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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Vic U Graduations

The clock at the Old Government House strikes 12 noon, and the1km parade to the Michael Fowler Hall at the Wellington Civic Center, commences for faculty members and the new graduates.They will be receiving their scrolls after their ardous academic journey.This is Vic U's tradition. This morning, our school had a graduation tea party before the parade, a good idea, as the graduates, their families and friends, get to be feted before the walk.

The graduates would all assemble in front of the historical Old Government Building, the biggest and oldest wooden building in the Southern hemisphere. Families and friends gather, mingle with the members of the academia, picture taking is a must, flower bouquets, hugs and congratulatory wishes are in abundance.The sun decided to come out today, adding a merrier atmosphere to the surroundings.

For the past 2 years, these parades in May were wet occasions. Vic U has graduation ceremonies in May and November. Most would choose the November session, as it is nearer summer time, but then again, Wellington has a fickle weather. I went to the parade just now, not that I know anyone in the parade except for my supervisor, but just to get the feel of it, sharing the happy feelings of people there, feeling the happiness in the faces of the family members, and the relieve in the faces of the students too after gaining the fruit of their labor. Then I start to wonder whether I will get to experience this too in a year or two? Will I be able to come for my graduation? Unlike other levels of academic achievements, the conferment of PhD is not that straight forward after you submit your thesis. There are PhD cohort members that were conferred after a year of submission. If, for whatever reason I am not able to come for my graduation, I would want at least one of my children to get the scroll for me, hear the recitation of my research, and absorb the gratitude of Allah Almighty for His Blessings, that that part of my journey in life, difficult, frustrating at times, challenging and exciting, has finally come. InsyaAllah.

Friends...

written on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 7:07pm

Today is my friend, Negara's birthday. We fondly call her Arot.She was my closest frriend in my secondary school years, and has been ever since then. We cycled to school together, through the red earth road in Matang, then walked on the Jambatan Gantung, then cycled all the way from there to St Teresa Secondary.Though we have gone through life, have our families, we are still bonded by our humble beginnings. Amongst the things I love about her, she is one of the best cooks in the world, and she chose to get married on my birthdate, as I was not able to attend her wedding then.Happy Birthday Arot!!

Safety and kindness

written on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 5:45am

As usual, at this time of the year, Wellington's weather is much to be desired, raining, windy and cold. Today, I was assigned to supervise an exam session for two special needs students, one girl, with diabetes, and another guy who is in wheel chair. The exam, at School of Law, was held at the Old Government Building, situated next to my office.The session was from 5.30 to 7.50pm. The session went well, each student has different needs, rest time, extra time, facility set up, etc. My bus home was scheduled to arrive at 8pm, and after clearing all the administratives with the school administrator, i dashed to the bus stand, just about 150m outside the Government Building. At this time of the night,the bus stand is eerily quiet .There was just me and another guy at the bus stand. People in Wellington go home for dinner as soon as office closes and peak hours at the bus stand are between 5-6pm.The drizzle has not stopped since morning and as the Grand Clock on Old Government Building striked 8pm, my bus approached.Traffic was light, so the bus ride was breezy to the next bus terminal at the suburb near where I live. School boys back from their games alight the bus at this terminal. The last of them was searching frantically in his bag for his money, i supposed. He called out to his friend that he forgot to bring his money, and he said he'll just walk home,and went down from the bus. The Driver closed the door, and slowly moved, but then he stopped, slide open his window, and called out to the boy" Hey Buddy! come on board!" The boy was so relieved, as the rain was getting heavy then. We moved on with the journey, and when the boy stopped at his destination, he took out the money that he managed to find in his bag, and wanted to give to the Driver, but the Driver just waved him off. The boy was just so thankful to him as he said " You saved my day, Driver!" Such acts of kindness just melt your heart, and for his kindness, I gave the driver a piece of chocolate, which I make a point to have in my school bag everytime, in case of hunger attacks.

Providing facilities for people with special needs gives them equal opportunities for their right to education. Knowing kindness abound, such as what the university provides to those who need it, and by such acts of kindness by the people around, in a not so familiar land, makes you feel safe.

The sad situation...

written on Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 10:35pm

Quoting from Dr Jeniri Amir in Pengalaman menganalisis perlakuan pengundi by Sarawak Update

"Menyusuri sungai dan meredah denai

Pada satu peringkat saya menggunakan khidmat lebih 50 pembanci untuk menemui pengundi yang terpaksa menjelajah penduduk kampung di pesisiran dan penghuni rumah panjang di pedalaman. Mereka menyusuri sungai dan meredah denai untuk menemui pengundi.

Mata saya semakin terbuka apabila melihat sendiri keadaan hidup mereka, kedaifan dan kemiskinan yang masih membelenggu di sesetengah kawasan. Selepas hampir 50 tahun merdeka dan dengan kekayaan yang bukan sedikit, saya kadangkala terkedu.

Apakah yang sudah berlaku kepada negeriku ini? Ke manakah mengalir sebahagian kekayaan dan sumber asli negeri? Mengapakah masih ada masyarakatku terpinggir? "

If elected politicians have still a long way to improve this situation, what can social activists do to "purge or ambulate" this matter? Or even the people themselves?

MY NZ Lemon Cake

written on Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 3:16am

Cake

250-300grm butter, beat with 1/2cup sugar till soft.Add, one by one, 5-6 eggs, depending on size.Then add rind and juice of 2 lemons. I like to use potato peeler to peel the lemon skin, then chop them finely.Fold in 1 1/2 cups self raising flour, which has been mixed with 1/2 cup powdered milk. Bake 150C for about 40-50 mins or till it is cooked.

once baked, leave it to cool before transferring on plate. Then drizzle with warm lemon glaze.

Glaze

put in a pot 2-3 tablespns of brown sugar, with juice of abt 2-3 lemons, and thin slices of another 2 lemons. Simmer till sugar dissolves. Arrange slices on cake then drizzle the syrup over the cake. Serve. Enjoy!!!

Our Beloved YBs, we request for a Swimming pool in Petra Jaya area

written on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 6:43pm

Every morning I send my son off to the train station at 6.30am. This morning, after dropping him off, my daughter and I proceeded to the community swimming pool, and we reached there just before 7am. The pool's swimming lanes were already full, and at the diving pool, which is 3.4m deep, I saw three elderly ladies already in there, doing their aqua jog.I have a really bad phobia of the water but I like to exercise in it, as the bouyancy of the water helps with my hurting feet. I refuse to go in at first as it is really deep, and I was looking for shallow waters, which left me with the kids pool. There was this kind lady, who encouraged me to go in the diving pool, BUT i need to put on a float belt first. I did just that, and joined her in the water but I was not ready to let my hands off the edge. She then told me that she has a phobia too, as her sister and brother always pulled her down into the water when they were younger. After much confidence boosting from her, I managed to get on with my aqua jog for about 45 minutes! I wouldn't exert myself yet as that is the first time in 2 solid years I took out my swimming suit. What I noticed at this pool in Johnsonville, is that it is part of the Local authority initiatives. You do have to pay, but there are discounts for school going children, students like me and the golden age groups of people.Complete with shower facilities and locker rooms, it also has a sauna and spa facilities. Equipment like floats, dumbbell floats, and all that are needed for swimmers and non-swimmers are available. They also have lifeguards on duty too, young college age kids looking after the facility.

It is high time Kuching, especially Petra jaya area to have a public swimming pool of its own, where the ladies,for example, after their subuh prayers, can go and exercise in the water befoer they go to work.Children from nearby school can come for swimming lessons, as part of their curricula. Elderly men can go for exercise in there as well, and others can swim for their exercise too. As it is, swimming, to an extend, is accessible to the affluent and advantaged groups, ie, those who have subscribed membership to the golf clubs, or those who attend the international school.My children were introduced to swimming when they attended Tadika Sri Keria, which offers swimming as part of their lessons. Sarawak is a powerhouse for swimming or water sports events, surely we can have one for our community there. For a population that is reaching almost 600,000, we need more public pools, and there is only one PUBLIC pool in a city like Kuching! Former YB Puan Dona Babel did request for one in the 1990s when she served as an ADUN member, but it never saw the light of day. I hope this is a reality soon, not having to wait the next Malaysia Plan.

Museum of Wellington City and Sea

written on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 11:44pm

This three-storeyed building is situated at Wellington's Waterfront, and the displays and contents tell the stories of and about Wellington, the making of the city from the end of the 19th Century till the present. Display techniques range from the conventional to contemporary, with a multi-mix of media used. My favourite of all is the show on Maori legends "A Millennium Ago", which uses the 19th Century theatrical technique called a "Pepper's Ghost, named after 'Professor' Henry Pepper. At first I thought it uses the hologram technique, but it is not.Namali, my office mate and I asked the Museum staff, and they explained the techniques used. It is created with mirrors and a projected image.This Museum is a MUST see for visitors to Wellington.I rate it the best Museum I have ever been to. The clever use and mix of content display is refreshing, both educating as well as entertaining, stimulating your thinking senses.

www.museumofwellington.co.nz