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Reading for knowledge

The book that will always be in my heart (tq my sis Izni for the snapshot)

I started to accumulate more knowledge via reading. My experience during my childhood and teenage years was limited to my surroundings. I did not get exposure similar to my kids now, where they travel with me to many places and surroundings due to my nature of work, giving them more experience-based knowledge (plus they fortunate enough to have access to lots of books from time to time). Thus books become my main source of knowledge, imagination and curiosities. I still remember how my mom and dad regardless of what they faced in life, always tried their best to fulfilled my love to books (they are not rich, but they accommodate my reading hobby very well, from my early childhood to adulthood).

I read variety of books, from history to science fictions, from English or Malay literature to politics. The best that I still love till now such as Hikayat Bakhtiar, Interlok, Salina, Alfred Hitchcock’s series, Enid Blyton’s books, Harry Potters and Reader’s Digest. All these were simple books, yet highly imaginative. Some I personally bought, some I’ve obtained as used books from other people. Their fictions and imaginations were then completed by factual history and science that I read a lot in later years of my life, when internet started to become available. Of course, internet has been the best ever thing for people like me. Reader’s Digest magazine are good till now, but at that time, the price was beyond my reach. But I’ve got opportunity to read it from time to time either freely at bookshop (that did not cover-wrapped it) or when visiting my relatives.

During my schooling and undergraduate years, the way learning was organize to us actually relies a lot on reading (some of my peers did not realized this), but with “guidance” where boundaries and scope were set based on foundational theories and findings. It is deductive in nature, with exploratory opportunity to manipulate variables within that “foundational boundaries”. This especially true during my diploma and bachelor degree years. At this time, the study was highly specialized in one discipline (sports science) and highly related to my day to day practice/application as University athlete. Thus the learning process becomes much easier where I had opportunities to tested and applied theories learned via readings, or matched what I already explored or found during practices (bit of inductive reasoning, thus giving me exposure to knowledge via two different methods) with what the books said (previous findings/theories).

Fast forward, after starting my career as fitness trainer, reading effectively provided me needed knowledge to refine my expertise. Reading then became the catalyst that moved me into academia fully. Most important, I can say that my academic career going on strong because of reading. I explore options in my life via readings. With reading also become the way I approach life.

I keep readings, and I love readings. But it all has become too natural to me, makes me forgotten it as one of the main pillar of learning. I asked my students to read and reviewed research articles, but I have forgotten to share with them how to enjoy reading. I have forgotten to ensure that they have the proper basic skills in reading effectively. I gave them text books to read, but not the strategy to effectively read the books. I focus on content, conveniently forgetting about the process to extract the content.

I’m always trying my best to keep improving learning experience and performance of my students. I am currently attending a course related to teaching and learning. It has brought back my attention to reading, and make me realize my forgetfulness aforementioned. I am back to basics, tracing back my own past tracks, where I then found back what makes me strong from the beginning. In this case, it was READING. And READING effectively is still the pillar of my teaching and learning process.

In conclusion, I wrote this in order to remind myself, and to make known or also reminded my peers and students, that reading is the pillar of knowledge. If we want to progress forward, then starts with reading. Enjoy the process, get the knowledge.

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