Campus Alive

June 26, 2007

INTEC’s Anatomy Part 4: Courses

Filed under: INTEC — campusalive @ 4:40 pm
INTEC is not complete without its students. This post will inform you about the 4 biggest program in INTEC; American Credit Transfer Program/American Degree Foundation Program(ACTP/ADFP), A-Level Medicine (ALM), Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT), and A-Level German (ALG). This post is made possible through the contributions of several authors. Do read if you need to know anything about those 4 programs.

Dissecting A-Level Medicine (ALM)

Although I am one of the most passive and low-profile scholars in ALM *feigns humility*, I shall do my best to lift this heavy responsibility which my dear friend Pat has so unceremoniously dumped on me. It is hoped that through this little piece on ALM, future scholars will be more prepared to face ..er.. the sleepless nights and stress that all ALM scholars have to face. I’m exaggerating. Personally, I think the toughest course is ALG. But that piece on ALG will come later, and from a different source. Fyi, INTEC is doing the Edexcel Board, and as most ALM people are future doctors, dentists and pharmacists *ahem*, I shall be more systematic, and start from the beginning.

The duration of this course spans an astounding 24 months ( 2 years), compared to the 1.5 years in most private colleges. And trust me, before your time here is up, your relatives/ friends will begin to have the impression that you are forever in A-Levels. Plus, the external exam will only be sat for at the END of the 2 years, around May-June. Meaning that it is not broken up into AS and A2, as done by the aforesaid private colleges. But hey, I think it makes the course much lighter, and as long as you do constant revision, you should be fine. Not to mention that you get to serve in CA longer, and have superbly long holidays between each semester. (read : nearly 2 months of bliss).

There are of course a range of subjects to choose from; however, since our future has been literally mapped out for us by JPA/ whatever sponsor you’re under, most scholars are required to take Biology, Core Math, Statistics,n Chemistry. If you want, you are most welcome to take Physics as well, but will have to see the core person to discuss this matter. I would say that the lecturers are pretty decent people, most of them are willing to teach if you are willing to learn. As far as I know, juniors will have mass lectures for 3-4 hours a week for Chem and Bio, and an hour of tutorial for each. Lab is 2 hours per week, and the rest you will find out when you get your respective timetables. Class hours are not that taxing or long, if you were to compare them with the likes of ALG *bows in respect*.

The most important resources for Bio would probably be Nelsons’ textbooks which you can easily obtain from seniors or from the photostat shop nearby. Try to get Longman biology and maybe Campbell? Nelsons isn’t really enough especially when you enter 2nd sem etc.. For Chem, I would recommend Longman as well. Reference books like chemistry in context and Ramsden are superb for further reading, but not all students find them easy to understand/ useful. So don’t rush it, take your time n look through the books before buying/ reproducing illegally. Most lecturers will give handouts or notes, and the library is quite sufficient as well (at least I think so).

Oh, and how could I forget our ethics class?! Yea, every program has to take ethics each semester, and there is coursework and a final exam each semester. Thankfully, the ethics lecturers are all nice (and I mean really nice) people, who are not stingy when it comes to giving marks. During the first semester, you are also required to attend computer class; which isn’t too bad, unless of course you end up with a not-so-nice lecturer (like I did). But hey, though it does appear in your final exam slip, it is not counted in the 15 points, so chill.

ALM also has an organizing committee called ALMEC, which plans and carries out most of the activities in ALM. For those who right now are getting the impression that ALM is all work and no play, well, let’s just put it this way : we have already been accused of killing imagination and being void of all spontaneity by certain ADFP *cough* scholars. Then again, define an exciting and interesting life. =P

Till next time…

Eunice


Disintegrating A-level German (ALG)

due to some lack of information from myself, i edited and add something to this post… initially i was the one who asked others to write about their own programme respectively and they all turned out to be at least 2 pages long… leaving my own post looking so inadequate…

Achtung! Attention
Guten Tag! Good day
Danke für die
Aufmerksamkeit! Thanks for the attention.

Course : A-Level German
Subjects : Chemistry, Physics, Pure Maths, Mechanics(Edexcel), English AS(Cambridge), Ethics & Morals, last but not least German Language

Passing marks to fly : 9 out of 15 (A-5, B-4, C-3, D-2, E-1) only 3 core subjects counted, Physics, Maths and Chemistry, at least a pass in AS English(meaning at least E, but don’t aim for E, aim higher), FULL attendance of GMI, good discipline etc

A-level course of this programme are more or less the same as ALM. (so please refer to the post earlier on) The only subject difference is ALM-ers are taking bio while we are taking physics. Regarding the textbooks, I strongly recommend the lecturer’s note. They are more than sufficient for your test and exams. But if you want extra references, any published book will do, or you can get in touch with me personally and I don’t mind recommending a few favourite books of mine. But this is just from a personal perspective, like I say, any reference book will do. But do get hold of some past year paper from your seniors. Usually internal examinations tend to base on past year papers. In fact, almost identical.

And we have extra 10 hours of german classes a week. So we have a more hectic schedule compare to other programmes, about 34 hours per week. But don’t worry, we have good-looking german lecturers all the way from Germany. They should be the motivation you are staying in class for extra 2 hours everyday. Just hope that you didn’t get the very ‘experienced’ one.

ALG-ers also have to go for 12 weeks of vorpraktikum – a sort of practical training before you can go into any german university. It is usually conducted by GMI(German Malaysian Institute) in Cheras, but i heard they are moving to Bangi next year. On the first first day of your practical training, you will get a pair of really cool looking safety shoes (which most of my coursemates use to kick around steel bar to make a very good, clear, ear-splitting sound because of the material used to make the shoes to make it resilient to any heavy impact on your feet) During those time, you get to learn all sorts of interesting things eg programming, technical drawing, CAD, metrology and lots more during the first part of Phase 1.

Phase 1 will be divided into 2 part. Part one consists of 3 weeks. It is usually during the mid-year break, that is after the second semester. Part two on the other hand is during the year end break, that is after the third semester.

Phase 2 is when you really know what courses you wanted to take in Germany, you can choose the practical subjects which you think you might need when you are in Germany. That I will elaborate more when i joined it next year. It will be held after A-levels Exam in June and also after the DSH examination. For DSH, students have to go through another 3 months of intensive german language course, only then you will find time attending another 6 weeks of pratical in GMI. Warning : You MUST attend all classes in GMI as the basic requirement to enter into ANY Germany’s university of applied sciences. One day of ponteng is a big NO NO because it might affect the chance of you flying to Germany. Meaning if u get all A’s for your A-levels but didn’t manage to fulfill the hours of GMI, you are guaranteed a piece of dead meat because you can’t get into Germany’s uni. Some of your seniors didn’t manage to fly because of this problem and you wouldn’t want this to happen to you right?

The student body of ALG is called “Der Klub” (which in english literally means “The Club”) which consists of committee members chosen from students from ALG. For your information, there will be an different activities held by Der Klub annually and one of the major event is the annual German Week. During the German Week, there’s exciting activities held in INTEC, including exhibition, games, german film week, german speech contest, a hype-up concert during the closing ceremony of German Week. ALG-ers are quite good in live performing in case you don’t know, we tend to produce the best band in INTEC.

Das ist alles!!! Vielen Dank!!

Prepared by

Pat!


AUSMAT PROGRAM at INTEC


Note: The following description of the AUSMAT program is mainly focused for INTEC UiTM. This program may differ slightly in other colleges in terms of its plan of study and combination of subjects.

Let’s see, after much bugging from Pat-rified to write up ‘something’ about the AUSMAT program offered in INTEC and since I have ‘nothing’ to do, I decided then to sit down and at least write up something.

Firstly, AUSMAT stands for AUSTRALIAN MATRICULATION.In other colleges, mostly private, AUSMAT is better known as SAM which stands for SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MATRICULATION.Similar to other pre-U courses such as Cambridge ‘A’ Levels or even form 6, the subjects offered in INTEC’s AUSMAT are basically the same, that is what we normally call the ‘sciences’ and the ‘arts’. Sciences are of course, Physics, Chemistry and Biology while the arts will have Economics and Accounting. Aside from these, compulsory subjects will be Mathematics and the ESLS (English as Second Language Studies), while additional subjects are Specialist Mathematics and Malay Studies (its true…). Together with students of other programs, the AUSMAT students are also required to take compulsory Ethics and computer literacy subjects, that is C++ programming for now (subject to change).Now you have an idea of the subjects offered, let’s look at the plan of study for AUSMAT at INTEC.Basically there are two types of plan of study:1) Year 11 (6 months) + Year 12 (9 months) = approx. 15 months. If you are a JPA or a MARA scholar offered to study in Australia or New Zealand, you will most likely follow this study plan if you are placed at INTEC for your pre-U.In the year after your SPM year, you will begin your AUSMAT program in June-July until November starting with what we call ‘the bridging course’ named Year 11 for 6 months.

The main purpose of this course as suggested by its name ‘the bridging course’, is to improve language proficiency. You will have long hours of ESLS during this 6 months focusing more on general grammar, reading and writing. At the same time, you will also accomplish some of the tasks required in the ESLS subject. Simultaneously, you will also have IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – a requirement by most universities – classes. Aside from English, Year 11 also introduces you to the subjects you will be taking in accordance to your course next year in Year 12. Take engineering for example, your subject combination in Year 12 will be Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Specialist Mathematics, while a medical related course will have Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. ESLS is compulsory for all students. At the end of Year 11, you will sit for the Year 11 final examination.The following 9 months of AUSMAT is called Year 12, and during this period, you will face extensive study on the subjects related to your course. From time to time, you will face quizzes, tests, and exams (mid-term, finals and trials). Simultaneously, you are also required to accomplish many assignments for each subject.Take ESLS for example, you will be asked to search for a research topic and conduct a study as though you are asked to do a mini thesis paper with scholarly ‘protocols’, formats and citations. In the AUSMAT program, it is highly advisable that you consult your lecturer AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE because they are honestly truly sacrificial and willing to help you in anyway they can! At the end, you will face an external major exam called the SSABSA examination for the subjects of your course.(2) Accelerated Year 12 (9 months)This plan of study is adopted by many private colleges.If you are a Petronas scholar you will probably start AUSMAT right after your SPM year. The difference of this plan of study with the previous one is that there is no Year 11 and you will begin the study of your subject combinations right away (Year 12).

Some important facts about AUSMAT: Unlike ‘A’ Levels and Form 6, both internal and external assessments in AUSMAT/SAM are accumulative and counted in the final calculation of your TER (Tertiary Entrance Ranking – over 100).Therefore, it is crucial that you perform consistently throughout as your performance even in attendance, participation in class, quizzes, tests and assignments are recorded and counted in your final TER.TER is something like a ranking of your performance in the AUSMAT/SAM program for all AUSMAT/SAM students WORLDWIDE for a particular year.Although the calculation of the TER is oblivious to many, even to lecturers, its meaning stays clear. Let’s say I took the SSABSA exam in 2007 and my TER value is 95, this signifies that I am among the top 5% worldwide who did best in the AUSMAT/SAM program for year 2007. Many Australian and New Zealand universities require that your TER be higher than a cut-off-point value, usually 80+. The context in the syllabus is MUCH less compared to ‘A’ Levels and Form 6.Personally for me, the amount of knowledge such as concepts, theories, and most of all fundamental understanding on the subjects one will gain is SO much LESS. Disappointing as it may seem, this program however is packed with tones of assignments which take up loads of time and energy, sometimes to the point that we have little time to study for our exams. Therefore, you must be smart in managing your time well, and always try your best to accomplish and hand in your assignments within the time limit allowed. A good thing about these assignments is that one will learn a lot of things outside of the syllabus. This program is quite contemporary; meaning that the use of the internet and certain technologies such as the Graphic Calculator is much more extensive compared to the more conventional ‘A’ Levels. In this program, you will be sharpened to be more independent in finding information through wide ranges of sources, from journals to books, from newspapers to reports, from the internet to even books of other programs. All sorts of sources are useable as long as it is valid and not out-dated.To conclude, this program offers little in terms of knowledge but more to skills in dealing with scholarly materials, time constraints and pressure. I quote most of my seniors by saying that you will find yourself comfortable in dealing with university studies if you do well in the AUSMAT program. The skills cultivated will help you enormously in your degree programs.

Prepared by Calvin Lim, fellow ‘AUSMATian’ 2007
All the best!


Enjoying American Credit Transfer/Degree Foundation Program (ACTP/ADFP)

Since the beginning of year 2006, INTEC offers a new course to cater the needs of JPA students who will be doing a 3-year program in INTEC and 2-year program in US. It is known as ACTP program. However, these two programs are very similar in nature except that ADFP students graduate in 1 year time, while ACTP students study more and graduate later.

American students are generally noisy and happening for no reason. It is the most happening group of people in INTEC with A LOT of activities going on. Under the ATUSA committee, American program students had had their American Indulgence Week, Science and Math Carnival, Sports Week, Blue Day, Red Day, Halloween, and a lot more. They are fun, active, and fun, unlike their boring A Level Medicine counterparts.

As for the course itself, ACTP and ADFP offer similar courses. Some of the courses combination may differ according to your major and grades.

Fall Semester – Language Awareness(ADFP only), Basic Science(ACTP only), Algebra and Trigonometry, Oral Communication, TOEFL (ADFP), SAT (ADFP), Writing, Theology and Philosophy, Reading and Studying Skills

Spring Semester – Advanced Composition, Chemistry, C++, Biology, Critical Thinking, SAT(ACTP), TOEFL(ACTP), Speech Communication, Pre-Calculus, Calculus I, American Cultural Studies, Ethics, Summer Semester – Calculus I, Calculus II, Philosophy, Islamic Studies, Chemistry & Lab, Introduction to Business

Fall Semester (second year) – Calculus II, Calculus III, Finance, Advanced C++, Physics, and other courses that I don’t quite know off.

Basically, you will have a lot of different classes offering different subject combinations for you. The SECOND or the THIRD day of the orientation, INTEC will host a placement test for all the American Program students. The marks that you get in your placement test will determine the class that you will be sitting in. Students with higher proficiency of English will be placed together while the rest will follow according to the marks they score.

If the first semester is categorized according to English proficiency level, second semester is totally based on your math. If you score a GPA of 3.33 and above for PMA 111 (Algebra and Trigo.), you will be placed in a calculus class. If your math score doesn’t pass the requirement, then you will have to take Pre-Calculus. Again, different majors will also be a critical determining factor. A business-related major student (such as economics and finance) will take Chemistry. Don’t ask me why. ^____^”” A computer and technology related student (acturial science, engineering, computer science, agricultural science) will take C++. Again, I have no idea why an agricultural student is taking C++ instead of chemistry. ‘__’ “”A BioTech student will surely be taking Biology.

Summer Semester is also based on your major and your math. It is the lightest semester too! (I only had class from 8-10am every morning.) If you fail (GPA 2.00 and below) in your Calculus I, you will have to repeat Calculus I. Some students who score a GPA of more than 3.00 still opt to repeat calculus because Calculus is by far the hardest math subject in American program, if not the whole of INTEC. There are other subject combinations too according to your majors.

Apart from all the internal examinations in INTEC, American students HAVE to take SAT I and TOEFL. SAT II is optional though, so it is all on self-study. SAT I and TOEFL are two tests that the admission office in US look into so everyone has to take it. The score of SAT I is upon 2400 (800 math, 800 writing, 800 critical thinking) while TOEFL is upon 120 (30 speaking 30 writing 30 listening 30 reading). For more information regarding these two tests, you can visit their respective websites: Collegeboard (for SAT) and ETS (for TOEFL)

I’ll say that those two tests are not exactly difficult compare to what the A-Level students and AUSMAT students have to go through. For TOEFL, many students perform badly in speaking component. So, if you intend to go to US, polish up your English now. For SAT, many do well in math, but suffer in Critical Thinking. Your lecturers will explain more on techniques to tackle those critical thinking question. Just one thing you must bear in mind if you want to score well in SAT and TOEFL, EXPAND YOUR VOCABULARY. A wide range of vocabulary is your best bet for a good score in both tests. =D

You might want to get a laptop too if you are doing this program because there are a lot of assignments that require laptop. Take note of this, American program doesn’t emphasize tests. So if you do really well in your assignments, you still stand a good chance to score a B or B+. Even Attendance, Attitude, and Participation(AAP) carry 10% of your overall grade. Oh yeah, A is 93% and B is 83%. Minimun requirement for sponsors is 3.00 (B). That means all your marks must be 83 and above to pass and to FLY!! *snares jealously at those A-Level students with 80% as A*

All the best in this program! You will surely enjoy all the time you have joking and debating with your lecturer. Sleeping, eating, drinking, listening to mp3 are all ALLOWED in American classes! There is even a 15-minute late allowance for any late-comers. The lecturers are extremely open-minded, meaning that you can even ask your ALG/AUSMAT/ALM friend to join your class and the lecturers will still be glad to teach. Don’t worry too much about your CGPA. If you do what you have to do, you will score 3.00 and above. *thumbs up*

Graduated from ADFP,
Leen

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June 23, 2007

INTEC’s Anatomy Part 3: Computer Lab

Filed under: INTEC — campusalive @ 12:53 pm
Another INTEC-related post!

Computer Labs

Location:
ADFP/ Music Block (behind the library)
1 on ground floor
3 on first floor

ALM
None

AUSMAT
1 beside AUSMAT Cafe (between the gym and the AUSMAT cafe)
3 or 4 on first floor on top of the science labs

This is by far the most disappointing facility that INTEC has to offer to students. The computers in the labs are strictly controlled by some administration people behind the thick wall. The internet connection in the computer labs is undeniably fast compare to the wireless in Akasia/Cemara. However, it only comes with one browser, that is Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer lacks speed and usability compare to Mozilla Firefox, but somehow INTEC administration only allows Internet Explorer. Because the students only have minimal control over the computers, they cannot install Mozilla Firefox (or any other applications) on the computers. That ultimately means that all the favorite programs such as iTunes, MSN Messenger, Skype, WinRAR, WinZip, and others will be UNAVAILABLE.

Not only that students are restricted to a few programs only, the administrator also imposes bans on several popular websites among students. Some of the crucial websites are blatantly blocked for no concrete reasons. Victims of imbecile administrator include:

http://en.wikipedia.org (ADFP lab – first floor)
http://www.hotmail.com (ADFP lab – first floor)
http://www.gmail.com (ADFP lab – ground floor)
http://www.friendster.com(almost all computer labs)

If you think that it is bad enough, think again. Almost all the computers in INTEC is infected by worms, viruses, spyware, and every other malicious software on the net. And because students have no authority over installing any applications, students can never install any powerful Anti-Virus applications (like Nod32, Avast! and Kaspersky) on the computers to remove the unwanted virus. The consequences of these infected computers are disastrous. Every thumb drive that is plugged into the USB port is prone to infection. More often than not, students’ thumb drives are infected by viruses they get from school. Those who are ignorant toward the danger of virus will then plug the same thumb drive into their own laptop in hostel (or friend’s laptop). After a while, all the laptops in Akasia/Cemara also get infected by some annoying worms. Those who equip their laptops well with neat Anti-virus program are safe, but a lot of these worms get undetected by AVG Anti-Virus and Norton Anti-Virus – two most popular anti-virus program on students’ laptop.

Some of the most common infection that students’ laptops and thumb drive contact through the thumb drives that are plugged into the computer labs in INTEC include:

Surat untuk Edelin(a worm which can be detected easily using Norton)
Reshmon (goes undetected by Norton and AVG)
Fucker (a trojan that will display an error message of “V:/vbs.fucker.script…………”)
Pokemon (will display “Hacked by Pokemon” when you operate your browser)
Malaysian Hackers (will display “Hacked by Malaysian Hackers” when you operate your browser)
Trojans (too many of them)

In order to combat these malicious worms and viruses, I strongly recommend that every student equips his or her laptop with powerful anti virus. Always scan for virus every time a thumb drive is plugged into the USB port. Another way to reduce the possibility of contacting the virus will be to install a portable anti virus program in the thumb drive. You can find a neat portable anti-virus program here. Else, do get a U3 thumb drive and install Avast! U3 Edition into the thumb drive. As I mention before, AVG and Norton are not the best anti virus program available to combat these viruses. I strongly recommend Avast! Home Edition, Kaspersky Internet Security, Nod32, and Bit Defender. AntiVir is not my preferred choice because I once detected over 80 viruses using Avast! which go undetected using AntiVir.

One last thing about the virus, once your thumb drive get infected, please delete all the virus, then reformat the thumb drive. For instance, if your thumb drive is infected by a certain virus, it will stop you from double-clicking on the thumb drive icon. Instead, it will prompt you to choose a program to open the file. When that happens, you can only right-click and “explore” to open the files inside the thumb drive. You will also see a “AUTOPLAY” option when you right-click on your thumb drive icon. The first symptom of a thumb drive getting infected by virus is the “AUTOPLAY” option when you right-click on the thumb drive icon. Thus, the only way to solve this problem is to reformat the whole thumb drive.

The last glitch that you might have in a computer lab in INTEC is the printing process. In certain computer labs, you will have to put in special password in order to print. Saying so, you will have to face the fierce and rude technician and beg for the password. Without the password, you won’t be able to print anything. Even though printing is free, you will have to provide your own A4 papers. Normally, if the printer gets jammed, I’ll just perform a little “operation” on the printer, pull out all the papers stuck inside the printer, and continue printing. Of course, I only do so when no one is looking. Yes, it can be pretty troublesome if the papers get jammed inside the printer and the technician is not around to fix the problem.

Leen’s take on the computer labs:
Up : Free printing, fast connection, lots of computers around
Down: Too many virus, limited applications, troublesome printing process, some sites are blocked, rude technicians, Internet Explorer

In short, INTEC does provide computers with fast connections to the students. It is just that they do not put little to zero to maintain the integrity of the computers available in INTEC. Proceed with caution every time you plug in your thumb drive and you should be fine. Otherwise, just enjoy the speed and be responsible. Don’t infect any computer with virus and don’t keep the computer to yourself too long once you are done because others might need to use the computer too. ^_____^

Combating virus,
Leen


June 22, 2007

Why Do I Pick Christianity Over Atheism?

Filed under: Testimony — campusalive @ 2:47 pm
Why do I pick Christianity over Atheism?

Disclaimer: This post does not mean to offend anyone. It is just an honest opinion from a Christian perspective.

One day, I decided to take a good look at my own level of intimacy with God and how I have been close/far to Him over the past few months. There are of course ways to improve our relationships, but what really got to me that one afternoon was the reason I chose Christianity at the first place. I (maybe God) asked myself, “Why do I want to be a Christian? Why don’t I break free from the norm of a religion and just be another free thinker or an atheist?” That question left me blank for a few days. I searched for answers all day and finally I came to these conclusions.

Unlike Atheism, Christianity gives me the sense of belonging.

Christianity tells me that I belong to God. It tells me that I am not a nobody. It also affirms my status as a child of God and if I receive the salvation, I am guaranteed a place in the heaven. Christianity mentions that I am the salt and the light of the world. It gives me a place to belong to and a dignity to live on. On the other hand, Atheism does not offer me the same assuring claims. If I were an atheist, I will make myself my own God. However, we all know that human cannot control all things in the world and thus, it makes no sense to make myself as my own God. That is because I am never powerful, strong, and wise enough to be a God. Atheism will only make me feel proud of myself but yet, I have no way to belong too. Atheism does not answer the question, “Where will my soul go to when I leave this world one day?” Neither does atheism answers my other question, “Who am I in this world?” If we are looking for peace and happiness in life, atheism will not be able to provide it because it tells us that we have control over our own life and doings. However, the fact is, we don’t. There are just things in this world that we have no control over. Atheism cannot explain those out-of-human-control situations, but Christianity often provides an answer to its believers. At the end of the day, it is not the so much of the security (like going to heaven after my death) that matters, but it is the pleasure of knowing that there is still someone up there looking down to you and say, “Good job, my good and faithful servant.” I just won’t get the same satisfaction in Atheism.

Christianity offers hope to the world, while Atheism teaches its followers to be authors.

Christian missionaries around the world preach the gospel to the most remote areas of this globe. They plant churches, schools, hospitals, and so on in the places that God send them to. By doing all these things, not only do people get saved spiritually, people also get saved physically. Hospitals help patients to recover, schools teach people how to be a better person in the society. Conversely, atheism does not promote good deeds. Atheism exists to defy the existence of any deity, and hence it does not believe in doing any good deed to earn karma as some other religions do (Buddhism and Hindu mainly). It also does not encourage the doing of good works for the benefit of the brothers and sisters in the world and for the delight of God in heaven. Atheism stands on the single purpose of defying any omnipresent, omnipotent being in this world. For that reason, many “successful” atheists are authors of best-selling book in defying the existence of God and reasoning out the “deception” and “errors” in the bible. Even if the world really did come from a single cell, or a single dot in this universe and that God never exists, what is next? It still does not make any differences nor does it contribute anything to the betterment of the world. The children in Africa are still dying from tuberculosis, AIDS, and other diseases. Hospitals and schools will still be a rare gem in remote areas of Madagascar. People are still dying; people are still illiterate. So what good exactly does atheism bring to this world even if God really does not exist? Christianity makes a difference in the world, a good one, while Atheism offers zero sense of hope to the community of people.

The act of atheism in defying Christianity proves that it recognizes Christianity as having a true God.

There are thousands of religions, cultures, occult, and spiritual practices in this world that are doubtful to be true at all. Still, atheism goes against the presence of God, especially God in Christianity, way more strongly compare to its refutation against other religions in this world? Why is that so? Given an example of a second best student in class who only goes against the best student in class because he only recognizes the ability of the best student, and not the rest of the class, a similar pattern can be observed between Christianity and atheism. The fact that Atheism opposes so strongly to Christianity further proves the point that Atheism only recognizes Christianity as a real threat, not any other religions. If you know that you only have to beat one more person to be the champion and that the rest of the field is way behind you, will you care for the rest of the field or will you concentrate on defeating the champion on top? Of course, any sane people will pick the latter route for obvious reason. Atheism is just like the second best student in the class thirsting for a taste of an undisputed champion while Christianity is like the champion on the podium because Christianity has already won through the blood of Jesus on the cross. It means that Christianity is the only truth out there that Atheism has to deal with. It also means that Christianity if the only religion that Atheism is most worried about. Therefore, it can be concluded that Christianity does indeed hold a certain degree of truth in it, if not all the truth in the world. If not, Atheism will never go against it to being with.

Christianity answers questions while Atheism results in more questions.

People tend to resort to a divine being in explaining supernatural happenings around them. When Atheism teaches people to get hold of their own life and to see themselves as the only “God” they can depend on, it ultimately denies the existence of any supernatural incidents in the world. If I had been a God, then tsunami would have been started by me. If atheists slap back the claim saying, “It’s the nature that had caused the tsunami,” then the next immediate question will be, “Who then create nature?” Is it human that first created nature? No. The questions of “why”, “when”, “who”, “how”, “which”, “what” and “where” will never cease as long as Atheists still refuse to recognize the existence of God. God is the only answer that can please human’s curiosity in exploring the truth of the universe. Christians can seek out peace in God’s presence knowing that He is in control but Atheists live in constant uncertainty because no one can tell them, “It’s all right. Everything is under control,” since human does not hold the key to the happenings of the world. Also, Atheism will never be able to explain the creation of universe without any intervention from God. Where does that singular common ancestor come from if we come from that one common ancestor? Science cannot provide all these answers but religions can. By putting God into the picture, the mist clears away instantly. God created the world. God is in control. God allows tsunami to happen to a reason. God gives us life. “God” is the only answer that people ever need, and Atheism is snatching that only answer away from everyone.

After a lot of revelations, praying, and thinking, I feel the peace at heart knowing that I am on the right side of the track. Indeed Atheism is not an all-bad-and-no-good occult; it still let people take control of their own life, take their own path without restricting themselves to any set of rules and regulations given out by a religion. It is just that Christianity makes so much more sense to me than Atheism does. Knowing that He created me in His image, He controls everything, and that He loves me, I can proudly proclaim that my faith lies in Christianity and Christianity alone. While other similar Semitic religions, Judaism and Islam offer almost the same assurance and promises, Christianity stands up as the most relatable, practical and true practice to me. Therefore, Christianity is the only way to go for me.

June 17, 2007

Happy Father’s Day

Filed under: Message,Wishes — campusalive @ 6:40 pm
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads in the world! This is a day children get to cook for you, take you out for a fancy dinner, buy something nice for you, and so on.

To be completely honest with each and every one of you, I have never really take notice of this day. I never recognize its significance nor do I celebrate it. In my mind, it is a day of hypocrisy. Children pretend to be a good daddy’s sons and daughter for one day. It is a day when food is sold at a ridiculously high price; it is also a day for people to falsely profess their love toward their father.

You see, I grow up in a family where my mother is both the mother figure and the father figure of the house. My father? Well, he is a distant character in our home, even until now. He comes back from work once every few months. When he was at home, he did not talk much. The most he did was to “bribe” me with some money so that I could buy newspapers and batteries(for my GameBoy). So I grew up not knowing who my father really was, except the fact that he is my father.

Pastor said that our view toward our earthly father sometimes ingrain inside our mind so much that we see our heavenly father the same way we see our earthly father. Sheila Walsh, the author of “Life Is Tough But God Is Faithful”, confessed that she had problem seeing our father God as a friendly, loving, caring God because she had a dark past with her own earthly fathers. She did not use the word “father” in her prayers for a long time, until she finally found peace with her father. So I guess the pastor is right in saying that how we see our own father might sometimes affect how we see God.

For years, I saw our father God as someone distant too. I saw Him as someone who would just come to me once in a while, answering some of my prayers. That’s all. Of course, all these changed after I came to this place. I got engaged in a more intimate relationship with Father than before and I realized something. He is not just a distant father who “comes home” once a few months. He is not a father who doesn’t talk much. In fact, He is right with me all day long, listening to all my complaints, grumbling, and mumbling I have against this world and Him. Every single time I complained to Him, it felt as if He was listening there patiently for me to finish and more often than not, He would show me something later on to reassure me of what I was suppose to do.

Eventually, I find my peace with Father God. Now it is time for me to find my peace with my own father too. I am thinking, “Today is a beginning to something new. I’ll try to mend my relationship with him. I’ll try to call him once a while to say ‘hello’ and most importantly, I’ll try my very best to lead him to Christ.” If there were a gift in this world that I can present to my father today, it would be God’s salvation. In this meaningful day, I just wish that he will open his heart to God and receive that eternal salvation that I’ve experienced.

Dad, I know that you are not reading this. But if you do, I just want to tell you that I love you.

Do you feel like you have not spoken to your father in a long time? Whatever reasons you have to be away from your father, take note that God the Father have never distance Himself from you. So why do you get away from your earthly father? Take this opportunity to bless your father. Give him a call to just let him know that you are doing fine in your life. Give him a hug or a kiss. He might not talk much at times, but he definitely loves you. Because Father God loves you too.

Happy Father’s Day.

Dad’s child,
Leen

June 15, 2007

The Duck and The Devil

Filed under: Message — campusalive @ 1:01 pm
I don’t know how many of you are familiar with this little story. For those who have not read it, maybe it is worth reading. =D I got this story from someone else too.

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner.

As he was walking back he saw Grandma’s pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head,and killed it. He was shocked and grieved. In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch the next day Grandma said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” But Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen.” Then she whispered to him, “Remember the duck?” So Johnny did the dishes.

Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, “I’m sorry but I need Sally to help make supper.” Sally just smiled and said,” Well that’s all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help.” She whispered again, “Remember the duck?” So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally’s, he finally couldn’t stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug,and said, “Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.”

Thought for the day and every day thereafter?

Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done … and the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt,fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.) whatever it is.

You need to know that God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing.
He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He loves you
and that you are forgiven. He’s just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you.

The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness, He not only forgives you, but He forgets. It is by God’s grace and mercy that we are saved.

Always remember:
God is at the window.

In His service,
Leen

June 11, 2007

Luck: The Myth and The Story Unfold

Filed under: Message — campusalive @ 7:27 pm
Since I am too full to eat anything at the moment due to my low metabolism rate these few days, I’ll share about my thoughts on this little topic here.

Yesterday, after a pleasant and fun service in church(witnessing my friend’s baptism and all), I headed back to my own place in a bus. Being a seasoned air traveler, I was confident that I would be able to endure the whole trip smoothly. Not to mention, I had a book and some food with me in the bus. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Of course, little did I know that my little cough and running nose would swing my mood upside down in the next few hours of bus ride. I began to feel dizzy and uneasy after 4 hours of what it seemed to be a never-ending journey back home to me.

After around 4.5 hours of bus trip, I decided to get down from a bus even though the bus had not reached the bus station. I figured that I could just walk a few minutes and got myself a Monorail or Light Railway Transit(LRT) instead of having to endure another 45 minutes of torturing ride on the bus. Somehow, I was “lucky” enough because the LRT station was just a stone’s away from the spot where I stepped down from the bus. I was again “lucky” enough to purchase my ticket using the machine, instead of having to line up for the counter. Just for your information, the ticket-selling machines are always jammed but this time, I just got the right one. Phew…

Because of my little daring act, I managed to save around 45 minutes of time and RM1.20. After my LRT ride, I took on a commuter to get back to my place. Again, I was “lucky” to meet some foreigners on the commuter sitting right next to me. *rolls eyes* I thought of introducing myself as *cough*a courteous and friendly citizen*cough* to the foreigners but I did not know how to begin. Later, I found out that the mother of this family of Caucasian had just bought 4 books for her discipleship class. I mustered some courage and I asked, “Excuse me, may I know where you are from?”

Then, I found out that they were a bunch of Americans from Alaska, and the mother is currently teaching in Indonesia. I did not find out the reason they were in Malaysia for that matter. “Alaska!” I exclaimed. “That’s what I did for my assignment last semester.” I felt so “lucky” that I did an assignment on Alaska last semester and now I could talk to them all about Alaska. Later, we talked more about Christianity and other things. In my mind, I was feeling very grateful and lucky that I had done an assignment on Alaska, and hence having a common topic to talk about to this woman in the commuter.

Before she left, she said, “I won’t say Good Luck to you because it is not luck.” So she said, “May the blessings of the Lord go with you.”

I gasped. I never really thought of all these things as God’s blessings or God’s planning. Very often, we brush aside a lot of things as coincidence or luck. Is it luck that I did an assignment on Alaska last semester? Is it luck that I got down from the bus at the right time at the right place? Is it luck that I met with this woman in the commuter? Are they all just coincidence?

Later, I thought of something that I once read in the book.
“The more you pray, the luckier you get.”
Similarly, there was one thing that I thought of.
“The more you fix your eyes on God, the more “coincidence” you will meet.

There are two sides of the coin eventually. We can either say that everything is pure luck or we can flip the coin over and see it as a wonderful plan of God and be grateful unto Him. If we can patch all these little “coincidences” and “lucky situations” together, we might just be able to experience a small fraction of what God has been planning for us all these while.

So people, are you feeling lucky today? Make sure you thank God for your luck because it is never luck if it hadn’t be for Him who allows all things to happen “by chance”. If you just stop now and think back of all the coincidences that happen in your life, you will start to appreciate what God has planned for you and how far He has planned ahead of you that you get to where you are today.

Indeed, it is never luck. It’s God’s blessings and God’s planning.

“lucky”,
Leen

INTEC’s Anatomy Part 2: Transport

Filed under: INTEC — campusalive @ 11:41 am
Let’s see. The transport in INTEC is mainly concentrated on those poor buses that have to make their trips to and fro from Seksyen 18 Cemara Akasia to Seksyen 17 INTEC everyday from 7am to 11pm, with one trip every 15minutes or 30minutes depending on the capacity of the bus and the amount of people on the bus. Of course, that’s what they tell you. Here’s my version of report about the transport in INTEC.

There are 2 types of buses operating from INTEC to Akasia, Cemara, and Cendana. From Cendana to INTEC and back to Cendana, it is currently run by the yellow Restu Barakah buses, while the purple INTEC buses drive students from Akasia, Cemara and also some main campus(Seksyen 2) student.

INTEC bus is fast sometimes and it can be really slow at times. The bus drivers are not exactly friendly but certainly better than Restu Barakah drivers. Usually, you will be able to get a bus at 7am to 8am without much waiting. However, from 8:30am onwards, it is especially hard for you to go to school at your desired time. Say, you have a class at 0900. My recommendation is that you take the 0730 bus instead of the 0830 bus because the 0830 buses will not be as full as the 0730 bus. When the bus is not full, the driver will not move the bus because he doesn’t want to make an extra trip or two to pick up one or two students. So sometimes it is easy to be late to class because of the bus.

Also, in the afternoon, the bus service is sparse too. You might have to wait for more than 30 minutes just to get a bus to go to INTEC from Akasia/Cemara and vice versa. The main reason for this is because again, the bus is not full. See, the drivers like to send the students if the bus is full or at least 75% full. If you are in Akasia/Cemara in the afternoon and you are waiting for a bus, I strongly suggest you bring a book to read in the bus stop. It will be a long long wait for some of you. For those in INTEC wanting to come back to Akasia/Cemara, they will be facing a different situation. Normally, in the afternoon, you will see a few INTEC buses waiting in the bus stop but only one will be going to Akasia/Cemara while the rest are there for show only. For example, there can be 4 buses in the bus stop, but you have to go on to the right bus. Even if you DO get on to the right bus, you still have to wait. In times like that, I will just take a nap in the bus because it just won’t move.

Here’s a trick. I mention that the buses are slow. They are slow but occasionally, you can try to look for the bus drivers and demand them to drive the bus right then. You see, these bus drivers always hang out in one particular resting place. The resting place is exactly opposite the bus stop and all you have to do is to walk 3 minutes to their resting place, wake them up, and ask them to drive you back to hostel. They might give you some excuses like “No, the bus will only move at 1515. We must follow the schedule …..etc..etc..” They are just giving excuses when they say that. All you have to do is to get his attention by saying that you have something urgent or that a lot of people want to go back to hostel. With some effort, they will give in eventually to your request.

Night time buses are even rarer than the rarest species of the world. So, don’t go to school at night. Also, if you are coming back from school to hostel, try to make a trip before 7pm. Usually, the “last” bus will leave at 7pm. Anything later than that will have to wait a long long long time.

Restu Barakah buses are quite similar to its counterpart. The only difference is that Restu Barakah tends to fluctuate a little bit more in terms of its frequency of trips. That is due to the fact that Restu Barakah only caters to the guys living in Cendana. There are not so many students living in Cendana Hostel, hence the bus service will normally deteriorate in its service quality. The Restu Barakah buses however, are equipped with automatic air freshener which will spray some air freshener at fixed time. So they smell slightly better than INTEC buses. Other than that, they are not much difference.

One more thing, do take note of the small A4 label on the bus’s window pane. Sometimes Restu Barakah will change destination with INTEC buses. That means, instead of driving students from Cendana, Restu Barakah will in turn drive students from Akasia Cemara, while INTEC buses will serve the people staying in Cendana. Sometimes, when students organize special trips to different places, those reserved buses will also have the label on them saying, “GMI, Parlimen, Lincoln’s Center” and so on and so forth.

Just as an alternative, if you are sick of waiting for the buses to arrive and you have some extra money with you, you can always walk out of the main gate in INTEC and take a mini bus home. Mini bus costs 70 cents for those without air conditioners while those that have air conditioner will charge 80 cents. Take the mini bus opposite the road because that is the one that will drive you to Seksyen 18 and PKNS for that matter. You can also hop on to a RapidKL(number 529) if you want to. It costs RM1.00 but the ticket can be used the whole day. For mini bus and RapidKL, they will stop in front of the Esso Petrol Station. That’s where you get down. From there, you just have to walk another 5 minutes to reach Cemara/Akasia.

For those who wants comfort and speed, taxi is always available too. Just a short notice, taxis in Shah Alam DO NOT operate according to the meter. They will have fixed price for different destination. A trip from INTEC to Cendana might just cost you RM8 easily, depending on the kindness of the taxi driver. So if it is possible, avoid using taxis if you have other alternative to choose from.

That’s about it for the transport in INTEC. One of my friends once said, “I think my best friend in INTEC is the bus driver. Even though he can be angry and fierce sometimes, at least he gets his job done.” I don’t know about you, but I agree with her to a certain degree. Librarians are irrational (they scolded a certain scholar for wearing round neck T-shirt) and guards are eye sores to everyone. (They hand out summons like they hand out free fliers) Till next time then.

Bus-sicked,
Leen

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