Welcome Semester 6

These are the subjects I am taking this semester. Again, I dropped the OUM English subject. Perhaps, next semester I can take up to 4 subjects. We will see how the schedule and workload is at the workplace next year first. As usual, a renewed motivation to study every time. My preparation period has not changed much from previous semesters. Just that, part of the tracking has been shifted online. Been using Google Calendar more.

These are the things I have been up to this past weekend.

LOG IN TO THE MyVLE ACCOUNT

Open University Malaysia (OUM) has this virtual learning portal where students log in to get access to their module, digital library and keep up with announcements pertaining to their study. I would double check if I have paid my semester fees and if the exam results have been published fully. Semester fees must be paid dutifully in order for the exam transcripts to be released.

ACCESS THE DASHBOARD

I would download the subject module and keep copies on my laptop and also the given Google Drive. This is so I could read them at work if I have some free time. I would also print out my assignment questions because I am a paper person.

CHECKING ON MY STATIONERIES

It is therapeutic to sort my bundles of sticky notes and loose papers. I would stock up on my foolscap paper, A4 paper and the coloured ones. I’d make sure my pens are in stock especially the refills. My current favourite is the Sarasa Gel INk Pen. I am however also eyeing the Zebra Ballpoint pens as they seem to have very sleek designs. Minci needs cool stationeries to keep the motivation running.

OUTLINING THE SUBJECTS

Before the start of the first tutorial, I’d be sure to skim through the module and get a general overview of what the subject is all about. It helps me to map out on how much time I’d need to spend for every topic of every subject. I would then write down the outline on a piece of paper. Only then I am able to delve into the details. The reference lists are a good guide on the type of resources one could use for further reading and understanding. Once you’ve gathered that information, it’ll be easier to search for it from the digital library.

I still have one more subject to outline. After that, I can start reading the modules at a glance and start my literary research for my assignments. Wish me luck for this semester.

Kokuyo Campus Planner – a short review

I was attracted to buy the Kokuyo Campus Planner Weekly Layout because I wanted to emulate those K-studygrams where they record how much time they put in into their lessons and assignments. It was thrilling to use at first but later I discovered that it doesn’t fit my study pattern.

I am a part time student. I work from 8 – 5 from Monday to Friday. Although I try to study within the designated hours at night and during weekends, I do find that a bulk of my independent study periods are done during opportunistic minutes and hours of the day. This means in between patients on a less busy day, lunch hours, before clinic starts, in the car (rarely) etc. Hence, it does look a little blank, perhaps too sporadic if I highlight the mins/hours in the tracker slots.

I ended up using the Kokuyo Weekly Campus Planner for only 7 weeks. I am thinking of repurposing it to plan my children’s homeschooling syllabus. Have yet to find one.

Never the less, the paper quality and layout is good – just that it doesn’t fit into my study lifestyle (gitteww). Perhaps full time students can benefit more from it including students who don’t have other study planners at hand. On second thought, maybe it is because I was already fully utilizing my hobonichi megaweeks resulting in this Kokuyo planner being redundant.

Ideal desk setup

As a student who needs to be at a table to do revision and complete assignments, I am always finding ways to vamp up that Study Vibe.

My ideal setup would be

  • Near the window for natural light during the day. And to enjoy the city’s skyline at night with a desk lamp of course. There’d be a big moon at a distance. So this space would be a few storeys high.
  • Everything I need is within a hands reach.
  • Surrounded by bookshelves
  • A room that smells nice, fresh, vibrant
Minci’s desk area

My desk space is much more spacious now as I have moved some of my stuff on the metal shelf. I also created a small space there to put my camera in case I want to film a study vlog. This is like a side thing I am planning to do (hopefully) consistently by early of next year. The shelf becomes a partition between my study space and the mini lounge/ prayer area. Trying to be creative and purposeful with limited space.

I have recently submitted an application to my State Health Office for a transfer to a nearby Primary Care facility. This decision is partly driven by my husbands pending placement for his specialist job post. Once he receives his letter, it’ll be just me and the kids. With my in laws as my support and backup team. Praying for the best.

Front row seats

Can you smell the enthusiasm? I have brought out my Psych notes out from The Files. Ready to face Semester 2 of my studies.

My friend, a Masters student and myself are checking our study portals almost everyday for updates and a glimpse of our tutorial handbooks. He was more steadfast and lagi rajin I suppose, cause he watsapped the learning centre himself asking of his module. Turned out both of us missed the memo that study period will commence on the 11th of June and exam period will be around August. Our nerdiness could not be contained.

He is probably like myself, the front row seat occupiers.

I often choose to sit in the front row seat because I am short and it is easier for me to see the board or any form of practical demonstration. Questions are rarely thrown to front row seat students although the risk of being first to present something is 50/50. I also have a problem in my hearing of which I need to get up close to the lecturer and if possible see his/her lip movement while speaking. I’ve had an audiogram before to assess this problem. My hearing results are fine despite this struggle. Maybe it is a confidence thing. (gosh)

Just the other day another colleague asked me if it is possible for me to even finish this course even if it is not on time? I understood his concerns with the kind of work we are doing daily on top of our familial duties. Now that learning activities have differed with the invasion of Covid-19, students are in a way affected to a certain degree. It was to me, not a condescending question but more of an inquisitive one.

I braved a smile behind my mask and said, “InsyaAllah OK, OUM after all is pretty much online already. We will pull through”

My assignment marks are out

I am satisfied with my marks and comments made by the examiner. I acknowledge that there are areas that needs improvement especially the formatting and referencing part. Nama pun belajar kan.. so learn we must. Awal2 memang tak perfect lagi.

My assignment for Tamadun Islam dan Tamadun Asia, TITAS (MPU3323) on Nujum Pak Belalang scored 56.75% over a total of 70%. I did the task diligently, following the rubric guidelines attached to it. I feel that even if you are at lost at what to write, the rubric can help you. Aim for the best column mark because it seems that even in the best column, there are gradings from a weak-strong to a strong-strong point.

As you can see, my APA part needed more work.

My sources to help me for the TITAS write-up were mostly online journals but I got help with regards to the language form from books at the Melaka public library. I read on Malay literatures and proper DBPish magazines just to get a nice lenggok to the language. In a way, I can insert peribahasa, kiasan and perumpaan’s appropriately in my essay to make it a nice read. So that bila baca ada macam pantun or gurindam sikit. We want the examiner to feel intrigued and delighted to read our essay.

My other assignment is for the Learning Skills (OUMH1603) subject around Good Citizenship EDucation (GCED) and I chose the topic of Biodiversity. I have probably said it a lot of times, I really enjoyed writing about it and I made sure my examiner knew about it. Again, my guide is the rubric chart provided alongside the assignment. I achieved 50.25% over a total of 60% for this.

In this assignment, I highlighted the problem of Periuk Kera near extinction with regards to the Lemang Periuk Kera and of an individual, Jadav ‘Molai’ Payeng who replanted a forest in India. One of the most helpful sources I looked into while writing about this is the Biodiversity Course playlist on the California Academy of Sciences channel on YouTube. I understood the theories from our OUM handbook better after watching the videos. YouTube is an excellent resource for assignment write-ups. You can use the words and even some great sentences because it does not go through the similarity check unless it is written down somewhere and available on the internet.

All assignments go through a similarity check and different ranges of percentage warrants respective mark deductions. Since both of my essays had less than 30% , no marks were deducted. If say, a student has between 30.01 – 50% from the check, 5 marks are deducted and the list goes on. It is just not worth it. Do the assignments on your own, do not hire third party help. Do not copy a friends essay even though they are at a different learning centre. Write from the brain with passion. LOL.

I can’t give access to my essays at the moment.

Not until I have gotten my marks from other parts of the examination. Once I am pass that, only then I can upload my essay. Thank you for your understanding. I hope my other results are OK too. Wish me luck.