Monday, February 9, 2009

How do you feel about the trip? Why so?

Frankly, I am a little uncertain about the trip since this is the first time I am doing such a major project overseas. This is partly because I am afraid that I would not be able to adapt to the new environment and most importantly, not capable of guiding and teaching the children there. I kept thinking : There could be a million probabilities of things not turning up the way we expect them to and at that point of time, would we be able to handle these special circumstances?

Nevertheless, I would like to try the service learning out and it would also be interesting to see if i could perform beyond my own expectations.

My main goal for this Cambodia trip is just so that the children there would be able to put the knowledge gained from us into good use in order to improve their lifestyles. Also, I would like to take the chance to see and experience for myself how it feels like to be living in such conditions and to do something meaningful.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vacation Highlights

Time flies when you're having a good time, huh? Holidays are ending soon and all of us would have to return to school. So what have i learned during the holidays? Are they beneficial? Well, that is for you to decide.

Describe any new experiences

My family and i went to Thailand (Chiang Mai) this holiday. It is said to be one of the most important and largest city in the country. First stop, we went to the Mao village to observe opium poppies. Opium poppies are able to bear flowers of three different colours. They are white, red and pink. It is known that their sap, which is used to create opium, can only be obtained from opium poppies that grow on soil 5000-6000 feet above the sea level. Not an easy task right? Later that night, we sat on a boat and sailed down the Mekong River. It was a fine experience because you could see many different things during the ride.

On the second day, we went to the Elephant Camp. It was marvellous. They have elephants roaming the entire camp unrestrained! We bought some sugarcane and bananas and tried to feed the grey giants. Instead of eating the bananas one by one, the elephants simply wrapped their trunks around the bunch of bananas and swallowed it whole along with the bit of rope tied to it! Next, we took the elephant ride. The ride was fun even though there are times where you could feel that you are slipping off the elephant's back.

On the third day, we went to Chiang Rai and to the borders of Laos and Myanmar. And also, we visited the White Temple in Chiang Rai. The White Temple was built and designed by Thailand's artist, ChaloemChai Khositphiphat. The structure was breathtaking! Here is a picture of it.

Not too bad huh?

On the second last day of the trip, we went back to Chiang Mai and arrived in time to see the Snake Show. It was frightening. The tamers would attempt to scare you by swinging the snake near you. Unfortunately, i did not take a picture with the snake when i had the chance. I felt that i was not yet ready. We also went to the Monkey School, where they teach monkeys tricks such as riding a tricycle, playing a basketball, counting numbers and even looking for coins in the pond! We were all amused by the monkeys and their abilities.

Discuss any new perspectives

n the fourth day itself (second last day) , we too, went to the Long Neck Village. There, we could see people with layers of rings around their neck. It is said that they are to add in an extra ring every few years. I realised that they are doing all this just for the sake of their culture and this made me respect them all the more.

Evaluate any learning points I've gained

he trip to Thailand has taught me a few things. There are many families in the world that are living in poverty. In some parts of the trip, i could see children holding babies on the streets, pleading for passer-bys to spare them some money. And also, there are many teenagers out there, who are almost the same age as myself, trying to make a living by setting up their own stalls. This made me realise that we should all the more be grateful for the things we have and be appreciative about them. And also, I realised that there are oppotunities in life that are not always offered a second time. Take me for example. When I learnt that we were going to the snake farm, I was determined to take a picture with a snake. But what happened? I backed down at the last second when i saw how thick the snake was! The chance was offered to me but i chose not to do it. I regret making that decision because I do not know when I would have a similar chance. That is why when I am given an oppotunity to take a picture with a snake in the future, I will not make the wrong decision again.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Wow. And here i am, already writing my 4th post...

Now, what exactly is success? Has it always got to do with one's career? No. Or even one's wealth? Absolutely not. It is not necessary for the result to always be rewarding. But then again, who would make big sacrifices to achieve something that is not worthwhile? Anyway, I believe that if one were to put his/her heart and soul into doing something, the result would be, of course, success. Success means for one to attempt and then finally, to be able to achieve what he wants. That is my definition of success. Does yours differ? :)

Alright, you might not know the person that I am about to introduce to you. Her name is Jane Goodall. Ever heard of her?

Jane Goodall is born on the 3rd of April, in London. She was a primatologist. (a person who studies primates) Her way of studying animals, which involves living together with them in their natural habitats, changed not only how chimpanzees are understood, but also how studies of other animals are carried out. After studying the chimpanzees for two decades, she gained their full trust and could even sit among them. Through her hard work and determination, she won awards and international recognitions, including a "Conservation Prize" for helping millions of people understand the importance of wild life conservation on this planet. After devoting nearly 30 years to her mission, she alone, had already made significant progress in the research and of course, the protection of animals.

I really admire her determination. Imagine, living for 20 years in a forest along with a few groups of chimpanzees. Now, that is tough! She has shown me that with enough patience, confidence and hard work, one is always capable of achieving one's dreams, regardless of the countless periods of hard times one has to go through.

The next person I am going to talk about is most lightly a stranger to you. He is my father. My father was born in the year 1959, in Malaysia. He lived there along with his seven siblings and parents until the time when he went overseas to further his studies. I guess he met my mother there and well, things began to unfold. (unconfirmed)

Today, he lives together with us (my mother, 2 other siblings and myself) in Singapore. I admire him because i feel that he has not only fulfilled his responsibility of a father, but a father who also devotes his free time (weekends) towards keeping the house a better place to live in. He is successful in a way that he is able to allow our family to lead an extremely comfortable life without much worries. Like others, my siblings and I would of course be worried about our studies. But still, it would definitely be much less stressful if that is the only problem you have to deal with. My father has shown me that a person should not only do things that are just adequate, but to be someone who puts in more effort into the things you want to achieve. This way, what can you not achieve?

I believe that this programme (currently) has taught me to look at the good qualities of a person and to be able to learn something important from them. With all the knowledge, I think that it would be easier to achieve our goals.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Scholarship & Service

What does scholarship mean to me??

Well, i guess that scholarship is the acquiring of a higher level of knowledge. One can also say that a person needs to fare better than most others either academically, or in other areas. I must say that if one manages to attain a scholarship, he/she should feel privileged since it is really quite a rare opportunity. Similarly, scholarship can also mean awards given to a specific person because of his excellent accomplishment in certain areas.

What responsibilities does a scholar have?

I believe that a scholar has the responsibility of passing on his/her knowledge onto the younger generations so that they too, would be able to serve the country, nation or even the world when they go out to work in the society when they grow up. Since knowledge must be placed in your head before you can put it to good use, scholars must also seek new knowledge in case they are of use someday.

What are some of the obstacles that a scholar might face?

Since scholars are expected to fare better than most of the others, people around them must have high standards of expectations of them. This in turn, leads to pressuring the scholar because they might feel responsible for the disappointment they caused others to feel when they, themselves, fail to meet the crowd's requirements. To some scholars, this might be a great handicap because they would have lost faith in themselves. With no faith, how can anyone be able to perform at his/her best?

A scholar might also be criticised for their new concepts and ideas which may otherwise differ from the others. This might cause them to be afraid to speak up and propose different theories on certain things.

Is scholar a leader? How so?

Yes, i feel that a scholar is a leader. A leader is someone that represents a group of people. He is of great importance as he/she is the one that gives commands to the people on what to do which is usually beneficial to the group. In order to be a leader, one has to be the strongest in the group in terms of responsibility, intelligence (et cetera), and i greatly believe that a scholar has what it takes to be a leader.

Who and how do i intend to serve as a scholar?

Being a scholar, i intend to serve my country, nation and the world. (if it is even plausible) I would give the best i have got in order to attain outstanding results and do my school, my country and of course, my parents proud. There can never be an end towards learning and i would also like to achieve things that have never been accomplished before so that i would be able to share this new knowledge with the world. And yes, being selfless and sharing my knowledge with other people is also vital because it would be a great loss if a valuable knowledge to mankind is forgotten, am i right? Ultimately, i want to be able to prove myself useful and benefit mankind.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test


Your personality type is INTP.

Introverted (I) 75% Extraverted (E) 25%
Intuitive (N) 59% Sensing (S) 41%
Thinking (T) 55% Feeling (F) 45%
Perceiving (P) 55% Judging (J) 45%

INTPs are pensive, analytical folks. They may venture so deeply into thought as to seem detached, and often actually are oblivious to the world around them.

Precise about their descriptions, INTPs will often correct others (or be sorely tempted to) if the shade of meaning is a bit off. While annoying to the less concise, this fine discrimination ability gives INTPs so inclined a natural advantage as, for example, grammarians and linguists.

INTPs are relatively easy-going and amenable to almost anything until their principles are violated, about which they may become outspoken and inflexible. They prefer to return, however, to a reserved albeit benign ambiance, not wishing to make spectacles of themselves.

A major concern for INTPs is the haunting sense of impending failure. They spend considerable time second-guessing themselves. The open-endedness (from Perceiving) conjoined with the need for competence (NT) is expressed in a sense that one's conclusion may well be met by an equally plausible alternative solution, and that, after all, one may very well have overlooked some critical bit of data. An INTP arguing a point may very well be trying to convince himself as much as his opposition. In this way INTPs are markedly different from INTJs, who are much more confident in their competence and willing to act on their convictions.

Mathematics is a system where many INTPs love to play, similarly languages, computer systems--potentially any complex system. INTPs thrive on systems. Understanding, exploring, mastering, and manipulating systems can overtake the INTP's conscious thought. This fascination for logical wholes and their inner workings is often expressed in a detachment from the environment, a concentration where time is forgotten and extraneous stimuli are held at bay. Accomplishing a task or goal with this knowledge is secondary.

INTPs and Logic -- One of the tipoffs that a person is an INTP is her obsession with logical correctness. Errors are not often due to poor logic -- apparent faux pas in reasoning are usually a result of overlooking details or of incorrect context.

Games NTs seem to especially enjoy include Risk, Bridge, Stratego, Chess, Go, and word games of all sorts. (I have an ENTP friend that loves Boggle and its variations. We've been known to sit in public places and pick a word off a menu or mayonnaise jar to see who can make the most words from its letters on a napkin in two minutes.) The INTP mailing list has enjoyed a round of Metaphore, virtual volleyball, and a few 'finish the series' brain teasers.

INTPs generally have the following traits:

  • Love theory and abstract ideas
  • Truth Seekers - they want to understand things by analyzing underlying principles and structures
  • Value knowledge and competence above all else
  • Have very high standards for performance, which they apply to themselves
  • Independent and original, possibly eccentric
  • Work best alone, and value autonomy
  • Have no desire to lead or follow
  • Dislike mundane detail
  • Not particularly interested in the practical application of their work
  • Creative and insightful
  • Future-oriented
  • Usually brilliant and ingenius
  • Trust their own insights and opinions above others
  • Live primarily inside their own minds, and may appear to be detached and uninvolved with other people

Wow, this is interesting. I do see quite a bit of my personality in the results. However, there are parts where i feel that i am a little different from the results.

There are, of course, things that we fear knowing about ourselves. From the extract, INTPs are individuals that tend to point out the flaws of others. I regret to admit that this is indeed true of me at times. Having that said, please at least try to bear with me. It also says that INTPs are ones who are afraid of failing and tend to come up with reasons to convince themselves as well as their opposition. But, I believe that only part of this is accurate. You see, i am afraid of failing, just like most others. But there are times when i know that i am definitely in the wrong and will stop myself from arguing with the rest. I think that the only time the information would be correct is when i refuse to believe i am going to fail because the consequences are too much for me to bear. (Mainly where important things are concerned)

The results have definitely make me understand myself a lot more. I plan to change a little bit about myself so that i would be able to face the challenges ahead. Together with the encouragement from my family and hard work, i will give a shot at achieving my goals.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Who exactly am i?

" What sort of question is this? Isn't it obvious? I am just Jonathan. What could be more to this question?". This was, unfortunately, what i thought when i was first asked this question a few years back. But now, i realise that there is definitely more to this question.


I believe that i am someone who is quite persistent through past experiences. For example, in past tests when i achieved poor grades, i would make up my mind to do well in the next test/examination. The only way to do this is to study real hard and this leads to another quality of mine, which is being in control of your own self or you can say, self-disciplined. In my opinion, this quality is somewhat difficult to maintain since there are always things that are capable of attracting your attention or affect you. And you can never be sure that you are able to stop this sort of addiction when you are required to focus on examinations or on your assignments. But do keep in mind that "nothing easy is ever worthwhile".


My motivations? To me, it means to complete the task at hand efficiently and at the same time, have fun in the process for the sake of the well being of the ones around us or perhaps, ourselves. My motivations come from my friends, family members (and maybe teachers) around me. Seeing how much they are sacrificing for us makes me want to learn more, so that i would be able to do them proud and not let their efforts go down the drain.

As for my personality, i would say that i am willing to learn from others, even if they are younger than me. I do not boast in front of others or show that I am superior. I would also say that i am quite affable and any of you who are keen to be my friend are free to do so!


I do not know much of my strengths but i do know that if i put my heart into the things that i do, i would definitely be able to work out the problems faced. There may be a long period of time where i would not be able to comprehend or work out a complication and in the next moment, jumping around exultantly upon solving the problem.

As for my weaknesses, i think that i am quite an introvert. I tend to keep to myself or choose to stick with a group of my close friends instead of joining the crowd and mixing with other people. Also, when solving problems, i often try to sort out the problem by myself instead of working in a group. As the saying goes "Two minds work better than one", i believe that this is a great handicap to me and disadvantages are never beneficial.


In my primary school days, i was very interested in artwork. Sad to say, this feeling has since faded ever since i entered secondary school. However, i still love to draw pictures of some of my favourite story characters when i am not busy doing work. Now my interest lies in science, specifically physics. I like it because i think that it is very enjoyable to be able to uncover the truth of how things work or move. Also, i like to read on subjects concerning the Outer Space such as the characteristics of the stars and planets in the galaxies. As for food, i enjoy things that are fried, just like most other people.

I do not quite like people that do not keep their promises, boss over me, or who are disrespectful. I shall not elaborate much on this issue. In terms of other living organisms, i rather dislike animals that have slimy or scaly skins such as snakes. Just imagining them being in contact with me gives me the chills. Also, i hate eating lambs as i think that it gives off a funny, or rather stinky, smell.


Interesting? I would say that i am born on the 6th of the 6th month. Additionally, even though i am a Singaporean, i spend all of my Chinese New Year in Malaysia. (Because some of my relatives are there)

Well... That's about it. Nice meeting all of you, Goodbye!