It’s been an interesting day trip down south. A bit unplanned and rather last minute decision. The purpose of the plan was to ‘check out’ Monash University Johor Bahru campus, with the possibility of working there in future, and let me emphasise on the word “possibility”.
I was invited by Prof Farouk Musa to join him and his friend Ehsan Shahwahid, for the day trip since I had been considering Mo…nash University as a potential employer. It was Prof’s last visit there this year, I figured I had nothing to lose.
Yes it sounded painful, 3 hours drive to and 3 hours drive back. I have no idea how one does that on a regular basis. But the only way to be sure is to experience it, and since it was a free ride, I agreed. Thankfully there was no knee pain from the previous days resumed HM training.
The morning trip was fine, I was actually able to read Wedding Speech by Liz Khalid until page 108. So this is what they call ‘dude-lit’. I had no idea. But I liked it better than ‘chick-lit’. The current Sophie Kinsella book that my friend made me read out of guilt, I can only get to page 62 and no further.
We arrived at the campus about 1pm, and I was introduced to the Dean, Prof Rusdi. It was an amusing experience to say the least. The last thing I wanted to do when arrived was to meet the Dean but my friend was rather politely insistent, so I just agreed to. I had no idea my friend was going to tell the Dean that I was interested to join Monash. Yes, that was fun. I could feel my eyebrows rising and there were moments I was glaring at my friend but it wasn’t obvious because of the shades. The Dean was extremely nice I must say.
Then class started with free pizza for the students. I actually thought to myself, in all my years as a lecturer in the past, not once did I buy my students pizza before class. I felt guilty, I admit.
The PBL session was more like what we would have called Seminar in my previous, previous workplace. I was dejavu. Somehow I admit I prefer the environment of academia compared to that of a hospital. It just suits me better. Anyhow, for PBL or seminars, the lecturer only facilitates the learning, it is mostly student centred/driven, which is fun for the lecturer too. I told Prof not to ask me any questions since I had not done any reading the night before. I think the students did well overall, and yes, in many ways they were similar to students at my previous workplace.
After the enlightenment session, it was time for prayer brake. The prayer room was on the fourth floor, I used the stairs for the fun of it and I was impressed. There is a very nice view of the sea, I think. While the whole building was air-conditioned, the prayer room itself was not. Other than that it was clean and a pleasure to use.
Then we headed out to meet a friend, who is a mutual friend of my partner in crime, plastic surgeon Mr Faizal. We had a meal at a place I cant recall the name now, but the food was reasonably good. After that we started our journey home.
I slept almost immediately in the car on the way back. Heard on the radio in between the fragmented naps the story of Nobel peace prize winner (or was it nominee, I’m not sure) Malala in an interview and was really moved with what she had to say. I am so glad to hear she survived the ordeal and is now in a better position not just to get the education she wanted, but also to have her voice heard and her sacrifices count.
It was during the few minutes of her interview that an image came to my mind, of what my Book #1 cover should be. Now that I’m home and a bit rested, I had a chance to quickly sketch the image I saw earlier.
Took a quick prayer brake for maghrib and I must say the public toilets at Ayer Keroh R&R were pretty decent. The prayer room was nice, clean and ‘open air’. My head scarf fell on the floor when I was performing ablution and I had to seriously reconsider re-wearing it or dumping it for the rest of the trip. In the end, I just wore it back after praying, it’s just the ablution floor, not the toilet floor, I tried to reason with myself. As soon as I got home an hour later, I went straight for the shower. More