Friday, November 14, 2008

Goodbye, my friends....

My tutor, Ms Happy Goh, and my project mates.

Thank you. All the best. Goodbye.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Post 7: Final Reflection

Reflecting back to the time when it was at the beginning of the semester and the module ES2007S just started... I decided to take ES2007S because I want to improve my communication skill so as to prepare myself for my future career

Before the module, I did not realize that effective communication is essential. But this course let me understand that effective communication is needed to avoid misunderstanding, as well as, giving others (especially employer) a good impression. Communication includes writing and nonverbal cues too. Therefore this modules also teaches me how to write well (remember the 7Cs) and what nonverbal cues means.

In this module, I found writing of resume and application letter, and preparation of interview especially useful. These are the skills which I need to posses when I enter the workforce.

Here, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Ms Happy Goh.
To Ms Goh,
Thanks for the trouble of going through our report draft again and again. You make an extra effort to give us advices on how to write a better report. We only need to deal with one report but you need to go through many reports. Not only that, you are also very patient and always there to answer our queries. Once again, THANK YOU!

Next, I want to thanks my fellow classmates too. With you, it makes the class more interesting and happening. I have learnt a lot from you too.
To my project mates,
It is really nice working with you. If I have the chance to choose my project mates again, I will want to team up with you again. Lastly, thanks for your support.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Post 6: Ms Jean’s BioData

To my parents, I am wonderful. To my elder sister, I am lovely. To my teachers, I am diligent. To my friends, I am faithful. All people, who are around me, love me and I love all the people, who are around me.

Currently I am a third year NUS undergraduate and majoring in Life Science, concentrating in Biomedical Sciences. I have a passion for science, especially when it comes to human body. Human body is amazing! But this is not the only reason for me to enter the faculty of science. Another reason is not to waste what I had learnt in my junior college and secondary school. It is because I studied pure sciences in my secondary school and in my junior college, I was in a BioChem class. I believe science will continue to be part of my life.

There were a few glorious moments in my life. Firstly, it was to be appointed as the President of Student Council in my secondary school. My decisive and diplomatic character makes me a good leader. Secondly, it was to participate in an overseas voluntary programme in Thailand. My caring and empathetic self allows me to help others. And it is due to these and some others factors that I had earned myself a silver National Youth Achievement Award. Lastly, it was that my dance team was awarded silver in Singapore Youth Festival Dance. I hope I will continue to create more glorious moments to build on my current portfolio.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Post 5: Reflecting on the Research Project Experience

ES2007S requires the class to group into team of 3 and complete a research project. I have 2 very nice and capable teammates. They are Vivien and Darren. We have been working on this research project - An analysis on the feasibility of a biannual collection service to encourage the recycling of paper amongst NUS undergraduates – for a few weeks. In these few weeks, I have a positive learning experience. We learnt from each other and our mistakes.

When working as a group, communication is very important. If there is no clear communication, no work will be done. Since this is a major project, there are always times when we need to divide the tasks and we work individually. This is the time where communication plays an essential role. All of us understand what each of us need to do and the dateline for each task as we always practise clear communication.

Having a good interpersonal relationship among teammates is crucial. If there is no good interpersonal relationship among the teammates, they will not enjoy working as a group. With that attitude they will not be interested in the project and hence do not want to contribute. Ultimately, the project will not be a good one. For my group, we have good interpersonal relationship. We encourage, care and help each other along the way. Before we attend this module, we do not know each other. It is through this project that we have developed good friendship.

Group work is troublesome as there is a need to divide task, compile group work and coordinate stuff among all the teammates. But there is an advantage. Since different people have different strengths and weaknesses, one’s shortcomings are overcome by the other teammates’ strengths. Hence all of us play a part as team player to display our strengths.

When doing research, I learnt to listen to other teammates’ ideas. We cannot be too rigid, and stick to our own idea and reject others. Group work enables the team to brainstorm for different ideas as different people look at and think of things differently. I also learnt how to ‘give and take’. All of us have other commitments from other modules, like CA tests and assignments. In the week that I have test, my teammates are considerate and they assigned lesser work for me. Hence when they have tests, I work double to cover their tasks.

Writing is my greatest weakness. As mentioned above, one’s shortcomings are overcome by the other teammates’ strengths, I am lucky that I have teammates who are good at writing. Writing a report needs coordination too. A report consists of many different sections and each of us has to write on different parts and at the end of the day, we need to compile as a whole. Despite there are different sections, the ideas and thoughts need to be in a smooth flow throughout the report. Hence we need to coordinate the flow.

Clear communication, listen to others and good writing are skills that are important and I would want to use them in other projects in the future.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Post 4: Evaluating Intercultural Behavior

The story below happened around 4 years ago.

I have a friend named Judy. She is a Singaporean and has been living in Singapore since her birth. She is a Chinese girl and is as old as me. She has a pen-pal who is a Japanese girl (Yuu). They have been writing to each other for around a year. After a year, Yuu and her family migrated to Singapore. Through that one year, Judy and Yuu have developed strong friendship. So after Yuu had settled down, she invited Judy and me to her house for lunch.

On our way to Yuu’s condominium, Judy and I were very nervous. It was because that was the first time we went to a Japanese’s house. When we reached there, Yuu’s mother was preparing the lunch so we sat in the living room and chatted with Yuu. After a while, lunch was ready and we sat around a round table full of food. Judy and I dared not start eating until Yuu’s parents asked us to.

The foods were very delicious so Judy and I ate a lot until we were both stuffed. As we were very full, we stopped eating and thank them for such a nice meal. However, Yuu’s parents insisted that we eat more. Since we could not take in anymore, we declined their offer politely. But Yuu’s parents did not give up, they kept asking us to eat more. They smiled at us and asked us to continue eating. They said there are more foods in the kitchen and it is definitely enough for more. Judy started to be irritated, she had already had enough and she does not like to be forced. Despite the unwillingness, we thought we better eat abit more in order not to be rude to the hosts and it was the only solution to that. Therefore we put more foods on our plates and finished them somehow.

After that meal, Judy and I were bloated. We were both happy and disappointed. We were happy to have an opportunity to meet Yuu but disappointed to have been forced upon to eat more.

But it was later that we discovered that it is customary in Japan for hosts to insist on their guests’ taking more. Furthermore, to Japanese, it is considered good manners for guests not to accept an offer at first. Therefore the hosts will repeat their offers. If the hosts try to repeat an offer, we just have to decline politely without hurting their feelings. And after a few offers and declines, the hosts are sure that their guests are full and they will stop.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Research Project - Go Green

Proposed title: An analysis on the feasibility of a biannual collection service to encourage the recycling of paper amongst NUS students.

Research question: What can be done to encourage the recycling of unwanted paper of NUS student?

Hypothesis: The implementation of a biannual collection service will encourage the recycling of paper amongst NUS students.

Problem Statement: The objective of this study is to analyze if the implementation of a biannual collection service can encourage students to participate in the recycling of paper.

Targeted Audience: Mr Joseph Mullnix (Chairman of the Campus Sustainability Steering Committee)

Potential Audience:
· Other members of CSC
· NUS stuff and students
· Members of the Tertiary Institutions Council For the Environment (TICFC)
· Other organizations that aims to play an active role in the recycling of paper

Purpose Statement: The objective of the report is to inform the Chairman of CSC of the lack of effort of NUS student in the recycling of paper within campus. Another objective is to convince the Chairman that this virtue can be encouraged by implementing a biannual collection service to facilitate the recycling of paper.

Methodology to be used:
§ Literature review
§ Emails
§ Survey

Friday, September 5, 2008

Post 3: Potential Research Project Topics

My research project topic is with regards to the recent article that published in The Straits Time on Aug 31, 2008. The title of the article is “Orientation – just fun or plain lewd”.

For all the three local universities in Singapore, orientation is held at the start of a school year (in July and August) to welcome freshmen. Most camps are organized and run by the students, and attendance for most activities is optional. In the past, during orientation, freshmen were often ‘bullied’. They were subjected to humiliating treatments or to do chores for the seniors. But now, orientation has taken on a more sexual slant. One of the game forfeit is where the girls had to lie down and the guys had to do push-ups over them. Another one is touching the chests of males. Games like passing M&M chocolates to one another using their mouths are played.

This issue was reported after a Straits Times reader wrote to complain about the ‘lewd and improper’ orientation. The reader felt that this type of orientation “give youth a very superficial idea about making friends and finding partner.” A family therapist commented that youth nowadays are bolder and have broken the social barriers. However he added on that there are at least 70% of the students are conservatives and if the sexually-charged activities are too extreme, these students will feel more inhibited.

The student organizers from the respective local universities felt that physical contact during activities is no big deal. Nevertheless, the universities said “they put a firm foot down on any demeaning activities.”

Different people have different views on this issue. The student organizers feel no big deal but other students’ views are not heard. Furthermore the family therapist mentioned that at least 70% of the students are conservatives. Is it really the case? Therefore an attitudinal survey is needed to study how the NUS students feel about the orientation.

The orientation activities may consider sexual to the public but it may or may not to the students. And since it is the students who are the one participating the orientation, I feel that the students’ voices should be heard first. And the result of the finding can then presented to the Dean who will then decide what to do for the following orientations.