Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jangan Bohong

Bi ismi Allah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim

Sebuah kisah lucu.

Dalam tahun 1990an, kami tinggal di Chukai, Kemaman. Ketika itu anak Ummi hanya 2 orang. Ummi bekerja di rumah sebagai pengurus rumahtangga. Setiap bulan Baba akan pastikan semua bekalan mencukupi...oh ya...Ummi tidak suka pergi pasar....pasar is smelly and watery and slipery and bla bla...excuses...hehe. Di rumah kami ketika itu, kalau beli apa-apa pun akan lambat habis dan selalu sangatlah makanan rosak, lemau dan kalau kopi atau milo tu, akan jadi keras seperti batu.

Tiap-tiap petang Ummi akan temankan anak-anak Ummi keluar bermain di hadapan rumah. Kadang-kadang Ummi akan bawa anak-anak Ummi menziarahi jiran-jiran. Pada satu hari Ummi bawa anak-anak ke rumah ahli kumpulan halaqah Ummi. Ummi ditawarkan minuman..tetapi Ummi kata tak perlu kerana masih kenyang. Tetapi anak sulung Ummi minta milo, lalu Ummi kata, "tak payahlah abang susahkan makcik, kat rumah nanti Ummi buat milo untuk abang". Anak sulung Ummi pun menjawab dengan penuh tanda tanya. Dia kata, "Ummi, kat rumah kita mana ada milo!!!!". Semua hanya hadir di situ termasuk tuan rumah ketawa berguling-guling... Aduuuuuhh Abaaaaang malukan Ummi...padan muka Ummi...


Friday, May 27, 2011

Teacher's Little Reward

Bi ismi Allah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim

Perkara yang membahagiakan bagi seorang guru adalah apabila "she can make a difference in her students' thinking and life". Ummi mengajar cara menggunakan thinking tool, concept fan,untuk mneyelesaikan masalah secara kreatif dan effective. Ummi telah meminta mereka menyelesaikan masalah secularization dan secularism yang sedang melanda ummat Islam.

Ummi terkejut apabila ummi membaca beberapa blog pelajar ummi yang mengulas mengenai issue ini. Ini bermakna persoalan ini menyentuh hati mereka yang menyebabkan mereka ingin tahu lebih lanjut dan mula mengoogle mengenai secularism dan menulis komen di dalam blog mereka.

Yang lebih mengujakan ummi apabila seorang pelajar yang aktif terlibat dalam menyelesaikan masalah yang ummi berikan dengan mengaplikasikan alat fikir yang ummi perkenalkan. Setelah mereka selesai membuat latihan 'problem solving' ummi menegur seorang pelajar yang tidak menulis nama di atas kertas jawapan kumpulannya. Dia tersenyum dan memberitahu bahawa dia cuma datang ke kelas ummi untuk belajar cara berfikir dan suka cara ummi mengajar dan berinteraksi dengan pelajar. Ya Allah, ada juga pelajar yang sebijik macam ummi... ummi kerap juga minta izin pensyarah untuk masuk kelas mereka hanya untuk belajar. Ummi sungguh gembira kerana ada pelajar Islam yang meminati ilmu dan sanggup datang kelas yang bermula awal pagi for the sake of learning.

Pagi-pagi esok ummi akan berhadapan dengan 70 orang guru-guru sekolah rendah yang sedang melanjutkan pelajaran dalam Sarjana muda pendidikan selama 5 jam. Ya Allah, gives me strength and creativity to tackle experienced teachers who know practical side of teacher but a bit (or a lot!) blurry on theoretical side. Ummi harap ummi berjaya untuk memprovoke seramai mungkin guru-guru untuk menyedari bahawa tiada pemisahan antara teori dan praktik...dan mula untuk mempersoalkan tujuan kejadian supaya tujuan dan metode pendidikan selari dengan fitrah kejadian.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Missing You, Abdullah

In the name of Allah The Beneficent The Merciful

For the past few days, I keep thinking of you. Perhaps because Izad does not need me anymore, at least in a particular thing... I remember you, you were just like Izad.... I took care of you until you can stand on your own... how I miss you now.... you were gone for almost two years now...and since you left Malaysia, I haven't heard from you. I saved your really touching sms but it was gone when my phone was damaged... I cried every time I read your sms...I miss the sms too for it represented you.

I remember the first time we met...you just arrived from a long journey by train, from Laos to KL. You didn't bring anything except the clothes on your back and you were wearing a pair of flip-flop. You have no money, not a single sen, but you were brave enough to cross two countries to come to Malaysia. Those who introduced you to Islam had done injustice to you for not taking care of an orphan like you and for not teaching you how to be a Muslim. You didn't know how to pray and how to be Muslim but your faith is strong enough to believe in the Truth of Islam.

We were introduce by our mutual friend. I remembered you only know how to say "My name is Abdullah" and you didn't even know the letters of the alphabets. To this day, I don't even know your Laotian name. I gave you some help, not much, but to you it was too much...I brought some shirts and shoes for you...you were very happy...A few months later, when you met me, you already knew how to converse in English and you can read and write...you were hardworking and smart too...how can you learn all these in such a short time. 1 year later you were accepted into the Kulliyyah of Economics and you were a good students..always got CGPA above 3.0...

I remembered, one day you sms me..it was urgent you said and you needed to meet me. When I saw you that day, you were almost crying...but you were trying to hide it from me... You said that the university had blocked you and you cannot register because you haven't paid your tuition fees yet...I solved the problem for you and you went to your mahallah smiling...I was soooo happy to make you happy.

The best news that I heard about you was that you have become a 'mat masjid'. You practiced Islam to the best of your ability and you were always learning and reading and soon your knowledge about Islam had increased and you knew more than most Malay Muslims.

One day, I received a phone call from our mutual friend. She was worried about you... she said you've become extreme...I asked her what does she mean by that... she said that "you fast every monday and thursday and you wake up every night for qiyamullail and you pray 2 rakaat before and after obligatory prayers"... I said, good for him and good for you too cuz you helped him a lot (our mutual friend is also a revert to Islam). I said to her not to worry because you were not an extremist, you just wanna be a good Muslim.

6 years you stayed here and finally you graduated...you called me to tell me your planning. You said you wanna go to the middle east to learn Arabic and you wanna go back to your country and do dakwah and get married with a local girl...you wanna spread Islam in your country...I was sooooo happy. I cried. Before you left, you sent me an sms...very touching sms...

I love you Abdullah...,I try to search for you but I didn't know your real name...I only know your Muslim name...I miss you so much...May Allah grant you happiness and success in both worlds...if you, one day, google my name, you will find me, I'm sure. Please contact me...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Just Updating

Bi ismi Allah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim

Second week of short-sem and we have to cover 4 topics. To my amazement, I don't know whether it's me or my students for this sem are so good. After an hour and a half, I gave them a 20-minute breather...but they would rather stay in class and do their assignments...

My students for this sem are from diverse background...from the Arab countries, Northen Africa, to Mauritius, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, Kyrgyzstan, Dark Continent of Africa, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and a girl who I don't know where she comes from...she just registered for my class and I haven't got time to chat with her yet...but she looks Caucasian; and of course Malaysians...and we are all Muslims...a true blend of various cultures...

Students of IIUM comes from more than 100 countries...when you are in IIUM, you feel that you are in a different zone...and when you are in the Mosque, you'll find out people praying to the same God but with subtle differences which sometimes become subject of gossips among those who like to criticize.

My students do not realize how I learn from them more compare to what they learn from me. Thank you my students. To my surprise, almost 100% of my students were, I don't know whether they were shocked or surprised or just amazed, gasping when they discovered that I don't watch TV...I own a TV set but we use it to watch selected movies, I haven't watch any movie for the past 1 year...we don't have an antennae or ASTRO...so no access to TV channels.

They started to ask questions on living without TV...It's like a very strange thing... and some of them wanted to interview and explore in-depth of living free of TV... ADUHAI... They think that I'm a strange person...a nice strange person... and it feels nice when they line-up to kiss my hand right after class...young women kissed the hand of their teacher after each sharing session...

Thank you for the experiences that I learn from you...I could conclude the changing culture and how it affects human behavior and styles of living... How I Love My students, my beautiful young ladies and gentlemen who are very eager to learn and very enthusiastic to promote true Islam which sometimes make them too rash...

The first Question they asked me this semester...

WE don't understand how can you teach us about Islam and you have no formal education in Islamic studies? Good question... it is really liberating when they respect you for being able to explain and make them understand in-depth the meaning of Qur'anic verses but without going through formal education in Islamic studies...

I said to them, learning is a religious obligation for every Muslim man and woman... meaning that if we don't learn, we will be punished... learning is from the cradle to the grave... and we can learn from different sources, formal or informal... the important thing is we understood....and understanding is a gift from Allah...and Allah gives it to those HE pleases...

Thank you Allah for giving me understanding...I pray that this will trickle down to my beloved children and my students...Amin, Ya Allah Ya Rahman Ya Alim...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Baba

Bi ismi Allah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim

Tidak pernah Ummi berjumpa dengan orang yang melayan Ummi sebaik Baba. Tidak pernah Ummi kenal suami sebaik Baba. Baba jarang meluahkan perasaannya dengan kata-kata. Tetapi layanan Baba membuatkan Ummi terharu. Masih Ummi ingat Baba menadah muntah Ummi dengan tangan beliau. Ummi mengalami alahan teruk setiap kali mengandung. Kadang-kadang Ummi tidak sempat ke bilik air dan terpaksa mengeluarkan isi perut di dalam sink. Baba, tanpa merasa jijik, membersihkannya dengan bare hands.

Kadang-kadang Ummi mengalami sakit migraine yang teruk sehingga Ummi muntah dan mengotorkan lantai dari ruang tamu hingga ke bilik tidur rumah kami di Paka, Dungun. Apabila Baba pulang dari kerja, Baba akan membersihkan lantai tanpa sedikit pun mnegeluh.

Dulu Ummi suri rumah sepenuh masa. Walaupun Ummi tidak keluar bekerja, Baba akan memastikan pakaian kotor sudah dibasuh dan sarapan pagi sudah di sediakan untuk Ummi sebelum Baba pergi kerja kerana kata Baba Ummi penat menjaga anak-anak kecil yang aktif. Setelah pulang dari kerja, Baba akan mengambil alih tugas menjaga anak-anak, memandikan, menukar lampin, dan bermain dengan anak-anak. Baba memberi peluang kepada Ummi untuk berehat dan membaca buku kegemaran Ummi. Baba faham Ummi bosan jika minda Ummi tidak tercabar dengan membaca dan memikirkan program-program yang Ummi boleh lakukan untuk remaja di Dungun.

Baba tidak pernah menyuruh Ummi memasak dan mengemas rumah. Ummi lakukan semua itu kerana Ummi hendak lakukannya dan jika Ummi memilih untuk tidak melakukannya, Baba tidak pernah marah. Jika Baba sibuk, Baba akan minta bantuan Ummi menggosok bajunya, dan Ummi akan melakukannya dengan rela hati.

Baba tidak pernah kedekut untuk membelanjakan wang membeli keperluan dan keinginan Ummi. Kalau Ummi suka sesuatu, Baba akan belikan dengan kuantiti yang banyak. Baba tidak pernah kedekut untuk memberikan wang kepada ibu Ummi tiap-tiap bulan. Walaupun sekarang Ini Ummi bekerja dan berpendapatan agak lumayan dengan projek-projek ekstra yang Ummi lakukan, Baba masih juga mengeluarkan wang setiap bulan untuk ibu Ummi di kampung.

Ummi tahu Ummi di hati Baba adalah teman untuk Baba luahkan perasaan tertekan ditempat kerja, teman untuk Baba kongsi kegembiraan dan kesedihan, teman untuk Baba hilangkan tekanan kehidupan yang memerah seluruh keringat Baba, teman yang menemani Baba dalam proses menjadi hamba Allah yang ta'at; bukannya pembantu rumah yang tugasnya melakukan kerja-kerja rumah yang tidak pernah siap. Ummi pada Baba adalah ibu yang mendidik anak-anak untuk menjadi hamba-hamba Allah yang soleh dan solehah; jadi Ummi tidak perlu dibebani dengan kerja-kerja yang menghabiskan tenaga Ummi. Biarlah Baba yang membantu Ummi dengan kerja-kerja tersebut kerana anak-anak tidak pernah mahu diajar oleh Baba.

Bagi anak-anak Ummi, Baba seorang yang bias kerana apa juapun keadaan Ummi, Baba akan kata bahawa Ummi adalah orang tercantik di dunia. Anak selalu mengusik Baba, kata mereka pandangan Baba tidak boleh diterima kerana bagi Baba Ummi adalah sempurna. 25 tahun Ummi hidup di samping Baba, kulit Ummi semakin kendur, badan Ummi semakin berat. Baba faham Ummi tidak suka dengan penampilan Ummi sekarang, sebab itulah Baba selalu memuji bahawa Ummi tetap cantik menawan. Anak bongsu Ummi selalu keliru, tapi Ummi katakan kepadabnya bahawa Ummi cantik kerana Baba Cinta.

Baba bukanlah seorang yang semnpurna...banyak kelemahan Baba tetapi bagi Ummi segala kebaikan yang Baba lakukan untuk Ummi melenyapkan semua kelemahan Baba. Ummi bersabar dengan kelemahan Baba kerana Ummi juga mempunyai banyak kelemahan. Jika Baba boleh menerima Ummi seadanya, kepada pulak Ummi harus memikirkan kelemahan Baba.

Walaupun sekarang Ummi mempunyai pendapatan sendiri, Baba tidak pernah lupa untuk memberikan wang perbelanjaan mingguan untuk Ummi. Bagi Baba, walau siapa pun Ummi, tanggungjawab kewangan tetap dibahu Baba.



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Impak Video Game

Bi ismi Allah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim

Akio Mori, professor di Tokyo Nihon University, telah mengkaji kesan video games keatas aktiviti otak. 260 orang dibahagikan kepada 3 kumpulan: kumpulan yang jarang bermain, kumpulan yang bermain 1 hingga 3 jam 3 -4 kali seminggu, dan kumpulan yang bermain 2 hingga 7 jam sehari. Dia mengukur gelombang beta yang menandakan 'liveliness' dan darjah tekanan di bahagian otak prefrontal. Dapatan kajian:

1. Penurunan mendadak gelombang beta - semakin lama bermain semakin kurang gelombang beta (hampir 0).
2. Walaupun telah berhenti bermain, gelombang beta masih tetap ditahap rendah.


Kesannya: mereka senang marah, tidak boleh 'concentrate', dan bermasalah dalam cara berhubung dengan dengan orang lain.

Mori bimbang dengan kesan jangka panjang kepada autonomic nerves. Beberapa kajian lain mendapati degupan jantung, tekanan darah dan penggunaan oksigen bertambah ketika bermain video.

Many parents worry about the effect video games have on their children. Here is a list of the ten most common problems recently investigated by researchers from 2006-2009.
1. An increase in emotional disorder symptoms
2. An increase in and behavioral disorder symptoms
3. Declines in verbal memory performance
4. Somatic complaints
5. Attention problems such as hyperactivity, ADD or ADHD
6. Detrimental school performance (as video game usage increases, GPA and SAT scores decrease)
7. Family interaction problems such as less positive parental relations
8. Significant reduced amounts of slow-wave (REM) sleep
9. Modifications in visual selective attention
10. Playing violent video games is a significant risk factor for later physically aggressive behavior
Pediatrics 2008 Nov;122(5):e1067-72
European Psychiatry 2008 Apr;23(3):212-8
Journal of Psychiatry Research 2008 Mar;42(4):253-8
Pediatrics 2007 Nov;120(5):978-85
Cyberpsychology & Behavior 2007 Aug;10(4):552-9
Psychological Science 2007 Jan;18(1):88-94
Pediatrics 2006 Oct;118(4):e1061-70

Monday, May 9, 2011


Bi ismi Allah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim

Cuti semester sudah berakhir. Kesibukan membaca skrip jawapan, membantu merancang konferen antarabangsa [yet again, sigh :(], membantu menilai thesis kawan, bercinta dengan Rasch Model, dan mengajar guru-guru yang berpengalaman berpuluh-puluh tahun dalam bahasa Melayu (yeeee...but with a lot of fumbles...okay, how do you translate configuration of meaning into Malay language?), akan diganti/ditambah dengan kesibukan mengajar 6 jam sehari untuk semester pendek ini.

Semester ini Ummi mengajar Islamic Worldview, Creative Thinking and Problem Solving, dan satu kursus di Kulliyyah of Education (Teaching Moral Education through Community of Ethical Inquiry Method)....What have I got myself into???? On top of these, we have to write at least 2 chapters in a book-1 due in June...dan Ummi kena pergi present papers 2 kali, buat measurement scale to measure critical, creative, ethical-spiritual thinking, and self-confidence...waaaaaaaaaa kena kerja ke?

Strategi Ummi untuk kelas Islamic Worldview (3 hours class at one go) adalah dengan menggunakan PBL (Problem Based Learning)...so, a lot of class exercises on evaluating human behavior to make judgment on their worldview...I wish I could write in my own language as naturally as I write in this alien language... I'm learning... dan Ummi semakin pandai? Betulkah?

Semester lepas ada pelajar Ummi yang memanggil Ummi "aunty!!!" di hadapan kawan-kawannya di depan pintu masuk kelas... Semester ini dua pelajar Ummi memanggil Ummi "Kak Wan!!!!"...hehe... Apa yang nak dikato, dah mereka itu kawan-kawan Ummi...

Adios...was planning to write on configuration of meaning but ended up with a little update... will write about that important topic soon :)