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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Survival tips

1.    WORLD OF ADULT. Once you have graduated, you will enter the world of adult, a world that is full of colours, expectations and etc. As you spent about 3-4 years trying to master the subject that you had chosen, it is time for application. However, the adult world requires more than your first degree. As you enter the adult world, you have no choice but to let go your status as a student who depended on your parents or the government as long as financial assistance is concerned. You have to have the desire to learn to be independent because it is your turn now to please the ones who have helped you. Trying to escape from that responsibility will cause you a lot of disasters because our parents are the sources of our blessings after God.  

2.   THE WORLD BEYOND YOUR FIRST DEGREE. Perhaps some might get a job upon graduation, while some have to struggle very hard looking for their dream job. Your first degree may not help you much in getting the job you desired because God’s plan can be very unpredictable and sometimes can be very annoying. Some might consider it as a blessing in disguise. Reduce your expectation because it might hurt you so much. Look at the river. Try to follow the flow because perhaps there might be something that might pop up throughout the flow to test your capabilities, patience and wisdom.

3.   LIFELONG LEARNING. Some graduates have a very wrong mindset as they believe that they should stop learning as they already have a degree that can support them in the future. This mindset can be very destructive because great companies are looking for graduates who have more than their beautiful first degree. The first thing that they look for is your ability to speak multiple languages because great companies speak good English while small companies speak ordinary language. That really depends on which company that you want to work for. Spending some time reading about the job that you are looking for can really help because you will have a lot of remarkable things to say during the interview. Secondly, they want to know about your attitude. They are not interested in individuals who behave like a king due to the straight A’s on paper because the employer’s expectations can be very different. Therefore, do not be afraid to be different. If everyone is the same, nothing will be created every day. Thirdly, the employers are looking for graduates who can speak their mind. My point is, try your best to be the asset of the company instead of being a liability. In other words, try to be someone who is very important in that company through lifelong learning. Try your best to be extremely very good in your own field. Otherwise, if there is nothing special about you, the employers may quickly show the front door to you. Understand your job through lifelong learning. Stay focus on how you can be very good at it because great companies or great government is interested in individuals who are extraordinary. Another challenge is the senior workers or officers at your workplace. They can either break or make you. Stay with the positive ones, and be patient with the annoying ones because you need at least three years to make yourself very good in your own field. Once you have become an expert, the concept of seniority will disappear because they know that you are as good as them or better than them.

4.   LEARN ABOUT MONEY OR ECONOMY. Most of the time, young graduates can’t wait to buy sports car to please their loved ones. There is nothing wrong with that if you come from a rich family or you have no one that you will support financially especially your siblings. If you come from a poor family, this is what you should do to improve your financial status. On average, the price of a house increases by 20,000-30,000 a year depending on the area. Let say you graduate at the age of 24. As you need a car, try your best to finish paying the car when you reach 30 years old because the banks will carefully look at your pay slip later when you buy a house. If your pay slip is “clean”, you will have a greater chance to have your housing loan approved. However, if you have so many commitments on that pay slip, it is extremely difficult for you to get your housing loan approved.  As the old saying goes, everybody can make money. Only a few can save money. As you graduate, try to make financial independence as your long term objective. There are so many ways to achieve this. One of them is by reading a lot of books about money and personal investment. Don’t be afraid to be rich because you can do a lot of good things if you have a lot of money because love and money should get along well. Love is indeed very important but you need money to express your love. If the world is full of free things, then you don’t need to have money. However, it still depends on your intention, your ability to control your lust and how you want to spend the money. In terms of personal investment, visit any banks and ask them about the options that you have as a personal investor. There are many types of investment out there. Most of the time, people choose the investment that offers risk that they can control or predict such as ASB, ASN, Mutual Fund and etc. Don’t ask me more questions on this because you have to experience the beauty of asking the bankers about personal investment. Do not be afraid to enter the unknown world because the knowledge that you get will help you to help yourself financially and the best part is you can help others too. If you become an expert, you can choose to open up a company. That means you become the boss. Don’t you want to be the boss? Should you be a servant forever if you can be the boss? You make the decision.

5.   MARRIAGE. Most of the time, some people expect too much from their boyfriends and girlfriends due to the perfect examples that they see on television and celebrities magazines. Before we get married, we should ask ourselves what we really want from that marriage. In my case, I always look for happiness and a marriage that is full of blessings. I don’t consider MONEY as my main priority because I believe that the most beautiful woman in this world is a woman who is loyal. I believe that I will lose all of my money and happiness if I marry a woman who is not loyal. Now allow me to continue with the subject. If you expect your boyfriend to be handsome when you yourself are not beautiful, don’t you think it is very unfair? If you expect your boyfriend or girlfriend to be a good listener when you yourself are not interested to listen to anything, don’t you think that it is very unfair? My point is, we should look at ourselves first. In other words, work hard on improving our weaknesses first. Try our best to build all the good characters within us. If we expect our boyfriend or girlfriend to be super perfect, we will never experience happiness. Marriage is not the end of the story. It is a fresh new beginning as you have to let go some of you in order to get along well with your partner. If you are not willing to sacrifice the characters in you that might jeopardize the marriage, please reconsider the thought of getting married. Educate yourself first. Get to know married couple who did well in marriage and asked them about how they keep the fire burning without hurting each other. A marriage that is built based on bad intentions cannot last long. However, if the marriage is built based on love, the couple will enjoy all the blessings from God and they will have the power to face all the challenges in lives because love is their shield. Choose your partner not because of financial security because security cannot be given by men but God. Choose a partner that can help you to improve your weaknesses and use your strengths to improve his or her weaknesses as each of you should learn to empower each other. 

6.   PARENTING SKILLS. Some people get married because others get married. They feel that they are not normal if they don’t get married. Some get pregnant too early due to their failure to really understand the pros and cons of having babies. I understand some will say children are the gift from God. If a child is really a gift, don’t you think that we should be well prepared mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially before the child enters this world? Parenting skills are all about how we should take care of the child and how we should educate the child. In terms of monthly spending, we need to spend at least RM 250.00 for a child. Therefore, it is very important to study our income. If it is not enough, and we really want to have a child, do some part-time work to improve your economy because parents should give FULL ATTENTION to their children especially when they are still a kid. Some people take it easy by allowing their husband or wife to feed the kid with condensed milk, soy bean, tea, coffee, sweet or junk food. If we want the best from our children, we should learn to give the best too. Otherwise, it will always be a win-lose deal. Children should be fed with milk until they are at least 12 years old. If we feed them with coffee or tea, that will affect their physical growth. If you wish to know more about this, the information is a click away. Some parents always say that, “we will teach them to read later because they are still too young and delicate”. Consequently, the interest to read will disappear because the children have not been encouraged to read at a very young age. If we want our children to love reading, we have to be an avid reader first because the children do not really listen to what we say because they are actually observing what we do every day. Let me put it this way. Ask yourself this question. Do you want your kids to be smarter or more successful than you are or otherwise? If you think you have all the money in this world to finance them for as long as they live, go ahead then. I wish you all the best. However, if you understand the fact that money can’t last forever, focus on good education and good nutrition. Nothing is perfect but it is our main obligation to give our best despite our long list of weaknesses.
In conclusion, life upon graduation can be the best moments in our lives. However, it really depends on how we respond to all the expected and unexpected circumstances that greet us through the journey of knowing ourselves. Please don’t think that I am a perfect person when I wrote this article. I am just sharing everything that others have shared with me and everything that I have learned through personal experiences. I am not perfect. I am just trying my best to give the best because that is the only thing that I can do because I was born as a human being. Good luck. Thank you so much for reading.

Originally written by: Mani Jack

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How to improve our education system? 
(Part One)

1.       Be affirmative. If we think too much about what others say about our education system, I don’t think we will progress because those who propose may not know our history. We have to be firm with our decision. We are the best persons to decide on the best solutions. It is good to listen to others. However, do we really know about their intention? Perhaps they are trying to destroy our children. For example, we are going to  abolish PMR soon. Is this the best decision? In my point of view, if the students’ lives in school are not challenged, I don’t think they can face all the unbearable challenges as they leave the school. We have to get them to experience the beauty of struggle and failure before we release them into the unknown world. What we need in our education now is the leaders to lead with LOVE, the teachers to teach with LOVE, the students to learn with LOVE and the parents to support with LOVE instead of MACHINE GUNS.

2.       Understand the concept of giving the best when we give the best. If we want our education system to be one of the best in the world or perhaps the best in the world, we have to put ourselves in the teacher’s and student’s shoes. On the teacher’s part, we must understand that effective teaching cannot happen in a classroom if there are more than 30 students in a classroom. There are teachers who have to teach 50 students in a classroom.  If we can build other great and gigantic buildings in our country, why can’t we build schools which are big enough for our children? On the student’s part, if we want them to do well in school, assist them well especially financial and emotional support because they are children. They are not independent enough to be financially and emotionally independent. Furthermore, even some adult fail in these two areas. For the weak classes, the number of students is not supposed to be more than 7. The best is one on one consultation because the weak students are suffering from low inferiority.

3.       Study the effects of seniority. One of the dark sides of seniority is the high rank officers are selected based on seniority. It is not based on credibility, characters and popularity because the promotion is done based on the number of important persons that you know. I suggest that we choose an education officer and the education director based on democracy. We get all teachers and non-teaching staff to choose the best individuals to be the education director, deputies and etc. because teachers and non-teaching staff need a leader who practices servant leadership. We want a leader who is fair, caring, and supportive. If the leader is caring, the teachers will be caring. If the teachers are caring, the students will be caring. When the students are caring, eventually we will have a CARING SOCIETY. Good leadership is very important. Please get the LITTLE NAPOLEON out of the education system.

4.       Study the teacher’s pressure. One of them is, why should husband and wife be separated from each other for years? Teachers are born as human beings. Human beings mean they have feelings. If they are not happy, can teachers create a happy environment in a classroom? If they are far apart, the tendency to be involved in adultery is extremely high. Are we silently encouraging them to practice adultery? The second one is, some teachers spent about 3 to 4 years learning about a subject that they are going to teach in school. Sadly, as they are assigned to their first school, they are forced to teach other subjects which are basically unknown to them. Who will suffer? The teachers and the students will suffer mentally and emotionally as both know very little about the subject. Obviously, the students and the teachers will lose a lot of precious time because the blind is leading the blind. If the teachers are not happy, can the teacher create a happy environment for the students? What is our objective? Is it to make the teachers and students crazy, mad or happy? We have to encourage teachers, students and everyone about the importance of having a balanced life. If we work 24 hours a day, we will enjoy sudden death and nobody will care about our loved ones. Reduce the workload because teachers need time to reflect on what he or she has done in a classroom. Teaching is not all about teaching as teaching is about listening, thinking, reflecting, planning and many more. Please try to understand this deadly pressure. If teachers do not enjoy teaching, can they give their best to your children? Pressure is good but unnecessary pressure or WORRY can really destroy each of us. You cannot see the teacher’s sweat because the sweat is within.

5.       Be fair. Each leader has all the information about his or her subordinates. As you have the all the information, you know who has not received the EXCELLENT AWARD and otherwise. Be fair. Give it to those who have not received it because there must be something special about everybody. Do as God says because God gives RAIN and SUNNY DAYS to everyone regardless of what they do or their background. Recognize them in BLACK and WHITE. Don’t just say it. Write it!

6.       Treat teachers as teachers. What I am trying to say is that teachers have become modern ULTRAMAN today. Why do I say so? Now we have CIVIC EDUCATION. How about religious and moral subjects? Are they not enough? Parents are the ones who should teach the children more about morality, religion and civic education AT HOME. If parents do not teach them about being POLITE, POSITIVE, GRATEFUL, HYGENIC, THOUGHTFUL, RESPONSIBLE and etc. the teacher has to start from zero again as he or she will have to spend a lot of valuable time correcting their manners, mindset, self-discipline, characters and etc. SOME STUDENTS ALSO DO NOT KNOW HOW TO SAY THANK YOU. Parents should STOP giving all their responsibilities to teachers. Teachers are also treated as the parent’s private doctor, secretary or nurse. Can teachers become everything to your children? All the teachers need is your support and understanding if you fail as parents. Do not condemn the teachers if parents themselves fail to educate their own children. Good parents will not depend too much on what the teachers give to their children. They themselves will spend their own quality time with their children at home.

Thank you for reading..

To be continued…….
Originally written by Mani Jack.