Monday, July 29, 2013

Struggle Continues


"struggling  present participle of strug·gle (Verb)

  1. Make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction.
  2. Strive to achieve or attain something in the face of difficulty or resistance."

You see, Allah is the Greatest. Allah creates different human with different fate and individuality. Everyone has good qualities and weaknesses thus you cannot always comparing yourself to others. The results may hurt you in many ways. However, lately i keep comparing my study life with my senior's. They managed to publish their research paper in international journals easily while i got rejected regularly. I too want my research paper get accepted so that i can go through my phd viva with a flying color...

Just now my senior who had just finished his phd came back from his hometown and sharing a good news. He's gonna proceed his study as a post-doctorate candidate. He's in a good mood and i can see why. Then, he asked about my study. He said he heard from our supervisor that my papers got rejected many times and supervisor seems very concern about it. I know it, supervisor is worrying about my study...

Today i sent a manuscript with an extreme high hope to an international journal. I'm not gonna sit in despair anymore. There are lots of things i can do and need to do. 2 international conferences are next. After that, i'll try to send the viva notification in postgraduate office and thesis is on the way.  

 Somehow, struggling has become my nature. For i believe the fruits of hard work and patience are the sweetest.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Last words from a mother


I think everyone might had realize how much I love Naruto looking at my pictures i've uploaded in most of my entries. For me, Naruto has taught me many things that i cant learn in real world (sounds like a true otaku). I started reading Naruto since my 3rd year of degree and now i'm in final year of PHD, nearly six years i cried and laughed with it. But, one moment i cried the most is when Naruto met with his mother, Kushina in his subconscious mind. 

Naruto's mom and dad's love story was so cute
Red mom and yellow dad produced an orange boy. heh.
Two epic episodes that change the whole story.

They died protecting their beloved newborn from nine tails fox.

Knowing that she can't be with her beloved newborn in the future, Kushina left very2 precious words:

Don’t be picky.. Eat lots and grow strong..
Make sure that you bathe every day and stay warm..
Also.. Don’t stay up late.. You need lots of sleep..
And make friends.. You don’t need a lot of friends..
Just a few.. Ones you can really, really trust..

I wasn’t very good at it, but keep up with your studies and practice your ninjutsu hard..
Remember that everyone has strengths and weaknesses..
So don’t get too depressed if you can’t do something well..

Respect your teachers and upperclassmen at the Academy..
Oh, and this is important.. It’s about the Three Prohibitions for a shinobi..
Be extra careful about lending and borrowing money..
Put your mission wages into your savings account..
No alcohol until you’re twenty.. Too much can ruin your health, so drink in moderation..
Another Prohibition is women..
I’m a woman, so I don’t know too much about this but..
All you need to remember is that this world is made up of men and women..
So it’s only natural to take an interest in girls..
But just don’t get hooked on bad women.. Find someone just like me..
Speaking of the Three Prohibitions, be wary of Jiraiya Sensei, you know..
Naruto, from now on, you’re going to face lots of pain and hardship..
Be true to yourself..  

Have a dream and have the confidence to make that dream come true..
There’s so much.. Oh, so much more that I want to pass on to you.. I wish I could stay with you longer..
I love you”
— Uzumaki Kushina

This is like my 5th times watching it and still, it brings tears to my eyes. Emo gila kan?
I'm a sucker for mom-son/daughter bonding. They are so pure.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

pre-Viva Tips


Viva is the most terrifying obstacle that a postgraduate student needs to go through before he/she can take a nice relief deep breath as he/she gets closer to finish his/her study. Of course there are so many more obstacles you have to face such as having writer block while writing the final thesis, manufacturer has delay posting chemicals, testing machine's endless waiting list, moody technicians, someone steals apparatus or chemicals and the list goes on and on...

So far i have go through 3 major vivas in my study life: final year project, Master and PHD's proposal defense. Alhamdulillah so far all panels were good to me and gave me a pleasant experience. Good, not so great but slightly better than doing bad. But then i realize that was because most of the panels were among my previous lecturers. How about IF they weren't my lecturers?

The thing is, i have low self-confidence every time i want to present something in front of strangers. My nervous system is weak that it'll show through my voice. It's detectable. I had 2 experiences giving presentation in a conference in front of few people and i'm still amaze of myself that i didn't blacked out during that time. hehe. I'm more amaze when watching someone with full of confidence doing their thing in front of people while wondering where they get all the confidence. Maybe they got a proper training in school. I wish i can be someone like that too. To be able to clearly deliver your research's results is a skill i need to have before i have my final viva on this March 2014. In order to achieve that mission, i've registered myself into another conference. This time i'll do my best to gain more beneficial viva experience.  

March 2014 may be insignificant for you and 7 months to go on top of that, however for me i feel it coming crazily fast . It's true when you are putting much efforts and hopes on something, your heart is beating real fast when the destined day is getting nearer. Perhaps, is this is the same feeling when future bride is waiting for her akad nikad's day? ----okok,not related.

For anyone who will attend her/his viva soon, i wanna share some TIPS -i have used them before and will definitely need them next year:

1)  Master your research
Make sure to fully understand all aspects of your research. Even the tiniest hesitation will jeopardize your performance. Panels may ask you to explain how's the testing machine work and they may ask you to explain its procedure step by step. During my master, a panel asked my friend to explain how a machine work but she cannot answer it because the test was run by a technician. Student just send samples, technician will do the rest, technician called student to take the results and finish. So, makesure to at least understand the test.

2) Discuss with Supervisor
Many students are so full of themselves and believe they can go through a viva without supervisor's advices. Discuss with your supervisor a week before and show her/him your powerpoint. Perform a mock presentation in front of SV will gain yourself more confidence. He/she might has tips to answer panels' questions too.

3) Prepare potential questions
When you are discussing with SV, ask them types of questions that'll likely to be asked regarding your research. My SV shared a lot of questions he heard while being a panel to other students. Then, prepare a counterattack measure by finding few possible answers and proof to strengthen your result.

4) Practice makes perfect
During my master, i kept on practicing every single day and night in front of a mirror. I think that was the first time i put so much efforts on something. During the actual viva, i didn't use my memory cards that i've made beforehand and the words just came out. Hohoho. well, nothing is perfect is this world, i did receive few comments and because of that viva i've decided to continue study. Panels told me something great and it motivates me to learn more.

5)Have fun
You have finish your research.. you accomplished your expected results with hard-work and full of commitment. Now, let everyone knows about your excellent findings. Like my lecturer says, treat this as ibadah. Viva is actually a place to spread knowledge and insyaAllah you will find ease in it. When you are corrected or panel pinpoints your mistakes, just acknowledge them and change it later in correction. They may know something you don't know. Don't argue. Even our prophet SAW used to being corrected by Allah in front of many people. He didn't deny it, he acknowledge it and change. It's a sunnah to follow his action.

Hmm..i don't know if my tips if are too general or useless. Just take the positive inputs eh.
Good luck to my juniors, Jaa and PZ that will face their master's viva soon.
Good luck to me too!

© Alkemirization
Maira Gall