Wednesday, 27 July 2005

Busy facelifting and reading birds

It's been a while since this blog is updated. I'm not sure if anybody notices or not, but the template underwent a facelift of sorts.

Despite the opinion that I get from many people saying the colour white is boring and bland, I still can't find a colour that matches white's flexibility. It complements either light and dark colours and it improves readability on computer screen displays. A versatile and underappreciated colour white is, IMHO.

It took me many, many, many hours to tweak the template in order to get it to look like now but alhamdulillah it turned out better than I expected. I was about to give up half way when I couldn't the suitable colours to go with one another. It's times like these when I really wish I have a web colour chart with me so I can see and pick the suitable colours more quickly. I believe webmasters buy colour chart/poster/book/guide that lists all the possible colours usable on the web with their value to help them with their work. Colours are often represented in RGB (red, green, blue) or HSV (hue, saturations, value) values.

There are still design bugs here and there, maklumlah, a work in progress.

As a result, no posts were written for some time. That plus assignments and group works from my classes. My group is up for an accounting presentation this Thursday night and I'm the slides-preparer of the group, which is good because it frees me from having to present. I still have to go in front and help control the slides' transition, but still, better than having to present. My classmates are one tough crowd to please.

See bird, write bird

Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'
-Anne Lamott
So goes the story behind this book's title. I found it at Pay Less Books in Ampang Point.

This the second book about writing that I bought and actually read. Books like these really open up a whole new world for you as they invite you to view writing in entirely different ways.

Got too much on your mind? Write them all out, they say. The children acting up? Mothers, the pen and paper are never too far from reach. Horrible childhood? According to writer Flannery O'Connor, anyone who survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life.

In short, they claim writing to be therapeutic, calming to the mind and spirit. It liberates oneself from hidden fears and unlocks the hope that is trapped somewhere in the psyche. And I'm beginning to see it too.

Usually the inability to come up with something to write stems from the fear of having to search into the mind and having to conjure up something unpleasant about one's self or others. The mind needs to sort the details out and rationalises the whole thing thoroughly, be it a school trip to Melaka (I think every school in Peninsula Malaysia do this) or a family tragedy or a thing that only you yourself know. It's a daunting and mentally exhausting exercise, and people rarely went through the process till finish.

But the payoff is both stimulating and satisfying. You'll be able to form a clear and concise train of thought and your communication skills will improve significantly. You'll see yourself, others and the whole world in a different light as your mind will continuously amaze yourself in its undying wonder and unrelentless pursuit for greater understanding of things.

Getting published, receiving rave reviews or clinching the best-seller list are just bonuses that may result from writing. But they should never be the true reasons for a writer to write. Otherwise the writer will miss out on the delicate but delectable fruits that bear from the patience, discipline and humility of being 'just another writer'.

Start small, the writing teachers often say. Scrap paper, the back of an envelope or business card or unused diary of years past can be used to get your writing engine started. And few lines every now and then is enough to get you going as a writer.

So go and write something, and get creative. Come up with a shopping list for your next shopping trip and write short anecdotes for each items if you can think of any. Mine would go: "Milk. A wonderful natural bounty. And it makes me wonder how lactose-intolerant baby cows cope with their intolerability..."

Not just that though, but don't just go unleashing your creativity everywhere. Your boss may not be too impressed by your jabs about the office's working condition that you so funnily (and accidentally) describe in the report you have prepared for him.

Be smart, be creative, be kind to your learning self, be patient, be crazy, be inquisitive. Anne's brother went writing bird by bird. Others may go from a short story to another. Or a diary entry to the next. I often go from scrap paper to empty space on a newspaper to whatever paper I may find at the moment when ideas struck inside my empty head. No matter what you wish to write on and what pace you may decide to take, just keep going and picturing that one day you will reap the bounties of writing that only you may be able to taste and enjoy. If anybody else wishes to savour them too, then tell them to "get a pencil and paper, and..."

" ... write whatever you feel like writing."


IeNa said...

Assalamualaikum wbt Rollie,

This is my opinion yer, i'm not sure about your class, but from what i have seen in my part time and also full time class ( i had joined full time class for my Marketing subject in last 2 semesters), i heavily doubt that you are not required to present in any presentation slot.

Eventhough you are the one who will be preparing the slides, you must present the content of the assignment at least the most minor one, since marks will be given based on co-operation and individually presentation (eventhough it is a grouping presentation).

Please re-check with your lecturer about this, I really2 doubt that you are not required to present for your grouping assignment.

For me, if i were your audience or lecturer, i will have quite a bad impression of you for not presenting as it will seems unfair to the others of your groupmembers, seriously :)

This is merely my opinion, not sure what about are2's experience abt this.


rol said...

Alaikum salam.

Actually, there are 7 people in my group and about 21 slides altogether. Doesn't make much sense to get eveyone to present isn't it? Anyway that's how the previous group did, 1 presenter and 1 'slide-mover'. However QnA involves the rest as well.

But in Mgt Policies, my other class, everyone has to present.

There will be another presentation (I think) for Accounting so we'll have to see how things go along in the future.

Anyway, thanks for he concern.

IeNa said...

7 people in your group? whoaa,quite a big number of member in a group actually :)

If that is the case, then perhaps it is ok ler kot.

Bit taufiq wan najah for the presentation :)

rollie a.k.a. shahrul said...

thank you again. kalo pi depan kena grill la jwbnya.

IeNa said...

Grill? Hehe, i've been thru that 'grilling' process for about 1 year hehe ;)

Dun worry, all will be fine insya Allah :)

rol said...

just came back fr presentation. dah kata dah, kena grill nyer.

IeNa said...

Ekeke, Accounting presentation pun kena grill ker? Apa sebab kena grill?

Hehe, tergelak kat sini kejap :D

rol said...

org kalo dia grill org lain, dia akan cari gak sbb nak grill. tapi btl gak, accounting xleh nak grill sgt. but it's ok, learning xperience.

pas ni mgt plak, psl motorola. tapi lmbt lagi.

IeNa said...

Mgmt?? Hehe..i think for this one you have to prepare very2 well with strong justifications nak avoid derang grill teruk2, tapi biasanya mmg akan kena grill jugak hehe.

Mgmt subject lagi senang kena grill actually, tersangat2 mudah sbb this subject is very subjective, no discrete right or wrong :)

rol said...

2 b honest, I respect all my coursemates (including the grillers), bcoz i learn a lot fr them n i consider myself very lucky to be among them. i don't mind being grill, bcoz today u grill me, tomorrow or next week or next semester, i grill u back, hehehe.

are2 said...

that's the spirit!!! he..he..he.. nak menyapuk skit...... V(^.^)V

IeNa said...

Hehe, comel statement ni:

i don't mind being grill, bcoz today u grill me, tomorrow or next week or next semester, i grill u back, hehehe.

Yerlah, sama2lah kita grill sesama kita yer hehe.

But the experiences of being grilled, tell ya, will teach you a lot on how different people have different perspectives about life and perceive things.

The price of learning this, is priceless :)

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