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Saturday, June 02, 2012

Carpe diem

There are a couple of movies that I like to watch from time to time. These movies, to me, are inspiring. "Dead Poets Society" was one. The other being "Good Will Hunting". The obvious common denominator for these two films is Robin Williams who starred in both of them. The other common denominator is that both these films are about the relationship between students (or student in the case of "Good Will Hunting") and their teacher/mentor.

These movies drive the message that teachers can be inspiring. Teaching (or lecturing) need not be boring or by the book. The process of knowledge dissemination can be fun, lively and meaningful, without it being dry, dull and a one-way traffic. I am definitely not John Keating, the English teacher played by Robin Williams in "Dead Poets Society", but I share the message of the film, i.e. carpe diem (seize the day).

I am fortunate to have many great teachers and mentors all throughout the years, from my schooling days in Alor Setar (1981-1982), Johor Bahru (1982-1985) and Kulim (1985-1991), all the way to my UK days in Glasgow (1992-1996), as well as my postgraduate studies at the University of Malaya (2002-2005 and 2007-2012).

I suppose that indirectly I have been influenced by these great teachers I have to jump into the academic world. I have never had a formal training in lecturing but I strive to do what I think is best and correct. So far, after doing part-time lecturing on a regular basis since 2009, I am really enjoying it.

The happiest moment for me is to see my students succeed in what they do. That is reward in itself which money can never buy.

To all my students who are going to sit for their final exams soon, I wish you all the best. More importantly, do not forget to seize the day!

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