Monday, December 05, 2005

PhD, closer but must I learn how to speak German?

Two steps forward and one step back, at least that's how I feel about it. Last week was my second interview with Uitm for its Young Lecturer's Skim schorlarship. (Well, at least they don't consider me to be too old). You may have heard me grumbling about writing my research proposal --which I am still unsatisfied with-- and going to Uitm first interview -- which was hell, and so disappointing.

They called me up on a sunday afternoon to tell me that I am required to go to an Interview on wednesday. Disheartened and losing all hope after the first interview, I never expected the phone call. I was left flabbergasted as the news left me ineffable in speech and expression. I thought I had no reason to hope for a scholarship from Uitm any longer, but I was so wrong. Here, I was given a second chance. I must have been good in my previous life or there was probably a big mistake while they were shuffling paper around in the admission's office.

Wednesday came, and they were many people waiting outside the interviewing room. They narrowed down to about 11 PhD. candidates and 54 Master candidates for the Faculty of Information Technology and Quantitative Science that day, and all of us were expecting to be called one-by-one to be interviewed and belittled like little school children begging for someone to buy us ice-cream. This round of interview, the PhD. candidates were called first, which was different from the first interview. But one thing remained, they still interviewed us in groups. Worst, they called all 11 of us into a capacious room with over powered air-cond blowing wet and moldy near freezing air (maybe i was just too nervous then) to our faces.

After a few questions about why you want to do your PhD. and of that sort of questions, while everyone of us trying hard to think of something irreverent to say to impress the panel, finally, one of the panel members decided to adumbrate us on why we were all called at the same time. Apparently, we are all given the scholarship. Their generosity came with a few rules, yes, no, provided that and when.....???
  1. Yes we are all given a scholarship.
  2. No if we are thinking that we can do our PhD. in USA, UK, Australia or Canada. There goes my chance to be in the USA again.
  3. Provided that we get a placement in a university at Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, China or India, or other countries not in rule no. 2.
  4. When we do get a place, we get to secure the scholarship, until then, we have nothing, and we have till the end of 2006 to do that.....ohhh...bummer.....
So here I am thinking that I am now two steps forward in getting my PhD., but with all the rules, I have to take one step back. First of all, its not easy doing your PhD in a country that doesn't even speak the English. Second, people in Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, and China can hardly get a placement in their own country, what more someone from Malaysia and third is that it will be very difficult to find a University in these countries that does Artificial Intelligence, Expert Systems or Natural Language Engineering.

I guess now, I have to wait for another miracle. My next task is probably see how lucky I am in getting a place in Germany, Singapore, China or Hong Kong. After which, depending on where I'm going, I'll have to practice my Mandarin (wo hui jiang huayi, yi tian-tian, keyi le, wo shi joey, wo yao ni gei wo qian, wo yao qu Daxue) which is a lot of work cause I can't speak mandarin if my life depended on it, or start learning German (Guten Morgen......Ashtung....ich bin Joey)
At this point, I can only hope. But I'm still hoping that US is the place where I will eventually go to do my PhD. I'm more sad than excited really, cause I got my heart set to go to US....but what can a commoner like myself do....we are not above the bourgeoisie or the likes of orang Bangsawan....(Dato's and Tan Sri's)

And If I am not so lucky to secure a place in Germany, China, Hong Kong or Singapore, I guess I have to find other means, maybe the lottery ticket again.....No matter what, lottery tickets sounds more sensible....:) 4D or something.....guys, give me a number to buy.....:) Or please help me in getting a place in Germany or something, if you know any Professors from Germany or other countries. Having some networking could probably help....:)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Life at 30, feeling old, very old....

After my last day/lap in DHIT (OSCC), I was with 1 month and a half without work. Actually, my contract states that I have to give a 3 months notice, and since I had 1 month and half holidays, i exercised my annual leave rights and immediately left right after raya. Thought it would be cool to be a bum. But it was cool, for about a week, then slowly i got restless, the house got smaller and smaller, I'm slowly getting claustrophobic and I'm starting to hear funny things up in the roof top of my house. I think there's a giant snake living in the roof. And...what....? did you say scchhhsss....Nevermind.... thats probably the snake again, or the little dwarfs in the back yard....oh...thats another story. Not wanting to wait till I get crazy enough to see ominous paranormal activity in the house, I tried to make myself busy again.

So I did some training for people. One of it is going to INTAN to teach PHP and MySQL programming for Internet Applications. Oh yeah, if you are interested, you can hire me too....part time that is, i have a full time job now. So about 2 weeks ago I was giving this training, and someone from the class thought that I was 34 years old. I was shock....have I grown that old? I didn't think it would bother me, but later when I went home that day, I can't get that out of my mind. Me, Joey aka. Rizal, mistaken for 34 years old. I'm not even 30 yet. How did I get soo old so fast. Or have I been living in a time warp, where I age faster than other people. So I guess, my life today is at 30:(

Anyway, I talked to my friend Fero (the talented artist) about it. And he thought it was my dressing style. So he suggested that he would volunteer himself as my personal image consultant. He's going to turn me from an old donkey to a young stallion stud. or atleast young short stallion stud. Hereafter, called SSS, or triple S for short stallion stud.

Anyway, Fero said my first task was my hair. Like a great wise sifu, he says, fix the hair, and we get the clothing to match it. I need to do something with my hair. I told him that my receding hairline doesn't help. So I guess, I'm out of luck to look like Antonio Banderas. But what about Lex Luthor look? I'm not cute enough to look like Clark Kent from smallville, but maybe I can look like a good looking evil genius like Lex Luthor......What do you think....become my image consultant today:) Tell me what you think, or what kinda hair style should i go with?