Friday, February 10, 2017

Design, Arts and Technology Club

Last week, Aisyah's school handed out notes to parents regarding the various extra-curricular activities they offer the children, including prices  for each activity (they vary). I am one proud mummy when Aisyah told me that she has thought things through, and she wanted to join the Design, Arts and Technology Club (Kelab Rekabentuk, Seni dan Teknologi). It's not the choice she has made that made me proud (she could've chosen the Chess Club, or the Arabic Language Club, it wouldn't have made a difference to me to be honest), but the fact that she made her own decisions - already understanding her strength and passion at the age of nine - that's what's made me filled with pride inside. 

In Year 1, she took up Swimming. Her school didn't have a swimming pool, so they had to transport the children by bus at 2.30 pm, had the swim lesson, finished by 5 p.m. and headed back to school by bus once more, only to be stuck in the rush hour jam, before finally arriving back at school around 6.15 pm. It was tiring, but she loved every single second in the pool. It was a pricier option as it had to cover the cost of the school hiring an outside swim instructor as well as the bus. This option was discontinued by the school the following year.

In Year 2, she took up Nisa' (Girls' Club where they do girlish activities. I don't want to be stereotypical, but the club did cooking, baking, flower arrangements, bookmark making, some small momentos etc - your typical domestic sciences stuff - as well as talks about female body changes, handling menstruation, and introduction to several Muslim female icons in the history, etc. Aisyah chose this club herself, mainly because most of her friends signed up for it too. It was one of the cheaper options as far as fees went.

I hope she'll be happy with her choice this year. It's good to see that she's willing to try something new every year, and that this time, she didn't choose to follow the crowd like last year. In terms of fees, it's in the medium range. More expensive ones include Taekwando, Badminton and Archery. If I were a student at her school, I'd probably be intrigued to try Archery, but Aisyah flat out refused this. 'Nanti org lain tercucuk kepala Kakak' (other people might spear me in the head). And it is her genuine fear, ok people? She was not being funny at all. We might just have to accept that this one ain't ever going to be an athlete (not that it's a bad thing). It just means she doesn't inherit her Ayah's sports genes. Her dad was once a college hockey player, and has a slightly deviated nosebridge as a proof of his athletism. But fret not, we still have Zayd, the boy, and he's energetic plenty, so we'll just wait and see for now if he follows in his Ayah's footsteps (but Lord, please don't let it be hockey. Hubs' once told me how he blacked out from the pain of having another player's hockey stick struck him smack in the middle of his nose, and the blood that soaked his shirt after, is too much for this faint hearted Mama to take in).

PS: I knew Aisyah was gonna pick some sort of arts club to begin with, but it's good to hear it from herself without me meddling).

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Books Can Stink Too

This is one of the reasons why Aisyah loves to hang out at my office so much. She can spend the entire day drawing, colouring, and then read children storybooks which my undergraduate students from the Creative Design class have submitted as part of their assignments. I have stacks and stacks of them in my room, and Aisyah looks forward to read time every single time. If she finishes reading without much comment other than stating that the characters are cute or sweet, then the book has most likely been given an A in the past. The C books, well, even Aisyah can tell them from a mile away. They stink! :P 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Girls' Day Out

The girls from my office all took leave (applied in advance) one Monday in the month of January. All of us synced our leave that it left our Head of Department a little puzzled wondering of there was anything he was missing out. Yeah, our Girls' Day Out, that's what tee hee.

So we started the day with our brunch at Dotty's, and of course, the girls made a beeline for the infamous Salted Egg Yolk Cronut. In case you are wondering what a cronut is, it is a dessert in the shape of a donut, but made from a croissant-like pastry. The salted egg yolk is the 'frosting' that goes on the donut, much like salted caramel (sweet and salty). I'm not too crazy of sweet desserts (the sugar goes straight to my brain and I get a headache almost instantly), but the main menu was great. We ordered lamb stew, salted agg yolk pasta, wild mushroom sandwich with fries.

The next activity we did was - SHOPPING. It's kinda sad that we'd rather go shopping than hiking or rock climbing, or paintballing, or at least bowling (these were some of the valid suggestions we came up with). But we all went shopping instead. We kinda did actually need to take leave to shop for clothes and other womenly stuff, as work and family took a lot of time from us young moms to squeeze in clothes shopping in. Sad or not, last time I checked, everybody was happy by the end of the day, so a happy girls' day out indeed it was.  Encore!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Chinese New Year in Muar

Last weekend we went back to spend time with Tok Abah in Muar during the Chinese New Year holidays. We love to see the lanterns (tanglung) decorating the town. Muar never disappoints in terms of food. Just as much as Wetex Parade never disappoints in terms sales and discounts :D

We had a great time at Kampung. It was worth the 6-hour trip back (5 p.m. untul 11 p.m.) stuck in supermassive traffic along the PLUS Highway, inching at 30 km/h on most of the stretch (on a normally 2.5 hours trip at most) T_T

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A House Fit for Barbie

Aisyah and her play time. A make shift house for Fake Barbie and her friends to come sleep over. She's used items she's found in the house, all carefully created by herself.

Always amusing. 

Always neat. 

Always the Creative. 

That child has a strong penchant for arts. If she has it her way, every night is crafts night. I go on the guilt trip every other night for failing to provide or spend more time with her doing crafts, but folding dried clothes is just about what I can manage after dinner. I hope my lack of participation doesn't dampen her spirits, but act as a catalyst for her to treat it like an individual study of some sort. May she one day learns to uses the resources she has, to do things she wants to do. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Surgeon, I Am Not

A couple of weeks ago, I was presented with the opprtunity to follow (and learn) the Computer Graphics and Computer Vision Research Group at my work place to attend a half day workshop at the UiTM Sungai Buloh Campus (Medical and Dentistry). We were looking forward to meet up with our collaborators, Prof. Dr. Zamrin Dimon and his team of surgeons, and also our partners from the Industrial Design Department, Faculty of Design and Architecture UPM to see where three fields (medical, design and computer science) and merge together to benefit others. 

I am grateful that senior colleagues in my department are always generous in extending the invitation to us juniors (in age) researchers. This workshop were focused on brainstorming mock prototypes for cardiac surgery. Indeed, I had a great time that afternoon learning something new, although if I'm honest I did get slightly heavy headed towards the end of the evening (the air felt thick in the room as we progressed - too much neurons being fired simultaneously from all partcipants, maybe. Plus the combination of hot coffee and the disastrous trip home was enough to give anyone a two days worth of headache.

Nonetheless, if I contributed nothing else that afternoon, at least my appreciation for doctors and surgeons in particular, has gone up several notches too. The session made me understand a bit more about the problems they face daily with some of the current medical devices they are using (which we are invited to solve - thus, the purpose of this workshop). Me being a scaredy cat, turned down their invitation to see how the devices work first hand, in an operating theatre, on a living patient, had to be turned down by me. Youtube is enough for me to look at heart bypass surgeries, thank you very much :D

Thursday, February 2, 2017

At Their Tok Ayah's

Sharing several pics of the children with their cousins at their Tok Ayah's. My Dad and my stepmom live about 40 minutes drive away from us, so we are very lucky we see them quite often, mainly over the weekend - either them coming to ours or us over at their's. Either way, families are God's greatest blessings to all His servants. 

These pics were taken sometime in January. The kids and their parents were really fascinated by the brand new swinging chair Tok Ma has bought and placed in the living room. If our house was bigger, I'd probably get one for our own use. 

That night my Dad COOKED (yes, that's right) us dinner - Ikan Keli Goreng, Gulai Ayam, Tauhu Goreng and assortment of other dishes. I am well impressed of him and his newfound passion. Retirement really is treating him well, Alhamdulillah...

Friday, January 27, 2017

My Grandchildren

I am going to write about my two grandchildren today. No, I don't have a nephew or niece who is about the same age as myself and has recently reproduced, but rather I am writing about my 'academic' grandchildren. Haha.

In the academia, the Supervisor is always known to be a parent figure to the students. So yes, some of my students are having their very own children now, which make me erm.. a grandma. 

So by that definition, my first grandchild is Sara Adelia. Her Mom, Siti Aisah, was my first graduated Master of Computer Science student. Aisah fell pregnant in her final year, but trudged on despite her morning sickness. She submitted her corrected thesis just a week away before she gave birth to Sara Adelia. This is a pic of them from her (their??) graduation later that year.

Here is me from two weeks ago with my recent grandchild Syabil. My Master student Bella came in for her progress meeting at the time. Syabil is only about 1 month old here. Her mom is still in her third semester so I hope I don't get any other new grandchild soon. Haha.