The Five-Paragraph Memoir of a Journalist-Turned-Educator’s Life

Working graveyard shifts, sourcing one idea right after another, hunting down plumbers of politicians, chewing up reactions and details from the public, preparing to look fresh and composed in front of the camera moments after a heated debacle with your editor, crunching down daily reports all the while getting yelled at by your bosses for missing a deadline is just a typical day in the life of a journalist. It’s a hectic routine that Dr. Nur Haniz has admittedly grown acquainted with but has also decided to put it behind her for good.

However, Dr. Haniz’s journey to who she has set off to be now is far from the usual, run-of-the-mill story that we would normally hear. Wearing many hats of her own, this Subangnite has proved herself to be a self-made woman that firmly believes — with hard work, you can achieve almost anything despite how many curveballs life may hurl at you. A daughter to a family that works in the radio industry, a loving mother, a wife to a politician, a journalist who holds true to her ground, a choreographer for Indian classical dances in her past, and a lecturer by accident, Dr. Haniz found her true calling when she taught herself to love teaching. In fact, it was her self-sown passion for teaching that had led her to switch gears and become a full-time Communications lecturer.

Life as a lecturer was no easy feat for her either. In the midst of pursuing her Ph.D., Dr. Haniz recounted the day where she received the nightmarish news of failing one of her subjects, International Communications. “I cried and cried. I cried like hell in my room,” she said. “I was supposed to graduate in a year and a half but now it was two years.” Upon being rejected more times than she could count by her supervisors as well as being belittled that she was not good enough, Dr. Haniz had to juggle between her side gig of being a part-time lecturer at two universities amid being six months pregnant. “I would take the bus from Taylor’s campus all the way to SS 15 and run off to Inti college. After that, I would run back to Taylor’s to teach another class.” When asked why she took two jobs at the time, Dr. Haniz could only think of the living bundle of joy growing in her womb, simply answering that she wanted the best for her daughter.

While Dr. Haniz misses the thrills and excitement of being a journalist, she feels as though she could contribute more as a lecturer with the bountiful knowledge she has carried off from her colorful experience. She described the pride she has whenever she sees her students grow and learn is an amazing feeling that she would not be able to procure in the newsroom. “My students are what motivated me to be a better educator than I was yesterday,” she commented. From investigating religious schools in Malaysia that was secretly acting as a grooming platform for the predators in hiding to interviewing former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir, which she cited as one of the highlights of her career, and now a senior lecturer at Taylor’s University, Dr. Haniz’s life has been nothing short of ‘boring’ — a word she would normally use to paint a picture of her life to her students. Despite lecturing not being her dream job, Dr. Haniz mentioned that she is content with how her life is at the moment — a sentence that not a lot of people can proudly say in their life.

Dr. Haniz’s life story is a testament that life may be filled with challenges but if you power through and tackle it head-on, it may work in your favor. Dr. Haniz, a fierce, passionate, headstrong journalist who never fails to bring the same energy from the news office to the classroom is an inspiration to many students, especially aspiring journalists.

A professional binge-watcher and Kalimba enthusiast who is trying to pen down manic thoughts all in due time