Modules like Developing Linguistic Competence which was supposed to last ten weeks ended after five weeks. Similarly other modules like Language Testing and Research Methodology also lasted five weeks. This was due to the fact that the grades had to be handed in by early June 1994. Lecturers were busy with the tasks as external examiners.
As for me this was a relief because for one, I hated boring lectures and sitting in the class for hours. I preferred doing my tasks alone either in the library or in the computer rooms. The second half of the third term allowed more free time. After handing in the assignments I went shopping for clothes, souvenirs and chocolate which I planned to take home during the summer break.
Due to the encouragement from my colleagues and friends, I applied for the post of student warden in the halls. I got the necessary forms, filled them and handed them in and waited for the outcome. Two weeks later I was called for an interview; on 16 May 1994. At the interview, a lot of questions were asked by four ladies; Miss Marjory McCallum, Miss Carter, Miss Catherine Walker and Miss Christine Gordon. I answered them as far as possible and left the room after about fifteen minutes.
Come Friday and I received a reply informing me that I was unsuccessful. I was not disappointed but relieved because if I had been selected, I would have to sacrifice a lot of my free time at the halls especially in the office, working and helping out. Now that I was tied down, I had more free time and I could do my own leisure stuff.
On the other hand I should and had thanked Lee Leng Song, my senior who recommended me to Mike Quickfall for the post of Open Access Supervisor. This was a post where I was in charge of the computers after office hours that is from 5 pm till 8.45 pm.
I worked on rotation that is once a week or the most twice a week. I had the opportunity to help others and at the same time practice and perfect my computer skills. At the end of the day at 8.45 pm I had to shut off all the computers, lights and lock the rooms. It was not a difficult job and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Finally bidding goodnight to the janitor, I would walk back to the halls. The dinner would be packed and left in the kitchen for me. I would inform the guard and get my dinner; usually a piece of chicken, fries, potatoes and salad. There would also be a fruit; an apple or an orange. After a warm shower, my dinner would be ready in the microwave oven. The late dinner was most welcomed.
Upon reflection, I feel a great sense of achievement because I have achieved something which I had wanted to do back in Malaysia, for many years. Back then in 1993, I even enrolled for a course that is Computer Programming in Ipoh. I asked and enquired the cost of the whole course, the duration and the time table. It was to be held between 7.00 pm till 9.00 pm. This was very inconvenient as school was only over at 6.45 pm; meaning that I had to rush to attend the course.
The blessing came in Moray House where one of the modules or requirements was efficiency and use of the computers. It was also free; meaning I do not even have to burn a hole in my pocket.
During the two months of pre-sessional course in MPIK (Maktab Perguruan Ilmu Khas in Kuala Lumpur, prior to leaving for Scotland, I felt rather out of place and nervous too. I had no knowledge of computers and I was totally naïve. Many of the other course mates had some knowledge of computer language and usage. Some of them even went for a two weeks crash course in Kuala Lumpur; at one of the computer schools. I also signed up but due to the limited places, I was left out. This made me even more afraid; as I thought I would be left out and may even not be able to catch up with the others over in Scotland.
Luckily and I would like to thank Moray House and the staff of the Maths and Computing Department for helping me acquire this level of computer competence. In fact I may even boast that I was far ahead of others in this aspect. Many would come to me for advice and to get help in computers.