Friday, March 4, 2016

It's been awhile


It's been awhile since my last post here.

My life has changed a lot ever since. I've completed all 5 courses in 3 semesters, and now embarking my fourth semester - full  flash in doing research.

Since my last few posts, I talked a lot about development studies. Probably because it was the first time I fall in love with this field. Studying development makes you thinking, and once you start thinking, you can't stop.

Almost every angle of life will be related to development. You just name it. Development is a very diverse field, but I love it just it is.

As for my current master update, I have done my proposal defense in the last semester and currently doing my research which I expect to be presented in Candidature Defense by this semester.

Alhamdulillah Allah for everything. I've gained a lot of experience in master studies. I met a lot of great people which broaden up my perspectives and shift my paradigm - by a lot.

My last post was in December 2014. I finished my RA contract in May 2015 and continue working as a project officer at one of the centre in UM. I think my life has changed by 360 degrees since I worked there. Good thing is, I bought a new car to cheer up my life and ease my transportation to anywhere I want.

My current work doesn't involve research at all, no more grants but a whole lot different mode of work. I am incharge for training programs, big projects, setting up businesses, events, administration work and others. You just name it.

I work for almost 24/7 with weekends occupied, except during semester breaks.

Sometimes I do think that life is not just about you, work and study.

will be continued..

Friday, December 5, 2014



People do change over time, so do I.

My behaviour, my interest and the way I think now is way different that I was during high school.
Sometimes your different field and level of studies will change how you behave, your interaction, your topics of interest and how you converse with your partner. And how you could diversify your thinking and broaden your mind? By reading of course. Read and read other people's field as well, not just living in the field of yours.

Sometimes people could be different after their status changes, single friend is way different that married friends. I wish to have friends that stay they way they are, even after being married. I wish to be that kind of friend in the future.

Kadang-kadang rasa sedih mengenangkan diri sendiri yang belum habis2 belajar. Studying and working have taken too much of my time that I lost time to socialize with friends.

Tomorrow, a good friend of mine back in Sydney is getting married and I don't think I will be able to attend. Sometimes having constraints of not having a car is driving me crazy. Capaian terbatas dan limited. I've missed most of my friend's weddings. *sigh*

My friend said getting a degree is compulsory, and getting a master is a compliment, but not PhD. But for me, I think getting a PhD is a need for my own satisfaction. But the price of sacrifice that I have to pay would be soo expensive. I may have lost my friends, having trouble with people around me throughout the way. Because the work-life-balance has never been easy, I am still learning to balance everything out and I am not really mentally prepared for that.

Bare with my stress and pressure pretty please. Because the journey in research is getting lonelier.. So this blog will always be a place to ease my pressures and stress burden.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014




Almost two-third out of my 14 weeks of lecture for this first semester has passed. Only Allah knows how hard the study is for me, to cope with the workload, contents and the pressure.

Initially, we're in a small group of 4, but yesterday my dear friend has left the course to continue his PhD at other university. What a sad fact but life has to go on. With or without my coursemate.

Being in a very small group of cliques, the competition is very tough among us. But as usual, I will keep calm and being last minute will be my trademark.

As of now, I haven't started my term paper that worth 40% of the total mark, which is going to be submitted in 2 weeks time. Our group assignment for Education blue print has not yet started - this one also needs to be submitted in 3 weeks time + another essay for Development Theory and Practice. And not to mention final exam is just 6 weeks away. And now revising my first essay.

Just a quick summary on the topics I am working on:
1) Term paper: Overview of health care provision in India
2) Group assignment: Education blue print critiques
3) Essay: Virtuous and vicious circles of Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia
4) Essay: Gender ratio?


Life is tough and demanding.

With working at the same time. UM has now become my second home since I spent most of my life there - at least for this 2 years. Being a student of one prominent researcher in the field, my lecturer will always go outstation due to fieldwork. My lecturer not only supervise students in UM, but also in other parts of the world, such as Australia, UK, US, and few other countries. And tomorrow we will have second replacement class in this semester.

I am very exhausted. Seriously feel like burned-out because of the studies and work pressure.

Working is also stressful, with the pressure of writing the journal and at the same time need to deal with lots of problems, especially admin work.

I just can't wait to end this semester and think about my dissertation. I hope I can do something related to my hometown - be it issues of education, health or tourism - which forms large part of my interest in development areas.

May Allah eases for me. ameen

p/s: As short as receiving A score for my article review (Very tough article) and short message of motivation can make me smile. Thanks to my Dr. L!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Week 7


Its been quite a while since my last post here. I think FB and Instagram have taken so much of my time and thoughts.. It's not a good practice since Insta n FB limit our views due to the fact that we are more engrossed in looking at other things - such as photos, url links, other people's statuses etc.

Anyways, this week is the beginning of a new half (not really half actually). Last week I had a mid-sem break of 1 week. But, there is no point of having a break since I am still working and not having any getaway or holidays to anywhere. I wish I can go travel as long as I want..

Sometimes when I am so depresssed with my studies, I will browse through old pictures that are full of travel memories. Travel gives me comfort. Travel gives me spirit and keeps me  motivated to study because I know I can go travel during the semester breaks.. Allah knows how much I miss those days. and I miss the beautiful Australia..

Rasa macam mimpi jer dah habis degree dah kerja tengah sambung masters.. How time flies really fast..


Just a quick update on my Masters progress. As this is an open diary with very few readers, so just wanted to share my experience and also for my future reference.

Right now, I have few assignments, some of which are due on next week:
1) Review journal article
2) Presentation for my vicious and virtuous circles
3) Group assignment - to evaluate and critics the Education Blue Print by KPM
4) Term paper worth of 40%
5) Assignment final
6) Presentation journal article

I know I can do this. The only problem is, the contents are just too much.

The syllabus is very deep and too many journals and books and papers and publications to be read. I have to be smart in study since I got very little time to focus on. The key is to constantly learn on improving your skills- reading, organizing etc. as to make you more efficient in doing things.

I like the idea of working more efficiently but I am not that type of person who are so creative in thinking how to work, but I like to imitate their ways of doing things more efficiently. That's how I learn things.


Last monday, I went to the course by lecturers from Faculty of Linguistics. Its the course that guiding students in literature review. Lots of things that I could learn and refresh back from my informal knowledge of doing literature review.

I always adore those people from English faculty background because they speak very good and high quality English. They use the correct word and by listening to those people speaking, we can learn from them. I'm not saying Im good enough in English but sometimes I just do not understand the Manglish accent - I can hardly detect what they are trying to pronounce. It's easier to understand Aussie's slang than Manglish in certain circumstances.

For the literature review course, the instructor asked us to write anonymously the literature review summary in a sentence. I was so proud when they chose my definition as the most comprehensive definition among those 50 other participants that are mainly phD students. I know this is very little thing that I shouldn't be highlighted but it sort of gives me comfort and motivation that I need. I'm a type of person who gets motivated from good results.

And today, I met one Professor from Bangladesh at the 6th college's cafe. He asked me lots of questions about economics - in a hard way. Berdebar-debar dia tanya macam2. Since I wasn't prepared for the questions - it's not that the basic knowledge is not in my head, but it's just wrong place and time to ask me those questions. I was exhausted and just got back from outside so I kinda blur when he asked very simple question (what is disposable income).. But after giving my answers for his questions, he seemed to be satisfied. He even complemented that I am good and bright student (which I doubt) that he didn't find any in UM for the past 4 years of his service. He even said if he were to work at the faculty, he will recruit me to be his RA. haha. This person that I met was the CEO to a few organisations before in Bangladesh. He's quite old, maybe just a bit younger that my dad.

In our life as researcher, our journey gets very lonely. So meeting ordinary people at the street could be very good and inspiring. We need inspiration and motivation to keep on moving in this field. For me, I love meeting positive minded people because they are just great in motivating me. Even sometimes, they may not even realise their little statements could inspire others.

During our last class, my classmates and I are planning to apply some grants from Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquartered in Manila. We plan to have a short visit to Cambodia. Some activities that we plan to have in the proposal include visit to their university, give seminar, present paper, listen to their side. We also need to do some observations and interviews the people there I think. We will not just going for an ordinary trip but to be very beneficial trip for the society - particularly Cambodia. We need to learn from the ground. This course is about practice, not just teory and sit down in the class.

I hope we all can prepare the proposal by January and start applying around that time. May Allah ease everything.. amin

I believe in economics, there will never be enough of studying.. The economics is very challenging and dynamics topics.. I will explain more of the nature of the studies in my next post insya Allah..

Its 3 am in the Friday morning. I have 3 hours to sleep before getting up to work and I have another appointment with my lecturer at 10 to discuss on the term paper. I got appointment with enumerator as well. Such a hectic life I'm having now but I am still adapting and finding my happiness through research - which I believe I will enjoy pretty soon, biiznillah..

Let us be the best for ummah!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Week 4


The time moves so fast that I don't even realize that I am already in my week 4 of masters!

With the workload and at the same time study load, I really have no time to wander and enjoy my weekends.. I don't even have time to study.. I have a very short of time since I can't be studying during my working hours.

The urge to study and do my assignment is killing me now. I already have 2 assignments that is due on next week, next day after Raya Haji break, and the other is on next week after. Right now, I am still studying the material for Week 2. And doing the slides for presentation this Tuesday. The bad thing about the assignment is, I don't even understand the content of the paper I was assigned to present. This is terribly bad. I feel useless. I tried to divert my attention from the paper by studying the other subject. At least I can start reading the paper again with fresh mind. I hope so.

The syllabus for both subjects is quite dense and it keeps me running to catch up the content of the study. The poverty and distribution subject doesn't take much of my time compared to the Development Theory and Practice by my handsome professor. Though it's hard but i know I will nail it. I won't give up until I have put my best effort which I know I haven't yet.

I pray to Allah to ease my studies. I wanna join the NGO so badly but I got contraints in terms of transport and time. I hope I can contribute to the society someday..

With Allah's willings of course. insya-Allah.

Betulkan niat Izzah.. insya Allah everything will be alright..

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Welcoming the second degree!


I am now officially a full-time master student and research assistant/administrator/secretary/personal assistant. You name it all. I am now a multi-function research assistant with lots of workload. 

But it gives me experience that others may not have it. I learned a lot to manage grants, rules and regulations, how to deal with officers. The tasks sometime sounds simple, but it is really fussy to do it, it takes much of my time doing the admin work than my research. I know admin work won't take me anywhere, but I sort of like it since it doesn't take long before the task is settled. It's totally different with research. The process takes 1-2 years minimum, doesn't even take into account the writing part. I am still learning to be a good writer, cause I know writing is something that you can practice to make it perfect. It's just a matter of time.

Just finished 1st week of classes. For this semester, I have enrolled 2 subjects: 1 core and 1 elective subject.- Development Theory and Practice and Poverty and Distribution. The course really critical in a sense that it makes students think and argue a lot about the issues in development. And I wonder why most of Malaysians do not have intention to further in development studies. I wish I can do my PhD in Oxford and do case study in one of the Sub-Saharan African countries. It sounds simple yet it's really challenging since you're not deal with any organism, but human. Human is a very complex creature of Allah. They can interact with one another, they can change the info, they can cheat and think about the consequence/reasons for everthing. So for researchers, in order for the research not to have biased result, they usually do data collection by doing games so that they can actually manipulate the sample and lessen the interference.

Back to my study, I just finished first week of masters, but the tense is getting harder. The workload, the study and all those reading lists make me sick by just looking at it. 5 pages of long list of journal article is not much, right? Assignments, presentations, essays, response papers, term papers, etc. are not much. I just need to stop thinking about others and start to do my work. I know I can do this, I can score and I can manage it well. It's just a matter of time management - which I am still learning to handle it. 

But I am grateful that Allah has put me in this way, He makes my path smooth at the moment. Although the pressure is there, but I believe I can still handle it. I pray to Allah to make me persevere this challenge up till the end and graduated with Distinction. How I wish 2 years can fly just like that.

As my update is positively related to how busy I am, I will update this blog more frequent I think since I will be getting busier.

Currently, there is 1 paper in my pipeline (for my work) and besides the coursework that I need to fulfill, I also have to think about the other component of my masters which is dissertation part. I need to figure out my preferred supervisor, my areas of research and what I wanna do by the end of semester.

14 weeks sound not too long!

Have a nice weekend everyone. Even I know no one is reading this blog, but who cares.. I just wanna express myself in my own way, as for my future reference and I wish I could look back at my posts and say, I DID IT!!

insya Allah..

Friday, June 20, 2014

Mix feeling


This week was full of surprises and hectic as well.

I was so busy this week, with the admin stuffs that need to settle before I went to Penang on Tuesday and Wednesday. After coming back from Penang, I was so stressed out with the workload. Going out for fieldwork is not preferable when you have tonnes of other work that need to be settled.

For the Penang Port visit, we managed to nail it even without the boss. Now I know the hikmah of always going out and accompany the boss for the meeting. I got to expose myself to different fields and learn how to talk to different people in different areas, through the researches that we are currently doing.

I've experienced lots of interview sessions, be it with government agency or private companies. I can see myself changing and transforming to a better ones. I am more confident of asking or interrupting the person, just to ask for the questions. Thanks to le boss who always give me opportunity and seek for my questions for every discussion.

Among the interviews that I have been are with: 2 depots companies in Port Klang, Port Klang Authority, HUSM, Hospital Pakar Al-Islam, PPUM, Northport and the latest one is Penang Port. The experience helped me a lot during the interviews. I can proudly say that I was satisfied with the interview. The interviewee thought that I was the lecturer, when in fact I was just an assistant.


Last night I was so stressed out knowing that I need to contact the ports and companies in Netherland, France and Belgium for the Europe trip in this coming September. My boss really loves to give me these kind of task. I am fine with the sending fax, email or letter, but not to follow them up. I can be so stress doing that. Calling people is my last-resort. I just hate it when they didn't answer, or they just drop my call. It happens all the time. My experience of contacting the companies for seminar, or for the interviews, they don't really entertain the researcher. Maybe they just don't see the benefits of research to them.

What I really need now is just a block of time and space so that I can peacefully focus on my research project. i just so in need of time. I can do all the admin work, provided I have enough time for my research part.
I just pray that I will be more efficient and will be granted the patience to handle all these.

I just can't wait to have the title. Today I got an email from one of the co-researcher from unirazak.. He called me as Dr. Izzah. I just don't know how to say but it gives me such the comfort that I need. I know I can do it and will get the title soon. insya Allah