Pic 1: in the morning before rolled out to UTHM with my new Ducati, hehe:)
Last Friday I was invited by FKAAS, UTHM to give a motivational talk to a group of undergraduate students who have some small difficulties in pursuing topics related to structural analysis.
The talk was one part of the two-days workshop where lecturers were divided to facilitate smaller groups of student according to subtopics.
What a great initiative taken by FKAAS, UTHM in ensuring continuous support to the learning of their students, THUMBS UP!!!
Pic : received token of appreciation from the Deputy Dean, PM DR Mohd Irwan Juki.
In regards to my talk, I started by showing some of my works and achievements obtained with my students (previous and current) here in UTM. The purpose of the demonstration was not to brag BUT to show proof that, if my students in UTM can do it, STUDENTS IN UTHM CAN TOO!!
I said to them, its not totally their fault to find structure's topics difficult as it is also got to do with PERSPECTIVE (the way to look at things).
So just by giving a little tweak to the PERSPECTIVE insyaAllah, THEY TOO CAN EXCEL IN STRUCTURAL RELATED SUBJECTS AND THEN ACHIEVE GREAT THINGS.
In the second part, I showed the six clips from the movie A Beautiful Mind (like I often do in class) and by looking at their responses; how their eyes were wide open with enthusiasm and excitement while watching the clips, I know, this group of students WILL BE SOMEBODY IN NO TIME, InsyaAllah and Ameen.
In the final part of my talk, after giving them the hope and the motivation they need, I then detailed to them some LEARNING TIPS which I and my students practice in our effort to understand our learning. I broke them into:
1. WHY (LEARN) ?
- I explained that, in everything we do, we must have good reasons of doing it for then only we can be persevere, consistent and enthusiastic. For me, the reasons can be subdivided into:
a. personal reasons
b. religious/universal reasons
2 HOW (TO LEARN) ?
- Learning is all about tracing the patterns and making conclusions and then projections (prediction, application) out of it.
- To trace the patterns, one must make comparison (hence the need to have two sources or more; two books, two journal papers, two notes etc) so as to identify SIMILARITIES and DIFFERENCES. Two topics must have similarities because knowledge is accumulative in nature but must also have differences else they can not be a topic on their own in the first place.
- To demonstrate this concept, as an example, I compared the analysis of two types of structure; bar and beam. For instance, I showed them how both structures could have constant parameters EA and EI hence the SIMILARITY, but then I shown how A and I were derived for bar and beam respectively, hence the DIFFERENCE.
- IT'S ALL ABOUT STORY TELLING BASICALLY.
3. WHEN (TO LEARN)?
- One of the good thing about the movie A Beautiful Mind is that, it tells how a true scholar must live his learning. Meaning, we must learn at all times. And if we passionate and enthusiastic about our learning, the process will no longer BURDENSOME and BORING but instead, IT BECOMES FUN AND EXCITING.
- We all should start to treat knowledge as fun, that is, something that we talk leisurely over a teh tarik at mamak, besides football, cars and girls
4. WHAT (TO LEARN)?
- This is straightforward where I elaborated that it should be both, THE SUBJECTS OF OUR COURSE, AND THE LIFE ITSELF.
- We must be a rounded person, THE BEST ENGINEER, THE BEST SON/DAUGHTER, THE BEST FATHER/MOTHER, THE BEST BROTHER/SISTER, THE BEST CITIZEN/MUSLIM etc. So to be the best, we must excel in our learning of subjects and life itself.
5. WHO (WITH WHOM WE LEARN)?
- 1. With friends. We need to discuss to scrutinize matters. Two heads usually better than one. Your friend might have caught something during the lecture and reading which you have missed and vice versa. So by putting everything on the table during your meeting at Kedai Mamak, everybody can benefit.
2. With ourselves (and all alone by ourselves). This is like the lyrics from Guns and Roses' November Rain,
"Everybody needs sometime on their own, everybody needs sometime all alone...".
There will be time when we just need to be alone, thinking alone of what we read and the work we are working on. This is usually the time when we suddenly SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY and SHOUT
"AHAH!!! NOW I GOT IT! Alhamdullillah, owh thanks Allah for giving me this knowledge"
* I love it every time in UTHM. I like to feel needed I guess