The Dell 640m was my primary computer when I was a poor postgrad. It has a pretty good keyboard, and the laptop only died 3 times on me (considering that I had been using it since 2006). Amazing how computers have evolved so much over the years. The thing is... I don't think I'll ever buy another Dell product ever again. lol.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Posted by David Yoong at 12:37 AM
Friday, May 17, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
Posted by David Yoong at 3:32 PM
... for the past few weeks, there has been this big stray neighbourhood street cat which has been treating my house like its paradise toilet bowl. Despite having said that cats, regardless of their kurap street status, are all very cute, I am particularly annoyed with this one. It's like the ninja type that silently shits and leaves. Every bloody morning, its vomit and feces greet me like a slap to the face.
So I went to the mall last evening, got myself 3 oranges, 2 lemons, mint, black pepper and apple cider vinegar, got back, and brewed a ninja cat repellant. Recipe as follows:
1. Boil water
2. Dump orange peels and everything else into cauldron
3. Stir and laugh manically
4. Let simmer for 30 minutes
In all seriousness, the concoction was good shit. Its scent resembles curry asam laksa. Its taste? It was like bland crap.
Anyway, I sprayed my secret ammunition where the cat frequents and went to sleep.
This morning while I was having breakfast, I saw that cat moving about in the garden, like it was uncomfortable being there... but it took a dump at one corner that I sprayed at anyway. So I don't know. I would say that my plan had a success rate of 40%.
Posted by David Yoong at 9:15 AM
Friday, May 10, 2013
... especially if I were to place my name first in projects that are exclusively off-shoots of my students' dissertations and theses. It's sad that I see this happening as a common phenomenon.
My role as supervisor is to provide specialised and expert advice to students, NOT to milk them for my own KPI and glorification. Yes, we may provide suggestions from the inception of the research and guide (mold) our supervisees till they complete their research, but it is not fair for us to place our names first especially when we present or publish off-shoot research papers, solely because our supervisees were the ones who engaged in much (60-80%?) of the data collection, analysis and writing (read: they too have to do a lot of thinking).
I know this sort of academic practice can be VERY discouraging to supervisees, and it can be very damaging to their self-esteem. Such behaviour can, in the long run, also create distrust and disdain.
If we are to create a healthy and positive research environment/workplace, where people are excited and passionate about learning and unveiling hidden knowledge, where people are very open about sharing their creative output, we need to start building trust with the people we work with - although they may be our subservient students or employees. Here are some social capital strategies we can adopt to make it fair for our students:
1. We need to give credit where credit is due as honestly as possible. The supervisor needs to seek the permission of his/her supervisees if his/her name can be included in the research paper, AND AS secondary author (unless of course, the supervisor really did all the dirty work).
2. We need to keep encouraging and pushing our supervisees to engage in seminar presentations and to present their work, so that they are able to network with other scholars, and become independent researchers themselves. Their names ought to be first.
3. We need to shed that mentality that our supervisees are OUR OWN property (pertaining to research). They are not. Autonomy and choice ought to be given to them without having them to fear repercussions. So, they should be allowed to work with other scholars and share their work with them. After all, this would enrich their output even more.
4. If our supervisees want to engage with us in completely different projects, we should not say that, "I am not paid to do this" or "this is not my responsibility as your supervisor". This sort of attitude is unhealthy.
5. When students ask us for our opinion of their research papers, we should be professional about it and not take the opportunity to 'plant ourselves in' by saying, "Hey, can you place my name as second author?" or "I won't help unless my name is included" - UNLESS of course, the research paper requires substantial amendments and refocusing. If their papers require minor amendments, or they are already good, we should just provide our expert opinion and critique, and wish them the best.
Posted by David Yoong at 12:33 PM