Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back and All Fired Up...

... or all FRIED up, depending on how you perceive things, tee hee.

Have been away for quite some time. I really have no other excuse than, it's been busy. Let's see...

First off, I've had to attend the Induction course, and also the 'Kursus Asas Pengajaran' course. Some parts were pretty dull, but it was necessary that I soak up on the Learning Outcomes, Problem-based Learning, Student-Centred Learning, yada yada yaaa, so I sat through all the sessions, never mind that I knew the stuff already AND that I own a General teaching Assistant Certificate from the UK. Phew... to be fair, it wasn't half bad. A lot of the speakers were such inspirational inviduals, some even won the 'Anugerah Akademik Negara' (an award for those who are exceptionally good at teaching at Higher Education level), so needless to say, I am now all pumped up and ready to teach again. Yay!

Last Friday was the last of the three week long course, so now I am back in my office. In two weeks' time the semester will start. The herd of new meat, I mean, students will arrive next week. I've got two undergraduate courses to teach this coming semester, 'Creative Design Elements' and a very baby course, 'Introduction to Multimedia', so all is good. In comparison to last semester's class, these two are quite lighter load in the sense that they are less theoretical and more fun acitivities in class could be tried out. Which is cool coz I need to complete an inch-thick Teaching Portfolio by the end of the semester too. I should be doing fine with the portfolio, my 'training' (uwekkk muntah hijau) as a blogger is more than adequate. Basically to document everything, and put up loads of pictures as evidence of the approaches carried out during teaching in class. Not that different from blogging, eh? So looking forward to that!

Alhamdulillah I've also secured a research grant. Quite minimal in comparison to some, but it's a great start. I'm excited to see the project goes on. It's something I am very passionate about, connecting stuff from my PhD (Artificial Intelligence) and the traditional Malay music that I love. I just hope I can find students who are enthusiastic enough to carry this project out with me. The ones I have at the moment are more slanted towards doing creative stuff, so we'll see how.

Because of my project also, I've sort of jumped from the Digital Processing wagon onto the Human-Computer Interaction boat. It's not a big leap, but I'm giddy with the prospect of carrying out something I have always wanted to try (research-wise). Hopefully, it will turn out as I'd envisioned, or better.

I'm quite nervous this semester as I am taking over several new roles, replacing the ones left by several colleagues. They left for different reasons, some temporarily, some more permanent. But the roles are about to start this September. Oh wait, no, I have a meeting with the Lab Instructors later this week to advice them about the work spec and payment, so er, the job starts pretty much now. But it will be a whole lot more hectic once the new students come in. I've been told I'll be 'mothering' quite a number of new students, so please God let them be good ones.

What else, huh? Oh and my camera is now fixed. That was another major put off from writing this blog. For the past three weeks my camera had been a bit cuckoo-y, and I wasn't even able to take pics or transfer old pictures onto my laptop. That wasn't helping in the least as far as blog writing goes. Ok now I guess I have no real excuses. Unless I'm busy again, which is almost a certain possibility now it seems haha.

I am a bit nervous now seeing how my list of things to do has grown. Funny that several of us at the Induction course (these were all new PhD-holders) argued how life is busier now that we've finished our PhDs. We'd always thought after our PhD we'd be able to 'goyang kaki'. WRONG! But we'll take busy over GUILT. Yes... being a PhD student is fun in a lot of ways, but the guilt can sometimes eat you from the inside. You watch TV, and there's that guilt staring back at you from the screen. 'You should be studying!' it says. You pick up a novel, and there's that guilt again, 'You will benefit more if you read journal papers related ti your study', it says. You try to write an entry on your blog, the guilt pops up again and says, 'You should be writing your thesis, not your blog!'. So yeah. Enough of 4 years of that :P

All right, I best go. I have a paper to write and submit before the 30th August. Hang on, that sounds like something I'd said during my PhD years. Some things never really change despite everything, right?


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