Posts Tagged ‘Reflection’



In Announcements,Blog on July 2, 2012 by Jim Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

The last fortnight was the most nerve-wracking episode of my PhD journey. My main supervisor “ditched” me as I can’t contact him through any means and I’m not sure why. It was out of his character to just do that without saying any reason. But the last definite plan we agreed on was to submit it last week.

The good news was that I was able to find a way to ask the School Dean to delegate the co-supervisors to sign off my thesis for submission. Another good news was that I found through a former colleague that my main supervisor is still alive but I still wasn’t sure why he has not contacted me. Finally, ready or not, I submitted my thesis last Friday. I suppose I can never please everyone even myself. I’m just glad I submitted. Now on to the long episode of waiting for the examiners’ report.




Writing Pains

In Blog,Reflections,Updates on January 6, 2011 by Jim Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

As a development communicator, one of the most basic rules of writing that my mentors taught me was to think about your reader (this also applies to presenting anything whether orally or visually). In doing so, you’ll save time in explaining things or writing something that might sound alien to your readers.

As I’ve started writing my dissertation, I’ve always been guided by this principle, however, I’ve started to doubt myself completely as I’ve submitted drafts after drafts and my supervisors read it as vague. I was clear with what I wanted to do, I was clear with what I did and I was clear with what I wanted to say. However, it just came out off.

There were some concepts that I have mentioned and have explained briefly but I was asked to expound on them. Agreed. The next draft, it’s another story, any mention of the concepts had to be dropped and/or was asked to just explain briefly. I’ve documented the flow of discussions on the drafts but I just don’t feel that it is worth following some inconsistent recommendations. I felt it was my fault so I had to fix it. It literally feels like a roller-coaster ride.

I have stopped writing this month to reignite my passion also my body warranted to me to rest after I hurt my back seriously. I thought the rest will give me a fresh motivation and inspiration. I think I’m wrong, it just aggravated my anxiety.

On a positive note, I think I have learned to look at the big picture and be as detailed as possible. Oh and yes, read your draft before clicking that send button—you might be submitting an older draft instead of the new one. 🙂



Maturity is:

  • the ability to stick with a job until it’s finished;
  • the ability to do a job without being supervised;
  • the ability to carry money without spending it; and,
  • the ability to bear an injustice without wanting to get even.

Abigail Van Buren

Posted August 18, 2010 by Jim


A place to call home

In Blog,Ideas on October 25, 2009 by Jim Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

What do international students usually consider after deciding on the course and establishing the reputation of the university that they would go to? I reckon that they will consider whether the university community is safe and pleasant.

Even if I was an outsider, I would have ranked Murdoch University as one of one of the best university communities here in Australia. There are a number of things that make Murdoch a very special place to live and study. And here is my list:

  • Quenda sanctuary: A university doubling as a wildlife sanctuary is an excellent marketing characteristic as it shows the commitment of the institution to environmental issues. I’m glad that Murdoch University is one of such Uni. It aims to be a refuge for these small urban dwellers. A signage somewhere in the Uni describes Quendas as “small bandicoots with small muscular bodies and strong legs for digging.” My first encounter with these little furry creatures was just outside our trailer office. I thought it was a big rat but its nose was too pointy to be one. It is supposed to be a nocturnal animal but I guess the human invasion modified the lifestyle of some of them. I found this one coming out from under the Asian Food whether it is foraging left-over food or calls the Asian Food base as his home, I’m not sure.
  • Quenda

  • Asian Food: International and local students and staff troop this food shop every high noon. The queues could stretch as long as 8 meters during peak hours during the sem. I’m a rice eater so this is an obvious choice and yes, it is conveniently located just outside our trailer office. I also heard that it has a Facebook fan page (and there’s one who set-up a hate page)?!  🙂
  • Bush Court: Where all the action happens—from protest actions, exhibit, markets among others. Although this is way too small from the university field back in my university back home, it is a pleasant place to unwind.
  • Chinese Garden: Small garden near the Education and Humanities buildings. There are ducks that sometimes hang around there. This is the first place that I fell in love with here at the Uni
  • Vet School: Murdoch University is the only school that offers veterinary science in Western Australia. As of this writing, it is the uni’s most popular course offered. The school also boast of being the “first course in Australia to be awarded accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association AVMA.” This is especially good for graduates who also want to take their practice in North America.
  • Anatomy Museum: If you’re into bones (whether it is the TV series or the literal one), then this place is for you. You’ll find different displays of bones of different animal species. So, whether you will be reviewing for your anatomy class or just a curious George, head on to the anatomy museum at the School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.
  • Emu bone

  • Farm: if there’s a vet school, yes there is a farm around the corner. The farm is located around 100 metres walk South of Murdoch College. It caters to There is a farm at the uni and it primarily caters to dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, goat, pigs, alpaca and horses. More information on the services that they offer here.
  • Leading Vet Hospital: It follows that if the Uni is one of the leading vet school in the country, it also has a good hospital to complement it. The School boasts of the state-of-the-art facilities in the hospital including internationally renowned vet faculty staff.
  • Graduate Centre: Despite the plans to abolish this centre, I guess this is one of the most important ‘hubs’ for international graduate students. The centre is obviously undermanned but it has delivered despite some stressful phase to some graduate students, including me. I’m a bit ambivalent on the plan to abolish this centre but one uni official assured graduate students that the new one will be better and there will be “a specific team for supporting HDR students.” Whether they will deliver, let’s wait and see.
  • Training Learning Centre: Everybody needs some TLC. Yes, any new student should acquaint him/herself of the services rendered by the TLC—whether it is academic or just trying to get some study management skills. This is the place to go. Whether you like to hone up on your lecture on statistics, English grammar, managing time among others, the Training Learning Centre is the place to go. Joining their program is as easy as just signing the paper on their bulletin board. The ever accommodating staff and lecturers are a big bonus.

And my list could go on and on but that’s all for now folks.


This is an entry for the Murdoch University Blogging Competition. If you like this post, please vote for me here.


There is nothing beyond the reach of determination

In Blog,Reflections on October 6, 2009 by Jim Tagged: , , , ,

This has always been one of my life mottoes. I reckon that this will be the first thing that I would give to anybody considering Uni.

There is nothing beyond the reach of determination

I came from a developing country where education is becoming a privilege rather than a right. To be given this chance to pursue further studies abroad is beyond privilege, it is a blessing.

I do not belong to the well-off strata of Philippine society but I guess my determination to get to where I want to go is part of the reason that I’m here. My properties consist of small items and nothing major—no real estate, not even a decent car back home. International students pay double the tuition fee compared to what their local counterparts pay here in Australia but thanks to the Partnership Scholarship of the Uni, my tuition fee is waived and I get to receive a very basic living allowance.

Studying is both a fulfilling and stressful phase in one’s life but I suppose most of us will agree that it is important in any person’s life—whether you do it formally or informally.

I remember missing the shortlist of a scholarship offered a few years ago but I was determined landing a spot and still hoped. Call it a miracle but one of the shortlisted candidates withdrew and the rest was history.

So, in weighing your options for college, assess whether you’re up to the challenge and will you be determined to overcome those challenges? If you see any current adversity, I suggest you see beyond that, while weighing seriously any implications of it on you, and pursue your goal. For those contemplating a PhD, you might want to read an earlier post I wrote.


This is an entry for the Murdoch University Blogging Competition. If you like this post, please vote for me here.


Back from hibernation

In Blog on September 16, 2009 by Jim Tagged: , , ,

I meant to post all of my insights and reflections in this blog but the pressures of trying to deliver THE draft to my supervisors was too big that I wasn’t able to keep up with the ‘rigors’ of blogging.

Blogging is a stress-reliever for me and I think these past few days, stress took its toll as I developed mouth ulcers and regular episodes of migraines. There are a number of drafts I have yet to finish for this blog and I will be completing them in the coming days.

A big reason also for deciding to breaking the blog hibernation is a contest! A compelling way to revive this dying blog of mine. 🙂

Murdoch University is running a blog competition among students. There are nice prizes however I was bent on reviving this blog with the hope that it is helpful to a handful of postgraduate hopefuls in their quest to get some guidance before jumping into the boat for a higher degree. Winning the contest will just be a good consolation, reviving this blog is the main goal. 🙂

But if you like what you’ve read or will be reading in the coming days, please don’t forget to vote for this blog.