Looking Forward...

Looking Forward...
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Making of Ethical Leaders

     Throughout EDD 8442 Ethics and Responsibility course, all of the students have conducted an in-depth examination of ethics. With that knowledge, all of us hope to post a change within our work setting that reflects social responsibility. This course takes a broad view of the subject of Ethics. It focused on the role and responsibilities of a leader as an ethical role model, decision-maker, and teacher. Brown (1990) demonstrates that ethics can be a powerful tool for better decision making. Brown presents an argumentative approach to ethical decision making, demonstrating how the open expression of opposing views can enable the managers and employees to consider the full range of options for dealing with important ethical issues—and to draw on this ability in all decision making. I did reviewed and analyzed current ethical issues for professional learning communities. Through the use of case studies and a problem-based approach to learning, I had an opportunity to analyze and developed the decision-making skills within the context of an ethical and moral framework. I was encouraged to reflect upon and understand my own ethical behavior and to explore ways to apply this knowledge to the professional practice. I had an opportunity to interact with a national cross-section of students and practitioners from many different organizational settings, all of whom confront similar challenges in their work.

     As an administrator, and one of the leaders in the university, I have regularly called upon to make ethical judgments, and expected to demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity, truthfulness, honesty and fortitude in all of the public activities in order to inspire public confidence and trust in the university. I am obliged to develop civic virtues because of the public responsibilities that I have sought and obtained. Respect for the truth, for fairly dealing with others, for sensitivity to rights and responsibilities of citizens and for the public goods must be generated and carefully nurtured and matured. I am responsible for the performance of others, share with them the reasons for the importance of integrity, hold them to high ethical standards and teach them the moral as well as the financial responsibility for public funds under my care. I have an ethical obligation to seek adequate equipment, software, procedures, and controls to reduce the organization’s vulnerability to misconduct. As an administrator, I have to accept as a personal duty the responsibility to keep up to date on emerging issues and to administer the organization with professional competence, fairness, impartiality, efficiency, and effectiveness,

     Throughout my experiences, I realized that it is not easy to be a leader. Leaders are the people having the greatest impact on the group or organization (Johnson, 2009). Leaders are change agents engaged in furthering the needs, wants, and goals of leaders and followers alike. Important leader functions include establishing direction, organizing, coordinating activities and resources, motivating, and managing conflict. Leadership is the exercise of influence in a group context (Bass, 1990). Am I able to be called as an ethical leader? For many years, I thought ethics simply means a list of rules and regulations for controlling worker behavior. Weston (2001) recommends several guidelines, such as welcoming diversity, being fair, clarifying values, and recognizing emotions. Using guidelines, leaders can understand values and give relevant values a voice. According to Brown and Trevino (2006), the practice of ethical leadership is a two-part process involving personal moral behavior and moral influence. Ethical leaders earn that label when they act morally as they carry out their duties and shape the ethical contexts of their groups, organizations, and societies (Johnson, 2009). Both components are essential. Leaders must demonstrate such character traits as justice, humility, optimism, courage, and compassion; make wise choices; master the ethical challenges of their roles; and also responsible for the ethical behavior of others (Johnson, 2009). Leaders act as role models for the rest of the organization. How followers behave depends in large part on the example set by the leaders. According to Johnson (2009), ethical climates promote the moral development of leaders as well as followers, fostering their character and improving their ability to make and follow through ethical choices; while ethical environments have safeguards that keep both leaders and followers from engaging in destructive behaviors.

     After going through this course, I realized I have to make sure what needed to be considered in developing working ethics: the place of ethics in the decision-making process, the power dynamics of the organizational system and how justice and individual rights can serve as guidelines for maintaining the system, and the role of basic assumption in the development of responsible organization. I have to use an ethical perspectives as a way of interpreting oneself, others, and organizations. This perspective will allows me to see people as moral agents who can be responsible and organizations as moral communities and moral agents. I realized the necessity of value judgments and assumptions in making policy decisions; shows how to include opposing views so that they function as resources for making better decisions. Now I know how to use the strengths of opposing views to improve the process of finding the best decision. I also know how differences should be taken not as threats or competitive factors in finding answers but as opportunities to increase one’s knowledge and broaden one’s understanding. This course taught me on how to deal with disagreements, and how to use ethical approaches for analyzing policy issues and decisions. I hope that I can use the knowledge on the analysis of factual statements, such as the relationships between parts and whole, cause and effect, generalizations and specifics, abstract and concrete, and comparison and contrast.

     Now I know a way to analyze basic assumptions, especially assumptions concerning how things work out or get done. I have to be aware of the methods for handling decision-making situations in which people share similar values but have different assumptions and situations in which people share assumptions but have different values. I must always remember that empowering employees through trust, guidance, and ethical standards goes a long way to making the organization a good place to work for all concerned. I must always remember that ethical reflection can empower people and increase their responsiveness to important organizational and social issues. Last but not least, I have learned engaging in ethical reflection as a learning process and can create learning and changing organization. Each and everyone need to learn to be responsible, have a role to play in the organization, and know that they are accountable for their actions. Each organization should be run ethically and treat their employees with dignity and respect. According to Brown (1990), the best ethical guides do not tell people what they should do; rather, they show people how to discover the best course of action for themselves; the purpose of ethics is not to make people ethical; it is to help people make better decisions. All these changes would benefit the organization and the university as a whole.


Bass, B. M. (1990). Bass and Stogdill’s handbook of leadership (3rd ed.). New York: Free Press.

Brown, M. E., & Trevino, L. K. (2006). Ethical leadership: A review and future directions. The Leadership Quarterly, 17, 595-616.

Brown, M. T. (2000). Working ethics: Strategies for decision making and organizational responsibility. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Johnson, C. E. (2009). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow (Edition 3). Los Angeles: SAGE.

Weston, A. (2001). A 21st century ethical tool-box. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Visionary Leader

     Sashkin & Sashkin (2003) establish three contexts of visionary leader as: visionary leadership behavior; visionary leadership characteristics; and visionary culture building. Visionary leadership behaviors are described as: intelligence, persistence, patience, confidence, analysis, friendliness, energizer, sincerity, independence, creativity, honesty, and forcefulness. Visionary leadership characteristics consist of listening well, supporting, risks taking, communicating, mentoring, giving other credits, sharing feelings, consistently acting, giving feedback, coaching, explaining, and delegating. Visionary culture building comprise of involving the team, grabbing attention, committing to aims, having a vision, looking for info, understanding the system, having astute politic, viewing broader, and understanding environment.

     Throughout our life, we surely hope to work with someone who would be considered as a visionary leader and with special personalities; who would be able to move people and organization to success. According to the author, by the character, wisdom, and vision, the particular leader should be able to lead others to find their own inner greatness. This remarkable leader should be someone with unique personalities who could inspire us to live according to our own highest ideals. The leader should have a clear vision of the future state of the organization. The vision should be simple, understandable, beneficial, and energy creating. It should be an image of an attractive, realistic, and believable future. With the clear vision, it would be easier for the people within the organization to learn how to fit in with the overall direction of the organization. A leader is a social architect for the organization. A leader should be able to create a shape or form for the shared meaning people maintained within the organization. A leader should communicate a direction that would transform the organization’s values and norms. A leader should be able to create trust in the organization by articulating a direction and then consistently implementing the direction. A leader should give the organization a sense of integrity analogous to a healthy identity. A leader should use creative deployment of self through positive self-regard, and emphasize on strengths rather than dwelling on the weaknesses.
     A leader should model the way, able to inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart. A leader should practice exemplary leadership, and always opens to new ideas, opportunities, and approaches. A leader should be a positive person, and not afraid to take risks. A leader’s optimistic approach has had a significant influence on the organization’s achievements and its organizational climate. The success of the organization should be resulted in many changes that have affected the leadership at the organization. A leader should always inspire employees to accomplish great things. A leader should be a change agent who is a good role model, who can create and articulate a clear vision for an organization, able to empower employees to meet higher standard, who acted in ways that make others want to trust the leadership, and who gave meaning to organizational life. A leader should be able to treat clients with respect, provided information when needed, and assured of immediate follow-up on the performance of the service. A leader should be able to teach subordinates to work longer hours without complaint, trust colleagues more, and have higher performance ratings by developing team royalty around ideas and shared values. A leader should encourage us to improve the knowledge and skills and build a higher-performing team. In order to make vision happen, a leader should be able to place the welfare of others first, and serve those others. A leader’s persistence and the determination to enlist others would be able to cause the vision to happen. Hopefully we would be able to have this leader……


Nanus, B. (1992). Visionary Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Sashkin, M., & Sashkin, M.G. (2003). Leadership that matters. San Francisco: Berrett-Koecher Publishers.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


     I have chosen to place “lying” as a topic for this week’s discussion. According to Bok (1979, p.16), lying is “an intentionally deceptive message in the form of statement.” Other than the taking of human life, the moral issue of lying is usually considered the most important and the least acceptable moral violations humans can perform (Thiroux, 2007). I believe that most of us feel lying is wrong in general because it tend to destroy the trust that is so essential to vital human relationships. We like to think, for example, that others will not lies to us, yet many are realistic enough to realize that someone may do that. The recipients of lies often feel disappointed, resentful, angry, and upset, reactions that do not engender contentment or happiness. In addition, their ability to trust the offenders is diminished and may lead to a general distrust of all human relationships.

     Should we lie or should we not? Is it ever accepted to lie? Are there ever circumstances when people should be allowed to lie? Through the ages, it has been debated whether it is sometimes acceptable to tell lies. In the business ethics, false or misleading advertising is lying. McDonell (2006) stated that in business, surveys indicate that the vast majority of executives believe it is wrong for their employees to lie to them, but one-third approve of their employees telling untruths to their customers and one-half think it is acceptable to lie to safeguard the company. Some assert that lying is never acceptable. Others argue that a lie told to avoid unnecessarily offending someone is reasonable. Some might thinks that lying to avoid giving offense is wrong, and some even thinks it is sometimes acceptable to lie to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. For example, the husband normally will tell the wife that the food is delicious, even though it is disgusting. He is telling a lie though he taught his children to be honest and always tell the truth. Why can’t he practice what he preached? As for me, there are many ethical and moral issues to consider when people lie, especially during the performance of their duties.

     In my opinion, most people will not hold to principles of “never” or “always” where lying is involved; though generally against them, they will permit them in certain circumstances. In the area of medical ethics or bioethics, lying can be involved in the decision as to whether to tell patients about the seriousness of their illnesses. It used to be common that the children would lie to “protect” the parents, and not tell them if they had a fatal disease such as untreatable cancer. The children normally will keep on saying that “you’re going to get better. There’s no need to worry”. As the parent’s situation worsens and more procedures have to be done (or when a doctor deems there is nothing more to be done), causing more lies to be told. In refusing to tell dying parents the truth about their condition, a situation is set up in which many other lies must follow so as to back up the first. According to Dr. Kubler-Ross (1969, p. 262), “the irony of all this, the dying patients knew the seriousness of their illness whether or not they had been told, and many even knew when they were going to die.” According to Fawler (2004), today, physicians and nurses continue to wrestle with the ethics of lying to patients.

     Once a lie has been told, further lying in other situations becomes easier, often to the point where liars no longer can distinguish between what is or is not the truth as they know it (Thiroux, 2007). And if a liar gets away with one lie that he has told in order to “save his neck,” then future lying becomes easier and sometimes almost a way of life. According to Thiroux (2007), habitual lying increases the chance of discovery, leading to the breakdown of trust and the dilution, if not destruction, of vital human relationships.

     Some people may in favor of lying all the time without realizing that one has a greater chance of being found out and of losing at least the semblance of trustworthiness, something a “good” liar needs to maintain. Most argument for lying suggest that sometimes there are good reasons for telling lies, and in some cases, they say, lying should be encouraged, especially when they need to or when lying could prevent the occurrence of a more serious moral infraction, such as killing. Curtis (2008) highlighted and discussed the two situations where law enforcement officers lie on a regular basis, involved prostitution stings and drug stings. The undercover female officer faces an ethical dilemma when asked by the violator “are you a cop?” If the officer tells a lie, it may go against the morals that have been instilled in her and lower the ethical standard that she has set for herself. If she tells the truth, the case will be blown and it may put her safety at risk. Does this type of behavior make the law enforcement officer involved unethical? Is there justification for when officers lie? There are circumstances where lies and dishonesty are benefits to society. On the reverse, there are also instances where officers lie and society suffer the consequences. Conducting oneself with integrity, ethics and morals will guide him or her through a successful and rewarding career. As for me, it is unacceptable for oneself to conduct him or herself immorally and unethically when an innocent person’s life or liberty is at stake.


Bok, S. (1979). Lying: Moral choice in public and private life. New York: Vintage, p. 16.

Curtis, W. C. (2008). Is there justification for when officers lie? Sheriff: Winter. Florida.

Fowler, E. (2004). An ethical dilemma: Is it ever acceptable to lie to a patient? Br J Perioper Nurs; 14: p. 448-451.

Kubler-Ross, E. (1969). On death and dying. New York: MacMillan, p. 262.

McDonell, P. J. (2006). Is it ever acceptable to lie? Ophthalmology Times, 31: 18. Career and Technical Education, p. 4.

Thiroux, J. P., & Krasemann, K. W. (2007). Ethics: Theory and practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Leading Through Rough Times: An Interview with Novell's Eric Schmidt

     I would like to share my thoughts and personal reflections based on the interview with Eric Schmidt that has been presented in “Leading through rough times: An interview with Novell’s Eric Schmidt.” Although the interviewer posed only 8 questions, there were a number of pertinent ideas and perspectives projected in the responses. The most important perspective into leadership is that the way a leader responds and reacts in rough times often provides the truest test of his/her leadership. This is clearly proven when Eric Schmidt, the highly respected CTO at Sun Microsystems, who surprised the business world by accepting an offer to become the beleaguered company's third CEO as well as its chairman. Here’s what he learned about facing adversity, and taught us when you enter a downturn, as he said, we have to fight the instinct to be overly cautious.

     Schmidt shared his experience in facing the challenges involved in Novell that was struggling with a slowdown in demand, in bringing a once proud company back to life and then leading it through yet another tough stretch. Schmidt taught us on how to lead through rough times by doing a turnaround in a company’s management. There were times when he had to do a big layoff, get rid of 80% of the executives, and be honest by announcing the shortfall. In order to bring Novell back to life requires the kind of tough and fast action, like stopping the bleeding and stabilizing the patient. He had to cut cost drastically, laid-off more than 1,000 employees, replaced most of the executive management team, and reduced seven layers of management to four. He had to take those painful steps, but they were necessary to save the company. Then the company launched an aggressive PR campaign, announced new products or product upgrades every month. Besides those tactical moves, he also repositioned the company strategically and refocused on the core networking strengths. The biggest challenge for him was to retain the company’s key talent – the ones he called as “smart people” – and kept them motivated.

     Schmidt identified the engineers as the most creative and the smart people, the ones who control the company’s future. He met and talked with each of them, understood their intellectual and technological needs and what their concerns were. Then they told him about their experiences and their frustrations, they were demoralized; no one had listened to them for a long time, and they basically decided to lie low and keep their mouths shut. As a result, lots of great ideas were being lost. Schmidt found that Novell had a “dysfunctional culture”; a sick culture in which he called is as the “culture of fear”. It is a common condition in companies going through rough times, people are always worried about getting laid off, and so they suppress their feelings. Instead of complaining to their bosses, whom they fear might fire them, they complain vociferously to their peers. This situation created a kind of pervasive bellyaching, a corporate cynicism. People would sit in a room, listening to someone talk and nodding in agreement, but then as they left the room, the actually disagree with what they heard.

     Schmidt also taught us on how to overcome a culture of fear by encouraging people to say what was really on their minds. As a leader, we should try to get people to open up and to give voice to the ideas they’d buried inside themselves. We have to give people freedom to pursue their passions, keep them focused and inspired. We must show them that we understand what the cultural problems are and that we are committed to fixing them. For him, most of them will be honest if we give them the opportunity to discuss their concerns. We should offer opportunities not only to motivate people and get them excited about new products or directions but also to address cultural issues on a broad scale. Schmidt reminded us that the cultural issues have been extremely difficult to eradicate because the cultural problems are like cancer, and they keep coming back.

     Schmidt kept the smart people from leaving through his management styles by repeating the same message 20 times, training the trainers, getting in front of people, cheering them on, and also sometimes includes counteroffers. According to Schmidt, the best way to manage smart people is to let them self-organize so they can operate both inside and outside the management hierarchy. Keeping people motivated can be done through recognition, at which we recognize individual accomplishment. We have to change our reward systems to make sure people stayed focused on our key objectives. Make sure they knew that the objectives had to be clearly communicated down the line. We also need to make them feel that they are part of the solution. Most of the companies make the mistake of putting their most creative people in places where their contributions are limited or where they’re resented by others. If the people get frustrated and need to blow off steam, we should invite them to talk to us directly – no go-betweens. To win the heart and minds of our key employees, we have to communicate directly and physically with them. As mentioned by Fryer (2001, p. 189), “eighty percent of winning is just showing up.” In order to keep the organization buoyant through the ups and downs, we must take our cash position very, very seriously – as if the cash were our personal money.

     As mentioned by Schmidt, it’s easy to sit on the outside and criticize the one who’s making the decisions. Taking harsh criticism is part of any top executive’s job. No wonder the allowances increased when we’re at the higher position! For Schmidt, real leadership involves taking the heat and staying focused on the way to achieve the desired outcome. People trust leaders who have toughed it out through crises more than those who’ve had easy sailing. Gone through crises will make us a more credible leaders and still fighting for the organization. What we need to do is to keep things in perspective – flying and doing a difficult maneuver called “circle to land”. According to Schmidt, as long as we pay attention to the important things, we’ll survive. Hopefully…..


Fryer, B. (2001). Leading through rough times: An interview with Novell’s Eric Schmidt. Harvard Business Review on What Makes a Leader. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Puzzles - My Life

     When I was studying at the university, my lecturer asked me to answer this question: “What is the biggest lesson you have ever learned?” I told him that the most vital lesson I have ever learned is the importance of what we think. I said that because if I knew what people think, I would know what their mindsets are. I always believed that our thoughts make us what we are and our mental attitude is the factor that determines our fate. I even realized that the biggest problem people have to deal with-is choosing the right thoughts because our life is what our thoughts make it. Each of us, we have our own mindsets and over the years, we have developed certain rules to discipline our mind and filter information. Most of the time, we are doing our judgment and that judgment are driven by mindsets. Naisbitt (2006) has introduced 11 mindsets and after reading all those mindsets, I choose Mindset #5 “See the future as a picture puzzle” and Mindset #7 “Resistance to change falls if benefit are real” to be the most important and meaningful to me.

     My first puzzle in life started when I was born in a small village and grew up with my mother at my grandparent’s house. I started school when I was seven years old and during those days, I was a particularly distinguished student. My grades were good but obtained more by steady work than any brilliance on my part. I vividly remember my mother told me that I have to work hard because it is not easy to be rich and it is not difficult to be poor. At that time, there seemed to be an unwritten rule that I have to pass all of my examinations with flying colors. I dedicated this achievement to my mother and my grandparents, who were very supportive and concerned about my grades in academic. Although, they themselves never had an opportunity to go through formal education, but their endless support has given me an inspiration to succeed in the future. Childhood is such a memorable time for me, a time of discovery and innocence.

     My second puzzle created when I reached adulthood, my parents divorced and my grandfather passed away, a time when I experienced a roller coaster of emotions, a difficult time but it’s also a time of adjusting my feelings and awareness. There were times that I get bored and felt depressed, but my mother made my life better. As a single mother, it was not easy for her to manage our life but her spirit and encouragement was the only thing that brought me through. Those memories made a lasting impression on me and becomes the forces that have shaped me and as a driving force of my life. Her strength and passion acted as a trigger for me to look for a better future. Since then, I believe intelligence, talents, and abilities can be developed over time. I believe, abilities can be improved through hard work and persistence.

     I have created a few more puzzles while working as an administrator for almost 23 years. Working in various departments enabled me to deal with different types of people. When presented with an obstacle, my mindset tends to rise to the challenge. Often my mindsets do not fear failure; instead, I choose to see failure as an opportunity for personal growth. As mentioned by Naisbitt (2006, p.43) that the future is a collection of possibilities, directions, events, twists and turns, advances and surprises. According to him, as time passes, everything finds its place and together all pieces form a new picture of the world.

     As usual, whenever I have a group of people working together, I can expect that some sort of resistance will occur, especially when I wanted to make changes. I was trying to do some changes in the office when I was transferred to a new department. One of the changes that I wanted to do was to move a few sections to the other side of the office. I have to do that because the existing office was so crowded. It was not easy to do that because each person has his or her own ideas about how the work should progress or how things should be done. Each has different attitude, values, beliefs, mindset, and needs. Difficult people are everywhere and I have to deal with one. Difficult people are disruptive, and they always challenge my ability to accomplish what I need to do. I have to call a special meeting to enable me to make it transparent. I make it understood why changes are made and communicate the benefit of change. Then I realized that it is always importance of making benefits transparent before change can be expected to be embraced. Through that experience, I found that people embrace change when they truly believed they will benefit or when they perceived that it is to their benefit. As mentioned by Naisbitt (2006, p.57) that resistance to change falls if benefits are real.

     As a mother, I found that children nowadays are very demanding and difficult to deal with. It was very difficult to do some changes at home, especially when dealing with my children. They refused to adapt changes unless I make it understood why changes are made and communicate the benefit of change. Due to that I have learned to look for their resisting or if there are good reasons for them to resist. My mindsets begin in childhood and extend into adulthood. These mindsets can drive every aspect of my lives, with a wide range of influences including parenting, relationships, and work. The mindsets that I possess help me to achieve personal goals and dreams.


Naisbitt, J. (2006). Mind Set! Reset your thinking and see the future. NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

NSU Day 17, May 23, 2009

We went to Sawgrass Mills for a 2nd time..more things to buy!..sales..sales..because Monday is a holiday for Memorial Day..so sales is everywhere. Believe it or not..Levis or Wrangler jeans only for USD 5, 7, 0r 20? Timberland shirt for USD 17? Reebox shoes only for USD 23? Corelle 76 pieces for USD 170?..Nike, Puma, Adidas, Polo, Arrow shirts or t-shirts..all on sales. Wuh...tough time..more money gone..how to bring back? We reached home at 6 pm..time to study and do our threaded discussion..have to sleep at 3 am..

NSU Day 16 - May 22 2009

Today we have to do our assignments..each of us staying in our room and sitting in front of our computer. I just cannot imagine what our life could be without computer! every moment we have to deal with computer..what ever!..assignment should be submitted on time..for sure.

NSU Day 15, May 21, 2009

Today we attended our housekeeping session with Ale at 9.30 am at the Computer Lab 2, Arvin Sharman Library. Then followed by our session on "Endnote"..given by Aleena. A new things to be learned..very useful for data keeping especially when preparing for writing our dissertation. Then together with Hasimah, Collen and Christine, we went to Allie's Cafe for our lunch..Nasi Beriyani Ayam and Beef Curry..huuh!..really delicious..worth journey!.

Then we attended our 2nd lecture for Methods of Inquiry with Dr. Fawzy. Another assignment coming in!. As usual, very interesting lecture..and today Dr. Fawzy brought "Baglava"..a traditional Egyptian food prepared by his 'boss'. Dr. Fawzy is a very kind person. After lecture, he gave us 4 tray of Rice and Beef plus the vegetables soup and chicken. May God bless himand family..they all very nice people!. So tonight we're having our 2nd kenduri at the tv room.

NSU Day 14, May 20, 2009

Today we attended Dr. Manburg's class on Instructional Media. We have our elluminate session by listening to Dr. Schlosser about Photography. Our next assignment will be on this topic and should be submitted in two weeks time. Take a photo of someone in his/her work setting and one close-up, and put it on the Power point..but must make sure to do it according to the rules and technique in photography..wow!.. not easy ha?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NSU Day 13 - May 19, 2009

Hasimah and I went to the library in the morning to print articles for Academic Writing and also Methods of Inquiry. It was really nice and comfortable to be there..how nice if we could spend the rest of the program here. We'll get a lots of experiences and our study would be much easier. On the way back, we've an opportunity to meet graduates attended their convocation. Then, we attended our Academic Writing lecture in the afternoon (2 - 5 pm.). Prof. Pritchard was very nice, and she took her time to discuss personally with each of us about our writing mistakes in our previous homework/articles. Personally, I've learned a lot from this class..and another assignment coming in..to be submitted next class and also a threaded discussion to be done before Sunday 12 pm...huh..huh..

NSU Day 12 - May 18, 2009

There's no lecture today. We went to the Publix to buy some groceries. It's much easier now, especially when we knew how to get things done on our own. We really enjoyed the trip and our life getting better here!.

NSU Day 11 - May 17, 2009

8.00 am. - we went to the Swap Market by town bus. We just need to pay USD3 and we would be able to use the bus service for a day. It was such a long journey because we have to wait for certain buses.. We had an opportunity to see the various housing areas, and most of it occupied by the Black. So many things at the Swap Market..vegetables, fruits, shirts, bags, anything..name it. It was like Petaling Street..too many immigrants and cheap things..but we're a bit sceptical about the quality. Anyway..it was really good to have an opportunity to meet various types of people and to have our first seafood meal (lunch) at the Mexican stall. Wow..the big plate of fried seafood, big fried snapper and rice with green chilli (if belacan is available, it'll taste like sambal belacan!). At the end of the day..everyone exhausted!

NSU Day 10 - May 16, 2009

8.30 am. - We went to Miami Beach, accompanied by Ronald, CJ and Colleen. We really enjoyed the trip although it was raining at the beach. We spent about 2 hours there before leaving to Sawgrass Mills, the second largest shopping mall in Florida. It was really good to be there and the four hours time given passed by without notice. We just spent our time mostly at the Marshall because we're told by CJ that the price there cheaper than other places. We reached our room at about 5.30 pm. Such a wonderful trip!.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

NSU Day 9 - May 15, 2009

The guys has gone for their Friday Prayer..so the ladies took the opportunity to travel by the town bus..just tried our luck..at last we reached at Pambroke Lake's Mall..sales!..sales! everywhere. Unbelievable...Sketchers shoes for USD 30? ooohh..too many things to buy...but better keep some for tomorrow..the Sawgrass Mall?..more money......??? On the way back, we met the MY1 in the No.2 town bus..we're told that the guys were having their Nasi Briyani and KFC (halal) at the mosque!. Whatever...we learned a lots of new things today.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Miracles: NSU Day 8 - May 14, 2009

Miracles: NSU Day 8 - May 14, 2009

Thursday 6 pm-8 pm. - we're having our 1st. class of Method of Inquiry (EDD 9300) with Dr. Fawzy Ebrahim, an Egyptian and we called him 'magician'. He made us felt that nothing was impossible. .and everything seems so achievable through hard-work and perserverence. He said there's 3 important things to be given by the students in his class - firstly Ask to Understand, secondly Understand to Learn and lastly Learn to Apply. We met Clark who also joined this class and have to travel 300 miles from Orlando, just to attend the class because he heard that Dr. Fawzy is the best! We met Gloria and Tracy who also came for the same reason. We felt blessed because after attending his class we're confident that our concept paper would be ready before the Summer Conference. Everybody was so cheerful even Clark who's concept paper was rejected twice by his Committee Chair..guest who? our dearly Dr. Clisbee. Then we felt so sad when Dr. Fawzy said that he was diagnosed having brain tumor and will undergo his operation on Jun 8. Oh God..please..we really pray for his health.

Then another miracle came..Dr. Fawzy gave us 4 large tray of Beef Macaroni, apples, bananas, juices, and even the can opener...and he said the food was prepared by his 'boss' (wife) specially for us - the Malaysian group (MY1 & MY3). We're very lucky to be here, meeting lovely people and everyone making us feel at home. Thanks God..we met Dr. Fawzy - the guy who loves cats very much (but never had an opportunity to have one because of his 'boss') and who was so kind to us!.

NSU Day 8 - May 14, 2009

10.00 am - We attended the 1st weekly meeting with Alejandra and Ronald as our housekeeping session. We discussed about problems and other requirements needed while we're here. We're really in a good care and felt at home. Arrangement being done for Friday Prayer. We're also agreed that this Saturday we'll be going with Ronald to Miami South Beach and leaving at 7.am to enable us to go shopping at Sawgrass Mall in the afternoon. We're informed that Sawgrass Mall is the 2nd largest Mall in Florida and one of the center of attraction.

10.30 am - We went to the Student's International Office to register ourselves and our data would be updated to the US Immigration Department, to confirmed that we're already at NSU. We met Deborah Pabon, the lady who signed our I-20 Form which needed to be attached to our Visa's application form. One thing for sure - The best about NSU is "the people", who always very warm, friendly and approachable. We felt welcome everywhere!. As mentioned by the Mr. President on the Welcome Reception..."Welcome to our home!."

NSU Day 7 - May 13, 2009

5.30-8.00 pm. - attended our first class for Instructional Media at the DeSantis Building. We met Gloria, our classmate from Fishler School NSU. We have to change room due to some technical problem. Dr. Jamie Mamburg handled the class professionally and very details in his explaination and expectation. Hopefully we'll gather a lots of information and knowledge and understanding of the effective use of instructional media. We're told there will be a number of lectures given by prominent figures from the university or private sectors. There will be various elluminate session and sharing of our own expertise, experiences and perspectives. Well Dr. Jamie..we're looking forward to do the best!.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NSU Day 6 - May 12, 2009

We went to The Publix again this afternoon to buy groceries...hmm..we bought fish cat's fillet for our Gulai Asam Pedas Adabi! Hasimah brought the paste from Malaysia. There were also Cili Jeruk and Kicap (here called Soya Sauce). Hopefully we would be able to have better dishes after this. Never forget Banana..a lots of potasium for energy. Mushroom soup..sweet corn..much better now!.

NSU Day 6 - May 12, 2009

2.00 pm - 5 p.m - Attended our first class for Academic Writing Course at the Room 3050, DeSantis Building. Where? Where?...an experienced searching for the location of the room!. Prof. Dr. Jean Pritchard was so soft spoken and really nice to be in her class. Very lively discussions and she's such an experienced lecturer. I believed with her methods of teaching, our academic skill writing would be improved. Needed to submit Exercise 1 tonite. Prof. Jean..we really enjoyed your class!.

NSU Day 5 - May 11, 2009

4.30 pm. - we're having our Welcome Reception at Room 200 Rosenthal Building and have an opportunity to meet our Profesors for this semester - Dr. Jamie Mamburg, Dr. Fauzi Ebrahim and Dr. Jean Pritchard. All of them areTony, Ale, Ronald, Terry and a few of international students were there. The best part was the appearence of Dr. Clisbee..wow! really nice to meet her. Surprisingly, Mr. President of NSU also came to say a few words and we're told that there'll be a special session with him in two weeks time. It was a previledged to have him around, as we know that not easy to have the CEOs to attend such function. NSU - "friendly peoples" are the best part of it!...and we all really proud to be the NOVARIAN!

NSU Day 5 - May 11, 2009

9.30 am - We were having our library's orientation at the Alvin Sherman Library Research and Information Technology Center, NSU. A very huge and sofisticated library and a warm welcome from Ms. Lydia Acosta, the Vice President for Information Services. Then Ms. Elena Soltau guided us through the usage of facilities and technology that were availables in the library. Mr. Dinos Andreon showed us the processes at the Circulation Unit especially the counter services, check-out procedures for borrowing books, DVD, CD & Cassette, check out study rooms and dissertations.

The most amazing part was to be able to look at a special area for the children and young adult. I believed that Prof. Dato' Dr. Aminah, our Vice Chancelor surely loves to see this!. NSU given special attention to the early childhood program. Then Ms. Ustadza Ely took us tour at various floors. Ms. LeThesha Harris talked on public library services and the usage of Computer Lab, Ms. Alys Jordan on document delivery and NovaCat, and Ms. Sarah Cisse on Third Floor Tour. Thank you so much..the librarians were so friendly and approachable!.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Trip to Fort Lauderdale's Beach

Having an opportunity to be at Fort Lauderdale's Beach was really amazing. Eventhough not feeling well..having flu due to weather..very hot..worse than Malaysia. There's a lot of nice scenery through out half an hour journey. Soo many peoples at the beach..I was told may be because of Mother's Day..families celebrating it..nice to see them having fun..thinking about my kids..what are they doing now? missing them so much...Che Kiah's geng surely love to be here..nice beach!

NSU Day 2 - Afternoon

The best part was the opportunity to go shopping at K-Mart and Public..sales! sales!..wow..what to buy? checking Malaysian rate? ha..ha..certain items truly cheap compared to Malaysia. Corell? huh...USD 64? how to bring back?. Noodles at USD 2? luckily I brought many from home. Juice?..all fresh..Fruits? yea..the best part..all fresh..apples, strawberries, blueberries, all sorts..Bedding..comforter..all on sales. Then to SEARS at Broadway Mall...unbelievable...Reebox, Converse, all branded items on sales...USD 20-40? Levis...USD 30? Money...money...better watch-up!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

NSU Day 2 - May 8, 2009

My student's life at NSU started today with the orientation program given by Alejandra and Ronald. Visiting cafe for the first time, tasting the Vegetables Pizza with the price of USD 6.50 per small plate. Visiting the Student Services Centre with all the sport's facilities..and the swimming pool. Looking forward to be in one of the fitness classes, for a change!..

Arriving at Fort Lauderdale Airport

After 31 hours of journey from KLIA, we landed safely at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, with warm welcome from Alejandra Parra, Associate Dean of NSU International Office whom accompanied by Ronald Allan Mambunga, Graduate Assistance and a few students from NSU. We're sent to The Commons, the place that we're going to stay for the whole semester.

Newark Liberty International Airport

Landed safely at the Newark Liberty International Airport after 9 hours journey from Stockholm, Arlanda. Giving about five and a half hours waiting time for the next flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Having to go through various experiences, with thorough check-up at the airport's entrance, sacrificing and loosing my delicious traditional dishes as Rendang Ayam and Rendang Daging.

Waiting patiently for more than an hour for Adnan to be released from the immigration room, a friend who had to go through his shocking moments, to find out that his Visa's number being used by someone else. All the MY3 Cohort waiting and praying for him, hoping that everything could be settled smoothly. That was the precious moment, to value the true friends, the sense of belonging to each other, the feelings of togetherness, and the spirits of sharing the hearts and souls.

So many things happened during our time at this airport. MY1 already disappeared and checked-in earlier, leaving us the MY3 behind. We're searching for them, waiting to be check-in together, and lastly we decided moving in without them. Unexpectedly we saw them sitting comfortably at the boarding area. That was a lesson we would never forget!.

Moments In Stockholm

Landed at Stockholm, Arlanda after an eleven hours of journey, was really meaningful. Being able to be out from the plane and viewed the scenery at the airport, made me realised the greatness of God's creations. Previous night at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, and then the next day here. Meeting new peoples, hearing new languages, seeing new places, doing window shopping, and etc., making this journey more meaningful. Another day passes by!.

The Journey That I Will Never Forget

Having an opportunity to be given a chance to do my postgraduate study is such a precious moment in my life. Especially when that opportunity comes at the later age. I was really indebted to the university's management for granting me this chance and giving me full support. I was blessed by the continuous support given by all, including family members, collagues and friends. I know this is not an easy journey, it is a combination of various crucial factors, physical, mental, financial and spiritual, hearts and souls.

Making a decision about undertaking a postgraduate study involves motivational factors, an internal condition that provides the energy or drives for what I want to have or do. It should be manifested in behavior with a purpose and direction. Dealing with factors that energize my behavior, and factors that provide its persistence. The former are bountiful, but the latter harder to have.

Knowing that a myriad of problems can arise due to the seemingly endless stretch of time needed to complete the study and learning involved - family readjustment, employer pressure, feeling of hopelessness and etc. They differ in degree of intensity and authenticity., and everything is miracles for me!. Thanks God for giving me this journey of nurturing my mind for learning and accomplishment, the journey that I will never forget!.