Monday, January 26, 2009

The eye catcher

It's funny when someone catches your eyes.

Friday, January 16, 2009

First Evaluation

Speaking in front of an audience is tough. Evaluating someone's speech in front of an audience is even harder.

Despite trying hard to plan out my "mini" 3 minute evaluation, it was a disaster. Thoughts were obstacles appearing at random on the track for my train of thought. The train derailed but it didn't turn turtle. I take comfort in the fact that it was the first meeting after so long and i, like most, were just rusty.

I had asked what i could do to be able to arrange my thoughts into words and just say it out. Im definitely where i can do just that. Im glad i spoke up. Im glad i asked the right question. Speak up. What's the worst that could happen?

If i could do it over, i would say:

Firstly, congratulations on completing your first project.

Failure is indeed part and parcel of life. And like u said, it is more on how one react to the failures in life rather than the failures itself. This was repeated several times thus, establishing the central theme of your speech. It also bookmarks the major divisions of your speech: your intro, the two points of the main body as well as the conclusion.

You are the smooth and confident speaker that many of us here will strive to emulate. While you may have had experience in debating and public speaking, how you rise after your failure during your first competition must have made all the difference. The examples you provide not only supports the central theme of your speech; it also made your speech easy to follow.

However, there's an aspect of your presentation that has room for growth. You were loud and energetic throughout your speech. While this may be a good thing as a debater, I feel there were occasions where you could slow down and lower your voice to deliver key points. This vocal variety could act as a signal to the audience that important words are coming, and a slight pause will make the lines more memorable as a result.

Your tone was rather consistent throughout. May i suggest varying your voice to help distinguish the difference in emotions that you had when you were dealing with failures as well as after you managed to overcome them. That might give your speech a more personal touch and leave a lasting impression on the audience.

Nevertheless, it being your first project, you have far exceeded its main objectives: to begin speaking in front of an audience and to discover the speaking ability that you already have and skills that need some attention. With some minor tweaks, Im sure u'll emerge an even better speaker.

All the best and Im definitely looking forward to your next speech. Thank you.

Friday, January 9, 2009


“We have not created the heaven and the earth and all that is between them in mere idle play. None of this have We created without an inner truth: but most of them understand it not.” (44: 38-39)

“In the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and day, and the ships which sail the seas to people's benefit, and the water which Allah sends down from the sky -- by which He brings the earth to life when it was dead and scatters about in it creatures of every kind -- and the varying direction of the winds, and the clouds subservient between heaven and earth, there are signs for people who use their intellect.” (2:164)

One of the purposes of the Holy Qur'an's revelation is to invite people to think. What can possibly be more straightforward than that regarding our conduct here on earth with respect to the use of our intellect to understand the world around us. The holy Qur’an delves into the many signs of Allah in nature, around us and within us to convey a deep sense of awe at the many signs of our Lord, apparent to those who use intellect. It is truly remarkable that the Qur’an revealed between 610 and 632 CE contains in it, scientific knowledge that has taken centuries to be discovered.
Dr. Shirin Haque-Copilah,
Physics Dept, Univ. of the West Indies

Some are afraid studying Astronomy would affect their faith. But shouldnt they study Astronomy to strenghten their faith further?

The glass should always be half full. Shouldnt it?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Big shoes: Behind the single line

I like to play with words. Finding the right words with the right style can sometime take forever.

I planned on writing something last night and after hours typing and deleting, I settled for a one liner. Thoughts after thoughts were forming in my mind that it almost became unbearable. Hence, the single line.

I could choose to adopt the "dont bother thinking too much" mentality but I just cant help thinking about the what ifs if I put in some effort into the thinking process hoping that i could see things in a better light.

As a child, I would have loved for decisions to go the way any child would want it to be -- in his or her favor. But as a father, I seem to adopt a rather overprotective stance when making my decisions. The mother could have made the decision on her own but she decided to let me have a taste of being in the big shoes left for me.

Last night, I found it hard to find an ideal common ground between the child and the father. It's as if the child will never seem to understand the thoughts of his father and the father, likewise. And i realize that any decisions made by the father will have an effect on future events. And for this reason, I find it hard being a parent.

I mentioned that I might be rather overprotective as a father. However, one of the thoughts after thoughts that was forming in my mind was the need to let go. And the thought that followed several thoughts later was when the right time to let go was.

I even did a search on the net and found the following:

Birth to seven years old: Parents make the decisions.

Seven to fourteen years old: Parents listen to the child, then make the decision.

Fourteen years old through high school: Parents and teenagers make decisions together, as increasingly more of the final decision power is given to the teenager.

"Increasingly more of the final decision power is given to the teenager" is good news to the child. And I realized today that parents are more than willing to give more power to the child -- provided that the child shows signs that he or she is ready. Perhaps, for some, the time could be as early as 14 but for others, it might be later and may not even come.

As a child, what he can do is show to his father that he is ready and able to stand on his own two feet. After that, he'll have to wait for the time to come and trust me, the time will come. Only then will there be an ideal common ground between the child and the father.

The thought that immediately pops up next is this: What if the child's a she? What then?

Clearly Im not ready to be a father. And for precisely this reason that I really wish he was around to tell me what i should do. All i can do now is think things through and try to do things as he would do.