Service Learning at Cambodia
Friday, February 13, 2009

What do you feel about the trip and why do you feel that way?

I am rather looking forward to the trip to Cambodia and it will be my first time experience to do overseas service learning. Though right now, I do not have full confidence about the trip, but I am willing to give it a try. On the other hand, I am slightly worried too, as I know this is going to be a big scale project which requires great responsibility and teamwork. Also, when we are there at Cambodia, some of the things may not turn out as what we have initially expected, be it good or bad. The academic part is one of my concerns too, as there will be quite a lot of catching up stuffs to do, after missing one whole week of lessons. Nevertheless, this might as well serve as a challenge for me, as there will always be obstacles in life no matter what you do. And the important thing is to learn to overcome them.

Personal goals:

- I hope to gain a better understanding of the life in Cambodia
- To help out the people in Cambodia within my ability as much as possible
- To know myself better through working on this project
- Learn to manage my time better
- To gain a new fruitful experience through the trip

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Dressing for success
Saturday, January 24, 2009

With regards to the issue of "Dressing for success", I personally feel that a person can be judge by his or her apperance to a certain extent. However, we must not be too dependent by this way of judging of people, because, it may not be true in all cases.

It is undoubtly true that your way of dreesing and apperance reflects about your character. That is the reason of why people should take pride in dressing smartly for a job interview, as first impression to the employer is important. It shows your attitude. And believe it or not, it is definitely those who are positive and receptive that do not fail to to impress their emplopyers, even in trems of dressing. So, take for instance, if the employer is considering two person with equal level of education, standard and experience, for only a place in the company, of course the next thing he will take into consideration will be your attitude and character. What is written in your portfolio may or may not be true, as he does not know you well, but he will roughly know from the first impression you gave during the job interview.

If you are neatly dress for work, it also exhibit a spirit of exellence in your work, diligent and positive in learning new things. Also, you started your day well by giving yourself a fresh look, to be prepared for a new day. So, why not to make an effort in maintaining your appereance, afterall it is your own apperance.

However, I think is is absolutely intolerable to discriminate against employees because of their weight and height or physical characteristics. We can be picky about the way of dressing, but if people are born to be of that particular height or weight, then they should be treated equally as the rest. Unlike dressing, it is not someting that they can take control of or have a choice. If the employees are working hard and doing their jobs with responsibility, then I don't see why they should be hold against prejudice. Height and weight factors should not affect the wages of the employees.

It was also stated in the article that, Darlene Jespersen, a former casino bartender at Harrah's Entertainment, sued her Reno-based employer after she was fired for not wearing makeup. She had worked there for 20 years and had not regularly worn makeup. I think, firing an employee of not wearing make-up it far too off a bit harsh, though Jespersen still had her job back. Perhaps, in society 20 years ago, people are neither too pompous nor suggestive in their dressing at work. This could be the reason to the fact that Darlene Jespersen does not have the tendency of being perticular in her appearance and the make-up stuff. It is not wrong for employers to ensure all their employees have a professional and well-groomed appearance when they come into contact with the public, but it shouldn't be a forceful thing.

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Vacation Highlights
Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Time flies. Vacation period will soon be over. Now, let me talk about some of my experiences over this holiday I had. First, I would like to the experience I had during the two-day-one-night dance camp held in the late November.

In the camp, we were all randomly numbered and separated from our old clicks of friends and the main point of this is to let us bond with all the dance mates in the group. I think that this is indeed important, because in dance, it is not an individual thing but you have to work together well in order to produce a wonderful performance and everyone counts. Secondly, it’s about teamwork. And most of the activities we do require that.

Then, it’s the three hours of dance workshop, which was the highlight of the camp. We were taught about some of the basic skills and movements of contemporary dance by a different coach. Since it’s contemporary dance, all the things that we learnt are very unlike what we do during Chinese dance practices. It’s a mixture of ballet and modern dance. And guess what, this is my first time trying out contemporary dance. We were told to put aside of what we usually do in the usual dance practices and pick up as much skills as we can. This requires us to be focused and think flexibly. Most of all, I’ve learnt to adapt to a new style of dance, different way of coaching and learning and I really benefited quite a lot from it. Also, I’ve realized that there’s no gain without pain. I would not have learnt anything if I hadn’t gone through the three hours of tough practice.

So much of the dance camp, I shall move on to talk about something else that happened during this vacation period. I met up with a friend, Yue Ling, who came back from Australia in mid-November. During a conversation with her, she said her parents brought her overseas because of her good results she had achieved in the end-of year exams. She’s in secondary three this year by the way. Then, I said something like I’d also do better in exams if my parents offer to take me to Australia. Actually, I was just kidding, and she knew it too, because she laughed. But she added that, “There’s a limit to what incentives can achieve. Motivation, on the other hand, has no limits”. I thought over about it, and realized that what she said was true. If you are truly motivated to achieve success, which comes from within, rather than work for the incentives which can be no longer attractive after some times, then, you would go even further your limits. Another valuable lesson learnt, from a mere casual conversation.

I’ve also watched "High School Musical 3" and re-watched "High School Musical 2" during this holiday. They were really worth watching. I have actually love performing arts even more after watching the series 3. Year 2009 is approaching, a new beginning, a new chapter in life, and I hope it’d be a better year.

P.S Merry Christmas to all ^-^

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Conceptions of success (2)
Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hellooos :D

Having talked about Helen Keller, a famous personality whom I deem to be successful, in the previous entry, I shall now move on to talk about another person who I know personally and whom I deem to be successful too. And yeah, he is none other than my dad.


Dad was born on 21st January 1965, the year Singapore first gained independence. He doesn’t come from a very well-to-do background. In fact, his family was quite poor at that time. Because of this, my dad did not manage to receive a high education. He had to quit school at a young age and help his parents, my grandpa and grandma, to make ends meet. And it was partly due to the sacrifices that he made that his two younger brothers (my uncles) were able to continue to pursue a further education than him. He worked at a bicycle shop at that time, help to wash cars and even collect cans and cupboards to sell and earn some money. Though he was unable to go to school anymore, that doesn’t stop him from continue on learning. In his spare times, dad will read some newspaper and so to gain some self- improvement. He studied on his own. When he grew older, dad started to take his career as an electrician in a company and when asked why, he said it was his interest. From then on, he continues to upgrade himself and gain experiences in that particular area. He is currently working on electrical engineering.

To me, a successful person need not be someone who’s probably a millionaire or someone who tops the world. Success is about accomplishing your goals and challenging yourself to a greater height, or achieving what you desire through hard work. And I think dad really have those quality in him for him to be a successful person in my eyes. Dad doesn’t have a high education level nor did he come from a rich family background. However, it doesn’t stop him to live life to the fullest and improving himself, taking a career based on his passion. He lives life to the fullest. To add on, he’s an amazing father whom I know can count on always. No doubt, I am proud of having him as my father.

Dad has inspired me both directly and indirectly. Directly in a sense that I take him as a role model and from his encouraging and motivational words he said to back me up. And indirectly, when I look back in his past and learnt how hard he had worked and come so far. It’s a motivation force to me whenever I compliant how hard life is. It inspires me to continue on and never give up.

Personally, I feel that through Xinmin Scholar Programme I can analyzes and realize more about myself, maybe trough the activities and this learning journal. Also, it allows me discover my potential and widen my scope of knowledge. After these, probably I will grow to be a more confident person and reach out to my goals. (:

Albert Schweitzer:
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

Anna Pavlova:
To follow without halt, one aim; there is the secret of success. And success? What is it? I do not find it in the applause of the theater; it lies rather in the satisfaction of accomplishment.


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Conceptions of success (1)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008

To me, success means the achievement of an objective or goal. It also means a fresh start of a new beginning, because, once you achieve success, you’ll have to move on to a greater height in future as success is never ending. Success too, refers to the time to rejoice and give yourself a pat on the back as your hard work had finally paid off!

No doubt, there are indeed many successful people in this world. People who had encountered countless of failures and “brick walls”, in this case it refers to the obstacles faced by one, and succeeds in life. However, for now I’ll only talk about one of the famous personality whom I deem to be successful, and it’ll be none other than Helen Keller.

Keller with Anne Sullivan

Helen Keller in 1905

“When one comes to think of it, there are no such things as divine, immutable, or inalienable rights. Rights are things we get when we are strong enough to make good our claim on them.”

Helen Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) is born to Captain Arthur Henley Keller and Kate Adams Keller at Ivy Green in Tuscumbia, Alabama. She suffered a ‘brain fever’ (probably scarlet fever or meningitis) at age 19 months that left her blind and deaf. The disease also turned her into an out-of-control child, usually in a foul temper. Finally, in their own defense, her parents traveled to Baltimore to meet with Alexander Graham Bell. The famous inventor, who studied speech while working on his telephone, subsequently had become interested in educating deaf children.

Bell told the Kellers to contact the Perkins Institution for the Blind in Boston, which in turn recommended a former pupil, Anne Sullivan, as Helen’s teacher. The orphaned Sullivan, herself mostly blind since age five, also had had a difficult life, and desperately needed the work. In 1887 she came to Alabama and, after a stormy first month, got Helen to understand the concept of words during a famous encounter at the family’s water pump.

Keller made remarkable progress from that point and ultimately, with Sullivan’s help, graduated with honors in 1904 from Radcliffe University, the first deaf and blind person ever to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. In an era when most women were not allowed careers, and the blind often were considered fit only to live in asylums, Keller’s impassioned writings and lectures (delivered through an interpreter) made a strong impression on audiences around the world.Keller primarily is remembered for her advocacy for the disabled, but as a member of the Socialist Party, she also strongly supported such groups as the ACLU, IWW, and NAACP, and campaigned for birth control, civil rights, women’s suffrage, and world peace.

The Miracle Worker, a play about Keller’s childhood education with Sullivan, won a Tony award in 1960, and then became a popular film, winning acting Academy Awards in 1962 for both Anne Bancroft (who played Anne) and Patty Duke (Helen). Keller was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964 by Lyndon Johnson. She is buried in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., where visitors over the years twice have worn the braille letters completely off the plaque by her grave. She died at the age of 87.

In Helen’s own words:
“The public must learn that the blind man is neither genius nor a freak nor an idiot. He has a mind that can be educated, a hand which can be trained, and ambitions which it is right for him to strive to realize, and it is the duty of the public to help him make the best of himself so that he can win light through work.”

I think Helen Keller is a successful person because she has shown millions of people that disability need not be the end of the world. And despite being a blind and deaf person, she managed to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and even went on to become a world-famous speaker and author. Keller devoted much of her later life to raise funds for the American Foundation for
the Blind. She has achieved a lot in life and has a story of her own.

Keller has inspired me in a sense that she is a determined person and she never gave her life up. She must have a lot of qualities in her for her to accomplish so much in life. Being a blind-deaf person, Keller learned Braille and used it to read not only English but also French, German, Greek, and Latin. And, me as a normal person with perfect health cannot even do as much as Helen Keller. I really admire her for her perseverance, determination. She has inspired me to live life to the fullest and not give up yourself.

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scholarship & service
Friday, November 7, 2008

What does scholarship means to you?
A scholarship is an award of access to an institution, or a financial aid award for an individual student scholar, for the purpose of furthering their education. Indeed, scholarship is not only able to provide the opportunity for outstanding students to be developed to their full potential; it has also fulfilled the dream of many.

College is able to give students a wider lens from which they have learned to view the world. Unfortunately, it is a very expensive lens. And as everyone knows, the sum of money needed for the education may be demanding, especially for those who came from a disadvantaged background where their parents cannot afford them to go to college. Scholarships enable them to go to college even without going to work. It might be a dream come true to those who had the athletic, academic, artistic or other abilities and would like to pursue further studies, but had financial obstacles.

Scholarship can also be considered as a form of recognition. Since it is also given out to students based on merit, besides their needs. Nevertheless, it also encourage the outstanding performance of scholars and might as well be a motivational source to some of them. For example, a student might work harder in his or her academic in order to achieve the scholarship that one desires.

What responsibilities does a scholar have?
Personally, I feel that a scholar should have a certain quality in them for them to be qualified as a scholar. Being a scholar also means to hold a great responsibility. He or she must give people a good impression in terms of attitude. A scholar must also constantly do well in studies. One must also be prepared to serve others, and provide a quality service. Last but not least, I think, a scholar must not be intensely absorbed by their topic of study; they must be able to balance their life for them to really live a fruitful live.

What are some of the obstacles that you think you will face?
Some of the obstacles I think I might face will be that I do not work hard enough and tend to not have confidence in myself. In addition, I might face strong competitiveness with other people and is unable to cope with stress. But then, I know I will have to overcome them.

Is a scholar also a leader? How so?
Indeed, I believe that a scholar is also a leader. Since scholars are already the outstanding ones among the rest of the students, he or she can be a leader in terms of academic area, and guide the rest along in their studies. A scholar may also provide services to the school or the country. In this way, a scholar is a servant leader. A scholar with good attitude and brain might as well be able to deal with all kinds of personality and knowing how to find an answer if you do not know. In this case, wasn’t a scholar considered a leader too? In fact, everyone can be a leader, or rather, everyone is a leader. Whatever you do in lives, there are surely situations that you have encountered that require you to be in-charge and to lead others. No-matter how small the matter is, you are still being a leader one way or another.

Who and how you intend to serve as a scholar?
As a scholar, I intend to serve the needy. To do so, I will consider being a volunteer in community service or helping out in social work. Also, I intend to serve the country or government in future when I go out to work. Furthermore, I would also serve the school and even my friends and family wherever I can.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Test Results
Your personality type is ISFJ-The Nurturers .

Introverted (I) 71% Extraverted (E) 29%
Sensing (S) 55% Intuitive (N) 45%
Feeling (F) 69% Thinking (T) 31%
Judging (J) 64% Perceiving (P) 36%

Introverts often:
- Have quiet energy
- Listen more than talk
- Think quietly inside my head
- Think, then act
- Feel comfortable being alone
- Prefer to work "behind-the-scenes"
- Have good powers of concentration
- Prefer to focus on one thing at a time
- Are self-contained and reserved

Sensors often:
- Focus on details & specifics
- Admire practical solutions
- Notice details & remember facts
- Are pragmatic - see what is
- Live in the here-and-now
- Trust actual experience
- Like to use established skills
- Like step-by-step instructions
- Work at a steady pace

Feelers often:
- Decide based on their values & feelings
- Appear warm and friendly
- Are most convinced by how they feel
- Are diplomatic and tactful
- Value harmony and compassion
- Take many things personally
- Are quick to compliment others
- Are motivated by appreciation
- Avoid arguments and conflicts

Judgers often:
- Make most decisions pretty easily
- Are serious & conventional
- Pay attention to time & are prompt
- Prefer to finish projects
- Work first, play later
- Want things decided
- See the need for most rules
- Like to make & stick with plans
- Find comfort in schedules

Sensitive, caring, patient, and conscientious, ISFJs can take time to warm up to new ideas and people. Painstakingly accurate and methodical when working with facts and details, ISFJs are patient with follow-through tasks. They tend to take commitments and deadlines very seriously, have excellent memories and are especially good at remembering details pertaining to people. They are patient listeners, eager to help people in real and practical ways. Quiet, private and reserved at first, but once they make a connection they are exceptionally loyal, generous and devoted. ISFJs are down-to-earth and realistic people and use practical judgment in making decisions and lend stability through their excellent commonsense perspective. ISFJs are modest, serious and hardworking and highly supportive of friends and colleagues.

ISFJs Tend To Be:
• Sensitive to others’ perspectives; conscientious
• Organized and able to remember and manage lots of details
• Hard working; quick to help
• Practical, realistic & efficient; adept at executing tasks with precision
• Dependable & likely to take commitments & deadlines seriously
• Focused; able to concentrate for long periods of time alone

Career SatisfiersAll people are most satisfied and successful when using their natural talents in an environment that is consistent with their personality preferences and values. Research shows that ISFJs are most satisfied by jobs that provide the following:
• Clear expectations, objectives, & deadlines that do not often change
• Opportunities to work primarily one-on-one, helping others
• Plenty of time & space to work alone & concentrate on one task at a time without a lot of surprises or interruptions
• A manager whom they admire & who has their best professional interests at heart
• A friendly, cooperative environment, free from conflict or tension

Possible Career Paths for the ISFJ:
- Interior Decorators
- Designers
- Nurses
- Administrators and Managers
- Administrative Assistants
- Child Care / Early Childhood Development
- Social Work / Counselors
- Paralegals
- Clergy / Religious Workers
- Office Managers
- Shopkeepers
- Bookkeepers
- Home Economics

Personal reflection:

After taking the MBTI test, I have come to know myself better in terms of my personality. I have a clearer idea of what kind of a person I am, and I think this is very important. One should first know him or herself well before he or she can make changes to improve, whether it is to the environment, the people, or just themselves.

In the past, or rather, before taking this test, I use to think that being an introvert is not a good thing. However, after this, I have discovered through some of the information that being an introvert does have its good points of it though. In fact there is actually no good or bad between introverts and extroverts. But of course, there are definitely spaces that I can still improve on.

Through knowing myself better, I have also gain some confidence in myself. I still see myself as me, but then there is a slight difference in the way I view myself. I view myself as a person with both unique strong and weak points instead of just an ordinary girl. And compare to the test results of some of my friends, I am actually quite different, though there are some of them whom have the same result as mine. No doubt, the test results as well as the description of my personality were accurate; I am rather amazed by it. I have also realized some of the qualities that I have possessed but have not known it in the past.

Now that I have my strengths defined, I am able to use them appropriately to achieve my goals. Knowing my ability, I can then plan for my goals next year or even further in the future and am more realistic with it. Only then can I move on towards success, making good use of my strength and if possible help others in need with it.

As for my career path, I have also somewhat a clearer idea of what can I do or be in the future, given some of the possible career paths mentioned above. (Being a designer is one of my dream careers though, as well as a child psychologist.) Of course, these will just be some of the suggestions. Who knows, people might change as they grow, and there might be a wider career fields suitable for them then. Right now, I guess I can only do my part as a student and hopefully make the better out of me to prepare myself for the future ahead.

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Hey! It's me!

Hellos ;DD

Welcome to:
I'm YaMei from Sec-303. U may click on my very first post in this blog entitled "Who am I" to know more about me...
Have a nice day~

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