THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

My abstract

2 or 3 weeks after I registered for myself and my colleagues (just in time for the cheaper early bird registration) to attend the ICAAP in Bali this August, one of my colleagues encouraged... no, urged... no, PESTERED me to submit an abstract for the Congress. By then the initial deadline for submission of abstracts was already over, but the organisers had extended the deadline by 2 weeks.

Despite being the chair of my NGO, I am relatively new to this. I had never attended ICAAP before compared to many of my other colleagues, and I had never submitted any kind of abstract for any kind of Congress whatsoever. So I didn't really know how to even start doing the abstract. What topic was I to write about?

I'm definitely not an expert in any specific field, so if I were to submit an abstract, it would have to be on community issues. But this is already the 9th ICAAP - surely most of the more common topics have already been covered in previous ICAAPs. I'm sure the organisers wouldn't want the same old story repeated over and over again.

But this particular colleague (who was one of the pioneers of Buddies) insisted I should submit an abstract. She went on and on saying that I could do it... I had the potential bla bla bla. By then the closing date was nearing, and since I didn't want to get any side effects of not submitting an abstract (the side effect is getting nagged by this colleague later on), I decided to just go for it.

The only topic I could think of that I'm truly exposed to is our Education Sponsorship for HIV Affected/Infected Children. As a matter of fact, it has sort of become my "baby".

OK, so I've got the topic. How do I go about doing the abstract? What approach should I use? Well, time was running out, and so I decided to use the kind of approach most suitable for people like me. It's called the "Hentam Sajalah" approach.

And yes, I did submit the abstract online on time right before the ICAAP 09 website encountered some problems (I guess too many people were trying to submit their abstracts at the very last minute - just like our tax e-filing lah!).

And so, that was it. For an abstract that was done using the "Hentam Sajalah" approach, and submitted only to "release cough at the stairs" (hehehe... that's a direct translation of melepaskan batuk di tangga!), I didn't think it was worth the organising committee's selection. At least if my colleague asked, I could tell her that I had already submitted the abstract and she couldn't nag me about non-submission.

That was end of March. Then sometime in April, MarinaM blogged about having being holed up in Bogor with some colleagues, sifting through hundreds and hundreds of abstracts. Among others, she mentioned...

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"I must admit to one disappointment; there really aren't many submissions from Malaysia. I don't know whether it's because few people do any research in Malaysia or, few people submit their abstracts, or the quality of those submitted were just too low to be accepted. But what is clear is that there will indeed be very few Malaysians who will be presenting their work or experience in Bali this August."

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Alamak! Terasalah pulak... my submission must have been in the third category, ie quality too low to be accepted. Aiseh.. malunya! I hoped she didn't read my abstract.

This morning, I downloaded my emails and saw one from ICAAP 9 asking to log in to the ICAAP website and check if my application was successful. So I went to the ICAAP website, logged in to my account, and the status of my abstract submission was "Accepted Presentation". I clicked on the confirmation status, and on the next page was written...

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Dear AFIZAH BINTI BANI HASHIM,
On behalf of the Scientific Programme Committee, we are pleased to inform you that your abstract entitled:
Abstract Title : xxxxxxxxxxxx *
Abstract Number : xxxxxxxxxxxx *

has been selected for Poster Presentation in the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific.

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*I deleted the abstract title and number - will tell about it later AFTER the Congress.

So my abstract has been selected after all! OK lah, not so malu now... hehehe...

I actually submitted the abstract for oral presentation, but it got accepted for poster presentation. Which means I will now need to come up with a poster to be brought along with me when I go to Bali in August. While it does mean I need to spend some time doing the poster, I guess the bright side is, I don't have to worry about being "darah gemuruh" if it is to be an oral presentation.

17 comments:

mamasita said...

For the 'hentam saja approach' you still got some people to like it!
So Yey! CONGRATS!

sherry said...

"Hentam saja approch" sounds sangat good..maybe i can also use it for my next exam PTK!

Pi Bani said...

Mamasita,
Frankly maybe I do things better using the hentam approach. Sometimes when you want to use a more systematic approach, you tend to be too careful, and finally the end result becomes "tak ada ummph!" My only problem now is nak buat poster le pulak. Takkan nak hentam jugak kot?

Pi Bani said...

Sherry,
I've been using the same approach since my student days! Tu pasal orang lain pass with flying colours, I pulak pass with the colours all flying away... ;)

Naz said...

Congrats, Kak Pi!
Poster presentation is more fun because you get to communicate with more people on a different level than had you delivered an oral presentation.
Caya lah, Kak Pi :D

Salt N Turmeric said...

Dont know what abstract is in this content but since you're presenting it, i guess it's kinda like a presentation.

Congrats Pi! *hula dancing*

Mia's Mom said...

Salam Pi Bani (:-D),

I came across your blog from Kak Teh's. And I have been reading some of the newer posts. Really, I think what you are doing in trying to help those young souls is so.... noble. A great work you are doing here! I hope that the Al-Mighty will make it easy for you. And of course Congratulation for winning the hearts of the selection panels for your abstract. And All the Best for the poster. (:-D)

Pi Bani said...

Naz,
I guess you're right, and in addition to that, I will also be able to use the poster after the Congress itself for other exhibitions we may have. Cuma sekarang, nak kena buat poster... I wonder if it will be another last minute dash (tak last minute tak sah!)

Pi Bani said...

Farina,
The abstract is some sort of summary of what we'd like to present during the Congress - stating briefly the issue, the project, the result and the lessons... all in not more than 200 words. If selected, then we can expand it further lah during the presentation.

p/s you dok hula dancing tu, background lagu apa? Ya habibi Ali Baba? :)

Pi Bani said...

Mia's Mom,
Welcome to my blog, and thanks for your kind words. Noble or not, to me what I'm doing is fardu kifayah. Nak contribute harta tak upaya (ramai sangat pun), so contribute in other ways lah. I won't be able to save all those souls, but if I can save a few, that's good enough for me.

anom said...

Salam K. Pi..

Congratulations for being selected. I shall look for your poster when in Bali. I attended the Mexico Conference last year and taken some pictures of the exhibits.. Let me see if I can look for posters presentation. Kalau ada, I'll email to you.. Mana la tau kot2 you can take some ideas from there..

Pi Bani said...

Anom,
Yes that'll be great thank you! I'm hoping to start doing it early so that I can ask my colleagues for opinions before finalising it. Tapi tu lah dia, hope to start early, kerja lain banyak lagi. Entah bilalah nak start ni...

And oh, pergi Bali nanti, don't lah look for the poster only. Look out for me as well lah. I'm supposed to stand by my poster between 12.30 - 2.00 pm on presentation day.

Raden Galoh said...

Yessss...yesss...yesss... it is accepted... yeeehaaa... happy kak..happy sbb I blh imagine you stand up on stage being serious with the presentation...

am soooo proud of you lah!

muaaahhh! oh ye...jgn lupa ole2 dari bali ya...hehehe

Pi Bani said...

RG,
I tak perlu stand on stage buat presentation laa... it's going to be a poster presentation, so I only need to be beside by poster at the exhibition area lah.

Ohh... muaaahhh tu untuk dapatkan ole2 lah ye? :)

Fish said...

Dear Ms.Pi,

My abstract was also being accepted for poster presentation :-D
Hope to see u in Bali in August!

I wrote about sex workers (my undergraduate final year project)

100 words is definitely difficult to express everything! - when they wanted us to write objectives, methodologies and stuff.

Keep in touch!

Pi Bani said...

Hey Fish,
Congrats to you! When's your presentation? Mine's on the 12th. You betcha it was so difficult to write all those in limited number of words.

Looking forward to see u in Bali too... but... errmm... how am I supposed to recognise you? I don't have to look for a fish tank do I? ;)

Anonymous said...

Congrats k.pi!!!!!
-niasulaiman-