-thanx syaz for the pic-
I wanted to post my reflection letter regarding my two institutions..
Differences between IIUM and XYZ (my teacher trainee college)
IIUM is way beyond XYZ in many aspects; that is why I believe that these 2 institutions are incomparable. One thing they shared is the common knowledge transfer via teaching and learning process which both of them has their own limitations and strengths in resources available for students.
Looking back on the factors, these two world-apart institutions have their own issues in dealing with students. IIUM serves better when it comes to infrastructure, teaching stuffs, knowledge distribution ranging from plain information to the spiritual delicacies and of course the just-right-learning environment. In fact, IIUM especially INSTED has includes TESLians in their schedules and programmes as if we were as important as any other students; despite we were thrown here and there when we were in XYZ. We felt very much appreciated and respected by all the IIUM community and as a matter of fact, TESL students were acknowledged and recognized with high integrity as its own established entity. The community upholds TESL students as if the name ‘TESL’ has been carved into their heart and mind which whenever and whoever speaks of TESL, nothing devious are spoken of. Basically, TESL students and its names are very well accepted into the community and bring about good reputation among others.
Infrastructure aspect is way beyond compare between IIUM and XYZ. We all knew it but perhaps I could explain more on how the infrastructure help us TESLians in the studies. Basically, good environment with spaces of tranquility and serene environment can soothe our emotional state of being to become logical in handling stress. Water fronts, river that flows, smart architecture of buildings and nature design help us building inner strength to love and learn better. It helps us to rejuvenate ideas as well as finding our true self. The memory of enjoying ourselves at sport complex which has Olympic sized swimming pool, gymnasium, jogging track, tennis court, volley ball and basketball court and so many other had given such an enormous impact on me, personally. There I find my true self, actively indulge in sports as well as strengthen friendships and ukhuwah in the community. Canoeing in the lake and biking up on the hills as well as watching The Drift on certain occasions had given me the feeling of joy and gayness. The food is another amazing story. Whenever we are stressed out or had an appetite change, we never ran out of ideas in trying new delicacies especially Italian or Turkish delight. Every range of food is available inside and outside IIUM, just name it. We were really happy to have the taste of variety of food before coming to back to this secluded XYZ.
Truthfully, we will never feel entirely left out when we were in IIUM as there were so many activities and programmes to be discovered now and then. Not to forget the Mahallah or the hostel. The infrastructure is incredible and our privacy is taken care of. Each student was provided with a compartment and trust me, it is beautiful and comfortable yet simple; again far beyond compare of any facilities XYZ can offer. The services and facilities are top notch; since some of us are trusted to become leaders of Mahallah Representatives as well as Students Representative Counsel. Our voices are never nuisance and every words are counted as long as we fight for our rights. The administrator might be sometimes rigid, but when the religion is concerned, students’ right are never been neglected.
Enough with all the boastful experiences which I guarantee, are beyond compare to any other trainee colleges especially XYZ. That is why I have told earlier, these two separate institutions should never be compared to. However, perhaps this will do us good in some way, Insya-Allah.
Apparently, XYZ had been holding grudges to TESLians for some reason that we were not quite sure. Buzzing bees did tell us why but it did not seem logical; they say we are proud of ourselves to become an English person with blue eyes and speaking English with irrational pride. Our voices are never been heard of unless we channeled it to media in order to seek attention. XYZ lacks in rapport with students, instead just reporting what students should and should not do; just like a married couple who live with no happiness; just plain you-say-I-do method. The XYZ never recognized TESL students as their asset but rather as a pest that is annoyingly existed outside their doors. They never welcome us, even when we first set our steps in here. It would be a big bluff if I say there was no one that cared for us, thank Gracious God for giving us strong-willed lecturers, who may want to hear, I really mean, only hear our voices. At least, we were accepted back then, by some people.
Speaking of infrastructure, we, TESLians had been fighting for so long that it seems to tire us, so that XYZ can improvised its appearance. Back then, we even fight through BPG, newspaper and all, so that XYZ can be changed for the better. Old dusty buildings malfunctianal-ly left out to become history in its own names. That is when Allah sends new director of XYZ who entertained TESLians and recognized our potential for future leaders. She helped us figured out what need to be changed since we believed that changes are crucial to the orthodox XYZ mindset. As one of my lecturers once said that “the things we always do are not supposedly right, therefore, we must make it right so that we can always do the right thing”.
Truthfully, no one saw and felt what TESLians had. We were accused of everything wrong and never other students. We were always highlighted as the brute beast who did not know how to follow stupid orders like “no drama making with male attire”, “pretend you are okay even if you dying-ly sick”, “pretend you are bad girl even if you are attending prayers 5 times a day to BISA”, “do not run if you were chased by angry lecturer”, “do not put a strong face when you were scolded” and so many others. May be these were seen as little bugs to an adult, but to a coming of age teenagers, it was a big deal.
Hence, being portrayed as villains to the community had subsequently bonded us even stronger. We managed to decrease our affection to XYZ without jeopardizing our studies and maintaining our rapport with lecturers. Our deeds had never been highlighted, just as I thought, such as Usrah programme in BISA, creation of cohort uniform, Cyber café and later internet in library, extra resources in library, and air-conditioned classes as well as flourishing XYZ name all over Malacca through choir performances. The hostel, of shall I say, the small shared rooms with limitation to water sources were real hard to live with, but we survived and it taught us the meaning of friendship and sacrifice. We valued our friendship so much because friends will help us out during in search for water as early as 4 in the morning. Sometimes, we went to class with toothbrush so that we can brush our teeth when there was no water at all. Perhaps, indirectly, God give us the chance to learn the living skill of “live life to the fullest while you can” that God eventually granted our wishes to have absolute ideal place such as IIUM in our lives.
Teaching and learning process which took place in IIUM and XYZ are quite the same. IIUM offers a wider range of possible lecturers to teach us including from Institute of Education (INSTED), CELPAD, IRK and Human Sciences’ kulliyyah. In IIUM, we can have lectures from foreign countries and get to know some. One of them is Dr.Kabuye Uthman Sulaiman who teaches us UNGS 2030-2050. He said that “UIA is no doubt the best place in Malaysia but many never realize that until they leave it. While in UIA one is continuously reminded about Allah". That is the best thing about IIUM. We were always reminded of how to be good Muslims, not just good teachers. No doubt that teaching is sacred profession, but we are human, no one is spiritually vacuum. IIUM is the best place in Malaysia if you ever want to get closer to Allah. The atmosphere is just there. All lessons are guided through Islamic perspective, not at the end of it, rather, were always reminded and guided through lesson. Despite our ignorance in fashion, lecturers will try their best to remind us of love for Islam and ourselves. Not only the food for stomach is served but also the food for the heart and soul are also taken care of. We also had close relationships with lecturers especially Dr.Ariffin Mamat who responsible for Student Affairs of INSTED. He will always give full support to our activities despite all the hardships to get through the paperwork but he believes that TESL can perform better and better. He personally congratulated our TESL Community Weekend (TCW) Programme which successfully gathered 4 other TESL-BPG students from UITM, UKM, UUM, UPM to attend a theater competition and IIUM De Tour. He was so pleased to see the optimum human potential put forward to execute such a big programme by none other than 50 TESLian Cohort 2, all young ladies! Despite our indulgences with teaching and learning and students’ activities, we were also entrusted to become the BEDSA (Bachelor of Education Student Association) leaders and committee, by executing programmes and maintaining students’ welfare as well as building good rapport with others including administrators.
Activities such as theaters, unique performances, Sisters’ Night, Talk on comparative religion, translation of quran, love and religion, and all kinds of programme brought about changes in me personally. As Madam Zainon said earlier last week that I have “toned down”, yes, as all the experiences had taken a deep impact on me which help me out in many unresolved conflicts I brought from XYZ. So, spiritually speaking, amount of knowledge gained is countless which profoundly indulged in me.
The resources in IIUM are amazing. Not just lecturers are kind enough to provide ample consultation hours for us but also the vast amount of books available in the superb library. Sometimes, when we were having assignments and examinations, library is no doubt the place for tranquility as well as for group discussions. The condusive atmosphere and the great services and facilities are very much appreciated, not like XYZ’s who are not easily talk to and hard to get help when searching for materials. Aside from the mainstream subjects we had to take, we were also required to take Quran classes, halaqah, leadership and parenting classes. The knowledge gained is immense. I appreciate the opportunity God had given me to taste such happiness with so much to gain.
I think it would be better to stop writing because it seems that I am favouring one to the other. I am not saying that XYZ is all that bad because I can see the improvement that had been made and I truly appreciate it. But what I want to see is the spirit of unity and a sense of belonging to this XYZ without prejudging and neglecting certain group of students. Administration need to acknowledge TESLians as being taught in XYZ and should try to be proud of it. We even represented XYZ to perform choir all around Malacca for the sake of XYZ’s name. Even the Chief Minister congratulated us for what we did.
All in all, both faculties inspire us in their own ways and the fact that we are able to adapt to the expectation is what others should see, not condemn. We believe we had everything in utmost effort and we love to ASK for reasons because we cannot follow blindly to anything suggested, and that does not mean that we're rebellious. Accept us for who we are and guide us.. not guard us because we're no children anymore. ^-^
p/s: we love the experience, learning together, about life, teaching and love, make us stronger each day to face any obstacles.. go go chaiyok! (mind the lousy spelling and grammar)