My Rigorous Efforts to Improving English Listening, Writing, Reading, and Speaking Skills

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Hello there!
I am so sorry that I am actually lack of ideas (with the 'raya' mood and stuff).. I don't know what to write about this topic..but, I will try my best..please do correct me if I make any mistakes..

There are four skills in learning English which are reading, listening, speaking, and writing. The most important thing I must always bear in mind is that reading and listening are inputs whereas speaking and writing are outputs. In other words, if I want to improve my speaking and writing skills I should first master the skills of reading and listening. There are some ways that I can do so, which I will try to summarize.

  • READing,

I read as much as I can..but, my reading must be active. It means that I must think about the structure, unfamiliar words and etc as I read. There is no need that I stick to some complicated grammar structures or try to understand all the unfamiliar words I come across, but the fact that I will see them for the first time and recognize them whenever I see them, for example in other passages or books is enough. It would be better to prepare myself a notebook so I can write down the important words or structures in it..hehe..actually I am working on it.

  • LISTENing,

As for listening, there are two options, I think:
a)Aside from reading, I must listen anything in English every day for at least, about 30 minutes.
b)I can only concentrate on my reading and become skillful at it, then I can catch up on my listening....
I myself prefer the latter because when you are skillful and native-like at reading, your listening skill grows automatically. Since you have lots of inputs in your mind, you can easily guess what the speaker is going to say. This never means that I should not practice listening. For listening I recommend cartoons or some movies that are specially made for children. Their languages are easy and do not contain complicated phrases or slang terms. whenever I think I want to try another method of listening.. I can listen to BBC programs broadcasted every day or some useful websites that my lecturer has given to me and my friends. Again..the thing to remember is being active in listening and preferably taking some notes. I believe..if I follow these pieces of advice, my speaking and writing will improve automatically, and I can be sure that with a little effort they will become perfect...InsyaAllah..

I often hear people say that they like watching movies and TV programmes to learn English. I watching movies, you will have lots of clues on things that what is going on. The dialogue is not so concentrated unless it was intelectual movies. Advices from one of my friends..when reading or listening an audio book, it is better because you are completely depending on that language. The intensity of the learning experience is much greater. It is easier to repeat our listening and reading whenever and wherever we want.

I think learning English together with several people is a good idea to improve English skills. I have tried to write one essay one day forpreparing IELTS exam, but it didn't work very well, it's hard to find the errors in my own writings. So if people would learn together,exchange experience and find out each other's disadvantages in English, it would be very nice.

  • WRITing

So writing is the most crucial part..I am hardly to write if Miss Elliza's was not forcing us.. Basically, I love to do this blogging thing in need to improve my writing skills and also reading.. Besides that, its my hobby to read sample essay from any types of sources such as internet, printed materials, and etcetera..I have some sample essays that I got from one of my PPOU friends..a collection of essays made by 'Ahmad Faris' (our super senior...I guess) and also essays from my ATU friends..they have done a lot of essays..which I think can help me to improve a lot!

  • SPEAKing

I love to speak..but, I don't have the courage to speak especially when speaking in front of other people..to present my presentation and stuff like that..I am actually have stage fright too! So my strategy to overcome my weaknesses is I will put my best effort to speak among of my friends and we will try to correct each other..

Last but not least, I hope I can master this four fields; listening, writing, reading, and speaking skills in order to improve myself and of course the important mission- to success in IELTS!

Hope to see you soon in the next post!

Regards,

Nurfarahin Binti Baharul' ulum

My Eid Experience...

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Assalamualaikum w.b.t.








First of all, I am pleased to wish you a very happy eid mubarak for the year 2007!!! I am really hoping that everyone has enjoyed the Hari Raya with all the happiness and blessing from the Almighty. To not let the chance slip by..I want to seek some forgiveness if I had made any mistake to you..' Maaf Zahir dan Batin'...












So, on this special day..I have been asked to share my eid experience..For me, its kind of 'blur'..that I dont have any idea what to share or what to write? I can feel a thought bubble coming out from my head: " I'm experiencing just an ordinary eid mubarak..I mean..there's nothing special to write about..I think so..I just dont even know how to start..how am I going to create such an interesting post.. to completing my task. I am so blurred."








Eventually, I just made up my mind..I just can share the real eid experience..and you judge it wether its dull, typical, boring, or what so ever..hehe..








Every year, I celebrate my raya at my grandparents house..for this year 2007..its my mom's turn to celebrate first day Raya at her beloved hometown, Gelang Patah, Johor Bahru..so, we turned up on the 30 Ramadhan 1428H.








My mom got 10 siblings (including her)..so when every family turned up..there were so many of them gathering in one house..and it was so happening! My cousins turn out to be more mature..some of them getting taller..some of them getting so thin and fit..they are different now..huhu..And everybody was working together preparing for the raya celebration..the 'mak2' were preparing for the scrumptious food while the 'bapak2' were helping setting the house..and last but not least, the 'anak2' were actually playing around..making the cheerful environment.








Then, on the special day itself..I mean..today ( 13 October 2007)..first thing in the morning..after taking breakfast, the men were going to the mosque to perform Raya prayer..and the ladies were preparing themselves (ladies always need more time for make-up and stuff like that)..they also busy cleaning the house and getting ready for the next session (usually after the men came back from the mosque, we will be having the forgive and forget session).








So, at about 9 am..everybody was ready and let the ball's rolling..as usual..there's cry and etcetera...hehe..after that, we were having a photo session where everyone is wainting for and get excited over it..After that, we were visiting our relatives from house to house..








At night, we were having some barbecue as the raya food (ketupat, lepat, sambal kacang, rendang and etcetera) were actually finished..hehe..and tomorrow, the second day of raya..my family will celebrate raya at my father's hometown which located in Muar.








As conclusion, its kind of ordinary things happen during raya but somehow, it is a must and every year everyone (each of the family) is over excited when the eid mubarak is coming..the family bonding is something that we cant count because it was so priceless..so, appreciate each time that the Almighty has given to us!!!

The Human Skull

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Its human skull and it was for the last theme (I think) for this semester..but, don't worry because I love to do this blogging thing..so, hopefully in da future I can spend my time to post new theme and frequently updated..hehe..Insyaallah!
So, back to the human skull..In humans, the adult skull is normally made up of 22 bones. Except for the mandible, all of the bones of the skull are joined together by sutures, synarthrodial (immovable) joints formed by bony ossification, with Sharpey's fibres permitting some flexibility.
Eight bones form the neurocranium (brain case), a protective vault of bone surrounding the brain and brain stem.
Fourteen bones form the splanchnocranium, which comprises the bones supporting the face. Encased within the temporal bones are the six auditory ossicles of the middle ear. The hyoid bone, supporting the larynx, is usually not considered as part of the skull, as it is the only bone that does not articulate with other bones of the skull.


The skull also contains the sinus cavities, which are air-filled cavities lined with respiratory epithelium, which also lines the large airways. The exact functions of the sinuses are debatable; they contribute to lessening the weight of the skull with a minimal reduction in strength, they contribute to resonance of the voice, and assist in the warming and moistening of air drawn in through the nasal cavities.

The meninges are three layers of connectivetissue surrounding structures of the central nervous system. From outermost to innermost layer, they are the dura mater, the arachnoid mater, and the pia mater. Each layer adds important protective and physiologic functions.
The anatomical position for the skull is the Frankfurt plane, where the lower margins of the orbits and the upper borders of the ear canals are all in a horizontal plane. This is the position where the subject is standing and looking directly forward. The Frankfurt plane may also be used to study the brains of other specifies, notably primates and hominids. However, this does not always equate to a natural posture in life.
It looks scary if we just watch the skull..especially in movies (scary one), but after we know how important the skull to human..what is the function and so on..we may find that..we have to be grateful for what god has created to us. Appreciate it and look after it!
See ya!

Venice, The Sinking City!!!

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Hello there!






For this week issue, I have to share about any topic related to tourism and transport. Accidentally, Puan Fatimah, our coordinator and also my english lecturer..asked us to do an essay about the main cities that we like to go for a vacation..so, as I did my research and thinking about the main city that I want to go..eventually, I choose Venice, the sinking city in Italy!!!






First of all, I would like to share what is Venice is all about...Venice, or Venezia as it is known in Italian, is an architectural delight, an entire city built on an artificial island in the middle of a lagoon. With palaces, churches and ordinary houses which have not changed since the 16th century, Venice wallows in the past, remembering a time when it was the richest city in the world, bearing the title 'The Most Serene Republic of Venice'.







Nowadays, much of the city is falling down, which enhances the charm or detracts from it, depending on your point of view. Many people hate the place, finding it dirty, smelly and crowded with tourists. But for others, it is the ultimate destination. Everybody knows the clichés about Venice, with canals and gondolas. You will be surprised to find that it really is like that, only more so.






Things to Do in Venice


  • Go for a Gondola ride. It's clichéd and touristy, but you won't forget it. Gondolas are expensive so pool resources and go as a group.

  • If you just have to go on a gondola but can't afford the price, there is a cheap alternative - there are public gondolas known as traghetti (ferries) that cross the Grand Canal at certain points between the bridges.

  • Eat a pizza. The Italians still make the best pizzas in the world. There's an excellent and extremely cheap shop that sells wonderful pizza by the slice; it's on the Calle Mondo Nuovo, just off the Campo di Santa Maria Formosa. That's north of the Piazza San Marco - you won't find it without a map, but it's well worth it!

  • Drink an espresso early in the morning, standing up at a bar. It's half price if you don't occupy a seat. For many Italians, this is breakfast.

  • Buy a painting from one of the many street artists. These are everywhere, but particularly at the Molo beside St Mark's Square. There's everything from views of the city to portraits of you or your loved ones, done on the spot.

  • Take a ride on a vaporetto (water bus) along the whole length of the Grand Canal.

Shopping in Venice



Souvenir Shopping
Central Venice is well supplied with souvenir shops, particularly on and around the Rialto Bridge. They tend to specialise in Murano glass ornaments and ashtrays, and carnival masks - and very nice they are too. If you're concerned about buying a genuine souvenir, always ask 'E fatto a Venezia?' if it doesn't have a 'Made In Venice' sticker on it - Murano-style glass made in Asia is quite common these days. It's also probably fair to say you'll get a better deal the further away from Rialto you are. The best deals for Murano glass, naturally, can be found on Murano itself direct from the manufacturers - where you can often see it being made.



Food Shopping
For the traveller on a budget, there's a small supermarket (a midget by usual standards, but far and away the largest in Venice) called Billa - it's the cheapest place to buy picnic food if you're looking to save a few euros. It's about halfway along the Strada Nova, by one of the many bridges. Another small supermarket is in the Dorsoduro area, just off Campo Santa Margherita, at the corner of Rio Tera Canal. There's a similarly-sized Co-op supermarket on Murano - which features a jumbo-sized lift to take you and your trolley up to the first floor. There are also some stalls in the middle of the Strada Nova selling fruit and veg - usually fresh and cheap, the produce is often grown on the nearby island of Sant'Erasmo.




Shopping in General
A few of the multinational chains (such as Benetton and Foot Locker, for example) have branches in Venice, but if you fancy some more normal shopping Italian-style, you're generally better off taking a train to the mainland and going round the shopping district in Mestre, where you'll find everything you need in the area north of the train station. The one exception worth going out of your way to find in Venice is the department store Coin5 on the corner of the Campo San Luca, north-west of San Marco. It's something like an upmarket equivalent of Marks & Spencer, and specialises in Italian clothes, housewares and the like.

In conclusion, I hope one day..I can have the chance to go to Venice one day, the city was so nice, unique and romantic place! Don't you think so???


Growing Fruit And Vegetables..

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Growing Plants in Pots.




Growing flowers is wonderfully fulfilling. Growing fruit and vegetables is wonderfully filling. To pick and eat your own crops is a great thrill. You know they have been well grown; you know they are fresh and you know that, just like your own baby, they are the best in the world!




Here you can discover just how to cultivate your own fruit and vegetables – and you don’t need a big garden to do so. Edible crops can be squeezed into the tiniest of plots.You’ll be surprised at how good some of them look – it’s a shame to pick them really!




So, first and foremost..we have to choose the correct pots. We have to choose containers that are large enough for the eventual size of your plant. A good rule of thumb is choose pots between 20-45cm (8-17in) in diameter. Many compact herbs are ideal in smaller containers, while vigorous plants such as mint will need a bigger pot to spread. Root vegetables need deep pots with plenty of compost and big pots are needed to support top-heavy plants such as tomatoes. Plastic pots are cheap to buy, while glazed or plain terracotta look attractive. However, these absorb water which makes compost dry out more quickly. Remedy this by lining the inside of the pot with polythene, pierced at the base for drainage.




After choosing the pots, we have to decide what plants that we have to grow..

There's a massive choice of crops that can be grown in pots from strawberries to leafy salads. It's best to try compact plants such as sweet peppers, chilli peppers, aubergine and tumbling varieties of tomatoes, rather than tall growing vegetables such as Brussels sprouts that demand lots of water and can be blown down easily. Among the best for pots are courgettes, beetroot, carrots and potatoes, and fruit such as peaches, apricots, nectarines and figs. With lettuces go for varieties that you pick a few leaves at a time rather than the whole head at once. Herbs can be planted on their own or try growing ten different varieties in a strawberry planter. Most plants are ideal in multipurpose compost, but some have special needs, for instance thyme prefers well-drained soil and blueberries need acidic ericaceous compost.


For the greatest choice of plants grow from seed, but if you are don't mind too much about the variety, buy ready grown plants from garden centres or mail-order suppliers.

How To Plant???
Mix a handful of water-retaining crystals into your compost and fill your chosen pot to 2cm (1in) below the top. Gently tap to settle the compost and firm down with your fingertips to leave a level surface. Scoop out compost in the centre of the pot to leave a hole slightly bigger than the rootball of your plant. Remove its pot and place in hole. Replace compost around the plant and firm, making sure the surface of the plant is level with the top of the compost. If growing from seed, either raise in small pots before planting or depending on variety, scatter across the surface of the compost or sow in rows.
After that, what we have to do is..care the plants that we grow.Keep leafy herbs compact and productive by removing flower buds and picking regularly. Keep all pots well-watered and feed fruit or vegetables with a high potash feed when flowers form. Support aubergine and chilli peppers with canes to prevent the stems snapping under the weight of their fruit.
Last but not least, even if you may not have room for a vegetable patch or time for an allotment, but you can plant up pots from early spring onwards with edible crops and enjoy fresh, tasty, homegrown produce all summer. Lots of varieties are happy in pots if you look after them well.
See you on the next issue!

~ 6 Steps to Successful Speaking ~

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For this week issue, I have been asked to figure out something that related to communications and stuff like that. So, as I was reading the Academic Study Skill Text Book ( preparing for the Mid-Term Test next week )..suddenly, I found one article that I can share and post it to my blog. The article is " Six Steps to Successful Speaking."

As my friends and I will be taking IELTS which consists to 4 parts including speaking..the most crucial part I think..besides writing..so, I hope this article can help!

Much of what we have written about writing also applies to speaking in public. The major differenc,e, of course, is that you not only have to write..you also have to present your thoughts to others. Successful speaking involves six fundamental steps:

Step 1 : Clarify your objective
>>>Begin by identifying what you want to accomplish.

Step 2 : Analyze your audience
>>>You need to understand the people you'll be talking to and you have to ask yourself some questions that helps you to understand and analyze the data perfectly.

Step 3 : Collect and organize your information.
>>>Now comes the critical part of the process:building your presentation by selecting and arranging blocks of information. One useful analogy is to think of yourself as guiding through the maze of ideas they already have to the new knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs you would like them to have.

Step 4 : Choose your visual aids.
>>>When visual aids are added to presentations, listeners can absorb 35% more information-and over time they can recall 55% more. You may choose to prepare a chart, show a video clip, write on the board, or distribute handouts. You may also use your computer to prepare overhead transparencies or dynamic PowerPoint presentations.

Step 5 : Prepare your notes.
>>>The best speaking aid is a minimal outline, carefully prepared, from which you can speak extemporaneously. You will rehearse thoroughly in advance. But because you are speaking from brief notes, your choice of words will be slightly different each time you give your presentation, causing you to sound prepared but natural. You may wish to use note cards, because they are unobtrusive. After you become more experienced, you may want to let your visual serve as notes. A handout or PowerPoint slide listing key points may also serve as your basic outline. Eventually, you may find you no longer need notes.

Step 6 : Practice your delivery.
>>>As you rehearse, form a mental image of success rather than failure.Practice your presentation aloud several times beforehand to harness that energy-producing anxiety.Practice before an audience-your roommate, a friend, your dog, even the mirror.Talking to something or someone helps simulate the distractions listeners cause.If you ask your practice audience to critique you, you'll have some idea of what changes you might make.

So, thats all for now..nice to see you soon in the next upcoming issue!!!

Critical Thinking,

10:45 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
First of all, I would like to beg for an apologies because I dont have time to update my blog for the early September...I have a Physic test which was extraordinary-damn-hard..huhu, I had put my best effort into it since I avoid everything including updating my blog..so, I hope my preseverance and my commitment will pays in the end. Big apologies..hope I am not too late to talk about last week issue..'Education and Learning'.

So, on this issue..I would like to highlight a topic under the Education and Learning..the topic is CRITICAL THINKING. Why I choose this topic? It is because..I am so interested to learn how am I going to critical in thinking..and so on. Eventually, I have some reading that I think can help on writing my blog.

Critical thinking is at the core of a liberal education. A liberal education provides the foundation to define and pursue goals. In a liberal education, students are taught to investigate all sides of a question and all possible sollutions to a problem before reaching a conclusion or planning a course of action.

The word liberal as used here has no political connotation, but is a direct reference to the ability of education to free your mind. The word itself comes from the Latin, a verb meaning "to free". The goal of a liberal education is to free you from the biases, superstitions,prejudices, and lack of knowledge that may have characterized you before you came to college. Next time you wonder why you are required to take courses outside your major, remember how important they can be.

4 Aspects Of CRITICAL thingking,

Critical thinking cannot be learned overnight. Yet as interpreted by William T.Daly, teacher of political science at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, the critical thinking process can be divided into four basic steps. Practicing these basic ideas can help you become more effective thinker.

  • Abstract Thinking : Using details to discover some bigger idea.

Ask yourself what larger concepts the details suggest. For example, you read an article that describes how many people are using the Internet now, how much consumer information it provides, what kinds of goods you can buy cheaply over the Internet, and also that many low-income families are still without computers. Think carefully about these facts, and you might arrive at several different important generalizations.

  • Creative Thinking : Seeking connections, Finding new possibilities, Rejecting nothing.

The creative phase of thinking can lead in many directions. It might involve searching for ways to make the Internet more available to low-income households. Or it might involve searching out more detailed information on how much interest big companies really have in marketing various goods to low-income families. In essence, the creative thinking stage involves extending the general idea-finding new ways to apply it or identifying other ideas it might suggest.

  • Systemic Thinking : Organizing the Possibilities, Tossing out the rubbish.

Systematic thinking involves looking at the outcome of the secong phase in a more demanding, critical way. If you are looking to the solutions to a problem, which ones really seem most promising after you have conducted an exhausive search for materials.

  • Precise Communication : Being prepared to present your ideas convincingly to others.
Intelligent conclusions aren't very useful if you cannot share them with others. Consider what your audience will need to know to follow your reasoning and be pursuaded. Remember to have 'facts in hand' as you attempt to convince others of the truth of your argument. Don't be defensive, instead, just be logical.

Source : Academic Study Skill Text Book " Strategies For Success"

Acid Rain

10:34 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Hello there,

We meet again..so, this week..I have to talk about environmental problems..Actually, my full theme was..Water Resources and Environmental Problems but on the week 6th August-12th August, I have explained about the water resources and stuff..so, I have chosen the environmental problems as this week issue..And guess what, the lucky issue was..ACID RAIN and GLOBAL WARMING!!!

For your information,the growing global demand for energy - especially energy from fossil fuels - has major environmental impacts. Two examples are the problem of acid rain, and the (much more serious) problem of global warming.

Acid rain is rain that has a higher than normal acid level (that is, a low pH). Acid rain may contain weak solutions of sulphuric, carbonic and nitric acids. Where it falls over a prolonged period it can cause damage to the environment.
Natural sources of these chemicals include volcanoes. However it is likely that human activity also leads to acid rain. Scientists believe that the main culprits are vehicle exhausts and the gases given off by power stations. Power stations that burn fossil fuels with a high concentration of sulphur - such as some untreated types of coal - are particularly responsible.

Without any further, I would like to list some important effects of acid rain. Some of the problems attributed to acid rain include:
  • Trees lose some of the protection in their leaves, leaving them more at risk from frost and diseases.
  • Tree roots may also become stunted, so they can't take up as many nutrients.
  • Soils lose some of their nutrients.
  • Increasing acid levels may cause problems for aquatic animals and plants.
  • Some fish may have trouble breathing for example. Acid rain may dissolve the stonework and mortar of buildings causing structural problems of buildings.
How the greenhouse effect works

It's thought that the build-up of greenhouse gases impacts on global temperature in two ways:

1. The gases allow more of the sun's rays to enter the atmosphere. Some solar radiation is still reflected back into space by the outer parts of the atmosphere, but it's believed the amount reflected back is gradually reducing.

2. At the same time, the greenhouse gases absorb more of the solar radiation that is reflected back from the earth's surface - trapping heat and keeping it in the atmosphere. Of course the ability of the atmosphere to capture the sun's warmth is essential for life on earth. But if significantly MORE warmth is being captured, this is bad news for the planet.

Another group of greenhouse gases includes the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs for short). CFCs have been responsible for depleting the ozone layer as they attack and destroy ozone molecules..
  • The ozone layer is a high level layer of gas in the stratosphere.
  • The ozone helps to keep out harmful ultra-violet rays which cause sun-burn on human skin and damage plants.
  • CFCs have been used in aerosols, such as hairspray cans, fridges and in making foam plastics.
  • The resulting ozone holes let harmful ultra-violet radiation in and adding to the problems of the Greenhouse effect and global warming.
  • CFCs were banned in many countries in the mid-1990s after it was found that they were breaking up the earth's ozone.
  • Scientists say the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica could disappear within 50 years

While, the implication of the global warming is very serious..such as,

  • Global warming could melt the world's ice caps and glaciers, leading to an increase in sea levels. Some scientists estimate that over the next hundred years sea levels could rise by between 10cm and 90cm - making many coastal areas around the world uninhabitable.
  • Global warming could also affect the weather patterns, leading to more droughts, flooding and extreme weather, such as hurricanes.
  • In Britain we are largely unaffected by the dangerous weather of the tropics, such as hurricanes or severe droughts. But some climatologists argue that the UK climate is changing as a result of global warming - with the possibility of more frequent floods, water shortages, and extreme weather conditions.

Energy efficiency

With energy consumption rising, it is important that industry, transportation and consumers in their homes use of energy more efficiently, so less is wasted.

  • We can all help by making changes to our lifestyles and our houses - for example by
    walking, cycling, or using public transport rather than fossil-fuel powered cars
  • Reducing the number of aircraft journeys taken (especially short-haul flights)
    using smaller more energy-efficient cars
  • Switching off lights, power sockets, phone chargers and TVs when not in use
    recycling and reusing plastics and oil-based products
  • Using energy-efficient light-bulbs and rechargeable batteries
  • insulating house rooves, blocking drafts, and using double-glazing and more efficient heating systems
  • Considering introducing solar panels, or switching to an electricity supplier that supplies green electricity

Okay then, I think that's all for now..hope to see you in the next theme which is, Eduction and Learning.

Regards.

Islam And Cultural Imperatively

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What Is Culture?

It is commonplace to identify "culture" with refined taste or "high culture" like the fine arts and humanities. In this vein, Matthew Arnold spoke of culture as "the best that has been known and said in the world" and "the history of the human spirit." However, culture as a modern anthropological concept and as treated in this paper refers to the entire integrated pattern of human behavior and is immeasurably broader than its highest expressions. (4) Beyond what is purely instinctive and unlearned, culture governs everything about us and even molds our instinctive actions and natural inclinations. It is culture that makes us truly human, separating people from animals, which frequently exhibit learned behavior but lack our capacity for the creation and adaptation of new cultural form.

Culture weaves together the fabric of everything we value and need to know--beliefs, morality, expectations, skills, and knowledge--giving them functional expression by integrating them into effectual customary patterns. Culture is rooted in the world of expression, language, and symbol. But it relates also to the most routine facets of our activities--like dress and cooking--and extends far beyond the mundane into religion, spirituality, and the deepest dimensions of our psyches. Culture includes societal fundamentals like the production of food and distribution of goods and services, the manner in which we manage business, banking, and commerce; the cultivation of science and technology; and all branches of learning, knowledge, and thought. Family life and customs surrounding birth, marriage, and death immediately come to mind as obvious cultural elements, but so too are gender relations, social habits, skills for coping with life's circumstances, toleration and cooperation or the lack of them, and even societal superstructures like political organization. A working democracy, for example, is as much the fruit of particular cultural values and civic habits as it is the outgrowth of constitutions or administrative bodies. In our mosques, schools, and homes, many day-to-day aggravations are patent examples of cultural discord and confusion. Often, they have little to do with Islam per se but everything to do with the clash of old world attitudes and expectations--often authoritarian and patriarchal--with the very different human complexities, realities, and needs of our society.

Respecting Other Cultures: A Supreme Prophetic Sunna

The Prophet Muhammad and his Companions were not at war with the world's cultures and ethnicities but entertained an honest, accommodating, and generally positive view of the broad social endowments of other peoples and places. The Prophet and his Companions did not look upon human culture in terms of black and white, nor did they drastically divide human societies into spheres of absolute good and absolute evil. Islam did not impose itself--neither among Arabs or non-Arabs--as an alien, culturally predatory worldview. Rather, the Prophetic message was, from the outset, based on the distinction between what was good, beneficial, and authentically human in other cultures, while seeking to alter only what was clearly detrimental. Prophetic law did not burn and obliterate what was distinctive about other peoples but sought instead to prune, nurture, and nourish, creating a positive Islamic synthesis.

Much of what became the Prophet's sunna (Prophetic model) was made up of acceptable pre--Islamic Arab cultural norms, and the principle of tolerating and accommodating such practices--among Arabs and non-Arabs alike in all their diversity--may be termed a supreme, overriding Prophetic sunna. In this vein, the noted early jurist, Abu Yusuf, understood the recognition of good, local cultural norms as falling under the rubric of the sunna. The fifteenth-century Granadan jurisprudent Ibn al-Mawaq articulated a similar outlook and stressed, for example, that it was not the purpose of Prophetic dress codes to impinge upon the cultural integrity of non-Arab Muslims, who were at liberty to develop or maintain their own distinctive dress within the broad parameters of the sacred law. (6)

The Qur'an enjoined the Prophet Muhammad to adhere to people's sound customs and usages and take them as a fundamental reference in legislation: "Accept [from people] what comes naturally [for them]. Command what is customarily [good]. And turn away from the ignorant [without responding in kind]." (7) Ibn Attiyya, a renowned early Andalusian jurist and Qur'anic commentator, asserted that the verse not only upheld the sanctity of indigenous culture but granted sweeping validity to everything the human heart regards as sound and beneficial, as long as it is not clearly repudiated in the revealed law. For classical Islamic jurists in general, the verse was often cited as a major proof-text for the affirmation of sound cultural usage, and it was noted that what people generally deem as proper tends to be compatible with their nature and environment, serving essential needs and valid aspirations.

The Cultural Imperative in Classical Islamic Jurisprudence Classical

Islamic law did not speak of culture per se, since it is a modern behavioral concept. Instead, the law focused on what we may call culture's most tangible and important components: custom (al-'urf) and usage (al-'ada), which all legal schools recognized as essential to the proper application of the law, although differing on definitions and their measure of authority. (10) In Islamic jurisprudence, al-'urf and al-'ada connote those aspects of local culture which are generally recognized as good, beneficial, or merely harmless. In no school did respect for culture amount to blanket acceptance. (11) Local culture had to be appraised in terms of the transcendent norms of Islamic law, which meant the rejection of abhorrent practices like the ancient Mediterranean custom of "honor killings"--now reasserting itself in the context of contemporary cultural breakdown--or, at the other extreme, the sexual promiscuity prevalent in modern culture.

One of Islamic law's five universal maxims declared: "Cultural usage shall have the weight of law." (12) To reject sound custom and usage was not only counterproductive, it brought excessive difficulty and unwarranted harm to people. Another well-known principle of Islamic jurisprudence emphasized this fact and advised: "Cultural usage is second nature," by which it implied that it is as difficult for people to go against their established customs as it is for them to defy their instinctive natures. Consequently, wise application of the law required broad accommodation of local norms, which should be altered or obstructed only when absolutely necessary. Being attentive to local norms implies meeting people halfway and leads necessarily to broad cultural resemblance. In this regard, Islamic jurisprudence distinguished between subservient imitation of others (tashabbuh), which reflects a problematic sense of one's own identity and was generally regarded as forbidden or reprehensible, and the mere fact of outward resemblance (mushabaha), which was required, recommendable, or simply neutral as the case may be. (13)

I admit, certainly..I copied and paste this informative article from the website that I searched, but it does not mean I did not read and take this topic seriously..I just dont have time to write it back..
Personally, I found this article quite interesting and I chose the best paraghraph that suits to this blog..Last but not least, enjoy reading!

Special task, MY Speech!

12:01 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Assalamualaikum wbt..
Special good evening I wish to everyone.

Today, I, Nurfarahin Binti Baharul'ulum, would like to give a speech about my dreams and my resolutions to the becoming 5o years MERDEKA celebration.

I have a dream for my people to be able to depend on their own...

I have a dream for my people to never let the other people overtake our specialities and chances..

I have a dream for my people that everybody is well-educated and beeing empowered by their ownself leading to a great globalisation towards the positive progress developement.

I have those dreams!

As for my resolutions for the becoming Merdeka Day 50 years celebration, I hope my country will become such a respective developement country. Together we united, let us together building the Human Capital as we all have the responsibilty to fulfill the vission and mission 2020.

Last but not least, I would like to share a quote which is,

"We are still masters of our fate,
We are still captains of our goals"

So, there's nothing impossible! Together we united towards excellent!!!

Pressure n Pressure n Pressure..

11:14 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Assalamualaikum wbt..

Today, my roommates had sense something different is happening to me. I surprised at the moment but soon I realized that what they have said were absolutely true. I am not like I am supposed to be. I played my role weirdly. Actually, to be specific..I am under pressure!

So, all the day I was thinking that I must do something before many friends can realize it or even worse..I will be affected much!

Some common signs of too much stress include(which I got lately):
  • Increased irritability
  • Heightened sensitivity to criticism
  • Signs of tension, such as nail-biting
  • Difficulty getting to sleep and early morning waking
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of concentration

It's important to act to relieve damaging stress before it affects your physical or mental health. So, I decided to deal with my stress positively and find that some ways are essential to me. There are:

  • Spend the day doing only relaxing things that make you feel good.
  • Accept offers of practical help.
  • Do one thing at a time - don't keep piling stress on stress.
  • Know my own limits - don't be too competitive or expect too much.
  • Talk to someone
  • Let off steam in a way that causes no harm (shout, scream or hit a pillow)
  • Walk away from stressful situations
  • Try to spend time with people who are rewarding rather than critical and judgmental
  • Practise slow breathing using the lower part of the lungs
  • Use relaxation techniques- such as yoga and etcetera.

I really hope that I can manage my stress well and beeing an attentive and active in class so that I will not let any important things slip by. Moreover, the mid term exam is just around the corner, so it freaks me out!

Please do wish me all the best and see you later in the next coming issue..'Different Aspect of Culture'.


Natural Resources, What Is It About?

10:12 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Hello there,
For this issue, I would like to share something that I won't so care about..but, suddenly I realized that I should care about this issue because day by day, it becomes worst. So, precisely I would like to talk about natural resources..what is it about and the importance to balance it for future needs.

Enjoy reading!

Natural Resources are actually a natural process occurring substances that are considered valuable in their relatively unmodified..I mean a natural form. A natural resource's value rests in the amount of the material available and the demand for the certain material. The latter is determined by its usefulness to production. A commodity is generally considered a natural resource when the primary activities associated with it are extraction and purification, as opposed to creation. Thus, mining, petroleum extraction, fishing, hunting, and forestry are generally considered natural-resource industries, while agriculture is not.

Natural resources are often classified
  • renewable
  • flow
  • non-renewable

Renewable resources are generally living resources such as fish, reindeer, coffee, and forests, which can restock themselves if they are not over-harvested. Renewable resources can restock themselves and be used indefinitely if they are used sustainably. Once renewable resources are consumed at a rate that exceeds their natural rate of replacement, the standing stock will diminish and eventually run out. The rate of sustainable use of a renewable resource is determined by the replacement rate and amount of standing stock of that particular resource.

Flow renewable resources are very much like renewable resources, only they do not need regeneration, unlike renewable resources. Flow renewable resources include wind, tides and solar radiation.

While, non-living renewable natural resources include soil and water.

Resources can also be classified on the basis of their origin as

  • biosis
  • abiosis

Biotic resources are derived from animals and plants..I mean the living world. Abiotic resouces are derived from the non-living world such as land, water, and air. Mineral and power resources are also abiotic resources some of which are derived from nature.

Balancing the world's resources.

An increasing global population needs more resources - at the very basic, there are needs for healthy uncontaminated food and water supplies, shelter, clothing and good health. Resources are also required to make all the things that we use in our daily lives, from the oil that is used to make plastic, to the wood and metal that is used to make furniture.

So, it is a difficult to manage the world's natural resources when there are conflicting demands upon them.

  1. The environment should be preserved.
  2. Resources need to be retained for future generations to enjoy.
  3. Humans need to continue to make and do the things that allow them to live comfortably.

In order to conserve natural resources for future generations, sustainable management of the natural environment is necessary. Alternative resources might be developed in order to ease the strain on finite resources. However alternative resources can be expensive and take time to develop. Existing resources could be used more efficiently, to prevent finite resources being used up so quickly.

From some information that I have gathered through the websites, here are a number of ways in which we can help limit the damage caused by humans to the environment:

  1. Recycling resources that have already been used is popular and reduces waste. Many people recycle their used cans, bottles and paper. Making new aluminium cans out of old ones reduces our need to use fresh resources in their production.
  2. Limiting the amount of carbon emission generated through industrial and domestic use of fuels can assist in reducing levels of pollution. This can limit environmental problems such as global warming and acid rain.
  3. Resource substitution is another sustainable way in which resources can be managed. Renewable resources can be used instead of finite resources. Electric power can be produced with a renewable energy resource such as tidal, wind or solar power instead of fossil fuels.
  4. Sustainable resource management can help ensure that the use of resources within a biome does not cause an imbalance in its abiotic and biotic systems. Increasingly, sustainable practices are being encouraged in order to preserve animal and plant life for the benefit of life of future generations. An example of sustainable development is eco-tourism. Tourists are able to enjoy areas of natural beauty without requiring over-development that might harm the environment.

I think that's all for now, too long I think. I really didn't mean to talk much. I am so sorry if the fact I was trying to share maybe wrong..but, I am confident enough that it was all true. Hehe..

Before I end my blog, I would like to express my special thanks to Mr J ( my class rep) because of recommending me lots of useful websites related to this issue. Last but not least, have a nice day ahead!

Regards.

Water Conservation, We Conserve Together

9:13 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Seen from outer space, the world we live in looks almost like a globe of water. Yes, the earth is indeed covered by a lot of water. Unfortunately, the water filling much of the surface of our beloved planet can hardly be used due to the high level of mineral content in it, especially salt.

Taken directly, seawater is almost totally useless; it can neither be used for agriculture nor farming, nor is it suitable for home consumption. A few industries do use seawater for mineral extraction but it is usually an expensive affair to process seawater. In Singapore for instance, seawater is being treated for crude use like flushing,but it is generally still unsuitable for human consumption.

The fresh water that we used daily and often take for granted therefore comes from different sources. For a tropical country like ours where rainfall is abundant, water can be tapped from natural springs and rivers after a downpour. As rainwater seeps underground, there is also the possibility of extracting underground water for our usage.

Since rivers and underground water remain two of the most important sources of usable water for us, it is crucial that we ensure that these sources are renewable. As water is a source of life for all of us, we are responsible for ensuring that our rivers are not polluted. Authorities should also play their part in ensuring that all water catchment areas are not carelessly developed as this might directly reduce our water resources.

Closer to home, we should also try our best to conserve water. We should not take it for granted that water will always be available. Water rationing in various parts of our capital city during El Nino phenomenon was a clear signal that even the tropics, we can run out of water to use.

Simple steps can be taken at home to reduce wastage. For instance, we can fill a bucket with sufficient water to wash our car rather than use a hose. Water from our washing machine can be used to water plants instead of beeing simply drained away.

Water is indeed an important aspect of our lives. In this country, we can take three showers a day because water is in constant supply. In other countries where rainfall is luxury and dryness is the norm, water is precious commodity that has to be used carefully.

Nevertheless, we too must not take water for granted. We must use it carefully to ensure that we continue to enjoy the availibility of clear, fresh water. The most important thing is people all over the world not only have to share water as the greatest world's resources, but we have to conserve it together!

I hope you enjoyed reading these theme issue, I really hope the purpose of writing it will be useful and motivate us to be grateful and responsible. Special thanks to Audrey Lim's article which I have read related to this topic, it was really helpful though. Last but not least, hope to see you on the next upcoming issue; Money(Financial Matters) and Natural Resources.

The King And I

5:41 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Assalamualaikum,

Nowadays, people always forget to watch classic movies..or maybe, it was so hard to have the opportunity to watch them just because it was difficult to find them or maybe there's a little expose to this type of movies.

But today, Miss Eliza..my lecturer, introduced us ( my friend and I ) to watch 'The King And I', a classic movie, as my classmate gave such an 'uuhhh..noo' sounds and etcetera...as we have to watch the movie at that period of time.

I have watched 'Anna And The King' before, which quite similar with 'The King And I' story, and in my opinion, personally...I like those movies so much! The plots and conflicts between those two movies were slightly different but overall, it attracts me a lot!

I have given a task to give my point of view about 'The King And I' movie that I just watched, so..to me, its funny though but contains lots of moral value which I think suitable for the peers to catch for it. For instance, I am very impressed with Madam Anna who is very strong, brave and high spirited women which was so hard to find that type of women nowadays. She sticks to her principes and brave enough to give her opinion and advise the King of Siam.

Its really funny movie..except for certain songs which made us sleepy yet, meaningful if we feel the songs attentively. For the ending, although I knew that Anna and the King will not be together, I certainly did not agree with the ending of dying King and Anna's sadness...I prefer it to be a happy ending, Anna will be staying in the palace or the house that the King had promised for, the King will remains to be the King of Siam and they will live happily ever after, or else..the King married with Anna and together they broaden Siamese perspective in becoming the devoloping country.

Huhu, it was just my opinion and I hope I will enjoy watching this kind of movies later on, so last but not least, I really enjoy this movie and special thanks to Miss Eliza who gave us such a great opportunity!

Regards.

Food Allergies (Nutrition)

11:15 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Hello there,

On this issue, I have to talk about either excercise, nutrition, or health. I choose to the Nutrition topic because it attracts me a lot. I have done my research and I have found many interesting articles related to this topic. Eventually, I decided to share some information about 'Food Allergies' that I gathered from one or two websites.

~Food Allergies~
Each year, millions of peoples have allergic reactions to food. Although most food allergies cause relatively mild and minor symptoms, some food allergies can cause severe reactions, and may even be life-threatening.
There is no cure for food allergies. Strict avoidance of food allergens — and early recognition and management of allergic reactions to food — are important measures to prevent serious health consequences.
As a result, food labels will help allergic consumers to identify offending foods or ingredients so they can more easily avoid them.

What Are Major Food Allergens?
While more than 160 foods can cause allergic reactions in people with food allergies, the law identifies the eight most common allergenic foods. These foods account for 90 percent of food allergic reactions, and are the food sources from which many other ingredients are derived.

The eight foods identified by the law are:
Milk
Eggs
Fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod)
Crustacean shellfish (e.g. crab, lobster, shrimp)
Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans)
Peanuts
Wheat
Soybeans

What To Do If Symptoms Occur?
The appearance of symptoms after eating food may be a sign of a food allergy. The food(s) that caused these symptoms should be avoided, and the affected person, should contact a doctor or health care provider for appropriate testing and evaluation.
====> Persons found to have a food allergy should learn to read labels and avoid the offending foods. They should also learn, in case of accidental ingestion, to recognize the early symptoms of an allergic reaction, and be properly educated on — and armed with — appropriate treatment measures.
====> Persons with a known food allergy who begin experiencing symptoms while, or after, eating a food should initiate treatment immediately, and go to a nearby emergency room if symptoms progress.

Allergic reactions can include:
Hives
Flushed skin or rash
Tingling or itchy sensation in the mouth
Face, tongue, or lip swelling
Vomiting and/or diarrhea
Abdominal cramps
Coughing or wheezing
Dizziness and/or lightheadedness
Swelling of the throat and vocal cords
Difficulty breathing
Loss of consciousness

About Other Allergens
Persons may still be allergic to — and have serious reactions to — foods other than the eight foods identified by the law. So, always be sure to read the food label's ingredient list carefully to avoid the food allergens in question.

So, the conclusion is...If you are one of the person that might be allergic to any kind of thing especially to those things that I mentioned before, please be CAREFUL!!!

Last but not least, see you in the next post!!!

Courses That I Take In PPOU,

4:10 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Assalamualaikum aka Peace Upon You,

On this issue, I would like to tell you about the courses that I take in PPOU programme,

Before I proceed any futher, I have to let you know the subject that I have to learn throughout the semester..The subjects are: Physics, Chemistry, Maths,Academic Study Skills, and last but not least..IEALTS!

I am under MOE( Ministry of Education) scholarship that have been offered to take Special Education[ all my friends here just called it as SE ]...hmmm, actually I was applying for Chemistry as the major course but maybe because of the interview that I have attend, the interviewer may find me capable enough to take this big responsibility as the Special Education teacher..huhu,

As my highly interest to be a teacher, I eventually accepted the offer and think positively towards it that someday I can contribute my part to my own people especially to the special one!

So, the classes started two weeks ago and I find that it was lucky to be here to study with all my friends(which I can get along with them nicely and closely), with all the smart, fantastic and talented lecturers, with the good facilities and also the surroundings of studying!

=====>Physics,
When I was in form 4 and 5, I just dont like physics...maybe it was because of the all kind of formulas that I did not understand how to derive it and all those thinking stuff like that...I prefer biology(reading type).
But here, as I entered Dr Yusri's class...I was like..Oh my God, why I was so late to realize that PHYSIC IS FUN! hahah, Now, whenever physics class are going to start I will sooo and sooo excited!

=====>Chemistry,
I always like chemistry so much...and I did not have lots of trouble in chemistry for now...with all the notes and complete explaination + examples given from Dr Saifuddin, I kindly can cope with this subject...for now...and I hope for ever!!!

=====>Maths,
Maths are very challenging...everyone knows it! So, its quite hard to explain about this subject though,
Hopefully, I will do my maths with flying colours..and that's a PROMISE!!!

=====>Academic Study Skills,
Madam Fatimah always make me impress on her speaking, her experiences, and how she manage her life so well...I was so inspired to be like her. She tought us about knowing yourself, health managemant, reading skills, writing skills, listening skills, time managemant, money managemant, reference skills, and speaking skills..almost everything about academic study skills right?

Talking about time management, I find that studying in the university is totally different from studying in the secondary school..I have to do everything on my own..no one will guide me or advice me when to study when to eat and etcetera...its like rather difficult to be in this sitution than thinking of it, but...sooner or later..I think I will manage it, Insya-Allah!
As the saying goes, "Fail to plan is planning to fail"..so, I'd better be careful and keep my eyes open and also be ready if there any obstacles that might happen in future..

=====> IEALTS
I have to take IEALTS as I will be flying either to Australia or New Zealand, its like MUET and TOEFL but I think its herder than anything else..hahah, but theres no IMPOSSIBLE..theres always POSSIBLE to success on IEALTS..so, keep telling to myself that I CAN DO IT!!!!Fighting!

Maybe that's all for now,
we will meet soon!
Bye,

Starting A New Life here..

4:22 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Hello there..
Actually I dont know what to write but I think I just want to tell about my ambition which brought me here..in Uniten to be in such an extraordinary person..INsyaALLAH!!!
Since I was a kid, I always want to be a teacher..my mom did not know,because she always have a dream that her kids will be a doctor, engineer, pharmacist, pilot, and so on...So, I was like dont want my mom to be dissappointed just because I want to be like her, to be a TEACHER!
In my school, I used to be an attentive and very determined to success..but, unfortunately, for my UPSR I've not get the full A's..while my other classmates got 5A's...and when that happened it tought me a loTTTT!!!
As the saying goes, When theres a will, theres always a way...so, I've turned to be extra hardworking and not giving it up, pray to Allah SWT, the perseverance paid in the end...I've got 8A's in PMR..having offered to Sekolah Tun Fatimah,Jb and finally got straight A's in SPM!
And now, I have big problem to settle it up...my AMBITION!!! I really admired my teachers soo much, their patience and strength have inspired me all out..to let it worse, my mom always want me to be a DOCTOR,
But, I have to speak out..I told myself that this is my life and I have the right to stand for my decision! I finally have the courage to let my mom understand my situation and what I needed the most in my life..to share my knowledge to others and to contribute my best effort on helping our people..
Luckily, my mom supported me eventhough I know, deepest inside her heart she wants me to become a doctor..I have to admit that my mom is the BEST!!!
She's become so understanding,caring,loving, and supportive mother...I LOVE U MOM!!!
And with the prayer and blessed, I am so grateful to get this scholars from MOE, beeing in Uniten...in PPOU's , beeing such a strong-bond-family that I have never thought it will be before...
I swear to myself that I will fulfill my target(4.0 CGPA) and hopefully I can do my IEALTS with flying colours!!!
And later on, flying to Aussie or New Zealand and after graduate...I want to be the greatest TEACHER ever!!!
AMin~
Last but not least, hope we can meet again with the next coming blog.
See ya!!!

My Life As PPOU Student,

4:43 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Assalamualaikum,
It is my plessure to have my own blog..which I never thought before..so, for my first blog, I wish to tell my experience studying in Uniten for Preparatory Programme for Overseas Universities..to cut it short, PPOU! Its been so hectic for the first week in this campus..its because of the orientation week which was fun actually..hmm, from the orientation itself I was getting to know all my friends which is in the same programme like me, and seriously, it was enjoyable moment getting to know all of them..
Honestly, I was a little bit surprised because student with the same sex like me was MINORITY! It seems like weird surrounding that I have because since I was kindergarten until I finished my secondary schools..I WAS beeing in the GIRL SChOOL! So, its hard for me to adapt in this new surroundings especially in Uniten which was the MAJORITY is men!
But, so far...I think I can manage it..and for the second week, the class is not soooo packed(althought I have to finish my class at 6pm most everyday) maybe later..the third week and so on, the class will get to be packed soon..
I think that's all for now,
I love to write in this blog soon..
See ya!