Friday, January 28, 2011

An Engineer Academician's Story

‘Life is Beautiful’, that is one of my favorite quotes which always remind me who I am and how beautiful life is if we just stop for one moment and recall what we have done in our life. Friends, students always asked me, “Sir, why you don’t want to work as engineer ler?“ or “Why you want to become lecturer ler?” (the usual Manglish). How should I answer these questions? For a start, being full time engineer academician requires a lot of patience, a lot of energy, a lot of passion not only in teaching but also in research and most important of all we must be ‘FAKE’.

A full time engineer academician must firstly be friendly, funny, fashionable (this is rather questionable at times), fun and full of energy. This is important as when we are lecturing, the student should not be too bored about the subject. Lecturer need to know when to crack jokes, when to be serious and most of all have a friendly gesture and smile. Additionally, lecturer also should look presentable in the class and always prepare beforehand. Secondly, engineer academician must be approachable, attentive and appreciative. We must have an approachable attitude so that students will not shy to ask and questions us. Additionally, we must be attentive especially when dealing with difficult students as we need to listen without being judgmental and we need to appreciate the constructive criticism that students and others tell us. Thirdly, as an engineer academician, we must be knowledgeable in the subject that we teach as well as being kind to others.

We must always improved our knowledge and keep up with the latest technology as students now a days are more advance than lecturers and they may know more than us if we don’t improve. Lastly, engineer academician must be someone that is enthusiastic, expert, emotionally stable, entertainer and most important must not forget to exercise.

As an engineer academician, we are like an artist or entertainer on stage as when we perform everyone will not look at us either with their bored faces or at awe. Just like an artist, being academician requires a lot of practice and it is up to us how we ‘entertain’ and maintain the momentum of the listener or ‘fans’. On the other hand, some people may argue teaching is an art or may say that anyone can be a lecturer or teacher. I beg to differ, yes its true anyone can teach but the question is how effective are our teaching? What are our goals or objectives when we teach? Are we in it for the money? Or are we in it because we love the job, the amount of pressure, the passion? At the end of the day, the satisfaction that we’ll get is to see all our students’ graduates with flying colors and secure a good job and that will be the proudest moment for any lecturer since we know we have done a good job and life goes on. To conclude, how many of us as student before thank our lecturer? A simple thank you will give joy to all of us lecturer.

So when student asked me those same questions, I would say I love being ‘FAKE’. Friendly, Approachable, Kind and Enthusiastic.

Engr. Ron Aldrino Chan @ Ron Buking
Civil Engineering
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)

1 comment:

shuhairy said...

It's doesn't matter how many "A" they get. It's matter how many heart you touch. ;)

Bravo Ron