Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
There were 85 children of Malaysian communities attending the program. They came from the areas around the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Farhan also joined camp. The father also participated as the facilitator. Ammar who was also keen to join, but not allowed for he is still too young to concentrate, just took part in the sport session.
Many others turn to a range of roles, from cook to cleaners, teachers to managers. We could see they were so committed to make the program a success. Hope to have such a program again soon.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The doctrine of stare decisis may be of limited application in raising children. This I found true both at vertical and horizontal levels. The style of our mothers or grandmothers may not all be suitable in dealing with the next generation with different needs and pre-disposition. The dealing with the first child to the subsequent children may require adjustment.
An occasion that I found difficult to deal is the ability of one of the children to speak of what I call ‘the obvious contrary’ to justify things or whatever he wants to do or refuse to do.
He would say, for instance:
‘I don’t shout’ (whilst he is shouting).
‘I have taken bath’ (whilst he hasn’t)
‘I haven’t watched the computer today’ (whilst he has been in front of the computer for hours)
‘I have washed my hand’ (when we asked him to wash hand before meal and he hasn’t)
And another which surprised me:
‘It is the one that you cooked will cause me stomach ache’ when I asked him to take the cookie that had been cooked instead of the one that was not for it may cause stomach ache.
But I found that it’s normal for the child of that age to deny the obvious:
“Lies to get something they want or to avoid something they don't want - Preschoolers tell these types of lies for the same reasons that adults do, but they often don't see anything wrong with telling a lie to gain a result they want. When children this age tell these types of lies, parents should try not to overreact. Instead, they should point out to their children that it is wrong to lie, and that it is important to tell the truth.
Even though preschoolers don't generally know that lying is wrong, this is a good time for parents to start teaching them the basics of truth telling. A good place for parents to start is by letting their children know how happy it makes them when their children tell the truth, and that not telling the truth makes it hard for them to develop trust.”
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
The fruits in season are cherries, strawberries and nectarines. They are so beautiful and sweet that I think they must come from heaven.
The severe wintry weather of the northern hemisphere must have come to the southern hemisphere. Glenroy is in summer - but with the temperature plummets as low as 7 degree especially at night, the weather this week is just like winter. There are intermittent rains, strong wind bringing chill air, thick grey clouds in the sky and even snowfalls in mountain areas. As November, it is said that this month is the coldest December in at least 53 years. As a result, we have to take out all the thick blankets, socks and jumpers kept for the winter for us to keep warm. With the range of temperature within a day is very wide; very cold at night and warmer during the day especially in the afternoon, noses also start complaining…
Earth, Man and Allah – The Ultimate Creator
(Qalamuddin - http://www.islamicpoem.com/?q=taxonomy/term/7)
Friday, December 10, 2010
When the expectation towards law is beyond its limit
The marriage of a 14 year old girl to a 23 year old man recently has sparked debate in the country on the relevance and suitability of such marriage.
Many arguments were advanced; many are against such a marriage.
Nevertheless, the fact that the law requires permission of Syariah Court to be obtained before child marriage to be solemnized indicates that such marriage is to be considered with care. It suggests that such decision is to be exercised with caution. The paramount must be the interest of the child. The parents are involved in the consideration. The judge has to decide upon the application with certain consideration in mind. To allow does not mean to encourage. The law needs to be flexible to cover certain situation of necessity. Life is complicated. There would come situation that warrant such flexibility in law. Prohibiting altogether child marriage makes the law rigid to cover every situation.
This does not mean that I agree with child marriage. A marriage may not be a solution to social problem. High rate divorce among young couple is a fact. This may lead to another social problem too. Further, it is difficult to expect a teenager to fully comprehend all implications in decision of that kind. It comes with responsibility, not only rights. For teenagers, being different from the others may be difficult to go through. Whilst education is seen as important investment for good future, to continue studying in a secondary school with other teenagers who are always seen as having greater freedom, marriage may later be seen as a burden. It could start being felt when having children. Any parent would agree that to raise a child is no easy task. It is difficult to comprehend how can a young teenager go through the difficult situation. Is she or he ready for such a patient-testing job?
On another account, I see something from the debates ensued; everything seems to be perceived with distrust. Man could no longer be trusted to devote his life for the happiness of a woman. Woman should be able to be independent for her own life so that her fate would not need to depend on the whim and fancy of the husband. The parents seem not to be believed to decide for the interest of the children. Somehow, it may be because of the fact of life currently. Things happening around us are real not to be ignored. It dictates our option and decision in life.
But prohibiting a child marriage may not be the answer. The law has limit in its role.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
A restless baby means sleepless nite for the parent too. On Tuesday, I went to see the supervisor at 9am for weekly meeting with back pain, dizzy and blurred mind for lack of sleep, trying to concentrate the long response of the knowledge-generous professor to my short explanation of the what-has-been-done things for the week. I believe if I have written down everything he said in our weekly meeting, I should have published a book.
I left the supervisor’s office at 11 o’clock more blurred. The intention was to go home and to have some sleep. May be I could spend the nite to study if I could have some sleep in the afternoon. But once I reached the house, I notice there were many missed calls from Ainaa’s care centre recorded in the phone. It was in silent mode for the morning meeting. When I called back, Susie, the babysitter, told me that Ainaa was having fever for 39.4C. It is the policy of the centre not to give a baby any medication, so we would have to be quick to pick her up. So off we went to the centre, gave her some panadol, brought her home and tried to lower down the temperature. She was good then. So no sleep for the afternoon, no study for the night... Coffee would not work in this situation.
Until yesterday night, she was still restless, having difficulty to sleep but active and healthy during the day. Hope the phase will get over soon.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
There are 4 criteria that we set now. First, Farhan should not change school because of that. Second, it must be near to the train station; to shorten the travelling time which is currently up to more than an hour. Third, it has at least 2 bedrooms. Fourth, it must have a ducted heating system; to avoid the recurring flu that frequently inflicts almost all of us due to uncertain weather here. Sometimes we feel that there is no other three seasons here except winter. Last year, I think summer was only 3 days!
So since last month, we started hunting house again, looking at advertisements and inspecting houses. Our first two applications were rejected. But the houses still appeared in the advertisement. We suspect that must be because the starting date of occupation which is more than one month ahead. Things seem not to be fair. As tenant is expected to give notice whether to continue the tenancy upon expiry of contract 28 days before that, the landlord normally will refuse application which proposes a start date too long from the application. It's a lost of prospective rent for them. Giving notice without another house secured is taking risk for the family. It is not easy to get house. Last year, out of 7 applications, only two were approved. So the negative possibility is high. But securing house earlier means extra costs incurred which is very huge for us - double expense for house rental this month.
Another thing, if we put an end to the contract earlier, we will have to pay for advertisement cost for them to find another tenant. And if there is no other tenant, we will have to pay the rent until the expiry of the contract. Always safe side to the other party. So, freedom of contract is nonsense idea in the world of reality...
And finally, our house searching ended yesterday. We got a house. Thanks to Allah for answering our prayer. It fits all criteria that we set. 300m from train station. 2.7 km from Farhan's school. It has a ducted heating. It has 3 bedrooms. And now, it is going to be another unsettling phase of moving.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
After eyeing for a dishwasher for quite some times, especially in the ebay, we finally got for ourselves a dishwasher. Interested with one advertised in the website, we went to inspect the item in the factory, located about 5 km away from home. Actually, we never see a dishwasher before, and do not know how it works. So the inspection is to satisfy ourselves that it does the job well. I specifically mentioned in my message to the seller that I’ve never use a dishwasher before. So he took quite a great length to explain to us the operation of the machine. He was also kind enough to deliver the machine for free.
It is a refurbished machine which comes with 6 month warranty. From my survey, it’s a good quality brand. The price is AUD$280 - a good price even for a second hand machine such as this. So far it works very well and we hope it lasts as long as we are here.
So it saves about an hour of our time for washing dishes. We should have bought it long time ago. For a family of three children such as us, we only wash a full load of the machine once a day for dishes from breakfast up to dinner. The way is, all dishes are to be put straight away after each meal to the machine, and to be switched on after dinner every day. For normal and economy cycle, it takes about one hour without dry function. The economy cycle skips the drying function. This is to save electricity bill. After all, the dishes and cutlery are not too wet when the machine finishes. We just left it dry overnight.
Since time is the essence, we hope it is a good investment. But we will have to scoop out extra money for the electricity bill. Still some say, a dishwasher saves more water compared to washing dishes by hand. We'll see how it goes.
It is public holiday today for Victoria. It is especially for a horse race! My supervisor specifically mentioned to me last week, that this is the day that a nation stops for horses.
Since my office at the City Queen campus is closed, I went to City Flinder campus library – located just across the Flinder Street Railway Station, the central station, just like our Kuala Lumpur Central, but KL Central is bigger in size. When I reached at the Flinder Street this morning, I saw there were so many people around wearing beautifully. The gentlemen were in full suit. The ladies were in bright color dresses with hair accessories and flowers and high heels. Despite the cold temperature and occasional rain today, they wore short dresses and skirts. They were just like attending a special dinner. I wondered where they were heading. Only then I knew that they went to watch the horse race – with those clothes!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
One of the happiest moments is the visit of our dear family members. Last month, on the last week of Syawal, we had special guests for the Aidilfitri - the Tok (grandma), Tokwan (grandpa), mak anjang (auntie), pak anjang (uncle) and Amin, the cousin of the children. They spent about 5 days here which were too short.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
It's spring now. This means it's almost a complete cycle of 4 seasons that we are here. We arrived at the early summer last year. Even so we feel the change of seasons is not obviously seen for the uncertainty of the weather and temperature here. Another reason could be that there is no snow except in mountainous areas.
In autumn and winter the days are cloudy, grey and gloomy. Leaves changed colors from green to yellow and then brown, and fell to the ground leaving only branches. There were more rainfalls and temperature kept excruciatingly low especially at night. Scenes were without colors on this part of the earth. Almost everyone in the train was wearing black excluding me who hate black when it comes to cloth. Heart could be gloomy too influenced by the weather and the colors. It affected us emotionally. We started missing the sunshine of the home country.
But with the grey and golden hues of tree branches and leaves especially in the afternoon when a bit of sunshine falls on the brown and orange leaves, there is also distinctive beauty for the seemingly bleak and gloomy days.
Now I understand why peoples from this part of the world enjoy sunshine very much when it comes.
(City Queen campus, Victoria University)
By September, when spring starts leaving winter behind, flowers blossom, new green leaves appear, colors are dancing again and earth is smiling again. Flowers are everywhere. We really feel it is a sign of new hopes - at least, the hope for sunshine.
It also makes us wonder that people behave the same. They start wearing colors.
The new leaves and flowers:
(in front of the house)
But after September, this year, winter seems to remain for most of the days. From news we know that this year’s winter is the coldest in decade, and September is the coldest and wettest September for 16 years. Victoria which is practically in draught experiences flood and heavy rain falls. Even last night, the temperature was lower again - 3°C.
Now I understand Hickling's opinion when he said in one of his books, on how the legal system of a place has connection with weather. Rough climate such as that of four seasons affects the way people behave. He theorizes this as reason for litigious society such as of the western. This is different from those of the then Malaya which he viewed prefer compromise than face-to-face advocacy. The weather which is almost the same with no apparent changes shapes the people’s thinking and behavior. That is certainly interesting explanation.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
So, posing that question to ourselves, it’s hard to answer in affirmative. Hold to that, we must have almost half finished our theses by now.
Bruno is a man full of advice that every student desired for. He once said to me, just write everything that comes across to mind especially while reading. It can be in point forms only scattered in different documents. Stick to it. After a while, you’ll see it grows and expands.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Being parent of three, this is important for us to watch out. The following useful extract is from here: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/14335112
“Yes, the “Middle Child Syndrome” is very real. Middle kids bemoan their fate as being ignored and often grow resentful of all the parental attention given to the oldest and the baby of the family, and feel short-shifted. Three kids triangulate sibling relationships, with one child at any given point feeling like the odd man out from the chumminess of the other two. .."
"Having a third child also means a changed parenting style. Here you must move from one-on-one to a zone defense. You no longer have one parent per child and everyone gets less individual time and attention. You have to double-up and the logistics get more complex."
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
It’s Ramadhan - starting by tomorrow, Thursday 12 August 2010 - the fasting month for Muslims here (http://www.icv.org.au/). Fasting in Malaysia starts today. May we all have the blessing by Allah. A month in a year - always serves as a reminder to our discipline, as a refresher to our soul, as means to strengthen our faith, as an aides-mémoire for thanking for all that we have in life granted to all of us. To all who are so dear to our hearts in our home country, it is also a month that we wish we are closer …
We wish you all a blessed and a holy month. Ramadhan al-Mubarak.