Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What I learn from 'the correlation of Tohoku Earthquake and PhD process '.

Prelude: For social science researchers, the word correlation plays an important role to ‘statistically’ describe and measure the degree of relationship between two or more variables.

Tohoku Earthquake and Sendai Tsunami
Last week, incredibly devastating news on Tohoku earthquake (9.0 magnitude) and tsunami (10m height) were covered in most news network. It's assumed (since the real amount is untold just yet) that this might be the costliest earthquakes and tsunamis ever.

A couple of friends of mine were personally affected, since they are doing their doctorate studies in Tohoku University in Sendai. Alhamdulillah, they were saved by Allah’s perfect plan – meeting up a relative who stopped over in Tokyo from Dubai, which meant, their usual routine of working in the Uni lab for one, and performing Friday prayers for another were distorted. Allah’s plan ensured them to be together during this trying time, and away from the distressed area.

Some of the footage were terrifying  and way beyond disheartening, and I personally think it’s impossible to imagine what it’d be like to be caught up in the tragedy. Na’uzubillahi minzalik.

Nonetheless, I couldn’t stop relating this phenomenon with my own research.

PhD Process 

Got it here
It would be inevitable for anyone to face tough and challenging phases during the process of PhD-ing oneself. The first phase would be feeling restless and lonely, not forgetting, sensing of being totally lost in piles of journals. Then it came to the time(s) of burning the midnight oil - then waking up cranky in the morning. There were times when the layers of patience left the body, and the wicked witch of the west emerged from within and transformed me into the short-tempered melancholic lady (whom I detest).  Then the feelings of 'there's not enough hours in the 24 hours' and 'why didn't I do this earlier' which could sometimes contribute to the stamping of the word GUILT (bold and caps) on the forehead. In short, the process of PhD-ing oneself could be pretty self-shattering.

But Alhamdulillah, I have Allah. Alhamdulillah, I have a supportive and understanding husband. Alhamdulillah, I have great kids who listen to me. Alhamdulillah, I have great parents who support me physically and mentally. Alhamdulillah, I have super friends who showers me with guidance and personally aid me through this lonely and treacherous journey. Alhamdulillah for all the miracles that Allah bestows upon me. 

The correlation of Tohoku Earthquake and PhD process

It is vital to keep things in perspectives.

Should the PhD stress and the aftermath of the earthquake stop ourselves from living our lives to the fullest? NO! Both should help creating better person for the future, that is, after the hurdles have been successfully leaped over.
I don’t mean to say that it isn’t stressful, or that the stress isn’t real. It exists, unfortunately. However, by reading a couple of paragraphs above, there are always little and big things in our lives to be happy and grateful about - i.e. in the case of my friends in Tohoku, Sendai, they still have each other, healthy and alive!

We need to always keep in mind that everything is temporary. There'll be rainbow after the rain, sunshine after a stormy nights. In order to earn the sunshine, we need to work on it, and don't let the stress (and procrastination) succumb you to a deeper ditch. I believe that the Japanese will surely rise and go on with their lives and build a better Nippon; and they have proven it after the Kobe Earthquake in 1995. If they can overcome a horrific situation, we sure can, too! Let's 'earn the sunshine'!

Let's pray for the victims of Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami in Japan. 
Let's pray that from this tragedy, they learn to find truth and peace in Allah. 
Let's pray that we are always grateful to Allah. 
Let's pray that He always grants us positive yet critical perspectives in life.
Let's pray that we will always appreciate good and bad experiences in our lives, 
even if sometimes it takes some effort to see them. 



  1. Aamin. May the Nippons grab the hidayah from Allah and to reach for Islam. Good piece, masha Allah.

  2. Aamiin...btw k.azza, tq for the reminder. It's already challenging with masters study skrg, kena fikir semasak2nye samada nak amek phd / tak nanti hehehe...

  3. Doing your postgrad degree with a wee baby is not easy. Take it easy, Merr. Do some work when bub is sleeping. Insha Allah, you'll excel!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...