Anya the Co-teacher

Anya the Co-teacher

So Anya came over for a visit. I was teaching an online class when they arrived from Selangor. Young Anya entered the room, so I invited her to help me conclude the class I was teaching. This is what happened: Yes, we talked to the students about facehuggers.

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Doom Agents: A Beautiful Summer's Day

Doom Agents: A Beautiful Summer’s Day

There was an official event at work today where I ran a tabletop RPG session for some colleagues online. It was an opportunity to show them how could RPGs work in the field of education. I thought for some time about the campaign and setting to play, then decided on the setting I keep running for my students, Doom Agents. Also, instead of Mini Six or Freeform Universal, I opted for Year Zero Mini as the gaming system to use. Last time on Doom Agents, there were two recorded instances of a rescue mission in the Endau-Rompin rainforest where a team recovered one of two missing nuclear warheads. Another team in on the trail of the second warhead… Dramatis Personae In alphabetical order Alice Abdullah, Malaysian spy – Farah Anastasia, Russian medic – Arina Jason, American sniper – Hafiz Jessica Yoo, Korean driver – Najihah Koko, Thai soldier – Hafifa […]

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Doom Agents The Endau Rompin Rescue Instance B

Doom Agents: The Endau Rompin Rescue (Instance B)

It’s the final week of the semester and I was able to run a game session each for two different classes. This was the second of the two. Click here for the first class. Freeform Universal: Doom Agents (PPIPT5) It is two years after the Brazilian mission. 10th June 2019: Another Doom Agent team is sent to the Endau-Rompin National Park for ANOTHER rescue mission.  This time it is the kidnapped daughter of a diplomat. The team of five arrived in Malaysia and set out for their mission immediately. Dramatis Personae In alphabetical order (played by student group names in quotation marks): Captain Kelvin, Soldier – “5Avengers” Dr. Bob, Medic – “Rulebreakers” Jeffrey, Sharpshooter – “Team Alpha” Jet, Thief – “North Team” Sancorn, Enforcer – “Amigos” The Mission Begins It is raining heavily in the thick jungle. Sancorn drives the team in a Toyota Hilux towards the GPS coordinates where […]

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Doom Agents The Endau Rompin Rescue Instance A

Doom Agents: The Endau Rompin Rescue (Instance A)

It’s the final week of the semester and I was able to run a game session each for two different classes. This was the first of the two. Click here for the second class. Freeform Universal: Doom Agents (IKOM3) What happened to the last Doom Agents team that left on the Brazilian mission. What happened to them, we might never know. However on 10th June 2019, another team was sent to the Endau-Rompin National Park to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a diplomat. The team of seven arrived in Malaysia and set out for their mission immediately. Dramatis Personae In alphabetical order (played byStudent group names in quotation marks): Bevis, Enforcer – “No Boundaries” Black Widow, Medic – “Titans” Captain Price, Soldier – “Team UVW201” Heister, Thief – “Cool Dudes” Jerung, Sharpshooter – “One Hit Wonder” Magnificent, Driver – “Queen Bees” Roye, Technician – “Magellanic Cloud” Watch the video belowto […]

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Some Hisham

English Theatre Arts 2021 Final Week Video

I was given a mission to run the English Theatre Arts co-curricular course once again this semester. After seven weeks, we completed the entire run. Like last year, yesterday morning we carried out the seventh and final week  performance under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this semester after preparing for a live online performance the students who are on campus informs me that there  would  be an internet outage until Tuesday, three days after our performance day. Within 12 hours, the four theatre troupes led by their directors, produced full videos of their plays. Each student acted at their respective locations recorded  it and sent it to the editor. After the editing, they sent it to me in time for a livestream session. In a worse turn of events, unlike last year, I was unable to connect to YouTube live to livestream their video. This was after a […]

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Week 5 ETA title

ETA: An Online Play Staging Exercise

Last Saturday,  during my English Theatre Arts co-curricular class, I gave the four groups two scripts. They had an hour or so to prepare, then perform live during class. Unfortunately, we were still doing teaching and learning online thanks to the pandemic. Therefore, they all had to perform through Google Meet. Thankfully, they did well enough. There were a couple of hitches, but it was a learning process. I coached them on how to recover from flubbing their lines and such. As such, I was able to edit four videos of the performance, each between approximately 5 to 8 minutes long, I also had to become the understudy for one actor as the student was unable to make the second half of our session. The Performances Here are the videos in alphabetical order of the director’s name! As per any videos of my students at work, be kind: English is […]

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Guardians of Magic

Year Zero Engine: Guardians of Magic

I was not able to do it last year, but I thought I would run a tabletop RPG for my Theatre Arts students this year. Last Saturday, I invited them all to Discord and I gave them a briefing on how to play the game. For this online session I chose Free League’s Year Zero Engine as my system of choice. This is because I can scale it down enough for them to practice their role-playing. Here is a video recording of the session. It took almost 1.5 hours of actual play time, but I edited out the long pauses, duplicate instructions and action declarations, as well as all my ummmms and uhhhhhs. I edited it down to just under 40 minutes of video. Episode 1 IT’S A DOG EAT DOG WORLD Dramatis Personae Willy Wesley from London Zane from Asgardia Constantine from Moscow Sebastian from Austria Alice from Dubai […]

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Day 1 - MEKA2

Online Classes 2021 Begins

It was a longer-than-usual break thanks to the powers that be figuring things out during the pandemic. Ultimately, the new semester began today. This is the second semester I am teaching my course online fully. Perhaps it was because I had been prepared for this, based on the previous semester’s grind, but it did seem as if the first day went by without much of a chore. In other words, today did not impart any significant deal of stress upon me. The Process Hardware As I said, I teach online. First and foremost, the laptop should be ready to roll. Additionally, my phone is set up on a tripod behind the laptop. There is a desk microphone beside the laptop away from the camera’s field of view. I wear a pair of earphones so I am able to hear the students without any feed back. The external speakers are disconnected […]

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Command line input

A Virtual Eye For OBS

Finally OBS Studio virtual camera works! The Story So Far… I have been using OBS Studio to record classes online. I post these recordings on YouTube so students would be able to review the class. The students would do well to review the lesson delivery, activities they did and instructions I vomited out my piehole. I had been attempting to use OBS Studio for another thing, which is as a virtual camera to be used in Google Meet or Discord video chats. There are a lot of neat things you can do with it such as live transitions, camera switching (if one had more than a single camera), overlays and neat filters as well. In Recent Days… I have been having problems with installing the plugins that would allow me to use the OBS screen output as a virtual camera. I cloned the two different modules required, obs-v4l2sink and v4l2loopback, […]

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Jakku Star Destroyer

SWD6: Scavenging the Fallen Part 2

Star Wars D6: Scavenging the Fallen Part 2 A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the crew of the YT-1300 light freighter Pretty Enemy was tasked with retrieving a Carbanti H-50 targeting processor from the derelict husk of a crashed Imperial Star Destroyer on the planet Jakku. Six months earlier, there was a battle there where many Star Destroyers  had crashed onto the planet’s desert surface. Although the star system was remote and unremarkable, it had become the very site where the military might of the Galactic Empire was finally extinguished by the New Republic… Last time on Scavenging The Fallen… Dramatis Personae Donetto Dusk – a smuggler Hamilton Zero – a speeder racer Lubird – a protocol droid Sam Aiman – a young Jedi Susan Sunbreaker – a brash pilot Zam Wessel – a bounty hunter The team had decided to press deeper into the Star […]

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A masked man

Back in the Office

I had been working from home for almost two months because of the Covid-19 outbreak movement control order. It was bound to end. The order came from up top that the administrative and executive staff had to begin working from our offices on Tuesday, the day after the Nuzul al-Qur’an break. There were, of course, procedures and measures lined out for us to adhere to. So, here I am back in my office. I ran two classes from the office remotely today.

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Close up

Theatre Arts Final Livestream

The English Theatre Arts co-curriculum class of 2020 have finally reached the end, which meant it was time for the final performances of their plays. The first and second classes in past years performed live, the former in a classroom and the latter on stage, for their seventh and final week. However, the third class were unable to perform live on stage thanks to the Covid-19 outbreak. Not only it was forbidden to hold mass gatherings (such as a stage play), most of the students if not all were away from campus at their respective hometowns under light lockdown. So I decided for the students to write screenplays instead of stage plays, then film their parts separately. Each troupe had a director, writer and video editor as part of their non-acting crew members. They submitted their scripts for assessment and their videos so I could organise a livestream of their […]

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Images of Week 11

Remote teaching using Google Meet is quite satisfying in its own way, though I do still prefer live face-to-face meetings. The online sessions are enhanced by sharing screens of the slides I have to present, links to videos the students need to view and Google Forms that required filling in. Here are images from Week 11 of the semester; one screen capture per class throughout the week.

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Chief Aramaki on Kahoot!

Remote Teaching Thoughts

After three weeks, I have formed some thoughts on remote online teaching as one is wont to do. First of all, here are the tools I have been using to teach. Tools of the Trade For synchronous teaching, i.e. where students are required to be online the same time as I am, I have been using Google Meet to address them. Also, I have been using Google Forms embedded in Google Classroom for the students to mark themselves as being able or unable to join the class. If there could not, then they should write their reasons why. This is not a punitive requirement because I, and the department, need to know what issues arise during these sessions with which we could improve them. As an aside, I have been using Discord for the last two weeks. Also, I employ our classes’ respective WhatsApp channels (which everyone in the class […]

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I'm an online teacher!

Remote Teaching

One thing after another throughout my life, I have needed to familiarise myself with matters that I had never considered before. Because of this excellent plague year, I now teach my course online for the rest of the semester. After a two-week break during a worldwide pandemic quarantine, the university found its bearings. Thus I was ordered to begin teaching week 7 onwards through the interwebs. I taught my students from Irfan’s room in the back. So far it has been good. I still wish that I had an audience to interact with. No, that’s not right. I do have one, but I wish I could meet their eyes to judge their growing understanding of the lesson. In the meantime, I have set up my “studio” so to speak. I address my classes via Google Meet. However, the laptop which runs on 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3 has a slight defect. […]

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