I have been tagged by Pearlie. The previous time I was tagged, I was extremely slow in responding (in other words - I did not do anything about it!).
But this time, I think I better redeem myself. I promised Pearlie earlier that I will respond to the tag. The timing could not have been better. Someone commented that my blog lacks personal information about myself, and that it would be good for the readers of my blog to know something about myself, apart from my academic interests. So hopefully this meme will give all of you a glimpse into my personal life.
What was I doing 10 years ago (March 1998)?
1) I was preparing to go for seminary after being informed that my application had been successful in January 1998 (in fact, this news came on my 30th birthday! Coincidence?).
2) I was very delighted to be informed that I was awarded an International Student Scholarship by the seminary. The scholarship covered all my tuition fees, and it was worth approximately US$20,000. Who says God does not provide?
3) I quit my job that I enjoyed tremendously with a very reputable property developer.
4) I established my own property consulting firm while waiting to go to seminary. My former employer was kind and generous enough to engage me during the interim period for some of their projects. This provided for the very much needed extra cash.
5) I commuted between Penang and Kuala Lumpur for some months as my mother had a very complicated open heart surgery in Penang, and was being admitted and discharged from the hospital several times. It was a very stressful time, and I was torn whether to proceed with plans for theological studies or to postpone it. In fact, I kissed my mother goodbye on her hospital bed on August 31, 1998, the day I flew half way round the globe to Boston. To cut the long story short, she is still alive today.
5 things on my to-do list today
1) Mark (grade) papers (now piling up!)
2) Write a response to the lecture to be given by Robert Jewett at the Romans Symposium in Sabah Theological Seminary. Deadline: March 29, 2008. Oh dear - I still have not read Jewett's massive commentary on Romans yet.
3) Write an article for the Malaysia Association of Theological Schools Journal 2008. Deadline: Easter 2008 (opps....).
4) Write my paper to be read at the Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting in Auckland, July 2008.
5) Finalise all the logistics for the Greece Trip in May 2008: Following the Footsteps of Paul with my colleagues.
6) I have to add one more: spending some time with the students - to provide a listening ear and to help them in whatever little ways I could.....This should be my priority...the rest can wait a little while, I guess.
5 Snacks I enjoy
2) Cookies (especially chocolate cookies, better still, double chocolate)
3) Tau Foo Fah
4) Keropok (all sorts of keropok, especially fish and prawn)
5) Goreng Pisang
5 Things I would do if I were a billionaire
1) Build a specialist library which includes a residential centre for biblical studies in Malaysia or in the region of South-East Asia in order to promote biblical studies and research for Asian scholars (something like Tyndale House in Cambridge).
2) Establish a scholarship fund to enable deserving scholars from South East Asia to pursue doctoral studies in biblical studies and theology in Asia of elsewhere (something like Langham Trust established by John Stott)
3) Endow a chair for New Testament Studies in each of the seminaries/bible colleges in Malaysia.
4) Set up a Welfare and Educational Fund for the benefits of those in full-time Christian vocation. Most of those working in Christian organisations in Malaysia are paid below the average income earner - it's time something is done to help them ease their financial burden especially in the areas of health care, children's education and caring for aged parents.
5) Buy books, and more books, and even more books, and employ a library assistant to help me organise my personal library! On second thoughts, this would not be wise as I would have established a specialist biblical studies library. It would have been better if I reinvest the money so that activities 1-4 above could be further expanded.
5 of my bad habits
1) Buying books and exhausted my book allowance for the whole year in the beginning of the year.
2) Buying more books even when my budget does not allow it. I need to repent from this.
3) Having a love-hate relationship with the 5 snacks I listed above. No wonder I could not lose weight despite eating salad for lunch (without any salad dressing!) and jogging almost everyday!
4) Multi-tasking, and in the end, nothing gets done.
5) Missing the deadlines (opps....Did I just say that?).
5 places I have lived
1) Kota Bharu, Kelantan - where I was born and grew up until I left home for university.
2) Johor Bahru - where I went to University and had my first job. I stayed in JB for more than 7 years.
3) Petaling Jaya/Kuala Lumpur - where I have been living since 1993, except for the few years I was away for studies.
4) Boston, USA - where I studied at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary from 1998-2000.
5) Lampeter, Wales - where I did my PhD at the University of Wales from 2003-2006.
5 jobs I've had
1) KGV-Lambert Smith Hampton - my first job working in a property consulting firm.
2) Tan & Tan Developments Bhd - now part of IGB Group, where I was involved in business development and marketing research - a place where I spent significant number of years before going to seminary.
3) Andaman Consulting - my property consulting firm that I established to help me earned my keep while waiting to go to seminary.
4) Executive Secretary in a para-church organisation, working among the young graduates.
5) Lecturer in New Testament Studies, Seminari Theoloji Malaysia since 2007.
5 people I tag
I decided to tag some of our students in the seminary (some of you have been tagged by Rabbi so I would not include you). I know it's a very busy time for all of you as we are into the final few weeks of the semester - so no pressure on you if you are not able to respond to the tag.
1) Ruth - a student in the seminary that always look forward to the weekends in church. That's because during the weekends, we become colleagues in the church office (I work in the church during the weekends). That's when we are equals and she can "hentam" and "taruh" me without incurring the wrath of the lecturer.
2) Gerrad - Gerrad is in my pastoral group. This gives you an opportunity to blog. You have been quiet for some time but nice to see that you are back at blogging recently. You write very well. Do keep it up.
3) Perng Shyang - faithful reader of my blog from the Chinese Department who has a penchant for books as well. I suspect his secret ambition is to outdo my collection by the time he completes his seminary studies!
4) Lal Rawn - my hardworking postgraduate student from Myanmar. Give yourself a well-deserved break!
5) Desmond Kok - don't let thesis writing wear you out. Remember you are not alone in this journey. So take a break, but don't have a kit kat. Instead, do the meme!