Last week I received an email from one of my lecturers who was teaching about ‘sustainability and habitability’ telling me my final mark. I was surprised and thank God for that good news; I passed that course successfully (i think). I only expected to pass that course, but God said differently, He gave me more than I asked as usual (again I was reminded that He is the Sovereign Lord who does what He wants to do according to His will).
This mark was actually contributed by 2 assignments, a report which was 60% of total mark, and an essay 40%. The first one was the report about ‘relationship between people and place’. The lecturer let us to decide topics and places of investigation according to our interests. That sounds easy, doesn’t it? In fact, i struggled to find the topic and place to be as my study case. This is because I am too often to be given the answer rather than to search it by myself. But at last, I found the topic and was very happy of it, this means I can move on to make survey instead of choosing the topic in despair! The second one was a group assignment. It was a bit easier (really!) because workload could be divided. Yet, determining the topic and place looked much easier than if I searched it myself. Because suggestions and considerations from friends were definitely helpful.
In this post, I will only focus my writing on the first one, the report. I was very impressed how I successfully went through the long and difficult process (again, I think) of investigation. It was my first time to make survey and observation alone in a place that I was not even familiar with, yet used the language that I was not fluent enough to understand of. Though this was only an assignment, indeed, it really mattered. I tried to find help from friends, but unfortunately they also were very busy with their assignments. So, after breathed deeply, I held survey alone.
Landfill was my interest from the beginning. Selection for this topic was because landfills are always the big dilemmas in my country. Poor management is the root of the problem. My expectation was that by doing a small investigation about a well-managed landfill (usually in developed countries) I could get lots of ideas in relation to the management. Therefore, this topic became the highest priority. However, when I came into deciding the place of investigation, I got stuck since waste disposals were all located outside the CBD, simply, very far away. ‘Ups, seems like I have to change the topic”, I told myself. Then I started it from zero and was hoping that I would get the simple investigation. But do you know what happened? I didn’t find any interesting topics. Again, I struggled in determining the topic until I realised that time really goes on and I laid behind.
I could not sleep that night after convincing myself that I should go back to the first topic, ‘a landfill’. At that very night, I organised my mind, made an outline, searched the literatures on the library web which could give me important guidance, organised the list of survey queries, searched the contact person, emailed the lecturer to ask some important issues, organised the survey trip by searching on 131500 travel info . “Pfuh! Done!”, I felt very relieved. After that I slept immensely very tight!.
Three days later, I did survey and observation. Besides making conversation with some respondents, I also took many pictures of the place. Everything was running absolutely well. “Thank God”, I cried in my heart. “it is not as scary and difficult as I thought”. Then I moved to the next step, writing my report without any significant difficulties (except language!!!:-)).
Responsiveness of the council and the operator of the landfill were the most helpful factors. All my queries that i emailed were always replied in one day. I remembered, the manager of the landfill emailed me from his personal email to provide many supports and suggestions. He even made a call for me to explain several important things to be included in my small research.
In many cases, we often face situation that forces us to be doubted. It unconsciously controls our mind and leads us to the hesitation so that we cannot move on. So, we can choose whether we follow that hesitation or move on!!