Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Handmade Notebook

Juliana, my friend and OT nurse was just offered a place to do her nursing degree in UM. It is a great development for her as she aspires to be a tutor nurse. It is sad for me as I have less kaki to gossip with in OT. Anyway, I have known her since she joined HKL A&E OT as a new nurse fresh from nursing college. She was initially timid and I was the fierce Ortho MO. We grew into good friends and we were reunited when I was transferred to Ampang last year.

Apparently she became a garang OT senior but is very righteous about her work. Nowadays, I am not allowed to reminiscence about her first few months working as I will spoil her image as the ever efficient nurse...hahahah

Cik Juliana

Anyway, I wanted to give something special as a farewell gift and I decided to make something useful - a notebook. It is my first attempt in a long time making handmade gifts (used to do it when I was younger). I was lucky I found a nice looking piece of cloth for my project at Nagoya - and it is cheap too. Other stuffs were already i my stash of odds and ends - it pays to hoard things:)

The cover - wanted to put her initials but don't have matching fabric

The inside : made it so that she can change the notebook once it is full. Can use with any similar sized book

Cracked my head on how to close the book and then found this unique bead amongst the stuff I bought at the bargains corner in Carrefour. The pattern matched. What luck!

I am going to give it to her this Friday. And I hope she will cry....*wink*

p.s. another friend Mei Lin is leaving too.... Another project?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Today's headache

I simply love driving alone. It is my me time with no distractions and interruptions. I guess in this sense I am not a Green person as I would hate to car pool with anyone. My morning cruise to work is when I catch up with the latest music and news. And in the evening, it is usually the time I think. It is actually very weird as everyday, when I ply the route home I will be thinking of what I want to write in my blog. Nowadays, I analyse my thoughts as how I would portray it in my blog. Not to say everyone gets published but the feeling of getting it out of my chest is such a relief.


Today, I am pretty miffed. I am upset with my house-officers. Out of four, only one is an outstanding doctor. The other three annoy me. Hmmm...25% that is definitely not good.

Back to why I am upset. Four months ago we received our first batch of HOs. To make sure we are objective in our expectations and assessment of the interns we decided to sit down and list what they need to do and know. Step by step. This is so that we do not unnecessarily penalise them. It is VERY clear. But today, after 8 days of tagging my HO has not done ANY of the prerequisite procedures needed for her to start her calls. Damn! What do they expect?

I was never an excellent HO, I did my work and enjoyed the experience thoroughly. I had my share of mistakes but it was not due to lack of trying. I still remember that on my first day of work I was so worried I'll make a blunder. Medical school never prepares you for housemanship. Less than 10% of my undergrad knowledge is usable in 'real' life. I had my medical officers to thank. They taught me a lot of what I needed to know as a doctor. Some of them even inspired my subsequent career choice. Thinking back, I did my first femur plating, femur k-nail, below knee amputation, and external fixator as a house-officer. Amazing! But the main thing is attitude, I was willing to learn and did not mind the hard work. As a doctor's daughter I knew exactly what I was getting into and thus, I was prepared and could not nor would not complain.

And the problem with MAJORITY of today's young doctors are that: ATTITUDE. They think being a doctor is all glamour and fun. Hello is is bloody hard work. AND is a person cannot take the stress then this career is clearly not suited. Other people's heart attack is a stress on my heart. Their uncontrolled blood pressure raises my BP. We have to do it right because it is a person's life. So, it is a stressful career, what's new? But today added stress comes from supervising the new doctors. Should a intern pass his housemanship because his parents paid so much for his education? Should I close an eye and let a doctor who is not competent pass? Or those who are not bothered or care about their patients pass?

It is difficult to figure out but the minimum standards should be adhered to. For me, it is a matter of making sure only SAFE doctors get their full registration. To the VIPs and politicians it is a purely a political issue - they want to get the ideal ratio of 1:400 doctor people ratio. To them the quality is not their problem; they have their personal physician treating them. It is us commoners who may get a myocardial infarct in some ulu place and the only doctor there may be the incompetent one that we let pass.... wouldn't that be ironic?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Perhentian Revisited

Spent the weekend in Perhentian. The last time I was there I was with Saliha and Salwa doing a 7 day Perhentian-Redang hop after my exams. Anyway, we left KL after the Federer semifinal French Open match. Reached Kuala Besut at about 8.30am. However, we only managed to board the speedboat at about 11am.

This time we stayed at Teluk Dalam,Perhentian Besar with Alu-alu Divers. The place is lovely and exceptionally clean. Anyway, this side of the island has always been excellent.

We did three dives in total. The first dive was at T3 and the visibility was about 3 feet and the last dive was at Vietnamese Wreck and this was worse, strong currents with poor viz. There goes my dream of taking wonderful photos with Kaz's wide-angle lense. But the 2nd dive was WONDERFUL. Tokong Laut with 8-10m visibility with NO CURRENTS. This is the first time I was able to make a full circle around the pinnacle.

Bamboo shark seen at 23m at Tokong Laut

Giant clams

Safety stop at Tokong Laut

Milo, the resident otter at Alu-alu. The poor creature has a limp and thus refuse to go back to the wild.

Overall, it was a nice short getaway. If I had any complaints it would be about the speedboat/sea transfer but that needs its own post.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Mind Your Language

A few things are on my mind this week. One is English. The DPM was surprised that English is not a must-pass subject in SPM and wants to find out the people's reaction in making it a compulsory pass subject.

It is a lose-lose subject. For one the issue will be exploited by political individuals who have not the interest of the country in their hearts. Many would play on sentiments to oppose the idea.

As for me, I think it needs to be thoroughly studied. Before English is made into a must-pass subject other steps have to be put in place. It is not just a Cabinet decision on one Wednesday and then walla... next year every child has to make sure he or she pass for them to have a future.

We have to start at the beginning - primary school and even kindergarten. Our teachers have to be equipped to teach 'proper' English. Mind you, there are teachers who teach English but was unable to pronounce properly. How do you get students to enjoy and learn if the teachers themselves are struggling?

I was fairly lucky throughout my childhood. I had parents who speak excellent English and who encouraged us to read and converse in English. In primary school I had Mrs Siew and; in secondary school Mrs Ganehsan and Mrs Philomena. They enjoyed teaching and all had their special ways to make us USE English everyday. We sang songs from 'the King and I'; and do word puzzles and even produced a play. I enjoyed it thoroughly (perhaps my classmates did not share my sentiments) and at the end in Form Five my classmates spoke fairly reasonable English. And I must say, my school is mainly those people living in the high rise flats and slums of Kuala Lumpur, we were not from an elite school and many had no privileged background.

But then, by not addressing the English at an early level things will not change. Just look at the using English as a teaching medium in Mathematics and Science. For me, that was a knee jerk reaction decision. It is not going to make children more apt at speaking English nor will it make them understand Maths or Science better. The core issue is English. It is not Science or Maths. The application of English in daily activities is important. I had no problems with Science and Mathematics in university because I understood the language, minor problems of definition and meanings can be resolved by asking the right people or looking up the dictionary.

It is sad that a lot of people imply that by speaking English we are less of a Malay or a Malaysian. Being able to communicate effectively in a language that has huge 'followers' enable us to be more global, more marketable, more visible and more prominent. And this is not just in the academic and corporate world; for example, Malaysia now strives to a world tourist destination. We have the necessary attraction, our lovely beaches, islands, forests, our history and even our food. But a setback would be communication.

My latest trip to Perhentian is just the perfect example. In the speedboat with us from Kuala Besut were 4 Caucasians, and 8 Malaysians. The boatman was trying to get us so-called 'balance the boat' but became upset when no one understood him. Well, he was shouting 'belen, belen' and even we had a problem understanding what he wanted to say. Only when we heard 'belen de bok' we figured what he wanted and then only we manage to appease him and get the boat moving.

Therefore, to ensure our future society's competitiveness in the globalisation era the government, the political leaders, the academics and the society have to think hard and decide. It is not a one day decision, it cannot be a 'popularism' decision hence no SMS or EnglishUNDI kind of thing. A thorough study or research on the issue have to be made. We have to understand the basis of resistance towards the language and work around it. It may take a longer time but it should not be a rushed decision. We can't just decide and then after a few years another popularism poll that say we had made a mistake. This is our children's future we are talking about.