Preparing For the SAT

Math has always been a challenging topic for me. But there is always a silver lining. Most of the students will be taking the Scholastic Assessment Tests (SAT) this year and the test day is on the 5th of October. Since the beginning of the school year, I’ve been working on many practices on the SAT math to familiarize myself in taking the test.

The first two weeks of school is focusing on the SAT Bootcamp. Two SAT expert from Princeton University came to our school and run the whole boot camp. They taught us strategies that would save us time and get us high points. They gave us lots of practice over the two weeks period. I think it’s really helpful in term of building knowledge and confidence.

For math, I have used different sources like Khan Academy, official College Board website, and some other offline source to practice working on some questions. I would also go back to my old PSAT and look over again through the questions.

 

Khmer: How to Behave in the Public

In our Khmer class, at the beginning of the year, we were learning about how to represent ourselves well in the public. That included how to use our verbal and nonverbal languages. In Khmer, some words have so many synonyms and each means differently. As an example, the word “neng”, “និង”. It has four different parts of speech: noun, preposition, pronoun, verb, and conjunction. In addition, we would use different words for the different rank of people. We won’t use the same words with friends to a teacher or to a person who works in the ministry. There is a lot for us to learn. We work on different activities to learn those skills. We discussed the lessons in teams, created role plays, and presented lessons to each other. I think it’s important for us as a Cambodian to know that information because we will use it all the time in our future.

I Establish Change Through Creating More Change Agents

It has been four years, seeing and working with the stupendous Liger’s students in each and every project-based learning Exploration. Creating a brighter future by realizing the potential of a promising child,” the most significant motto of the Liger Leadership Academy. About four months ago, I was introduced into a new supplementary Exploration system. Myself and the other seven students were told that we will be working with eight youths from the government schools, and it will only be in Khmer, our native language. Hearing it from my teacher on the first day of the exploration was a revelation.

Within one week of the exploration, the shocking news started to make more sense, the thoughts illuminate. Well, we were soon told that those students are extraordinary and they are the future change agents of Cambodia, similar to the Liger’s students. They are the chosen one among hundreds of students to be the leader of their community youth club.

Working with them would be my honor.

About three months ago, our team was scheduled to have one of the first meetings with the youths. From what I’ve heard, I expected them to be active, creative, thoughtful, and funny. I was right. But, I couldn’t really see the shining beacon in them. In reality, they seem to be scared of us: shy, silence, introverted, and nervous.

Maybe it was just the first sight interpretation. It was hidden deep inside. By cooperating with them, quality behaviours and bright characteristics started to leak out. They are smart, enthusiastic, caring, funny, pleasant, sincere, trustworthy, and cautious. They are truly the future change agents. However, they’re lack in experience. They stumble upon the barrier of executing the proper process and procedure, and thus, we will be their assistant, filling out the gaps with guidance and support. We will fabricate the key to unlock their potential.

In our exploration, we are working toward the essential goal of spreading the awareness of drug prevention with the vision of creating new hope for the Cambodian people. The final achievements that we want to accomplish are to create a video that is about the disturbance of family happiness due to drug and to offer workshops about it in four provinces: Kampot, Kampong Speu, Svay Rieng, and Prey Veng.

Like other nations, drug is an unsolvable issue in Cambodia. In 2014, almost 20 thousand Cambodian had been reported to be associated with drug, and based on the National Authority For Combating Drug, a better estimation of the number would require us to multiply it by 5. In accordance to the report from the provinces, written by the youths, around 10% of the people in their community are involved in drug, those who aged between 15-35 years old.  

The journey to carve the key to unlock their potential began with going on field trips. We were planned to go to two different places, the National Authority For Combating Drug and the Drug Addict Relief Association of Cambodia.

Part of the process, we need to brainstorm questions. It is quite new to most of them. Asking the right questions is very important in term of gathering the correct and precise information. For the first trip, we had guided them through those steps and for the second trip, they did it all by themselves. Their questions are valid, thoughtful, and open.

What has been changed before and after living in this relief center?”

“What are some challenges you had faced in trying to detached drug?”

“What would you do after leaving this center?”

 

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Drug prevention is such an immense topic to talk about and it would take more than seven weeks for the project to construct a fundamental foundation. We want to see the promising youth to carry on with this project after the period of this Exploration.

Throughout the exploration, throughout the time that I’ve spent with the students, and throughout the past seven weeks, I had recognized that I had been a better collaborator, problem-solver, and a more empathetic person. I had gained more confidence in breaking the silence. I had tried to motivate people to share their opinions, and I will always be the one that listens to my fullest, not to respond back.

I learned how to face problems without putting myself in a risky position. I had learned to use the resources surrounded me effectively. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can,” by Arthur Ashe. Your friends, your teachers, your family, and your communities, use them as creative as possible to solve those issues. Using them effectively is the key and if the only tool you have is a hammer, don’t treat all problems as a nail. I had learned the way to use my imagination and open my mind to the possibilities.

Lastly, the unsplittable bond had been built between the students and I. Even though they stayed at our school for only a week, we had already constructed memories that lasted forever. I had learned to quickly adapt to strangers and I had learned the different ways to approach them without harming their physical and mental. I had learned to be self-aware of my surrounding. I am able to see people from their eyes, listen from their ears and feel them from their heart.

After one week, the new change agents are returning back to their community, bringing back the positive and hopeful impact. They are ready to create changes and influence their community. They now have the potential to create more positive impacts, and thus, fish for a lifetime. I believe in the action of exchanging experience. Like plants, I am the main source, dispersing experience to different places as a supporter to the other change agents. I establish change through creating more change agents.   

Unite To Save Our Environment_ SAIMUN 2018

The Saigon Model United Nation 2018 is my second model united nation events abroad. I was strongly committed in preparing for this event. This SAIMUN 2018 would be my third time being apart of the environmental commission, two of them is in Vietnam. I decided to be on this commission because of my passion for science. The day that my teacher told us about the trip, I am then started to look at different topics in a different committee. Some of it is awesome and I kind of wanted to do a research and debate about it. Well, of course, there are some that I didn’t like. When it comes to the Environmental Commission, the four topics are:

  1. Creating a framework for the transfer of technology to low-income countries to combat the effects of climate change
  2. The reduction and management of electronic waste
  3. The question of the erosion of land rights through global land-grabs
  4. The reduction and responsibility for ocean transboundary pollution

Again, I love science and what is more important is that I wanted to solve problems that would benefit the environment. Climate change is a very important issue that no one should neglect it. Electronic waste is very harmful to both human health and environment. The indigenous minority are suffered from the issue of land-grabs. Once the lands have been stealing, the company usually invest different activities to it. Almost always, those activities have adversely affected the environment. There are 1.4 billion tons of rubbish that has been dump into the blue heart of the planet each year. If the amount did not decrease, by 2050, there will be more trash in the ocean than fish.

I love to debate and I care for my environment. I was always been taught to save and make our surrounding clean. I am a change agent. By involving in the events, debating and coming up with resolutions from the issues, it might also change the world. I know for a fact that that resolution won’t go to the United Nation, but as a student, being able to discuss it would also be a change.

Say No To Drugs

It has been a while that the exploration associated with drugs prevention were creating educational videos, writing down lessons, and brainstorming ideas for the workshops that will be held in the four provinces on the issues of drugs. I was assigned to be the mentors for Prey Veng province. 

On the 19th of March, our mission in Prey Veng began. We leave schools at around noon and arrived at our target around 5 in the evening. We began to look at the location that the workshop with be run and make sure that we have all the supplies that we need. 

On the next day, the workshops began at around 7:30am. We divided the audience into four groups then each mentor took them and starts their lessons. The activities in the workshops went so smooth. I saw a smile on everyone face. It made me happy. Beside their engaging in the events, they also learned a lot about the issue of drugs. I am sure that each and every one of them will be another change agents and continue spreading the awareness of this problem. After the workshop, our next activity is to reach out to villagers at their home and invite them to come and watch our educational video at night. As a result, around 60 people came for the movie. 

The 21st is our last day in Prey Veng. Like yesterday, we start the workshop at the same time, did the same activities, and we receive a similar result. In both days, there are a total of about 190 students participating. 

Say No To Drugs. Spread the words. 

 

 

 

Change Agents Collaboration

Drug is an immense issue in Cambodia. Presently, there are more than 20,000 Cambodian involves in doing drugs. That excludes those who haven’t be admitted to use drugs, and the drug dealer itself. Besides damaging the human body, drug causes an unstable and violent society, fills with stealing, attacking, or even up to murdering.

Many authorities and NGOs include our governments have been working so hard trying to decline the use of drugs. Many actions have been put in place but results have not met its goals.

As a change agents, we know that we have to do something to deliver full support under any conditions so that we and everyone are happy with the results. We can’t ignore this problem. We are so lucky to be working with other eight students from four different regions who are also curious and wanted to solve the problems. They are the change agents in their community. They stand for themselves, their community, and the Cambodia as a whole.

Together, we are working on a project that would help to tackle the issue and help many Cambodian. The essential idea of the project is the raise the awareness and actually, deliver information in order to stop, prevent, and reduce the use of drugs. The project has just started and by hard working, we hope to accomplish our goals and make our community a better, safer, and a healthier place.

The Shattered Bridge_ Men’s Gender Roles In Advertisements

Are we going to manipulate the future of gender stereotypes or will the gender stereotypes itself, shape our future?

The Huffington Post reports state that gender roles are immensely used in advertisements which frequently retain hidden depth and unperceivable messages. In accordance with Medialit, it claims that the division of gender roles are deeply rooted for some groups of people. Right beneath our nose, almost every advertisement are encompassed by gender stereotypes which both men and women are adversely affected by it. For men, gender roles and stereotypes are very influential in term of shaping their beliefs and attitudes, especially when it displays anti-male stereotypes.

Virtually all groups of people suffer from stereotypes and men are no exception. Stereotypes are powerful because they capable of affecting our expectations of what men should and should not be like.”

Medialit also remarks that there is a high probability of seeing male as the first person when you turn on the television. The Krytyka states that outdoor environments are mainly used for men, while characterizing them with a common interest and enjoy of spending time together with friends and family. Additionally, lots of advertisements are presenting men in the fields of being professional, successful, athletic, caring and supporting to his family. In contrast, men used to be viewed and portrayed as stupid, foolish, oafish, and clumsy.

In regard to the Men Are Becoming the Ad Target of the Gender Sneer article, it states that anti-male stereotypes are leading young boys to experience the lack of development and growing up with a weak foundation of their identity. These stereotypes are telling them what they should be and what they should not be; what is right and what is wrong. Men are discouraged to express their feeling in a range of emotions; hurt, fear, and hopelessness, if they do, they will be considered as unmanly, weak, coward, or even gay. Contrary, men are profoundly pushing to cooperate in teams with the need for control, and predominantly, violence is a great way to solve conflicts.

I tried my best to live up to the masculine stereotype, more often than not quite successfully, despite it making me painfully unhappy”_Jake Milli

Those male victims that were getting affected by the stereotypes are messily struggled, depressed and lost. The anti-male stereotypes causes them to be frightened and viewed themselves with negatively, and feel atrocious for being man when they can’t meet the criteria of being a “real” man. that come with being male.

“…as men, we have to conform to stale and damaging expectations of what it means to conform to this stereotype. By forcing ourselves to abide by ridiculous guidelines, we’re hurting ourselves and those.”_Independent.

Men are incompetent, faint, and pathetic growing up seeing those stereotypes displaying on television every time they opened it. They felt like they are not strong and powerful enough to be standing on their ground and going against those anti-male stereotypes; being who they really are.  

Dr. Nathanson, in an interview within the Men Are Becoming the Ad Target of the Gender Sneer article, stated that “how do boys form a healthy identity?” if they are constantly exposed to anti-male stereotypes.” Has it been done accidentally or with purposes? Some industries don’t even realize that the path they walked on to build the relationships with their customers are abhorrent not only to the users but to everyone who watched, saw, and experienced it, the nightmare.

 

Sources:

 

The Guinea Pig_ IELTS Test Sample Subjects

Many different university in the whole world require their students to have a high point in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  For Harvard University with the acceptance rate of 5.4% in 2016,  required the undergraduate or graduate students is get at least a 7 out of 9 in the IELTS test in order to be selected. English is my second language, thus I need to work hard in order to earn high point on those English Language Proficiency Test,  IELTS,  TOEFL, CAE, OET, and PTE. Four of the Liger Senior and I were chosen to be the IELTS test sample subjects. The goal is to see how many points in average can the Senior earn for now and what factor need to be improved in order to earn higher points. I am now studying for the test and are excited to take the test in the following month, the 20th and 21st of January.  

The Learning Holiday_Kampot Readers and Writers Festival

On the day for Water Festival holiday where Cambodian will take a break and comes celebrate the holiday, I spent my time going to Kampot for a special events. I think that the four days trip to Kampot is a very effective use of my time. The event called the Kampot Readers and Writers Festival (KRWF), which is so obvious that it is about reading and writing. The essential ideas behind the trip are to learn, to have fun, and to get inspired. Without going any further, I did learn a lot, I have a ton of fun and especially, I was surprised and was inspired by all the inspirational workshops that I was apart of. 

I had to admit that I am not a big fan of writing, but this trip has changed my writing path. Not that now I fall in love with writing or that I get addicted to writing but, it changes my perspective on writing. Actually, writing is not that hard. Here is how I think about it. Let’s compare it to your favorite activity and for me, playing basketball. At first, all I need to do is to have the mindset of practicing because practice become skilled. The more we write, the better our writing. The more we practice shooting, the better shooter I can be. Second, I need to gather the materials. It can be pens, pencils, books, or even a laptop. To basketball, it is like finding my sneakers, socks, and the ball. Third, we just need to get our mind concentrated into it. In basketball case, it is like jogging to the basketball court. Lastly, we just need to write, keep writing and keep writing. When it comes to a point of getting stuck, don’t know what else to write or if you can’t score, paused and try to find others creative idea to solve it and then finish it strong. When you compare a difficult task to your favorite activity, soon you’re going to enjoy doing it too. Remember, many people can run downhill, but not that many people can run uphill, so work with your best. 

 

Now They Can See Again_Khmer Sight Foundation

On 18, November 2017, I was there in my homeland, volunteering in a very important mission. The mission is associated with the organization called Khmer Sight Foundation. My friends and I were there in Chbar Jros, Kampong Speu, to help with translating, organizing, helping, and making the events to go smooth. The essential idea of the events is to check the villagers eyes sight and if a surgery could be done, Khmer Sight Foundation will provides it for free. We were there helping the foreign optic doctors to translate some of the advice to the patients and making them feel comfortable. We communicated very well with the patients and at the end of the day, we help to find more than 10 patients to bring for their surgery. 

On the way back to school, we brought 5 prioritized patients that their eyes are in a very serious state. We brought them to the eye clinic located near the independent monument and were also there helping to doctor with their procedures. As a Cambodian, we were taught to help people until the mission is done. So, we were there near the patients until they get their surgery. I felt so happy helping them and especially, bring their sight back and actually, lighting up their world.