Mu pung leh wat gok

Posted by sazali

Salam/ Salutations !

Direct translation to the above title is '  You can make it TOO'. It was written in Kelate's slang.

If you are taking masters or Ph.D program , you are required to stay in the library to read.

From my experience as a so called British graduate  here are some ways to survive reading .

First, reading is a boring job. That is the first fact of life.  He..he..   It is not like you doing window shopping in Self Ridges, Woolworth or other great shopping centres in London and Birmingham.  My feet walked around New York , Toronto and Boston too.

Anyhow ,, you have to remember ..  you must read something related to your study program.

What I did was .. I plan to read things in the library tomorrow. Then I decide how long must I stay there.  Usually I can survive 3 hours in the morning, 2 hours in the late evening and 2 hours at night.  I do that daily.

Second, get a good place away from people that you know most.   I prefer reading quietly.  Make sure you have a good dictionary with you since you are not born as an English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish man .. are you?

But to be honest ..I rarely consult my dictiionary when I read serious things ..

Why?  it breaks the flow of ideas from the paper, ability to understand and tendency to summarize what I had read just now.

Second ,  read fast.

But before that . you must visit the sections of the library where your interest are.

If you are doing masters in maths in computer based learning ..  the sections of the library could be computers, maths education and technology.  That is a big area to cover if you were in Birmingham and Leeds University.

Third, sometime I pick 4 or 5 books only.  I love new books.
In the morning .. I look at the books.
In the late evening, I visited the journal sections and at night I visited ..  thesis section.
O yes .. those libraries .. they did not allow you to do any photo copy.  They put up a big sign .. PLAGIARIZM is not allowed here!

So with that regime, the only way is to read the stuff fast, faster and the fastest.

Now how to read.

Fourth step:  Look at the page content.
Identify few interesting topics, sub topics , ...  and jot them down on a piece of paper.
Don't worry.
Scan through 4 - 5 books that you had selected just now.
Once .. all the books have been scanned ..  look back at the piece of paper.  O yes ..this is part of my research dairy.   Next
Which one looks the most important .. to you today?  anything worth reading ..  and remember ..  those things must be some how related to your thesis masters + Ph.D.

Just an example ..  if you are doing thesis on Leeds Football team in 1965 - 1975 era ..  there is no point reading things about the sultans' in the malay achipelago even though i know you are so fond of your Kelantanese Sultan. he..he..  It  just waste your time.

NOw how to read fast.

Fifth step, every page has the first line .. and soon it ends with the 25th line on that particular page ..i suppose.

So you bring your eyes to the top  left corner of the page  ..  read ..and look at special words, terminologies ,  .. and go down your eyes across the page .. slowly first .. and then a bit faster .... and when you  reach the bottom end of the page ..  go up the page once more ..  and repeat the track .

Turn to another page.
Turn to another great page.

And then please stop .. for a breather.  Usually , I go to the machine that provides me some hot drink .. english cookie  ... and if i was lucky .. i manage to catch the tea lady too.  By doing so , i gain new friends.  Usually .. the ice breaker is about Leeds game few nights before.  He..he..  mind you ..i was a football fan!

Then after 20 minutes , feeling a bit rejuvenated with the hot coffee.. i hit my books again.

SIXTH:  this time .. i try to sit down longer hours and start to re read ..  and at the end .. of a 3 hour session ..  i tried hard to write 1 - 2 sentence ..  what  i read from my 2 - 4 books just now.

If i love a particular book .. i dedicate that book ... for my afternoon session and sometimes ..  the night session.  I carry on this rountine for few weeks without end .. and i start to make appointment with my project supervisor.

SEVENTH:  I often break my routine in the library  .. once my children came flashing into my mind .. well i brought my kids to united kingdom ..  so off i went to fetch them up in Birmingham 8  [ masters degree] .     I cannot study ..if i did not hear my kids laughing, their strong fight in the car ...and sometime they complained ..their pakistani friends pull their head tops .. etc etc.  O yes ..i drove Mercedez Car in Birmingham.  Great life I suppose!

EIGHT:  At night say 1000 pm .. I went to sleep .. and by 0500 am in the morning .. i wake up to read my books again.  Write a little  ..type things on my McIntosh ..  machine ..  read again .. and if I can't resist the noise from my wife's snoring on bed ... off  I joined her sleeping again under the quilt etc etc. My small babies are few beds away.   But you must resist that ..hard.  Why?  Remember - You are a post graduate student!


So basically ..  my world was full of books, journals, magazines, papers , papers, kids football   etc etc.

To break the sequence ..  I look forward to bring my family for Saturday car boot sales in many parts of the country.  Sometimes on Sunday .. morning ..  i brought my kids to play football in the park.  They really kicked well like Kevin Keegan and Dalglish.  Me?  I pretended to be  Ray Clemence - England's football team goal keeper 1980's.  He..he..  Saturdays and Sundays were the days I can spend .. with my kids .. and I really enjoy studying with them around me even though my money was sometime insufficient  - they say?  OMG!

Luckily , my wife can cook pakistani food such as tandoori, cepati, nan, hot dut , birmingham cake , oriental dishes, fish and chips and of course nasi dagang, nasi kerabu and what not.  We bought 'budu' secretly too from the Chinese Down Town in Birmingham and Manchester. I think we are all blessed with my wife  around .. thick and thin in the battle call the era of post graduate studies.

When you meet your project supervisor ..  please do expect some strong comments from him/ her.  Most of the time ..  they had finished reading your ..  master piece .. first , second, third draft of your masters' thesis ..  //  i was alright getting all kinds of knocks .. from Prof B and Dr H.  The usual comments I got home ..was my english  was terribly awful. (laugh).  I think .. if they compared it to the native speakers.  When I came home to Malaysia , many of my friends used my masters thesis as their main reference.  One of my PhD SVs said was very good in English. Alhamdulilah.

Alhamdulilah (Praise be to Allah) , now  the kids are grown up. Four completed their studies and  working as engineers,  teachers .. and god willing .. UIA doctor and an architect  ..  coming their way  home  .. creating  and contributing to more painted rainbow into  my life as a 1957 kelantanese malaysian born guy.  God is Great, you know that do you?

I hope .. you can follow how I read.  But the most important thing as a researcher .. you must be mad with what you  do ..  and most mad people they say .. can ignore all kinds of remarks from their close ones.  After madness , don't worry there comes your masters' degree and soon .. Ph.D.

Till then ..  Take care.  He..he..  I did it ..  reading all sorts of things ..  and if i can ..u can do it too.  Common.

Assoc. Prof. Dr  sz  (Kelantan mari)



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