Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Class Visit to National Visual Arts Gallery

19 November 2014 - I teach Creative Design Elements class this semester to a bunch of loud and rambunctious undergraduates (they are fun tho', but sometimes it seems they have too much fun and need a lot of prodding to get things done). Since they seem to have little connection to the creative side of multimedia, I'd thought to insert this trip as a way to instil their interest and appreciation in arts and culture. I had given out an assignment for them to carry out during the visit after the guide ends, and impressively, they managed to do it almost effortlessly. And they were quiet and respectful in the gallery, wow! I guess they are more creative and cultured than they gave themselves credit to. Certainly glad I had this trip with them. Worth the hassle and heat (one of the bus we booked turned up with a faulty air-conditioner. I'm just grateful nobody passed out!)

We first had a 1-hour guided tour, showing all the galleries and work displayed. The students then had to disperse in the group with their facilitator to start on their assignment. They needed to identify a piece which hit a chord with them, and write a review and their comment of the piece. Inpired by the piece, they are then asked to re-create the work, but under their own interpretation using any medium they felt comfortable using. and I was surprised at their level of participation (and cooperation to be honest). Some serious discussion going here. And even more serious drawing followed.

All in all, it was a successful event, I'd say. I'm glad to pressed on and pushed the students off their limits, because I saw slight improvements in them - they can explain, critic  a piece and even suggest what / how to re-create a piece according to their interpretation.

PS: Huge thanks go to Anis Ramzi, my good friend when I was in Plymouth (she still is in the UK) for suggesting me to visit the National Visual Arts Gallery. A very talented artist herself, conversation with her on Malaysian arts has always been stimulating and her enthusiasm contagious. Miss you, Anis. When you guys get back here, let's go together. To see your piece in the gallery ;)

PSS: We have received permission to take photos on SOME of the displayed work today. There are others, for example, the entire collection on the second floor which had been prohibited from being recorded. The ones in this album are Okayed by the Gallery. If you choose to go and do the same, please write a request in a letter prior to your visit, and once approved, remember to set your camera to NO FLASH setting. <--- announcement="" from="" me.="" public="" service="" span="">

Monday, November 17, 2014

Graduation - This Time, It's Not Mine ;)

My darling daughter Aisyah attended her Kindergarten's graduation yesterday. Along with receiving a plaque to mark the end of her pre-school studies, she had also performed with her classmates several acts and songs, which I thought was beautifully done. It was a great day all in all. 

I am so proud of her. She has gone through so much in the span of two years - from not knowing a single Malay word, much less Arabic and Du'as and Qira'ati, whilst she was in the UK, to adjusting to new environment with extreme heat in Malaysia, to making a whole new sets of friends who thought she talked funny (she spoke with an accent at first), to losing her Nek Mi (grandma), forcing her to attend school full day from 8 am- 6 pm, and many more. She can now read in BM well, read in English a little slower, talks fluently in Malay, and I discovered that she is very talented in the arts - drawing and dancing in particular. She has very good memory and managed to memorize half of the Muqaddam already, which impresses me to no end, because I now it is none of my doing. 

Alhamdulillah... I am happy just to see that she is happy. I just can't believe how time flies (cliche as this may sound). But really, she'll be seven next year and off to Primary School. Wow... I just pray that she will find the same peace and happiness at her new school soon, and make good new friends and keep the ones that she has close too.

Congratulations, honeybun! You've done so well, so far. Keep it up!