Friday, February 27, 2009 @ Cambodia Trip

I was quite surprised when plans of the service learning Cambodia trip were announced to us. Cambodia is a country that is foreign to me, as I have never been there before and the things I know about this country comes mainly from books and the television. I’m really excited at the thought of us students having an active role in the planning of this trip. Working together with friends to carry out our plans when we are right there in Cambodia is also something that I look forward to. I hope that at the end of this trip, after I have personally experienced service learning, I will bring away with me a fresh perspective of improving the lives of the needy. The memories and experiences I gain will be reminders of this service learning project.


@ Dressing for Success

I think that people should be judged by the appearance they have control over, which is the way they dress and carry themselves, instead of their physical features.

From the way a person dress, we can tell quite a lot about their personality and habits. For example, a person who projects a neat appearance at a job interview would naturally give others the impression that he or she is willing to spend the effort to look decent, and takes the interview seriously. In contrast, a person who turns up dressed shabbily in inappropriate attire would often be perceived as someone  cannot be bothered with how others, including potential clients view him.

I think that dressing appropriately for any occasion is a crucial part of dressing for success. This is probably the rationale behind the frequent attire checks conducted in school. The school places a huge emphasis on a neat appearance because it hopes to groom us into adults who are able to dress wisely.

The aesthetic appearance of facial features like eyes and nose are normally the focus of other people’s attention, but they do not tell us anything about a person’s character or ability, do they?         

Saturday, November 29, 2008 @ Conceptions of Success (part 1)
To me, success means achieving my goal through hard work.

One famous personality whom I deem successful is Michael Fred Phelps.

Early Years

Phelps was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and grew up in the Rodgers Forge neighborhood. He graduated from Towson High School in 2003.

In his youth, Phelps was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). He started swimming at age seven, partly because of the influence of his sisters and partly to provide him with an outlet for his energy. He excelled as a swimmer, and by the age of 10 held a national record for his age group. More age group records followed, and Phelps' rapid improvement culminated in his qualifying for the 2000 Summer Olympics at the age of 15.

Physical Attributes

Height: 6 ft. 3in. (193 cm) Weight: 165 (88 kg) Feet size: 14 Arm span: 200 cm

Family Background
His father, Fred Phelps, worked for the Maryland State Police and his mother, Debbie Davisson Phelps, is a middle school principal. The two divorced in 1994. Michael, whose nickname is "MP", has two older sisters, Whitney and Hilary. Both of them were swimmers as well, with Whitney coming close to making the U.S. national team for the 1996 Summer Olympics before injuries derailed her career.

Some of his achievements

His success story
An inspiration for me

“Every morning I wake up at 4.30-5.00, and it takes me a while to get up in the morning but it’s the Olympics, you have to. I need to recover as much as I can and it is crucial for the coming events,” - Michael Phelps
No matter how naturally talented Michael Phelps is, the main reason he achieved his goals was because he was prepared to put in the thousands of hours of grueling hard work necessary to compete at the highest level. He made me believe that as long as I work hard, I will achieve my goal.

In October 2007, Phelps slipped on a patch of ice
and fell while climbing into a friend's car in Michigan, breaking his right
wrist. His coach recalled that in the beginning, Phelps was in despair over the
injury. For a few weeks after the surgery, he started kicking in the pool with a
while his teammates swam. This allowed him to strengthen his legs,
which may be the reason for him being able to edge out
Milorad Cavic
in the 100
butterfly final for his seventh gold medal at the 2008 Olympics. In the last
five meters, an exhausted
was dragging his legs while Phelps used a strong
kick to get his hands to the wall first, by a hundredth of a second.

Although Michael Phelps met with an obstacle, he did not give up, but instead preserved and found alternative methods to continue his training.

“If I didn’t swim my best, I’d think about it at school, at dinner, with my friends. It would drive me crazy.” - Michael Phelps
“Four years ago I wanted to race and I hated to lose, getting third in the 200m freestyle and when I do lose in races like that it motivates me to swim faster,” -Michael Phelps
“I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and you put the work and time into it. I think your mind really controls everything.” - Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps determination to win enables him to give in his best. Like everybody, he does not like losing. However, his defeats motivate him to swim faster and perform better the next time.

"Everything is possible if you dream. My coach helped me to dream big. When I got to him he said to me that I should dream big. He told me to dream as big as you can." - Michael Phelps
"You can't put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get." -Michael Phelps
Dreaming big, this is a quality in him that I admire. When setting goals I have to dream big and believe that I can do it.

His mindset for excellence and the qualities that he has are his secrets to success. They also inspire me to excel.

Saturday, November 15, 2008 @ Scholarship & Service
What does scholarship mean to me?
Scholarship is recognition. I also consider it an achievement and an opportunity that should be treasured. It is like a chance to go on advanced learning, and for me to become more skilled in a certain subject.

What responsibilities does a scholar have?
As a scholar, there are a few responsibilities he/she would have to face. There are many expectations from different people. Firstly, the scholar has to continue scoring well to show that he/she deserves the opportunity to go on a scholarship. Also, if he/she were labelled a scholar, people would naturally have high expectations of him/her as scholars are well-regarded. Living up to their expectations and not disappointing them is I guess a responsibility too. Other than that, scholars have to be aware and conscious of their every action as they are often subjected to the public’s scrutiny. When making decisions, a scholar has to think through it carefully as it may have a large impact on many people.

What are some of the obstacles that I think I will face?
The road to being a scholar will be arduous, and sometimes I may feel like giving up. I need a lot of perseverance and encouragement to continue. Failures will be obstacles too, and again, you need perseverance to pick yourself up from there…

Is a scholar also a leader?

In my opinion, a scholar is also a leader. A scholarship enables a person to further his or her education. While on a scholarship, the scholar gains invaluable knowledge and experience, which prepares him/her to lead another group of people.

Who and how do I intend to serve as a scholar?
I am not sure about this yet. I want to serve my nation, and the people, maybe by joining a government organization where I can do work which will benefit them.

Sunday, November 2, 2008 @ MBTI results
Your personality type is INFJ.

Introverted (I) 61% Extraverted (E) 39%
Intuitive (N) 68% Sensing (S) 32%
Feeling (F) 60% Thinking (T) 40%
Judging (J) 73% Perceiving (P) 27%

INFJs generally have the following traits:
· Intuitively understand people and situations
· Idealistic
· Highly principled
· Complex and deep
· Natural leaders
· Sensitive and compassionate towards people
· Service-oriented
· Future-oriented
· Value deep, authentic relationships
· Reserved about expressing their true selves
· Dislike dealing with details unless they enhance or promote their vision
· Constantly seeking meaning and purpose in everything
· Creative and visionary
· Intense and tightly-wound
· Can work logically and rationally - use their intuition to understand the goal and work backwards towards it

They're extremely insightful, and see things that are not obvious to others. This ability to see patterns and meanings in the world can help the INFJ in many different ways. INFJs usually have a great deal of insight into different people and situations.
When given a goal or context, an INFJ is able to generate all kinds of possibilities. They're able to see the problem from many different angles.
They understand how others are feeling, and are genuinely concerned with others. This natural empathy and caring helps to be really effective at helping others through problems. In this manner, they make great friends, counselors, teachers, and mates.
An INFJ has a "stick to it" attitude. They're not afraid of hard work, and will put forth a great deal of effort towards something that they believe in. This persistence will help the INFJ to achieve an identified goal.
Perfectionistic and idealistic, they always strive for the best.
Usually intelligent and able to concentrate and focus, the INFJ can usually grasp difficult ideas and concepts.

May be unaware (and sometimes uncaring) of how they come across to others
May quickly dismiss input from others without really considering it
May apply their judgment more often towards others, rather than towards themselves
With their ability to see an issue from many sides, they may always find others at fault for any problems in their lives
May have unrealistic and/or unreasonable expectations of others
May be intolerant of weaknesses in others
May believe that they're always right
May be obsessive and passionate about details that may be unimportant to the big picture
May be cuttingly derisive and sarcastic towards others
May have an intense and quick temper
May be tense, wound up, have high blood pressure and find it difficult to relax
May hold grudges, and have difficulty forgiving people
May be wishy-washy and unsure how to act in situations that require quick decision making
May have difficulty communicating their thoughts and feelings to others
May see so many tangents everywhere that they can't stay focused on the bottom line or the big picture

The Protector

As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system.

INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.

INFJs place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk.

INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get "feelings" about things and intuitively understand them. As an extreme example, some INFJs report experiences of a psychic nature, such as getting strong feelings about there being a problem with a loved one, and discovering later that they were in a car accident. This is the sort of thing that other types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJ themself does not really understand their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.

But the INFJ is as genuinely warm as they are complex. INFJs hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring. INFJs are concerned for people's feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.

Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own instincts above all else. This may result in an INFJ stubborness and tendency to ignore other people's opinions. They believe that they're right. On the other hand, INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves - there's always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don't often take time to revel in their accomplishments. They have strong value systems, and need to live their lives in accordance with what they feel is right. In deference to the Feeling aspect of their personalities, INFJs are in some ways gentle and easy going. Conversely, they have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families. They don't believe in compromising their ideals.

INFJ is a natural nurturer; patient, devoted and protective. They make loving parents and usually have strong bonds with their offspring. They have high expectations of their children, and push them to be the best that they can be. This can sometimes manifest itself in the INFJ being hard-nosed and stubborn. But generally, children of an INFJ get devoted and sincere parental guidance, combined with deep caring.

In the workplace, the INFJ usually shows up in areas where they can be creative and somewhat independent. They have a natural affinity for art, and many excel in the sciences, where they make use of their intuition. INFJs can also be found in service-oriented professions. They are not good at dealing with minutia or very detailed tasks. The INFJ will either avoid such things, or else go to the other extreme and become enveloped in the details to the extent that they can no longer see the big picture. An INFJ who has gone the route of becoming meticulous about details may be highly critical of other individuals who are not.

The INFJ individual is gifted in ways that other types are not. Life is not necessarily easy for the INFJ, but they are capable of great depth of feeling and personal achievement.

My reflections:
The result of this test is surprisingly accurate. I have always known myself to be somebody who is introverted, and the results of this MBTI test supports it. Being introverted and extroverted each has their own strengths, so I think it would be better if the percentage of me being introverted and extroverted was more balanced.
If you have read the above explanation on my MBTI results, you would have seen the words "intuition" and "intuitive" many times. According to this test, I rely 68% on my intuition, 32% on my senses. I was quite surprised, maybe I do it unconsciously.

This test also enables me to be more certain about my strengths and weaknesses. Knowing my strengths helps me to understand myself better, and it also serves as an encouragement. I am quite amazed that this test is able to pinpoint many of my weaknesses. With the in-depth explanation on my weaknesses, I know how I should improve on them to become a better person.

Sunday, October 26, 2008 @ Who am I?
According to the MBTI test, I am 61% introverted! It is quite true, because I find myself sharing my secrets only with my close friends. I tend to be more cautious and reserved in a new environment and new friends, so I would not consider myself outgoing.

However, I do think that I am friendly, and I am also eager to enlarge my social circle.
I am quite forgiving too. If you have offended me in some way, most of the time, an apology satisfies me and I would not bear any grudge against you.

Motivations, as defined by me, should be something or somebody, or basically a reason that gives you the drive to put in your best. For me, it may be as simple as seeing a smile on somebody’s face, or anything that gives me pleasure. For example, if we are talking about academics, it may be the image of straight As on my report book that motivates me. I think everybody would be pleased if they achieved that. The smiles that I would see on my teacher or parents’ faces are also strong motivational factors. They give me pleasure and the drive to work hard.
For other aspects, say community work at the old folks’ home, my motivation comes from the knowledge that the old folks would feel better. My actions have a positive impact on them, and this alone is a good reason for me to put in time and effort.

I think that a person’s, including my own, personality and his or her strengths/ weaknesses are highly related.

My strengths are that I am organized, and I also manage my time well. Since primary school, with my teachers’ advice, I have started recording daily schoolwork/ things that have to be done in my students’ handbook. I would then prioritise them and roughly estimate how much time I would spend on each assignment. After something is done, I would cancel it out. Other than recording schoolwork, I have also made other kind of reminders like packing lists, shopping lists and also timetables for me to manage my time better. I would then try my best to stick to it, although sometimes I would be off target. Some people have also told me that I am focused on the things I am doing. I try my best and I aim for the best, but of course, I would have to be realistic when setting goals. However, when I focus too much time and energy on a particular task, I may not have enough for the next, and this would be become my weakness.

One of my weaknesses, which I am improving on, is my carelessness. I have lost my belongings countless times. They range from items like pencils/pens to hand phone. I am also overly sensitive, and easily upset by the things people say or do, although sometimes they do not mean it. Another weakness I have is that compared to most people, I take a longer time to adapt. When in a new environment with new people, I would feel a little awkward and self-conscious.

I like J-pop a lot, especially bands like Arashi, News, Kat-tun… the list goes on. I love Japanese food, Japanese culture, and also the Japanese language. Watching Kindaichi dramas, or any other detective dramas is one of my favourite past times.

I dislike other people or things wasting my time unnecessarily. It may be because I have little patience. I cannot stand a lagging computer, or latecomers, although I am one myself.
Something interesting about me: I laugh a lot, but sometimes at the wrong time.

This is the end of my introduction.

After reading the above, do you know me better?


To Take One Step At A Time

Operator (A Girl Like Me) - Shiloh
Talk It Out



Other Learning Journals
Jin Yun
Geok Min
Wei Li
Ying Ting
Wern Chieh
Lei Shi
Ya Mei

.fourth!Romance is the designer.
Inspiration from Exuvalia and mintypeach.