hehe...
Sempena anniversary pertama pada tarikh keramat ni (and coz I never got around to fulfilling my promise), I will take two whole days that I know I need to write this, eh I mean, I will take this opportunity to share with you guys what my viva voce experience was like. I have to remind you though, that no viva experience is the same, and I think I got off the battle with rather mild
concussions bruises, Alhamdulillah.
So here's my long postponed story....
24 January 2013 was a Thursday. Which meant it was a working day, and also a school day. So on top of preparing myself for the battle, I had to do the normal Mommy chores like getting Aisyah ready for school, preparing breakfast, etc...etc... You know the drill... My viva was at 9.30 a.m.
The night before mmg x bole tido. I think I was up until 2 a.m. I wouldn't advice on this, semua org pon cakap kena tido awal and at this point, JUST RELAX, but I couldn't, so I studied je lah, belek2. Nanti on a separate post aku citer la sket2 mcm mana aku prepare or study for my viva tu ye. Hopefully dalam masa terdekat la dpt tulis citer tuh, if not tggu 2nd anniversary next year je lah eh haha...
Ok so back to the story, aku x leh tido. In fact aku tido kat atas sofa dan bukan atas katil dlm bilik mlm tu. Pastu bgn dlm pkl 5.30 pg, performed Subuh prayer and then cuba breakfast. Tapi rasa mcm cirit briti la plak. A few times jgk kuar masuk toilet, mmg mencemaskan, but nasib baik cirit sbb stress je kot, bkn food poisening or a tummy bug. Phew...
After Aisyah dah selamat gi sekolah, I got ready. At this point I have to remind you that I was 8.5 months pregnant with Zayd. NOTHING FITTED, OK? So in the end aku pakai mcm ni je gi viva, then belasah pakai heeled boots (tapi jalan slow2).
Pagi tu Hubs gi opis dia lewat. Dia jalan kaki sesama dgn aku. Aku ingat lg, pagi tu sejukkkk sgt (tahun lps January mmg UK tgh snowed in, Heathrow pon sampai tutup airport). It was a very cold morning, yg jenis kalau bercakap pon kuar wap tuh. And it was icy. Tapi matahari keluar bersinar terang, and langit sgt biru. It was a very lovely morning. Hubs hantar aku sampai muka pintu bilik viva, which was at Rolle Building, Level 2. After wishing Good Luck, dia pon berlalu.
Tak dapat nak syahdu syahdan lelama, sbb masa tu Prof. (SV) aku pon dah sampai jgk. Dia berpakaian agak kasual, nampak tenang, tp aku tau dia debor jgk tuh. Dia bgtau examiners aku dah sampai, dan tgh kt dlm bilik viva tuh mencari persetujuan sesama mereka nak set the tone camne utk viva aku nih. Debor weih...
Dlm jam 9.50 tuh aku dipanggil masuk. Examiners aku 2 org, external ialah Prof. Stephen Da***m**n daripada University of Salford, and internal plak Dr. David B*s*ll. Kedua2 ni actually nya pakar dlm bidang aku, but sorg mmg lebih Artificial Intelligence-based and sorg lg music technology-oriented, so kira cover cukup utk bhg Computer Music lah. SV pon masuk sekali dalam bilik viva tu tp dia buat2 x dengar, siap ngadap laptop dia buat kerja.
Syukur examiners aku bukan jenis yg bengis, tp cuak tu still ada. Selalunya kalo kat UK ni, org dia polite, so biasa la kalo ada chit chat sket2 psl weather ke, 'how are you doing?' ke, 'how did you start doing a PhD in this field?' ke, but in my case, nehi hey. Terus BAMMM, soalan killer. 'So, why do you say your work is sound synthesis? Is it actually synthesising sound? In what way? Why isn't it blah blah blah...'
And that actually came from the internal examiner tau. In fact masa aku borak2 dgn kawan2 se-lab the next day, they had all agreed that was a bit nasty haha. Sbb biasanya soalan2 mudah dulu ditanya, ni tak, terus get philosophical.
But it was fine from there. TBH, aku pon x de la ingat sgt dah apa lg yg ditanya, but yg external dia tu mmg baik. Dia tanya mcm mana aku start buat kerja ni (after dah kena soalan killer td). So aku bukak cerita la pasal penglibatan aku masa degree dulu dgn Gamelan, pastu masa Master pon research aku psl Automatic Genre Classification of Traditional Malaysian Music, blah blah.... He thought it was very interesting and good to see that I was working on something I was passionate about, and that I should put it in writing dlm thesis. I hadn't thought of writing that part sbb coming from a technical background, gaya penulisan thesis aku adalah sgt straight to the point and ringkas je, dlm 50K words. But apparently, my examiners preferred kalo aku tulis jgk asal salasilah mcm mana historynya bole terjebak, maka masa dlm correction, I ended up with a complete sub-chapter on this in the Introduction chapter, LOL!
Kalo nak highlight kan point2 penting masa viva tu, sbnarnya aku takutkan soalan2 teknikal, and kalo2 dia mintak terangkan mcm mana pengiraan aku leh dpt result cam tu or worst, proof kan equations yang aku pakai tu, but magically, diorg weren't bothered langsung. Soalan2 diorg adalah lebih deep, mintak aku argue point aku lebih, sebenarnya. Like, kenapa, apa pentingnya, pada firasat aku kenapa jd mcm tu (result aku), etc. External examiner aku pointed out that aku patut lebih promote findings aku dalam thesis tu, sbb gaya aku tulis adalah mcm org play safe (hehe mmg pon). Aku mmg tulis all my findings tp secara modest je kot, x buat claim yg gempaq2. Penyakit malu x bertempat org Asia ni susah nak ubah hoho...
Antara point yg aku ingat lg diorg minta ubah in the thesis is aku suka bg peneranga abis2an then baru letak figure at the end, but diorg preferred aku letak figure right after abis je paragraph tu (sedekat mungkin dgn teks). Ada juga psl technical and typo stuff. And diorg mintak aku include kan some programming codes and to add some musical pieces yg aku compose sendiri to the audio CD examples yg aku dah lampirkan dalam Appendix. Oh , and that my thesis would probably would benefit from hiring a proof reader haha. Below is an excerpt of the comments (ada 2 pages in total).
Pum pang pum pang, tau2 dah sejam 15 minit and diorg dah abis soalan and minta aku keluar sebab diorg nak deliberate on my performance. Masa ni debar mmg debar, tp dah lega. Rasanya masa viva Master dulu lg nervous kot berbanding yg ni. Aku rasa mcm pass kot, Insya Allah, tp budget dpt Major correction.
So imagine how terkejutnya aku bila diberitahu, aku pass with Minor corrections, Alhamdulillah!!! Saat tu rasa cam blur kejap, apa examiners tu re-capped tu mcm x brp masuk di telinga dah. Then terus ckp Thank You utk 150 juta kalinya, especially to my SV. Pastu bergambar sket, and then aku terus minta excusekan diri, saja x nak join diorg lunch sbb nak pegi bgtau Hubs personally at his workplace, x nak over-the-phone. Didn't think I could eat pon dah, masa tu.
After that bgtau Hubs the good news, telefon org2 Msia etc, gi minum coffee dgn Hubs kjp (Boss dia suh celebrate), and bila dah duduk sorg2 afterwards barulah termangu2 feeling, 'Did that really just happened?' Mmg perasaan tu susah nak described. Mungkin inilah yg dikatakan overjoyed. Ye lah, kerja 4 tahun nak defend in one morning punya exam. Fuhhh... saat tu terbayang2 segala kesusahan dan pengorbanan utk mencapai tahap tu, dan mmg rasa bersyukur sgt sbb Allah kabulkan doa kami. It really was an emotional moment for me, especially sedang berbadan dua masa tu, mmg terasa sgtlah
Tak lama lps tu it was time to pick up Aisyah from school. Masa tu barulah bgtau some of my Mummy friends yg I dah passed my viva. They congratulated me, tp agak sedih sbb this also means lps ni tak dapat lg nak jumpa masa pick up anak sesama sob sob. And when Aisyah keluar daripada kelas, I hugged her like always, and whispered in my heart, 'We did it, Aisyah. We did it'.
Itulah dia serba pendek cerita viva aku. Masa aku writing and getting ready utk viva tu, aku punya lagu faveret adalah 'A Thousand Years' by Christina Perry, sebab bait2 lirik dia adalah sgt terkesan di jiwa, mcm cita2 nak dpt ijazah PhD tu la, basically (pada halwa telinga aku lah). So I end this post with the song. See if you can relate, too. I've marked those verses in red (yg mcm kena mengena dgn PhD lah).
Have a nice weekend, all.
Aku pon x tau la ada org baca ke tak dah blog ni, yg sebetulnya heh :P
Monday, January 20, 2014
Feeling2 housewife berjaya gitu sbb hari ni amik EL, jaga Zayd. He had a viral infection of some sort for the past few days (Jumaat, Sabtu, Ahad) and as a result, ada jg cirbir, so today I waited out to monitor him. He looks much, much better now, Alhamdulillah, and I'm glad I decided to stay home with him, because he recovers much faster I think, well, he is home where he is most secured and it's quite whilst he's napping compared to if I'd dropped him off at the minder's place like usual where there are tonnes of other loud (and possibly germy) kids about too tee hee. Plus, it's fun just rolling around with a 10-month old on the mattress laid in front of the telly in the living room, NOT thinking about work. I need to have more days like these, instead of being too busy with work to appreciate my own kids... :(
Managed to make breakfast, dressed Kakak Aisyah, dropped her off at school, bathed and fed Zayd, put him for a nap, did the laundry, kemas rumah sket2, he woke up, played with him, gave him his lunch and re-bathed him (following another cirbir episode), put Zayd down for his afternoon nap again, watched a couple of re-run episodes of Friends and The Big Bang Theory on telly, cooked dinner, 'cooked' up two ideas for a Master student's project proposal and now blogging. In half an hours time I need to be out of the door for a quick meeting with a colleague before tomorrow's meeting with the students. Hopefully, Zayd would have woken up and not giving too much of a struggle getting strapped in the car seat. Phew! I feel more effective than at work, TBH. Terasa ala2 Mummy Harapan skjp haha..
Ok, here's my Little Man today. He is grinning. Very happy dpt stay home dgn Mummy hehee...
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Heh.. Kata je berazam nak teruskan berblogging, tp dah hari ke-15 slps tahun baru 2014 baru la dpt hapdet satu. Aduhaii...
Hari tu unpacked a few more boxes from masa weols duk kat Plymouth dulu, mostly toys la tu Aisyah (and Zayd)'s delight.Tp terjumpa jg this desk light, oh kenangan!
Sbb lampu inilah byk berjasa masa bertungkus lumus nak siapkan PhD hari tu. Masa tgh kejar masa tulis thesis dari rumah tu, sampai ke dinihari bercekang mata, haaa... lampu ni lah yang mencerahkan keadaan. Nak buat mcm mana, duduk pon di rumah yg 1-bed flat. Aisyah tido mesti bergelap, kalo ada lampu yg terpasang dia cpt sedar, kesian plak, sbb esoknya dia nak bangkit pi sekolah. So inilah komprominya. Pasang lampu study, tp beli yg kecik je, cukup2 utk tgk kertas dpn mata dan skrin. Alhamdulillah... dgn lampu murah beli di Wilkinson ni aje, dpt jgk ijazah PhD tu in the ene, dgn izinNya...
Itu psl la sentimental.
Memandangkan ni dah dkt setahun aku balik, meh kita flash back tgk gmbr tgh crunching utk viva (almost a year ago, that was, can you believe it?). Masa ni January 2013, study dkt bilik carel in the library sbb esok lusa nak viva dah. I was 33 weeks pregnant with Zayd at the time. Itu psl sembap satu mcm.
PS: Today would have been my Mom's 57th birthday. It hurts so much to write this, but I cannot just ignore the fact that I miss her so, SO MUCH. She was so young. I'd only got to spend 7 months with her after I came back from the UK. It didn't seem fair (tapi Allah Maha Adil). Sometimes, I'd wondered, if I knew before I started my PhD that she was going to leave this Earth in 4 years time, would I have gone to the UK anyway? Probably not. Tapi itulah rahsia yang Allah Maha Mengetahui. I never even got to spend her birthday after I returned (I came back last year on January 28. Her birthday was January 15). I'd always thought that the first birthday back, I would be a bit steadier financially, and I would have loved to treat her to a day out shopping, or pampering ourselves silly at the spa was the order of the day, and of course, a family dinner out was a sure thing. But God has other plans for her. I know that she is in a much, much better place now. Certainly in better hands. I Miss You, Dear Umi. Al-fatihah...